Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Problems plague primary

A clearer picture of how the upcoming Board of Supervisors may look emerged last week, as the Democratic Executive Committee examined 108 affidavit ballots cast in the August 4 primary election.

Of that total, 39 affidavit ballots were accepted and counted and 69 rejected, all without affecting the unofficial tally from Tuesday night.

Incumbent James Dunn ultimately took 50.44 percent of the vote in District 1, just enough to avoid a run-off with the next highest vote getter, Robert Hall, in the three-way race. No candidate qualified as an Independent for the November ballot, so Dunn will earn another four year term.

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MS towns team up for Honduras mission

A Mississippi mission team, including Rev. Paul Husband of Tunica, spent last week in Honduras offering medical and dental care, spiritual encouragement, food and friendship to families in a remote mountain village where life is often a struggle.

The trek has been an annual event for Batesville dentist Andy Garrott, who has led teams to the Central American country for more than 30 years through New Vision Ministry. Husband has made multiple trips with Garrott and has led teams himself.

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School board dismissed as state takes over

Mississippi governor Phil Bryant signed a proclamation on July 9 declaring that a state of emergency exists in the Tunica County School District “that threatens the safety, security and educational interest of students.”

Bryant’s proclamation places TCSD under the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Board of Education.

“My first concern is for the students and parents of the Tunica County School District,” Gov. Bryant said last week. “We will continue to work with the Mississippi Board of Education to make sure a proper education is provided.”

State education officials named Dr. Margie Pulley as conservator for TCSD. Dr. Pulley and Pat Ross, MDE’s Chief School Performance Officer, met Monday afternoon with Tunica Countians at Tunica Middle School.

In opening the meeting, Ross said the decision to take over the district was made for the children served by the district.

“We want what’s best for them,” Ross said, adding that he was “100 percent confident that the Tunica County School district could be a successful school district.”

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Judge rules for town, schools

Special Circuit Judge Henry L. Lackey ruled July 4 in favor of the Town of Tunica, granting “preliminary and permanent injunctive relief” to the town and denying the Injunction sought by Tunica County.

In Civil Action #2014-0169, Tunica County, Mississippi vs. Town of Tunica, Mississippi and Tunica County Mississippi School District, Judge Lackey wrote, “Tunica County, Mississippi (hereafter referred to as the County) seeks to have this Court declare House Bill 1002, approved by the Mississippi Legislature unconstitutional.”

[Editor’s note: House Bill 1002 grants the county the authority to levy up to 3.2 percent on monthly gross gaming revenues of casinos here and to remit 10 percent of those taxes to the town; 12 percent of the total for educational purposes; and two percent for teacher salary supplements and teacher training.]

Judge Lackey continued, “The County asserts the payments designated to Tunica and the Schools constitutes a donation in violation of Article 4, Section 66 and 96 of the Mississippi Constitution and therefore that portion of House Bill 1002 is unconstitutional....”

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