Monday, July 16, 2018
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Tunica Times

Legals for the week of July 13, 2018





DECEASED                                                                     CAUSE NO.: GN2007-93


TO:    THE UNKNOWN HEIRS AT LAW OF EARMER D. WILLIS (also sometimes known as Erma Wills), DECEASED

You have been named as an interested party in a Petition filed in the Chancery Court of Tunica County, Mississippi by Bobbie D. Miller, Administratrix of the Estate of Earmer D. Willis.  The intestate estate of Earmer D. Willis  (also sometimes known as Erma Wills) is being administered in the above styled and numbered proceeding.   As part of the administration of said estate, the Chancery Court will determine the heirs at law of Earmer D. Willis (also sometimes known as Erma Wills).  The  alleged heirs at law of Earmer D. Willis (also sometimes known as Erma Wills) are her two (2) sisters, Bobbie D. Miller and Annie C. Winters.  It is alleged that there is no surviving spouse, no children or issue of any deceased children and no other surviving siblings, no issue of any deceased siblings and no surviving parent.

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School safety initiative attacks rising youth crime

What would local car break-ins, gun crime and gang activity have in common?

All three and more were topics for discussion at Tunica Sheriff K.C. Hamp’s School Safety Initiative this week, the first in a series of meetings with stakeholders on the front lines in the fight against rising juvenile crime.

Hamp has organized the Tunica County task force after being appointed by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant to a similar statewide effort.

The increasing involvement of juveniles – all under 18 and many as young as 11 or 12 – in a rash of car thefts, car break-ins and thefts of guns and electronics from vehicles, and the use of weapons in drive-by shootings is alarming to law enforcement, school administrators, and youth court officials.

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Happy Birthday, America!

Firetrucks, flags waving, red, white & blue finery...the Town of Tunica’s annual Fourth of July  Parade has it all.

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How the state made a lawbreaker out of a gray-headed old lady

Call me Linda.

No, wait – I’m going before Chancellor Jon Barnwell this week in Clarksdale to legally change my name to Brooks Nickles Taylor.

This year, on May 5, I turned 65 years old. Old enough to receive a Medicare card. I started drawing my Social Security this spring. That ought to be why I remember 2018. But it’s not. Instead, this will be seared in my memory as the year that I – after having a driver’s license for 50 years, and incidentally, having an almost sterling driving record with the State of Mississippi – have now been driving around since the last day of May with no legal driver’s license.

My “crime?”

I want to be called by my middle name – Brooks – and not by my first name, Linda. And the State of Mississippi is refusing to renew my driver’s license under the name I have been known by my whole life!

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Here’s how this started:

The Sunday after my birthday on May 5, I go grocery shopping at the Piggly Wiggly here. I want to pay for my purchases as I customarily do, with a personal check. I present my driver’s license to the cashier. She takes it and takes my check but asks me if I know my license has expired. No, I hadn’t given it a thought, which is fairly understandable, I think, since it was last renewed four years ago and there is never a reminder from the state in advance of the expiration.

So, the next morning, I log on to the Department of Public Safety’s web site and start the process to renew online. I am sailing through (should have known it was going too well), until I get to the part where you have to pay. The online system refuses to go any further. I get an unspecified error message.

I consider myself computer literate, since I use one every day in my work. But my computers at work are Macs, and it’s a PC world. Not every website plays well with Apple computers. So I think (from long experience) that their web site perhaps kicked out my renewal because it did not like my Mac at that particular moment. I try again that afternoon. Same result.

I try again the next day and the next. Again, no luck. Finally, on Wednesday afternoon, I have finished the newspaper for that week and I have a few free moments. I find an office number for DPS and I call.

The woman who answers sends me to another person. I explain. From her end, she can look and see that I have tried to renew online. First, she tells me I should not have tried multiple times.

“It’s locked out because you tried five times,” she says.

“Okay,” I say, properly chastened, “what do I do now?”

“You can go to a kiosk or in person to renew.”

Then she asks me whether I renewed online last time. I don’t remember. I think I went to the kiosk here in Tunica, but she checks something else and tells me I did indeed renew online four years ago and this time I must go to a kiosk or one of the examining stations. Mind you, it doesn’t say that anywhere on the website. Oh, wait, it does say that in the “Frequenty Asked Questions” section, but you have to look hard for it.

After finding out this very valuable information, the next day I try the kiosk that is just down the street from where I work. At first, all is going well. The machine takes my new photograph (awful, as usual), and I am quickly ready to pay. Uh oh, an error message, again with no specific reason that my attempt has failed. I do get a paper receipt that shows I tried, however.

Gritting my teeth, I now know I will have to go to the Nesbit station. I leave my house in Tunica early the next day and get there about two minutes after 8. There is already a line out the door, but it doesn’t take long before I am inside and sitting down in the waiting area with a number in my hand. About 45 minutes later, that number gets called, and the pleasant lady behind the counter and I start the whole process. I get my photo made and I am ready to pay, when her computer suddenly rejects my application. After several questions from her and answers from me, she determines that my name in their system and as it is listed in Social Security’s database does not match, vaguely indicating this has something to do with Homeland Security and something called “Real ID.” She then tells me to go to the Social Security office (nearest one is in Olive Branch) and change my name to match how it is shown on my driver’s license.

A caveat: when I got my very first driver’s license in 1968, the State of Mississippi itself required me to use the name Linda Nickles. Years later, the state kindly allowed me to add Brooks to my license, so to them, I am Linda Brooks Taylor.

When I protest that I have gone by the name “Brooks N.(Nickles) Taylor” since my marriage 44 years ago and that further, I have just started receiving my Social Security and Medicare coverage, both under the name Brooks N. Taylor, she tells me that does not matter - that I must be “Linda Brooks Taylor” since that is the way the State lists me and has issued my driver’s license.

Thinking that this is too bizarre to be true, the next week my husband and I drive to the Batesville station, where I explain to the clerk what is happening each time. He confirms what the Nesbit clerk has told me, but tells me I can call his supervisor and gives me that phone number.

My husband calls the number and a man answers. We start our explanations, but this man is at his dentist’s office and gives us the name and number of a woman he says can help us. We call, she answers, we go through the whole thing again, and incredibly, she very patiently and kindly explains that yes, my names must match; no, the state won’t change it in their system; and yes, I will have to change it with SSA, unless I want to have my name legally changed.

Since I have by now in hand all the documents that prove I have been Brooks Taylor for a long, long time, including a letter from SSA and my expired passport, I am loath to tamper with what has gotten me this far in life.

That is why I am petitioning in Chancery Court, at age 65, to change my name to what my name has been all along. Goodbye, Linda, forever, I hope, and hello, Brooks N. Taylor.

I’ll let you know how it turns out.


Supervisors seek state guidance on school project

Tunica County supervisors agreed this week to seek an opinion from the Mississippi Attorney General on how the county can help reconstruct or rehabilitate Rosa Fort High School.

Board attorney John Perry said the county is willing to invest in a reinvented high school and termed this “a unique situation,” because there is currently no school board to undertake such a project.

The State of Mississippi took over the Tunica County School District in 2015, dismissed the school board, and appointed Dr. Margie Pulley as conservator. Dr. Pulley has been running the district since then. The state has not indicated a date that the district might be returned to local control.

A high ranking official in the State Department of Education remarked in January that MDE is not in the business of building schools and that any such plans would have to come through the local board of supervisors.

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