McNairy County News Current Headlines

From the September 16, 2010 edition

Remembering 9-11
46-nws-flag_ceremony1Photo by Tom Evans
Balloons released by AES 4th-graders drift above the flag in Friday’s ceremony.

Community South hosts Flag Ceremony
Community South in Adamsville hosted a flag ceremony last Friday with the entire 4th grade class at Adamsville Elementary in attendance.
Veterans from the Corinth, MS American Legion performed the ceremony as they took down the old flag, played Taps, fired a gun salute, and raised a new flag. The children then got to ask the Veterans questions before they all released red, white, and blue balloons in remembrance of 9-11.
“The students were very attentive and we really enjoyed having them out today,” said John Liddy of Community South. “We appreciate the Veterans who performed the ceremony and all the others who helped or came to watch.”
Photo by Tom Evans
Members of the American Legion from Corinth, Miss. performed the flag ceremony.

Subway in the way
46-nws-subway_ambulancePhoto Submitted
A Sunday afternoon collision between an ambulance and car sent the ambulance crashing into the Subway restaurant in the South Y Square shopping center in Selmer.
A collision just after 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon on Poplar Avenue at the entrance to the South Y Shopping Center resulted in an ambulance destroying a portion of Subway’s north wall.
According to a report filed by Officer Robert Hitchborn of the Selmer Police Department, Daniel Williams, age 20, of Pocahontas, was driving a 1996 Buick sedan headed west on Poplar and was slowing to turn left into the South Y Shopping Center. A 2009 Ford ambulance owned by McNairy County Regional Hospital and driven by David W. Thomason, age 40, of Finger, was on an emergency call with lights and siren activated.
The ambulance attempted to pass Williams’ vehicle when Williams turned left in front of the ambulance. The vehicles collided and the ambulance then went off the roadway and struck the side of the Subway building, knocking out a large portion of the north wall as the ambulance entered the building causing major damage. The car struck a utility pole, knocking out power to a few nearby homeowners.
The two drivers of the vehicles were not seriously injured and were not transported to the hospital.
Frank Miller, age 21, a passenger in the ambulance was not injured. Williams, the driver of the car, was ticketed for failure to yield and Thomason, the ambulance driver, was ticketed for improper passing on a double yellow line.
Seven customers and four employees were in the building at the time of the accident. Samantha M. Pryor, age 4, a customer inside Subway, received a minor injury to her leg and was treated at the scene.
The building is owned by Jack Reynolds. Repairs to the building were already underway by Wednesday afternoon.. The Subway owners are Donnie and Deborah Young.
After cleanup on Monday and installation of a temporary wooden window Subway was back open for business on Tuesday.

McNairy County Narcotics Unit formed
46-nws-narcoticsPhoto by Tom Evans
Selmer Police Chief Neal Burks (left) and McNairy County Sheriff Guy Buck have teamed up to form the first ever McNairy County Narcotics Unit.
The McNairy County Sheriff’s Department has joined with the Selmer Police Department to form the first ever McNairy County Narcotics Unit.
The City of Selmer will furnish three officers for the unit and the Sheriff’s Department will furnish one and will do the majority of the paperwork involved. All monies received through the courts from drug fines and sales from seizures of property related to drug crimes will be divided equally between the two departments.
“This is going to help keep the proceeds from drug money in McNairy County,” said Sheriff Guy Buck. “This will help the Selmer Police Department and the McNairy County Sheriff’s Department in our fight against drugs. We’ll use the money to help purchase equipment, vehicles or anything else that can help reduce drug use in our county. Drug use is the main reason for a lot of the crimes we deal with.”
McNairy County was formerly a member of the 25th Judicial Drug Task Force, which included five counties. The drug money was divided among the five counties, which sometimes left McNairy County short on funds to fight drugs.
“This is a win, win situation for both of our departments,” said Selmer Police Chief Neal Burks. “I think we’ll be able to be more effective in our fight against illegal drugs in our county and our city. We’re excited to join forces and help each other.”
Both Sheriff Buck and Chief Burks hope that eventually Adamsville will be able to join their organization.
Adamsville Police Chief Bill McCall says the problem with his department joining right now is a shortage of officers, but he advised his department will help.
“We just don’t have the manpower right now to provide a full time officer,” said Chief McCall, “but our department will assist in any way we can.”
Sheriff Buck presented the idea of a McNairy County Narcotics Unit to the County Commission at their Monday night meeting and it was approved unanimously.

Dateline NBC visits McNairy County

46-nws-datelinePhoto by Tom Evans
Dateline NBC reporter Scott Morrison (left) and District Attorney Mike Dunavant.
Members of Dateline NBC’s television show were in Selmer last week filming interviews with persons related to the Mary Winkler trial.
On Thursday, reporter Scott Morrison did an interview at the McNairy County Courthouse with District Attorney Michael Dunavant. Selmer Police Investigator Roger Rickman was also interviewed last week.
Dateline NBC’s story about events surrounding the Winkler case and the outcome will air sometime in the fall.

Fire destroys trailer
46-nws-trailer_firePhoto by Tom Evans
A Saturday afternoon fire, just after 4 p.m., destroyed a trailer at 391 Dunaway Road occupied by Max and Keely Murrell. Fire departments from Selmer, Sulphur Springs and Ramer responded to the blaze late Saturday afternoon, but the trailer was a total loss. No one was injured in the blaze. According to Carol Williams, the mother of Max Murrell, the family has no insurance at all and they lost everything in the fire. If you would like to help this family you can call them at 731-439-2700 and see what items they need.

Dr. Avenel joins McNairy Regional
Photo by Tom Evans
Dr. Paul A. Avenel
McNairy Regional Hospital has added another new doctor to their staff. Dr. Paul A. Avenel, a general surgeon, recently moved to the area and has become a member of the hospital’s staff.
“We are so excited to have Dr. Avenel become a member of our great team of doctors,” said Donna Atkinson of McNairy Regional. “He has a great personality and is a wonderful doctor. The people of McNairy County are going to love him.”
Dr. Avenel is originally from Mandeville, Louisiana. He and his wife Jennifer have three children. Their two boys are Zachary, age 6, and Alex, age 5. Their daughter, Reese, is 6 months old. Dr. Avenel received his B.S. in 1995 from LSU.
In 1997, he received his M.Sc. from LSU and in 2005 he received his M.D. from Louisiana State University School of Medicine. From 2005 to 2006 he did his Surgical Internship in New Orleans. From 2006 to 2009 he was a Surgical Resident at Providence Hospital and Medical Center in Southfield, MI, a small town outside of Detroit.
Dr. Avenel was also a Chief Surgical Resident there from 2009 until September 1st of this year when he came to Selmer.
“I knew that I wanted to work in a small hospital and I wanted to be somewhere in this general area,” said Dr. Avenel. “If they had over 100 beds I marked them off my list. I started looking at all the hospitals about the size of McNairy Regional and then one day I called Ms. Roberts and got an interview.”
Once Dr. Avenel meet with Pamela Roberts, Hospital CEO, he said he knew this was the place he wanted to start his practice.
“During the interview process when I learned about the direction that this hospital was taking, their vision for the future, and all the things going on here, I knew this was where I wanted to begin my practice,” said Dr. Avenel. “The part I like about being a doctor is taking something you enjoy like medicine and using that to interact with other people. The patient I’m seeing at the moment is the most important patient in the world to me. It’s not my last patient, my next patient or one on my records, it’s the one I’m with right now.”
Dr. Avenel has performed numerous surgeries and he says probably the toughest ones that he as performed are those related to the pancreas. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Dr. Avenel and his family to McNairy County.
To schedule an appointment with him call or stop by McNairy County Regional Hospital.

15th Annual Broomcorn Festival is Saturday
jack_broomPhoto Courtesy of Arts in McNairy
Festival organizer Jack Martin shapes a handle for one of his handmade brooms.
The 15th Annual Broomcorn Festival will take place at the Selmer City Park this Saturday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Last year’s festival was cancelled due to flooding in the park, but the weather should be almost perfect this year.
There will be over 30 Folk Art Demonstrators. They will perform basket making, broom making, quilting, spinning and weaving, pottery making, chair making, blacksmithing and other various skills.
There will be live music throughout the day beginning at 10 a.m. There will also be antique cars from 1915 to 1927, a petting zoo, pony rides, wagon rides and lots of great food concessions. T
his will be a great day of family fun. Admission is $3 and ages infant to 8th grade are admitted free.
For more info, call 645-4823 or 645-6360.