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Stories Written by Lisa Voyles


Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – The Houston Solar Race team has made a habit of winning national titles, but outdid even themselves this year as they brought home not one, but two first place trophies from the Dell-Winston Solar Challenge in Dallas, Texas.

The closed-track race offered the seven-time champions an opportunity to compete with two cars in the Open and Classic divisions and the students from Houston rose to the challenge, placing first in both divisions and bringing home several daily trophies as well.

Although they participated in the race in July, they were officially welcomed home and honored with a reception Sunday at the Houston High School auditorium. There the team offered thanks for community support through the years.

The team dedicated the first-place trophy in the Open division to the local VFW Post 7149. Instructor Keith Reese said that they deserved more credit than most people may know.

“They are the ones that started this,” Reese said. “They were our first sponsors. They believed in us when no one else did. They believed in these students before they had a car.”

The team also won the GE Intelligence award for overall superiority in engineering and dedicated it to the late Hubert Baird. Baird was instrumental in assisting Reese and the team in the design of the original solar car that started the program. Team captain Zach Huffman made the posthumous dedication.

“Mr. Hubert was one of the key people who helped design the car and we want to dedicate this to him for all he has done for us in designing the classic car,” Huffman said.

Reese, along with team members, Superintendent Dr. Steve Coker and Vocational Center Principal Beverly James, thanked many community members and groups for their support through the years and placed the success of the solar program on their shoulders. Coker said that the continued success of the program and the students involved speaks well of the school and the district and the community behind it.

“If you want to brag about something, it’s hard not to brag about what’s going on in Houston with this solar team,” Coker said.

n Town of Woodland holds

annual party.

By Lisa Voyles

Chickasaw Journal

WOODLAND – The Town of Woodland may be the smallest municipality in Chickasaw County, but the residents and city government can measure their support of local students by the size of their hearts.

The town sponsored their annual back-to-school party at the home of Mayor Patti and Jim Watkins, inviting residents and their school-age children to enjoy hot dogs, cold drinks, games, fun and an extra bonus, school supplies.

“We’ve been doing this about eight years or so,” Jim Watkins said of the traditional party.

Sponsors check with the schools for the supplies needed for each child and fill an individual bag packed with the items they will need to begin the school year. The task to provide for each student resident might sound daunting, but that is where the small town finds its bonus.

“We know all of the kids here in Woodland,” said Margaret Nelson. “We know each student.”

The party has changed in style over the years.

“The first year, we went out and got the supplies and loaded them on a golf cart and drove it around all over town,” Jim Watkins said.

From the first instance of playing “School Supply Santa,” the town was hooked on the idea of supporting their students.

As youth and parents gathered in the Watkins’ yard, Mayor Patti gave them words of encouragement for the coming academic year.

“We want you to excel,” Watkins said. “We want you to have everything you need to do your best.”

Incoming rain moved the party to the Watkins’ back porch, but didn’t dampen spirits of those attending. Patti introduced the special guest for the evening, Tony Horton. Horton, a native of Woodland and graduate of 1995 Houston High School, has returned to Chickasaw County to serve as the principal of Houston Middle School. Horton spoke to the youth and their parents about the upcoming school year.

“It’s right around the corner,” Horton said. “I want to encourage all of you to come to school with a good attitude and a willingness to learn. This is a new school year and it’s a time to start fresh. You are somebody. You are a success. Whatever I can do to help you, I will do.”

Life fitness tip of the week

Special to the Chickasaw Journal

Avoid negative sources, people, things and habits.

Believe in yourself.

Consider things from every angle.

Don’t give up and don’t give in.

Enjoy life today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow my never come.

Family and friends are hidden treasures. Seek them and enjoy their riches.

Give more than you planned to give.

Hang on to your dreams forever.

Ignore those who try to discourage you. Stay away from them.

Just do it!

Keep on trying. No matter how hard it seems, it will get easier.

Love yourself first and foremost.

Make it happen. No one else will.

Never lie, cheat or steal. Strike a fair deal with everyone.

Open your eyes and see things as they really are.

Practice makes perfect. Repetition is the key.

Quitters never win and winners never quit.

Read, study and learn about everything important in your life.

Stop procrastinating.

Take control of your own destiny.

Understand yourself in order to better understand others.

Visualize it.

Want it more than anything.

Xccelerate your efforts.

You are unique of all God’s creations. Nothing can replace you.

Zero in on your target and go for it.

Tip provided by AJ and Michelle Johnson. E-mail or call questions to 662-448-5757, Check the Web page at

n Divinity Course Outlined

for Hospital Chaplaincy.

Special to the Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – Jacksonville Theological Seminary now offers a new Divinity course designed for hospital Chaplaincy because there is a great demand for Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care in many hospitals and clinics.

Most hospitals require a Masters degree in Divinity. This degree consists of classes in counseling, hospital chaplaincy, and ministry in order that one may better understand traumatic events, deaths, and other aspects that may be housed at a hospital.

A lot of new rules nationwide are now recommending counseling of various aspects. The government also has clinics that need counselors.

Jacksonville Theological Seminary is a worldwide accredited through (A.C.I.) Accrediting Commission International. This is the world’s largest accrediting non-governmental institute. Jacksonville Theological Seminary now has (64) sixty-four schools which are located in the U.S.A., Cuba, China, Canada, the Bahamas, and other parts of the world.

Some of the best, devoted, qualified instructors are employed at Jacksonville Theological Seminary, Houston, MS Campus, located in the Chickasaw Plaza building at 121 Malcomb Street.

JTS is an interdenominational, non-discriminating institution.

We are now starting the fall first quarter on August 1, 2008. You may register in the next two weeks. For more info, call (662) 456-3438, (662) 456-5477, or (662) 542-0432.

Zero tolerance

for ATV on streets

The Houston Police Department issued a reminder that All Terrain Vehicles are not allowed on city streets and public roadways and that enforcement of violations will be in effect for those who do not comply. Police Chief Billy Voyles said the potential for injury is too great to allow infractions of the law.

“There is just too much of a chance that people could get hurt driving ATVs on the roadways,” Voyles said.

Voyles said that in most instances, the riders are youth and children who do not understand how dangerous their actions can be. The HPD will issue citations to all persons found in violation of using improper equipment on city streets and public roads and the machines may be impounded.

The rising incidence of golf carts being used on public roads will also be addressed in the same fashion with citations issued and vehicles impounded.

“We can’t take the chance of someone being hurt while driving improper equipment,” Voyles said.

Drivers cautioned

to watch for students

Classes begis this week for all public schools in Chickasaw County and drivers are asked to be aware of children and youth around campuses. At Houston and Okolona Schools, police will be on site during peak traffic hours to assist drivers and students.

“We are asking all drivers to keep an eye out for children on their way to school,” Voyles said.

Special to the Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – Members of the Pilot Club of Houston- President Cara Chisolm, Treasurer Keri Chisolm, and Governor Elect of the Mississippi District Stacey Chapman- joined more than a thousand Pilot members from all over the world at the Pilot International/ Pilot International Foundation Annual Convention, held in Phoenix, Arizona, July 8-11, 2008.

In addition to business meetings and workshops, convention attendees took part in the “PIF Walk,” a fundraising event held to increase awareness of brain injury and brain injury prevention. The Walk was held on the grounds of the convention site, the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, on Thursday, July 10. Proceeds from this event and other fundraising activities went to support the work of Pilot International Foundation in the areas of brain-related research and education.

Convention attendees also took part in a banquet and installation of Pilot International officers for 2008-2009. Guest speakers included the radio personality Jason Hightower; the father of a child with autism, Barry Eggleston; and an expert on education of persons with brain-related disorders, Dale Metz.

Members of Anchor Clubs, the youth division of Pilot International, took part in an on-site service project during the convention – creating artwork to be donated to local hospitals – as well as a fundraiser – a duck race at the resort’s pool complex, the Lazy River. Anchor members also participated in workshops addressing youth leadership and volunteer issues.

Founded in 1921, Pilot International is a human service organization of volunteers working together to improve the quality of life in communities throughout the world. The organization’s service focus is helping persons with brain-related disorders and disabilities through education, volunteerism, and financial support. The Pilot International Foundation awards thousands of dollars annually in grants and scholarships to further education, research, and programs that benefit those affected by neurological diseases and injuries to the brain.

The Pilot Club of Houston appreciates the community support it receives for the many projects it undertakes.

Mr. and Mrs. Lon Taylor Hill of Collierville, Tennessee announce the engagement of their daughter, Carolyn Fay Hill, to Second Lieutenant Robert Preston Walker, USMC, son of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Walker of Byram, Mississippi.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Colonel (Ret.) and Mrs. William B. Hill of Woodland, Mississippi, and Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Harmon of Boxelder, Texas.

She is a graduate of Houston High School, Germantown, Tennessee,, and an honor graduate of the University of Mississippi, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science, graduating magna cum laude. She is a member of the Ole Miss “M” Club, who competed in cross-country and track, a member of Phi Mu Sorority, and Who’s Who in America’s Colleges and Universities.

She is now enrolled at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Physical Therapy School.

The prospective groom is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Walker of Byram, Mississippi, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Edwards, and the late Mr. Robert Bowman of Meadville, Mississippi.

He is a graduate of Terry High School, Terry, Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He was a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club and the Veterans Home in Oxford.

He is currently serving on active duty with the United States Marine Corps in the grade of Second Lieutenant.

Wedding vows will be exchanged at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 30, 2008, at Evergreen Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. A reception will follow at Le Pavillon in Memphis.

From press reports

NEW ALBANY – The Tallahatchie River Players have extended the deadline of the one act playwriting competition of the Tallahatchie RiverFest to August 31, 2008. First place carries an award of $100, second place $50, and third place $25.

By submitting an entry, the playwright is granting the right for the Tallahatchie River Players to perform the winning entries one time, royalty-free. TRP also reserves the right to minor editing privileges.

The Tallahatchie River Players will produce the winning entry on Saturday, September 27 at 2p.m. during the annual RiverFest. The play will be free to the public in the Magnolia Civic Center in Historic Downtown New Albany.

Contest: Original unpublished short fiction

Participants: Open to all ages

Entry Fee: $10 fee per entry. Make checks payable to Tallahatchie RiverFest

Length: One Act, 30 minutes, typed in 12 pt. font

Award: Presented at a ceremony during the 2008 Tallahatchie RiverFest

For more information, please visit or call the Union County Development Association at 662-534-4354.

Special to the Chickasaw Journal

NEW ALBANY – The Tallahatchie RiverFest Committee has extended the deadline for high school and college students and adults to participate in the RiverFest Poetry Writing Competition.

The deadline for applications has been extended until August 31, 2008. There is no entry fee for high school students; the entry fee for college students and adults is $10 for the first poem and $5 for each additional poem.

Winners will be recognized at the 2008 Festival. Specific details about the recognition ceremony will follow closer to the Festival, which is to be held September 26-27.

Poets outside of Union County will judge the poetry. The judges will not have access to the cover sheets, so the writer will remain anonymous. Winners will receive a monetary award.

Competition rules and entry forms are also available online for each category of the competition – high school poetry, college and adult poetry, and playwriting.

For more information, please visit or call the Union County Development Association at 662-534-4354.


Aug 7-8

n Anniversary celebration of Bishop Tommie and Minister Lou E. White will be held Aug. 7-8 at 7 p.m. Choir night will be Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m. and the celebration will close on Aug. 10 starting at 3 p.m. All choirs, groups and soloists invited for choir night. All are invited to attend,

Aug 8

n Fruit of the Spirit tea will be held Aug. 8 at New Prospect MC Church with Sis. Wilma Holmes as guest speaker. Pastor Tyrone Orr invites all to attend.

Aug. 9

n The children of Rev. and Mrs. Charles W. Flake cordially invite you to join them in the celebration of their parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary reception on Saturday, August 9, 2008 from 2-4 p.m. at the First United Pentecostal Church, Houston, MS. Your presence will be your gift.

n The Parker family reunion will be held August 9 at the Vardaman Community Center, 10 a.m. until. Dinner will be potluck. For more information call Martha Jane Lovelace at 662-447-9914 or Ed Easley at 662-414-7183.

Aug. 10

n Revival at Zion Springs M.B. Church in Okolona will be held Aug. 10-13. Aug. 10 services will begin at 6 p.m. and Aug. 11-13 services will begin at 7 p.m. with Dr. Edie Wren of Nashville, Tenn. as guest speaker. Pastor Nollen Elzie, Sr., invites all to attend.

n UBS blood drive will be held at Parkway Baptist Church in the youth room of the Family Life Center on Aug. 10 from noon until 5 p.m.

Aug. 13-15

n Darden Chapel, Okolona, will have revival services August 13-15, 2008 at 7 p.m. nightly. Any questions concerning this event contact Rev. Anthony Simmons @ 662-456-3205

Aug. 18-22

n Summer revival at Shady Grove M.B. Church in Vardaman will be held Aug. 18-22 at 7:30 p.m. nightly. All are invited to attend.

Aug. 23

n An appreciation program for Mrs. Helen Spencer will take place on Saturday night, August 23, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. at Unity Temple Church of God in Christ, Hall and Berry St., Houston, Miss. Elder Willie Moore, Pastor. Groups, choirs, soloists, drama and praise teams are welcome to render selections of your choice. Come out and be blessed. Everyone is invited. A Spencer Brother Production. Kerry – 567.2407, Corey – 542-7470, Brandon – 202.4194.

Aug. 24

n Appreciation program for JoAnn Reel will be held Aug. 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Houlka Community Center featuring the Traveling Stars, George McClain and the Memphis Harmonizers, True Voices of Faith, Spiritual Harmoneers, The Birk Brothers and more. $10 admission for adults, $5 for 6-12 and under five are free. For information, call 568-7681.

Aug. 30

n A benefit motorcycle ride for Hannah Haire will be held Aug. 30 beginning at 10 am. And ending at 5 p.m. Riders will leave Faith Bible Church in Houston and donations of $20 from rider or guest will include a “Hannah’s Heros” t-shirt and a fellowship meal after the ride. T-shirts can be purchased alone and a spaghetti dinner is open to all for a $5 fee. To order a t-shirt, call James Chenault at 456-3816 or 542-0866, Wayne and Rose Haire at 456-4108, Sid and Linda Haire at 983-2561 or 983-9120, Jimmy and Vivian Houser at 456-0148 or 448-0833.

Aug. 31

n Spirit-led Women and Mega-men empowerment Service will be held Aug. 31 at 3 p.m. at the Palestine Missionary Baptist Church in Woodland. Pastor Charles Moore of Tupelo will be the guest speaker. Pastor Thomas Lane invites all to attend.

n Promised Quartet will be in concert at the First Baptist Church of Eupora on Aug. 31 at 6:30 for fifth Sunday singing. All are invited to attend. For information, call 258-7726.

Sept. 20

n The 2008 Indian Summer Festival will be held on September 20, 2008 in Okolona, MS. Applications are now being accepted for arts and crafts vendors, antique car show, pet show, 5K run, food vendors, parade participants, and musical entertainment. Please contact the Okolona Area Chamber of Commerce at 662.447.5913 or email Your participation in this community event is greatly appreciated. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 446 Okolona, MS 38860.

Sept. 27

n Fund raiser for Sally Grice Spraggins will be held Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Houlka Community Center. All groups, choirs, soloists, drama and praise teams are welcome to render two selections. For information, call Helen Spencer at 628-6830 or Stephanie Hammond at 456-5414.


n Sisters Network, Inc. provides information and assistance to cancer victims and survivors. For information, call Edna Ware at 842-3340 or

n Weight Watchers meets each Thursday at 5:15 at Parkway Baptist Church. For information, call 456-2745.

n Trace Regional Hospital Auxiliary meets the first Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. in the conference room at Floy Dyer Nursing Home in Houston.

n American Legion meets the first Thursday of every month at the National Guard Armory in Houston.

n VFW meets the second Thursday of each month at the VFW building on Hwy. 15 South..

n The Pilot Club of Houston meets the first Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in rotating locations. The goal of the Pilot Club of Houston is to promote community service. Pilot International Foundation is recognized world-wide as a foundation of community service, “Protecting Your Brain for Life,” through a variety of brain-related programs. Pilot Club of Houston has added the Alzheimer’s Association to their list of projects to advance research and provide education and support for patients and families. For more information, contact any member of the Houston Pilot Club.

n Narcotics Anonymous will be held every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Excel Center in Okolona. For information, call Excel at 447-3008 or 447-2040.

n Please join Chickasaw 4-H Shooting Sports on Thursday. 8-13 years meet at 3:30-5:30, 14-18 years 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the indoor gun range behind the old Community Center in Houston. Schedules and times can be adjusted to fit school, work and extracurricular activities. Please contact Ms. Linda Dendy at 456-2306 for more information.

n Chickasaw Dulcimer Group meets the first and third Thursday of each month at the Houston Presbyterian Church on Washington Street at 6 p.m. Dulcimer players or those interested in learning are welcome. For information, call 871-0222, 448-6151 or 456-3937.

n The Chickasaw County Historical and Genealogical Society meet each third Thursday night at the old County Extension building at 731 West Church Street, west of Eaton Automotive in Houston at 7 pm. All are invited to attend.

n The New Century Club Breast Cancer Support Group meets the third Monday night of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the old fellowship hall at First United Methodist Church in Houston. For information, contact Deanna Uhiren at 456-5507.

n Narcotics Anonymous meets every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the white trailer by Houston Revival Center. Contact Rick Lal for information or call 1-800-677-1462.

n Sisters Network Tupelo Chapter meets the first Monday of each month from 6:30-7:30 p.m. for African American breast cancer survivors. The meeting is at the Link Centre, 1800 W, Main St., Tupelo. Ladies not on Medicare or Medicaid, or those without insurance that will cover mammograms, may qualify for a free mammogram. Contact Edna Ware at 662-842-3440.

n The Houston branch of the Jacksonville Theological Seminary of Jacksonville, Fla. meets Fridays at 121 Malcolm St. at 6 p.m. For more information, call Ethel Parker at 456-3438.

To list your community event in the calendar e-mail them to or fax them to 662-456-3771.