News Briefs April 1, 2009

LEE COUNTY

McAlilly advances as teacher finalist
TUPELO – Carver Elementary School’s Pam McAlilly is one of four finalists for the Mississippi’s Teacher of the Year.
The fifth-grade gifted education teacher will represent the 1st Congressional District. She was named Tupelo School’s Teacher of the Year in January.
The state teacher of the year is usually announced in May.
McAlilly is a 20-year veteran of teaching and is a National Board Certified Teacher.

Harassment suit set for June 1 trial
– OXFORD – A new trial date of June 1 is set for Tara Nicole Sloan’s federal lawsuit against Craig Shannon and the Tupelo Public School District.
The case, originally set for April 27, will be heard by a jury in Aberdeen before U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock.
Sloan, a Verona police officer, sued in October 2007, claiming Shannon sexually harassed her when she was a part-time school resource officer and was retaliated against for telling her supervisor.
Tupelo Schools, through its attorney Berkley Huskison, answered that Sloan failed to follow the district’s reporting process.
Shannon denies he harassed Sloan, court documents show.
Huskison also wrote that Sloan’s complaint is “unreasonable and groundless.”

LAFAYETTE COUNTY
Ole Miss to get tough on tobacco use policy
OXFORD — The University of Mississippi plans to more strictly enforce rules that limit tobacco use to designated outdoor areas of campus.
The policy was adopted nearly two years ago.
Starting today, campus police will hand out warning cards to people using tobacco products outside the designated areas. The cards list campus and state Department of Health resources for those who want to quit smoking.
The school also said that after a couple of weeks, officers will begin writing tickets for violations of the policy that carry a $25 fine.

CHICKASAW COUNTY

Authorities investigate
death of Houston man
– HOUSTON – One person has been arrested in connection with the death of a Houston man, but investigators are releasing little information on the case.
Chickasaw County Coroner Andy Harmon said Johnny Smith, 55, of Houston was killed Tuesday morning about 8:45. Harmon did not reveal the cause of death or the events that led to Smith’s death.
Chickasaw County deputies have arrested a person of interest in connection with Smith’s death, but hadn’t charged him as of Tuesday afternoon.

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