News Briefs April 23, 2009

MONROE COUNTY
Former Aberdeen mayor sued by uncle
- ABERDEEN – Former Aberdeen mayor Cecil Belle is listed as a defendant in a lawsuit in Monroe County Chancery Court.
In the complaint filed April 7, Preston Belle alleges Cecil Belle, his nephew, withdrew more than $300,000 from Preston’s accounts after being granted power of attorney over Preston’s affairs.
Also named in the lawsuit are several of Cecil Belle’s family members, two of which work for BancorpSouth and Cadence Bank. The banks also are listed as defendants.
Preston Belle alleges he gave power of attorney to Cecil Belle when his wife was ill. Preston Belle claims Cecil Belle convinced him to put his name on several bank accounts from which thousands of dollars allegedly were withdrawn.
Sex offender charged with failing to register
- ABERDEEN – A Monroe County man has been charged with failure to comply with the sex offender registry.
Sheriff Andy Hood said Robert Louis Gathing, 50, of 307 B Franklin Ave., Aberdeen was arrested Monday after failing to comply for the sixth time since being convicted for attempted rape in 1984.
Gathing remains in jail.
Lee County
Group to host meeting on need for public transit
- TUPELO – A resident group is hosting an open meeting next week to discuss the need for a public transit system in Tupelo and the surrounding area.
The meeting will be Wednesday at the Lee County Library auditorium from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event will focus on the special transportation needs of senior citizens and residents with disabilities.
Several mayoral and City Council candidates will be at the meeting, the organizer said.
LAFAYETTE COUNTY
Oxford board considers taking historic home
- OXFORD – Officials will consider whether the city should accept possession of Cedar Oaks, an antebellum home saved from Union troops twice and later from developers.
“Dedicated women have preserved this for 46 years,” said Sandy Farnsworth, president of the coalition of women’s clubs that currently own the house in the northeast corner of the city. “It’s depleted our energy reserves as well as our financial reserves.”
In two years, the house had costly roof and structural repairs, a bee infestation and heating problems.
A precedent for such a move was the transfer from the Oxford-Lafayette County Heritage Foundation of statesman L.Q.C. Lamar’s house, which is now a museum.

NEMS Daily Journal