Tuesday, August 04, 2015
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Dance Explosion Saturday

Local nonprofit dance company Brazilian Dance Inc. plans to host its third annual dance explosion Saturday, and, this time, it will be all about praise.

Shamia Thomas, owner of Brazilian Dance Inc., said she is hosting the event to feature more than a dozen praise dance performances at Greater New St. Paul Baptist Church in Tunica.  She started Brazilian Dance, Inc. in 2010 to teach youth the art of dance.

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Town’s court date reset for June 18

A May 15 court date that had been set since late in March was postponed last week, after one of the attorneys in the case cancelled due to illness.

Chad Mask of Jackson, who is representing the Town of Tunica in legal matters regarding Tunica County’s withholding of gaming tax revenues, let the court and Mayor Chuck Cariker know late Thursday afternoon that he would not be able to keep the 10 a.m. court time last Friday.

Cariker said the new date will be Thursday, June 18, at 10 a.m.

“We are disappointed that we are not getting our day in court yet, but we also want our attorney to be at his best. We will now look forward to June 18 to appear before the judge,” Cariker said.

Judge Henry Lackey was set to hear motions for preliminary injunction last week, one from Tunica County asking to set aside the formula in local and private legislation that outlines the split of gaming taxes among the county, road department, town and school district. The county is contending that the funds going to the town and schools are an illegal donation.

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School district receives state’s audit report

The Tunica County School District has until June 12 to respond in writing to a preliminary report issued by the State Department of Education and presented at the May 13 Board of Education meeting.

Dr. Paula Vanderford, Executive Director of the Office of Accreditation within the Mississippi Department of Education, and Pat Ross, MDE’s Chief School Performance Officer, hand delivered the report last week to Superintendent Steve Chandler and four of the five school board members. Board member Delois Henderson-Hardiman participated in the meeting by phone.

The report – preliminary until the local district has the opportunity to refute the report or any part of it – contains findings of an investigative audit conducted here in February and March.

Ross read aloud the report’s Executive Summary:

Based on a series of complaints from parents, personnel, and members of the community, the State Superintendent of Education, Dr. Carey Wright, requested the Office of Accreditation to coordinate with other MDE program offices to conduct a comprehensive on-site evaluation of the Tunica County School District to determine the district’s current level of compliance with all accountability requirements and policies, and accreditation standards approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) as published in the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards, 2014.  The audit was conducted February 10-March 20, 2015.  The extended time included a three-week weather delay and one week for the district’s spring break.

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Boykin back on ballot for August primary

Jackie Boykin’s name is back on the ballot for the August primary election, after the Democratic Executive Committee withdrew its challenge to Boykin’s candidacy for Justice Court Judge in the Southern District last week.

An appeal hearing here last Thursday, May 14, before Special Circuit Court Judge Henry L. Lackey ended with an order agreeing that Boykin “meets the qualifications to seek the position.”

Boykin had filed to run for the post earlier this year but was notified in a March 13 letter signed by Mildred Conley, chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee, that she “did not satisfy the qualified elector requirement for the office....” The letter said Boykin had not been a qualified elector (or voter) in Tunica County for two years prior to seeking the office.

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