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School district cuts off Heritage House funds

After the Hazlehurst School Board discussed several issues in executive session, their attorney advised the crowd attending the meeting that the school district has been advised by the Mississippi Department of Education not to pay any more funds to the Heritage House program.

The school district has acted as holder of funds for the 21st Century grant program for the Heritage House, a joint project of the city, county, and schools. School board  attorney Nathaniel Armistad explained that the district is trying to expedite a written report on the matter, but there was nothing else to report at this time. The representative of Heritage House has obtained legal counsel, according to Armistad.


The school board recognized the Alumni Warriors and presented a plaque for their contributions to the school district, both in volunteer labor and fundraising for various projects.

After discussing the matter in executive session, the board tabled the matter of hourly employees pay conversion. The financial manager and superintendent are working on a system to pay everyone as salaried employees, they said.

Revisions to the policy on professional employees compension was approved but no details discussed in open session.

Hazlehurst Middle School has received a donation of $500 from Exxon Mobil.

The Beta Club fundraiser was authorized.

The amended budget for School Improvement Plan Year I was approved.

The School Improvement Plan Year I for Hazlehurst High School and School Improvement Plan Year II for Hazlehurst Middle School were approved.

A school board election will be held on Saturday, March 1, beginning at 2 p.m. in the board of education conference room. Should there be a need for a runoff it will be held two weeks later at the same location. Board member Jessie Jones’ term will be up at this election.

The attorney updated the board on the lease correction process. Leaseholders will be contacted soon to come in and sign corrected leases. A survey project has corrected many long-standing errors in the property descriptions in many 16th Section leases. Filing the corrected leases will be the final stage in the project and should be completed in January.

The bid of Christopher Morris was accepted for a 16th Section hunting and fishing lease.

Tyrone Watts was high bidder for a 16th Section timber sale.

The vote split evenly 2-2 on releasing a student to attend school in the Copiah County School District. Board members Martin Washington and David Huntington voted against the release while Jessie Jones and Wyatt Lewis voted in favor. Board member Dr. Bettie McDaniel was absent.

Alberta C. Nelson was hired as sixth grade language arts instructor.

Medical leave was granted for Mrs. Felix Wilson.

The resignation of Barbara Stamps-Banks was accepted.

Board officers were elected for the coming year. David Huntington will serve as president, Rev. Wyatt Lewis as vice president, and Rev. Martin Washington as secretary.

At the close of the meeting a dispute among 16th section lease bidders was referred to the attorney for futher discussion outside of the meeting. A bidder reported that he had a receipt for where he turned in his bid before the deadline, but his bid was not among those read at the meeting.

The Hazlehurst School Board regularly meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the district office across the street from Hazlehurst High School.

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