In a surprise move, the DeSoto County Election Commissioners Monday requested to scrub or cancel the Special Election scheduled for Nov. 7, due to the fact only one candidate qualified to run for the Office of Circuit Court Judge, County Court Judge and Prosecuting Attorney.
Danny Klein, Chairman of the Election Commission, on behalf of his board, asked that the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors appoint the candidate, Craig Treadway, as County Court Judge and James Holland as Prosecuting Attorney to fill the unexpired terms of these positions, which will run, effectively, until 2019.
"We also ask that you accept the minutes of the Mississippi State Board of Election Commissioners that appoints Celeste E. Wilson as the Circuit Court Judge for District 17."
Wilson will fill the post vacated by Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Robert "Bobby' Chamberlin.
Supervisors approved the appointments by a unanimous vote of 5-0.
Klein said the move also means a savings of approximately $50,000 to taxpayers, or will save the cost of having to hold a special election.
In other matters, DeSoto Supervisors urged patience during the changeover from solid waste hauler Waste Connections to Waste Pro.
Environmental Services Manager Ray Laughter said residents should place both their old garbage container provided by Waste Connections at the curb along with their new container, which is being provided by Waste Pro.
The new garbage service goes into effect this week. So far, more than 2,000 residents in unincorporated areas have signed up for recycling and Laughter said he expects that number to increase.
Residents signing up for recycling should begin receiving the service within a week.
It was also learned Monday that rural residents will soon benefit from improved fire coverage from area volunteer fire departments and improved fire insurance ratings, Emergency Management Agency Chief Bobby Storey said.
Fire rating improvements from 2013 to 2017 include the which improved from a "10-C" to an "8" Alphaba Cockrum and Ingram's Mill Volunteer Fire District, affecting more than 1,215 residents.
The Bridgetown Fire Protection Area went from a "10-C" in 2013 to a "6" by 2017 as did the Eudora Fire Protection Area which improved to a "6" from an "8." The Fairhaven Fire Protection Area improved to a "7" from a "10-C".
Hernando improved to a "5" from a "7" and Horn Lake improved its rating to a "4" from a "6." Lewisburg FPA improved to a "6" from a "7" and the Love Fire Protection Area improved its rating from a "9" to a "7." The Nesbit Fire Protection Area went from a "10-C" to a "7" with the construction of its newest fire station. Olive Branch Municipal FPA improved from a "7" to a "6" and the Olive Branch FPA maintained its coveted "4" rating. Southaven maintained its stellar "3" rating and the Town of Walls improved from a "6" to a "5.' The Walls Fire Protection District improved from a "7" to a "6."
In the same breath, Storey put out a call to the general public for more volunteer firefighters.
"We are making a a plea to the general public that we need volunteer (firefighters)," Storey said. "We will train you. Now, everybody is not cut out to be a firefighter."
Storey said with eight fire stations in rural areas and more than 300 volunteers, DeSoto County's volunteer firefighting force is second-to-none in the State of Mississippi.
Robert Lee Long is Community Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 662-429-6397, Ext. 252.