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Friday August 24, 2012 50 cents Daily Corinthian Vol. 116, No. 204 Mostly sunny Today Tonight 93 66 • Corinth, Mississippi • 20 pages • Two sections Man faces charges after fatal wreck BY BRANT SAPPINGTON BOONEVILLE — A Corinth man faces multiple felony charges in connection with a four-vehicle crash Wednesday that left a Prentiss County school official dead and the county’s superintendent and another official seriously injured. Dylan G. King, 19, of 5 County Road 105, Corinth, was arraigned Thursday afternoon on one count of leaving the scene of an King accident in which a death occurred and two additional counts of leaving the scene of an accident, said Booneville Police Chief Michael Ramey. Bond was set at $60,000 and he remained in custody at the Prentiss County Jail late Thursday afternoon. The suspect could face up to 20 years in prison on each of the three felony counts. King is accused of fleeing from the scene of the crash on North Second Street (Mississippi Highway 145) that claimed the life of Prentiss County School District Curriculum and Transportation Coordinator Jason McKinney. The crash also seriously injured Superintendent of Education Randle Downs and Federal Programs Coordinator Luke Ledbetter. Downs was airlifted to North Mississippi Medical Center following the crash, where he remained in the intensive care unit Thursday. School Board President Ronnie Kesler said Downs suffered a punctured lung and other injuries in the crash and is expected to recover, though he is in serious condition. Ledbetter was taken by ambulance to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Booneville, where he was treated and released. The police chief said the crash happened at approximately 1:15 p.m. Wednesday when a 1998 Ford F-150 driven by King attempted to turn left into the parking lot of Valerie Jo’s restaurant and convenience store (formerly Grambo’s) from the northbound lane of North Second Street. The truck turned directly into the path of a southbound 1999 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Jimmy W. Senter of Booneville. The impact sent both vehicles spinning and Senter’s vehicle collided with a 2003 Buick belonging to the superintendent and occupied by all three victims that was parked in the restaurant’s parking lot. The truck also struck another unoccupied truck in the parking lot. Senter and King were not injured. Ramey said Downs was in the driver’s seat of the car, McKinney Staff photo by Angela Storey Law enforcement and rescue workers respond to the scene of Wednesday’s crash in the parking lot of Valerie Jo’s restaurant and convenience store on North Second Street in Booneville. One person was killed and three injured in the crash, and a Corinth man faces multiple felony charges for leaving the scene. was in the rear seat and Ledbetter was in the front passenger seat when the collision happened. King then fled from the scene of the crash and his vehicle was later located by law enforcement on County Road 1040 where he had left it in a driveway when he and a female passenger in the vehicle fled on foot. They were both later picked up by law enforcement, and King was arrested. The female passenger, a juvenile, was not arrested and has not been charged in the case. She has been released to a guardian, said Ramey. The police chief said the Missis- sippi Highway Patrol’s accident reconstruction unit is assisting in the investigation. They are awaiting the results of that work and the analysis of evidence by the state crime lab. Additional charges could be filed depending on the outcome of those efforts, said the chief. Sales, tourism tax see gains Community, area mourn McKinney BY JEBB JOHNSTON Sales and tourism tax collections each posted gains in the latest reported month as fiscal 2012 nears its end. Sales tax continued its upswing in the city with an eighth consecutive monthly gain compared to year-ago results. At mid-August, the city received $467,275.24, a gain of 2 percent, or about $10,000, from a year earlier. The sum reflects sales activity in local establishments during the month of June. That pushed the year-to-date total to $5.047 million, a gain of 3 percent from the year prior. The city will receive one more sales tax diversion before closing the books on FY 2012. Results were mixed among area municipalities, with six of 11 posting gains. Collections across the state totaled $33.36 million, a 2 percent gain. The tourism tax had its best August deposit to date at $90,688.05, a gain of almost 9 percent, or about $7,000, from a year earlier. The 2 percent tax on prepared food and lodging has generated $965,353.52 for the year, a gain of 4 percent. It is on track to top $1 million for the year for the second time. Other mid-August sales tax deposits from the region: ■ Booneville - $151,890.02 (+9%) ■ Burnsville - $12,884.98 (-1%) ■ Farmington - $3,691.00 (-26%) ■ Glen - $1,906.68 (-16%) ■ Iuka - $79,484.73 (+22%) ■ Kossuth - $4,011.45 (+12%) ■ Rienzi - $2,720.57 (-5%) ■ Ripley - $105,568.52 (+44%) ■ Tupelo - $1,489,421.06 (+2%) Crossroads Arena books several events BY STEVE BEAVERS September is the beginning of a busy time for the Crossroads Arena. “There are a lot of events booked for the year with September crammed full,” said staff member Cindy Davis. The Alcorn County Fair gets things started at the multipurpose facility on September 1115. The fair has reserved space in both the arena and convention center. “Take it to the Limit” — an Eagles Tribute Band — has been booked for Sept. 15 concert and will be the fair finale at 8 p.m. “Take it to the Limit” performs four nights a week in Branson, Mo. Voted Branson's Group of the Year, the band is one of the most popular in the vacation town. Magnolia Regional Health Center's Cancer Conference is slated for Sept. 14 in the convention center part of the building. A livestock show, another event associated with the fair, will be held on the 15th at the barn. The Mississippi Job Fair (Sept. 18), Medicaid Training Workshop (Sept. 24) and Campaign for Christ (September 23-25) round out the upcoming events. A Magnolia State Archaeological Society event is something new coming to the arena in October. The Indian Artifact Show, scheduled for Oct. 20, will feature a wide variety of prehistoric native American artifacts collected in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. “They have reserved more booths now than the Civil War event ended with,” added Davis. Davis said the God's Not Dead Tour of the group “Newsboys” is set to make a stop in Corinth on Oct. 21. “Building 429” will also appear at the show. Crossroads Arena is coming off the strong “Celebration of Excellence in Education” pro- gram of Ron Clark where 700 city and county teachers took part. “We don't have the funds to buy the shows we want here,” said Davis. “If we had the money, we could have a couple of those shows a year.” Davis said the arena “would like to have a major ticket event every three months” and keep ticket prices affordable for the whole family. “We try to have family-oriented shows,” added board chairman Dr. Hardwick Kay. Country music star Luke Bryan helped set a new attendance mark in May. A crowd of around 7,300 turned out on a stormy night to eclipse all previous records. In the past, the arena has played host to shows such as the Harlem Globetrotters, George Jones, John Michael Montgomery, the Beach Boys and the Lipizzaner Stallions. “We have hosted a big variety of events since 1999,” said Davis. Index Stocks...... 7A Classified......6B Comics......5B Wisdom......4B Weather......5A Obituaries......3A Opinion......4A Sports......8A BY BRANT SAPPINGTON The collision that claimed the life of Prentiss County School District Curriculum Coordinator Jason McKinney and seriously injured Superintendent Randle Downs has left a community in mourning and a school district struggling to deal with a sudden loss of vital leadership. “It’s tough. It’s just really tough,” said an emotional Prentiss County School Board President Ronnie Kesler Thursday. Downs remained in intensive care Thursday at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo and while Kesler said his prognosis is good, doctors anticipate a long recovery. Board members appointed Wheeler High School Principal Todd Swinney late Wednesday evening to serve as interim superintendent while Downs recovers. Kesler said the appointment is necessary to keep the school district operating and make sure someone is available to make decisions and sign documents in Downs’ absence. Classes in the district were canceled for Thursday and Friday, along with the Thrasher vs. Wheeler/New Site football game scheduled for Friday evening. Classes will resume on Monday with counselors available for students and staff, said Kesler. The school board will likely meet next week to discuss the situation and determine what steps they need to take next. Kesler said officials are grateful for the outpouring of Staff photo by Brant Sappington A black bow adorns the door to the Prentiss County School District’s central of fice in downtown Booneville Thursday, along with a note reminding residents the district will be closed until Monday due to the automobile collision that killed Curriculum and Transportation Coordinator Jason McKinney and seriously injured Superintendent Randle Downs and Federal Programs Coordinator Luke Ledbetter. support from the community and surrounding districts. He said he had received a call from Booneville School District Superintendent Todd English offering condolences and pledging to assist the district in any way possible. Please see REACTION | 3A On this day in history 150 years ago Gen. Robert E. Lee divides his forces in a plan to destroy the 55,000 men of Pope’s Army of Virginia. It is his intention to engage Pope before he can be reinforced by McClellan’s Army of the Potomac, 100,000 strong, still being transferred from camps on the James River. Now Renting 2012 Nissans! Call Donna or Brandi for complete details and rates! 286.6006 BROSE HWY 72 E • Corinth MS

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