Forestery Commission gives school board overview

Published 2:24 am Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Picayune’s 16th section forestry land is getting more attention today from the state Forestry Commission because of new Global Information System technology that has been adopted by the agency.

Mike Lee, a forester from the state Forestry Commission’s district office in Wiggins, gave the school board for the Picayune Muncipal Separate School District an overview of how the commission now keeps up with 16th section land in the care of the state’s school districts.

Lee said the goals of the agency in using the new technology include providing a stronger and more even flow of revenue, sustained management and stronger accounting, to enhance wildlife habitate and better reporting to the school districts.

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Board member Duane Wheat, who was acting as chairman at Tuesday’s meeting because of the absence of chairman Edward Stubbs, asked the forester about 159 acres of 16th section land trapped in the Old River Wildlife Managment Area to which the district has no formal access to manage or log.

“I want to either get to it or swap it,” Wheat said. He said he believes the Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is afraid the district will break up the land into a bunch of one-acre camps allowing overnight access to the managment area and threatened to make a motion to do that if something isn’t done to resolve the district’s access problem.

“The only revenue we have seen from that land is for some Katrina-downed timber,” Wheat said.

Lee introduced Kelly McMullan from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office who said he would put the district’s problem on a priority list.

The board also heard from Angela Hwthorne about a senior slide show that has been put togher and from Principal Kent Kirkland about the student achievement recognition efforts at the high school, including a luau at the end of the year.

The board alsoapproved $4,615 to purchase three plaques, two of which are to be installed at the East Side Elementary Schools memorializing their origin as the former George Washington Carver High School and the former George Washington Carver EmentarySchool, both of which were built for black students during the days of segregation, and one to be placed at Picayune Memorial High School Stadium memorializing the George Washing Carver High School Pirates football team that won 64 straight games between 1958 and 1964 under Coach Marion L. Henley.

The board approved quotes of $6,050 by Diamond and Design Construction for work to upgrade the boys baseball field and for $6,819 for the material to do the work. The board also approved use of the field July 23-25 for a Babe Ruth League tournament, contingent on the upgade work being completed.

In other business, the board:

— Approved personnel matters.

— Approved consent items, including a donation of $500 from Mr. and Mrs. Mickey Fluitt of $500 to South Side Lower Elementary in memory of teacher Robin Barber.

— Approved student release and acceptance requests.

— Approved changes to the junior high and high school uniform policy and to the attendance policy of the two schools.

— Approved the application for a McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth competitive grant of $35,000.

— Accepted an E2T2 grand of $4,082, an Adult Basic Education grant of $88,381 and a Hurricane Gustav grant to Early Head Start of $21,875.

— Approved an Early Head Start COLA/Quality Improvement Application.

— Approved school bus turnarounds.