2017 Year in Review

Simpson County saw both highs and lows during the year 2017. New faces went into office and new members went onto boards. We have seen triumph in high school sporting teams who dominated the competition, but we also saw tragedy with armed robberies and crime throughout the county. At this point, the year is almost gone and it is now time took take a look back at the history of 2017.

January 3

The state of Mississippi celebrated 200 years of statehood.

A tornado ripped through the streets of Mendenhall damaging six homes and businesses along the way.

The Simpson County Sheriff’s Department received their third K-9 unit, a bloodhound named Montana.


January 12

Supervisor Curtis Skiffer was elected president of the Board of Supervisors while Supervisor Brian Kennedy was elected vice president.

The County decided to move from a punch card voting system to electronic voting machines.


January 19

Stacy Herrin was elected president of the Simpson County School Board.

Mendenhall High School implemented the ABC’s of dropout prevention this year and as a result saw a 12.4 percent increase in graduation rates.


January 24

Inmate Herman Lindsey was found dead in his jail cell.

An F2 tornado tore through the county, destroying 25 homes and businesses.

The Mendenhall Tiger Basketball Team started the season hot with a record of 19-2 as they began district play.

February 2

Magee Mayor Jimmy Clyde announced he will not seek re-election.

The Magee Courier was named a top 5 newspaper in the state by the Mississippi Press Association.


February 9

Dale Berry announced that he will run for mayor of Magee.

Magee High School running back Jadarius Payne signed a football scholarship with Hinds Community College.

Mendenhall High School quarterback Quantavian Dampeer signed a football scholarship with Pearl River Community College.

Mendenhall High School running back Deion Dampier signed a football scholarship with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Mendenhall High School safety Edwin Whitlock also signed a football scholarship with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.


February 16

NWTF (National Wild Turkey Federation) held a fundraiser at their annual turkey banquet and raised a record $30,000 dollars.

Whitney Baker announced her intention to run for Ward 1 alderman in Magee.

Simpson County Sheriff’s Office worked with the MBN and FBI on Operation D’Lo Meltdown which led to 15 arrests.


February 23

Matthew Hickman announced that he will run for Ward 2 alderman.

Angel Brister announced her intention to run for alderman-at-large in the City of Magee.

The Mendenhall Tiger Basketball Team won the district title.

The Simpson County Academy Cougar Basketball team advanced to the state tournament.

March 2

The City of Magee held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new elementary school.

Long time Mendenhall drug store owner Joe McGuffee handed over ownership of McGuffee Drugs to Josh Pierce and Kristi Welch.

The Magee Sportsplex upgraded their facilities to all turf.

The Mendenhall Tiger Basketball Team advanced to the Elite 8 of the playoffs after a dominating performance against Vancleave, winning 73-46.

The Magee Trojans Baseball Team, Simpson County Academy Cougars Baseball Team, and Mendenhall Tiger Baseball Team battled it out on the diamond during the Simpson County Classic. The Trojans swept the tournament.

March 9

Suzy Thames and Shirley Maddox were both recognized for their roles in the community of Magee at the Magee Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Thames was named Outstanding Citizen while Maddox was named the Spirit of Magee.

Lane Steele announced he would seek re-election for Ward 3 alderman

Sam McWilliams and Abby Caughman were named Mr. and Miss Simpson County Academy.

The dominate Mendenhall Tiger Basketball Team fell short to Raymond High School 89-55 in the Elite 8 of the playoffs, ending their historical season.


March 16

Chucky Allen was hired as the new athletic director and Head Football Coach at Mendenhall High School.

Ian Cowart was elected as the new president of the Magee Chamber of Commerce.


March 23

The new Love’s Truck Stop in Magee scheduled their grand opening for May 29.

Magee Outdoor held their grand opening and ribbon cutting on this date.


March 30

A record 750 kids signed up for City League Baseball.

Patrick Brown announced he would seek re-election as Ward 4 alderman.

Veterinarian Todd Sullivan was named Mississippi Young Vet of 2017 by the Mississippi Vet Medical Association.

Simpson Academy’s Jacob Holbrook was named SCA’s STAR Student. Kevin Davis was named SCA’s STAR Teacher.

Pastor Bro. Buddy Keyes retired after 12 years at First Baptist Church Magee.

The Simpson County Future Leaders were chosen for the year: from MeHS, Destiny Booth, Noah Adams, Bailey Allen, Zyon Feazell, Jaleyah Harper, Emily Holder, Isaiah Chapman, and Michael Smith; from SCA, Sarah Berry, Hannah Holbrook, Andrew Kennedy, Grycen Scott, Bailey Rayborn, Bayleigh Prather, Callie Slover, Bailey Sartin, and Katelyn Speed; From MHS, Kadin Adcox, Kyle Brister, Lauren Burkes, Adyison Clyde, Kameron Durr, Tyoka Eda, Madison May, Owen McCool, Calder Reed, Chloe White and Lainey Wallace.

April 6

Shelley Leach’s new family medical practice, One Twenty One Medical Place, opened its doors on this day.

Mendenhall High School’s Dalton Gibson was named STAR Student. Mark Hudson was named Mendenhall’s STAR Teacher.

Simpson Academy basketball star Sam McWilliams was named the MAIS Basketball Player of the Year.

Magee High School’s Tucker Sobczak was named STAR Student. Chris Monk was named STAR Teacher.

Dixie Everett received the Outstanding Citizen Award for the city of Mendenhall. McGuffee Drugs was named Business of the Year.


April 13

Christin King of Magee was named Magee Miss Hospitality 2017.

The Simpson County Sheriff’s Department was questioned about their checkpoint tactics. The SO held checkpoints that lasted all weekend on highways and made many arrests. The questioning led to an investigation.

Mendenhall Archery star Amber Henry signed an Archery Scholarship with Mississippi College.

Magee High School hires Dr. Tom Duncan to take over as the school’s new principal.

Magee’s Ciara Norwood signed a basketball scholarship with Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

Mendenhall High School’s Brandon Mills signed a basketball scholarship with NorthEast Community College.


April 27

The Simpson Central Archery Team won their 10th state title in a row and advanced to the National Championship.

The Simpson County Development Foundation named The Simpson County Board of Supervisors as the Ally of the Year.

May 4

The Simpson County law enforcement, with Smith and Covington County law enforcement, held a “Worst Case Scenario” Training at the Courthouse.

Mendenhall High School’s Courtland Johnson signed a basketball scholarship with Meridian Community College.


May 11

The Simpson County Country Club held their annual Green for the Greens fundraiser hosted by Trustmark Bank to help build a new facility on the 6th hole of the course.

The Magee High School Class of 1960 celebrated their 57th reunion.

Mendenhall High School sent eight students to Boys and Girls State, thanks to Sid Davis.

The Relay for Life in Magee raised over $62,000 towards cancer research.


May 18

Firemen participated in the Fireman’s Challenge and raised over $4,000 for the fire departments in the county.

Magee Middle School hires Terrell Lucky as new principal.

New Mendenhall Head Coach and Athletic Director Chucky Allen made his debut during the Tigers’ spring game.

Magee High School released their top three graduates: Valedictorian Tucker Sobczak, Salutatorian La’Deysha Lee, and Historian Kierra Berry.

Simpson County Academy released their top three graduates: Valedictorian Jacob Holbrook, Salutatorian Kaylle Smith, and Historian Ashlan Lane.

Mendenhall High School released their top three graduates: Valedictorian Paige Holder, Salutatorian Dalton Gibson, and Historian Amber Lynchard.


May 25

 Dale Berry won the election to become the new mayor of Magee.

One Twenty One Medical Place held their ribbon cutting ceremony.

Former Sheriff’s deputy and now narcotics investigator Billy Seghini received the Top Cop award.


June 1

A Pontiac SUV caught fire and later exploded in front of the Magee Elementary School.

Simpson Academy student Sadie Moody won the Distinguished Young Women Program from Simpson County.

Kinz Snoballs hosted their grand opening just in time for summer vacation.


June 8

The Board of Supervisors honored retiring employee Sidney Collier.

The Magee Police Department found the body of Cody Sullivan at the Magee City Park.

Mark Jeffery Hubbard and Sam McWilliams were selected to compete in the MAIS AAA All-Star baseball game.

McWilliams received the MVP award for the blue team in the All-Star game.

Economy Service held their grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on this date.

The state champion Simpson Central Archery Team competed for the national championship and won.


June 15

Magee Fire Department donated a check to the Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital.

Sandra Weeks and Jana Miller become the newests members of the Mendenhall City Board.

Mendenhall native James McDonald was named the 2017 Alcornite of the year for Alcorn State University.

The Mississippi District Office presented Peoples Bank with the Top Lender of the Year award.

The Simpson County Sheriff’s Office was awarded  a plaque of support for the Sheriff’s Association. They also received an award for above and beyond support for National Guard troops.


June 22

Senator Roger Wicker, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, Public Service Commissioner Sam Britton, and Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman hosted local fundraisers for the county.

Noah Magee was chosen for the District 7 state games.


June 29

A reception was held at the Magee Civic Center honoring Mayor Jimmy Clyde.

The Mendenhall Tiger Cheer Squad won 1st overall at Cheer Camp.

July 6

Newly elected Magee city officials took their oaths. These were Mayor Dale Berry, Alderman at-Large Angel Brister, Alderman Ward 1 Whitney Baker, Alderman Ward 2 Matthew Hickman, Alderman Ward 3 Lane Steele, and Alderman Ward 4 Patrick Brown.

July 13

The Magee City Board approved beer sales on Sunday in the city.

Sadie Moody represented Simpson County in the Distinguished Young Women Pageant.


July 20

Whit Fortenberry was hired as the Mendenhall Public Defender.


July 27

The new Love’s Truck Stop opened their doors on this date.

The Magee 7U All-Stars team won the World Series.

August 3

The City of Magee won the Excellence Award for all of their public work efforts over the past year.


August 10

After a long construction process, Magee Elementary finally held their open house and ribbon cutting ceremony on this date.

August 17

Terrell Lucky started his new job as the principal of Magee Middle School.

Trustmark Bank of Magee promoted Brian Barnard to  vice president.


August 24

The Simpson County Board of Supervisors considered a 3.5 percent mileage increase to the county.

The City of Magee began their Sunday beer sales on this date.


August 31

The Simpson County Tennis Association raised $2,500 dollars for Connie Magee and The ALS Association.

September 7

Former Mendenhall mayor and city board member Randall Neely stepped down as the head of Simpson General Hospital.

The annual Halloween tradition will become a part of another Magee tradition this year, Crazy Day.

Mark Brister and his family became the new owners of Sears in Magee.

September 14

A new year brings many new things to every community and our country; however, some traditions will live on forever, like the Simpson County Superbowl. The Simpson County Superbowl is a football matchup between The Mendenhall Tigers and The Magee Trojans. This year the Tigers won the Superbowl for the second year in a row.

The City of Magee board expanded their beer sales to downtown Magee.


September 21

The Simpson County Board held a meeting and established their budget for the 2018 calendar year.

Mia Davis was crowned as the 2017 Homecoming Queen at Magee High School.


September 28

The Simpson County Development Foundation held a RealPure dedication that was hosted by Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant.

The Simpson Academy softball team completed their great season by becoming the runner up in the AAA Mississippi State Championship.

October 5

The Simpson County Board of Supervisors was notified by County Road Manager Ben Warren that 15 of the 35 county roads were closed.

Matt Abbott was hired as the new Mendenhall Fire and Service Emergency Operations Coordinator.


October 12

The Magee City Council hired Kenneth Assand to help Airport Manager,Ashley Steele resolve some of the issues at the Magee Airport.

Hazel Jones was crowned as the Mendenhall High School Homecoming Queen.


October 19

Bailey Sartin was crowned as the Simpson County Academy Homecoming Queen.

Road Manager Ben Warren announced to the Simpson County Board of Supervisors that the bridge problem in the county is finally seeing the upside.

The property where the old Magee Elementary is located received no bids at the City Board Meeting.


October 26

The Simpson County School District received a grade of “C” from the State Board of Education. A grade of “C” would have been a “D” in the old system.

Undersheriff Scott Womack announced that he would be stepping down as SO2.

November 2

Michael Allan was named the Firefighter of the Year for 2017.

Simpson County Chancery Clerk  Tommy Joe Harvey appointed four members to the Braxton Board after no one qualified for it before deadlines.

The Mendenhall Tiger Football team completed their first regular season under new Head Coach Chucky Allen by bringing home the District Championship.


November 9

New Magee Mayor Dale Berry formed his Youth Council for the year. The council is made up of three students from each of the grades 9-12. The students were from Magee High School and Simpson Academy.

Andy and Leslie Gibson opened the former grocery store in D’Lo as a Local Gathering for the D’Lo community.

Simpson Academy softball star Bailey Sartin signed a softball scholarship with Southwest Community College.


November 16

The Simpson Academy football team won the South State Championship securing their spot in the State Championship game.

Constable Dan Easterling passed away at  69.

The Magee City Council Board approves Cigar Smoking in the city.

November 23

Two men were arrested by the Simpson County Sheriff’s Office for their connection to a drive-by shooting that resulted in one person being wounded.

The SCA Cougars came up short in the state championship game, losing 33-32 to Lamar.

Sheriff Donald O’Cain announced that former Narcotics Investigator Greg Reynolds would replace Scott Womack as undersheriff and become SO2.

Magee softball star Adyison Clyde signed a softball scholarship with Mississippi Delta Community College.


November 30

In the tragic wake of the Texas church shooting, the Simpson County Sheriff’s Office held a church security program to promote the safety of people who attend church.

The Dollar General off Highway 28 was robbed.

The body of Rodney Williams was found at the Highway 28 and Highway 49 intersection.

December 7

The Simpson County Board of Supervisors considered applicants for constable to replace the late Dan Easterling.

Mendenhall High School senior Michael Smith was named Wendy’s High School Heisman.

Larry and Dorothy Partridge, owners of the Magee McDonald’s, sold the franchise to Ron Williams.


December 14

It started actually looking like a winter wonderland in Simpson County after reports came in of over 6 inches of snow falling on the ground.

S&W Grocery Store in Pinola was robbed at gunpoint.

December 21

The Simpson County Board of Education refused two bids for the old Magee Elementary campus.

The Board also accepted the resignation of Magee High School Head Coach and Athletic Director, Tim Coats.

The Simpson County Board of Supervisors voted to consider joining the lawsuit against the opioid epidemic.

The Supervisors also approved the hiring of Dusty Drennan as interim constable until an election is held in 2018.