Ron Williams

In the April 19th Columbus Packet, I reported that Columbus Municipal Judge Nicole Clinkscales was in violation of the Mississippi Code of Judicial Conduct by continuing to serve as a board member on the Columbus Planning Commission. On Monday, April 23rd, Clinkscales resigned her position on the board.
During the Columbus City Council meeting Tuesday night, Chief Operations Officer David Armstrong announced that applications would now be accepted for the vacant position on the board.
Clinkscales continued to serve on the board even after she was appointed Municipal Judge back in December 2010, which is in violation of the Code in Section 4C (2) that stated, “A judge shall not accept appointment to a governmental committee or commission or other governmental position that is concerned with issues of fact or policy matters other than the improvement of the law, the legal system or the administration of justice.”
Though the position was an unpaid position, Clinkscales was still involved in making controversial decisions, in particular her motion to grant permission to the New Beginnings Full Gospel Baptist Church to build a new church on residential land off of Highway 69. The church’s congregation own 7.3 acres with access to the property down a narrow, unpaved city road in the middle of several residences.
Clinkscales’ motion and vote in favor to grant permission ended in a tie that sent the decision before the Columbus City Council, which voted unanimously to grant permission to build the church even after several residents living near the proposed church had objections. Several residents told the council that they understand that the church would also open a daycare operation at the church, which was a concern to the residents.
It’s not known if a legal challenge to the building of the church arises, if Clinkscales’ position on the commission could be brought into question. That possibilty remains to be seen.

Leroy Brooks Says He’s “Not Running For Mayor” of Columbus
Last week, after hearing several people in the past month or so tell me that Leroy Brooks was considering running for mayor of Columbus, I reported that tidbit in my column, stating that he might well run. But during last Friday’s Lowndes County Board of Supervisor meeting, Brooks stated, emphatically, that he would not be running. Columbus Mayor Robert Smith was at that meeting, and Brooks didn’t want any misunderstanding, he said. “First, let me make a public announcement…having read The Packet this morning and since the mayor is here, I want to unequivocally, for the last time, say I’m not running for mayor. I don’t want the press to print it anymore, so I want to make this clear. I don’t want any friction created, and I don’t want people bothering me about running. So, I’m not running, so the chief (Joe St John) and Ron is here…so y’alll don’t have to print this anymore.”
The reason I brought it up in the first place was because several sources had told me that Brooks had told them he might run, though it was a few weeks back. I don’t just make this stuff up. With that said, Brooks made it clear…he’s not running! So, there you have it from the horse’s mouth.

Avante’ House Raising Money By Selling Raffle Tickets
Kelly Britton, of The Avante’ House For Ladies, is in the process of selling $5 raffle tickets for a chance to win a 3-day/night vacation at a resort condo in Gulf Shores, Ala.. The Avante’ House was established to get ladies out of primary or secondary treatment or who have been released from jail or prison. The Avante’ House is a structured environment to provide ladies with a safe living environment to strengthen their 12-step recovery program, improve living skills and to grow spiritually so that they can become productive members of society. The facility is a structured home for ladies who want to learn how to stay clean and sober.
If you would like to help these ladies achieve their goals, please buy a raffle ticket. You might just win a nice vacation along the way. You can contact Kelly Britton by visiting her Facebook page, or visiting the Avante’ House Facebook page, or by calling her at 662-574-1768. Or contact Bill Vaughan on his Facebook page. It’s all for a great cause.

Riding For The Holloways Coming Up May 12
A benefit Trail Ride for Angela Russell Holloway will be held on Saturday, May 12 at the home of Tommy and Sharon Sanders on Flower Farm Road in Hamilton, Miss. BBQ plates will be available for $10. Entertainment will be provided by Avenue Rhodes, Nash Creek, Dirt Brothers, Flashpoint, Faze 3, Mark Chandler Band and Mike Cooper. Attendees are encouraged to bring your chairs.
The trail ride will begin at 9 a.m. and can include wagons or horses. The $20 fee includes the BBQ plate. In case of rain, the trail ride will be on May 19. The event includes a Ranch Rodeo at 1 p.m. Tommy Sanders Poker Run will be leaving Becka’s Burgers in Aberdeen at 1 p.m. There will be an auction, door prizes and Jumpers will be available for the little ones. For more information, you can contact Vic or Renee Armstreet at 662-436-2050 or 662-436-2051 or you can contact Chris or Claudia Morgan at 662-574-9924.

Kenneth Montgomery Offers Reward For Info On Shot Fired Near Propst Park

Near T-Ball Fields Where His Grandkids Play Ball
Kenneth Montgomery was running concessions at Propst Park Tuesday night when he heard a gunshot nearby. Security and Columbus Police checked it out but nothing was reportedly found.
But the shooting of a gun, near where Montgomery says his 3 grandchildren play t-ball, is totally unacceptable to him. And a lot of other parents feel the same way. Montgomery is offering a $1000 reward for information leading to the arrest, conviction and jailtime for the person/persons responsible for firing the gun. He’s asking that people come forward if they have information and can call him at 662-327-2663.
Montgomery, Wednesday, reflected on his childhood days in Columbus. Days that he remembers as carefree with no worries. “Back in those days, we rode our bikes where ever we wanted too, played in our backyards, played in the park, walked to school. You can’t do that now. It’s a shame that our kids can’t even play ball in the park without having to worry about getting shot.”
He’s also worried about the overall morale of our young citizens. “Tupelo recently passed an ordinance against sagging ‘pants on the ground’. Why can’t Columbus do something like that?” he wondered. “Our kids have lost the ability to be innocent. There doesn’t seem to be the urgency for respect and responsibility either. It hurts your heart to know that Columbus has come to this.”
Several members on the Columbus, Ms. Facebook Watch page have joined Montgomery in his attempt to gather info on the shooter. They’ve pledged several more hundred dollars to the reward offer.
A recent poster to the page probably said it best when he offered this opinion, “We can’t let the thugs take over Columbus…we just can’t!

Ron Williams can be contacted by email at