Thursday, December 1, 2005

Local News Briefs

Unemployment rate 9.6 in state; county rate up slightly

The state’s unadjusted unemployment rate of 9.6 percent for October was down form September’s upwardly revised rate of 9.8, the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES) announces.

Fifty-three counties reported unemployment rates equal to or less than Mississippi’s 9.6 percentage rate, with DeSoto County showing the lowest rate of 4.6 percent, followed by Rankin County at 4.8.

Marshall County’s rate for October was 7.8, up from 6.4 the previous month. Benton’s rate was 9.7, up from 8.1 in September.

Twenty-two counties posted double-digit unemployment rates for October, with Hancock and Harrison counties reporting the highest rates of 24.3 percent and 24.0 percent.

“Recovery from the devastation brought on by Hurricane Katrina, especially in the coastal counties, will be a slow process and unemployment levels are expected to be high well into the next calendar year,” said Wayne Gasson, chief of Labor Market Information.

Tree Lighting activities set for Friday night in Byhalia

The annual Tree Lighting will be held this Friday, Dec. 2, at 6 p.m. at the Byhalia Fire Department.

The event will include a visit from Santa, entertainment, a chili supper and a door prize drawing from the Holiday Open House.

The Byhalia Holiday Open House is November 18-December 2. Bring a teddy bear to a participating business and sign up for door prizes. Refreshments will be served on Friday, Dec. 2.

Judging for the Holiday Lighting Contest (residential and commercial) will be Wednesday, Dec. 14. It is sponsored by the Garden Club and Byhalia Beautiful.

Christmas in Historic Byhalia celebration will be held Friday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. in the courtyard on Church Street. Call Jean Burrow, 838-2516, for information.

Christmas parade Saturday at 5 p.m. in Holly Springs

The Holly Springs Christmas Parade is this Saturday, December 3, at 5 p.m. downtown. Entry deadline is Thursday, Dec. 1. Contact the Chamber of Commerce at 252-2943 or parade chairperson Joanne Huff at 252-7207.

Floats and vehicles taking part in the parade are to meet for lineup at the old Colonial Building on Highway 178 East Saturday at 3 p.m. All entrants are asked to be in position no later than 4 p.m. and are required to follow the entire parade route.

The parade starts at 5 p.m. and will travel west on Van Dorn Ave. to Memphis St., turn right onto College Ave., then right on Chesterman St., then left onto Van Dorn and back to the starting point.

The Chamber of Commerce has invited Santa Claus to be in the parade, so no other float should have a substitute Santa in it. Due to safety concerns, Santa Claus is the only person allowed to throw candy to the crowd.

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