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Several firsts in the LOU community in the headlines

Some firsts were being accomplished this week in Oxford and Lafayette County’s history, including an education effort getting off the ground and a female graduating from Ole Miss’ ROTC program. See these excerpts from 2012, 2001, 1993, 1992 and 1977.

June 28, 2012

UM, MSU aid Excel by 5 effort

With the help of the Keystone Club, members of Excel by 5 cleaned up their new Family Resource Center.

Once the center is open, the early education effort will have completed nearly 60 percent of the tasks needed to be accomplished for it to earn certification.

The local endeavor is aimed at helping children from birth to age 5 get prepared for kindergarten.

June 29, 2001

Increased property values alarm county residents

Residents have been concerned this week as notices from the Lafayette County tax assessor went out.

Throughout the county, residents are reporting increases in the “true value” of their properties, ranging from 25 percent up to 200 percent.

It’s time for the Mississippi Tax Commission-mandated real property appraisal, which was last conducted in 1984.

 Last year the county had $105 million in assessed property value, and it jumped this year to $175 million.

June 29, 1993

Smith pleads guilty to mail fraud charges

It was a guilty plea for former Oxford investment broker, city alderman and community leader Bernie Smith III.

More than 17 clients accused Smith of bilking almost $2 million from them, and he pleaded guilty in federal court to five counts of mail fraud.

Charges stem from a complex investment scheme in which Smith entered into a speculative investment involving the spread between municipal bonds and treasury bonds.

June 30, 1992

Faulkner’s Rowan Oak expected to get funding for restoration effort

Rowan Oak’s deteriorating outbuildings may get some help next year, thanks to public and private donations.

University of Mississippi Chancellor Gerald Turner said he is allocating $50,000 from forest land funds for the restoration of the barn and stables at William Faulkner’s former home. Just more than $50,000 will come from private fundraising drives.

Turner said the outbuilding restoration is the first phase.

June 29, 1977

Deborah Rogers becomes first female ROTC grad

Deborah Rogers Godwin has become the first woman to graduate in the University of Mississippi ROTC program and be commissioned into the U.S. Army.

Godwin, a native of New York, first became interested in ROTC when she found job prospects bleak in the education field. So she went to basic training and gave the Army a try. That’s where she met her husband.

She will attend Officer Basic School in Fort Gordon, Georgia, and prepare for four years of duty in the Signal Corps.