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The Commercial Dispatch eEdition 5-12-11

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ARREST REPORT:See who was arrested Local, Page 3A this week

West Lowndes Lucious signs with NECCSports, Page 1B


PBS does detective work in West PointMYSTERY: History Detectives show investigates story behind Civil War-era photoBY GARTHIA ELENA [email protected] POINT A young white man, donning a Confederate uniform, poses with his knife and revolver. Beside him, a young black man is seated, also holding his knife, and a shotgun, also in a Confederate coat. Its just a photo. But contemplating the times, the photo brings questions to mind: Why was this young white man posing for a photo with a man, probably of similar age, who would have been a slave at the time? Its a mystery the PBS Detectives Histor y hope to resolve, exploring the history of the family photo through records at the Clay See HISTORY, 6A

Kelly Tippett/Dispatch Staff

Wilbur Colom stands on the foundation of a new home being built near New Hope. The mesh walls around him will be covered with concrete.

Local entrepreneur looks for answer to Africas povertyBUSINESS: Stable, affordable homes key to helping impoverished areas, Colom saysBY GARTHIA ELENA [email protected] disease malaria stunts social and economic development in Africa, costing the country an estimated $12 billion a year in productivity, according to a recent study released by the Roll Back Malaria campaign. What is the solution to malaria in Africa? Medicine? Clinics? Free health care? According to Columbus attorney and philanthropist Wilbur Colom, the answer is safe, affordable housing. The best thing you can do for health isnt have a hospital or clinic. The best thing you can do for health is to give them clean water and a safe place to live, Colom said, sitting in his office at Court Square Tours on Tuesday. Providing housing and eliminating standing water solves a housing problem and a health problem, said Jim Parkinson, a Utah trial lawyer and partner in the venture, noting there is a of housing shortage 200,000 in Dar es Salaam, a city in Tanzania. Colom, Parkinson and others are working on a project to offer such hous-

Kelly Tippett/Dispatch Staff

One of the newly designed homes being built by Wilbur Colom near New Hope.

Garthia Elena Burnett/Dispatch Staff

A crew from the PBS show History Detectives, including host Wes Cowan, were in downtown West Point this week, conducting research and filming for an episode of the show.

ing to middle-class families in Africa. Dont get me wrong. There are million-dollar

homes in Africa. But those are the people who own the banks and the mining comSee AFRICA, 6A

Friendship House demolition could lead to ordinance changesBY CARMEN K. [email protected] demolition of a historic property in downtown Columbus has left some preservationists and supporters asking what can be done in the future to prevent similar cases. First Baptist Church officials had first applied for a demolition permit in June 2010Thomas Southerland, business administrator for First Baptist Church, talks with Pat Kaye and Burnette Avakian as a bulldozer demolishes Friendship House Wednesday in downtown Columbus. Kaye and Avakian had attempted to purchase the historic home, but were unable to reach an agreement with church officials.I OUR VIEW: We all deserve an explanation when historic properties are demolished. Page 4A


for Friendship House an 1890 Victorian mansion on Seventh Street North saying the home had fallen into disrepair, and though they wanted to retain the lot, they no longer wanted the house. Because of the structures age, and because it is located in a historic district, the Historic Preservation Commission issued a six-month stay of demolition. The purpose of such stays are to ensure that property owners exhaust all efforts to seek grant funding for renovation, possible purchasers, or take other means to save his-

Carmen K. Sisson/Dispatch Staff



Five Questions1 What company added Fuchsia, Mauvelous, Tickle Me Pink, Banana Mania and 52 others, in the 90s? 2 Who was the first football coach to win the Rose, Orange, Cotton and Sugar Bowls? 3 What computer language is vulnerable to viruses named StrangeBrew and BeanHive? 4 Who earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for eight on-screen minutes in Shakespeare in Love? 5 What Baywatch babe noted that if David Hasselhoff has real breasts, they're probably the only ones on the show?Answers, 6B

CalendarTodayGirlchoir concert:The Columbus Girlchoir presents its annual spring concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Artz Fellowship Hall of First United Methodist Church in Columbus. The concert is free and open to the public. Thursday mornings 6-10 a.m., and Saturday mornings 7-10 a.m. For more information, contact Main Street Columbus, 662-3286305.

Local Folks

Charlie Martin, preschool, First Assembly

SundayC-Town Cares: The Columbus Police Department, Columbus Fire and Rescue, Station 7 and others present a benefit concert for victims of the Smithville tornado at the Riverwalk, 1 p.m.until. An admission charge will apply; monetary and non-perishable donations will be accepted. Performers include Big Joe Shelton, Cold 20, Fading Point, Fast Scarlett, Juke Joint Gypsies, Two Jazzy and more.

Tonight: Cloudy, late thunderstorm, low 66 Tomorrow: Thunderstorms, high 84More weather, 2A

SaturdayFarmers Market Grand Opening: Enjoy the freshest local produce, crafts, plants, childrens activity and live music at the grand opening of the Hitching Lot Farmers Market at Second Street and Second Avenue North, Columbus, from 710 a.m. New hours begin May 14: Monday evenings 5-7 p.m.,

Mark Ward is chief of training for Columbus Fire and Rescue.


2A THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2011


PEOPLE IN THE NEWSspot where the actors trailer had been parked. The trailer, along with the rest of the crowded Hollywood convoy, was putting a dent in her business, she said. Wednesday afternoon, the megatrailer was removed by Columbia Pictures. Hugh Grant has been weighing a big move: replacing the fired Charlie Sheen on CBS Two and a Half Men. A person familiar with the situation said Wednesday the British film actor was in negotiations to join the sitcom as its new leading man. The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because producer Warner Bros. and CBS hadnt authorized public comment, said the talks had stalled without resolution.

Will Smiths tricked-out trailer was sent packing Wednesday after complaints from residents in the neighborhood where his new film is being shot. The location shoot for Men in Black III has clogged the narrow streets of Manhattans Soho district for several days. But among the two dozen trucks and trailers deployed there, the most prominent was the luxury apartment-on-wheels occupied by Smith. The double-decker digs were larger than many Manhattan residences and had locals up in arms about its size, noise and fumes. I love Will Smith, but this is about survival, said Anessa Rahman, co-owner of an antiques store located a few steps from the curbside


SAY WHAT?It was unusual back in the 1860s for a white man and a black man to have their picture taken together.Kyle Chandler III. Story, 1A

A Thousand Words

SNAP JUDGMENT: ONLINE POLLDo you think it's rude when someone is texting while you're talking to them? Yes, I deserve their undivided attention. (89) 82% No, times have changed, and I do the same thing. (16) 15% I don't text or know people who do. (4) 4%

Kelly Tippett/Dispatch Staff

MORE POLLS: Vote online at

IN THE GREEN: Valerio Garcia, of West Point, landscapes around a tree at Mossy Oaks sporting mall in West Point.

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West Point accountant convicted for helping client evade taxesBY RYAN [email protected] Point CPA Gary Hamilton was convicted Wednesday of helping Tupelo developer Jack Holleman evade federal income taxes from 1996 to 2005. A Greenville jury returned a guilty verdict against the 62-yearold Hamilton on two charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and attempting to evade or defeat tax after deliberating two hours and 15 minutes. Hamilton, who was working for Watkins, Ward and Stafford at the time of the crime, opened a business partnership, PMBMH Investments LLC, in November 1998 to help Holleman buy and sell real estate, according to court records. Hamilton then opened a bank account in December 2000 at Peoples Bank and Trust, through which Hamilton funneled untaxed payments to Holleman. Hamilton did this, according to court records, even though he knew Holleman couldnt open a bank account for fear of IRS tax liens. Even before that, Hamilton was helping Holleman avoid paying income tax, the court found. In the nine-year period they conspired

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