About Ray Van Dusen

I've been with the Monroe Journal since Aug. 2009 as a staff writer, but took the role as news editor in late 2012. I'm always looking for interesting story ideas from around Monroe County. You can reach me via email at ray.vandusen@journalinc.com.

Author Archive | Ray Van Dusen

Harmon headlines night one of Elvis Festival

TUPELO – Amory musician and ‘American Idol’ winner Trent Harmon will headline the first night of the Elvis Festival June 3 in Fairpark. Harmon’s set is scheduled for 10 p.m. following the Memphis Jones Trio. Other artists for the night are Ben Thompson, Amelia Eisenhauer and the Eisenhauer Band and Diogo Light. Amory native turned […]

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Aberdeen School District receives first clean audit in eight years

In December 2011, mere months before conservatorship’s entry, the Aberdeen School District had a fund balance of $400,000, making it hard to even make payroll. “We cut the spending. It was hard because we’re here for the kids, and the state was having to call the electric department to hold off until we had the […]

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Riverview Garden Club celebrates 40-year anniversary

ABERDEEN – Members of Riverview Garden Club, current and past, came together April 28 at the Elkin Theatre to socialize, reminisce and celebrate the club’s 40-year milestone. “I think Bettye Lenoir was instrumental in getting it started,” said Sandi Ervin, who is a charter member. “It was for women who had to work. At one […]

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Monroe County reservists deploy to Middle East

U.S. Army Reservists from the 658th Supply Company deployed from Starkville April 30 to Sioux City, Iowa to await further orders to proceed to the Middle East. For U.S. Army Reservist Sgt. First Class Mike Walker of Aberdeen, this deployment will be his third to the Middle East. “I’m putting God first, then the mission […]

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Smithville pauses for five-year tornado reflection

SMITHVILLE – At 3:47 p.m. last Wednesday, church bells echoed throughout Smithville, as a bell was chimed 16 times inside Smithville High School’s dome gymnasium. Five years ago to the day, the Smithville community lost 16 of its own during the April 27, 2011 EF-5 tornado, the town’s most devastating event. “I was asked by […]

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Ward heading to Tampa Bay Bucs as free agent

ABERDEEN – Former Aberdeen High School football standout Channing Ward has made it to the NFL and will be a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ward is among 19 undrafted rookie free agents joining Tampa Bay’s roster. Ward, who played defensive line for Ole Miss, had 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks as […]

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Possible EF-0 tornadoes spring from severe storm system

According to Monroe County Emergency Management Agency Director Bunky Goza, the National Weather Service is reviewing findings from a severe weather front that swept through the county April 29. “They did some tracks and history on the radar. It was possibly two EF-0 tornadoes, but nothing is official. There was a debris signature and some […]

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Dancy named a national Wendy’s Student Heisman Award recipient

ABERDEEN – Aberdeen High School’s Jakayla Dancy has made some pretty good senior memories. There was prom night and making it to the playoffs with the Lady Bulldogs, and then there was winning Wendy’s Student Heisman Award for not only her school but at the statewide level as well. To top that off, Dancy has […]

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Survey shows changing perception of Aberdeen School District

ABERDEEN – During the April 18 Aberdeen School District P-16 Council meeting, it was revealed that a community needs assessment survey indicates that public perception has shifted in several areas about the district. “This district has gone from people wanting to pull their kids out to everybody wanting to get their kids in,” said Aberdeen […]

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