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Offices move to temporary site in wake of courthouse fire

EUPORA — Webster County government offices displaced by a recent fire that gutted the 1915-built building opened to the public with limited services at 8 a.m. today at 16 East Fox Avenue in Eupora, according to a release from Beverly Pettigrew Kraft, public information officer, Administrative Office of Courts.

Offices of the Webster County Chancery Clerk, Circuit Clerk, Tax Assessor-Collector, Forestry Commission and County Purchasing Clerk have temporarily moved from the Webster County Courthouse in Walthall to the Fox Avenue location in Eupora.

County offices displaced from Walthall will temporarily share space with the Webster County Extension Service and the Webster County Justice Court. The Extension Service and Justice Court are permanently housed in Eupora. County workers have done emergency modifications to the Extension Service and Justice Court facility in Eupora to accommodate those offices displaced by the fire in Walthall.

No decision has been made regarding a permanent location for the offices, which occupied the courthouse in Walthall.

According to the release, members of the Board of Supervisors, Emergency Management Agency, Chancery and Circuit Clerks, law enforcement and other Webster County officials have worked nonstop for the past week to save and move county records and property damaged in the Courthouse fire, and to arrange for a temporary location for the displaced offices.

Essential county government services have continued without interruption. For instance, members of the Board of Supervisors have held numerous board meetings in the Webster County School Board Room in Eupora, and have worked via cellular phones.  The Supervisors’ Board Room also was located at the Courthouse. Chancery Clerk Russell Turner and Circuit Clerk Deborah Hood Neal transferred office phones to their personal phones. Circuit Judge Clarence Morgan III held arraignments Jan. 22 in the Justice Court Courtroom.

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