"Junk" Spurs Complaint

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Sonja Nunnelly and her family are neighbors of Johnnie Shirley who lives at 1095 Aycock Road in Lauderdale County. She recently complained to the health department about breeding places for mosquitoes on Shirley's property and repeated the charge Thursday in person.

"We are talking about stacks of tires six feet tall, about three stacks of tires," said Nunnelly. "Old rusty gas tanks. Rusted out vehicles with busted out windows. A trailer that's got rusted out windows."

Byron Tiller and Rodney Knight, of the Mississippi Department of Health, had investigated the charge.

"The particular mosquito that we are focused on right now with the West Nile virus is a notorious container-breeder, old tires, paint cans, gutters on houses and types of things are what we are trying to focus in on," said Tiller. "And there were stacks of tires on the site that are holding water and I noticed there was mosquitoes around the tires and there are eggs in those tires."

Shirley said his age of 72 was the reason something hadn't been done.

"I can't cut that grass that grows out there," said Shirley. "I'm not able to. I'd have to dig me a hole and crawl in it. And I ain't got no bush hog so how am I supposed to cut the grass. I can't afford to hire on a fixed income so would you explain how I'm supposed to do that?"

Board president Craig Hitt said if the board could legally help, they would.