Taking Back Our Streets: Abandoned home creates vermin problem

Taking Back Our Streets: Abandoned home creates vermin problem

RAYMOND, MS (WLBT) - WLBT news got a call from a viewer about abandoned property next to hers that is causing major problems, including health hazards.

It’s a Raymond address out in rural Hinds County.

The woman said she has called supervisors, but not getting any help so that’s why she called 3 On Your Side.

“I have to wash and scald everything before I can even cook,” said Ann Ketcham.

The tall grass is what has replaced her neighbor’s home after it burned and Ketcham claims the overgrowth from neglect has turned her retirement dream into a nightmare. Source: WLBT
The tall grass is what has replaced her neighbor’s home after it burned and Ketcham claims the overgrowth from neglect has turned her retirement dream into a nightmare. Source: WLBT

She blames her new routine on some unwelcome visitors to her home.

“I’m getting invaded by rats and snakes from that tall grass.” Ketcham explained.

The tall grass is what has replaced her neighbor’s home after it burned and Ketcham claims the overgrowth from neglect has turned her retirement dream into a nightmare.

“When I try to go take a bath, I find rats in my bathtub. I was cooking, frying some chicken the other day and I let my grease cool down and when I come back, I found a rat in my skillet of grease,” said Ketcham. “I can’t take nothing out from under my cabinet to cook in, any boilers, anything without rat droppings in it.”

The tall grass is what has replaced her neighbor’s home after it burned and Ketcham claims the overgrowth from neglect has turned her retirement dream into a nightmare. Source: WLBT
The tall grass is what has replaced her neighbor’s home after it burned and Ketcham claims the overgrowth from neglect has turned her retirement dream into a nightmare. Source: WLBT

From the air it looks like many rural settings, but on the ground, you can see how this property could be a nuisance -- burned out remnants, weeds and tall grass make the perfect conditions for pests.

The tall grass is what has replaced her neighbor’s home after it burned and Ketcham claims the overgrowth from neglect has turned her retirement dream into a nightmare. Source: WLBT
The tall grass is what has replaced her neighbor’s home after it burned and Ketcham claims the overgrowth from neglect has turned her retirement dream into a nightmare. Source: WLBT

Ketcham has reached out for help.

“All I know is I called Mike Morgan, the board of supervisors about it and I done called the supervisors about three or four times,” said Ketcham.

“She was quite upset.” said Hinds County Supervisor Mike Morgan.

Morgan, Hinds County District-4 Supervisor, shared a voicemail he received from Miss Ketcham.

On that voicemail, Ketcham said, “I need some help from my dadgum supervisor, so please give me a call. If not, I will be calling the governor and if I have to, I’ll call the president of the United States, because Mr. Morgan is not doing his job!”

“The supervisors like to hear from constituents,” explained Morgan. “I’m glad Miss Ketcham called so we can take care of this problem. Any of the supervisors you can contact by phone or email.”

You can also go to the Hinds County website. There’s a link that says “How do I?”. Just click on it for links to various departments in the county, such as public works or zoning, even what to do if your trash hasn’t been picked up.

Morgan said he has done something about Miss Ketcham’s issue. sharing documents showing 104 Fox Run has been checked out and the inspector, Greg Fox, even noted in bold print, “VALID COMPLAINT!!”

Morgan said a notice has gone out to Cynthia Young, the person listed as the owner of 104 Fox Run. It gives her until September 26 to clean up her property.

“In most cases, the property owner takes action and that’s the end of it,” said Morgan. “If they don’t take action, then we have to take the next step to authorize the county to go to the property and clean it up and assess the cost to the property. There are several more notifications that have to take place before we can do that.”

This means no immediate relief for Ketcham.

“They need to do something about it because I’m old. I’m in bad health. I have a brother who lives here with me. He’s not in good health," said Ketcham. "So, we can’t continue to put up with these rats and everything.”

“State law mandates a series steps of steps that we have to follow before we can just show up and make improvements to property," said Morgan. "But we have started that process.”

While that process winds its way through the system, Ann Ketcham must adjust to a new way of life.

“So, if anybody can do anything, please. I need some help.” said Ketcham.

September 26, the deadline day for the owner to clean up 104 Fox Run, has come and we will check back with Supervisor Mike Morgan to see if anything has been done.

If the property is in foreclosure, that could complicate things and push resolution back even more.

Let us help you take back your streets. Send Howard an email at hballou@wlbt.com or contact him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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