Staff Photo: Sue Ann Kuhn-Smith

Ron Donaldson and his sister, Candace Donaldson, select book bags for the upcoming school year, which begins today for more than 21,000 Newton County students. The siblings, who where shopping under the watchful eye of their mother, will attend Palmer-Stone Elementary School in Oxford. The Donaldson family was shopping at Wal-Mart, taking advantage of the state sales tax holiday, which offers savings on school supplies. Store Manager Nan Lamperski said Wal-Mart tried to stock up on items that would be needed for school.