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lifestyle_entertainmentBy ADAM ARMOUR

Itawamba County Times

TREMONT – Tammy Wynette isn’t the star of her own stamp yet, but her hometown is making sure they’re ready for when she debuts.

Recently, 22 people attended a short meeting to discuss the planned release of a U.S. stamp featuring the likeness of country music legend and Tremont native Tammy Wynette. While there wasn’t enough information available about the release of the stamp to formalize any plans, the main goal of the meeting was accomplished: set up a committee to handle event planning when the date of the stamp’s first day of issue is finally announced.

“We thought [the meeting] went very well,” said Holly Ford, who was named chair of the event’s planning committee during the meeting. “We were pleased with the turnout. We’re already floating ideas, and will be meeting again soon to break down our ideas further.”

Wynette’s name was included on a recent list of the Citizen’s Stamp Advisory Committee’s list of approved subjects for future commemorative stamps. The list, released in January, had Wynette’s name as a future entry in its Music Icons stamp series. The list said her stamp had been approved as a subject, but the design process had not begun.

Each year, the CSAC selects subjects of commemorative stamps using a set of 11 criteria. On average, around 25 new commemorative stamps are selected each year. But even if a subject has been approved by the CSAC – country music pioneer Tammy Wynette, for example – USPS still may decide against releasing it. Nothing is guaranteed until the official announcement has been made.

The Music Icon series debuted last year with the release of stamps featuring the likenesses of Johnny Cash, Lydia Mendoza and Ray Charles. In March, the series continued with a stamp for Jimi Hendrix. Other planned stamps include John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Sam Cooke.

Even if the stamp is approved by the USPS, Tremont may not be named host of the first day of issue. While the USPS does host first issuing events for themed stamps in locations relevant to the subject matter – for example, 1993’s Elvis stamp received a simultaneous first day issuing in both Memphis and Tupelo – not every stamp receives a ceremony.

The unveiling of a new stamp is a big event that typically draws dignitaries, public officials and post office personnel from Washington, D.C., the state and region. Fans of Tammy Wynette, country music in general and stamp collectors are also expected to attend. It could be a major draw for the small town, and a jumping off point for further promoting its ties to the country music icon.

Although Wynette’s stamp isn’t guaranteed at this point, Ford said she is confident it will not only be created, but will be issued in Tremont first.

“There’s no doubt that we’ll have it,” she said. “We’ll definitely have the stamp unveiling in Tammy’s hometown.”

Ford isn’t alone in her confidence: The idea is already garnering some high-profile attention from the offices of Mississippi Sens. Hob Bryan and Roger Wicker, both of whom are reportedly working to not only get Wynette’s stamp released, but also first issued in Tremont.

“As soon as they realize we’re really putting our heart and soul in it, things will start popping,” she said. “We’re very positive and we’re going to prepare. We’re going to show that we’re doing our part on this end.”

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TUPELO – Former First Lady Laura Bush was greeted by a sold-out crowd at Monday night’s Celebrating HealthWorks! dinner. Bush was the special guest and keynote speaker at the event held at the BancorpSouth Conference Center in Tupelo.

The children’s health education center has raised $1.4 million toward its $1.8 million goal, which will retire the center’s capital debt and provide for continuing support for innovative programming.

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By Adam Robison

Runners start the Race for the Cure Saturday at 8 a.m. in front of the Hilton Garden Inn in Tupelo. There was also a one-mile fun run
as part of the fundraiser for cancer awareness and research. This was the first time the annual event moved to downtown Tupelo.