ERROL CASTENS: A little good news today

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

Because we’ve all been good boys and girls lately, let’s reward ourselves with a dose of good news.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 404 to 0, the “Risk-Based Security Screening for Members of the Armed Forces Act” so that the TSA would be required to expedite airport screenings for soldiers, sailors, Guardsmen and Marines. It’s hard to imagine that the Senate and President Obama won’t also embrace it.
Regular gas was priced this week at less than $2.999 per gallon at several stations in New Albany and the surrounding area. (Whodathunk back in 1974, when the national average of 55 cents a gallon was causing economic panic, that $3-a-gallon gasoline would prompt sighs of relief?)
On a personal note, my wife enjoyed a combination of birthday gifts on Monday that few people ever get: fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes and a ground-covering snow.
Not that many years ago, a diagnosis of HIV in Africa meant a short, painful and generally hopeless life. Today, 6.6 million people there get treatment for HIV. And it happened, as U2 lead singer Bono points out at http://www.nytimes .com/2011/12/01/opinion/a-decade-of -progress-on-aids.html, that unexpectable teamwork – from gays and evangelicals to Rupert Murdoch and George Soros – made it happen.
Clean Water U. trains missionary teams that have installed water purification systems in more than 400 needy communities from Africa to Appalachia. Clean water at an operating cost of a cent or less per gallon means illnesses avoided and lives saved. And it all began right here in Northeast Mississippi, at Camp Hopewell in Lafayette County, with the vision of the Rev. Wil Howie.
Given our history of authors, artists and other exuders of genius, Mississippi has always benefited from the “creative economy.” The Mississippi Development Authority and the Mississippi Arts Commission are showcasing that economy’s present and potential reach in a Road Show that’s coming to ICC-Belden next Thursday at 8:30 a.m. You can still register for the free, three-hour event – but today only – at http://www.mscreativeeconomy.com/roadshow.php.
Autocorrect can be disabled. If that doesn’t work, computers can be dropped from third-story windows. It’s just 77 days until first pitch at Dudy Noble and 84 days at Swayze.
Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at errol.castens@journalinc.com.