By Bobby Harrison/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Signs will be going up on roadways in Northeast Mississippi in memory of deceased public officials.
As is the custom of most legislative sessions, bills were passed during the 2012 session to name stretches of highways after deceased people lawmakers believe merit such an honor.
Three deceased public officials from Northeast Mississippi received the honor during the 2012 session.
* Former Booneville Mayor F. Wade Lambert.
* Former state Sen. and Northern District Transportation Commissioner William “Bill” Minor.
* Former state Sen. Carl J. “Jack” Gordon Jr.
Lambert played “a visionary role” in the creation of the Mississippi Highway 30 Bypass around Booneville, said state Rep. William Tracy Arnold, R-Booneville. Arnold said he introduced legislation to name the bypass from the intersection with U.S. Highway 45 easterly to the intersection with Mississippi Highway 30 after Lambert after getting requests from the Booneville Board of Aldermen, the Prentiss County Board of Supervisors and Lambert family members.
Lambert was mayor of the city in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The roadway was opened last year.
The same legislation honoring Lambert designated the portion of state Highway 15 in the city limits of Houston as “Veterans Memorial Highway.”
The section of U.S. 78 in Marshall County will be named for Minor, a Holly Springs Democrat who was Senate Transportation Committee chairman when the historic 1987 Four-Lane Highway Act was passed and later served as Finance Committee chairman when legislation was passed to lure the Nissan Manufacturing Plant to Mississippi.
Minor left the Senate to run for and capture the Northern District Transportation Committee slot. He died in office in November 2010.
Separate House and Senate bills naming the section of U.S. 78 after Minor were signed into law by Gov. Phil Bryant.
A section of Mississippi Highway 245 beginning at the Chickasaw-Lee line and extending to the northern corporate limits of Okolona will be named after Gordon, an Okolona Democrat.
Gordon, who died in 2011, was a longtime member of the Legislature, serving in both the House and Senate. The bulk of his career was served in the Senate where he was chairman of the Education Committee when the 1982 Education Reform Act was passed and later served as what was generally believed to be one of the most powerful Appropriations chairmen in recent legislative memory.