MANY NE MISSISSIPPIANS WISH FOR PEACE IN 1996
By Jane Hill
Everyone getting along better with one another seemed to be the wish of most of the Northeast Mississippians asked what they would like to see happen in 1996.
The Journal contacted several area residents and asked them what their hopes and wishes were for the new year.
Robert Jamison, a member of Tupelo’s Park Hill Development Corp., said he had many hopes for the coming year.
“I hope the new year brings us a time of less violence, less crime, less hatred and more love one for the other,” Jamison said. “That is my hope for 1996.”
Charles Gulotta, executive director of the Alliance Economic Development Council in Alcorn County, said he has high expectations of being able to attract a quality industry to the county’s newly acquired and developed industrial park.
“I would like to help develop the tourism assets in Alcorn County and bring new high paying jobs to our community,” Gulotta said. “I would like to see Corinth continue to maintain itself as a good place to live, to go to school, to do business and to worship.”
Hazel Eatmon, principal at Joyner Elementary School in Tupelo, said she prefers not to make resolutions on the new year.
“I prefer to reflect on the past,” she said. “And when I do I am thankful for good health, my family and friends and the opportunity to work and serve others.”
Gary Mauney, sheriff-elect of Tippah County, said he hopes to be able to fulfill his new job for the good of all in the county.
“I hope and wish to be able to work with these people and do a good job,” he said. Mauney has been the focus of controversy in recent weeks from other law enforcement officials who disapprove of his election despite the fact that he was convicted of a felony drug charge more than 20 years ago.
“I hope that everything turns out well for everybody and that everyone has a healthy and prosperous new year,” Mauney said.
Tommy Lee Ivy, who will make Lee County history in January when he becomes the first black supervisor to take office since Reconstruction, said he hopes to strengthen the ties between county government and the community.
“I would like to see the juveniles of Lee County restored to the community,” Ivy said. “I think we can achieve that through better education. I think we need to make a push to place God first in our lives.”
Wayne Gann, superintendent of the Corinth City School District, said he hopes that his school district can win a Level 5 accreditation from the state for the third year running. Level 5 is the highest approval rating a school district can achieve in Mississippi and allows administrators and teachers to employ more innovative methods of teaching children. Very few school districts in the state achieve Level 5.
“We’re going to continue our efforts to keep our achievement up,” Gann said. “It is a constant struggle because they raise the hurdle every time you go around the track.”
Facing a new session with his fellow lawmakers, District 16 Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville said he hopes for peace in the new year, at least at the state capital in Jackson.
“I hope all the members of the Legislature get along with one another this year,” he said. “I also hope that we do something productive for the people of this state, even if that means just letting them alone.”
Theresa Cutshall, who books eco-tours for the Tishomingo County Tourism Council, said she hopes the 100 percent success rate for spotting American bald eagles on the waters of Lake Pickwick continues into the new year.
“We can’t guarantee that you see an eagle, we just hope that they come out when we’re out,” Cutshall said. “So far we’ve been really lucky. Everybody has gotten to see some.”
Shannon Johnston, the rector at St. James Episcopal Church in Tupelo, said he has hopes both for himself and for the community in 1996.
“For my own life I wish for a chance to build my new marriage without being as rudely interrupted as I was last year.” Johnston was the victim of a spinal injury received in a collision with an ambulance which occurred about two months after his wedding. In his own words Johnston “spent half the year with 10 pounds of hardware on my head.”
For the community Johnston wished that Tupelo would focus its strong community activism on helping the victims of HIV and AIDS.
“I would also like to see us build up our race relations at a grassroots level,” Johnston said.
One last at-large wish Johnston had for the new year was a simple one.
“I wish that sometime in 1996 my Green Bay Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys.”