ERROL CASTENS: Deer, drivers, dirt and other detritus

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

Local drivers who don’t either coo over Bambi or cook him probably imagine all the deer in North America are migrating to Mississippi just so they can play rushing roulette with our vehicles.
A study released by State Farm Insurance, however, that in deer-vs.-car collisions we’re just number 17, percentage-wise, with about one deer-car crash per 120 licensed drivers in 2011-12. That puts us ahead of the 1-in-170 nationwide average but far behind that of first-place West Virginia, where one driver in 40 hit a deer.
At the other end of the scale was Hawaii, where only 134 deer crashes were reported – one for every 6,800 drivers.
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Even with Mississippians’ obsession about outdoor sports, a new book on fishing-gadget-guru Dave Genz probably won’t be in a lot of Magnolia State stockings on Christmas morning.
As much as we may love our woods-and-water pursuits, somehow we’ve just never developed much passion for Genz’s specialty – ice fishing.
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Oxford and Lafayette schools give each other grief on the gridiron and other competitive venues, but Oxford’s school board recently voted to dump dirt on Lafayette in a whole new way.
Nothing nefarious, though – just donating surplus clay from an Oxford Middle School land-leveling project to use as fill on the hilly, landlocked Lafayette campus.
It’s nice to see such cooperation.
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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered Illinois lawmakers to end that state’s status as the only one still outlawing armed self-defense outside the home.
“A woman who is being stalked or has obtained a protective order against a violent ex-husband is more vulnerable to being attacked while walking to or from her home than when inside,” the court wrote. “She has a stronger self-defense claim to be allowed to carry a gun in public than the resident of a fancy apartment building (complete with doorman) has a claim to sleep with a loaded gun under her mattress. But Illinois wants to deny the former claim, while compelled by McDonald [a 2010 Supreme Court decision that recognized the individual right in all states to own a firearm] to honor the latter.”
I’ll be doggoned. This court actually gets it.
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Ending on a slightly lighter note:
Stainless steel coffee urns have their place, but they facilitate one sad mistake that a glass pot doesn’t allow – making this morning’s brew without pouring out yesterday’s leftover coffee. On the positive side, when your first sip is lukewarm and half stale, your day is likely only to improve after that.
(Some fellow hard-core caffiends are probably trying to wrap their brains around that abstract concept of “leftover coffee.”)

Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at errol.castens@journalinc.com.