Town meeting’ set on education ideas

CATEGORY: Letters

AUTHOR: JOER

Town meeting’ set on education ideas

Recent legislative sessions have seen enactment of significant education bills, which have had a cumulative positive impact upon public education in Mississippi. The Educational Enhancement Fund, the technology grants, the increases in professional compensation and the Adequate Education Bill are but a few efforts that have allowed our school districts to address many of their deficiencies. Certainly, most districts are stronger and more viable today because of the passage of meaningful legislation.

On Sept. 10, the Senate Education Committee will host a “town meeting” in the Hancock Leadership Center, 1920 Briar Ridge Drive, Tupelo, from 6 to 8 p.m. to visit informally and to secure your suggestions for improving public education. We encourage everyone interested in public education to attend and ask anyone who wishes to make a presentation to please contact Janet Trotter at 601-359-3232 to secure a spot on the agenda.

While we have made progress, I am sure everyone would agree that there are still many needs which have not been properly addressed in the diverse school districts across our state. The Senate Education Committee feels it is especially important that it spend some time prior to the next legislative session in our districts touring facilities and visiting with students, teachers, administrators, parents and other interested citizens. It is our belief that such an experience will give us the necessary information to more prudently prepare our legislative agenda for the 1999 session.

Grey F. Ferris

Chairman, Senate Education Committee

Vicksburg

head:Volunteer firemen

express gratitude

The Wren Volunteer Fire Department would like to thank the people of the Wren community for its overwhelming support of the department. Anyone who has any experience in the fire fighting business will tell you that it is unbelievably expensive to operate a fire department. The cost of equipment and repairs of equipment are amazing. Without those individual donations, it would be very difficult to operate at the level we presently are able to do.

The donations made by the many individuals, along with the many fund raising projects the fire department conducts allow us to plan and work on projects and equipment that will make the fire department an even more valuable asset to the community.

We are in the process of attaining a Class 9 fire district rating that will lower homeowners insurance by an average of 15 percent. In addition, we have completed training of several fireman as Emergency Medical Responders. These individuals respond to MVAs and medical emergencies in the community when dispatched by 911. They can arrived at a scene with trained medical assistance up to 10 precious minutes before one of the local ambulance services and start possible life saving help for our citizens. There will be more firemen attending EMR training in the near future with plans to procure medical equipment to help them be more effective in their jobs.

We would also like to take this opportunity to ask that responsible individuals interested in contributing their talents to the fire department, please contact a current member. Individuals must be willing to attend an emergency vehicle driver training course, firefighters school in Jackson and EMR training. Also any interested persons with prior medical training, EMTs, nurses, doctors, please contact us. We would like to have your expertise for training and also as a volunteer.

James Archer

Wren

head:ARC official

cites column

To the recent Aug. 2 column by business editor John Cummins (“Regionalism is not the same as provincialism”) we must offer a well-deserved round of applause. Enough can never be said about the importance of thinking regionally when it comes to promoting the economic advancement of Northeast Mississippi. Regional cooperation by leaders in both the public and private sectors is responsible for helping make much of this once isolated part of the state a viable national and global competitor for private investment.

Regional cooperation helped with the creation of such valuable infrastructure as the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and our new four-lane highways, and could ultimately help keep vital commercial air service at the Tupelo Regional Airport. But now that much has been accomplished, and our region is beginning to experience some of the fruits of that hard labor, it is not time to retreat.

As some cities and counties in Northeast Mississippi enjoy success, it is too easy to let jealousy and envy cloud our thinking and detour us from the goal which Mr. Cummins so eloquently stated when he said, ” … progress in any part of the region is good for all Northeast Mississippi.” More directly it could be said: One city’s or county’s success is not another’s failure but merely another opportunity to be seized.

Supporting regional cooperative efforts has long been a goal of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Not only has ARC been focused on improving the lives of those who live in portions of our 13 states, but also those Mississippians who live in the 22 Appalachian Mississippi counties. ARC’s financial support of the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi, as well as its efforts to bring local leaders together to address pressing water and solid waste issues through county- and region-wide initiatives, are just the more recent examples. As the flow of federal dollars to our program and state has slowed the need for inner dependence has become more important.

Although our region has been blessed with much economic growth, and the quality of life has dramatically increased for many, much of Appalachia Mississippi still suffers from great poverty, inadequate physical infrastructure, weak health care and general apathy and despair for its future. The ARC will continue to seek out and promote the innovative ideas from our public and private partners that help restore hope for the citizens of Appalachia Mississippi and gives them the resources needed to meet their full potential.

Nancy Knight

Program Director

Appalachian Regional Office

Tupelo

head: Juveniles need

more than jail

This is in response to the editorial “Build a juvenile detention center” dated Aug. 11. While it appears that Lamar Smith and others are eager to see this center build, has anyone thought about why these juveniles are being put there in the first place?

The key to stopping violence is education, and there’s no way around it.

Instead of building facilities to house people, build programs to educate them. Build recreation centers, start boys and girls programs, etc.

It has to start early to avoid the children of today in detention centers becoming the adults of tomorrow in prisons. I do believe in someone paying for their crimes, but I don’t think the way is building more centers. If you continue to build and build, house and house children, soon we can have a family outing at the centers because that’s where our children will be.

D. Fells

Tupelo