Thursday, March 16, 2006

Letter to the Editor

Pride and dignity!:
Dear Editor,

First I give all the glory and thanks to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for carrying all of us safely to Jackson and back home safely.

I would just like to say to all the Holly High basketball players that we love you all very much, not just for being the best basketball team in the state of Mississippi, but most of all for being the most respectful young men that you all are.

I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with you all this season. You all are the most talented young me. So hold your heads up high, carry yourselves with pride and dignity and always put God first in your lives. You all are the No. 1 team in the state of Mississippi. You represented your school well. Your family and fans love you all very much.

Yazoo decided not to play air ball. Yazoo knew that they never would have stood a chance with us playing man to man basketball.

We had our day on Wednesday, March 8, when we played Ripley, the second best team in the state of Mississippi. It was one of the best games of the season. Sorry, Yazoo, I can’t say the same about you all.

Yazoo, you are the talk of the town. You all played what I call a cowardly game. You all made yourselves look bad. I just want to say to you all, Yazoo, you all didn’t beat us, because you all never played us, not by just holding the ball and holding the ball. So enjoy that easy win that you didn’t even have to play basketball to win. You all didn’t earn that Gold Ball. So every time you look at it just remember how you got it.

Concerned parent and fan
Ella M. Oliver
Holly Springs

Kudos for special edition:
Dear Barry,

You did it again! You and your dedicated staff produced another fine special edition. The profiles and ads were interesting. They gave us a positive overview of our county.

The stakeholders of Marshall County have much to plan for with the growth coming so quickly. I am reminded of the convenience store employee telling me that “unfortunately” they were in Marshall County. I asked if they carried a local newspaper and she said they didn’t want to carry any of the county’s news.

But fortunately the store owners, managers and employees may have a business in Marshall County and make a very good living. Unfortunately, they live in another county and state and take their revenue with them.

Marshall County gets beat up enough that we need to quit beating ourselves up. We welcome all newcomers and want them to become involved in the communities. I thank the long time county residents, elected officials and business owners for their support of the churches, schools, chambers and civic organizations.

Your dedication also shows by opening a branch office in Byhalia. To you and the staff of The South Reporter/Pigeon Roost News, I applaud your work and this year’s special edition.  

Thank you for the extras! I will distribute them in the promotion of Marshall County.

Sarah Sawyer
Executive director
Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce

Thanks to Humane Soc.:
Dear Editor,

I would like to thank Bill Baston and the Marshall County Humane Society for all their help and hard work.

One of my neighbors was forced to move because of her health. She was not able to care for herself or her cats. At the time, I was already feeding a few (10) cats I thought were strays. Well, I ended up with sixty-four (64) in a matter of two weeks.

Mr. Baston and the MCHS came to my and the cats’ rescue. Every cat that left my house had to be spayed or neutered. Mr. Baston picked up and returned with every cat, with the exception of the cats that found homes or had to be put down because of sickness or pellet gun wounds.

Feline distemper, upper respiratory infections and feline leukemia are just a few of the diseases that can and will occur when cats are left to breed and live in large numbers. Most of the kittens don’t live when they are riddled with disease and parasites.

MCHS bases all of its work on the low cost spay and neuter program. If you qualify, your cost will be minimal.

Marshall County will never be all it can be, until the over population of unwanted pets is dealt with. Join the MCHS today.

Again thank you MCHS and Mr. Bill.

Donations for the shelter are accepted at: MCHS, P.O. Box 625, Holly Springs, MS 38635.

Donna Boswell

Failing schools:
Dear Editor,

On Thursday, March 9 in the capital of the state of Mississippi before the entire House of Representatives a member of the house went down a list of failing schools across the state. This information was quite disturbing to members like myself, who have failing schools in the district represented and understand the consequences of failing schools.

The debate about education is clearly pointing to reform and change in the way we deal with education. The governor has a major education reform package for the legislators’ consideration. On Wed., March 8 the House had to battle in debate for hours to decide to fully fund K-12 education. I voted to fully fund education. The problem is fully funding education alone will not solve the problems we are having with failing schools.

If the local school district is not making good, sound decisions we can give all the money in the world but you will still have a failing school district. One of the representatives made this argument as one of his reasons for not fully funding education. You can have different opinions about how we address this issue locally but make no mistake about it; we will not improve education by doing what we have always been doing.

I will support Dr. Gentry, or any other superintendent the district chooses, if they embrace the idea of changing for greater student achievement. Joining other successful school districts that look for new methods of ensuring good schools is the way to go. The idea of continuing the trends of 40 to 50 percent drop-out rates, 60 to 80 seventh and eight graders failing to the point that they will never graduate, keeping teachers who cannot perform at the necessary level and other problems that contribute to a level 2 accreditation level is unacceptable.

I have no motives other than trying to ensure that all of our children have the same access to quality education that other students only a few miles away have. I serve on the House Education Committee and we discuss individual districts’ performance and compare top school districts and poor performing districts. I also serve on the labor committee and I listen to industry representatives who are prepared to invest millions but they too listen to data on school performance and rarely look at communities like Holly Springs because of the perception of our schools. If you want good paying jobs, improve the schools of Holly Springs.

I urge those of you who continuously fight for the status quo to see the big picture. If we do not do something soon to change our education system in Holly Springs we will not only be left behind Byhalia but we will be left out of the future plans of this state.

You sent me to Jackson to represent you. I need your help to insist that our local education system can be considered with other top communities like Desoto County and Lee County schools are. Do not allow certain current and former administrators and some teachers to hold our children and community back with their tired old arguments that have a proven record of failure!

Kelvin O. Buck,
State Representative

Proms and spring breaks:
Dear Editor:

It’s spring time and that means teens’ thoughts are turning to the fun and excitement of spring break and prom. In addition, April is Alcohol Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to encourage safe, responsible celebrations by taking steps that help prevent underage drinking.

Parents rule when it comes to influencing their children about important decisions, such as whether or not to drink before they are 21.

According to the 2005 Roper Youth Report, the overwhelming majority of 13-17 year olds – 74 percent – reported that parents are the primary influence on their decisions about whether or not they drink alcohol.

At A&B Distributing Company, we’re parents too; sharing the same concerns as every other parent about these issues. That’s why we distribute free copies of Family Talk About Drinking and College Talk: A Guide for Parents of College-Bound Students about Drinking to help parents talk with their teens. These materials may be downloaded at and or by calling 662 895 2828.

We also help sellers and servers of alcohol learn how to effectively identify patrons of legal purchase age and stop sales to minors by providing them with training and “We I.D.” materials that remind individuals they will be asked to show a valid I.D. to purchase alcohol beverages.

Thanks to these kinds of education efforts and many others, our nation has made tremendous progress in the fight against underage drinking. According to the University of Michigan Monitoring the Future Study, the percentage of high school seniors who reported having a drink in the last 30 days is at its lowest level since tracking began in 1975 – down 33 percent since 1982. Additionally, the number of fatalities in teen drunk-driving crashes has declined by 64 percent since 1982, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

That’s good news, but there’s more work to be done. As we help our teen prepare for spring break and prom, let’s all do our part to remind them that responsibility matters and to respect the law.

Joan Lunsford
Consumer Awareness & Education

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