Letters to the Editor
PTA thanks supporters:
H.W. Byers PTA and parents solicited donations from local churches and businesses within our community to help raise funds on behalf of the H.W. Byers Lady Lions.
The members of the H.W. Byers PTA, along with our student athletes, would like to give a special thanks to Mt. Zion Taska MB Church, United Steel Workers Local 7655, and Isom Chapel CME Church for your generous donations.
Our fund-raising efforts were a great success and because of your help, each Lady Lion will receive a much deserved letterman jacket for their outstanding performance during district and state playoffs. Because of your generosity, we will also be able to help towards the purchase of other items for our Lady Lions.
Again, thank you for your willingness to play a great role in making this great accomplishment a memorable one for these deserving student athletes.
Snow Lake disaster:
We are writing to inform the residents of Benton and Marshall Counties of the disastrous conditions left at Snow Lake Shores by Saturday evening’s combination of tornado/straight-line winds. Thousands of dollars worth of damage has been done to homes and utilities.
It has come to our attention from a government official that few people outside the immediate area are aware of the intense level of damage the weather phenomenon left in its path in just 20 short minutes through the lake area.
Utility poles are snapped in two, power lines are down, laying either on the roads or dangling dangerously close overhead of passing vehicles.
There are hundreds of trees down, huge pines, mighty oaks, some laying on top of or in homes. In wooded areas there is even a domino effect – where one tree after another toppled onto others. Trees with gigantic root balls are pulled up, at times, taking nearby buildings with them. In the case of Snow Lake’s chief of police, his personal shop simply disappeared in the high winds.
Although the damage to property is catastrophic, residents of Snow Lake are grateful there were no major injuries or fatalities.
Holly Springs Utility Department trucks were visible around the lake area on Monday, replacing poles, repairing wires and cleaning up the enormous amount of debris. They were a welcome sight.
In light of all that has happened here at Snow Lake over the weekend, we have several questions.
1. When a natural disaster of this nature and size happens, why is there not immediate assessment of the damage? (or is there, and because of the lack of communication, residents are simply unaware of it?) Is there a better means of communication possible in times of distress?
2. A call to HSUD on Monday revealed that HSUD will not be calling in other neighboring utility departments to speed up the recovery process. Is this information accurate? Why not ask for the help they need?
3. The utility company exists to serve the community. Do they have a community relations professional on staff? If not, why not?
In summary, beautiful Snow Lake Shores is not so beautiful these days. Residents are without power and the latest rumor is it could be a week to 10 days before power is restored. There is much more to be done. We urge HSUD to get the help necessary to address the damage in an expedient manner. We also urge them to take steps to improve their communication process with victims of natural disasters.
Thank you for allowing us to voice our concerns. We appreciate your newspaper, the public it reaches and the ability of the free press to increase awareness of changes that need to be implemented for the betterment and safety of all.
School board concerns:
Dear Mr. Buck:
The Mississippi School Board Association held its annual Legislative Update on April 29. This was a very informative seminar and gave those in attendance brief summaries of new laws affecting Mississippi schools.
It is obvious that both the House of Representatives and the Senate have a high level of concern for the State’s school systems. The House and Senate have adopted Bill 2149. The Bill states that a superintendent of an under-performing school system must improve that system in two years or be removed from the position. It is now law, and all school systems in the state will be regulated by the law. You have served as a lead elected official in propelling this bill to fruition. It shows your concern for public education.
With that being said, Mr. Representative, the Holly Springs School Board thinks that this is the time for a “meeting of the minds” on the Holly Springs School System. The law is there; its directives are clear, and the mode of assessment is under development.
Even though at times it may have appeared that we were on opposite sides of the fence, members can assure you that we have the same goal in mine. It is commendable that you are looked upon as a person who can be called on about the system.
We are sure that you agree, however, that there is an established process for voicing concerns that relate to the school system. In order for the school to meet the needs of the community, the board and superintendent must hear the voices of parents and supporters, and some who do not support the system.
We are asking you to begin to share your calls concerning the school system with us or the superintendent. We are reminded that the school board does not get involved with the day-to-day management of the school system. You can make us aware of concerns.
We do realize that people differ on decisions made about the administration of any organization. This is certainly the case with the Holly Springs School District. As of July 1, 2008, this will be neither “here nor there.” The law will tell us what has to be done.
We must join together as a community in this two-year time frame to see if the current leadership can meet the test as mandated by our State Legislature. The request, Mr. Representative, is to let the law be the determining factor in who occupies the position of superintendent.
If you, as the Representative, could lead us in getting the community to support the school system, a big goal will be accomplished. We can work together for the betterment of our school district.
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