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Feb. 25, 2001

By Staff
Mayor's actions questioned
To the Editor:
About two years ago I went to Mayor John Robert Smith to discuss a recommendation from him to save the job of a policewoman who was on staff at the Meridian Police Department. The young lady had done a foolish act but not one that she should have been fired for. I do not believe she would have been fired if she had not been still on probation at the time of the incident.
To make a long story short, Mayor Smith told me that "I don't get involved in the decision-making process of my department heads." Now, I am appalled. All I asked him for was a recommendation, not an absolution.
It is clear that Mayor Smith does get involved in those decisions.
Charles Graham
Former Constable,
District 1
100th birthday request
To the Editor:
On March 8, my dear Mother will celebrate her 100th birthday. As a young wife, she and my father lived in the Meridian area for a number of years. She has many fond memories of her early years in the area.
It would mean so much to her if people from the Meridian area would send her a post card or brief note wishing her a happy 100th birthday. Send the cards to Mrs. Sandra Monarch, 669 E. Kitchen, Port Neches, Texas 77651
C.M. Van Hess
Estes Park, Co.
Keep the flag
To the Editor:
One of my heroes is (Supreme Court) Justice Clarence Thomas, who recently spoke of never abandoning our principles in favor of civility. I support the present state flag on my principles and I regret if that angers anyone, but it's still my feeling. The chief opponent to the present flag is the NAACP, a group that behaved so criminally in the last election that they should be stripped of their tax-exempt status and exposed for the virulent racists they are.
Politicians and employers are terrified of this group of trouble-makers because of the threat of lawsuits and boycotts. They were needed once in our past and they did good service. But lately, they have gotten out of control and engage in hate-mongering and lies.
The best way we average people  black and white have of telling this group what we think of them is to keep our flag.
Pate Miranda
Meridian
Stop using battle flag' as an excuse
To the Editor:
If the people of a state wish to vote to change their flag, that is fine; however, it's time to stop using the Confederate "battle flag" as an excuse. The battle flag was designed to differentiate it from the U.S. flag during battle so that neither Northern nor Southern troops would be shooting at their own troops. The battle flag never stood for slavery.
It's true that the battle flag has been disgraced by some radical groups, but so has our American flag. If we use the battle flag as an excuse to change the way some people think, then we need to change our Christian "Cross" to something else as it, too, has been used to persecute people.
Roy P. Gibbens
Meridian
Legislature should vote on flag
To the Editor:
I think the legislative members should vote on which flag to use and everyone would know how each member voted.
Somewhere, I got the idea Mississippi was short on money, but a special election for voting on the flag is going to cost about $2 million.
Let me also say there should be a magnolia on the new flag if the old flag is to be replaced.
Mrs. Sam Welsh
Philadelphia
Outside agitators'
To the Editor:
Mississippi is the state known for being the Rebel state. There's nothing wrong there. From the famous "Rebel Yell" that scared the Northern aggressors trespassing on sovereign ground to the University of Mississippi, we have a rich heritage of history.
Something is wrong, though, when outside agitators try to dictate to us, seeming to tell us what is "politically correct" and saying that if we don't want to change, doom is our fate.
Resist, Mississippi, for our fate is still our own.
After the flag is gone we will still have politicians that lie about casino tax money going for education and teacher raises, and jobs still leaving for Mexico, Until we citizens change that, nothing else will change.
David Routt
Meridian
Understanding mental illness
To the Editor:
A representative from NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) was on one of the early morning talk shows recently. He was requesting that something be done regarding people with the disease of mental illness who are treated as criminals. The case in reference was a man facing the death penalty who had a long history of mental illness.
That same week another news network aired a special about a inmate abused for not "following orders" and who killed himself while under 24-hour suicide alert "observation." He had earlier been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
I was surprised and gratified to see this problem addressed on national TV. I wonder if people in Meridian are aware that we have a NAMI chapter in our area? This local group offers a 12-week course to educate family members and friends about the diseases of mental illness such as schizophrenia, manic depression, bi-polar disease, dementia and major depression.
Until someone is actually faced with the reality of a loved one who becomes unable to take care of themselves or even become a danger to themselves or others due to a loss of medication or the onset of this disease they are totally in the dark about how to deal with this situation.
Fortunately the state of Mississippi via the boards of supervisors appoints commissioners from each county (we are in a 9-county area) to oversee our mental health facilities provided by Weems Community Mental Health. Without the aid of such programs family members would be at a loss.
I'd like to thank our local NAMI group, Weems, East Mississippi State Hospital and all agencies in our area who are helping us to understand this disease and be more sympathetic to the plight of people with this illness.
Barbara Wells
Meridian

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