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Heritage funds denied

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
March 27, 2001
A project to emphasize Meridian and Lauderdale County's African-American historical sites has been turned down for state funding.
Allison Beasley, director of the Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau, said she learned Monday the project will not be funded by a state grant.
Tourism officials applied last month to the African-American Heritage Preservation Grant Program under the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for a grant to fund an African-American Heritage Trail. She applied for matching funds through The Riley Foundation. The trail was projected to cost about $48,000.
The grant was to complement Main Street Meridian efforts in the Master Redevelopment Plan of the African-American Historic District and the Wechsler Renovation Project, which was awarded a $385,000 state Archives and History grant this month.
Beasley said she still hopes to get funding from the Riley Foundation and should know the application's status next month. If the Riley Foundation provides funding, Beasley said Tourism officials could "scale the project back" this year and reapply next year.
She said Tourism officials are developing an African-American promotional brochure and can probably still use the proposed trail's maps created by local students.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.

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