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April 1, 2001

By Staff
Penalty severe for expired tag
To the Editor:
For people who don't know, let me be the first to enlighten you driving with an expired tag is no laughing matter. The penalty is far greater than you could expect.
Time was if you were cited for an expired tag you went to court, showed proof of your tag purchase and went home. But, as I recently learned, if you are guilty of this, not only do you pay a state fee higher than the actual fine, but you have a mug shot taken right in the courtroom.
What an awful price to pay for procrastination.
Diane Boyd
Meridian
Juvenile Center a disgrace
To the Editor:
A few years ago, I toured the Lauderdale County Juvenile Center. I left there and cried. It was a sad sight to see the children in the conditions they were having to stay in.
There are no beds. They sleep on the floor on a mattress. The cells have no lights and are very dark. I noticed books on a shelf but I wondered why they were there when they could not see to read them. I have noticed that other grand juries have toured and had the same report we had.
I went out there the other day and nothing has changed. If anything, it is worse.
It seems to me that instead of paying the grand jury to tour something you have no intention of fixing, just let them go a day early. If money is the problem that prevents fixing up the place, then maybe someone needs to include it in the budget and leave something else off because this has been going on for years.
Who is over what goes on there? The staff is doing all they can. But someone a little higher up the ladder that is making more money than the staff is not doing their job when it comes to repairing the run down Juvenile Center.
These children are in trouble. They would not even be allowed to remain in their parents home if it looked as bad as the Juvenile Center.
Please, will someone with authority do something to fix it up. We are not asking for a country club  just try to make it as good as the jail that the adults have.
Sharon Addy
Meridian
Dog poisoned
To the Editor:
I write this letter with a broken heart. Today, when we returned home, one of our dogs was dead and now another is dying. We live on Point Wanita Lake Road and some hunter has poisoned our dogs.
My children are broken hearted. They don't understand how a human being can be so sorry.
Our dogs never hurt any one. I just wonder if the person who poisoned them has ever seen how it affects a dog. They have seizures, they don't want anything touching them, yet they still manage to wag their tails when someone they love says something to them.
I know you can't print what I would tell the sorry person who poisoned my children's dogs, but I would like for them to know that I hope every time they shoot a deer or a turkey they think about how sorry they are for killing innocent children's pets.
Helen Russell
Chunky
Show boating' on campaign finance
To the Editor:
I hear the United States Senate saying we need a law to keep us from being corrupt. We are too weak to be honest, moral men and women. Those evil people with money have corrupted us and we need help  that's what the campaign finance reform debate is all about.
Chief among them is the proudest peacock and
grandstander in the Senate, John McCain. Since the U. S. Supreme Court, has ruled money in a political campaign is speech, this law is going nowhere anyway.
This exercise is pure show-boating. If I may, another word about Mr. McCain. During the primary campaign, I heard him asked about his position on abortion, several times. His reply, in his most self-effacing manner, was, "I have seen enough killing in my life."
I along with thousands of others, have seen death caused by war, and it is truly horrible. But, I and we believe we know the difference between a casualty of war and the deliberate murder of an innocent baby.
War hero? Maybe. Great Political leader? I think not.
Patrick D. Drew
Little Rock, Miss.
Devastating sting'
To the Editor:
After reading the article in the newspaper about the $280,000 shortfall in city revenue, I realized it could get worse if the F-18 Squadrons arrive, as proposed, and the Training Wing leaves.
Being a former sailor, I know that the Navy Exchange and Commissary are both tax free shopping. About 90 percent of the money spent by sailors and Marines for food and household items, such as paper towels, toothpaste and clothing, is spent in a tax free environment.
Military personnel are also authorized to register their cars in their home of record, as well as drivers licenses, and pay state taxes to their home state.
The last figure I heard was that about 3,000 military personnel would come with these F-18 squadrons, which means that approximately 700 T-2 and T-45 employees will be leaving. I was an F-14
mechanic, attached to a sea going squadron, so I know how much time is spent at sea, and at home.
When a younger sailor goes to sea, his wife and kids go home. So, of the 3,000 sailors, 1,800 will be out to sea most of the time, 1,200 will be here. E-5 and below will live on base. That leaves 250 families living in Lauderdale County.
Now add the numbers, 700 families leaving, 250 families moving to Lauderdale County and the City of Meridian. If the F-18 Hornet arrives as has been talked about, its "sting" could really be devastating.
Chuck Wheeler
Toomsuba
Urges support for new flag
To the Editor:
I am writing to urge my fellow citizens of Mississippi to vote on April 17 to support the proposed new state flag.
As we are well aware, many individuals, our friends and neighbors, employees and employers, people of all races, find the old flag to be an offensive remnant of the past, recalling a time when significant portions of our population were not allowed to fully enjoy the benefits of American citizenship.
For this reason alone, we should replace the old flag with a new one, one symbolic of a new beginning in this, the new millennium.
In addition to the ideological reasons for changing the flag, there are also some very practical arguments in favor of adopting a new one. The world's eyes are on Mississippi, waiting to see if we will do the right thing, because other southern states have taken the initiative to change their policies regarding the rebel flag. Georgia, for example, has recently changed its state flag, and the rebel flag no longer flies over the South Carolina state capitol.
In these uncertain economic times, we cannot risk our state's reputation in the business world. Now more than ever, we need to attract outside investment. Now more than ever, we need to invite tourists to our state, not drive them away.
If we fail to adopt a new state flag one that is representative of all of Mississippi's citizens  I fear we will potentially, perhaps irrevocably, harm our growing prosperity.
In the last few weeks, individuals and groups throughout our great state (chambers of commerce, colleges and universities, churches of all denominations) have endorsed the new flag.
I strongly urge you, my fellow citizens, to vote YES to the new flag on Tuesday, April 17th.
Kate Pearce
Meridian

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