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Vote to rename streets postponed

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
May 2, 2001
The vote on a controversial request to rename city streets after two slain civil rights leaders has been postponed by the Meridian City Council until more discussions can take place.
African-American leaders had submitted a petition to the city council in March requesting the changes. They want to see 29th Avenue re-designated as Martin Luther King Drive, instead of 31st Avenue. They would also like to see a city street named in honor of slain civil rights worker James Chaney, a Meridian native.
Ward 1 Councilman Dr. George Thomas said the council needs to develop a plan for designating streets in honor of people.
The African-Americans leaders requested the street changes in March, saying that the current Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is too narrow and doesn't extend all the way through Meridian. The requested change would designate 29th Avenue from Interstate 20/59 to North Hills Street as the new MLK Drive.
Ward 4 Councilman Jesse E. Palmer Sr. said another reason for re-naming 29th Avenue is the possible closure of 31st Avenue as it intersects with railroad tracks on the south side of the city.
African-American leaders are also requesting that 49th Avenue from Interstate 20/59 to Eighth Street be renamed for Chaney.
Chaney was one of three civil rights workers murdered in Neshoba County during 1964 events which have been portrayed in several Hollywood movies since that time.
A council work session was scheduled for 10 a.m. today in the Employee Council Room on the second floor of City Hall. It was unclear whether the issue will be discussed.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.

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