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Lott sees growth potential for Meridian, NAS, area

By Staff
VOICE OF MISSISSIPPI Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., right, is greeted by Robert M. Ledbetter, a member of the Washington, D.C.-based board that governs the Voice of America and Radio Liberty. Lott keynoted the annual meeting of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation in Meridian on Thursday night. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
Aug. 24, 2001
U.S. Senator Trent Lott pledged Thursday night to do everything in his power to protect NAS Meridian during an expected new round of military base closures.
At the annual meeting of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation, Lott also encouraged Meridian to move forward in its economic development efforts.
Lott, the Minority Leader in the U.S. Senate, said he is not content with preserving the status quo. He said he is pushing for more funding at NAS.
Lott spoke of three elements essential for success in economic development: education, transportation and jobs.
Lott said the community has to make sure no child is left behind in education, that they are ready to learn and be trained. And, that universities and community colleges are the best available.
He called transportation a code word for infrastructure, saying that business and industry go where interstate highways, railways, jet service and sites for industrial plants are readily accessible.
Along with the $930 million Nissan plant being built in Madison County, Lott said other international industries are within the state's reach.
The evening included a video presentation highlighting achievements in Meridian over the past year. The video concluded with a tribute to Glen Deweese, now serving his second term as EMBDC chairman, by friends, associates and community leaders.
The Radio People employee Ann Burton was named EMBDC Ambassador of the Year for the second year in a row. The ambassadors are volunteers who help with EMBDC sponsored projects and events. She received $500 and dinner for two at Outback Steakhouse.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by the Meridian Barbershop Chorus. Lott was named as an honorary member and he sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" with the group.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.