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August 26, 2001

By Staff
Meridian needs to wake up and catch up
To the Editor:
I have grown up around Meridian and been here all my life. It's where I call home. But Meridian needs help.
For 29 years I have watched this great city remain the same ole city. Meridian has the potential to be the second largest, if not the largest, city in Mississippi. We have two main interstates going right through here taking families and individuals from Texas to Georgia and from Tennessee to Louisiana and beyond but we just sit here and watch them drive through and carry their money to Jackson, Tuscaloosa and Birmingham because they see no need to stop here except to fill up with gas.
But you say, we have Bonita Lakes Mall, the fifth largest mall in the state, right? Sure we do, but who knows it? We do. People driving through don't see it hid on the hill and they don't see any signs saying "Bonita Lakes Mall Exit 154" do they? Why can't we put a simple sign up saying that?
It's almost like Meridian is afraid of the profit and potential to grow and prosper. I go to other cities and see construction everywhere and businesses moving in as fast as they can. But Meridian sits. Look at College Park, DEAD. Look at the old Village Fair Mall area, DYING FAST with the latest fatality, Shoney's.
We should take Philadelphia as an example of setting goals and taking off. They have taken off and there is no stopping in sight. With plans for a waterpark and coliseum in the future, they have it going on. It's like the movie "Field of Dreams" said, If you build it, THEY WILL COME!'
Why can't we build a coliseum and have concerts and events here? The public proved they will come at the recent concert that Q101 and Super Stop put on at the Agri-Center. People will pay if you have someone in charge who is capable of getting good entertainment brought in.
When are we going to wake up and put this city on the map?
Al Davis
Collinsville
Speaking up for police, firefighters
To the Editor:
They have no care or concern for people they are supposed to serve when they take pay raises and end true public servants' jobs. Firefighters and police do these jobs because they care about people's lives, but they have bills that must be paid too.
An income of $75,000 is excessive, while $19,000 is hard to make ends meet. Maybe mayors and councilmen should have their one and only salary lowered to $19,000, live their lives in fear of not having a job next week. And then see what a firefighter or policeman is worth.
I am proud to speak up for people who care about others.
Peggy L. Sanders
Quitman
Mrs. Melba Clark and a golden' article
To the Editor:
It was very touching reading the article by my former English instructor, Mrs. Melba Clark (The Meridian Star, Aug. 19). I am now residing in St. Petersburg, Fla. and have not visited home too often since graduating from Harris Senior High in 1969. But lately I have been in contact with some of my classmates and friends.
The article of loving and wanting to prepare students for careers and how they have returned the love in trips of visitation when she traveled and of those still staying in touch speaks volumes of the proof "is in the pudding."
I read The Star on line and will continue to do so. Many teachers in the segregated school system had the same passion for insuring they did all they could to prepare us for BEYOND THE CLASSROOM. Continue to stay in touch with people with articles like this one, for they are more "golden" than any material on this earth.
Minister Ronald Wade
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Neshoba County's heart and soul'
To the Editor:
My mother passed away on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2001. She had been a resident of Neshoba County Nursing Home for nearly three years, a victim of Alzheimer's for nearly 10. Several thoughts come to mind at this time in each of our lives; I would to share a few.
Over the past three years I have watched my father visit my mother twice a day. He has become a part of the community within these walls. The administration of this facility is to be commended, but the heart and soul of Neshoba County is to be realized in the staff of the Neshoba County Nursing Home.
These underpaid workers (in my eyes) give their lives to taking care of our loved ones. The Kim's, Robin's, George's, Bernice's and so many more have given my mother something that I, a son of a Christian mother, could not; Quality of Life.
To these individuals and their sacrifice I would like to say, "THANK YOU!" To you I would like to ask, "When have you visited and how long did you stay?"
I would like to add that during this time of passing we had over twenty family members from out of town. From Texas, Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, and all over the south. These family members were shocked! The amount of food, the visits and phone calls baffled them.
They could not get over the respect of drivers pulling over to the side of the road during the funeral procession, the city officer standing at attention when we left the city limits and the compassion of the funeral directors and staff. What an impact this community appeared to a lost and dying world.
In closing I have to add this: I am tired of Neshoba County getting beat up over an issue that happened 35-plus years ago. If we are going to prosecute, do it and be done with it! Quit using us for political gain! If not, leave us alone, because as a white Mississippian I was proud to have my wood's crew, including a black male, carry my mother to her final resting site.
I'm proud to be living in Neshoba County.
Jeff Shepherd
Philadelphia

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