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Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2002

By Staff
Supervisors should support sheriff's office
To the editor:
After watching the "discussion" between Sheriff Sollie and supervisor Boswell, I want to go on record as supporting the sheriff and his department one hundred percent.
If the board of supervisors would support and work with the sheriff's department and give them the funds they need instead of the sheriff having to beg for every cent they get, we would have the best law enforcement in the state. Sheriff Sollie has done wonders considering the lack of support from the supervisors.
I have yet to see anything the county patrol has done (except I understand they did help with the traffic at Southeast School). Take the money from them and give it to the Sheriff's Department or just put them under the Sheriff's Department to they can be trained properly and have to shape up or ship out.
We don't need a good ole boy system again for the sheriff's office. We need trained professionals such as we have with Sheriff Sollie and his deputies.
We also need supervisors who listen to the people who elected them about our wants and needs instead of just ignoring them and spending our tax dollars without regard to our desires.
Election time will be here soon. Voters, remember these things.
Margie Bird
Sollie a man of integrity
To the editor:
We are very fortunate indeed to have a man of the caliber of Mr. Billy Sollie serving as our sheriff in Lauderdale County.
It is rare to find a dedicated elected official of integrity who displays high moral values on the job.
Thank you, Mr. Sollie.
Mrs. D Moffett
Legislative needs
To the editor:
If Mississippi is as backward as some seem to think, it has to be because of the people the voters send to Jackson to represent us and to make our laws. Some people may call them leaders, but I call them simply office-holders.
These office-holders have been meeting at taxpayers' expense lately trying to pass laws to protect doctors in liability lawsuits. This should have been done long ago in general session. I do not agree with what they are trying to agree upon. In my opinion, the maximum amount a patient should receive out of a malpractice lawsuit should be $3 million. The plaintiff should then be protected by law so that he could receive no less than half of that $3 million after paying court costs, attorneys' fees, etc.
Here is another example of poor work by our state Legislature: About 1974, Mississippi was the last state to allow a driver of a vehicle to turn right on red after stopping. Since our elected officials did not pass such a law for us, someone in Washington tacked this law onto a bill and it got passed.
Our Legislature should also help the people of Mississippi by passing a law demanding that the Mississippi Highway Patrol use its radar to detect the speed of vehicles. It is absurd that patrolmen are allowed to estimate the speed of vehicles when radar is so accurate. To add insult to injury, a patrolman can be going south on a four-lane highway and estimated the speed of a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction!
Our lieutenant governor was recently featured in a magazine article published by Mississippi State University. The article mentioned how she loved the people of this state. If this is true, why doesn't she work to revamp the Mississippi Highway Patrol so that it truly protects the citizens of this state and no longer estimates speed?
Barthel D. Waggoner, Ph.D.
Around town annexation abounds
To the editor:
While three to four hundred county residents of the Briarwood area "stand poised on the brink of annexation," there has been a noticeable absence of a history of this issue not provided by area news media which would and should be an integral part of the above discussion and is as follows addressing how did we get to where we are with reason and intent of this proposed project.
Annexation was one of approximately a dozen proposals submitted by a study group appointed by Mayor John Robert Smith known as the Grow Meridian Team and headed by a familiar resident none other than Mr. Bill Crawford and who in conjunction with a department from Mississippi State University delivered to the mayor a wish list of money projects.
I would encourage The Star's editorial board to explore the idea of holding an interview with team president Crawford so that he may elaborate on the quality of life issues etc. associated with the annexation ploy.
W.E. Heidelberg
Enjoy the precious moments
To the editor:
Sept. 11, was a day all red-blooded Americans, myself included, mourned for complete strangers. But on Sept. 13, I began a mourning of my own. That was the day my 18-year-old daughter and my seven-month-old granddaughter were killed in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 16, at 9:30 on a clear Thursday morning. I was attending a meeting in Pelahatchie, and enroute my friend and were lamenting on what had happened two days ago, the terribleness of it all.
My world changed in an instant. I forgot about the plight of others in New York, and played over and over in my mind what happened that last time I saw my babies. You never know when that last goodbye will be your final goodbye. The events that happened that week taught me just that lesson.
Parents, children, families, let every goodbye be a good one, part on good terms, and say a prayer every time one of you leaves the house, that you will make it back together again that evening. Like my mom used to say, "Tomorrow ain't promised to any of us."
Enjoy every precious moment together, every bit of laughter and happiness, because in a blink of an eye it could all be gone. The last words I said to Courtney were "bye-bye be careful", and I waved to Kennedi as she babbled and laughed in her baby seat. They're angels now, and it's hard to believe that it all happened a year ago this week. Cherish every moment, please don't take any of it for granted.
Bertha C. Midcalf
Educational concepts
To the editor:
Thank you for the timely piece on new state Superintendent of Education Henry L. Johnson (The Meridian Star, Sept. 9).
I welcome Dr. Johnson to Mississippi and echo his statement on WTOK's "On the Record" that teachers are the ultimate source of student achievement with or without help.
Teachers  for better or worse are the standard bearers. The buzz words expectations, accountability, curriculum rigor, data based on individual students are contemporary variations of: Students learn what they are taught.
However, teaching is not the same as presenting and assigning material nor learning the same as covering the material.
I am a teacher  a diehard believer in public education. I differ with Dr. Johnson's assessment of the top problem in Mississippi public education being the need to improve reading proficiency.
My belief is this: Mississippians are simply not serious concerning public education.
Needed: A miracle of awareness that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Not in lists of ingredients and techniques. The recipe book model of teach/education so prevalent is flawed.
Horace Mann, the granddaddy in implementation of Jefferson's principles of public education, had a clear message. He stated that the purpose of schooling is to produce citizens who can provide for their own well being and assist with the general good of the community.
WOW! What a welcome concept. We need his clone to get the word out in Mississippi.
Joyce Lampe