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franklin county times

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003

By Staff
Another first for Hickory
To the editor:
A Hickory boy is Lauderdale County's first baby of 2003. I noted with interest that Hickory again gave birth to the first New Year baby. That honor was mine in 1937. Sure wish I had a copy of that paper.
Alice Gilmore Maley
Houston, Texas
Mash Bash'
a huge success
To the editor:
We wake each day to a hot cup of coffee and headlines that ring with fear and concern. We are a nation on the verge of war. A tornado has ripped through one of our communities and left a town grieving. Many of us have loved ones facing a struggle with cancer or other life-threatening illness. In these days of uncertainty, we may find it hard to have faith and hope. We found it in the generosity of the 223 people who came on Monday, Dec. 30, to give blood and offer hope and help to patients greeting this New Year in a hospital.
On behalf of the staff and volunteers of United Blood Services, I wish to thank everyone in the Meridian area and in the media for helping us to share the story of the need for blood and ways everyday people can do an extraordinary thing … save lives.
By their giving, all of the people made a tremendous difference to countless families in this city we call "home." The Meridian Star and WTOK-TV provided the community with information and empowered them to make a decision to care and to give. Many of our media friends came and donated blood, and for that level of commitment we are grateful.
With the New Year upon us, we pledge to make next year's MASH BASH even more successful. Many of our donors gave us helpful suggestions on ways we could improve the drive, and we appreciate those ideas. Certainly we appreciate everyone's patience as they waited to give. With the incredible turnout we had, it was difficult at times to make the process move quickly. We apologize for the long wait, and again appreciate so much the remarkable flexibility of our donors and their willingness to stay with us through the delay.
That day, Meridian made a statement, making it clear this is a city whose people are extremely compassionate and generous and willing to do what is right when the call comes to do so. The Meridian Star and WTOK-TV demonstrated they are news organizations willing to highlight what is good and noble about our city. Each of you has been a part of an amazing event, one that brought some fun and laughter and genuine compassion to the people of Meridian.
Thank you, one and all. Happy New Year!
Ed Moore
Executive Director
United Blood Services
Meridian
Is this the way business is supposed to work?
To the editor:
I have lived at 8364 B King Road, Meridian, since 1990. My water service is through North Lauderdale Water Association. I have always paid my bill on time. Last summer the Post Office changed our route carrier. Since this time my neighbors and I have had trouble getting our mail.
You think the water association would wonder why customers who had paid their bills on time were now not paying their bills. We complained to the Post Office and received no result. They seemed unconcerned. Their only concern is raising the rates in order to pay their employees more money. It's a shame they can't seem to put the right mail in the right box. Sometimes the mail is lying on the ground.
As for North Lauderdale Water Association, they don't care if you received your bill or not. Their only concern is that they mailed it and you did not pay it. They said they sent out a notice that there would be no more late notices. Instead, if you don't pay your bill, your water will be cut off and a lock will be put on the meter.
North Lauderdale's Water Association's answer to the problem is to let them debit your checking account each month for your water bill. Frankly, I don't see why I should give them the freedom to take money out of my account to accommodate them.
Is this country not founded on freedom of choice, which we seem to be losing?
I have just returned from visiting my dad in Texas. I had been on the road for 11 hours only to get home and find my water had been cut off. How would you feel? I had not received a bill. How many people pay a bill without receiving it?
So now I wait for 8 a.m., so I can go down to North Lauderdale Water Association and pay a fee of $50 in order to get my water turned back on. I am not the only one. My neighbor is in the same boat, along with many others who live on King Road.
The water association is taking advantage of the situation. I guess that's the way business works.
Wendy Walters,
Meridian
Protect your pet
To the editor:
After reading the letter to the editor in Monday, Dec. 23, 2002, edition of The Meridian Star, about another pet dog being shot, I am saddened that anyone could so cruelly mistreat an animal. God created us as higher beings having dominion over animals. This also puts the responsibility directly on us to care for our pets, and animals in general, in a responsible way.
Accidents will happen, as in the case of dogs getting run over in the streets. The roads and streets are thoroughfares for adults in motor vehicles, and we should always keep our children out of harm's way. A responsible pet owner should do the same by:
1. Providing a secure fenced-in area where a dog cannot get out, or predators get in. (For smaller pets, Lowe's has nice dog pens that can be moved around in your yard or taken down and moved if the family relocates.)
2. Taking pets to the vet periodically for shots and check-ups
3. Having pets neutered/spayed to prevent unwanted pets.
It is my sincere wish for everyone getting a new pet this year that they will take into consideration the responsibility involved by preparing and providing proper care and safety for that pet. This is the real world and we cannot stop all nuts running around with guns killing and poisoning animals, but we can do our best to provide a safe, protected environment for family pets in our yards and homes.
The reward of unconditional love from a happy, healthy, safe, pet is indeed "priceless."
Martha May
Owned by a pet in Lauderdale County
Keep military, police, firefighters in our prayers
To the editor:
President Bush has signed into law a defense bill that fully funds our military in this time of war. As he signed the bill, President Bush expressed his gratitude and the gratitude of the nation to those serving in our military and pointed to their important progress in the war on terror, saying: "Our military is making good progress in this war. We've liberated an oppressed and friendless people. We're hunting down the terrorists all across the globe. We're performing our missions with speed and skill. You have the strong, united support of this great land. And this bill should reflect the strong and united support of the United States Congress."
This bipartisan military spending plan provides for advanced technology to help our troops fight America's new war against global terrorists in addition to increasing pay and improving the living conditions for our servicemen and women, who have committed their lives to protecting America's freedom.
As we begin a new year, let's have as one of our goals to pray for all members of the military and show our support for them at every opportunity that we are given. In addition to the military, let us not forget our law enforcement officers and our firemen. When we see them, let's tell them how much we appreciate the job that they are doing. They do so much and receive so little in return. They deserve all that we give them and more.
Gene Bond
Union

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