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franklin county times

June 23, 2004

By Staff
Sketchy reports
While I appreciate the confidentiality required in investigating any death, it greatly disturbs me how the lack of information regarding Leota Brunson's death is being handled. The reports from the Meridian Police Department have provided very little information, and no comfort, to the neighbors around the area of Poplar Springs and 39th Street.
Several people entered the apartment of Ms. Brunson prior to the police being on the scene and are aware of certain details that the police department continues to falsely report. As I have a parent living close to these apartments, I called the local police department to inquire about the safety of the neighbors in this area. Upon asking what the police department recommended these citizens do to ease the concern, fear, tension, stress and uncertainty, I was told that "if" these citizens felt it necessary to lock their doors, they should do so. What kind of response is this?
Again, I appreciate and understand the legality of confidentiality, but I do feel these neighbors require a valid explanation regarding the investigation of this death. I think the police department and the mayor owe an immediate explanation to the neighbors in this area.
My sympathy and prayers go out to the family and friends of Ms. Leota Brunson. She has been a friend of our family for many, many years, and I have fond memories of time shared with her.
Telsa Haguewood Stokes
via e-mail
Don't cut physical
education
It has come to my attention in recent weeks that the Meridian Public School District will no longer have physical education teachers in our elementary schools. The purpose of this letter is to inform the public of this turn of events, and to ask for support in my efforts to keep physical education in our schools.
I realize that the state of Mississippi is working under budget woes these days, and it is true that cuts had to be made in the state's budget. That is not disputed. However, physical education is not a reasonable place to make these cuts.
Many of us have long recognized the benefits of strong physical education programs in our schools. We were fortunate to be able to run, jump and play during breaks from our schoolwork while we were children. We had trained physical education teachers who taught us the games that we loved to play.
Most of us have never thought about the benefits of having exercise and games available to our children. I think the benefits are numerous. They include:
It is good for children to have fun. Games help children make friends, and give them something to look forward to in their school days.
Sports can build self esteem and confidence in students who aren't stars in the classroom.
Sports teach children sportsmanship and team cooperation, which are attributes needed throughout life.
Exercise increases endurance, strength and flexibility.
Physical education exposes children to structured sports which keeps their interests away from drugs and foul play.
Academics are improved when students get outside to rejuvenate their sluggish minds.
Recently our federal government has put a high emphasis on U.S. citizens shaping up and becoming physically fit. Studies show that Mississippi has more obesity than any other state. It seems that we are taking steps toward continuing in last place.
Health and physical fitness are passions of mine. That passion began when I was running, jumping and playing games in elementary school. I want the same pleasures to be available to all of our children.
Rose Marie Hudson
Meridian
Emergency call
I recently had an emergency in my home involving a leak in the gas tank of my car while it was under my carport. Someone visiting my home rang my doorbell and told me that they smelled gasoline very strong on my carport. When I went out to see about it, a hole had appeared in my gasoline tank and gas, indeed, was spilling out onto my carport, creating a dangerous situation.
My first instinct was to call the fire department and tell them what the situation was. They immediately came to my home, attempted to stop the leak and hosed down my carport to minimize the danger of fire, as my home is close to the street and could have ignited if a motorist had thrown a cigarette out of a car.
Thinking that the leak was stopped the firemen (consisting of Chief Howard Gibson and a crew with him) left. They came back, however, and found the leak had again started. After attempting to again stop the leak, they advised me to call someone to take my car to a safe place to be repaired. I called Dee's Automotive, (it was on Saturday and I found them to be closed.) The driver, however, came to get my car and take it to Dee's until I could call them Monday. The firemen stayed with me until the tow truck arrived and, after it left, they hosed down my carport for me until there was no longer any danger of a fire at my home.
I think these men are to be commended for this and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the firemen for the many ways they protect us and our property. I don't know what they are paid but I am quite sure it is not enough!
Perhaps we should all take the time to thank these men for all they do to protect us, and, as well as fighting fires when they occur, to help us to avoid fires in such ways as they did for me.
Thank you, Chief Gibson, and all of your men; and my public thanks to all our firemen.
Martha R. Drew
Meridian

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