Dec. 31, 2000

By Staff
From one teen-ager to all
To the Editor:
The youth of Meridian have seen and felt the heartache of the horrible fatalities that have happened in this city over the years. The number of deaths that have occurred has been traumatic.
When you are young, all you care about is getting older and being independent. I know this first hand because I am a teen-ager.
We try to grow up and rush life so we can start driving and dating, without really finding out if we are ready. We want so badly to be independent and we try to prove this to the world. The outcomes aren't
always as we expect them to be. I am 15 years old and I have lost eight friends since I was in seventh grade.
It's hard to go through life and know that you'll never again hear the voices or see the faces of the friends you have lost.
Driving is a big step in a person's life and it calls for a lot of responsibility. The horror that this city's youth has gone through is unbelievable. With all the tears we have shed, you'd think that we, as teen-agers, would learn to be more responsible.
All I ask of the teens here in Meridian is this: If you're driving, please be careful; and if you're not, then please wait until you're ready before you do, and be careful who you ride with. Life is too short; don't waste it.
In loving memory of Traci Prichard, Staci Gibson, Jimmy Johnson, Kathy Boswell, Chad Harper, Chris Knight, Andy Larson and Jason Bagley.
Kristi Hill
Age 15
Marion mayor's letter to Meridian
Editor's note: The following is the text of a Dec. 18 letter from Marion Mayor Malcolm Threatt to Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith.
Dear Mayor Smith:
Please allow me to explain the sewerage situation for the town of Marion from my point of view.
The city of Meridian charges $2.43 per 1000 gallons for handling of sewage generated throughout the city. From that amount you have the actual cost of the treatment.
For the sake of argument, let's say it costs 53 cents per 1000 gallons for sewage to go through the plant; that leaves $1.90 per 1000 gallons to be used for upkeep of the collection lines (400-500 miles), plus lift stations, electricity, salaries, capital improvements, etc.
The town of Marion has much the same situation, in that Marion has its own sewage collection system, complete with lift stations, electric bills, salaries and debt retirement.
In addition we pay the city of Meridian 67.7 cents per 1000 gallons for treatment of sewage, metered at the point of discharge into the city lines, based on a formula initiated in 1986, paying for actual treatment plus the use of seven (7) miles of city lines. In addition, Marion pays the City for treatment of any surface water or infiltration that may enter the sewer lines which in wet weather can double or even triple the amount treated.
I might add that the original agreement consisted of an initial five (5) year term, with the option of renewing for five (5) consecutive five (5) year periods based on the original formula. The first term was renewed in 1991 with then Council President John Robert Smith along with Mayor Jimmy Kemp signing the document. In 1996 Marion was denied a renewal agreement.
I beg you to reconsider your decision so as to benefit all parties concerned. We would be glad to meet with you and the council members to consider renewing this agreement. The Marion Board of Aldermen would be willing to sign the resolution allowing the Navy base sewer line to come through the town, once the agreement has been renewed, thus saving the city many thousands of dollars.
I await your reply. I and/or the board am willing to meet with you and/or the council at your earliest convenience.
Sincerely yours,
H. Malcolm Threatt
Mayor, Town of Marion
Just say no' to new taxes
To the Editor:
Mississippi taxpayers have been wondering how long it would take our legislators in Jackson to spend the millions of surplus tax dollars that have been pouring into Jackson for the last eight years.
Well, it looks like the chickens are coming home and the politicians intend to build the roost over the heads of over-burdened taxpayers.
If you guessed the first tax increase to be proposed would be a higher gasoline tax, BINGO, you're a winner. This is only the beginning. There will be many more tax increase proposals from our irresponsible lawmakers in Jackson. Many might think, as high as gas prices are, a tax increase in gasoline would be the last thing Mississippians would have to worry about. Guess again.
Mississippi Department of Transportation officials are now crying about all the roads and bridges that will be unbuilt and unmaintained because of the lack of money. What they don't talk about is the millions of dollars they have spent on things having nothing to do with roads and bridges.
Here are three examples:
– a ridiculously expensive office building in Jackson;
– money spent on walking and jogging trails; and
– the most wasteful, millions and millions of dollars spent to build and renovate train stations.
If cities like Jackson, Meridian and Hattiesburg and whoever wants a new train station, let them pay for it. Mississippians put up with a high gas tax because they want safe and adequate roads and bridges, not because they want elaborate train stations that will be featured in "architect of the month" magazine.
They have canned the gas tax increase for the time bring but I doubt we have heard the last of it. There is some good news. The Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review Committee (PEER) will be auditing MDOT. The results should make for a very interesting read.
Let's just hope lawmakers will start standing up for the taxpayers and stop the wasteful spending of MDOT and any other state agency.
The booming economy that Mississippi has enjoyed for several years is slowing down. No longer do sales tax revenues exceed expectations. Unfortunately, they don't even meet them.
Due to the fiscal irresponsibility of lawmakers for the last eight years, "tax increase" and "budget crisis" are two catch phrases we will be hearing a lot.
Fellow Mississippians, we don't have a budget crisis we have a leadership crisis. It's time we let politicians in Jackson know that the highest taxes, lowest paid people in the nation will not tolerate a tax increase in any form.
Chuck Hamrick
Thanks for sharing newspaper
To the Editor:
I am writing this letter to tell you how much I appreciate the Newspaper in Education program and Mrs. Paige Case for sharing it with my students. Mrs. Case did the workshop for my class of 33 students, and demonstrated some excellent ways of using the newspaper in the classroom.
She also shared ways of integrating all the subjects into the activities. The students loved the workshop and the activities Paige demonstrated. The students will be able to use these ideas and activities when they begin teaching next fall. This will be a valuable contribution to their resources as they begin teaching.
Mrs. Case is an excellent teacher and did an outstanding job presenting the workshop. She is dedicated and enthusiastic about the program. She is knowledgeable in the subject areas. Paige is very creative in her use of the newspaper to help students acquire the skills they need to be successful.
Thank you for providing a resource person like Mrs. Paige Case to work with my students.
Jo Ann Belk, Ed. D.
Mississippi State University-Meridian Campus