May 20, 2001

By Staff
Why do Meridian restaurants close so early?
To the Editor:
Recently I attended the MCC graduation ceremonies at Ray Stadium. Upon completion of graduation ceremonies, my family and I wanted to take my son out to eat and celebrate. Some of my family members traveled from Memphis and I traveled from Indianapolis, Ind., to watch this.
When we ventured out we found three establishments open at 10 p.m. after the ceremony Applebee's, O'Charleys and Waffle House. The first two had two-hour waits and weren't taking any more names so we waited one hour to eat at Waffle House.
I used to live in Meridian and still call it home. I was told the reason MCC held graduation on Monday was to keep the kids from driving and drinking on weekends, which I think was a good idea.
But, if your city's college is bringing in people from all over, more of your restaurants need to stay open longer for these special events. There is no telling how much revenue these establishments missed by closing.
When MCC or any high school has graduation it's special to all the family members, and traveling 12 hours to attend and eat eggs is not my kind of celebration.
Come on, Meridian establishments, get with the program.
I would also like to congratulate all the MCC graduates and the former MHS Wildcats Kenny
Smith, Kenyatta Walker and Jason Franklin for making it to the NFL. All of us who watched them in '97 and traveled to every game knew they would make it. You guys make Meridian proud.
Mike Scott
Kokomo, Ind.
Sollie commended for taking stand against underage drinking
To the Editor:
I would like to commend Sheriff Sollie for his submission of an ordinance to help prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages/beer by persons under 21. Sheriff Sollie has seen the results of alcohol related accidents and knows that it is sometimes difficult to stop underage drinking with the laws we now have.
Many underage persons who gather in bars, pastures and etc. will place their beer/drink down when police/deputies arrive on the scene. They may have all been consuming alcohol, but if the officer does not see them with it in their possession they can not make an arrest.
When this happens there is usually one person, who is 21, that claims possession of the alcohol.
I don't understand why the board or supervisors wants to change the age to 18 and under when the legal drinking age is 21. It could be that in today's society we have come to accept beer consumption as nothing more than a soft drink. Beer contains alcohol and can cause intoxication just as hard liquor can.
We forget that alcohol is the most abused drug and that it causes six times the number of deaths in under-age persons, than all other drugs combined. We as a society must realize the dangers of alcohol and demand that laws be enforced to help prevent the serious injuries and deaths that it causes. This does not include such social ills as teenage pregnancy and physical abuse that can be attributed to the use of alcohol.
In the last five years, there have been numerous vehicle accidents in Lauderdale and surrounding counties that have resulted in the death and serious injury of persons under 21. Many of these accidents involved the use of alcohol and could have been prevented.
I ask that the public support law enforcement in their efforts to enforce alcohol related laws. Law enforcement alone can not prevent the consumption of alcohol by minors. With the public's support they can reduce the number of young persons who are killed or seriously injured as a result of alcohol. The life saved may be that of YOUR child or grandchild.
Russell Hanna
ABC Enforcement Agent Sr.
Union Veterans taking care of their own
To the Editor:
Upon learning of the desperate need for a second wheelchair lift van at the Collins State Veterans Home, members of the Allen B. Carter American Legion Post 24 in Hattiesburg approved donations of $20,000 toward the purchase of a new 15-passenger wheelchair van. The elderly and disabled veterans who reside in the Collins State Veterans Home will greatly benefit from the Post's generous donation.
The new wheelchair lift van will allow the Home to transport more veterans to local medical, dental and eye appointments and give residents a greater opportunity to leave the Home for shopping, meals and outings. Prior to the American Legion Post's generous donation, the Collins State Veterans Home had one wheelchair lift van, which was kept busy transporting residents back and forth to appointments at the VA Medical Center in Jackson and to hospitals in Collins and Hattiesburg. This left other wheelchair bound residents without a way to go.
Many veterans and spouses are apathetic about joining and supporting veterans organizations, such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, and similar organizations.
They should realize that at some point in the future they or a family member may need the support provided by these organizations. It can truly be said that veterans take care of their own.
Jack Stephens
Executive Director
State Veterans Affairs Board
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