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Monday, June 3, 2002

By Staff
Travelers recount Amtrak experience
A letter to John Robert Smith, chairman of the board, Amtrak:
On Sunday, May 12, my wife and I traveled on Amtrak Train 58 from Jackson to Chicago, Ill., and found it to be a very enjoyable experience. As you perhaps know, the Amtrak station in Jackson is currently undergoing major renovations and the elevator from street level to the track level is not operating.
Since we are in our late sixties, it would not have been possible for me to carry our luggage to the train level, but your Jackson based station personnel, Mr. Herbert Ferguson and Mr. Rob Barnett, carried our bags up these many steps even while they were attending to their many other duties involving assisting the loading and unloading of the train when it arrived from New Orleans.
We returned to Jackson from Chicago on Amtrak Train 59 on Saturday, May 18, 2002, and Mr. Rob Barnett was there to carry our luggage back down to the station.
When we reached our automobile to drive home to Meridian, my wife discovered that her purse was missing and we immediately returned to the Jackson Amtrak station to see if she had dropped it as we were leaving. Mr. Herbert Ferguson searched the stairway and the train platform while Mr. Rob Barnett talked with the dispatcher for Train 59. Mr. Ferguson told me within 10 minutes that the conductor on Train 59 had the purse in his possession as it had been turned in to him by our sleeping car attendant. Mr. Ferguson then arranged for the purse to be given to the conductor for the Crescent to be dropped off at the Meridian station on Sunday, May 19. Mr. Frank James, Meridian Station Master, handed me the purse at noon on Sunday.
All items were in the purse, including credit cards, debit card, medical cards and a $50 bill that my wife had left over.
As chairman of Amtrak and as an acquaintance of mine for the past several years, I wanted you to know that you can be extremely proud of the friendliness, helpfulness and honesty of the Amtrak employees that I met during the third week in May. In particular, I wanted you to know that Mr. Herbert Ferguson and Mr. Rob Barnett of Jackson are two individuals that reflect the true spirit of Amtrak. I sincerely hope you will thank them on my behalf for everything that they did for us.
Alan E. Sleppy
Meridian
Silver Star needs more giveaways'
To the editor:
I am writing in response to an article that was published in the May 8 edition of The Meridian Star. In this article, which was headed "Silver Star revenue off," Jay Dorris, who is identified as president of the "Choctaw Resort Development Enterprise," and Ray Cheeseman, a "casino industry analyst," are quoted as saying that the Silver Star Casino's revenue for the last quarter dropped, and that the "casino's numbers likely were hurt by the large amount of construction on the property."
As one who has been a regular customer at the Silver Star for the past six years, let me say that I don't believe that the "large amount of construction on the property" has anything, or at most very little, to do with the drop in revenue at the Silver Star during the last quarter.
Rather, might I suggest that revenue at the casino has dropped because there has not been a promotion  drawing cash or a car, etc.  of any sort at the Silver Star since January.
In other words, during the almost four months that there were no "giveaways" at the Silver Star, the casino's overall revenue decreased.
It seems reasonable to assume that if the casino brings back some of the promotions that the Silver Star use to sponsor on a regular basis, such as "Big Tuesday," and the "Winners Wheel," the casino's revenue will increase, not decrease, and their customers will once again be given a chance to win something via a drawing, and all concerned, the casino and the players, will benefit.
Richard Williams
Meridian

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