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Sunday, May 25, 2003

By Staff
Rodgers Festival on the excessive side
To the editor:
I agree with Mr. Coleman's comments concerning the events that took place at the Agri-Center with the consumption of alcohol during the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival. It is not a good example for our younger people (or anybody else as far as that goes).
Let me explain. I believe I am correct in saying that Jimmie Rodgers died at an early age and I also understand that alcohol had something to do with it. I do not usually let many people know the fact that Jimmie Rodgers was connected to my father's family by marriage, since all I ever heard about him, through the years, was that he was basically a railroad drunk.
He was always writing his Uncle Tal Rodgers for some money back in those days. So I don't see any reason for all of the excessive attention paid to the memory of Jimmie Rodgers and, with the alcohol and its influence, well, it really makes me kinda sick.
Jerry Harris
Agri-Center event tainted by alcohol, smoking
To the editor:
I would like to respond to the Jimmy Rodgers Fest. letter written by Katrina Graham. I have to agree that the concert at the Agri-Center could have been a wonderful event. But it was tainted for my family, as well as myself, with all the teenaged drinking and smoking that was present there.
I saw several parents slip off their arm bands and give them to their children. In one case, the girl had just stated for all around to hear she had just taken her driver's test and passed. There were also giggling boys who were planning their senior trips while sipping their suds and smoking. My nephews are 11 and 9 and they were ready to leave upon arrival when they saw the beer vendors.
We did stay for the concert. With people falling on us we were forced to move three times. My oldest nephew had an asthma attack and the security would not let us leave but through the two exits provided, so he left by having to climb the stairs and crossing the arena making their way through more drunk people and smokers to exit out the side at the back parking area.
My nephew and mother did not come back in after reaching the car. We were parked by the tour buses not 10 yards from where the officer refused to let him and his grandmother pass. By the time the other boy and I gotten our stuff together and had made our way through the smoke, dust and drunks to get to the car, the concert was over.
I, too, will not be back at the Agri-Center for another concert. I was shocked to see beer served at a state -or county-owned facility. If the JRMF felt they needed beer at the event it should have been held outdoors in a much larger area for those of us who like to breathe without smoke and beer fumes.
We had a wonderful Easter weekend trying to get our asthma and allergies back in check, from what was to be a special trip for my nephews, who have always enjoyed the Choctaw Indian Fair and thought the JRMF would become an annual event for us as well. Better luck next time.
Lori Scoggins
Had great time at JRMF
To the editor:
I was at the Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival this year and would like to say I had a very good time. The entertainment this year was very good. I would also like to thank TISBA people for the great time I had. I will be back next year and I hope the festival is even better.
James D. Embrey
Granite City, Ill.
Don't put all blame on deputy for accident
To the editor:
In response to the letter "Witness to tragic accident" you stated in your letter that the abrupt U-turn is what you feel made it possible for this accident to take place. What you did not state was the speed of the vehicles that the deputy was attempting to pursue or the speed of the vehicle that was involved in the crash.
It might interest you to know that other eyewitnesses placed all of the motorcycles at over 100 mph. This factor alone warrants that a law enforcement officer react quickly, and if the speed of the oncoming vehicle had been much slower, he would of had time to react to any obstacle in his path of travel.
I know the deputy involved in this accident and can assure you, had he observed the oncoming vehicle he would not have made his turn until the way was clear to do so. But with those kinds of speed along with the narrow profile of the bike and rider, it would be almost impossible to see the rider coming.
To the friends and family of this young man, my heart goes out to you and your loss is a tragic one. But to put all of the blame on this one deputy who is dedicated to protecting all of us is just wrong.
Allan Dover