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Sunday, June 1, 2003

By Staff
No coverage of fishing rodeo
To the editor:
The Meridian Star Sports Department has again left uncovered an area sporting event that did not involve a ball. The East Mississippi Sportsman Association held its 33rd Annual Fishing Rodeo at Lake Okatibbee on May 17. There were 128 fisherman (and a few women) entered. These people came from as far as Tupelo, Louisville, Brookhaven, Waynesboro, Petal, Hattiesburg, Laurel and Philadelphia to join all the local folks from DeKalb, Union, Toomsuba, Quitman and our own Meridian.
At an average $30,000 per boat, their $1,920,000 worth of pleasure craft left the Pat Harrison Waterpark to fish our own Lake Okatibbee. It is awesome to watch the armada leave the starting area. Some spent Friday night in local motels, they ate in our town and purchased gas here also. They competed for $5,640,000 in money and prizes and bragging rights.
Most of the entrants wear skirts that are covered with emblems or or patches of favorite tackle or sponsors. They take pride in participating in a live release tournament and returning bass back into the lake. They looked like pros, right here in Meridian.
But no coverage in the local newspaper. Even the winners were written and hand delivered to the paper. The Meridian Star did have an article the following Sunday about fishing. It talked about a few Meridian folks fishing somewhere else. Should this event have taken place on an area golf course, the sports coverage would have been a hole-by-hole description. If held on a ball field, we would know the stats about the players.
The paper did know well in advance about the 33rd Annual Fishing Rodeo. It was submitted to your area events column, again as a public service announcement, and even by a paid advertisement. But nothing.
Several members of the EMSA have stated in addition to fishing for big bass, the entrants must putt a golf ball off the front of the boat into a floating tube. We could see the tension in the players face and hear the plop into the water. And we could read about it in the paper, right under the photo.
A lot of work goes into the rodeo. Members call on area businesses for sponsorship and to produce an advertising booklet. Members working to make the weekend happen fill all 25 rooms in the Waterpark motel. The EMSA is always congratulated about hosting a well-planned event.
But no sports coverage. Just what area fisherman usually get.
Don Delaney
EMSA Secretary
Meridian
A positive role
To the editor:
First of all, I would like to thank Amy Ethridge for writing the play "God Bless America" for the West Lauderdale kindergarten students and all her hard work. Also, the other teachers that spent time practicing and getting ready for the play. Our kids did great. It's a shame we couldn't get a TV station to come out and let Meridian see just how proud our kids are to be Americans.
Once again, West Lauderdale kindergarten teachers, thanks for all you do for our kids and for playing a positive role in their life.
Misty Steele
Collinsville
The right way to teach
To the editor:
I would like to send a quick thank you to Wayne Eason, director of Ross Collins Career and Technical Center and one of his teachers, Walt Littleton.
Two years ago, Mr. Eason acted on his vision to bring a Computer Systems Technology class to Ross Collins. His vision was to train students with skills they could use immediately following high school or to build upon those skills in college and, hopefully, someday return to high tech jobs in East Mississippi.
He solicited funding for the project and initiated a search for the best teacher he could find for his students.
Walt Littleton accepted this challenge and shared Mr. Eason's vision. In this two-year course, students not only learned about computer hardware, operating systems and networking, but also benefited from the "on the job" experience that Mr. Littleton had to offer.
It would be easy just to thank him for the knowledge he passed on to the students but he did much more. He is a friend to the students and challenged them to test their knowledge. The A+ certification exam is a prestigious designation that testifies to the computer skills and knowledge of the students. Unfortunately, the exam is very expensive.
Mr. Littleton searched for discount vouchers and led the students in a fund-raising event that paid for the exam so that all of his students could afford to test their knowledge.
I have heard from many in the computer field that few adults will schedule the study time to take the exam, yet Mr. Littleton quickly prepared his students before school ended. Whether the students pass the A+ exam or not is of no consequence. I call his efforts teaching and caring.
Thank you to both of these gentlemen for doing it right.
Steve Brantley
Meridian

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