Archive - Jan 2013 - News Article
When Aberdeen native Roderick Van Daniel was a 17-year-old senior in high school he wondered curiously of what it would be like to one day serve the people of his hometown as a leader for the state of Mississippi. And fortunately for him he got a rare, up close and personal experience of the role of a state leader while gleefully serving as a page for former District 36 Representative David Gibbs.
The Growth Alliance conference room was packed on Thursday night with a diverse group of West Point/Clay County citizens, bouncing ideas off of one anotherâ€™s heads in an attempt to bring the community together.
This is not the first time Unity in the Community has met. The group has been meeting for almost a year, but Thursday nightâ€™s crowd was the largest in the organizationâ€™s short history.
The goal is simple. Unify the community.
If your driverâ€™s license is close to expiring, or youâ€™re planning to get one for the first time, youâ€™re going to have to get it somewhere besides West Point.
The office located by the 4-H Extension Service and the county jail has been closed until further notice.
Warren Strain, spokesperson for the Mississippi Highway Patrol said on Friday that â€ścomputer infrastructureâ€ť problems were the cause of the sudden closure.
â€śIt has to do with computer wiring,â€ť Strain said. â€śWe have to temporarily close the station until it is replaced.â€ť
So theyâ€™ve given their opening arguments, put witnesses on the stand, entered photos and materials into evidence and examined each and every person called to testify. But sometimes prosecuting attorneys and defense attorneys need one last chance to convince the 12-member jury the defendant is guilty or not guilty of committing a crime.
Thatâ€™s where closing arguments come in.
Not many would argue that West Point is not one of the most artistically rich communities in north Mississippi.
It is not just the citizenryâ€™s love for art that drives events like the Prairie Arts Festival each fall. Itâ€™s the literal raw talent that so many in the community possess and express.
The unique blend of paintings, drawings, potteries, films, music etc. drive the love of art in this town.
It has also driven the West Point/Clay County Arts Council to start the first â€śArt Walkâ€ť in West Point.
What has happened to our nation? Why has gun violence gotten so out of control? Is it the lack of prayer, federal laws that are way too lenient, a lack of parental control â€“ what could it be?
Whatever it is that is causing an increase in gun violence it is also causing the federal government to pay much closer attention and has prompted federal officials to take immediate action before incidents of gun violence escalate beyond the control of authorities.
The last legislative session at the state capitol was marked by the failure to get a charter schools bill out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.
Since that time, the largely Republican-backed education agenda has been at the forefront of just about every major speech delivered by Gov. Phil Bryant. The party and the supporters of charter schools made it their mission to galvanize support and get the bill, not only to the floor for a vote this session, but to also get it passed.
District 37 Representative Gary Chism has been a proponent of charter schools since the idea was first brought to the state capitol.
Chism sees charter schools, not as a fix-all for the stateâ€™s education problems, but rather as a chance for parents and students in â€śfailingâ€ť school districts to have new opportunities in education.
â€śThe current bill is going to be very limited,â€ť Chism said of the House bill that passed Thursday morning, which is different from the Senate bill that was passed last week. â€śIt will only allow for 15 charter schools to be created each year.â€ť
It is probably one of the most contentious issues that the Mississippi legislature has dealt with in decades.
Right now, the Senate and the House of Representatives are debating as to whether the state should expand â€śschool choiceâ€ť for parents and allow more charter schools to exist, especially in failing districts.
The House did not leave the capitol until the early hours of Thursday morning, but the divided body finally put the current bill to a vote, passing it 64-55.
West Point author, Bobby Cole was happy to share his latest novel, â€śMoon Underfootâ€ť a sequel to â€śThe Dummy Line,â€ť at Wednesdayâ€™s Luncheon with Books.
This is Coleâ€™s second offering at Luncheon with Books. He was guest speaker February 2009, when he talked about his first published novel, â€śThe Dummy Line.â€ť Cole has since written a book called â€śRent a Muleâ€ť that should be available in the Fall.