Tuesday, May 29, 2018

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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mayor Speaks to Local Lions

Louisville Mayor Will Hill recently spoke to the Louisville Lions' Club. Hill noted several projects ongoing across the community as well his recent trip to Washington, D.C. where he met with our Congressman and Senators on several local issues. Hill also attended a panel discussion at the White House with other mayors across the country and federal department officials. Mayor Hill had the opportunity meet and converse with Vice President Mike Pence at that time.

After Lengthy Delays, Final Approval to Remove Old Courthouse Annex Building Obtained

Some long-awaited changes to downtown Louisville may finally begin to take shape as Winston County received approval to remove the old Annex Building behind the existing Courthouse. The building constructed in the late 1940’s has until recently been used as offices and a courtroom by the County.

The building’s basement has been unusable for a number of years and termite damage has weakened the structure as well. The County has been working on a project to build a new three-story structure on the site to serve a number of purposes, including offices for the Sheriff and Emergency Management Departments, board rooms and administrative offices, since funding became available after the April 2014 tornado.

The project has been delayed pending approval to demolish the existing structure. The major issue has been obtaining approval from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History dependent upon its status as a historical structure. This approval was needed to obtain the necessary funding from FEMA and MEMA. After lengthy delays, the County received that approval within the last two weeks.

According to Winston County Supervisors’ Board President Luke Parkes, the County is ready to take action and hopes to take bids as early as the next board meeting in March with demolition beginning this Spring and further action on new construction to follow quickly.

Rendering of a proposed structure to replace the existing Courthouse Annex

Monday, February 19, 2018

The Pact Book Club Gathered: A Black History Story

Image may contain: 9 people, including Jamere Eichelberger, people smiling, people standing, tree and outdoor
L to R: Royce Davis (held by father), LeVante Davis, Jr., Clifton Eichelberger, Jr., Jamere Eichelberger, Isaac  Edwards,
Cory Hardy, Elmetra Patterson, facilitator and Rashaad Edwards. (not photographed: Nicholas Shields, Mikel Hannah,
Tyrone Stallings, Brandi  and Michelle Hopkins)

The Pact Book Club was founded in 2006 by this writer and Brandi Hopkins. It ended in 2010 when its members were referred to the Boys and Girls Club as member and/or tutors for the younger children. Most of the members, now young adults, were in attendance on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at the funeral services and repast of Mrs. Betsy Ann Eichelberger, the woman they called ‘Big Mama’. Mrs. Eichelberger was very supportive of these young adults from early childhood until adulthood when they went away to college or to live in other cities for employment.

She was such an inspiration to them that they came back to say goodbye upon her death. While in the Pact Book Club, they selected her to be the guest speaker at their 1st Banquet and Awards Night. The club’s motto was “Reading Opens the Door to the World”. The theme for the banquet was “Unlock the Doors” from which she spoke. It was held May 21, 2007. She encouraged them to continue to read – telling them of how their ancestors had to sneak and read because it was against the law in some places to read or have someone teach them to read. She shared how as a youngster, she did not have many books to read. In school she had to read 2nd handed books, many outdated, which were passed to her Mt. Sinai Church School from the white school but she read and continued to read at 99 years old.

Since it is Black History month, let’s share about another African American woman who inspired The Pact Book Club members. They were required to read the keynote speech made by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

Most inspirational to the young readers and their parents was when they read Michelle Obama’s speech about values that she and Barrack Obama were taught as youth: “…….that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them, and even if you don't agree with them.”

These values were the discussion of many of our weekly reading sessions as we read books by and about African Americans and other inspirational biographies. Most of these young readers were from single parent homes. However, they know that from their readings they can be successful and not use that as an excuse.

Another favorite part of the speech for the young readers, “And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

After catching up with what is going on in these young men’s lives presently, it was exciting to know that they adopted those values and are doing quite well. This writer is grateful to have them as a part of her life and appreciates their love for her and her deceased mother – Mrs. Betsy Ann ’Patti’ Eichelberger.

C:\Users\Elmetra\Documents\Mom speaking 2008.jpg
90 year old Betsy Ann Eichelberger speaking at The Pact Book Club’s Banquet 2007
DOB October 22, 1918 – DOD February 5, 2018

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Charles Hampton, MS State Conference NAACP President with Betsy Ann Eichelberger

Submitted By: Elmetra Patterson

Local Youth Reviews Dr. Charles Drew’s Biography-Reprint March 22, 2008

By Isaac Edwards
The Pact Book Club, treasurer
Dr. Charles R. Drew

During Black History Month each member of the Pact Book Club read a biography of a Black person who contributed in a positive way to the history of the United States and the World. The book I chose was Dr. Charles Drew: Medical Pioneer by Susan Whitehurst, Copyright 2002.

Dr. Charles Drew is remembered today as a skilled doctor and scientist. He is considered the ‘father of the blood bank’. He created the first major U. S. blood banking program. His efforts saved countless lives during World War 11. Dr. Charles started working when he was 12 years old. He sold newspapers on street corners. At Dunbar High School, in Washington, D. C., Charles played a sport each season. He was the star of his football team each fall, played basketball in the winter and ran track and played baseball in the spring. He also swam in the summer.

When Charles’ sister died of tuberculosis, he wanted to become a doctor and he did. Even though, he was the star football players, he was not allowed to eat dinner with his teammates because of the color of his skin. After one big game, the football team went out for dinner and the restaurant had a Jim Crow law that no colored could eat there. This really made Charles mad. He used his anger in a constructive way and continued to excel. He wanted to attend college at Harvard University. He was rejected. Later on, he became a teacher at Harvard University! Charles was an encouragement to other blacks who wanted to become doctors. He died from a crushing injury in a car accident. It was so bad that all the blood in the world could not save him. The president of Harvard spoke at his funeral about how Dr. Drew touched the lives of so many people in the world with his work with plasma and blood transfusions.

I am recommending this book to other youth. It was very inspirational to me as an 11 year old.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Constitution Week Poster Contest Winner

The winner of the Constitution Week poster contest sponsored by the local Nanih Waiya Chapter of the DAR is Jackson Tucker. Jackson is the son of Benji and Nikki Tucker and is a sixth grade student at Winston Academy. Jackson won $25 for his winning poster. Pictured left to right: Mary Tabor -Constitution Week Chairperson, Jackson Tucker, and Bobbie Dewberry -Jackson’s sixth grade teacher.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

LMSD Begins Search for Superintendent

The Louisville Municipal School Board of Trustees met on Tuesday, February 12th and dealt with a
number of issues. At the top of the agenda was the search for a new superintendent. The Board  met with Dr. Mike Waldrop from the Mississippi School Board Association concerning the requirements and needs of the district for a superintendent to replace outgoing superintendent Ken McMullen whose contract will expire in June. Waldrop gave the board several options which included hiring the Mississippi School Board Association to conduct the search for a qualified candidate. After discussion, the board agreed to conduct a special meeting at some point in Jackson with the Association to make final determinations on the search efforts. Waldrop indicated that a reasonable time for the search would be from 8 to 12 weeks.

The board also reviewed renovation project bids at several of the schools. Of most interest were the alternative bids for additional work that needs to be completed. The board is attempting to work within a two million dollar budget for these renovations. One alternate proposal was to repair the north wall of the Eiland gym for $67,700. It was determined that the south wall also needed repair so a possible change in this alternative project is being considered. Another alternative proposal was to put a metal roof in addition to coating on the Nanih Waiya gym.  The coating of the gym was
included in base bids but a needed replacement with a new metal roof was not included and when cost an additional $72,400. The board also reviewed alternate bids for bricking columns at Nanih Waiya and replacing the sidewalk for $101,600, completing drainage work around the administration building of Louisville High School for $22,800, replacing the seating and flooring in the high school gym at Louisville High which included removal asbestos floor tiles for $311,800. Another project that requires attention is the replacement of the roof on the vocational building located on the Louisville High School campus. Recent leaks in this roof has caused some damage to the interior of the structure.

After discussion the board approved the repair of the Eiland gym, the additional cost of replacing the roof at the gym in Nanih Waiya and pursuing the replacement of the roof at the vocational building after review of the warranty on the existing roof.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Region 3 Reading Fair Winners

Cameran Porter and Kristin Jernigan, 7th grade students at Eiland Middle School, participated and won 1st place at the Region 3 Reading Fair in the Group Division held on January 26 and are advancing to the State Reading Fair competition this month.