Tuesday, September 15, 2020

A Local Leader Meets a National Icon

Most citizens are now aware that Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Robert Lewis, who spent more
L to R: Charles Hampton, Congressman John Lewis
than three decades in congress, passed on July 17, 2020 and was eulogized by former president Barack Obama on July 30, 2020 at the historic Ebenezer Church, Atlanta, GA. He was the first lawmaker to lie in state at the U. S. Capitol Rotunda. He also laid in state at the Alabama State Capitol and the Georgia State Capitol. Congressman Lewis is known for his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement which started in Nashville, TN when he was a student and continued on to the Selma March that galvanized support for the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He was also implemental in the passing of the Fair Housing Act which as of recently was rescinded by President Donald Trump. Congressman Lewis was brutally beaten by law enforcement agents and the Ku Klux Klan on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Selma, AL and was jailed repeatedly. This did not stop him from committing to six decades of non-violent protests. 
Congressman Lewis was one of the original Freedom Fighters that traveled through southern states in 1961 to force the issues of segregation which was regulated by federal law. He was also one of the “Big Six” who organized the March on Washington and was its youngest leader and speaker. One of his last marches was, June 13, 2018, to the headquarters of U. S. Customs and Border Protection to protest the Trump administration’s separation of family policies. One of his favorite tweets to inspire others was in response to Trump’s criticism of him, “Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” Before his death, at 80 years old, he made his last public appearance at the Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C. in June 2020 which has become a symbol of the nation’s fight for racial justice. He was in awe of the young people’s fight for justice and for police reform which included a diverse group of people.

Local resident, Charles Hampton reminisced about meeting Congressman Lewis at the Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, MS. Congressman Lewis was being honored at the museum on February 23, 2018, considered the 2nd opening which was sponsored by the Friends of Mississippi Civil Rights. Charles stated that he adored Congressman Lewis and considered him an American Hero. Charles is well known in Louisville, MS as the former president of the Winston County Branch NAACP, and former president of the Mississippi State Conference NAACP. He presently serves as the State Chair Revitalization of Branches, Mississippi State Conference and the Chair Legal Redress, Winston County Branch NAACP.

Charles stated that Congressman Lewis’ bravery and dedication to equality is an inspiration to him to continue his work in the NAACP. He said, “One thing I noticed when meeting him was that he was a humble man. I was encouraged by his words good trouble and his concern for us to be concerned about our children. He also encouraged us to speak up so we can bring about a change for justice. My heart is feeling sad today but all we need to do is keep moving forward. I regret that Congressman Lewis did not make it to speak in Louisville as promised.” Charles’ hope is that pressure continues in order to restore Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act that was gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013. The 1965 law required that lawmakers in states with a history of discriminating against minority voters get federal permission before changing voting rules. Since then, voter suppression rules have been passed and they are discriminatory against minorities. Congress has approved Congressman James Clyburn’s proposal to rename voting rights bill after John Lewis. Charles also hopes that the Edmund Pettus Bridge will be named after Congressman John Robert Lewis.

By Elmetra Patterson

Monday, September 14, 2020

Airport Improvements Continue

In 2019, the Louisville-Winston County Airport was selected as one of only 3 airports in the state of Mississippi to receive a special supplemental grant for airport improvement.  The grant which totals nearly $5.4M will allow for extension of the runway by 151 feet to the south and alleviate a line of sight problem with the existing runway elevations.  In addition, work will be done on the northwest end of the airport property to improve the safety of runoff areas, eliminate some unstable terrain features and enhance storm water drainage.  In addition, new runway LED lighting will be installed and the entire 4,700 feet of runway will be resurfaced with new markings.

The work is progressing rapidly with recent good weather.  A total of 250,000 cubic yards of fill material is being sourced from 65 acres  of property to the west which was recently acquired by the airport authority. The general contractor estimates the runway extension work will be completed by mid to late October, allowing jet aircraft to once again take off and land at KLMS.  The airport will remain open for propeller driven light aircraft and turboprops during most of the construction.

ECCC Warriors Open Unprecedented 2020 Football Season Oct. 1

The long and unprecedented road to the start of the 2020 football season for the East Central Community College Warriors will finally end Thursday, Oct. 1, when they hit the gridiron against the Jones College Bobcats. Kickoff from Bobcat Stadium at Sim Cooley Field in Ellisville is 7 p.m.

It will be the start of just a six-game season, all Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference South Division contests as the MACCC hopes to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The season is also starting five weeks later than usual amid concerns about the pandemic.

Each of the 13 MACCC teams competing this fall will have an open week, with the North and South division champions playing for the MACCC Championship on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the home of the South Division Champion. East Mississippi Community College opted out of the fall football season.

The MACCC will be the only National Junior College Athletic Association league playing football in the fall. Thus, no MACCC school will be eligible for a national championship this season as that title will be awarded in spring 2021.

Ken Karcher enters his eighth season as ECCC head coach and will be looking to take the Warriors to the postseason for the third time since 2013. It won’t be an easy task against the always tough South Division lineup. It begins with preseason No. 7 Jones as ranked by Street & Smith’s magazine. Also on the schedule are defending national champion and preseason No. 1 Mississippi Gulf Coast and No. 18 Hinds, both at home. ECCC is ranked No. 21 nationally going into the first game. The entire ECCC schedule can be found at www.ecccathletics.com.

Jones defeated ECCC 35-13 in Ellisville in the 2019 season finale.

East Central is coming off a 4-5 2019 season that included a 3-3 mark in the South Division. The Warriors faced seven ranked teams during the season, including the last five games in a row.

The Warriors will enter the contest with Jones without several key players from a year ago, including a dozen who signed with four-year programs. Gone are linebacker Anthony Blakely, wide receiver Depodray Coburn, wide receiver Dontrell Green, defensive back Fred McGee, and linebacker Ronnie Thomas, Mississippi Valley State; offensive lineman TyKeem Doss and defensive lineman Joshua Ratcliff, Southern Mississippi; defensive end John Cartwright, Memphis; offensive lineman Carrington Davis, Mississippi College; defensive lineman Alvin Dempsey, Florida Atlantic; offensive lineman Fabian Pickering, Louisiana Monroe; and linebacker Payton Rogers, Ole Miss.

Despite the loss of talent, Karcher said he is optimistic about the 2020 version of the Warriors.

“I feel really good about our football team,” he said. “Obviously, there will be obstacles and challenges to work through, this year especially, but I think we have a good nucleus of players returning and some talented new players coming into the program. We lost several starters from last season and two returning starters who signed with four-year programs over the summer, but overall I feel good about the season.”

The Warriors return both quarterbacks from last year, including starter Holman Edwards (French Camp Academy). Sophomore tackle Jacqui Graham (Montgomery, Ala., Jefferson Davis), Second Team All-State last year, will anchor the offensive line, which returns three starters.

“Our offense will be experienced and I expect them to play with a lot of maturity and confidence as a unit,” noted Karcher. “We should be able to give other teams some problems with the type of skill players we have.”

Defensively, Karcher said the Warriors have a good nucleus of players returning from a unit that finished No. 14 in the nation in total defense last year, giving up 18.3 points and 354 yards per game. Among those is defensive back Desmond Williams (Forsythe, Ga., Mary Persons), who earned Second Team All-State last fall with 45 total tackles and a team-leading four interceptions.

Maybe the biggest weapon for ECCC this year will be sophomore kicking specialist Robens Beauplan (Lehigh Acres, Fla., Riverdale). The NJCAA First-Team All-American, First-Team All-Region 23, and First-Team All-State specialist averaged 45 yards per punt as a freshman and hit 9 of 14 field goals and 15 of 18 extra points.

“I believe we have the best punter in the country by far and he’s improving all the time as a place kicker,” said Karcher of Beauplan. “He’s a threat in any game at any time to help with field position. He’s definitely a weapon for us.”

The Warriors are in their new home for the 2020 season, the 12,300 square-foot Warrior Hall football operations center located just outside the north end zone of Bailey Stadium. The facility houses locker rooms for players and for coaches, a team meeting room, position conference rooms, coaches’ offices, an equipment room, a players’ lounge, and a laundry room. It also houses a state-of-the-art training room with hydrotherapy pool to be used by student-athletes in all nine varsity sports at the college.

“Warrior Hall is huge for the players because anyone who runs an organization knows that having everything in one place makes it so much easier to be successful,” said Karcher. “We are much more organized logistically having all our meetings, locker room, training, and offices in one location.”

Karcher will have three new faces on his coaching staff this season.

Blaine Miller will coach the defensive line. He most recently was a defensive graduate assistant for the University of Colorado Buffaloes and has been on the staffs at the University of Georgia, University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and University of Alabama in Birmingham.

McComb native and former Mississippi State special teams standout Deontay Evans will coach safeties. He played defensive back for Mississippi State for three years and his senior year at Middle Tennessee State. He has coached at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D., and at South Pike High School in Magnolia.

Khalil Pope of Hattiesburg will coach running backs. A collegiate place kicker for Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., he was on the staff at Southern Mississippi a year ago.

Information on tickets to ECCC’s home and away games will be available at www.ecccathletics.com and www.eccc.edu/estore.

All East Central Community College football games in 2020 can be heard on WKOZ “Cruisin” 98.3. The audio, as well as live stream video for all home games, will be streamed online at www.eccc.edu/eccc-media and at www.cruisin98news.com.

Nanih Waiya Chapter of the DAR Celebrates Constitution Week

 The national celebration of Constitution Week begins on September 17, 2020. Our Constitution stands as a testament to the tenacity of Americans throughout history to maintain their liberties and freedoms, and to ensure those inalienable rights to every American.

The tradition of celebrating the Constitution was started many years ago by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). In 1955, the Daughters petitioned Congress to set aside September 17-23 annually to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into law on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D, Eisenhower.

The aims of the celebration are to (1) emphasize citizens' responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution, preserving it for posterity; (2) inform the people that the Constitution is the basis for America's great heritage and the  foundation for our way of life; and (3) encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September, 1787.

The United States of America functions as a Republic under the Constitution. This landmark idea that men had the inalienable right as individuals to be free and live their lives under their own governance was the impetus of the American Revolution. Today, the Constitution stands as an icon of freedom for people around the world.

All citizens across the country are encouraged to take time during the week of September 17-23 to reflect on our heritage of freedom and come together to celebrate America.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Presley Issues Investigative Subpoena to AT&T After Telecom Giant Refuses to Provide Regulators Information Related to $283 Million in Internet Expansion Funding

Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley has signed an investigative subpoena for records from telecom giant AT&T regarding the company’s acceptance of $283,780,632 from the Connect America Fund to expand internet service in Mississippi. Presley’s subpoena requests detailed information related to the company’s claim to have made internet service available to 133,000 locations in the state. Specifically, the subpoena demands production of documents showing the number of actual subscribers to AT&T’s fixed wireless service within the 133,000 locations where the company claims to have provided service, the number of complaints filed with the company by customers who have taken service and the number of Mississippians who applied for fixed wireless service based on AT&T’s assertion that it was available and were later determined not to be in an area covered. Prior to issuing the investigative subpoena, Commissioner Presley informally asked AT&T for documentation related to the actual number of locations benefitting from the $280 million project. AT&T refused to provide any of that information prompting the investigative subpoena. Furthermore, some items in today’s subpoena were part of data requests filed by the Public Utilities Staff that went ignored by AT&T. The Mississippi Public Service Commission is currently reviewing AT&T and other carriers’ prior and future utilization of the federal Connect America and Universal Service funds in accordance with state and federal law.

“AT&T has pocketed $283,780,632 of public money with a promise to expand internet service, yet they refuse to answer the most basic questions of a regulator surrounding the use of these dollars and the actual success of their plans. With their claim that they have exceeded making service available to 133,000 locations, it is natural to ask these questions, especially in light of the lack of internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, AT&T refuses to answer. It is very clear to me that AT&T’s position is to take as much public money as possible and answer as few questions from regulators as possible.”, Commissioner Presley said. “AT&T entered into a contract with the public when they took the public’s money and yet I still have constituents who were told by AT&T that their home was eligible for fixed wireless service only to find out later that they were misled by company materials and representatives. These are very basic questions that you and I would ask of anyone we gave our personal money to and AT&T should not be treated any different when they take government money.”

To aid in the investigation, Presley asks any Mississippian who was promised fixed wireless internet service from AT&T, but did not receive it or had poor fixed wireless service to contact him at 1-800-637-7722 or by email at northern. district@psc.ms.gov

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Winston Countian Elected as Delegate for 1st Congressional Democratic District

C:\Users\elmetra patterson\Downloads\Linda Floyd 3 near house.jpg

The 1st Congressional District of the Mississippi Democratic Party met this summer elected and swore in Linda Floyd as Mississippi’s 1st Congressional Delegate. Linda is a resident of Winston County. As a Democratic County Executive Committee member, she is on the Legislative Committee and the Young Democrats Committee. The Executive Committee members:
  • run the democratic primaries and precinct caucuses,
  • support Democratic candidates on all levels, 
  • identify and recruit new and promising talent, 
  • work closely with elected Democratic officials and 
  • serve as the foundation leadership of the party.
Mississippi's 1st Congressional District is located in the northeastern portion of the state and includes Alcorn, Benton, Calhoun, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Clay, DeSoto, Itawamba, Lafayette, Lee, Lowndes, Marshall, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tate, Tippah, Tishomingo, Union, Webster, and Winston counties and a portion of Oktibbeha County.

Linda is excited about holding this position. Locally, she is a member of the Winston County Branch NAACP and the Winston County Voters League. She stated that she believes in inclusion vs exclusion with fair representation and she is striving to make things better and not so divisive. She also, said, “I am a democrat and I believe in doing what’s right.” She finds it a great responsibility to certify candidates in primaries and to improve the chances that democrats are elected. Linda was a candidate for Winston County Supervision for District #4 in 2016. Her slogan was, Striving to Move Winston County to the Next Level with her platform: Youth Enrichment Program that includes: Summer employment, Monthly community Meeting, Community Collaboration with School District, A visual road maintenance improvement plan and public safety. When asked if she would run again she said, “Probably, if the Lord say so”.

Linda is a member of Center Hill Church of God in Christ. She is the daughter of Mrs. Catherine Floyd Cork and granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. James Lee Floyd, Sr. She has one daughter, Sunda-Symone Floyd and two grandsons. She is a graduate of Louisville High School, Class of 1987 and was a student at East Central and East Mississippi Community College. Her work experience has been in management over thirteen years and public relations over twenty years with proven detailed researching, auditing and organizational skills.

Submitted by: Elmetra Patterson

Friday, September 4, 2020

Registration Open for These ECCC Short-Term Training Classes Offered Through ReSkillMS

The Workforce Development Center at East Central Community College in Decatur is offering several short-term training courses through the new ReSkillMS program.

The training being offered through December is intended to put Mississippians who lost their jobs or were displaced due to COVID-19 back to work. Financial aid is available to qualified applicants.

The following courses are currently open for registration:

Welding—Begins Monday, Sept. 14, and meets from 6 to 9 p.m. each Monday for 10 consecutive weeks at the Philadelphia/Neshoba County Career-Technical Center located at 900 Valley View Dr. in Philadelphia. Joey Irby will serve as instructor. Participants need to wear boots, jeans, and long sleeves. No shorts and no jeans with holes or frays.

Manufacturing Skills Basic—Begins Monday, Sept. 14, and meets from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for 12 consecutive weeks at the Louisville Career Advancement Center located at 1475 South Church Ave. in Louisville. Robert Kilpatrick will serve as instructor. This class requires a Silver on the Workkeys test.

Manufacturing Skills Basic—Begins Monday, Sept. 14, and meets from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays for 12 consecutive weeks at the Integrated Technologies Training Center located at 377 Industrial Drive in Choctaw. Robert Kilpatrick will serve as instructor. This class requires a Silver on the Workkeys test.

Basic Machining—Begins Monday, Sept. 28, and meets from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for four consecutive weeks at the Tucker Applied Technology Center on the Decatur campus located at 275 West Broad St. Jody Addy will serve as instructor.

Construction Trades—Begins Monday, Sept. 28, and meets from 6 to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays for four consecutive weeks in the Career-Technical Annex Building on the Decatur campus located at 275 West Broad St.

Advanced Welding—Begins Monday, Oct. 5, and meets from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. for six consecutive weeks at the Winston County Career & Technology Center located at 204 Ivy Ave. in Louisville. Meeting days are to be determined. Freddy Thomas will serve as instructor. Participants must have auto-darkening welding helmets and will need to wear boots, jeans, and long sleeves. No shorts and no jeans with holes or frays.

Industrial Maintenance—Begins Tuesday, Oct. 6, and meets from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for eight consecutive weeks at the Louisville Career Advancement Center located at 1475 South Church Ave. in Louisville. Greg Forsythe will serve as instructor.

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)—Begins Monday, Oct. 12, and meets from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday for six consecutive weeks at the Sutphin ADN/Childcare Building located at 275 West Broad St. in Decatur. Niva Alexander and Theresa Cole will serve as instructors.

Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)—Begins Monday, Oct. 19, and meets from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday for six consecutive weeks at the Louisville Career Advancement Center located at 1475 South Church Ave. in Louisville. Alan Krajewski will serve as instructor.

Additional courses in Certified Nursing Assistant, Basic Welding, Advanced Welding, Industrial Maintenance, Manufacturing Skills-Basic, Forklift Operation, Machine Shop, and Construction Trades will be announced throughout the fall semester.

For more information, contact the ECCC Workforce Development Center at 601-635-6429 or complete and submit the form located at www.eccc.edu/reskillms.

ReSkillMS was recently announced by Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves to help individuals who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to find jobs and to support employers who want to hire and train new employees on the job. Funds to support the program come from the federal CARES Act.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Award Ceremony -Sept 13 in Honor of Louisville Native William E. Tabor - WWII Veteran

In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of American Ex-Prisoners of War in Japan after WWII, the City of Louisville, First Methodist Church and the family of William E. Tabor, Jr. (now deceased) will host an award ceremony honoring the recent posthumous award of Mr. Tabor's Third Bronze Star Medal by the U. S. Army. You are invited to attend and join in this patriotic and inspiring ceremony.

Date: September 13, 2020 (Sunday)
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: First Methodist Church; 16449 West Main Street; Louisville, MS 39339
Persons in Charge: Mayor Will Hill, Rev. Mike Childs and William E. Tabor, III (son)

Singer STEVE GREEN, an early member of the Gaither Vocal Band, will be performing. Steve was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2017 and was a vocalist for evangelist Billy Graham.

Mr. Tabor was captured by the Empire of Japan in April of 1942 and endured the infamous Bataan Death March in the Philippine Islands. He was a prisoner for 3 and 1/2 years, and was liberated by the Army on September 15, 1945 at Niigata, Japan. Honorably discharged in May of 1946, Mr. Tabor was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation with two Oak Leaf Clusters, two Bronze Star medals, the Philippine Defense Medal, the Prisoner of War Medal and other decorations. On April 29th, 2020, in recognition of his extraordinary service in the defense of the Philippines, Mr. Tabor was posthumously issued his third Bronze Star Medal. The award will be presented to the family at this ceremony. Military officers and Congressional members may be present. Business casual attire is requested. Social distancing and masks are expected. A reception in Fellowship Hall will follow in Fellowship Hall.
Please mark your calendar.  You are cordially invited to attend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

New Colorful Library Cards at the Winston County Library

The Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System, which includes the Winston County Library, now has new, colorful library cards with their new logo. Monday, September 1st, was the first day cards were handed out. The first card was given to Jennifer Wright, pictured here (left). Her four year-old son, Harper, was there to get Pete the Cat books. With them is librarian Beth Edwards. "We love the new cards!" said Edwards. There are two different cards - one for children and one for adults and they are so fun and colorful." Everyone who has a library card can swap theirs out for one of the new cards - for free.