Tuesday Jan. 17,
Daily Corinthian Vol. 116, No. 14
• Corinth, Mississippi • 16 pages • One section
Pardon list includes four from area Full pardon goes to Alcorn County’s Joel W. Vann, sentenced for DUI death in 1996 BY JEBB JOHNSTON firstname.lastname@example.org
Of the more than 200 pardons signed by Haley Barbour upon his exit from the governor’s office, four of the cases are from local counties, according to records filed with the
Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office. One of the pardoned individuals was sentenced in an Alcorn County case. Barbour granted a full pardon to Joel Warren Vann, who was sentenced on a charge of DUI death on Aug. 8,
1996. The court imposed a suspended 15-year sentence pending good behavior and completion of at least 18 months of drug and alcohol rehabilitation and probation. Vann was discharged from probation on
May 31, 2000. Vann was 19 years old at the time he was sentenced. The crash happened on Kendrick Road on Oct. 16, 1995, and resulted in the death of 18-year-old Scotty Plunk of Counce, Tenn.
Others from the region: ■ Burton Hill Waldon was sentenced in September 2002 on a charge of aggravated DUI death in Tippah County. He was given a suspended 10-year Please see PARDONS | 2
Facility inmates work toward better future BY BOBBY J. SMITH email@example.com
Inmates at the Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility are working toward a brighter future. A commencement ceremony for the facility’s first class of graduates was held Sunday at the Alcorn County Courtroom. Ten inmate students received their Adult Basic Education/ General Educational Development (GED) diplomas during the ceremony. “This is a step forward for you,” said Warden Doug Mullins during the commencement’s Words of Encouragement. “When you’re getting a job these days, the first thing they ask is if you have a GED or graduate certificate. You all really studied hard, did really well and I’m proud of you.” Local officials — including Sheriff Charles Rinehart and members of the Board of Supervisors — attended in support of the facility’s first class of GED grads. The students who received their GED diplomas are: Donnie Bridgman, Fredrick Butler, Danny Dean, George Fairley, Jason Harris, Lee Holloway, Antonio Isabell, Derrick Johnson, Albert Martorano and Jeffery Morgan. The commencement included two soulfully inspirational songs performed by Lawrence Payne; a welcome message from Trezvant Hymon; a poem from Instructor Daphne Cummings; a speech by Albert Martorano; an essay by Ernest Beasley; and a class outlook given by Derrick
Staff photos by Bobby J. Smith
Lawrence Payne (left) sings soulful songs of perseverance to the graduating class (right) while Warden Doug Mullins and Instructor Daphne Cummings (center) look on Sunday afternoon in the Alcorn County Justice Center courtroom.
“This is a step forward for you. When you’re getting a job these days, the first thing they ask is if you have a GED or graduate certificate. You all really studied hard, did really well and I’m proud of you.” Warden Doug Mullins Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility Johnson. GED grad Albert Martorano earned one of the highest scores in the state on his exam. His words to his fellow graduates and those in attendance were humorous, sincere and encouraging. “Today, for the first time, I don’t have to lie on the job ap-
plications,” Martorano said. He quoted the author C.S. Lewis (“You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream another dream.”) and expressed the class’ gratitude to Northeast Mississippi Community College and the City of Corinth for the classroom supplies donations. “Most of all, thanks to Ms.
Daphne Cummings,” Martorano said, thanking the class’ instructor. Graduate Derrick Johnson said the evening’s ceremony gave him a feeling of accomplishment. He said his fellow students all worked hard, and he expressed the class’ debt of gratitude to its instructor and
her efforts to push her students to success. Johnson also had words of encouragement for the students who have to retake the exams before getting their certificates. “We should pray for these guys didn’t make it, and let this be a motivation for them as well,” Johnson said. Warden Mullins expressed his gratitude for the Corinth School District for helping out with computers, desks and filing cabinets; Wal-Mart for the donation of classroom supplies; and the support of the Board of Supervisors. “Without them, all of this would have been much, much harder,” said Mullins.
Congressional seat has slate of candidates BY JEBB JOHNSTON firstname.lastname@example.org
Qualifying for U.S. Congressional seats ended Friday, and voters will see contested races on the ballot. One-third of the Senate and all of the House of Representatives are up for election this year. In Mississippi, the party primaries will appear alongside the presidential preference primary on the ballot on March 13. In the first district House race, Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo, elected in 2010, is seeking a second term with opposition from the Democratic ticket and two Republicans. Making another run for the House seat as a Republican is Henry Ross, a former Eupora mayor, circuit judge and senior counsel to the U.S. assistant attorney general. He is kicking off his campaign today with stops in Hernando, Tupelo, Columbus and Eupora. Campaigning in Corinth today is Robert Estes, owner of Estes Grading & Trucking in Southaven, who is also challenging Nunnelee for the GOP nomination.
Brad Morris, an Oxford attorney, will be unopposed for the Democratic nomination. Formerly of Itawamba County, he served as chief of staff and as a senior advisor to Travis Childers, Nunnelee’s predecessor. Danny Bedwell of Columbus is running as a Libertarian candidate and will not appear on the March ballot. Nunnelee, a former senator in the state Legislature, unseated Childers in the 2010 election. In the Senate race, incumbent Roger Wicker, a Tupelo Republican, is seeking election to his first full term after winning a special election to complete Trent Lott’s term. He’ll have to fend off a primary challenge in March and a Democratic opponent in November. His primary challengers are Republicans E. Allen Hathcock of Stewart and Robert Maloney of Madison. The Democratic primary for Senate is a three-man contest with Albert N. Gore Jr. of Starkville, Will Oatis of Silver Creek and Roger Weiner of Clarksdale.
Staff photo by Bobby J. Smith
Dale Bain — son of the late Peggy Bain — is sworn in by James E. Price Jr., school board attorney, at Monday’s meeting of the Alcorn School District Board.
Board swears in new member BY BOBBY J. SMITH email@example.com
In an emotional meeting of the Alcorn School District Board on Monday, Dale Bain took the oath of office to fill his late mother’s District 2 seat. Bain, the 44-year-old son of late board member Peggy Bain, was appointed after his mother died Dec. 28 following a heart
Index Business........7 Classified...... 13 Comics...... 11 Wisdom...... 10
Weather........5 Obituaries........ 3 Opinion........4 Sports........8
procedure. Bain is an industrial supply salesman with Riechman Crosby Hays Company. He started getting calls the day after his mother died from people wanting him to seek the board position, he said, and he intends to work on what his mother wanted to accomplish as a board member. The Alcorn Central graduate
has not decided if he will be a candidate in the November special election to fill the rest of the term. Mary Coleman, District 4 board member, made the motion to appoint Bain to his late mother’s position. “It’s my honor to place the Please see SCHOOL | 2
On this day in history 150 years ago Jan. 17 — The civilian pilot (navigator) of the USS Lexington is released after a day of confinement for running the gunboat onto a rock in the Tennessee River. The Captain, Lt. James Shirk, was furious, “I immediately put him off duty and confined him in double irons.”
2 • Daily Corinthian
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Old Hattiesburg High School project on hold BY TERRY L. JONES Hattiesburg American
HATTIESBURG — Since officials announced plans to restore the old Hattiesburg High School, the ambitious project has seemed to be cursed with setbacks — including an arson fire — that have prevented it from becoming the gem city leaders envisioned. And now the project is in a state of limbo again — due to a weak economy. But downtown officials are still optimistic their dreams for the structure will come to fruition, although it will probably take a lot longer than they would like. “We still believe we have a viable project, but like so many other projects that are major investments, this one has been impacted by the economy,” said Betsy Rowell, executive director of the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association. “There seems to be some promise on the horizon for an economic turnaround so we’re hoping — in the spring — to have conversations with people who are interested in the building.” When the old school’s restoration was announced, officials with the University of Southern Mississippi expressed interest in making a major investment in the project by using the structure as the new home for the college’s art department. Back in June 2010, HHDA officials said they were in negotiations with the university to broker a lease that would lock in USM’s commitment to the project. That was before the school was slammed with state and federal funding cuts. “Southern Miss has financial challenges like every college right now,” said Holt McMullan, HHDA’s project leader
for the endeavor. “I don’t know exactly what their game plan is now, (and) we’re trying to decide what to do next.” USM’s interest in the building hasn’t waned, according to officials. “The university is reviewing the feasibility of locating the arts programs at the old Hattiesburg High School building,” Chad Driskell, executive assistant to the president for external affairs, said. “While the university’s budget dictates that we concentrate on our core facilities at this time, we remain committed to partnerships that will result in the restoration of this historically and architecturally significant structure.” The last constructionrelated work that was performed on the structure, since it was heavily damaged by a May 29, 2007, arson fire, were rehab efforts on the front facade, which officials said helped in the securing of historic tax credits. About $3 million already has been invested in the project — $50,000 of which was generated through the HHDA’s Internet-driven Cornerstone Campaign. “Because it’s just sitting there waiting, we don’t think it’s fair to raise money in another campaign when we don’t know what’s going to happen with it yet,” Rowell said. “We still have people that make contributions to the project so there’s certainly not a lack of interest in it.” Rowell said the fencing around the structure was recently repaired to help ward off any potential outside threats. There already have been several instances of vandalism, she said. McMullan said the project’s stakeholders intend to meet next week to try to brainstorm what their next step should be.
Caterpillar donates to Lighthouse Foundation Caterpillar of Corinth recently made a generous donation to The Lighthouse Foundation in Corinth. Caterpillar representative Jeff Haworth, a 6 Sigma Black Belt, makes the donation to Lighthouse Foundation Executive Director Gary Caveness and Markenna Duff, assistant director of the Lighthouse Foundation.
Officials urge cancer screening BY JEFF YORK For the Daily Corinthian
January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and the Tennessee Department of Health is urging all women to get screened for cervical cancer in 2012. Cervical cancer is a silent killer that strikes without symptoms or pain until the disease is in the most advanced stage. “The survival rate is almost 100 percent for women whose cervical cancer is found at an early stage. Deaths from cervical cancer could be decreased dramatically through the combination of vaccination and regular Pap testing,” Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, said. “We urge all women to get screened for cervical cancer and talk to their health care providers about ways to prevent and reduce the risk of developing cervical cancer.” Almost all cervical cancer is caused by infection with certain dangerous strains of Human Papillomavirus, a virus so common that about half of all sexually active people will be infected by one or more different strains in their lifetime.
“The HPV vaccine is quite safe and very effective at preventing infections that can lead to cervical cancer and other kinds of cancer in both men and women. For this reason, it is now recommended for both young women and men.” Dr. Kelly Moore Medical director, Tennessee Immunization Program HPV vaccines can prevent infection with the kinds of HPV that cause most cervical cancer. These vaccines are available from many healthcare providers and through the Vaccines for Children program in Tennessee’s public health department clinics for anyone under age 19 with TennCare or without insurance coverage. Even though the vaccine works very well, it cannot prevent every case of cervical cancer, so vaccinated women also need regular Pap smears. “The HPV vaccine is quite safe and very effective at preventing infections that can lead to cervical cancer and other kinds of cancer in both
PARDONS: Barbour hopes to help those pardoned find employment CONTINUED FROM 1
sentence and five years of probation. He was discharged from probation in January 2006. ■ David Willard Newcomb was sentenced in December 2000 in Tishomingo County on charges of possession of crystal meth with intent within 1,500 feet of a church, manufacture of crystal meth within 1,500 feet
of a church, and an additional charge of possession of crystal meth with intent. He completed probation in October 2002. ■ Terry James Lee was sentenced in December 1991 in Tishomingo County on a charge of burglary and larceny of a dwelling. He completed probation in 1994. In Barbour’s defense of the pardons, he noted
most of the individuals were no longer in custody, and the majority had been out of custody for a number of years. Some have chronic medical conditions. Barbour said he wants to help the people find gainful employment and obtain professional licenses, as well as vote and hunt. Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood ques-
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tioned whether proper procedure was followed in some cases in which a legal notice must be published in a local newspaper regarding an inmate’s request for clemency. A number of the individuals had worked at the governor’s mansion in the trusty program, which gives labor duties to inmates deemed trustworthy.
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men and women. For this reason, it is now recommended for both young women and men,” according to Kelly Moore, MD, MPH, medical director of the Tennessee Immunization Program. “Because the vaccines prevent infections but cannot treat pre-existing infections, they work best when given well before sexual activity begins. They are typically given at age 11 or 12, along with other routine pre-teen vaccinations, but they are recommended for every woman under age 27 who has not yet been vaccinated.” All women are at risk for developing cervical cancer, especially as they age. Screening and early
(For more information, call the toll-free number 1-877-96-WOMEN (1-877-969-6636) or visit the TDOH website at http://health.state. tn.us/BCC/index.htm.)
SCHOOL: Board honors Bain CONTINUED FROM 1
name of Dale Bain, to try to fill that seat your mother filled so well,” she said. Coleman also presented a plaque in memory and honor of Peggy Bain’s support and love for the school district and Alcorn Central to an assembly of her family members at the board meeting. “She leaves such a fine legacy,” Coleman said.
Outgoing board president Carroll Morton paid tribute to Peggy Bain shortly before the swearing in. “She was a delight to work with and was kind to everybody on this board,” Morton said in a voice unsteady with emotion. He cited the late board member’s focus on the district’s children. “She always had them in mind in everything we discussed.”
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diagnosis are the best ways to ensure a cervical cancer diagnosis is not fatal. The American Cancer Society reports that in the United States, about 12,701 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed this year and about 4,290 women will die from cervical cancer. Among American women diagnosed with cervical cancer, 60 to 80 percent had not had a Pap test in the past five years. Women can contact their local community health center or county health department for information on screening services and locations. The Tennessee Breast and Cervical Screening Program is available in most county health departments and some community health centers across the state to assist uninsured women with limited income in getting clinical breast exams, Pap tests and mammograms at no charge.
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1801 South Harper Road Harper Square Mall • Corinth, MS 38834
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3 • Daily Corinthian
City Board Agenda The Corinth Board of Mayor and Aldermen is set to meet at 5 p.m. today. The agenda includes the following: ■ Reports of the department heads ■ Kenny Digby to ad-
dress the board ■ Presentation from Neel Shaffer Engineering - Walter Huff ■ Presentation from Tourism Director Kristy White ■ Presentation from The Alliance - Gary Chan-
dler ■ December claims docket ■ Zoning matters, if any ■ Off-premises beer license request from Dollar General for four store locations
Things to do Today Activity center The Bishop Activity Center is having the following activity today -- Exercise. Senior citizens age 60 and above are welcome and encouraged to attend. Daily activities include crafts, jigsaw puzzles, quilting, table games (dominoes and Rook), washer games and Rolo Golf.
Nature group meets Anyone interested in activities involving wild birds or nature can attend the next meeting of the Corinth Audubon Nature Group at 6 p.m. tonight in the Corinth Library audito-
rium. The guest speaker will be Andrea Schuhmann, outreach director at the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center. She will speak on “Predators.”
Senior activities The First Presbyterian Senior Adult Ministry hosts a Wii sports class for senior adults on Tuesdays at 9 a.m. There is no cost to participate. Call the church office at 286-6638 to register or Kimberly Grantham at 284-7498.
Culinary Food Month Alcorn County Welcome Center, 2028 South Tate
Street, Corinth is observing Culinary Food Month for January. Visitors to the center can go by and pick up recipe cards, sweet potato recipe brochures, valuable restaurant coupons (while supplies last), menus, the new “eat. drink.Mississippi” magazine with lots of wonderful recipes and other information. The Welcome Center will also be doing random giveaways throughout the month to out of state and/or local travelers who come in and sign in on their daily visitor register on numbered lines.
Wahlberg plays tough in entertaining, yet predictable action movie Contraband, R, ***, Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Giovanni Ribisi, Ben Foster; universal film; director Baltasar Kormakur; length — 110 minutes “Contraband” is based on “Reykjavvik-Rotterdam,” a film from Iceland. The main character, Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg), is a former smuggling expert who has given up his life of crime for a security business. As a former guy who broke the law more than most and knows the tricks of the trade, who could possible do this job better? Since his occupation is now preventing breaking, entering and illegal activity at homes and businesses, he has to be one of the best. Farraday is happily married to the beautiful Kate (Kate Beckinsale), and they have two children. The movie is set in New Orleans and includes some nervous moments for Farraday in the Big Easy along with a shoot-em-up thrilling visit to the country of Panama. Kate’s brother, Andy (Claeb Landry Jones), does not have a lot of common sense. He bungles a smuggling job and Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), his drug boss, does not have mercy on anyone who cuts into the illegal profits of his crime organization. Yes, the reader has guessed it, Farraday must
put on his smuggling britches and save his brotherin-law’s life along with Terry his wife and Burns children. As FarMovie Critic raday gets back into illegal activity, it is obvious he has not lost his edge. He decides to smuggle counterfeit money in order to repay the illegal debt for good ole Andy. He pulls his old team back together and they are off to Panama to visit some old friends and return to those days of yesteryear when smuggling was his first occupation. He also engineers a shipyard heist. Meanwhile, Farraday’s old friend Sebastian (Ben Foster) stays behind to watch after Kate and the children. Of course, everything does not go as planned as Farraday gets involved with some tough characters from his days of stepping outside the law. The action is tense and the shoot-outs are strong. A seasoned movie-goer will soon figure out where ”Contraband” is going, however, there are enough small surprises to still make it interesting. Watch the movie closely, and think of abstract painting and one of the most influential painters
Terry Burn’s movie ratings: We Bought a Zoo, PG, *** 1⁄2 Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, PG-13, **** War Horse, PG-13, *****plus The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, R, *****plus Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, PG13, *** 1/2 in the last 60 years. This will help keep the viewer alert to watching small scenes that will become big payoffs before the movie is over. “Contraband” has its moments. What movie buff could keep from being for someone trying to save his family from the real bad, bad guys — not just the former bad guys? (Terry Burns is technology coordinator for the McNairy County School System. A life-long movie buff, he can be contacted by email at burns984@ bellsouth.net. Terry’s movie grading scale: fiveplus stars — as good as it gets; five stars — don’t miss; four stars — excellent; three stars — good; two stars — fair; one star — poor; no stars — don’t bother.)
Cracker Barrel founder dies Associated Press
LEBANON, Tenn. — The founder of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store chain, Dan Evins, has died at 76. The company said Monday that Evins died Saturday in Lebanon, Tenn. No cause of death was given.
Evins opened his first restaurant in Lebanon, Tenn., in 1969. The restaurant catered to highway travelers and focused on offering Southern hospitality, country-style cooking and an associated gift shop that came to define the chain. He fashioned the res-
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taurant after the country stores of his youth in rural Tennessee and used a number of family recipes. The restaurant was named after the practice of customers gathering at country stores to share news and play checkers on top of an empty barrel.
Funeral services for Edward Earl “Ed” Bradley, 77 were held Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, at McPeters Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Merl Dixon and James Moffitt officiating. Mr. Bradley died at his residence on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, with his family at his bedside. He was born on Thursday, Jan. 10, 1935, to the late M.C. “Mutt” and Edith Benjamin Bradley. During his life, he served his country in the U.S. Army, was a truck driver for the Corinth Street Department, from which her retired after 13 years, and was partners with his brothers in Bradley’s Body Shop. During his spare time he enjoyed fishing, working in the yard, watching NASCAR and spending time with his family. He put his faith in the words written in the Holy Bible. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by four brothers, Carter, Abram Nelson “Red”, Amos and Maurice Bradley; and two nephews, Jason and Steve Bradley, the sons of Maurice. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Clara Jewel Bradley; two sons, Eric Bradley and wife Kim, and Randy Lane Odle; one brother, Danny Bradley and wife Sue; three sisters, Clara Bennett and husband Johnny, Joyce Holley and husband Jimmy, and Jeanette Kirk; four grandchildren, Morgan and Paige Bradley, and Brandon and Joshua Odle; special friend, Raymond Glidewell; several nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of friends. Condolences for the family may be left at www.mcpetersfuneraldirectors. com.
Barbara A. Ragan
Funeral services for Barbara A. Ragan, 69, were held Monday at Hight Funeral Home with burial at Forrest Memorial Park. Mrs. Ragan died Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at her home. Born May 3, 1942, she was a talented seamstress who loved traveling, reading, flowers and decorating. She worked many years at Hall Printing (World Color). She never met a stranger and loved her family and friends very much. She was preceded in death by her mother, Irene Hancock Essary; a brother, Ricky Essary; a grandson, Nicholas Wayne Ragan; her mother-in-law, Ester Ragan; and her father-in-law, Son Ragan. Survivors include her husband of 48 years, Buddy Ragan; her father, Honnell Essary; a daughter, Lisa Young Ragan and husband Tim of Corinth; her sons, Richard Ragan and wife Kathleen of Falkner, and Mitch Ragan and wife Sadonnah of Walnut; her sisters, Jane Rowsey and husband Phillip or Rienzi, Sue Crum and husband Tommy of Corinth, Debbie Essary and husband Ronnie of Cairo; her brother, Kenneth Essary and wife Lavon; her brother-in-law, Curtis Ragan, all of Corinth; her sister-in-law, Eva Caldwell of Horn Lake; her grandchildren, Andrew Ragan, Brad Young, Bryce Young and Matthew Ragan; her special friends, Sarah Robertson, Lou Chambers, Helen Dillingham, Vonnie Caldwell and Sue Morrow; and a loving host of family and friends. Minister Ferrell Hester officiated the service. Pallbearers were Andrew Ragan, Brad Young, Bryce Young, Matt Ragan, Andy Essary, Tyler Johnson, Eli Johnson, Steven Essary, Marty Childers, Jeff Pittman and Gavin Wood.
Constance Osborn, 78, of Corinth, died Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Booneville. Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Cutshall Funeral Home.
IUKA — Funeral services for Lisa Diane Dean, 47, are set for 2 p.m. today at Fifth Street Baptist Church with burial at Oak Grove Cemetery. Mrs. Dean died Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, at North Mississippi Medical Center in Iuka. She was a member of Fifth Street Baptist Church and a cosmetologist. She was preceded in death by her mother, Ruth Pickle. Survivors include her husband of 28 years, Kenneth Dean of Iuka; one son, Joseph Dean of Iuka; one daughter, Kendra Dean of Iuka; her father, Tommy Joe Pickle of Selmer, Tenn.; one brother, Joey Pickle (Delana) of Farmington; and three grandchildren, Jada Dean, Aden Dean and Anniston Tensley, all of Iuka. Bro. Tony Curtis and Bro. Robert Armstrong will officiate. Visitation is today from 10 a.m. until service time at the church.
SELMER, Tenn. — Funeral services for Arnold Plunk, 96, are set for 1:30 p.m. today at Shackelford Funeral Directors of Selmer with burial at Lake Hill Memorial Gardens in Bethel Springs, Tenn. Mr. Plunk died Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012, in Selmer, Tenn. Born April 10, 1915, in McNairy County, Tenn., he worked for Whalley Construction Company. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sard and Flossie Sheets Plunk; his wife, Johnnie Mae Patterson Plunk; a brother, Clifford Plunk; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Survivors include four daughters, Gene Shelton of Selmer, Tenn., Betty Jane Smith of Corinth, Joan Plunk of Selmer, Tenn., and Jackie Walker of Selmer, Tenn.; a son, Roy Plunk of Selmer, Tenn.; a sister, Elizabeth McCann of Milan, Tenn.; nine grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; three great-greatgrandchildren; and a host of extended family and friends. Bro. Jetta Forsythe will officiate the service.
Obituary Policy The Daily Corinthian include the following information in obituaries: The name, age, city of residence of the deceased; when, where and manner of death of the deceased; time and location of funeral service; name of officiant; time and location of visitation; time and location of memorial services; biographical information can include date of birth, education, place of employment/occupation, military service and church membership; survivors can include spouse, children, parents, grandparents, siblings (step included), and grandchildren, greatgrandchildren can be listed by number only; preceded in death can include spouse, children, parents, grandparents, siblings (step included), grandchildren; great-grandchildren can be listed by number only. No other information will be included in the obituary. All obituaries (complete and incomplete) will be due no later than 4 p.m. on the day prior to its publication. Obituaries will only be accepted from funeral homes. All obituaries must contain a signature of the family member making the funeral arrangements.
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Mark Boehler, editor
4 • Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Romney wants to save our souls BY ROGER SIMON NASHUA, N.H. — Alone in his hotel room on a dark and stormy night, the presidential candidate was memorizing his talking points when the Devil appeared before him. “Worry not,” the Devil said. “I can grant you a victory in the primaries and the nomination of your party. But in return, you must sell me your soul. You must betray all decent principles. You must pander, trivialize and deceive. You must gain victory by exploiting bigotry, fear, envy and greed. And you must conduct a campaign based on lies, sham, hype and distortion.” “So?” the presidential candidate replied. “What’s the catch?” An old joke. But one of my favorites. And perfect for the Republican nominating race so far. Even though the New Hampshire primary was marked by an odd lack of passion on the part of the voters, it was marked by a high degree of Republicanon-Republican brutality. It came to a head on the day before the primary. Mitt Romney, speaking about free market capitalism, spoke of bad insurance companies and how, “if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” His statement was quickly chopped down to “I like to fire people,” and almost the entire Republican field jumped down his throat. “Gov. Romney enjoys firing people; I enjoy creating jobs,” said Jon Huntsman, knowing full well he was taking the quotation wildly out of context. The media, playing their role as observers who come down from the hills after the battle is over to shoot the wounded, went into a frenzy over the “gaffe,” threatening to make it the most trivial issue to affect an election since Howard Dean screamed. Rick Perry savaged Romney and his former company, Bain Capital, as practicing “vulture capitalism.” “They’re just vultures,” Perry said. “They swoop in, eat the carcass and leave the skeleton.” Which might have been a vivid and effective attack — if Perry were running in the Democratic primaries. Most Republicans, however, are not outraged when companies buy up other companies, sell them off, make profits and cause the stock to rise. Why? Because you know what they call people who own a lot of stocks? Republicans. Somehow, Perry and the others had confused their own party with Occupy Wall Street. Rick Santorum said the whole incident was an example of how “inarticulate” Romney was, and Newt Gingrich said it showed how Romney could never win a debate against Barack Obama. But Gingrich has his own vulnerabilities, such as his continuing insistence on referring to himself as a member of “the middle class.” Romney was ready for that one. “If you have a half-a-million-dollar purchase from Tiffany’s, you’re not a middle-class American,” Romney said. But Romney, even during his moment of victory Tuesday night, could not keep himself from letting a little bitterness creep into his speech. “President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial,” Romney said, “and in the last few days, we’ve seen some desperate Republicans join him.” “Soldiers coming home from the front lines are now standing in the unemployment lines,” Romney said, and then said Obama’s philosophy was, “It could be worse.” “’It must be better, and it will be better!” Romney said. “This campaign is about more than replacing a president. It’s about saving the soul of America.” Gingrich was not buying it. “I am actually electable,” Gingrich said about the difference between himself and Romney. “We’ve spent a lot of time in South Carolina, and we’ve made several visits there, but our name recognition is low. But tomorrow, there will be a new order to the universe.” Tomorrow dawned, however, and the order of the universe was the same. Mitt Romney is 2-0. After the South Carolina primary on Jan. 21, he will probably be 3-0. And after Florida on Jan. 31, he will probably be 4-0. And there will be nobody who can stop him. Mitt Romney has become what every capitalist dreams of: He has become too big to fail. Roger Simon is chief political columnist of politico.com, an award-winning journalist and a New York Times best selling author.
Prayer for today Dear God of assurance, train our spiritual eyes to focus on you and our mission in life, for the growth of your kingdom. Amen.
A verse to share Jesus said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” — Luke 9:23 (NRSV)
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Mississippi school transfer law challenged JACKSON (AP) — Under Mississippi law, students must attend schools in the district where they live unless there is a mutual transfer agreement between school districts. Not everyone likes the idea, as the Mississippi Supreme Court will learn as its referees a dispute between Mark and Laura Fails. The couple filed a lawsuit against the Jefferson Davis County school system that goes to the heart of the transfer law. By law, students can transfer between school districts only if both school boards agree. There have been some failed attempts to tinker with the law, but Mississippi legislators have generally agreed the transfer issue is a local one. It hasn’t been all peace and harmony. Generally, parents have seen the issue as a freedom of choice. The school district wants to protect its right, under the law, to prevent a wholesale exodus and to protect local funding. In Mississippi when students transfer to other districts, state money goes with them. Several school
districts across the state have been reviewing their local transfer policies particularly during the tough economy. In 2003, the Fails family, who lived in Jefferson Davis County, obtained a transfer for their daughter to attend school in Sumrall in Lamar County Public School District. In 2007, the Jefferson Davis school district went into conservatorship. As a result, it revoked all previous transfers. That meant the Fails’ daughter had to return to Jefferson Davis schools. The couple sued and lost in circuit court. The state Court of Appeals last May sided with the school system. Among the arguments by the Fails were that school board couldn’t revoke a student’s transfer from one district to another after the transfer was approved. They also claimed the school board could not adopt a blanket policy against transfers from one district to another. The Appeals Court said nothing in state law suggests that once consent has
been given for a transfer it cannot be withdrawn. The school district had obtained an attorney general’s opinion that said: “The release of the student to attend school in another school district is not permanent. The transfer is effective until either party revokes its consent.” The Appeals Court also ruled the school district was allowed to adopt any transfer policy it wanted, including a blanket policy that banned all transfers. There have been some court cases on the school transfer issue. In 2007, the Booneville and Prentiss County school districts settled out of court a year-old dispute over the transfer of students. The Prentiss County Board of Education the previous year voted to end student transfers to other school districts. Parents of 135 students who live in an area of Booneville annexed in the late 1980s sued the Prentiss County School Board. They wanted their children to attend Booneville schools. The Booneville School District and the city of Booneville joined the parents’
group as plaintiffs in the case. The settlement spelled out how student transfers would be handled in the future and the rights of students in the annexed to stay where they were. In 2010, a federal judge ordered a small south Mississippi school district to stop allowing hundreds of white students to transfer out of majority-black schools. The U.S. Justice Department contended the school district had, for years, allowed hundreds of white students to transfer from predominantly black Tylertown schools to Salem Attendance Center. The judge ordered the Walthall County School District to change its transfer policy to only allow transfers to a school outside a student’s residential zone only if students can justify it as a well-documented medical emergency or if students have a parent working fulltime at a school outside their zone. Jack Elliott is a writer for the Associated Press in Jackson.
Achievement is an ignored ‘disparity’ in America With all the talk no means a majorabout “disparities” ity, much less such in innumerable conan overwhelming texts, there is one very majority as they are important disparity among those winning that gets remarkably high tech awards. little attention — disThis pattern of disThomas proportionate repparities in the abilSowell resentation of parity to create wealth. People who are preticular groups among Columnist those with special occupied, or even obsessed, with dispariskills and achieveties in income are seldom ments is not confined to interested much, or at all, in Asian Americans or even to the disparities in the ability the United States. It is a phenomenon to create wealth, which are often the reasons for the dis- among particular racial, ethnic or other groups in parities in income. In a market economy, countries around the world people pay us for benefit- — the Ibos in Nigeria, the ing them in some way — Parsees in India, the Arwhether we are sweeping menians in the Ottoman their floors, selling them Empire, Germans in Brazil, diamonds or anything in Chinese in Malaysia, Lebabetween. Disparities in our nese in West Africa, Tamils ability to create benefits for in Sri Lanka. The list goes which others will pay us on and on. Gross inequalities in skills are huge, and the skills required can develop early — and achievements have been the rule, not the exor sometimes not at all. A recent national com- ception, on every inhabited petition among high school continent and for centuries students who create their on end. Yet our laws and own technological advances government policies act as turned up an especially high if any significant statistical share of such students win- difference between racial ning recognition in the San or ethnic groups in employFrancisco Bay Area. A closer ment or income can only be look showed that the great a result of their being treatmajority of these Bay Area ed differently by others. students had Asian names. Nor is this simply an opinAsian Americans are a ion. Businesses have been substantial presence in sued by the government this region but they are by when the representation
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of different groups among their employees differs substantially from their proportions in the population at large. But, no matter how the human race is broken down into its components — whether by race, sex, geographic region or whatever — glaring disparities in achievements have been the rule, not the exception. Anyone who watches professional basketball games knows that the star players are by no means a representative sample of the population at large. The book “Human Accomplishment” by Charles Murray is a huge compendium of the top achievements around the world in the arts and sciences, as well as in sports and other fields. Nowhere have these achievements been random or representative of the demographic proportions of the population of a country or of the world. Nor have they been the same from one century to the next. China was once far more advanced technologically than any country in Europe, but then it fell behind and more recently is gaining ground. Most professional golfers who participate in PGA tournaments have never won a single tournament, but Arnold Palmer, Jack
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Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have each won dozens of tournaments. Yet these and numerous other disparities in achievement are resolutely ignored by those whose shrill voices denounce disparities in rewards, as if these disparities are somehow suspicious at best and sinister at worst. Higher achieving groups — whether classes, races or whatever — are often blamed for the failure of other groups to achieve. Politicians and intellectuals, especially, tend to conceive of social questions in terms that allow them to take on the role of being on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. This can be a huge disservice to those individuals and groups who are lagging behind, for it leads them to focus on a sense of grievance and victimhood, rather than on how they can lift themselves up instead of trying to pull other people down. Again, this is a worldwide phenomenon — a sad commentary on the down side of the brotherhood of man. Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com.
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Editorials represent the voice of the Daily Corinthian. Editorial columns, letters to the editor and other articles that appear on this page represent the opinions of the writers and the Daily Corinthian may or may not agree.
Daily Corinthian • Tuesday, January 17, 2012 • 5A
State Lawmakers propose limits on governor pardons Associated Press
JACKSON — Some Mississippi lawmakers want to limit the governor’s pardon powers, a discussion prompted by Republican Haley Barbour’s actions as he left office last Tuesday. Barbour granted pardons or other reprieves to more than 200 people, including many convicted of violent crimes. He said 189 had served their time, and pardons offer a chance for redemption. “We believe in forgiveness of sin. We believe in second chances,” Barbour said last Friday, explaining his decisions. The new governor, Republican Phil Bryant, said last week he has no intention to pardon anyone. He’s also changing a trusty program that allows a few inmates to cook, clean or do other odd jobs at the Governor’s Mansion. Trusties are chosen by the state Department of Corrections. and they’re traditionally pardoned or given some other
relief, such as suspended sentence, when a governor leaves office. Barbour pardoned the 10 trusties who worked during eight years at the mansion — five each term. Eight were convicted of murder, one of manslaughter and one of robbery. Barbour said he was so confident that the trusties had been reformed that he had let them watch his grandchildren while they played at the mansion. The governor’s pardon powers are spelled out in the state constitution. Democratic Rep. David Baria of Bay St. Louis is proposing a constitutional amendment to ban any governor from granting pardons during the final 90 days of a fouryear term. Baria is also proposing a bill — not a constitutional amendment — that would require notice be given to the local sheriff or district attorney when a pardon is considered. Baria said that would allow the sheriff or prosecutor to hold a public
hearing in the county where the crime occurred to give victims and others a chance to speak. He said a transcript of that information could be sent to the governor. “I’m not trying to eliminate this governor’s or any other governor’s constitutional prerogative to do pardons,” Baria said. “But, we could put reasonable restrictions to allow people to be heard before a pardon is granted.” When Bryant became governor last Tuesday, he immediately halted the practice of trusties spending the night on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion in downtown Jackson, Bryant spokesman Mick Bullock said. Bryant is also ending the use of violent offenders as mansion trusties, Bullock said. “That was discussed several weeks ago,” Bullock said Monday. Bullock said Bryant’s changes in the trusty program were not prompted by the uproar over the Bar-
Former Gov. Haley Barbour tells reporters that he’s “very comfortable” with his decision to grant pardons or other clemency to more than 200 people in the last days in office at a news conference on Friday in Ridgeland, Miss. bour pardons. Records show that during Barbour’s two terms, he gave “full, complete and unconditional” pardons to 203 people, including 17
convicted of murder, 10 convicted of manslaughter, eight convicted of aggravated assault and five convicted of drunken-driving incidents that caused deaths. J7NÂ<H;;Ã?DL;IJ?D=
Plane crash kills pilot Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA, Miss. — Authorities say a pilot died when a small twinengine plane crashed in east-central Mississippi. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Jim Peters told The Associated Press that the pilot was the only person on board. He was killed when the plane crashed for unknown reasons after taking off from Philadelphia Municipal
Airport in Neshoba County. Peters said the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. FAA records show the twin-engine, propellerdriven Piper Aerostar is registered M&H Ventures LLC in Missoula, Mont. Dan Cumberland, manager of the Philadelphia airport, said he wasn’t sure of the plane’s intended destination when it took off from Philadelphia.
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JOYFUL NOISE 7:05(non (no 3-D) pass)(PG13) TRANSFORMERS: DARK(PG13) OF THE4:20 MOON 12:00, 12:50, 3:20, 4:10, 6:50, 7:30, 10:05 CONTRABAND (R) 4:40 7:20 (no pass) THE GREEN LANTERN (non 3D) (PG13) - 10:00 THE DEVIL INSIDE (R) 4:35 7:25 (no pass) BAD TEACHER (R) - 1:20, 4:20, 7:35, 9:40 WAR HORSE (PG13) 3:55 7:00 (no pass) MR. POPPER’S PENGUINS (PG) - 12:20, 2:40, 4:55 THE DARKEST HOUR(R)(NON 3D)4:30, (PG13) 7:40 HORRIBLE BOSSES - 1:25, 7:25,4:309:45 WE BOUGHT (PG)2:30, 4:104:50, 6:55 7:20, 9:40 LARRY CROWNE (PG13)A -ZOO 12:10, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: SUPER 8 GHOST (PG13) PROTOCOL - 7:20, 9:50(PG13) 4:05 7:10 GIRLZOOKEEPER WITH THE (PG) DRAGON (R) 9:20 4:15 7:30 - 1:10,TATTOO 4:15, 7:00, SHERLOCK A GAME1:00, OF 3:00, SHADOWS (PG13)7:20, 4:109:15 7:15 CARS 2 (nonHOLMES: 3-D) (G) - 12:15, 4:00, 6:45, ALVIN AND THECARLO CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED (G) 4:55 7:10 MONTE (PG) - 1:05, 4:05, 7:05, 9:30
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