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Showing posts from July, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

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I don't know what it is, but it seems like something is brewing. Every since I went to court Monday night, I can't get the questions the lawyer asked out of my head. He wanted to know if Ben Winston or Paul Ockmond, owners of Express Unlimited, came to the board or the planning and zoning committee to ask for a temporary variance for the trailers that are being stored and sold in Lumberton. Well, the answer is no, but now I'm wondering why they didn't seek a variance, and why are they trying to keep from paying taxes to the City of Lumberton. Jesus paid taxes when he walked the earth, why are will still dealing with the issue of tax evasion. Matthew 22:21 tells us to "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's." Since the owners of Express Unlimited haven't requested a variance, I feel that they are seeking other avenues to side step the law and the Comprehensive Plan. A few weeks ago, Alderman at Large, Bobby Gibson attended the planning an…

Back To School

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Summer vacations is about to end. School starts on August 6, 2010 and meet the teacher will be on August 5, 2010 from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Soon, we will see the large yellow taxis, back packs, school uniforms and new kicks. The school supply lists for elementary students are available at the Lumberton Public library. This morning, at Dirt Cheap, there was a bunch of one-subject spiral notebooks (you might want to stock up now) and there is a great sale on uniforms at Da Remix in Hattiesburg. Ready or not, here comes the new school year.

Strange Ordinances

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I was looking through some old law books, and I saw some strange ordinances that are still on the books across the country. For instance, in Oklahoma, Dogs must have a permit signed by the mayor in order to congregate in groups of three or more on private property. In Louisiana, Biting someone with your natural teeth is "simple assault," while biting someone with your false teeth is "aggravated assault." And in Indiana, Bathing is prohibited during the winter. I began to wonder, what types of ordinances are still on the books in Lumberton. I know that many of our oridinances may be outdated, but I don't think we have any that could be classified as strange. One of the biggest problems with the ordinances in Lumberton is that they are not being enforced. For instance, the curfew ordinance and the ordinance prohibiting loaded (heavy) trucks in communities. Now, before you get your hate mail pens out, I don't have a problem with children hanging out. I have…

U.N.I.T.Y.

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It seems that the members of our Board of Alderpersons are finally working together. Today, they were able to discuss things in a fashion that would have made all the residents of Lumberton proud. There was no political grand-standing or disrespectful behavior. Instead, they, along with Mayor Holder, were working to put together a budget that would help keep the City of Lumberton operational. I have blogged about all that is wrong with this city, so I feel that it is my responsiblity to blog about things that are done right. We all know that there are two side to every coin, and our city leaders are beginning to exemplify those traits as well. The members of the Board of Alderpersons have some very tough decisions to make and I wouldn't want to be in their shoes, but they are buckling down to make decisions that are best for the City of Lumberton. In my opinion, the work session was productive, but I am eager to see what takes place when we get to the issue of pay raises. U…

Where Is The Love?

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"I may have done the things they say I did, but I'm not who they say I am. Try to throw my name in the dirt, but I don't give a damn. I'm still standing like the Statue of Liberty. So put my name in [Lumberton's] history books so you'll forever remember me." Luda

Lesha M. Easley has one of the most optimistic views of the City of Lumberton, but my view has been somewhat tainted; especially after receiving my first piece of hate mail. I have received some threatening comments and post. But this is the first time that someone actually took out the the time to write me an actual letter of hate. Lesha said that Lumberton people stick up for Lumberton people. Well, the letter I received did not have a return address (of course) but it had a Lumberton, Mississippi post mark. Now, how did a few observations lead to me getting a letter telling me that "I needed to get off the cross, that Jesus will silence me (only in Lumberton will someone threaten you …

Do Fish and Birds Look Better In Black?

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I was watching a documentary on the Discovery Channel and they were talking about the long term effects the oil spill had on the cities in Alaska. The oil spill destroyed their fish population as well as their economy. The oil that leaked into the Gulf of Mexico is predicted to cause far more damage than that done by the Exxon Valdez. It is common knowledge that oil spills are bad for the environment and this point does not really need to be argued. If you’re looking for an explanation of how plankton, algae, jelly fish, dolphins, red snapper, shrimp, and oysters are impacted by this incident I lack that expertise for a detailed explanation (but I’d guess that it's pretty bad.)If you have been imopacted by the oil spill that occured on the coast, you may want to join the class action lawsuit that is being handled by Schwartz and Associates. This lawsuit is inclusive for anyone impacted by the oil spill, even those that no longer can enjoy the benefit of fishing on the Coast. If…

There Goes The Neighborhood

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This post is in response to a comment (Say What post) made by a reader on July 4, 2010 @ 10:46 p.m. The reader stated that "If we going to be real about the situation Apartments bring all the house sell down especially people that live by them. You need to read up on your information before you put it on." Well, I did a little research on the apartments here in Lumberton. Frank Lee Homes (aka Turnkey) was built in 1969-1970. But the last apartments built in a residential area are Country Village, GreenTree, and Woodchase Apartments. I looked through the records at City Hall and I found that when GreenTree and Woodchase Apartment were built, there was no protest from the residents of Ward 3 (a ward comprised of mostly African-American households) and the company was able to obtain the LIHTC (Low Income Housing Tax Credit) it needed to build the apartment units. However, when Country Village was scheduled to be built in Ward 2 ( a ward comprised of mostly Caucasian household…

Canopy Club Cafe

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There's a new eatery in town. The Canopy Club Cafe is located at the Lumberton Airport behind the big blue building. Lunch is served from 11:00 a.m.--1:30 p.m daily and delivery is available inside the city limits ($1.00 extra or free delivery for 5 or more orders). The menu is as follows: Mondays--Spaghetti and Meat Sauce ($5.50), Tuesday--Red Beans and Rice ($5.50), Wednesday--Jambalya ($5.50), Thursday is Mysteryday--this could be anything from fried chicken, meat loaf, chicken tetrazzini, or beef stroganoff ($5.50), and Friday is Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo ($6.50). Sales tax is included in the price. For more details or to place an order call: 601-688-6136.

The Roof, The Roof, The Roof Is On Fire. . .We Don't Need No Water. . .

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Lumberton is making headlines again. This time it's concerning the Lumberton Fire Department. The article stated that the City of Lumberton is being asked to return the county owned tanker, but I was under the impression that the county has already taken the tanker. Since I am often accused of stating opinions and not facts, I decided to go to city hall to see what's going on. When I arrived at city hall, the public works director, Danny Davis, was there and he stated that he wasn't given the opportunity to respond to the statement that many of the city's fire hydrants are not operational. He stated that the city has more fire hydrants than ever before, and if any fire hydrants are not operational, he would address the matter in a timely fashion. According to Mayor Holder, the City of Lumberton has it same insurance rating, and the City of Lumberton will still get it's rebates from the state. So not much has changed. Also, I received a copy of the fire protect…

It's Budget Time

The City of Lumberton is gearing up for the new budget. There is a special called meeting today at 10:00 a.m. One of the agenda items is for the department heads to give their budget proposals. There aren't any more newly elected officials serving on the Lumberton Board of Alderpersons. It's been over a year since this new board took office, so the budgeting process should go a little smoother this year. I must remember to submit my request for a copy of the 2011 budget. What changes will be made? Will the public works department keep a full-time staff all year long or will they have lay-offs after the grass cutting season is over? Will Melissa Pack be brought on as full time deputy court clerk? Will there be any raises given this year? These and many other questions will be answered aas we enter the 2011 budgeting process.

Now That I Have Your Attention. . .

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I tried to employ my best Anderson Cooper techniques when I started this blog, but it took a few Jerry Springer moments to get the people of Lumberton talking. My purpose has been and will always be to get the people that live in this city to see what is going on. Just visualize that you are at the four way stop on Main Street, and look in any direction and tell me what do you see? Now travel North (Purvis, Hattiesburg) you will see growth, if you travel South (Poplarville, Picayune) you will see growth, East (Wiggins) growth, West (Columbia) growth. So the question I want the people of Lumberton to ask themselves is Why is Lumberton not growing? So, where do I look for answers to this question? I look to those who were elected to serve and I look to those who were appointed to serve. I do not think that business affiliations, family relationships, or personal agendas should trump my position as a citizen, voter and an active participant in the government of the City of Lumberto…

Still I Rise

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I've been very disturbed by this trend ever since I first started seeing "no snitchin'" t-shirts being sold . That's a dangerous, self-destructive philosophy for any community to adopt. If you see a crime being committed, you should report it. I don't care what anybody has to say about it, there's no dignity in allowing crime and destruction in your community. I have been called everything but a child of God since I started this blog. Wait a minute, I was called a child of God, but then I was told that I was being a hypocrite. But anyway, there is this theory out there that I created this blog to bring down the City of Lumberton. Where was all this angst when Lumberton was being blasted on the news every night? There is also a theory that I set up this blog, where I have basically talked about everyone and everything under the sun, and now I am making anonymous comments. How dreadful!(in my Dwight from Housewives of Atlanta voice) Apparently, there …

Update: Smoke and Mirrors

I found some interesting information regarding the comp pay and the Lumberton Police Department. According the the U.S. Department of Labor, under certain prescribed conditions, empployees of State or local government agencies may receive compensatory (comp) time off at a rate of not less than one and one-half hours for each overtime hour worked, instead of cash overtime pay. Police officers, emergency response personnel, and employees engaged in seasonal activities may accrue up to 480 hours of comp time; all others 240. I found it intersting that the U.S. Department of Labor stated that the all covered non-exempt employees receive at least the applicable minimum wage for all hours worked. . . they must receive their regular rate of pay and overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all overtime hours. The act does not preclude any employer from lowering an employee's hourly rate, provide the rate paid is at least the minimum wage. …

A Fresh Start!

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This morning, the Lumberton Planning and Zoning Committee (LPZC) met to make some changes in the way they operate and if their meeting was any indication to the possibility of what can take place in Lumberton then we are in for a fresh start. There was a moment when things became a little tense, but they managed to work through their differencs, and do what is best for the City of Lumberton. The LPZC stated that they are not in place to hinder growth, but are ready to embrace businesses that are willing to make Lumberton their home. One of the main discussions was the one regarding the upcoming case about the storage of the trailers. The members of the LPZC stated that they were willing to work with the owners of the land to come to an agreement that would have been mutually beneficial to the business owners as well as the City of Lumberton. Unfortunately, no one was willing to come to the LPZC to work out any type of agreement, and that the owners of the property did not want to g…

Which Came First The Chicken or The Egg?

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We had eggs yesterday, so it's normal to have chicken today. We all know that when my car was egged, it was a chicken (coward) that threw them. What happened? Have we really become a generation of cowards? I remember when I was growing up,(OMG I'm getting old b/c I'm having a throwback moment) if we had a beef with a person, we went to that person. We didn't go all over the city, talking about that person for three weeks,and we definately didn't egg their car (well, we might have rolled their house in tissue, but only on Halloween). On a daily basis, about a hundred people drive through Frank Lee Homes. Keep in mind that there are only 36 families living there. The people in this city like going through there becaue they are hoping they see something go down. And that's why people visit this blog because they want to see something or someone go down. I can easily find out who egged my car because people here are not able to keep secrets. I could hang o…

Egg-spected

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This blog has been on-line for more that a year. I had the tag line from the Hood to the Hall. . I'm reporting it all. I went almost a year before anyone commented on this site, and then one day, someone said something about someone's child and it ignited a firestorm of comments. I've spoken about things that happen in city hall, the way our aldermen vote, I displayed my private battle with the mayor (later having to apologize), I've talked about political grandstanding, lack of police patrol, the behavior of people that live in certain areas of town, etc. People have posted comments about elected officials, the mayor, police officers, other people's children and so on, but nothing compares to the response that I received once I allowed people to make comments about people in the church. I have received threats from anonymous cowards, but once I allowed people to post comments about church folk the playing field changed. For the first time in my life, I woke …

Smoke and Mirrors

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I went by City Hall today to look through the records, and I didn't find what I was looking for. A while back, I stated that the Lumberton Police Department was hemorrhaging funds, but that was not the correct. I guess a better diagnosis would be that the Lumberton Police Department is suffering from led poisoning because they are getting pencil (you fill in the blank). I was trying to find out why so many police officers have such an excessive amount of comp time. Did the Lumberton Police Department enter into an agreement with the City of Lumberton for comp time in lieu of payment of overtime? I tried to find an agreement in the minutes, but I was not able to do so. What is the agreement between the City of Lumberton and the Lumberton Police Department when it comes to the issuance/payment of comp time? Not only is there a problem with comp time and payment of overtime hours, I was told by several city employees that they have received late notices regarding their insuranc…

The Pieces Are Coming Together

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I still haven't found a concrete reason why Kent Crider wanted to get rid of all the members of the Lumberton Planning and Zoning Committee, but I will continue to search. And I may never know the truth behind Bobby Gibson's vote to end the Planning and Zoning Committee, but at some point, every thing will be revealed.I'm beginning to believe at least two members of the current committee agree that the committee should be eliminated. All the members of the LPZC were present for the board meeting except Olen Bounds and Butch Brumfield. I've heard that they have a problem with the way business is being conducted by the committee, but if they feel so passionately about disbanding the committee why don't they MAN UP and submit their letters of resignation so new committee members can be appointed. The old saying is if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem. So, until they resign, they are part of the LPZC, but not attending the public me…

Review of July 6, 2010 Board Meeting

There was a capacity crowd in attendance at last night's board meeting. At least the word is getting out, and more people are coming to the board meetings. Stephanie Mullings was recognized as a Certified Municipal City Clerk and Tax Collector. Melissa Pack was recognized for her attendance at the Mississippi Municipal Court Clerk's Association Summer Convention. (Her attendance was made possible by an anonymous donor.) Mayor Holder, Alderman Rogers, and Alderman Gibson thought it was a good idea to have a City of Lumberton garbage can placed on the corner of Myrick and North 10th Street, so there will be no more excuses for the excessive amount of litter that is generally found in that area. Now for the other side of the coin. Kent Crider's motion to have the planning and zoning committee abolished failed. Bobby Gibson and Kent Crider voted to do away with the planning and zoning committee. (I wonder why?) Crider spouted off some discrepency in the ordinance, and f…

Lack of Knowledge

My uncle, "Jr. Brown" would always respond to a seemingly stupid question or reaction with the phrase "lack of knowledge." Over the years, I would read Hosea 4:6 and I would stop with the phrase, "my people are destroyed from a lack of knowledge" but we must continue to get the full meaning of the verse, "because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee." Which brings me to the point I want to make today. I just left City Hall and I noticed that David Kent Crider has placed a motion on the agenda to abolish the Lumberton Planning and Zoning Committee and reorgaize the committee. I have a lot of wayside people telling me that I am focusing on the negative events that are happening in Lumberton. Now that we have a committee that is willing to do what is necessary for the advancement of our city, we have an alderman that wants to abolish the group. So, is this move personal or political? But I'm willing to bet that there are …

Mrs. Officer

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The toughest job in Lumberton is probably that of a police officer, and I imagine that it's even tougher for those that grew up in this city. Since I am often accused of speaking negatively about the City of Lumberton, I decided to do a feel-good post about Officer Sharese Holder. I know there are other women that are serving on the police department, but I imagine serving in Lumberton is more of a balancing act for Officer Holder. She must deal with people she know on a personal level, and she must deal with it in a manner that is pleasing to all. The people that call the police are expecting one thing, but the parents are expecting another. Police officers are often accused of being disrespectful to the children of our community and others are saying that the police are not harsh enough. Then you add the fact that you grew up in this town, and everything is changed. Officer Holder has to deal with people she attened school with, relatives, and city officials that love to …

Political Assassins

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Now the story you are about to read is fictional and any similarities to any persons dead or alive is purely coincidental. Image there was a group of individuals that devised a plan to take over your city. Little by little, they edged their way into every aspect of government; each move was carefully calculated like a grand game of chess. You try to escape them, but they have recruited people from every walk of life. They have elected officials, attorneys, police officers, office workers and even members of the press. For the sake of this post, let’s refer to them as political assassins. People will probably say that I am being negative, that I am trying to tarnish the already tarnished reputation of a little city south of Hattiesburg. I guess they need someone to blame. Well, blame it on the drugs, blame it on the Goose, blame it on the Henny, blame it on the rain, blame it on whatever. I consider my self a community activist, and I just happen to be black. So when I started t…

Say What?

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I have received a lot of input from readers of this blog and that was why I recently added this blog to Facebook. I was apprehensive at first because when I tried to start the Lumberton Informer page, the readers had to become fans of the page. I don't consider the readers of my blog as fans, but now that Facebook has changed the fan-ish nature of their site, people can simply confirm that they "like" the page. I do take into consideration what is being said in the comments and the e-mails. However, the comment I received stating that I am not doing anything positive for the City of Lumberton is unfounded. The two mayors that served prior to Mayor Holder derrogated the City of Lumberton, and now I am being accused of dragging the city's name through the mud. Give me a break.
The work I am doing, and have done for this city has been positive. When Mayor Holder was serving as Alderwoman-at-Large, she appointed me to the Lumberton Planning and Zoning Committee. For…