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Showing posts from May, 2010

The Cost of Freedom

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Today has been designated as Memorial Day. A day set aside to recognize those that paid the ultimate price for us to enjoy our freedom. I would urge you to take a moment to give thanks to those that are serving in the military (active duty, retired, etc.) and honor them for the contributions they have made for the freedom of this country. Today is not just about beer, barbeque, and a day off. The death toll in Afghanistan has reached the 1000 mark. Brave soliders that gave their lives so that we can enjoy this day.

Road Kill

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Yesterday, while driving around Lumberton, I noticed several dead animals in the road. Generally, I am not driving around early enough to see the city workers in the morning, but this was a different day. I saw the city workers heading to work, and then at 7:00 a.m. I saw them head out in their trucks. For the next 45 minutes, they drove around the City of Lumberton, and I thought for certain that they would get the dead animals out of the roads since there were traveling the same route I had traveled, and I knew they saw the same dead animals I had seen. But I guess logic is not a recommended job requirement for a Lumberton city worker. I called city hall to report the dead animals that were scattered across our city streets, and I was told that the workers will not pick up any dead animals unless a resident reports the matter, then they will have someone come out and get the dead vermit out of the road. This was just hard for me to phatom. They drive around the city, they see…

And The Owner Is. . .Update

At 1:00 p.m., News 7 came to meet with Mayor Holder and members of the Planning and Zoning Committee. The team at News 7 stated that they have been receiving a lot of phone calls about the vast number of trailers that are being stored in Lumberton, and they wanted to know what the City of Lumberton was doing to rectify this situation. Well, today, I found out that there was a request for a water connection on the land that is next to Church of the Way. In a previous posting, I stated that the water request was made by Benjamin Winston, but I stand corrected, the request was submitted by Benjamin Winston on behalf of Winston Enterprise. I searched the Mississippi Secreatry of State's website and it listed Winston Enterprises as being owned by Stara A. Winston, 1423 Woody Drive, Jackson MS, 39212. Also, there were questions about who actually owned the property where the trailers are being stored. After the meeting with WDAM, I went to the Lamar County Courthouse to get inform…

What the Hale is Wrong With Rebecca?

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When Rebecca Hale was elected to serve as Alderwoman for Ward 2, I was hopeful that we were going to actually see some change in the way business was conducted at City Hall. Well, it's almost been a year, and I am saddened by the lack of unity among the board members. This lack of unity does not rest soley on the shoulders of Rebecca, but of all the newly elected officials, she seems to be overwhelmed by the political process. She never seems to be on the same page as the other alderpersons, and whenever they emerge from the exhastive executive sessions, she seems to be an emotional wreck. At the last two meetings, there were executive sessions, and Rebecca would look like she just lost the battle of her life. She would look like she had been crying, and wouldn't have much to say. Several times she would just exit the building after an executive session. I don't know what is going on, but I think this group needs to set aside their personal agendas and do what is bes…

And The Owner Is. . . .

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Lamar County's District 2 Supervisor, Benjamin Winston. I was headed to the Lamar County Court House to get information about the ownership of the land that is housing all of those trailers, and I was informed by Pastor Curtis Merritt that the person that owned the land, has applied for a water/sewage connection. So, I saved myself a trip to Purvis and went to City Hall and found out that the person that paid for the water/sewage hook up was none other than Ben Winston. This doesn't prove that he is the owner, but who other than the owner would pay for a water/sewage connection on a lot of land. Also, this explains the highly secretive nature of Paul "The Opportunitst" Ockmond. I attend a LEDC meeting on Friday, and Paul Ockmond was giving this diatribe about how he loved this city, and how he wanted to see this city grow, and so on and so on. He talked about the lack of direction of the board members, and he talked about the dilapidated buildings, neglected pr…

Death of a City

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When I was a member of the Lumberton Planning and Zoning Committee, we were told that you do not allow the placement of storage buildings on a main street, and that you make sure the entrance to your city is appealing to those traveling through the area. Anyone that has the gift of sight has seen the large number of dilapidated trailers that are located at both entrances into this city. I recently attended a Planning and Zoning Committee meeting, and no was notified that the City of Lumberton would be used as a trailer burial ground. Apparently, someone thought they could forgo the proper procedures and take it upon themselves to do what they want to do without regard to Lumberton's Comprehensive Plan. I have heard that the trailers are being staged and will be sold at a later date. So, you too can own one of these battered, sightly toxic vehicles!
No one is publically claming ownership of the property or of the trailers. The last time I checked, the land was owned by Paul Oc…

Long, Hot Summer

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The meaning of chaos can be defined by the end of the academic school year. There are only a few days of school left, and I have yet to see more police officers. Those of us that live in Lumberton know how OUR kids get during the summer months. There are those that are in denial about the way their children behave, but it is evident that there is a lack of parental structure in the lives of many of these individuals. For the first time in years, we have a dedicated group of certified officers, but we need more officers on the duty roster before the end of the school year. I think our chief is doing an excellent job, and I also think that Franklin, Cassandra, and Elsie are assets to our police department. I mentioned them by name becasue I have interacted with them, and I think they are very professional in the performance of their duties. I did not mention all the officers because I do not know all the officers, but that does not mean they are not doing a good job. I would also…

A Tough Bird To Swallow

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I love blogging, but one of the drawbacks of blogging is the fact that people have full access to what I am thinking. I started blogging because I was being credited for writing things on Lumberton Topix that were not written by me, so I created a blog to express my views and opinions.
Those of you that follow this blog know that I had made some disparaging remarks about Mayor Miriam Holder. I made those remarks out of a place of ignorance. I took the word of a liar and I let my battle get personal; which resulted in unfounded innuendo and allegations. For months, I avoided the mayor because I knew that I was dupped, and I had went too far with my allegations. So, in order to remain angry with the mayor, I refused to speak to her, answer her phone calls, or respond to her e-mails. But yesterday, this all came to an end. The mayor approached me in the board room, and explained to me everything that took place. In my heart, I already knew the truth, but I didn't want to admit…

The Holder Administration

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How will we view the Holder Administration as we guage the performance of our Mayor? This administration has been plagued with issues that has forced so many to walk away from politics; some willingly, others forceably. I just hope we can put an end to the poliitical grand-standing. There have been so many rumors circulating about the chaos taking place at city hall. People have access to active gas cards that shouldn't have access to gas cards. Former elected officials have gas card accounts, but there is no record of granting such accounts in any of the minutes. There was an issue with misappropriation of funds. I do not know why the members of the board are not willing to work together to address the front office, but something needs to be done. Also, it is alleged that certain members of the community are not paying for their water services. If this is true, could I get on the list for the hook-up?
In the state of Mississsippi, employment is at-will, meaning that the …

Kudos to Betty Speights

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I just wanted to take a moment to say that Betty Speights is doing an excellent job at City Hall. She possess the character and professionalism that is needed to run an office effectively. In the past, whenever an African-American was employed at City Hall, their presence was not well received. It is my hope that Betty is receiving the necessary training to do her job. For some reason, I don't think this is the case. For instance, at the public meeting on Monday, May 3, 2010, there were several questions about why the water bills were late. Danny Davis, Public Works Director, stated that there was an excessive amount of leaks that caused the water bills to be sent out late. Later, I called City Hall to ask about water bills, and I was informed that the water bills were late becasue "Ms. Speights didn't enter the bills into the system."
Betty brings a fresh, respectful element to the offices at City Hall. She is doing an excellent job, and she possess a skil…

June 30, 1917--May 9, 2010

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Lena Horne, the ground-breaking singer, actress and civil rights activist who, in 1942, became the first African-American performer to be put under contract by a major studio, died on Sunday, May 9, at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

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Candlelight Vigil for Sgt. Anthony Magee

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Tonight, friends and family of Sgt. Anthony Magee will hold a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of the fallen soilder. Sgt. Magee died on April 27, 2010 from injuries he sustained in Iraq. The vigil begins tonight at 7:00 p.m. at 145 Courtland Drive, Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Everyone is invited to attend.

National Day of Prayer

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Today has been designated as the National Day of Prayer. Generally, the LEDC would host a community event at the Ben Barrett Community Center, but I haven't seen any signs indicating their intent to do so this year. If they are planning an event, I think I will attend to see who will be omitted from their prayers this year. Last year, they refused to pray for President Obamba. Regardless of what your political views may be, 1 Timothy 2:1-4 instructs us to pray for those in authority. It reads as follows: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.(NIV)" So, that mean we must pray for President Obamba, Governer Barbor (who refused $50 million dollars in stimuls money which has led to a b…

SSDB-- May 4, 2010 Board Meeting

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A group of individuals came out on Monday night to protest against the promotion of Officer Franklin. Well, your complaints did not help because Officer Franklin was given a promotion and a take home car. I don't know who voted how since this decision was made in executive session, but it would be interesting to know how each member voted. I have heard the complaints against Franklin, but I do not have a problem with the way he operates. I know that I don't have to deal with large groups of rowdy teens congregating on the corner of Myrick Avenue when Franklin is on duty. I think his methods are balanced by the methods employed by Chief Fortenberry.
Also, there was a local man placed on the agenda to be hired, but I don't think the board hired him as an officer. Hiring Daniel Wilczek would have been a great benefit to the city. He lives within the city limits, and most importantly, he paid to attend the police academy. The board did not hire him, but they have decided …

What the Franklin is Going On?

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Last night, I found out that the rumor mill was not accurate once the meeting began. I was told that there was a rumor that Officer Franklin was going to be fired, but when the meeting started, I found that many in the community thought Chief Fortenberry was going to be fired, and Officer Franklin was his replacement. Well, needless to say, the rumor was not true. Frankin was not in line to become the new Chief of Police. However, during the meeting, there were several complaints against Officer Franklin, and they way he interact with members of our community.
We are living in the age of technology. I would suggest that those that gather at the parks for recreation begin to use their cell phones, digital cameras, and camcorders to document these alleged incidents with Officer Franklin. If his abuse of power is as rampant as represented at the meeting,his accusers need to document these events with real evidence. By capturing these moments on video would offer some leverage to t…

A Kinder More Gentle Police Department

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I was informed this morning that we are having another heated meeting at City Hall. I was told that there was a need for everyone to attend tonight's pre-board meeting since citizen's comments are only allowed on this night, and not at the regularly scheduled meeting. Apparently, the purpose of this meeting is an attempt to get rid of Officer Franklin. I have heard several people state that he is too harsh when dealing with the youth that lives on Myrick Avenue and North 10th Street.
We have some people that think the police should be gentle when dealing with these unruly children. I don't think it's funny when you have children throwing bleach filled water ballons at cars with open windows while children are sitting in the back seat, I don't think it's funny when these children are leaving behind their trails of litter because they have no respect for the area in which they live. The list goes on and on.
I can't wait to see what takes place at tonig…