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Showing posts from September, 2011

If You Believe In The Power of Prayer

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Rev. Perry Holder announced that the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church of Lumberton will host a City Wide Prayer Rally Sunday, October 2, 2011. Rev. Holder is calling on all residents, city and county officials, city employees, police officers and area ministers to attend this prayer rally to ask God to move in our city. We are not discriminating against anyone; we want people from all denominations and backgrounds to gather on this blessed afternoon to pray together to make a difference in the great City of Lumberton.

The mission of the Citywide Prayer Movement is to mobilize a united, praying Body of Christ to leverage a sustained kingdom influence that impacts all spheres of local culture and results in measurable societal impact.

“A chosen people, a royal priesthood, a people belonging to God” (1 Peter 2:9)

Walking and Working Together for:
- Friendships across Race and Denominations
- Proclaiming the Gospel
- Demonstrating Jesus’ Compassion

“Since you have purified your souls in ob…

See What I'm Saying

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I received some e-mails from people that were concerned and wanted to know if I was about to stop blogging. So this blog is in response to those e-mails and to offer some clarity on the post where I was apologizing. I may have offended some people with this blog, and that's bound to happen. Instead of sitting back, plotting and looking for ways to come after me they need to be focused on more serious issues. When I said that I was being targeted, I meant what I said. There were several other people in court with me that night and I believe that almost everyone of us, with the exception of the ones that paid their fines that night, were given 30 days to pay their fines. There's over $500,000 in tickets and fines on the books here in Lumberton, MS. There was no round-up to get everyone that owed fines/tickets which means that someone had to specifically pull my file, get it to the judge and have him to sign a warrant for me to be arrested for failure to pay the fine on a ticket …

Cassandra Shares Her Side of the Story

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I received a status report of the events that led to the termination of C. Fortenberry. The following statements are the words of the officer and not mine. Anyone that's involved in the matter or mentioned in the matter can respond or can submit their version of the events and I will post the response.

San wrote: "This is sad when officers that are sworn to protect and serve target people for speaking their mind! Hobson is a poor excuse for leadership. See he thought he was doing something when he had me fired but he still looking like a fool because I still make more money than that clown! LOL!! The ditch he tried to dig for me need to be the one he jump in because I am still going strong!! Jonathan the only reason that you and Mayor Holder and Hosey are being targeted is because that coward y'all got as a Chief has no balls! Bobby Gibson, Kent Crider, Rebecca Hale and Tim Johnson's flunky is what he is!! Stephanie Mullings [Lumberton's City Clerk] took my insura…

United or Untied: Pick A Side

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I would have blogged earlier, but Satan hindered me. (1 Thessalonians 2:18) I don’t know what it’s going to take for people to realize the level of chaos that is taking place in the City of Lumberton. There are some that are seeking to shed light on these matters, but it seems that so many feel that it’s someone else’s problem. If you unwillingness to get involved is because of me then I will be more than happy to step aside. This blog has brought led me in so many directions—those I thought I could trust could not be trusted, and those that I never knew cared had more compassion that I ever imagined. I’m usually not a person to apologize because I feel that apologies are a sign of weakness and when I speak I generally mean what I say. If you need an apology to get involved to help resolve the escalating chaos that is taking place in Lumberton, then accept my apology. On a deeper level, to the church members that were hurt by a disparaging comment, I would like to offer my sincere apo…

Silence Is Acceptance

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It seems that Bobby Gibson, Timothy Johnson and Ben Winston has declared war on the members of the community that helped them to get elected. If they want a war, then I say we need to suit up and put on the whole armor. I don't ascribe to the theory of an eye for an eye because it will leave the whole city blind. But if (Gibson, Johnson and Winston) are going to use an evildoer (Hobson) to try and expose skeletons in one person's closet and they have enough skeletons to fill a New Orleans cemetery, then they need to tread carefully. There are some that gathered the other day to protest the treatment of Mayor Holder, but this matter extends further than the office of Mayor Holder. In order to get more done or to show that we mean business, we need to establish a paper trail. It's obvious that the aldermen are not concerned about the same things that concern us, but we have other options. It takes more than one citizen filing complaints to the Mississippi Ethics Commi…

Case Dismissed

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Last night I attended Lumberton's municipal court and to say that it was entertaining would be an understatement. Last night was trial night and I noticed that no one testifying was required to place their hands on a bible and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So, that should give you an indication of the type of court that is taking place in Lumberton. Before court started, there were one or two individuals causing ruckus in the foyer. The lawyers that were present looked at one another and the people sitting in court just looked at one another in disbelief; especially since there were at least 7 police officers in the foyer as well. In my opinion, the things that were being said (threats, etc.) should have been considered an act of disorderly conduct, but apparently, the Lumberton Police Department can only arrest a person for disorderly conduct in the dark of night. After the judge finally showed up, court started at a glacial pace. The …

Friday Night Lights: Lumberton Edition

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Friday night, the City of Lumberton was brimming with excitement after the Lumberton Panthers defeated the Poplarville Hornets. A night of victory turned into a night of violence. Around 2:45 a.m. I was awakened by a sea of blue lights. I looked out my bedroom window and I saw people handcuffed, lying on the ground and to my surprise, there were three Lumberton police officers on duty. Next thing I noticed was the three Lamar County Sheriff cars that pulled up on the scene. Before I could go and get my camera, I saw a young lady standing on the hill. I opened my window to hear what was going on, and she was asking her sister why was she in the police car. As soon as my window was opened, I heard an officer tell the lady "Didn't I tell your ass to leave. . . that's okay, your ass is going to jail." Are you serious? This woman had just walked onto the scene and he was having her arrested. I just stood there and couldn't believe what I was witnessing. One after anot…

Can the Panthers Weather the Raine-storm?

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This has been a long week and those that live in Lumberton have seen so much take place over the past few days. We have witnessed everything from political wrangling to protest to character assassinations. It is clear that this city is far from being a place of unity, but hopefully all of that will change tonight at Panther Stadium. Friday night football is one of the only avenues that have the ability to unite people. There are two main ways to socialize in Lumberton. No, make that three. There's church. There's football. Then there's the church of football—one faith in these parts on which most everyone can agree. Tonight, the Panthers are facing the Poplarville Hornets. A key player for the Hornets is running back Tyus Raine. It has been reported that Raine has scored over 20 touchdowns this season, and it seems that there's no stopping him. Tonight, all political affiliations are set aside and we become one town with one purpose and that is to win. We have a team o…

Open Letter to Citizens of Lumberton

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I received a letter from Bennie Gray and I would like to share its contents:

Hello Fellow Citizens of Lumberton Mississippi,
I’m not sure you’re aware of the things that’s going on in Lumberton or the lack of things that’s going on in Lumberton, but I will try to enlighten you to the best of my knowledge and what I’ve witness with my own eyes.
First let me say that although I’m not in Lumberton I still have Family there and I continue to ask them why don’t the people of Lumberton try to request information on why every city around them are progressing and Lumberton continuing to go backward. They do not have an answer, until this past weekend when I was there , I got an awakening, and realized the problem goes beyond the citizens of Lumberton they cannot do anything because whoever or whomever is controlling what the Mayor, Aldermen and other City officials do is too powerful for anyone inside the city to over throw it’s going to take outside help, it’s going to take someone to get in c…

Where's The Proof?

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There are some individuals (current/former employees of the City of Lumberton, elected officials, etc.) that have proof of the improprieties that are taking place at city hall and for some reason; they are refusing to release that information. Sitting on vital information is not going to help you or this city to get transparency as to what is going on in the city of Lumberton. Recently, someone left some documents at my door in a manila envelope and it's this type of information that is going to give the citizens of Lumberton a better understanding of the type of people that are on the City of Lumberton's payroll. I am scanning the documents, and will post them on the blog so you can see for yourself, but I still need more information. If you have information about certain employees, citizens, business owners, etc. not paying their water bill or not getting charged late and/or reconnection fees, then we need them, so we can take them to the investigator at the Attorney G…

Know Your Rights, Part I

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The number of people coming out to support Mayor Holder is increasing. Many of you have said that it's time for all of this madness to end, and you are coming out because you are fed up with how this town is getting worse and worse. Some people are staying home because of fear of retaliation, but there is strength in numbers. I have been told that there is a free steak program in place for police officer's that write the most tickets and a free seafood platter for the officer that harasses the most citizens. (I don't know if the latter part is true, but that's what I was told.) Many of you know that Hobson and his team will harass anyone that's supportive of the mayor. I would like you to make sure you're tail-lights are working, obey the speed limit, and always wear your seatbelt. Over the next few days, I will offer you more tips to deal with the Lumberton Police Department because residents of Lumberton know that here, you're guilty until proven in…

Strange Bedfellows

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Yesterday, there were several citizens that called on Mayor Pro Tempore, Bobby Gibson and asked him to have a special called meeting. The first lie Gibson told then was that he couldn't call a special called meeting. Mayor Holder is out of town, and that gives the Mayor Pro Tempore the authority to call a meeting, but after Bobby Gibson found out that the people wanted a meeting to address their concerns about Dennis Hobson, Gibson said that their concerns were not important and special called meetings are for important business matters. Bobby Gibson also went on to say that "he supports Hobson 100%, that he's doing a great job and the board supports everything he's doing." Now, there you have it. We finally get a glimpse into who is behind this tirade against Mayor Holder.
For those of you that might not remember, the plans to discredit the mayor started at the last regularly scheduled board meeting and Bobby Gibson was the ring master. When Mayor Holder was…

He Said What?

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Did you see the interview with District Supervisor, Ben Winston, on September 8, 2011 in the Hattiesburg American? Why is he talking about ways to grow the city now? He's had four years to get these plans implemented, but now it's a pressing issue. Could it be that he's just trying to get his name out there since the election is only two months away? Here are some statements I take issue with. Mr. Winston stated that ". . .I'm the only black on that board and my district is majority white and I get more accolades from the white community than I do from the black community." Well, after taking a short drive through Lumberton, most of the signs supporting Ben Winston were in the yards of black voters. As a matter of fact, I didn't see any Help Ben Win signs in the yards on Lower Airport Road or Bass Lane. Is Mr. Winston more concerned with accolades than accomplishments? So, now he wants to play the race card. When he ran for election, he listed all…

You Are Not Alone

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Martin Luther King, Jr. once said "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Yesterday, members of the Concerned Citizens of Lumberton rallied at city hall to show their support for Mayor Miriam Holder. The group met at 2:00 p.m. and again at 6:00 p.m. (despite the rain). They said that they wanted transparency at city hall. Several members noted that the arrest of Mayor Holder was another example of abuse of power levied against Mayor Holder by Bobby Gibson, Timothy Johnson and Rebecca Hale. It was said that those three aldermen allegedly, gave Dennis Hobson the go ahead to file charges against Mayor Holder. Surprisingly, WDAM and WHLT were both on hand to cover the rally of support for Mayor Holder. Both news teams focused on the loss of $86,770 in the WSOM department, but the Concerned Citizens of Lumberton presented more concerns to both news anchors. The Concerned Citizens of Lumberton wanted to get answers about the imp…

Fret Not. . .

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The events that took place yesterday were more than an attack on you; it was an attack on the City of Lumberton and Hobson filed charges against you with the blessing and approval of Bobby Gibson and Timothy Johnson. I don't know what's going on, but you are trying to use the law to fight against the injustices that are taking place at city hall while they're willing to break laws to fight against you and reform. I know we, as a city, were not there when you had to endure the degrading process of being fingerprinted and photographed, but now, we have the opportunity to step it up and show you that we're not going to allow them to continue to drag our city through the mud. There are groups of white men, everyone from doctors to dropouts, meeting at Hank Vann's office under the guise of the Lion's Club so they can take back their city. I want to know where the black men are and why they're not supporting Mayor Holder. Aside from Alderman Rogers, our mayor …

Perverting the Course of Justice

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I don't know who posted this, but it needs repeating. . . "Just like the children of Israel, so is Lumberton. We wanted a change, along came Greg Cooley, then we decided we didn't want the change we were given, so we didn't support Mayor Cooley. We didn't have the nerve to stand up when he was attacked by Ben Winston. So Greg didn't bother to try and come back but Ben kept going. We decided we wanted change again, along came Miriam Holder, and then we decided we didn't want that change either. So guess what, we find ourselves not supporting Mayor Holder either. We don't have the nerve to stand up when she is being attacked. So hopefully, she will not bother to come back, but Crider will keep going strong. (Everyone don't get it twisted, Bobby don't run sh*&!. He is just the fall guy. When everything comes to a head, he will be the one to shoulder all the blame. He's been an Uncle Tom all his life, and will be just like the ending to the…

Lumberton' s Secret Lion's Club: The Blind Leading The Blind

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I was looking through some older post of one of my face book friends and I came across an interesting conversation. In the past, I have been accused to taking information out of context, so I will share with you this conversation so I won't be accused of taking things out of context. The following conversation took place on August 8, 2011:

Kent Crider: hey chief we have Lions club this thuresday 7 at Hanks office will try to catch you before then but would love to have you Mike and others there (yes, that's the way Kent Crider spells Thursday.)

Jerry Walters: I wish it had been earlier. I would have had my membership feel. Spent it on copay for medicines for my wife.

Kent Crider: that fine we can wait on that but we need members if we want our town back

Jerry Walters: We will be there.

For the record, Jerry Walters can join any group he pleases, but I take issue when Jerry is always feigning humility and talking about he want everyone in this city to get along and work tog…

LPD Gets Another Motorcycle

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The City of Lumberton has acquired another motorcycle for the police department. Compared to other non-enterprise departments, the budget for the Lumberton Police Department is gianormous. But the purchase of the motorcycle is an effort to cut down on the amount of fuel that is being used by in the police cars. The cost for the motorcycle was less that $4,000 and it will be used whenever the weather permits. These motorcycles are perfect around town. They are lightweight, they'll do over 60 miles per hour, and they get close to 100 miles per gallon! If used properly, they may be exactly what the Lumberton police department needs to get expenses down and community relations up. Now, for the other side of the coin. In order to operate a motorcycle in the State of Mississippi requires a motorcycle endorsement on your regular Class R driver's license. To receive this endorsement, you must be at least 17 years old and you must take two tests: the written and the riding tests. …

Heated Discussion

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Only in Lumberton, Mississippi could an invitation to the Firefighter Fall Festival become more heated than a three alarm fire. I think the conversation entered the PNR (point of no return) when the following comment was made: "It's really sad that someone would stoop low enough to put down any fire fighters on 9/11. . . Vanessa, please think before you speak. These are the same people that respond when your family members have medical needs or they are involved in a car accident." I'm certain that this person is aware that Vanessa is still dealing with her son's car accident, and that's probably the reason why they made that comment. It's funny that they don't think anything should be said about fire fighters on 9/11, but in the same breath, would bring up a car wreck to a mother that's still grieving the loss of her son. Another person said that Vanessa's comment "every house you all came to has burned to the ground; we might as well do…

10 Septembers Later

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September 11th is a moment in time that will be in the minds of the American people for generations to come. Much can be said about this tragic event. However, from the loss of lives to the destruction and demolition of two of the world’s largest structures, there is a factor about the event that was responsible for the magnitude of the impact; the factor of unexpectedness. For it is with every day that we find ourselves tending to the demands of a flourishing society. So much so that there is very little time to think about or anticipate potential occurrences that are far removed from the normality of life, although there is an awareness of the possibility. Knowing that something is possible is a far cry from actually experiencing that which is considered a possibility. In spite of this awareness, a tragic event such as September 11th still manages to deal a powerful blow due to its unexpectedness. September 11th is a moment in time that is forever preserved in the images of our min…

Lumberton Holds Public Hearing on Budget

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Last night, the board held a meeting on the budget for the next fiscal year. There were some minor cuts made to the budget and there will not be a millage increase for the next fiscal year. There were three citizens in attendance for this meeting that lasted about 7 minutes. I noticed that Alderman Gibson was not vocal about the police department's budget. His reaction was a stark contrast to his feelings about the police department's budget from last year. They made $97,945 in cuts to the police department, but now that we have fewer officers, the city is paying more in overtime. When the police department was headed by Chief Fortenberry, the board would have a fit if an officer had 2 hours of overtime pay, but now that Dennis is the new chief, they don't care about all of the overtime that's being given in the police department. There's no limit on the number of part-time police officers a city can hire. So, why do we have officers working 70-80 hours/week?
If yo…

Where In The World Is Andrew Beamon?

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Just a few months ago, the board found a way around the contract they have with building inspector, Andrew Beamon. They voted to hire Johnny Buckley as an alternate building inspector so they could have a back up in case Beamon was not available. The board said that Buckley and Beamon would be called on a rotation system, but at the last board meeting, it was revealed that the city clerk has been calling Johnny Buckley exclusively. The board had an issue with Beamon getting paid for multiple inspections, but after looking over the claims docket, they don't seem to have a problem with Buckley getting paid for multiple inspections.
You may be wondering why I'm taking about building inspections? Well, at Tuesday's board meeting, there was an issue between two neighbors. One neighbor said that his neighbor was cited for storage of cars on property adjacent to his property and the neighbor said he was never cited. The board began to ask both of the men questions, and that's…

Board of Aldermen Issues Memorandum (Ultimatum)

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The Lumberton Board of Aldermen issued a memorandum to the employees of the City of Lumberton. The memo was dated September 1, 2011. It stated that on July 28, 2011, the board of aldermen adopted a new personnel policy and that this policy goes into effect September 1, 2011. The board worked feverishly to get this new policy completed before Mayor Holder returned from her medical leave. Unfortunately, they didn't work fast enough. The minutes for the adoption of the new personnel policy were not approved prior to Mayor Holder's return. In fact, the minutes were placed on the agenda the same day Mayor Holder returned, which gave her the opportunity to veto the policy. The memo also stated that the employees need to sign an Employee Acknowledgement Form and return it to the city clerk no later than Tuesday, September 6, 2011 and if they had any questions they should call on of the aldermen. This is what caused the disconnect in the meeting the other night; Mayor Holder t…

Review of September 6, 2011

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If you didn't attend last night's board meeting, you missed another pivotal moment in Lumberton's downward spiral. There were several citizens on the agenda that addressed the board and several checks were approved for the 2011 FAA-AIP (Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Programs) Grants, several payments were approved for the CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) for Go-Zone Site Improvements Project/Sewer System Improvements Projects and then we got to the reports from the department heads and that's when things went bad. All of the department heads gave their reports, Jerry Walters stated that only 5 fire hydrants are not working in the city, Roy Easley reported that two pumps are going to need work, Dennis Hobson wanted to remove some officers from the part-time roster, including an officer that's on military leave and he wanted to hire four new part-time officers (Kelvin Johnson was the only one at the meeting); Mayor Holder asked him to …

Lumberton Board Meeting Tonight

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The regularly scheduled meeting of the mayor and board of aldermen is tonight at 6:00. I don't know who will attend, but it's time for citizens to come out and see for themselves. There is a public hearing tonight regarding the budget for FY 2012. I don't know how the board is planning on making up for the loss in personal property, but there is a shortfall of $1,341,550. Last year, Bobby Gibson was adamant about making cuts to the budget of the police department, but now that his puppet has taken over the department he seems to be flip-flopping (lying) about making any cuts to a department that is eating up almost half of the city's budget. Interesting. Over the last few weeks, there have been several issues with the police department. For some reason, the people that are hired are not undergoing a through background check, and we have law-breakers patrolling the streets of Lumberton, but that might have been Hobson's purpose in the first place. I've ta…

Moore and Moore Details Emerging

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The other night, marked another major robbery in the City of Lumberton. The first theft involved stealing around $6,000 worth of merchandise/metal from Custom Pre-Cast and the other night, John's Discount Drugs was robbed. (This was probably the act of some drug seekers and they probably targeted the bottles of oxycotin, loratabs and probably a whole list of other drugs.) I can see Custom Pre-Cast getting robbed because it's in an isolated location, but John's is right there on Main Street. Just goes to show that when darkness falls, the Lumberton Police Department is not patrolling Main Street. Unfortunately, the thieves weren't parked in a handicap parking space; otherwise, they might have been stopped or at least ticketed.
Everybody knows that there are usually only two officers on at night, and with Facebook and Twitter, once both cars are accounted for, the rest of the city is ripe for the picking. Instead of targeting legally parked cars, Dennis might want to ma…

Can You Stand the Rain?

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Just last week, Hurricane Irene ravaged the East Coast, and now Tropical Depression Thirteen is lurking in the Gulf of Mexico. They don't know the exact path of the storm and it could be up graded to a hurricane. Either way, our area will feel the effects of this in climate weather. Just a few months ago, the Lamar County Library Branches donated supplies and offered assistance to the residents of Smithville, MS. The town was devastated by a tornado, but they were prepared because they had a disaster plan in place in case their town was faced with such a tragedy. Is there a disaster plan in place for the City of Lumberton? Are the buildings that are owned by the City of Lumberton properly insured? The Lumberton library has made several changes to their building and is currently in the process of having the kitchen updated? Has anyone checked to see if the insurance on Lumberton Library has been adjusted to cover the new additions and renovations of the building? These are things t…

Budgets, BBI and More B.S.

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I didn't attend the special called meeting on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 because I was told that it was for a budget workshop; therefore the information contained in this post is based on a conversation I had with a citizen that attended the meeting. When it comes to budgets, this board does not have a clue. One of the first rules for planning a budget is only include the money you have and the representatives of the City of Lumberton do not seem to think this matters. According to one source, the projected amount of money the City of Lumberton is expected to receive from the county has dropped from over $2 million dollars to somewhere around $800,000. She told me that she couldn't remember the exact amount, but the correct figures will be in Sunday's paper. That's a big decrease in revenue. How is the City of Lumberton planning on covering this shortfall? The next logical step would be a drastic cut in spending, which would include a purging of the city's payroll, a…

Technicalities: There's No Excuse

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I just visited the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor website and never noticed the Technical Assistance tab. This morning, I clicked on the tab and realized that it offered more than just technical assistance. I noticed the orange writing of a link called Technicalities and it stated that Technicalities is a monthly publication of the Office of the State Auditor, Department of Technical Assistance. The purpose of this newsletter is to communicate information concerning inquiries to the Office of the State Auditor. I e-mailed a question to tech@osa.ms.gov and they quickly responded to my inquiry. I was told that a copy of the newsletter is sent to each municipality every month. The newsletter is categorized based on the questions that are being answered. They have the heading of hot topics, general, counties, education and municipalities. I was amazed that all this information is compiled and sent to every municipality with a listing of the questions, answers and the attorney gen…