Support slowly

building behind
health care bill
Nation, Page 8A
MSU to host
North Carolina
in NIT Saturday
Nation, Page 6A Sports, Page 1B
Inside Five Questions Weather
1 What psychologist and TV
personality won on “The
$64,000 Question” because of
her knowledge of boxing?
2 What 1979 song did Elton
John re-release as a hit in
3 What war is the setting for
Buster Keaton’s classic “The
4 What U.S. state is home to
the Mountain Bike Hall of
5 What 1991 novel about a
Wall Street psychopath also
included music reviews of Phil
Collins and Whitney Houston?
Answers, 10B
I Sorta Love Songs is a
cabaret-style show present-
ed by the Starkville
Community Theatre, MSU
Department of
Communication and Theatre
MSU at McComas Hall on
the MSU campus at 7:30
p.m. Admission is a $15 min-
imum donation at the door to
the Lora J. DeFore
Scholarship Fund. Info: 662-
I Clean Sweep Columbus,
a Great American Cleanup
event, will kick off at 9 a.m.
at the Hitching Lot Farmers’
Market. Volunteers are need-
ed to make a clean sweep of
Columbus. Contact your
local councilman to find out
what is being done in your
area. To volunteer, call 662-
I “The Private Eye,” is a
presentation by the Friends
of Noxubee Refuge at the
Refuge Visitor Center from
10 a.m.- noon. Discover the
drama and wonder of looking
closely at the natural world,
thinking by analogy. For
more info: 662-323-5548.
Have your event listed
here. Visit The Dispatch's
eCalendar at www.cdis-, and
add your event.
Organ du jour
“Repo Men” grafts moral
ambiguity onto the action
thriller. Page 12A
Abby 8B
Classifieds 9-10B
Comics 8B
Homes 7A
Obituaries 6A
Opinions/Letters 4-5A
Weather 2A
Only in dictionaries does
success come before work.
Tonight: Clear, low 45
Tomorrow: Times of clouds
and sun, high 72
More weather, 2A
FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2010
HOME DELIVERY 328-2433, TOLL-FREE 877-328-2430 I ADVERTISING 328-2427 I CLASSIFIED 328-8484 I NEWS TIPS 328-2471
Associated Press Writer
JACKSON — The lead-
ers of Mississippi’s eight
public universities pre-
sented the state College
Board with requests to
raise room and board
rates Thursday, but were
told to come back next
month with proposals for
the long-term upkeep of
dorms, not just the bare
minimum needed to
scrape by.
“I think the universities
have been very conserva-
tive. I have some concerns
about how conservative
they are,” Commissioner
of Higher Education Hank
Bounds said as he pre-
sented the numbers to the
board. “We have made the
smallest increases possi-
In their proposal, uni-
versity officials showed an
increased need of about
$18.5 million for fiscal year
2011, or 2 percent over the
current year, to reduce
debt, replace dilapidated
dormitories and maintain
existing housing.
However, the proposed
rate increases would give
the universities only $2.8
million for each of the next
two fiscal years.
To keep the immediate
impact to students as low
as possible, public univer-
sities in Mississippi have
been forced to repair and
Colleges eye
Spring is here
Kelly Tippett/Dispatch Staff
Japanese magnolias bloom along College Street near the WCBI building in downtown Columbus. Area tempera-
tures are expected to reach the low 70s today and Saturday, the official first day of spring. Weather, 2A
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Commissioner of Higher
Education Hank Bounds
discuss funding issues
with Board members
Thursday in Jackson.
Bowen says he could have
gone after the City of Aberdeen
for arresting and trying him on
misdemeanor charges of
receiving stolen property and
obstruction of justice, but that
would only cause more damage
to his home town. Instead, he
says it’s time to let the healing
Bowen, pastor of Aberdeen
First Pentecostal Church,
where his father was pastor for
42 years, had charges against
him dismissed by the city
Wednesday under the condition
he and his attorney, Jim Waide
of Tupelo, agree not to sue the
city. Bowen says he could have
easily beat the charges on
appeal in Circuit Court and his
subsequent lawsuit would have
accused the city of false arrest
and defamation of character.
“I had to make a decision to
either let it drop and start the
city in a positive direction or
continue this fight and continue
slinging mud,” said Bowen.
“Jim Waide told me, ‘Pastor, it’s
up to you. We can win this thing
with no sweat.’
“The city already has two or
three major lawsuits against
them and others waiting in the
wings. That won’t help the city.
When you sue the city, you hurt
yourself as a landowner.”
Ward 2 Alderman and Vice
Mayor Cloyd Garth says he
knows of two suits pending
present rate
increase request;
Board asks for
long-term plan
Pastor cleared in Aberdeen scandal claims he was ‘set up’
INVESTIGATION: Minister says he was arrested
after looking into alleged corruption
If Alan Nunnelee were
in Washington now serv-
ing as Mississippi’s First
District congressman, and
was facing a decision
whether to vote yes or no
on President Barack
Obama’s health care plan,
he would have already
his deci-
“I would
h a v e
months ago
I would
vote no,
and not wait until the 11th
hour,” the Tupelo
Republican said in com-
ments at a Thursday meet-
ing of the Columbus Tea
The meeting was held
at the Holiday Inn.
Nunnelee, a Republican
state senator from Tupelo,
was referring to U.S. Rep.
Travis Childers, who
announced Thursday he
would vote against the
health care plan.
Nunnelee is running
against Childers, a
Democrat, for the congres-
sional seat on the
Republican ticket. Other
Republican challengers
Columbus will get some early
spring cleaning done this week-
Link’d Young Professionals is
teaming with Columbus and
Lowndes County of ficials to
organize Saturday’s Clean
Sweep, a litter pick-up, trash dis-
posal, paint touch-up, volunteer
Volunteers are asked to meet
at the Hitching Lot Farmers’
Market at 9 a.m. Saturday to
divide into teams which will be
dispatched to their respective
The Link’s Shasta Nance
says more than 400 volunteers
turned out for last year’s event,
which focused largely on the
downtown area just prior to the
Columbus Pilgrimage. But the
Sweep has been extended city-
wide this year and Nance isn’t
sure if a similar turnout will
cover the extra area.
“I sure hope so. I hope to see
them Saturday,” she says.
Groups of volunteers will hit
every ward to pick up trash,
paint fire hydrants and signs,
dispose of large abandoned
items like refrigerators or tires,
and spread mulch.
City Council members will all
be involved in their respective
Ready to Sweep?
Columbus in need of volunteers
for citywide event Saturday
See SWEEP, 10A
Nunnelee: I would have said no months ago
ELECTION: Hopeful for congressional seat criticizes Childers
ready for Sunday vote.
Page 8A

Alberto Saiz/AP
Figures representing France's President Nicolas Sarkozy being kissed by his wife, Carla Bruni, are seen during
the traditional Fallas festival in Valencia, Spain, Thursday. Every year the city of Valencia celebrates the ancient
"Las Fallas" fiesta, a noisy week that is full of fireworks and processions in honor of Saint Joseph that ends in
at midnight today, burning large paper mache figures displayed around the streets of the city.
A Thousand Words
Roman Polanski’s attorneys
filed an appeal Thursday ask-
ing that a special counsel be
appointed to investigate
alleged judicial and prosecutor-
ial misconduct in the fugitive
director’s 32-year-old sex case.
They cited new evidence pro-
vided by the original prosecu-
tor in the case who testified in
a recent series of secret ses-
sions that he tried to disqualify
the original judge in 1977 on
grounds of misconduct but was
ordered by his superiors not to
do so. The lawyers also
accused the current prosecu-
tors of giving false information
to Swiss authorities to support
Polanski’s extradition to the
United States when they knew
his potential sentence did not
fall within Swiss requirements
to order his return.
Sandra Bullock reached the
pinnacle of her profession on
March 7, when she won an
Academy Award. Her husband,
Jesse James, was by her side.
He even teared up when she
went on stage to accept the
Oscar. Little more than a week
later, amid allegations of
James’ infidelity, Bullock can-
celed a planned appearance at
the London premiere of the
movie that won her the prize,
citing “unforeseen personal
reasons.” But the brand-new
Oscar winner isn’t likely to
experience any professional
consequences from this public
exposure of her personal pain.
“When you sue the city, you hurt yourself as a
The Rev. Ricky Bowen of Aberdeen, who had misde-
meanor charges dismissed against him; Page 1A
Low: 45°
Mainly clear
72° 47°
Times of
clouds and
54° 38°
A morning
52° 37°
64° 40°
Mostly sunny
and warmer
71° 49°
Mostly cloudy

Yesterday .............................. 0.00"
Month to date ........................ 2.38"
Normal month to date ............ 3.06"
Year to date ........................ 11.25"
Normal year to date ............ 14.25"
Columbus yesterday
High/low ............................ 68°/42°
Normal high/low ................ 68°/44°
First Full Last New
Mar. 23 Mar. 29 Apr. 6 Apr. 14
Sunrise today .................. 6:59 a.m.
Sunset today .................. 7:04 p.m.
Moonrise today .............. 8:41 a.m.
Moonset today .............. 11:06 p.m.
Sunrise tomorrow ............ 6:58 a.m.
Sunset tomorrow ............ 7:05 p.m.
Moonrise tomorrow ........ 9:22 a.m.
Moonset tomorrow ................ none
Sunrise Sunday .............. 6:57 a.m.
Sunset Sunday ................ 7:06 p.m.
Moonrise Sunday .......... 10:10 a.m.
Moonset Sunday .......... 12:08 a.m.
Day a.m. p.m.
Major Minor Major Minor
Sat. 4:01 10:14 4:27 10:41
Sun. 4:59 11:13 5:27 11:41
Mon. 5:59 12:14 6:28 ----
The solunar period schedule allows
planning days so you will be fishing
in good territory or hunting in good
cover during those times.
Amory 20' 11.72' -0.33'
Bigbee 14' 5.59' -1.12'
Fulton 20' 10.89' -0.59'
Tupelo 21' 1.10' +0.10'
Bankhead Dam
Upper 255' 254.49' +0.26'
Lower 189' 186.39' -0.20'
Holt Dam
Upper 187' 186.42' -0.30'
Lower 140' 125.89' N.A.
Yesterday Flood 7 a.m. 24-hr.
River stage yest. change
Black Warrior
Columbus 15' 7.90' -0.58'
Elevation in feet above sea level.
Yesterday 7 a.m. 24-Hr.
Lake Capacity yest. change
Aberdeen Dam 188' 163.11' -0.61'
Stennis Dam 166' 138.17' -0.61'
Bevill Dam 136' 136.59' +0.31'
Forecasts and graphics provided
by AccuWeather, Inc. ©2010
Shown is
Temperatures are
tonight’s lows and
tomorrow’s highs.
Sat. Sun. Sat. Sun.
City Hi/Lo/W Hi/Lo/W City Hi/Lo/W Hi/Lo/W
Sat. Sun.
City Hi/Lo/W Hi/Lo/W
Baghdad 73/45/s 74/46/s
Beijing 50/32/pc 52/42/pc
Berlin 55/48/sh 57/39/r
Cairo 71/45/s 74/49/s
Hong Kong 83/73/s 79/72/s
Jerusalem 59/37/s 63/42/s
London 55/45/r 59/43/pc
Moscow 37/32/sn 41/34/r
Paris 62/55/sh 58/39/c
Rome 62/50/pc 64/50/c
Seoul 42/26/sh 41/29/s
Sydney 88/64/s 89/66/s
Tel Aviv 64/44/s 67/52/s
Tokyo 68/54/s 56/41/pc
Baton Rouge 74/41/pc 57/37/s
Biloxi 68/50/pc 59/40/pc
Birmingham 74/48/pc 60/37/t
Greenville 68/38/c 47/38/c
Gulfport 68/53/pc 61/41/pc
Jackson 72/40/pc 51/38/c
Meridian 74/45/pc 52/35/c
Mobile 72/53/pc 62/38/c
Monroe 68/36/t 49/38/c
Montgomery 74/56/pc 65/41/t
Natchez 70/36/pc 50/34/pc
New Orleans 72/49/pc 56/44/s
Shreveport 66/33/t 50/36/c
Tupelo 71/48/pc 54/36/c
A :
When do the days grow
longer in the U.S.?
F r o m t h e f i r s t d a y o f w i n t e r
u n t i l t h e f i r s t d a y o f s u m m e r .
Weather (W): s-sunny, pc-partly cloudy, c-cloudy, sh-showers, t-thunderstorms,
r-rain, sf-snow flurries, sn-snow, i-ice.
City Hi/Lo/W Hi/Lo/W City Hi/Lo/W Hi/Lo/W
Sat. Sun. Sat. Sun.
Atlanta 72/53/pc 63/38/t
Atlantic City 66/47/s 68/48/s
Baltimore 72/46/s 70/52/s
Boston 68/45/s 54/44/pc
Chicago 40/30/sn 41/31/sn
Dallas 47/34/r 54/39/pc
Denver 34/20/sf 55/32/s
Des Moines 36/24/c 44/30/s
Detroit 47/36/sh 45/34/r
Fairbanks 30/4/s 26/-4/pc
Honolulu 81/68/pc 81/67/pc
Houston 66/38/t 60/38/s
Jacksonville 76/54/s 77/50/t
Kansas City 36/25/sn 38/28/pc
Las Vegas 72/47/s 77/54/s
Los Angeles 83/54/pc 80/54/pc
Memphis 69/45/c 50/36/r
Miami 77/66/s 80/68/pc
Minneapolis 38/28/c 51/32/s
Nashville 66/49/c 62/36/c
New York City 67/55/s 63/52/s
Oklahoma City 36/32/sn 42/32/pc
Orlando 78/59/s 80/59/t
Philadelphia 72/47/s 70/52/s
Phoenix 75/53/s 80/57/s
Raleigh 77/50/s 71/56/t
Salt Lake City 49/29/s 58/37/s
Seattle 64/48/pc 56/42/r
Tucson 70/43/s 75/48/s
Wash., D.C. 72/53/s 70/54/s
46/70 Brookhaven
10 a.m. Noon 2 p.m. 4 p.m.
0-2: Low, 3-5: Moderate, 6-7: High, 8-10:
Very high, 11+: Extreme
3 6 6 3
West Point
Kansas City
El Paso
Los Angeles
San Francisco
New York
Kansas City
El Paso
Los Angeles
San Francisco
New York
Showers T-storms Rain Flurries Snow Ice
Shown are noon positions of weather systems and precipitation. Temperature bands are highs
for the day.
-10s -0s 0s 10s 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s 70s 80s 90s 100s 110s
A heavy, wet snowstorm began in the
mid-Atlantic region on March 19, 1958.
By the time it ended, over 18 inches of
snow had accumulated from northern
Virginia to Massachusetts.
Wh a t y o u wa n t . Wh e n y o u wa n t i t .
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James Bullock

FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2010 3A
See a gallery of local mug shots, crime trends and
other law and order news at
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Associated Press Writer
JACKSON — U.S. Attorney
General Eric Holder was asked
Thursday to block the distribution
of tens of thousands of FEMA trail-
ers sold through government auc-
U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-
Miss., chairman of the House
Homeland Security Committee,
said in a letter to Holder on
Thursday that flooding the market
with more than 100,000 units pro-
duced for the Federal Emergency
Management Agency in the wake
of the deadly 2005 hurricane sea-
son could cripple the market. He
wants the Justice Department to
re-evaluate its decision to allow the
trailers to be sold.
Thompson said there’s also a
safety issue. Many of the trailers,
already contaminated with
formaldehyde, now have mold and
mildew after being exposed to
weather conditions for nearly five
years, he said.
The Justice Department
approved the sales after determin-
ing they didn’t violate antitrust
laws, according to the letter. But
Thompson said the federal
agency’s method was flawed.
“An analysis that examines
each individual sale does not con-
sider the ’big picture’ and thus can-
not purport to scrutinize the effect
on the market,” Thompson wrote.
Justice Department spokesman
Charles Miller said Holder’s office
would respond to the letter.
Not all of the sold trailers have
reached the buyers yet.
FEMA bought 145,699 travel
trailers and mobile homes at a cost
of about $2.7 billion to provide
shelter to survivors of hurricanes
Katrina and Rita. More than
130,000 had been offered for auc-
tion, said FEMA spokesman Brad
The U.S. General Services
Administration auctioned large
lots of trailers that had been staged
in Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana
and Arkansas earlier this year.
Thompson said those sales totaled
103,000 units.
He said he’s concerned
because the industry estimated a
total of 159,500 travel trailers were
sold in 2009, and 203,500 are
expected to be sold this year.
Thompson said “dumping”
more than 100,000 more used
units in the stream of commerce
would create a “substantial and
negative effect on the price and
supply of trailers.”
Bill Gapow, executive director
of Recreational Park Trailer
Industry Association Inc., said he’s
more concerned about unsuspect-
ing buyers.
“There’s concern that they
could end up in the general mar-
ketplace. They could be traded in
on a brand-new unit. The dealer
may or may not realize that the
unit was a FEMA trailer,” Gapow
Carroll said in an e-mail that
FEMA works closely with the GSA
to ensure that potential buyers are
made aware of the air quality test-
ing conducted on the units. Carroll
said buyers of travel trailers must
agree not to use the unit as hous-
Some dealers say they’re feel-
ing the effect of smaller lot sales
held last year by GSA.
Jimmy Bankston, owner of
Reliable RV Center in Biloxi, said
that before Katrina he was averag-
ing about 40 sales a month. Now,
he’s selling less than half that.
Bankston said people are buying
the auctioned units because they
get a better deal.
Units sold at auction average
about $1,300, said J.D. Harper,
executive director of Arkansas
Manufactured Housing
Association. He said the cheap
prices have led to upstart opera-
“Just outside of Little Rock, an
abandoned manufactured home
lot that’s been vacant for several
years now has a temporary office
and has an inventory of travel trail-
ers that are showing up for sale,”
Harper said.
Log on. Plug in.
A jury has found 29-year-old
Jennifer Wardle not guilty
in the 2002 shooting death
of a University of Southern
Mississippi student. Wardle
had been charged with
killing James Neal May on
May 1, 2002. During her
testimony Thursday,
Wardle said she loved May
and did not kill him. She
said she was locked out-
side his trailer when he
shot and killed himself.
Wardle was indicted more
than five years after May’s
death following a probe by
the Mississippi Bureau of
Youth Court Judge Kevin
Adams says he believes
Leflore County could
become a model for the
entire country in how it
treats troubled children.
But as long as the public
thinks fixing potholes and
locking up adults is more
important than rehabilitat-
ing youth, Adams said in
an interview with
Commonwealth that “we’re
doomed.” The newest ini-
tiative in youth court is
juvenile drug court, which
began in mid-February.
Seven children between 14
and 16 are participating.
A 68-year-old Biloxi woman
who died after a crash on
Wednesday has been iden-
tified as Helga Sinicropi.
Harrison County Coroner
Gary Hargrove said
Sinicropi was wearing a
seat belt and her air bag
deployed when the car she
was driving veered off the
road and struck a tree.
Hargrove said an autopsy
is pending.
A former Vicksburg police
officer convicted of taking
bribes to protect what he
thought were shipments of
cocaine into the city has
asked a federal judge to
throw out his sentence. In
a motion filed this week in
federal court in Jackson,
Kevin Dewayne Williams
contends he relied on erro-
neous advice from his
attorney to plead guilty to
an extortion charge in
October 2007 in U.S.
District Court in Natchez.
He was sentenced to 188
months in prison. The 5th
U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals last year upheld
Williams’ conviction.
The Natchez-Adams County
Economic Development
Authority has chipped in
$2,000 toward a $22,500
feasibility study on a 70-
mile bike trail from
Vicksburg to Natchez.
EDA Board Chairman
Woody Allen tells The
Natchez Democrat that the
trail is meant to comple-
ment the Mississippi River
The state Personnel Board
on Thursday has approved
furloughs up to six days
for employees of the
Department of Public
Safety. Lynn Fitch, the
board’s executive director,
tells The Clarion-Ledger
that the Mississippi State
Tax Commission and
Department of Agriculture
and Commerce were each
approved for personnel
furloughs of four to 12
days. The Department of
Human Services was origi-
nally cleared for furlough
in February but went back
to the Personnel Board on
Thursday and received
approval for as many as
eight furlough days. The
approval doesn’t mean fur-
loughs will be ordered by
those agencies.
From Wire Reports
Thompson wants trailer release blocked
“An analysis that examines each individual sale
does not consider the ’big picture’ and thus cannot
purport to scrutinize the effect on the market.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland
Security Committee
When is the last time
you checked your smoke
alarm? If you don’t know
or can’t remember, then it
probably doesn’t work.
If it doesn’t work, it is
useless in a fire. A pot hold-
er too close to a lit burner
or a space heater left on
overnight could be all it
takes to start a home fire.
In fact, cooking and heat-
ing are among the leading
causes of home fires in the
United States, according to
National Fire Protection
NFPA said more than
2,500 people die in home
fires and over 12,500 are
injured each year in the
United States.
“Many home fires are
easily preventable when
residents take simple steps
to increase their safety
from fires,” said Columbus
Fire Chief Kenneth Moore.
“Whether it’s smoking out-
side the home, keeping
space heaters at least three
feet away from anything
that can burn, or staying in
the kitchen when you are
using the stovetop, there
are easy things you can do
to keep your home and
family safe from fire.”
Columbus Fire and
Rescue urges you to
review the following infor-
• Cooking: Stay in the
kitchen when you are fry-
ing, grilling, or broiling
food. If you leave the
kitchen for even a short
period time, turn off the
• Heating: Keep all
things that can burn, such
as paper, bedding or furni-
ture, at least 3 feet away
from heating equipment.
• Electrical: Replace
cracked and damaged elec-
trical cords; use extension
cords for temporary wiring
• Smoking: If you
smoke, smoke outside;
wherever you smoke, use
deep, sturdy ashtrays.
• Have a working
smoke alarm outside each
sleeping area and have an
escape plan that the entire
family can follow.
For information about
fire safety, contact
Columbus Fire and
Rescue, 662-329-5121.
Columbus Fire and Rescue urges
residents to practice home fire safety
Shrinkdown winners
Provided photo
LaKezia Ham won $250 donated by John Acker State Farm Insurance and a six-
month YMCA membership due to her participation in the Lowndes County
Shrinkdown program. She attended the Lunch and Learn programs, exercised and
weighed in each week in order to qualify to as a winner in the eight-week program.
Pictured, from left, are Alayna Chism, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle;
John Acker; Lakezia Ham; Barbara Bigelow, YMCA; and Andy Boyd, YMCA.
Provided photo
Blinda Lively won $250 donated by Jason Spears of Malachi Financial and a six-
month YMCA membership for the largest percentage of weight loss during the
Lowndes County Shrinkdown program. Pictured, from left, are Alayna Chism,
Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle; Jason Spears; Blinda Lively; Barbara
Bigelow, YMCA; and Andy Boyd, YMCA. This year's Lowndes County Shrinkdown
was presented through a partnership between the Lowndes County YMCAs and
Baptist Memorial Hospital–Golden Triangle.

Roger Miller sings about
trailers, be they for sale or
rent. Kid Rock reminds us
that unlike Ice Cube, he
ain't outta Compton but
straight outta trailer. And
Jimmy Buffet, the son of a
son of a sailor, is just glad
he doesn't live in a trailer.
There certainly is a neg-
ative connotation given to
trailers, and the folk who
live in them. Some of my
favorite childhood memo-
ries, however, are of visit-
ing cousins in rural
Mississippi: the sounds of
Skynyrd emerging from
Jeff's open window in his
trailer bedroom; Jennifer,
Jenene and my sister and
me jumping on the trampo-
line out back.
Years later, as a married
man with kids living in a
mid-town Memphis duplex,
I preached many weekends
at a rural church in Clay
County. We'd drive down
on Saturday afternoons
and enjoy the space and
freedom offered by the church's par-
sonage: a double-wide parked next to
the church. Wide open rooms inside (a
big difference from a crowded duplex),
and wide open spaces outside.
There's a very nostalgic side of me
that, despite the stereotypes and the
condescending social attitudes, has
always longed to clear some land in
the Mississippi woods and set up
house in a trailer.
Karen Spears Zacharias
isn't from rural Mississippi,
but she is from the Georgia
countryside, grew up along
the Chattahoochee River,
was bitten by the deadly
(well, not in her case)
water moccasin, and,
according to her website
bio, “had her first kiss in a
trailer, smoked her first
and last cigarette in a trail-
er, asked Jesus into her
heart on bended knee in a
trailer, fell madly in love in
a trailer … and gave birth
to her firstborn child in a
Oh, and her brand-
spankin' new book is called
Will Jesus Buy Me a
Double-Wide ('Cause I
Need More Room for my
Plasma TV).
Karen, once a newspa-
per journalist, turns her
reporting skills loose
against evangelists who
collect offerings to feed
their own lavish lifestyles,
and also against those who
preach a God of health, wealth, and big
happy smiles.
But what could have been an easy
(and necessary) denunciation of TV
evangelists and purveyors of the so-
called “prosperity gospel” is instead a
collection of real stories of real people
living real lives in the real world where
God also lives. The bulk of the book
focuses on lives of faith from people
living in the streets to folks living in
suburbs to families living in – you
guessed it – trailers.
Karen's stories will make you howl
with laughter, cry in empathy, and
occasionally seethe in righteous indig-
nation. Through it all, the truth of
God's loving presence and grace is
revealed not in feel-good, get-nice-stuff
promises, but in the pain, loss, love
and hope of all God's children.
Whereas so much of our “Christian”
culture reflects our materialist
American culture, Karen's book will
certainly appear out-of-place on many
Christian bookstore shelves; but that's
exactly where it needs to be. Karen
proudly aligns herself and her faith not
in stained-glass cathedrals and suc-
cessful executive suites, but on the
streets and the trailer parks.
Karen's book and her theology have
earned their place on my bookshelf
right alongside my Will Campbell col-
lection; Will Campbell … another
prophetic voice who walked away from
the ministerial big leagues and high
salaries to live among the rural poor
and oft-demeaned “white trash” from
which he came.
While some may be praying for God
to give them a mansion and a
Mercedes-Benz, Karen just hopes to
retire one day with her husband and
live in God's blessed presence in their
Alabama double-wide. Something tells
me that when I visit, I might hear the
sounds of Skynyrd rocking through
their screen door.
Bert Montgomery is an author, MSU
religion/sociology instructor, and pastor
and lives in Starkville. His e-mail
address is
Three ways to improve health care
The health care reform debate has
gripped the public's attention. Some
people like the reform, others dislike it
because it either does too much or not
enough. In my opinion, this reform is
way too broad and sweeping to really
do what people expect or want it to do.
Instead of a massive bill, I have a sim-
ple, three step plan to correct health
care in the United States.
#1--Tax incentives for people to
get into shape. We all know that
health care costs are too high, and we
argue over the reasons for this cost.
However, I think we really miss the big
reason too often—AMERICANS ARE
OUT OF SHAPE. Much of our health
care costs are related to issues that
would be greatly reduced if our obesity
epidemic would disappear. We are able
to give everyone incentives for energy
efficiency, buying a house, or more
fuel-efficient cars. Why not an incen-
tive for becoming healthy? Estimates
at a recent CDC panel said around 10%
of all health care costs are obesity
related, and the percentage will rise. A
healthier America would stop this from
#2--Change the Farm Bill. We
subsidize unhealthy food. The food we
subsidize is playing a role our obesity
epidemic. Many Americans cannot
shell out the money to eat healthy
foods, but they can afford unhealthy
processed foods because the farm bill
makes items like corn syrup very
If we want a healthier population,
subsidize fruits and vegetables. If
healthy food was the cheaper option,
people would put down the Ho-Hos
and Twinkies. Check out a box of
Twinkies sometime. Four of the first
five items are subsidized products.
#3--Bring competition into
health care. Competition is the best
way to bring about lower prices and
better products. However, health care
companies do not have to play by these
rules. Many times, there may only be
one or two providers in a state. This is
very unfair to the consumer. Open up
the market so that everyone can shop
from any provider they so choose.
Would America be better off by
bringing in a new system that changes
everything, or would America be bet-
ter off by living better and driving
down the costs without a major over-
haul? Congressman Childers, I am
asking you to vote "NO" on the cur-
rent bill.
Justin Sutton
Adrian Fields
Connie Harris
Donna Harris
Brad Henderson
Angie Marquez
Linda Massey
Beth Proffitt
Celsie Staggers
Jackie Taylor
Samantha Williamson
Felicia Bowen
Terri Collums
Elbert Ellis
Debbie Foster
Peter Imes
Janet Jacobs
Carol Talley
Tommie Woods
Jerry Wooten
Birney Imes
Allen Baswell
Adrian Bohannon
Jason Browne
Garthia Elena Burnett
Kristin Mamrack
Henry Matuszak
David Miller
Adam Minichino
Steve Mullen
Tina Perryman
Tim Pratt
Jan Swoope
Kelly Tippett
Buster Wolfe
Silvia Carr
LaMarcus Davis
Matt Garner
Ronald Gore
Jerry Hayes
Vernon Hedgeman, Jr.
Jeff Lipsey
Jamie Morrison
Tina Perry
Lonnie Shinn
The messages below are excerpts from
reader comments posted at the end of on-
line reports at
DUIs on the rise in Starkville,
Columbus - 3/18/2010
progress: It is all about revenue
raising. Get them drunk, collect all of
that extra tax money from the sales,
then pull them over and write tickets.
Do you not understand how the gov'm-
nt works? It is cut-and- dried and all in
the name of progress.
RB: Being a parent, I like the idea of
the police department getting these
drunks off the road. So many innocent
people are killed and injured by drunk
drivers. As far as the DUI fine is con-
cerned, most of these people don't pay
them or their parents pay for them.
Columbus teen dies in early morn-
ing house fire - 3/18/2010
The HipHop Junkie: Looks like we
the people need to get together with
the local fire departments and do some
sort of fund raising to make sure that
everyone has fire alarms that WORK.
NO: Fundraising for smoke alarms?
Really? As tragic as this is, there is no
need for fundraising. Smoke detectors
are five bucks at K-Mart. People
should take responsibility for their
own safety, not "we the people." My
prayers go out to the family.
Barbour trims another $41 million
from budget; cuts total $499.5 mil-
lion - 3/17/2010
ma: Bet he didn't cut his paycheck
any. Our children are in danger of
being the most undereducated chil-
dren in the United States....they are
our future.
ken: This has been brought on by
the waste in the state. Too many
school districts, overpaid district
school superintendents and too many
administrative positions. Most of the
money is already gone by the time it
gets down to the teachers.
Throwing more money at education
is not the answer. That has not worked
in the last 20 years. With the proper
management of the education system,
they would find they have more than
enough money.
Jan: Way to go Gov. Barbour! Our
over spending must stop. All govern-
ment agencies should only spend the
money that our taxes generate. The
only fair way is to cut everything
across the board, but since some areas
are more important to the operations
of the state than others, common
sense for what the state needs most
should play a part. As for our educa-
tion in Mississippi each district should
stop their waste and stop thinking that
new buildings improve education.
Perhaps, Mississippi should model
their funding after some other areas in
the United States where each school's
funding is based on their enrollment.
Parents are allowed to send their child
to any school so the competition
among the schools are based on hav-
ing all teachers care about teaching
with students learning how to apply
their education in the real world and
not just a test score.
If Mississippi's education system
would forget about just test scores and
go back to the old tried-and-true
method of teaching, test scores would
skyrocket. Our children which would
later mean our state would be a lot bet-
ter off. Involvement and caring from
parents and other citizens is free.
Giving back: Local football great
shares success - 3/18/2010
Celeste: It's always great to see pos-
itive things going on in Columbus. The
city has changed so much since 1994.
Our youth definitely need guidance
and hopefully more of our hometown
celebrities will come back and try to
make a positive impact on their lives.
Thanks a lot Leslie for taking the time
out to place your positive footprint on
BIRNEY IMES SR. Editor/Publisher 1922-1947
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PETER IMES Operations Manager
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JERRY HAYES Pressroom Superintendent
4A FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2010
It’s not often that Mississippi is
held up as a national model. Although
it’s gratifying to receive accolades
about how well the state is moving
people from welfare to work, what’s
most gratifying is the hope that this
success is slowly — family by family
—breaking the cycle of welfare
When Bill Clinton was president
during the 1990s, one of the
Democrat’s most impressive initiatives
was welfare reform. The cause firmly
established him at the political center
and helped pave the way for his elec-
tion to a second term.
The legislation was designed to
cure the unintended consequences of
the first 60 years of the welfare sys-
tem, which in its well-meaning effort
to help the poor had hooked them on
a life of taxpayer-funded handouts.
Welfare reform, first enacted in
1996, imposed a five-year lifetime limit
on benefits, required able-bodied
recipients to go to work within two
years and gave states incentives to
create jobs for people on welfare.
Mississippi has done better than
most states in carrying out what the
reform effort envisioned. In 2008, the
latest year for which statistics are
available, 63 percent of the state’s wel-
fare recipients were participating
either in work or job-training pro-
grams designed to move them toward
work — more than double the national
The state Department of Human
Services administers the program.
Officials in that agency say its case
workers have taken seriously the man-
date of the federal law to wean welfare
recipients from government depend-
ency. The program helps make that
transition possible by providing assis-
tance not only with job training but
with subsidies for child care and trans-
portation — two of the greatest handi-
caps faced by the chronically under-
employed or unemployed. Plus, there
are financial incentives for establish-
ing a stable work record — a one-time
$3,000 bonus for holding a job for at
least a year.
Although there may be some on
welfare who would prefer to stay
home indefinitely and draw a check,
that’s not the majority’s sentiment.
Most of the poor want to be able to
provide for their own children. They
crave the pride that bringing home a
hard-earned paycheck instills.
Sometimes, though, they don’t have
the background, the family support or
the confidence to try to become self-
Mississippi obviously believes more
than most states that these obstacles
can be overcome. It’s proving it by its
On the Net: http://www.enterprise-
Enterprise-Journal, McComb
The double-wide gospel
Bert Montgomery
Years later, as a
married man
with kids living
in a mid-town
duplex, I
preached many
weekends at a
rural church in
Clay County.
Voice of the people
From our Web site
on welfare

Here’s a theory about why
President Obama is having a
tough political time right now:
He doesn’t seem all that happy
being president.
I know, it’s the world’s hard-
est job, and between war and
the world economy collapsing,
he didn’t have the first year he
might have wished for. And,
yes, he’s damned either way:
With thousands of Americans
risking their lives overseas and
millions losing their jobs at
home, we’d slam him if he
acted carefree.
Still, I think Americans want
a president who seems, despite
everything, to relish the chal-
lenge. They don’t want to have
to feel grateful to him for taking
on the burden.
I started thinking about this
a few weeks ago when Obama
confidant David Axelrod, noting
that the president always
makes time for his daughters’
recitals and soccer games, told
The New York Times, “I think
that’s part of how he sustains
himself through all this.”
Really? Is the presidency
something to sustain yourself
He did ask for this job; we
didn’t make him take it. And so
it seems fair to ask: What part
of it does he enjoy?
Formulating rational solutions
to complex problems, for sure.
But schmoozing with foreign
leaders, like President George
H.W. Bush? In a column last
week, Jackson Diehl pointed
out that Obama’s relations with
just about every counterpart
are prickly.
How about horse-trading or
arm-twisting, like President
Lyndon Johnson? George Will
last week cited a recent Obama
statement on the health-care
bill (“Unfortunately, what we
end up having to do is to do a
lot of negotiations with a lot of
different people”) to point out
that Obama views such politics
with a certain disdain.
Putting his feet up on his
desk after a long day and chew-
ing over events with aides, like
Bill Clinton? If insider accounts
are to be believed, Obama
would rather preside briskly
over the meeting and then go
up to the family quarters or out
for some basketball.
Does he recharge by head-
ing back to the campaign trail,
rolling up his sleeves and wad-
ing into the crowd? Obama will
do that if he has to, to save his
health-care bill. But he can’t
persuade us he gets much of a
kick out of it.
And here’s what makes this
so complicated: The fact that
Obama doesn’t get a kick out of
adoring throngs is one of the
qualities that made him so
appealing in the first place.
Unlike with Clinton, we never
felt as though he needed us;
he’s a secure, self-confident
That’s a good thing. Yes,
Obama would rather have din-
ner with his wife than with, say,
John Boehner. Wouldn’t you?
(With your own spouse, I
mean; you don’t get to choose
dinner with Michelle.) I’m glad
to have a president for whom
family values isn’t just a slogan
—and a president who cares
about policy.
We understand that, even
without war and recession, it
wouldn’t be easy. His predeces-
sor partied and stuck him with
the tab. The Republicans are
reliably obstructionist; his
Democrats reliably unreliable.
The media are carping, superfi-
cial and relentless. He is a pris-
oner of the Secret Service.
And yet. It’s hard to remem-
ber so far back, but the admin-
istration didn’t come to town
with the sense of weariness and
duty that it now projects.
Unlike the Bush crowd, which
never stopped kvetching about
having to leave Texas, the
Obamas and their circle spoke
about the honor of service and
the excitement of being in the
nation’s capital.
A year later, here’s how they
came across to People
“It was their first interview
of the New Year on Jan. 8 in the
rose-colored library on the
ground floor of the White
House. President Obama spoke
in such a hush about the loneli-
ness of his decisions on war
and terrorism that one could
hear between his words the
tick of an old lighthouse clock
across the room.”
Do Americans really want to
hear the tick of the old light-
house clock? Or would they
prefer the good cheer that we
associate with FDR or JFK, the
jauntiness with which they took
over the White House and
made it theirs?
Less lugubriousness would-
n’t necessarily buy him a
health-care bill. But in the long
run, Americans might find it
easier to root for or with
Obama if he’d show us, despite
everything, that he’s happy we
hired him.
Hiatt is The Washington
Post’s editorial page editor.
Obama’s happiness deficit
If insider accounts are
to be believed, Obama
would rather preside
briskly over the
meeting and then go up
to the family quarters
or out for some
WASHINGTON — With the recent
hysteria about kids missing school
because of snow, it seems appropriate
to look at the effect March Madness
has on academics at the 65 colleges
invited to the basketball tournament
and others where students are equally
A nationwide independent poll fund-
ed and conducted by me strongly sug-
gests that during the three-week
NCAA championship tournament,
many classes will be canceled, the
minds of many students will wander
and very little in the way of school-
work will get done on numerous cam-
puses over the next few weeks.
You don’t have to take my word for
it. Here’s part of an article in The
Observer, an independent newspaper
serving Notre Dame and St. Mary’s,
written by Andy Ziccarelli:
“Since we are in college, I think that
it is pretty safe to say that St. Patrick’s
Day is one of the best days, if not the
best day, of the year. What if, however,
I could tell you that it gets even better?
God has granted us the perfect two-
day follow up to the best party day of
the year, and it comes in the form of
even more energy, adrenaline and
excitement than St. Patty’s Day. This
event will cause people to skip class
for the rest of the week, and for the
dedicated students who will actually
attend class, their attention will be like-
ly be consumed by it. (As a warning to
any professors: if anyone has their lap-
tops open in class on Thursday and
Friday, they aren’t taking notes. They
aren’t even paying attention to you at
all). Many, including myself, would say
that these next two days are the best
of the entire year. Yes, March
Madness has finally arrived.”
Then there is Scott Minto, program
director for San Diego State
University’s Sports Business MBA pro-
gram. He’s already canceled classes
for the first day of the tournament, in
which SDSU is seeded 11th in the
Midwest Region.
He knows nobody wants to show
up, he said, and he thinks that’s just
fine, because he doesn’t want to teach,
A first-round win, he said, would
boost morale at the school—part of
the California university system that
has been battered by state budget
cuts—as well as provide a financial
It’s well known that the three-week
NCAA tournament is big business,
providing revenue to the NCAA, which
in turn shares it with the schools
involved. In fact, the NCAA has a $6
billion deal over 11 years with CBS to
broadcast the games, which provide
free publicity for all of the colleges and
Those event effects have been stud-
ied extensively. But nobody (besides
me) has researched how much aca-
demic work does or doesn’t get done
during the tournament, Minto said.
What does that say to you about the
importance of athletics in higher edu-
Strauss writes the “Answer Sheet”
blog at, from which
this is adapted.
What’s the
Democrats consider
shoving health care
reform through the
House with a process
known as “deem and
pass,” it is helpful to
return to square one and
ask: What, again, is the
A year ago, when
reform work got under
way, Democrats were
hell-bent on passing leg-
islation before year’s
end. Because? There
was no way, Democrats
believed, that they could
accomplish such sweep-
ing reform in an election
The Senate bill,
which still doesn’t have
enough votes in the
House to pass, barely
met the do-or-die dead-
line, squeaking through
on Christmas Eve.
Now the new dead-
line for a final package is
Easter break. This time
the thinking goes: If
Congress doesn’t get a
bill to the president before politi-
cians head home, there will be no
health care reform for 10 more
years. Come April, their energies are
needed on other pressing concerns,
such as re-election.
Meanwhile, the zoo in the living
room demands attention. If the bill is
so unpopular that it must be passed
long before Election Day, could
there be a problem with the legisla-
If health care reform as proposed
were so good for the nation, why
wouldn’t legislators prefer to run on
rather than away from that record?
If you can’t run on the strength of
the laws you pass, then either you
shouldn’t be running or you should-
n’t be passing.
Yet, now House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi is considering new
ways to allow House
members to pass the
Senate bill without actual-
ly voting for it so that vul-
nerable Democrats can
deny responsibility for a
bill they don’t like and
don’t support. Is this
More to the point, is it
Some experts say yes;
others say no. A thor-
ough vetting would con-
sume this space, but
basically, the “deem and
pass” maneuver accom-
plishes the same thing as
if the House approved
the Senate bill with
tweaks through the rec-
onciliation process.
Rather than voting on
the Senate bill, the
House passes a package
of changes to the bill.
Thus the bill is “deemed”
to have passed. Got that?
The benefit is that
House members who
don't want to vote for the
bill are granted plausible
deniability. Come election time, they
can say, “Hey, don’t look at me, I did-
n’t vote for it.” And voters, whom
lawmakers apparently deem mental-
ly challenged, will give legislators a
pass. This is called implausible opti-
Deem and pass -- or sneak and
sprint -- may be legal, but is it right?
It’s right only if your goal is to
beat a deadline and pass something -
- anything -- regardless of how
imperfect the result. Even the major-
ity of Americans who oppose the bill
don’t know the half of it, because
almost no one does.
What they do know is that health
care reform reeks of maneuvering
and the kind of compromises that
involve sacks of cash. The latest pro-
posed strategy merely underscores
the past year’s by-hook-or-by-crook
legislative approach.
Even recent attention to “sweet-
heart deals” has failed to improve
the product. President Obama initial-
ly said he wanted state-specific deals
removed, but now the White House
has backed off, saying that if more
than one state theoretically could
benefit from a deal, then the pro-
gram is OK.
Theoretically, that could cover
just about anything -- and every-
thing. Certainly, such an approach
helps justify sweeteners such as the
so-called “Frontier States” amend-
ment that raises Medicare reim-
bursements for some rural states at
a cost of $2 billion over 10 years.
The deal was added to the Senate
bill between its exit from the
Finance Committee and the
Christmas Eve vote. Coincidentally,
it just happens to benefit two power-
ful Democratic committee chairmen
-- North Dakota’s Kent Conrad
(budget) and Montana’s Max
Baucus (finance). Other states
deemed worthy of special treatment
according to what is essentially an
artificial creation -- half of each
state’s counties must have six or
fewer persons per square mile (and
bite their fingernails?) -- are
Wyoming, South Dakota and Utah.
Just 51 hospitals will receive the
entire $2 billion, according to
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services data.
A sweetheart deal is a sweetheart
deal by any other name.
Given the procedural complica-
tions, the clear lack of House sup-
port, and a raft of dubious deal-mak-
ing, slowing down wouldn't be the
worst thing to happen to health care
There’s no dishonor in admitting
that one was in too big a hurry. But
rushing to do the wrong thing is, in
a word, idiotic.
Kathleen Parker's e-mail address is
Sneak and sprint
Kathleen Parker
This time the
thinking goes: If
Congress does-
n’t get a bill to
the president
before politi-
cians head
home, there will
be no health
care reform for
10 more years.
with basic information includ-
ing relatives, visitation and
service times, are provided
free of charge. Extended obitu-
aries with a photograph,
detailed biographical informa-
tion and other details families
may wish to include, are avail-
able for a fee. Obituaries must
be submitted through funeral
homes. Free notices must be
submitted to the newspaper
no later than 3 p.m. the day
prior for publication Tuesday
through Friday; no later than 4
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edition; and no later than 7:30
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Incomplete notices must be
received no later than 7:30
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Friday editions. Paid notices
must be received by 3 p.m. for
inclusion the next day; and on
Friday for Sunday or Monday
publication. For more informa-
tion, call 328-2471.
Stephen Harvey
Stephen Barry Harvey,
55, died March 17,
2010, at Country Brook
Living Center.
Graveside services
are Saturday at 11 a.m.,
at Oddfellows Rest
Cemetery with the Rev.
Sue McGrew officiat-
ing. Visitation is today
from 5-7 p.m. at Tisdale-
Lann Memorial Funeral
Home in Aberdeen.
Mr. Harvey was born
July 9, 1954, to the late
Gerald Lewis Harvey
and Ruth Henley
Harvey in Meridian.
He lived in Aberdeen
most of his life before
moving to Brookhaven.
He attended Meridian
High School and The
McDonald Training
Center in Tampa, Fla.
He is survived by his
sister, Debra Harvey, of
Aberdeen; brother,
Michael Harvey, of
Annie Guyton
Annie Weas Guyton, 79,
died March 12, 2010, at
her resi-
Saturday at
2 p.m. at
with the Rev. Robert
Moore officiating.
Burial will follow in
Providence MB Church
Cemetery. Visitation is
today from noon-5 p.m.
at Lee-Sykes Funeral
Home of Columbus.
Mrs. Guyton was a
member of the Eastern
Star, Lulah Chapter No.
She was preceded in
death by her son,
Jimmy Gardner, and
four siblings.
She is survived by
her husband, Junior
Guyton; children, Roy
Gardner, Earl Mae
Guyton, Arthur Guyton,
Marie Washington,
Daphny Washington
and Anetta Harley;
three siblings; 18
grandchildren and 13
Bobby Rice
Bobby Anderson Rice,
51, died March 15,
2010, at North
Mississippi Medical
Center in Tupelo.
Services are
Saturday at 1 p.m. at
U.F.C.W. Local No. 1991
Bryan Union Hall with
the Rev. Gene King Sr.
officiating. Burial will
follow in Poole’s
Memorial Gardens
Mr. Rice was born
Feb. 7, 1959, in West
Point to Lillie
Washington-Rice and
the late Carl Rice Sr. He
was retired.
In addition to his
father, he was preceded
in death by his broth-
ers, Roosevelt Rice,
Michael Rice and
Thomas N. Rice; sis-
ters, Brenda Rice and
Sylvia Carthon.
In addition to his
mother, he is survived
by his son, Reginald V.
Dyson, of Columbus;
daughters, Nikki
Cooperwood and
Tekeylia Rice, both of
Columbus; brothers,
the Rev. Danny L. Rice
and Willie J. Rice, both
of West Point, Leroy
Rice, of Macon, Ga.,
Julius Rice, of
Columbus, and Carl
Rice III, of Las Vegas;
sisters, the Rev. Linda
Dixson, of Hattiesburg,
Mary Summerall,
Carlene Brownlee,
Pennie Bailey, Evelena
Martin, all of West
Point, Annie Grady, of
Columbus; and 16
Charlie Tutton
Charlie J. Tutton, 60,
died March 17, 2010, at
Starkville Manor
Nursing Home.
Services are Sunday
at 2 p.m. at New Zion
United Methodist
Church with the Rev.
Tyrone Stallings offici-
ating. Burial will follow
in New Prospect
Visitation is Saturday
from noon-6 p.m. at
West Memorial Funeral
Mr. Tutton was born
in 1950 in Oktibbeha
County. He was of
Methodist faith.
West Memorial
Funeral Home is in
charge of arrange-
Margie Humber
GUIN, Ala. —
Margie Belle Atkinson
Humber, 85, died
March 17, 2010, at
Sunset Manor Nursing
Services are today at
1 p.m. at Miles Funeral
Home Chapel with
Minister Paul Gray offi-
ciating. Burial will fol-
low in West Alabama
Memorial Gardens.
Visitation is today
from noon-1 p.m. at the
funeral home.
Mrs. Humber was
born Sept. 11, 1924, to
the late Bascum Poole
and Donnie Edwards
Atkinson. She was a
member of Zion MB
Church. She worked as
an inspector for Pepsi
Cola Bottling Company
for several years and
had worked in garment
manufacturing plants.
In addition to her
parents, she was pre-
ceded in death by her
husband, Thomas Elton
Humber; brothers, B.P,
and Sam Atkinson; half-
brother, Jantis
Atkinson; sister, Nellie
Resse and grandson,
Brandon Humber.
She is survived by
her sons, Thomas
Humber, of Winfield,
Ala., and Roger A.
Humber, of Columbus;
brother, Clarence
Atkinson, of Winfield;
two grandchildren and
five great-grandchil-
Irene Brackett
Irene Deloach Brackett,
48, died March 16,
2010, at Baptist
Saturday at
1 p.m. at
with the
Rev. Ricky Pratt officiat-
ing. Burial will follow in
St. John Church
Visitation is today
from 3-8 p.m. at
Carter’s Funeral
Services of Columbus.
Mrs. Brackett was
born Oct. 31, 1961, in
Columbus, to the late
Amzie Deloach and
Claudine Williams
Deloach. She was a
member of St. John MB
In addition to her
parents, she was pre-
ceded in death by her
sisters, Pauline Rice,
Augusta Miller and
Mamie Deloach; broth-
ers, James Deloach and
W.T. Deloach.
She is survived by
her daughters, Tonya
and Tomekia Deloach,
both of Columbus; sis-
ters, Josephine Baker,
Idella Bankhead, Mary
Deloach and Lucille
Gordon, all of
Columbus, Ruth Heart,
of St. Louis; brothers,
Leonard Deloach, Larry
Deloach, Johnnie
Deloach, all of
Columbus, and Robert
Deloach, of Artesia; and
three grandchildren.
Pallbearers are
Raymond Scott, Cedric
Stevenson, Curly
Stevenson, Robert
Johnson, Antonio Miller
and Demond Hairston.
Bob Myers
Julius Robert “Bob”
Myers, 71, died March
18, 2010, at his resi-
dence in Columbus.
Services will be held
Saturday at 3 p.m. at
Pleasant Hill Baptist
Church. Burial will fol-
low at Springhill
Cemetery. Visitation will
be held one hour prior
to service at the church.
Arrangements are
incomplete and will be
announced later by
Memorial Funeral
Teena Wallace
Teena White Wallace,
52, died March 18,
2010, at her home. She
was a former resident
of West Point.
Arrangements are
incomplete and will be
announced by Calvert
Funeral Home of West
Halbert Peat
Halbert Peat, 58, died
March 17, 2010, at
Baptist Memorial
Triangle in Columbus.
Services will be
March 27, 2010, at
Charity Mission Full
Gospel Baptist Church
in Crawford.
Arrangements are
incomplete and will be
announced later by
Carter’s Funeral
Services of Columbus.
Lela Beatrice
Beatrice, 85, died
March 18, 2010, at her
Arrangements are
incomplete and will be
announced by Lowndes
Funeral Home.
Rube Ferguson
—Rube Ferguson, 72,
died March 14, 2010, at
his home.
Services are
Saturday at 11 a.m. at
Lavender’s Funeral
Home chapel with the
Rev. Tommy Prude offi-
ciating. Burial will fol-
low at Mount Olive
Cemetery in
Ethelsville. The body
will lie in state Saturday
from 8-11 a.m.
Damien D. Harris
Damien D. Harris, 18,
died March 18, 2010, at
his home.
Arrangements are
incomplete and will be
announced by Century
Hairston Funeral
Theodore Dismukes
Theodore “Sweet”
Dismukes, 79, died
March 18, 2010, at
North Mississippi
Medical Center in West
Arrangements are
incomplete and will be
announced by Lee-
Sykes Funeral Home of
Ruth Clay
Ruth Clay, 80, died
March 19, 2010, at
Rush Memorial
Hospital in Meridian.
Arrangements are
incomplete and will be
announced by Carter’s
Funeral Services of
Gunter &Peel
Me M morial l Me M morial Me M morial Me M morial Memorial Me M morial
Funeral Homes
“Someone to Count on
When Caring Counts”
Continue To Make Us
Your Leading
Funeral Service Providers
~~~~~~~~~ • 662-328-4432 • 662-328-2354
SINCE 1893
Our Dedicated, Caring,
Professional Staff &
Affordable Funeral Services
Edna E. Neal
Mar. 21, 2010
2:00 pm
Memorial Funeral Chapel
March 20, 2010
Memorial Funeral Home
Memorial Gardens
Bob Myers
Mar. 20, 2010
3:00 p.m.
Pleasant Hill Baptist
Springhill Cemetery.
Sat. Mar 20, 2010
2:00-3:00 pm
at the church.
We Welcome
Existing Burial
and Pre-Arranged
Funeral Plans
from other
Funeral Homes
1131 Lehmberg Rd. Columbus
When Caring Counts...
Armon Daniel Loe
Armon Loe went home to be with the
Lord on March 17, 2010. He was a retired
GMAC representative and a Veteran. A
memorial service will be held on Saturday,
March 20, at 4:00p.m. at the First Baptist
Church of Fayette, Alabama. He was pre-
ceded in death by his wife, Ann Honeycutt
Loe, and is survived by his children,
Danny (Cheryll) Loe of Memphis, Terry
(Robin) Loe of Acworth, GA and Kim
(Dan) Travis of Sevierville, TN, seven
grandchildren, and three great-grandchil-
dren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests
that donations be made to the Wounded
Warriors Family Support Fund
Paid Obituary
Edna E. Neal
Edna E. Upton Neal, age 82, died
Saturday, March 13, 2010 at Providence
Benedictine Nursing Center in Mount Angel,
OR. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted
to Memorial Funeral Home. Services will be
held Sunday, March 21, 2010 at 2:00 PM in
the chapel of Memorial Funeral Home with
Rev. Jimmy Ray officiating. Internment will
follow at Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be
held at Memorial Funeral Home Saturday,
March 20, 2010 from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM.
Mrs. Neal was born on Thursday, March
08, 1928 in Columbus, MS to the late Charlie
M. and Millie Lollar Upton. She was a mem-
ber of East End Baptist Church and was
employed at Ruth's for many years in alter-
ations. After Ruth's closed, she went to work
at McRae's and became a familiar face rotating
between the alterations and ladies' perfumes
In addition to her parents, she was prede-
ceased by her husband, Clarence Randolph
Neal, Sr., who died in 2002.
Mrs. Neal is survived by her two sons
Tommy Neal (Debbie), Columbus, MS and
Randy Neal(Nikki), Salem, OR and one broth-
er Charlie Upton (Katrina), Columbus, MS.
She is also survived by five grandchildren
Chris Neal, Haley Addkison, Leigha Hall, A.J.
Neal and Genna Neal and two great grandchil-
dren Sydnee Addkison and Kyly Hall.
The Pallbearers will be Bob Gray, Bobby
Brewer, Billy Price, Brad Addkison, Gary
Moore, and Billy Perkins .
Memorials may be made in Mrs. Neal's
memory to East End Baptist Church, P.O. Box
8480, Columbus, MS 39705 .
Expressions of Sympathy May
Be Left At
Lordy, Lordy
Look who’s 40.
“Cee Cee”
Is that you Nikki?
Associated Press Writer
SEATTLE — School districts have
imposed all sorts of drastic cuts to
save money during the down econo-
my, canceling field trips and making
parents pay for everything from tis-
sues to sports transportation.
And some have now resorted to
placing advertisements on school
School districts say it’s practically
free money, and advertisers love the
captive audience that school buses
That’s the problem, say oppo-
nents: Children are being forced to
travel to school on moving media
kiosks, and the tactic isn’t much dif-
ferent than dressing teachers in spon-
sor-emblazoned uniforms.
“Parents who are concerned about
commercial messages will have no
choice,” said Josh Golin, associate
director of Campaign for a
Commercial Free Childhood.
“Parents won’t be given the option to
send their kids on the ad-free bus.”
Washington lawmakers consid-
ered the idea of school bus advertis-
ing this year, and the concept is also
being tossed around in Ohio, New
Jersey and Utah. About half a dozen
states already allow bus advertising
— including Colorado, Arizona,
Florida, Minnesota, Tennessee and
The idea can be traced back about
15 years, but budget woes have led to
a recent resurgence.
“This issue comes up on a regular
basis when funding gets tight and
people are looking for alternative
ways to fund school transportation,”
said John Green, supervisor for
school transportation at the
California Department of Education.
Ed Andrieski/AP
Marc Horner, fleet manager for Jeffco Public Schools,
stands next to a school bus with a bank advertisement
on its side at the school's bus maintenance facility in
Lakewood, Colo.
Could school bus ads save school budgets?

I Search real estate listings,
and post your own classified ad,
Real estate and
home improvement
City Building Permits
March 8-15
I David B. Floyd; 915
Deena Drive; repairs; Phil
I fifty’s Properties, LLC;
425 Tuscaloosa Road;
repairs; BMW, LLC
I Bell Properties; 1513
22nd St. N.; repairs; same
I First United Methodist
Church; 602 Main St.;
remodeling; Conn
I Bell Properties; 1421
Third Ave. N., Apt.A; repairs;
I Bell Properties; 1421
Third Ave. N., Apt B; repairs;
I Sandra Rhinehart; 626
Chestnut St.; ADA Repairs;
McCrary West
I Bob Oaks; 605 Military
Road; new roof; same
I Ronnie Herrington; 610
Ninth St. S.; reroof; Bob
I James and Beatrice
Thompson; 720 10th Ave.S.;
repairs; same
I Bob Oaks; 1409 Eighth
Ave. N.; remodeling; same
County Building Permits
March 8-15
I No permits were listed.
Fellowship Hall
301 Brooks Dr., Columbus, MS
Proceeds Support Youth Activities
Items & Gift Cards Donated
by Columbus Businesses.
Saturday, March 20
6:30 p.m.
Columbus Seventh-Day
Adventist Church


AP Real Estate Writer
LOS ANGELES — It’s tax sea-
son, and the IRS is being particu-
larly generous to some of the
nation’s largest homebuilders.
Several publicly traded compa-
nies, including Lennar Corp.,
Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. and
Pulte Homes Inc., expect to rake in
roughly $2.5 billion in federal tax
refunds combined, according to
company filings.
Lawmakers amended the tax
code last fall to help struggling
companies stay in business by
essentially giving them a greater
opportunity to recoup previously
paid taxes. The move has helped
some of the biggest builders turn a
profit for the first time in years.
But some small builders say the
souped-up tax break is primarily
giving their large rivals yet another
competitive edge. That’s because
the latest windfall looks less like a
lifeline and more like a war chest.
Several large builders are now sit-
ting on more than $1 billion in cash
and are snapping up tracts of land
to be ready for the next building
“These public (builders) sold
hundreds of millions of dollars
worth of land and took huge losses
and wound up with hundreds of
millions of dollars of checks from
the government sitting on their
balance books,” said Ken
Endelson, CEO of Kenco
Communities in Boca Raton, Fla.
“It was a real bailout. No different
than the banks.”
What’s involved
In November, Congress passed
a law that lets companies of all
sizes that are losing money reach
back five years and get a refund for
taxes paid when they were making
money. Previously, large compa-
nies were limited to recouping
taxes paid up to two years earlier.
That extension was a boon to
builders because the economy and
the housing market were flying
high five years ago and they could-
n’t put up new houses fast enough.
“They were earning bubble
profits back then,” said Credit
Suisse analyst Nishu Sood.
In recent weeks, builders have
reported quarterly results that
include the gains they expect to
receive from tax refunds.
Among those to post a profit
were KB Home, Lennar,
Hovnanian, D.R. Horton Inc.,
Beazer Homes USA Inc., Ryland
Group Inc. and Meritage Homes
Pulte, the nation’s largest
builder, lost money in its fourth
quarter despite an $800 million tax
Hovnanian, which is based in
Red Bank, N.J., earned $236 mil-
lion for its fiscal first quarter — its
first profit since 2006. But without
a $291 million tax benefit, the com-
pany lost about $55 million, or 69
cents a share.
The money’s here
Several companies already have
received all or part of their federal
tax refunds, and some also expect
to reap state tax benefits.
Without the tax gains, it’s
unlikely most of the builders would
have turned a profit because new
home sales are still near record
Government efforts to prop up
the housing market, such as two
tax credits for homebuyers, helped
drum up orders last year. But most
builders have said sales remain
weak, so they’re bringing in less in
To stay afloat, builders laid off
thousands of employees, halted
developments and generated cash
by selling land at sharp discounts.
That led to losses they are using to
collect tax benefits now.
It’s not clear how much the
expanded tax break is affecting
small builders that aren’t publicly
traded. Data on the size of tax
returns collected by private firms
the last couple of years isn’t avail-
able yet.
The National Association of
Home Builders, which lobbied
for the change in the tax code last
year, said the tax break is aiding
all builders.
“It’s helped a lot of balance
sheets, whether you’re big or
small,” said Joe Robson, the trade
association’s immediate past chair-
man. But he noted large builders
have always had an advantage over
smaller companies.
Sood, the Credit Suisse analyst,
estimates that a dozen of the pub-
licly traded builders paid about
$8.5 billion in taxes between the
booming years of 2004 and 2007.
As of November, the builders had
recouped $3.7 billion in refunds.
At the current pace, the large
builders combined are on track to
recover at least $6 billion in
Refunds save some
Analysts say the tax refunds
have allayed bankruptcy concerns
for Beazer and Hovnanian. For oth-
ers, such as Pulte, Lennar and D.R.
Horton, each with more than $1
billion in cash reserves, it’s given
them more financial elbow room.
That worries smaller builders
like Michael Sivage, CEO of Sivage
Homes, which builds homes in
Albuquerque, N.M., and San
Antonio, Texas.
“They have access to cash,
some of which is from (tax
refunds),” he said. “They’re taking
commanding market share.”
Many large builders have been
buying up developed home sites,
often from banks that have repos-
sessed the land from other
builders unable to make loan pay-
It’s a smart move because the
land is cheaper now and homes
built on it can be sold eventually at
a higher profit. The bigger compa-
nies also can afford to wait out the
market better than smaller
In addition to soft sales, local
builders continue to grapple with
tight-fisted banks and loan pay-
ments on land worth less than they
paid for it. And those loans prevent
the companies from selling the
property at a loss to qualify for the
tax benefits.
“We don’t have the ability to buy
a bunch of property right now at a
discounted price like (large
builders) do,” said Mick Galatio,
owner of Desert Wind Homes in
Las Vegas. “They’re really getting a
jumpstart on the small, private
builder and we’re going to have to
work very hard to try to compete
with that.”
Tax gains drive profits for builders
Matt York/AP
Workers construct new Pulte homes in Mesa, Ariz. Several publicly traded companies, including Pulte
Homes Inc., Lennar Corp., and Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., expect to rake in roughly $2.5 billion in federal
tax refunds combined, according to company filings.
companies believe the
tax refunds are giving
the giant companies
the edge
Associated Press Writer
former executive of KB
Home testified Tuesday
against former chairman
and Chief Executive
Bruce E. Karatz, who is
accused of bilking share-
holders out of millions of
dollars by backdating
stock options.
Prosecutors contend
that Karatz, 64, illegally
backdated stock-options.
A stock option allows an
employee to purchase
the company’s stock at a
preset price at a future
date. If the shares are
trading above that price,
the employee can then
sell the shares and pock-
et the profit. The perk is
designed to encourage
employee performance
that contributes to the
company’s financial suc-
Backdating involves
issuing stock options
retroactively to coincide
with low points in the
share price, thus boost-
ing payouts. It can be
illegal if it is not properly
accounted for and dis-
closed to investors.
Gary Ray, the former
head of human
resources for KB Home,
testified that Karatz was
complicit in a 1999 shift
in the company’s policy
for awarding stock
options that its compen-
sation committee did not
know about. Under the
new policy, Karatz
picked favorable dates in
the weeks surrounding
the committee’s vote.
Bloomberg News
WASHINGTON — Housing starts
fell in February as record snowfall in
parts of the country hampered con-
struction, while fewer building per-
mits signaled demand is stagnating.
Builders broke ground on 575,000
homes at an annual rate last month,
down 5.9 percent from January’s
revised 611,000 pace that was higher
than initially estimated, Commerce
Department figures showed Tuesday
in Washington. Building permits, a
sign of future construction,
decreased for a second month.
Mounting foreclosures are mak-
ing it harder to clear inventories,
keeping pressure on prices and dis-
couraging new construction. The
economy has yet to create the sus-
tained job growth that could invigor-
ate housing demand.
“February was really a weather
story as construction was hard-hit by
the snowstorms,” said Zach Pandl, an
economist at Nomura Securities
International in New York. “Beyond
the weather, housing starts are basi-
cally plateauing. The recovery is
going to be slow, with activity at very
low levels.”
Starts on dwellings were projected
to fall to a 570,000 annual pace, after a
previously reported 591,000 in
January, according to the median
forecast of 71 economists surveyed
by Bloomberg News. Estimates
ranged from 510,000 to 610,000.
New-home construction rose 0.2
percent in February from the same
month last year.
Building permits declined 1.6 per-
cent to a 612,000 annual rate after a
4.7 percent drop in January. Permits
were forecast to decrease to a 601,000
annual pace, according to the survey
Construction of single-family
houses dropped 0.6 percent to a
499,000 rate in February.
Work on multifamily homes, such
as townhouses and apartment build-
ings, slumped 30 percent to an annu-
al rate of 76,000, the lowest in four
The decrease in starts was led by
a 16 percent decline in the South and
a 9.6 percent drop in the Northeast.
Starts rose 11 percent in the Midwest
and 7.9 percent in the West.
The number of homes under con-
struction in February declined 2.2
percent to a record-low 492,000,
Tuesday’s report showed.
A report Monday showed builder
confidence unexpectedly declined in
March as prospective-buyer traffic
fell to a one-year low. The National
Association of Home Builders/Wells
Fargo’s index of builder confidence
dropped for the third time in four
President Barack Obama in
November extended a tax credit of as
much as $8,000 for first-time home-
February housing starts decline
Ex-exec testifies in KB
Home fraud trial in LA

Associated Press Writer
Slowly but steadily, support
is building behind President
Barack Obama’s health care
legislation in the House, the
result of intense lobbying
and political-
ly targeted
c h a n g e s
aimed at
r eassuri ng
waverers and
winning over
O b a m a
himself was
to talk up the
s w e e p i n g
overhaul in a
m i d d a y
speech today
in Virginia,
his fourth
B e l t w a y
event in two weeks as he
scrambles to rally the public
ahead of a climactic vote
this weekend. On Capitol
Hill, congressional leaders
were focusing on those
rank-and-file Democrats,
including moderates and
opponents of abortion, who
remained undecided after
the release Thursday of a
final package of changes to
the massive 10-year, $940
billion legislation.
“Every vote around here
is a heavy lift,” House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-
Calif., said. “We don’t have a
rubber-stamp Congress or a
rubber-stamp (Democratic)
caucus. So, we have our full
airing of issues.”
The White House and
Democratic leaders trum-
peted two new converts to
their cause, as retiring Rep.
Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., and
first-term Rep. Betsy
Markey, D-Colo.,
announced their support
after opposing an earlier
version of the legislation
last year. Markey cited
improved deficit cuts.
Gordon said his backing
was unrelated to a new pro-
vision sending higher
Medicaid payments to
Tennessee hospitals that
treat large numbers of unin-
As rumors flew around
the House chamber of more
possible opponents-turned-
supporters — and also of
previous “yes” voters who
might withdraw their sup-
port — Pelosi worked her
members, seeking out law-
makers individually or in
small groups on the House
floor to try to win them over.
With Republicans unani-
mously opposed after a year
of corrosive debate, the vote
set for Sunday was expected
to be a cliffhanger, and
Democratic leaders don’t
yet command the 216 com-
mitments they need.
Obama postponed until
June a planned Asia trip that
was set to begin Sunday,
allowing him to stay in town
for the House vote and
action next week in the
Senate. Thursday after-
noon, Obama played host to
individual lawmakers seek-
ing favors or reassurance.
House Democrats were
hoping to get a letter of sup-
port Friday signed by
enough Senate Democrats
to guarantee passage of the
package of changes in that
chamber, something lead-
ers hope will reassure rank-
and-file House members
that they won’t be left hang-
ing out to dry.
But a climate of uncer-
tainty still the dominant
dynamic as the climactic
vote drew near.
Jo Ann M. Walk-Ferguson
Howard Ferguson
Gold Card Days
The Entire Month of March
"GNC's Longest Franchise!"
Leigh Mall
Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sun. 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
911 Hwy 12 W. • Ste 206 B
Mon.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
Sun. 1p.m.-6 p.m.
Democrats push toward Sunday vote on health care
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — High-income
families would be hit with a tax
increase on wages and a new levy on
investments under President Barack
Obama’s health care overhaul bill.
For the first time, the Medicare pay-
roll tax would be applied to investment
income, beginning in 2013. A new 3.8
percent tax would be imposed on inter-
est, dividends, capital gains and other
investment income for individuals mak-
ing more than $200,000 a year and cou-
ples making more than $250,000.
The bill also would increase the
Medicare payroll tax by 0.9 percentage
point to 2.35 percent on wages above
$200,000 for individuals and $250,000
for married couples filing jointly.
The new tax on investment income
is higher than the 2.9 percent tax pro-
posed by President Barack Obama.
House Democratic leaders increased it
so they could reduce the impact of a
new tax on high-cost health insurance
plans strongly opposed by labor
The 40 percent tax on health bene-
fits would be delayed until 2018 and
would apply only to premiums exceed-
ing $10,200 a year for individuals and
$27,500 for families.
The search for revenue to pay for
health care has been made more diffi-
cult by Obama’s campaign pledge not
to raise taxes on the middle class. The
result is a bill that would raise a total of
$438 billion in new taxes over the next
decade, mainly from high-income tax-
payers and fees on the health care
Health care bill extends
wage tax to investments

Associated Press Writer
The Boy Scouts of
America has long kept an
extensive archive of
secret documents that
chronicle the sexual
abuse of young boys by
Scout leaders over the
The “perversion files,”
a nickname the Boy
Scouts are said to have
used for the documents,
have rarely been seen by
the public, but that could
all change in the coming
weeks in an Oregon
The lawyer for a man
who was molested in the
1980s by a Scout leader
has obtained about 1,000
Boy Scouts sex files and
is expected to release
some of them at a trial
that began Wednesday.
The lawyer says the files
show how the Boy Scouts
have covered up abuse
for decades.
The trial is significant
because the files could
offer a rare window into
how the Boy Scouts have
responded to sex abuse
by Scout leaders. The
only other time the docu-
ments are believed to
have been presented at a
trial was in the 1980s in
At the start of the
Oregon trial, attorney
Kelly Clark recited the
Boy Scout oath and the
promise to obey Scout
law to be “trustworthy.”
Then he presented six
boxes of documents that
he said will show “how
the Boy Scouts of
America broke that oath.”
He held up file folder
after file folder he said
contained reports of
abuse from around the
country, telling the jury
the efforts to keep them
secret may have actually
set back efforts to pre-
vent child abuse national-
“The Boy Scouts of
America ignored clear
warning signs that Boy
Scouts were being
abused,” Clark said.
Charles Smith, attor-
ney for the national Boy
Scouts, said in his own
opening statement the
files were kept under
wraps because they “were
replete with confidential
Smith told the jury the
files helped national
scouting leaders weed
out sex offenders, espe-
cially repeat offenders
who may have changed
names or moved in order
to join another local
scouting organization.
“They were trying to
do the right thing by try-
ing to track these folks,”
Smith said.
Clark is seeking $14
million in damages on
behalf of a 37-year-old
man who was sexually
molested in the early
1980s in Portland by an
assistant Scoutmaster,
Timur Dykes.
Clark said the victim
suffered mental health
problems, bad grades in
school, drug use, anxiety,
difficulty maintaining
relationships and lost sev-
eral jobs over the years
because of the abuse.
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South Carolina Gov. Mark
Sanford has closed two
chapters of his life, agree-
ing to pay $74,000 in fines
to resolve ethics charges
brought against him after
last summer’s revelation
of an extramarital affair,
and receiving word that a
judge had formally ended
his 20-year marriage to his
wife, Jenny. The term-lim-
ited Republican agreed
Thursday to pay the fines
to resolve dozens of ethics
charges, including a tax-
payer-funded rendezvous
with his Argentine mis-
tress, marking the end to
a months-long saga.
Within minutes, the gover-
nor’s marriage had been
dissolved by a family
court judge in Charleston
County, 100 miles from
the state capital of
An American who admitted
slipping quietly into the
Indian city of Mumbai on
scouting missions that led
to the November 2008
attack that left 166 people
dead already has started
spilling terrorists’ secrets
to U.S. authorities, accord-
ing to his attorney and
federal prosecutors.
David Coleman Headley
pleaded guilty Thursday in
U.S. District Court in
Chicago to laying the
groundwork for the mas-
sacre in Mumbai and per-
forming similar surveil-
lance in anticipation of an
attack on a Danish news-
paper whose cartoons
depicting the Prophet
Muhammad were offen-
sive to Muslims. Federal
officials say the 49-year-
old Headley, who was
arrested in Chicago in
October, has become a
valuable asset to the war
on terrorism, furnishing
information about terrorist
networks in exchange for
a promise that he won’t be
A Massachusetts judge
has denied a motion to dis-
miss charges against a
woman accused of failing
to fill prescriptions to treat
her autistic son’s cancer.
The Salem News reports
that Salem Superior Court
Judge John Lu released
the decision Thursday.
Lu says the evidence
against 37-year-old Kristen
LaBrie is sufficient to
establish probable cause
that she committed crimes
including attempted mur-
der and assault and bat-
tery on a disabled person.
LaBrie’s lawyer had
argued that there is no
evidence of her intent.
LaBrie’s son, Jeremy
Fraser, was diagnosed
with lymphoma in 2006.
With treatment, the can-
cer went into remission,
but returned as leukemia
in 2008. He died a year
ago at age 9.
A federal grand jury has
issued subpoenas to a
Republican campaign com-
mittee and companies in
Nevada in a probe of Sen.
John Ensign, who has
been under scrutiny for
his efforts to find lobbying
work for the husband of
his former mistress.
One subpoena went to the
National Republican
Senatorial Committee,
which was formerly
chaired by Ensign, a
Nevada Republican, com-
mittee spokesman Brian
Walsh said Thursday.
Sean Cairncross, general
counsel for the group that
is the campaign commit-
tee for Republican Senate
candidates, said the com-
mittee has responded
appropriately to questions
concerning matters relat-
ed to the time frame of the
2008 election campaign.
On Thursday, a Las Vegas
television station reported
that grand jury subpoenas
in the Ensign probe went
to six Las Vegas business-
es that it did not name.
From Wire Reports
Oregon lawsuit claims Boy
Scouts sex abuse coverup
Associated Press Writer
KRAGNES, Minn. —
For farmer Brian Thomas,
getting to town for
errands is no simple mat-
ter these days as floodwa-
ters cover fields and sec-
tions of country roads in
the rural areas near
Fargo, N.D.
He wades through
shallow rapids cascading
across his driveway, then
drives a mud-spattered
pickup on a narrow dirt
road until so much water
blocks his path that he
must hop into a motorboat
and putt-putt over a corn-
field resembling a sprawl-
ing lake. Finally, about
four miles from home, he
gets into his waiting car
and drives to the nearest
“It’s kind of a hassle,”
Thomas, 52, said
Thursday as he jerked the
rope to restart the boat
As the cities of
Moorhead, Minn., and
next-door Fargo nervous-
ly wait for the Red River’s
expected crest on Sunday
at 20 feet above the flood
stage, some of the
region’s farmland is
already under water after
smaller rivers, swollen
with melting snow, over-
flowed. Even fields that
aren’t buried in water are
so saturated that they
look like vast expanses of
squishy black mud.
At this point it’s mostly
an inconvenience, grow-
ers say. Spring planting is
a month or more away for
crops such as corn, soy-
beans and sugar beets. If
the rain holds off and
unusually warm tempera-
tures don’t melt the
remaining snowpack too
rapidly over the next few
weeks, the waters could
recede, enabling a decent
or even good growing sea-
But a worst-case sce-
nario — heavy spring
rains and prolonged flood-
ing well into April —
could spell trouble for this
year’s crops, while also
causing problems for live-
stock producers during
the crucial calving season.
“It’s definitely not
going to help us any to
have this flood, but I can’t
say definitely that it’s
going to hurt us either,
because it depends on the
weather from here on
out,” said Andrew
Swenson, an extension
farm management special-
ist at North Dakota State
The region’s fertile
soils yield an abundance
of grain and beets. About
500,000 acres in Cass
County — which includes
Fargo — are planted in
soybeans, more than in
any other county in the
Farmers prefer to get
their corn and sugar beets
in the ground by late April
but can hold off until early
May, when soybeans usu-
ally are planted, Swenson
Flooding in 2009 ren-
dered almost 1.9 million
acres unsuitable for plant-
ing in North Dakota.
Jay Pickthorn/AP
Mark Houglum works on a 40-foot flood wall used to
protect his Moorhead, Minn., residence from the
swollen Red River on Thursday.
Fargo floods turn farm fields into sprawling lakes
“The Boy Scouts
of America
ignored clear
warning signs that
Boy Scouts were
being abused.”
Kelly Clark, attorney
against the city: one
regarding the utility
department’s cutoff poli-
cy and another alleging
race discrimination.
Aberdeen City
Attorney Robert Faulks,
who prosecuted Bowen,
declined comment on
Bowen’s case.
Bowen said he began a
personal investigation
into alleged corruption at
the city’s utility depart-
ment after his nephew,
Brandon Scott, was
arrested along with a
number of citizens,
including Electric
Department Manager
Adrian Garth, in a scandal
involving electricity theft.
“My nephew got set
up. I thought ‘There can’t
be that much corruption.’
So I started digging and,
sure enough, there was,”
said Bowen. “We found
people that weren’t pay-
ing their electric bill.
That’s been proven
beyond a shadow of a
doubt. People were get-
ting special favors from
of ficials. We’ve proven
that. And we’re not talk-
ing about small amounts.
We’re talking $300,000
He was charged by the
Aberdeen Police
Department with receipt
of stolen property based
on his knowledge of the
location of a water meter,
which Bowen says Mayor
Jim Ballard also knew
about. The obstruction
charge stemmed from
files Bowen obtained
which he says proved the
illegal activities taking
place at the utility depart-
“The obstruction
charge was bogus
because (the police)
claim they asked for docu-
mentation that I had, but
no one ever asked me. I
gave them to the attorney
general, but I had one
additional copy of it given
to me by the mayor,” said
Bowen. “I was led by the
mayor the whole time
that I couldn’t trust the
police department. He
(Ballard) is the one who
set me up. No doubt
about it.”
Ballard did not return
calls seeking comment
Bowen says he could
push for a criminal inves-
tigation into Ballard’s
involvement in the elec-
tric department scandal,
but would rather see him
voted out of office.
To make that a reality,
Bowen is joining a group
of concerned citizens
known as Aberdeen
Deserves Better, which
is focusing its efforts on
voting new officials into
office. The group held a
silent protest on the
steps of city hall during
Tuesday’s meeting of
the Board of Aldermen.
“That’s the only way
we’re going to get out of
this,” said Bowen. “We
know the only way to
change it is at the polls.”
Despite the Aberdeen
Police Department’s
continuing investigation
into the electric scandal,
Bowen says he doesn’t
expect any more arrests
to follow.
604 18th Ave. N. • Columbus, MS
Fax: 662-329-9311 Cell 662-251-2142
Ph: 662-327-6664
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Credit Union Members without access to
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this meeting must register with the credit
union no later than Thursday, March 25
Columbus Club (Columbus Air Force Base)
Meeting Time: 5:00 p.m.
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Continued from Page 1A
include former Fox News
commentator Angela
McGlowan of Oxford and
former Eupora Mayor
Henry Ross.
Childers said there are
many in Congress who plan
to vote in opposition to the
bill, but they were the same
ones who voted in Nancy
Pelosi as speaker of the
House of Representatives.
Nunnelee said a health
care plan should not be
placed in the hands of the
government, but instead
should be put in the hands
of Americans.
“It should be for the
patients, not the govern-
ment,” he said.
Nunnelee also said it
should be up to private
investments and compa-
nies, not the government, to
create jobs for people.
He referred to
Mississippi’s sales tax holi-
day last year, in which peo-
ple could buy up to $100 in
clothing without having to
pay sales tax.
“We can create our own
stimulus program without
the government’s help. If
we let working men and
women keep their own
money, we can have our
own stimulus and we don’t
need one from the govern-
ment,” he said.
Nunnelee has served in
the Mississippi Senate for
15 years, winning the seat
held by current U.S. Sen.
Roger Wicker. He repre-
sents Lee and Pontotoc
As a member of the
Senate Appropriations
Committee, Nunnelee said
if elected, he would want to
work to see that the United
States follows the example
of the American working
family to balance their
budget and control their
“In this recession we are
in, there are some in
Washington who do not
want to cut spending. In
Mississippi, the Legislature
is working on the budget
right now. Our challenge is
to fit our spending with the
available revenue,” he said.
Continued from Page 1A
wards’ cleanup.
Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor is
hoping to eliminate discarded tires, and
debris from his entire ward.
Ward 4 Councilman Fred Stewart
hopes to clean up around the former
Hughes Elementary School building,
20th Street, 26th Street, 6th Avenue and
14th Avenue.
Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem
wants to focus on Military Road, the
Eveningside complex and the main thor-
oughfares of Ward 5.
Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin wants
to clean up Highway 45 North, Bluecutt
Road and paint as many fire hydrants
and signs as possible.
“My hat’s off to the Link’d Young
Professionals for coming up with this
idea and getting elected of ficials
involved in it,” said Mayor Robert Smith.
Anyone wishing to volunteer for the
Clean Sweep need only show up at the
Farmers’ Market at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Continued from Page 1A
Continued from Page 1A
replace dormitories by bor-
rowing money on the front
end and paying it back with
interest over an extended
period of time — as
opposed to building up
reserves to pay for future
University housing must
be self-sufficient and does
not receive any additional
money other than what stu-
dents pay in rent.
Though financial officers
from each of the universi-
ties were prepared to give
detailed presentations
explaining their increase
requests, trustees stopped
the process just after Alcorn
University began the first
“This doesn’t seem to be
a system that’s sustainable,”
board member Alan Perry
said, comparing it to an indi-
vidual making a large pur-
chase on a credit card and
then paying the minimum
amount due each month.
The board asked the uni-
versity leadership to take
their proposals back and
reevaluate them before pre-
senting them again next
“If I gave the impression
that I just want the bare min-
imum to get by, I want to
retract that,” said board
member Amy Whitten.
The new proposals need
to reflect the amount the
universities require to main-
tain the buildings at a stan-
dard students want to live
in, Whitten said.
The university leaders
were clearly surprised by
the board’s remarks.
University of Mississippi
Chancellor Daniel W. Jones
said the universities’ leaders
had tried to put together
budgets that would get the
board’s approval; budgets
that were “politically palat-
However, he quickly
added, “We would love to
bring a more aggressive
plan before the board.”
Board President Scott
Ross cautioned his col-
leagues to remember who
would be paying for these
“We’re talking about
money coming out of some
kid’s, or kid’s parent’s pock-
et,” he said.
Rogelio V. Solis/AP
Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum, left, and Commissioner of
Higher Education Hank Bounds discuss funding issues as University of Mississippi
Chancellor Dr. Daniel Jones, second from left, and Delta State University President
John Hilpert, second from right, listen from the background, Thursday in Jackson.
GAUTIER — A south Mississippi jun-
ior college will ask the attorney’s general
office for a formal opinion on whether an
Alabama college can move a branch to its
Gautier campus.
The University of South Alabama and
Mississippi Gulf Coast Community
College announced a partnership earlier
this week that would allow USA to offer
classes on campus.
Since then, questions have been raised
by some state officials — including Lt.
Gov. Phil Bryant and State Auditor Stacey
Pickering — about whether the move is
appropriate and whether MGCCC is pro-
viding something free to USA.
MGCCC President Willis Lott said
Thursday that Attorney General Jim
Hood will be asked the same questions
about the proposed USA satellite campus.
Pickering had questioned an initial
announcement reported that USA would
occupy the building rent-free. The build-
ing has been a satellite campus of the
University of Southern Mississippi, which
is moving out this fall.
Lott said Thursday that USA won’t pay
rent its first year, but will pay to renovate
classroom space.
“Actually, this first year they are going
to invest over $100,000 in the building so
they can have classes,” he said. “It is not a
year’s free rent. They are actually invest-
ing more than what the rent is going to
In the second and third years, USA
would pay about $66,000 a year in rent,
which, he said, is the same deal USM had
with the two-year school.
USA’s board of trustees approved the
three-year deal on March 12, and the
community college’s board gave its
approval Wednesday. The agreement still
must be approved by the Mississippi
Commission on College Accreditation.
Juco to ask attorney general
if Alabama college move OK
Jason Browne/Dispatch Staff
Members of Link’d Young Professionals meet Thursday with the Columbus City
Council to discuss details of Saturday’s Clean Sweep.
Kelly Tippett/Dispatch Staff
State Sen. Alan Nunnelee speaks at a Columbus Tea
Party event Thursday at the Holiday Inn.
Fellowship Hall • 301 Brooks Dr.
Columbus Seventh-Day
Adventist Church
Healthy In A Hurry!
Cooking Demonstration
by Mrs. Nancy Skiwski, RN
Monday, March 22,
Tuesday, March 23 &
Thursday, March 24
6:30-8:00 p.m.
$10 Donation covers cost of food.
For more information, call
Sharrion Connell at 242-8998
AP National Security Writer
MOSCOW — Top inter-
national diplomats today
called on Israel and the
Palestinians to return to
peace negotiations with a
goal of reaching a final set-
tlement that would create
an independent Palestinian
state within 24 months.
They reiterated their con-
demnation of Israel’s latest
move to add Jewish hous-
ing in disputed east
Jerusalem but did not esca-
late criticism of the Jewish
The so-called Quartet
peacemakers met in the
Russian capital and issued a
formal statement read by
U.N. Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon.
Joining the U.N. chief at
the Moscow meeting were
U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton,
Russian Foreign Minister
Sergey Lavrov, EU foreign
policy chief Catherine
Ashton, and the Quartet’s
special representative, for-
mer British Prime Minister
Tony Blair.
Lavrov told a joint news
conference that the Israelis
and Palestinians should
move first to indirect talks,
followed by face-to-face
negotiations. Those indi-
rect talks were to have
started last week but were
stalled by reaction to
Israel’s announcement of
new housing in east
Clinton said she expects
to see Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu in Washington
next week.
“We are all committed to
the launching of proximity
talks between the Israelis
and Palestinians,” Clinton
told reporters.
A spokesman for
Netanyahu had no com-
ment on the statement.
George Mitchell, the
U.S. Mideast peace envoy,
is to meet in coming days
with Israeli and Palestinian
leaders in hopes of getting
the process restarted.
Mitchell attended today’s
Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks with U.S. special envoy for
Mideast peace, George Mitchell during talks in Moscow, Russia, today. Clinton is
participating in a meeting of the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators — the
U.S., Russia, the EU and the United Nations.
Diplomats urge resumption of Mideast talks
Associated Press Writer
KABUL — The arrests of
top Taliban figures in
Pakistan abruptly halted
secret U.N. contacts with
the insurgency at a time
when the efforts were gath-
ering momentum, the U.N.’s
former envoy to Afghanistan
said today.
Kai Eide, a Norwegian
diplomat who just stepped
down from the U.N. post
here in the Afghan capital,
said the discussions that he
and others from the U.N.
had with senior Taliban
members began in the
spring of 2009 and included
face-to-face conversations in
Dubai and elsewhere.
He criticized Pakistan for
arresting the Taliban’s No. 2
and other members of the
insurgency, saying the
Pakistanis surely knew the
roles these figures had in
efforts to find a political res-
olution to the 8-year-old war.
Pakistan denies the arrests
were linked to reconciliation
“There was an increase
in intensity of contacts, but
this process came to a halt
following the arrests that
took place in Pakistan,” Eide
told The Associated Press in
a telephone interview from
his home outside Oslo.
Last month’s detention of
Mullah Abdul Ghani
Baradar — second in the
Taliban only to Mullah
Mohammed Omar — infuri-
ated Afghan President
Hamid Karzai, one of
Karzai’s advisers told the AP.
Besides the ongoing talks,
the adviser, who spoke on
condition of anonymity to
discuss the sensitive topic,
said Baradar had “given a
green light” to participating
in a three-day peace “jirga”
or conference that Karzai is
hosting next month.
However, Gen. Athar
Abbas, a spokesman for the
Pakistani military, said
Friday that Baradar’s arrest,
which he said was a joint
operation with the U.S., was
not connected to any peace
talks. “Reconciliation or
talks have nothing to do with
the arrest of Baradar,” he
said. “It has nothing to do
with the talks. Serious
arrests are being made con-
Pakistan arrests halt
U.N. contacts with Taliban
David Guttenfelder/AP
A fish dealer cuts tuna at his stall inside Tsukiji
Wholesale Market in Tokyo, Japan, today. Japanese fish
dealers welcomed the rejection of a proposed trade ban
on Atlantic bluefin tuna while urging that existing quo-
tas be more strictly enforced to protect the species
from overfishing. Dealers at the market handle tuna
and other fish from across the world including Atlantic
bluefin tuna.
Associated Press Writer
TOKYO — Japanese
fish dealers today wel-
comed the rejection of a
proposed trade ban on
Atlantic bluefin tuna — a
prized ingredient of sushi
— while urging that exist-
ing quotas be more strictly
enforced to protect the
species from overfishing.
Thursday’s vote at a
U.N. meeting in Doha,
Qatar, rejecting the ban was
front-page news in all major
Japanese newspapers
Friday morning.
Japan consumes about
80 percent of the world’s
Atlantic bluefin tuna, and
the possibility of a ban had
consumers and fish whole-
salers worried that prices
for the pink and red meat of
the fish — called “hon-
maguro” here — would
soar or that it might even
vanish from some menus.
Stocks of the fish have
fallen by 60 percent from
1997 to 2007, and environ-
mentalists argue that a trad-
ing ban imposed by the 175-
nation Convention on
International Trade in
Endangered Species, or
CITES, would protect the
But the Japanese gov-
ernment and fishing indus-
try say an outright trading
ban is too drastic a step, and
that catch quotas set by
another body, the
International Commission
for the Conservation of
Atlantic Tunas, should be
more strictly enforced to
protect the species. In
November, ICCAT cut the
annual global quota by 40
percent to 13,500 tons.
Japanese fish
dealers welcome
tuna ban rejection

Special to The Washington Post
or all the soulless-
ness of studio pic-
tures, where else
can today’s moviegoer
find moral outrage, politi-
cal pluck or a sense of
insurrection? That’s
right: mid- to massive-
budgeted sci-
There’s “Avatar’s” anti-
corporatism; “District
9’s” apartheid allegory;
“The Crazies’ ” eco-mili-
tancy; and, now, the
nightmare of “Repo
Men.” Could a world
actually exist in which
artificial organs bought
on credit could be repos-
sessed from their delin-
quent containers by
Taser-wielding corporate
ninjas? That we can even
ask the question makes
for a thriller with requi-
site plausibility and the
proper quotient of para-
Directed by Miguel
Sapochnik, who may
have watched “Blade
Runner” a few too many
times, “Repo Men” grafts
moral ambiguity onto the
action thriller, and the
result is a weird but lik-
ably misshapen beast.
The plot may take more
unpleasant turns than a
small intestine, but isn’t
that what we want out of
our suspense films?
Throw in Jude Law,
whom I, for one, will
watch anytime, in any-
thing, as anyone — even
a guy who leaves his
“clients” liverless and
lifeless — and one can
forgive the movie’s
defects, and its indeci-
sion about being tragedy
or comedy.
Law plays Remy, the
top repo man for the
Union, a monolithic
ernment that urges
transplants onto ailing
customers and then
tracks them down when
they don’t make their
payments. The ease with
which Remy operates —
evidenced by the old
R&B he listens to on his
earphones as he
removes a bit of this or
piece of that — indicates
how good he is, and how
When we meet him,
trouble’s brewing: His
wife, Carol (an oddly
sour Carice Van
Houten), wants him to
move into sales.
Compartmentalizing like
a madwoman, she thinks
it better for him to sell
the cursed organs than
reclaim them. His Army
buddy and fellow repo
dude Jake (Forest
Whitaker) wants things
to remain the same,
though he shouldn’t
worry: Remy is so obvi-
ously not a management
guy that his chances of
moving up are slim.
When Remy has a heart
attack, he gets a trans-
plant he can’t pay for,
and the hunter becomes
the hunted.
Sapochnik’s bloody
mess has much in com-
mon with “Repo! The
Genetic Opera,” Darren
Lynn Bousman’s 2008
adaptation of the Darren
Smith-Terrance Zdunich
stage musical. While the
campy “Repo!” was also
about repossessed
organs, screenwriter
Eric Garcia’s novel “The
Repossession Mambo” is
rooted elsewhere — in
“Brazil,” in “Death of a
Salesman,” in a Kubrick-
meets-Burgess vision of
a cruel futuristic society.
The coincidence is not
so odd: With the battle
over health care raging,
the idea of buying
organs on time from
ruthless, cutthroat
“providers” was one of
those concepts that was
waiting to be hatched,
and hatched again.
In keeping with the
trend toward multina-
tional casting, “Repo
Men” has a bit of every-
where about it: Besides
the Dutch van Houten,
the English Law, and the
Americans Whitaker and
Liev Schreiber (as a per-
fect corporate viper),
there’s Brazil’s tiny
treasure Alicia Braga as
Beth, the mostly
mechanical gamine with
whom Remy tries to get
off the grid and out of
debt. The movie does
take a trip into deepest
Crazyville: A duet of
anesthesia-less surgeries
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©The Dispatch
4301 Greensboro Ave · Tuscaloosa. Al 35405
(205) 345-8040 · (800) 663-4240
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Kerr y Hayes/Universal Pictures/AP
In this publicity image released by Universal Pictures, Alice Braga, left, and Jude Law are shown in a scene from
“Repo Men.”
‘Repo Men’: Organ du jour — spleen
I A Universal Pictures release
is rated R for vulgarity, gore,
violence, sexuality and nudity.
I Running time: 111 minutes.

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