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by Joseph B. St. John



The Politics of Crime and Race




April 4, 2012





Race. It's on everybody's mind, but no one wants to talk about it; not only in Columbus, Mississippi, but throughout America. It is the two-ton elephant in the living room, but the country acts like it's not there. Not until the community gets rocked, does it become an issue. So, over the past few weeks, everyone in the country, including the Golden Triangle, has stood up and taken notice.
In Sanford, Florida, the case of Trayvon Martin has set o a firestorm of protest and concern. His killer, George Zimmerman, is either white or Hispanic, depending on what account you read. And, as everyone knows by now, Trayvon is black. And, what is most clear about this case is that no one is satisfied - not the people who see a young man "gunned down" in his prime, nor advocates of the now controversial "Stand Your Ground" law. Both sides stand up and want to be counted, but what do they want to count? ere is talk about hoodies, Skittles, crime watch, laws and protest. ere are groups that act like it is acceptable to shoot a young man and that everyone should just accept that the "shooter" was standing his ground. No questions asked. You have others who get lost in the fact that the young man was murdered, unjustly, and yet it happens every day. What makes Trayvon dierent? What makes his case a national story? In this case, at first glance, it is about race. In a time when the President of the United States has a black father and white mother, race still matters. It never went away. It has just lain dormant, until a big enough event brought it back to the forefront. And, that event was Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. On an otherwise uneventful NBA Basketball All-Star Sunday night, a young man went to the store for some Skittles, and a few hours later, a "hellfire" was born. Have no doubt, a controversy of biblical proportions is alive and well in America, and it is not going away anytime soon. Meanwhile, on the MSU campus, a young man was gunned down outside a dormitory. e victim, John Sanderson, is white. e suspected shooters, Trent Crump, Dontae Harvey and Mason Jones are all black. As soon as the murder occurred, there were posts on many local blogs, arguing that this case get the same attention as the Martin case. On the surface, the two cases have at least one similarity: people of one race killing someone of another race. But, here is where the cases are dierent. Within days, all three suspects in the Sanderson case - Crump, Harvey and Jones - are in jail, with no bond. ey are not walking around their community,




John Sanderson

Courtesy Photo

Trayvon Martin

Courtesy Photo

free. ey are in J-A-I-L. Talking to Chief Georgia Lindly on Friday, I asked her about that development, and she was quick to point out, "Yes, the arrests made all the dierence in the world between the two cases." She is right. Here are two cases that appear, somewhat, the same, but in the case of John, his accused killers are in jail. Trayvon's case just continues to linger. ere seems to be no resolution in sight, and its like a festering sore - it is just getting worse. What we have le, now, are more questions than answers. We have a 911 tape, on which the shooter is advised not to follow Trayvon. We also have a young man screaming for help, and we have no arrest or explanation why there isnt one. We do have a police chief that has taken a leave of absence, and a country talking about race again, without really talking about it. But, the scary part is that, in conversations involving race, the issue of justice is oen lost. And, justice is the only thing we should be talking about. In the case of John, his friends and family have the peace of knowing someone is in jail. It does not bring him back, but there is some closure, as strange as that may sound to someone who has not been the victim of a violent crime; but, it is true. Trayvon's case remains in a legal limbo. If the "Stand Your Ground Law" was the reason George Zimmerman was not charged, the local police should have been ready to stand their ground and explain the who, what, when, where and why of their investigation. But, right now, all explanations appear limp. It appears that very little was done to investigate this shooting. For the millions of people who are upset over this case, a cautionary tale, then, is needed. e FBI oers the following statistics

(emphasis added): Of the 12,996 murder victims in 2010 for which supplemental data was received, most (77.4 percent) were male. Concerning murder victims for whom race was known, 50.4 percent were black, 47.0 percent were white, and 2.6 percent were of other races. Race was unknown for 152 victims. Of the oenders for whom gender was known, 90.3 percent were males Of the oenders for whom race was known, 53.1 percent were black, 44.6 percent were white, and 2.3 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 4,224 oenders. Of the homicides for which the FBI received weapons data, most (67.5 percent) involved the use of firearms. Handguns comprised 68.5 percent of the firearms used in murders and non-negligent manslaughters in 2010. In incidents of murder for which the relationships of murder victims and oenders were known, 53.0 percent were killed by someone they knew (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.); 24.8 percent of victims were slain by family members. The relationship of murder victims and oenders was unknown in 44.0 percent of murder and non-negligent manslaughter incidents in 2010. Of the female murder victims for whom the relationships to their oenders were known, 37.5 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Of the murders for which the circumstance surrounding the murder was known, 41.8 percent of victims were murdered during arguments (including romantic triangles) in 2010. Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 23.1 percent of murders. Circumstances were unknown for 35.8 percent of reported homicides. Never forget whites have no trouble murdering whites and blacks have no trouble murdering blacks. So yes, race matters, but not more than justice; and JUSTICE should always be our FIRST concern! It is a lesson that can never be forgotten.














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Joseph B. St. John

Mr. MoJo Rising

RSVP to Close Oce, Layo Sta Core Programs Will Continue

increased eciency, renewable energy use, and ecosystem improvements, particularly for economically disadvantaged households and economically disadvantaged communities. 5. Provide direct services that enable seniors to remain in their own homes with the same or improved quality of life for as long as possible; increase physical activity and improve nutrition in youth, with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity; and improve access to primary and preventive health care. 6. Over the next five years, CNCS will demonstrate the potential for CNCS-supported, national service interventions to 1) positively impact the quality of life of veterans and 2) improve military family strength. ough Ms. Reynolds understands the nobility of these ideas, she is also aware of their limitations. "All this would have done was make things look good on paper," she said. "is had nothing to do with the functionality of the program. It was just about making things look good on paper." No truer words have been said.


April 4, 2012


Aer forty years, the RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) Oce will be closing its Maple Street location. e organization has been in the same building since 1973, and is presently serving over 150 senior volunteers in Lowndes County. March 31, 2012 was the last day the program was funded by the federal government. e last day of operation is still unknown, at this time.

that toured the community. However, the new regulations have tightened and strangled all creativity. Instead of tailoring the programs to the volunteers, Washington has tightened the specifications of the grant, to limit what the volunteers could do. With a strong agenda, the ability to help the community has been limited to only a few specific ideas. e following is a list of guidelines that would have governed the RSVP program, and which allowed for no exceptions: 1. Build the capacity of national service network organizations to help their states and localities prepare, respond, recover and mitigate disasters and increase community resiliency. 2. Provide, support and/or facilitate access to services and resources that contribute to the improved economic well-being and security of economically disadvantaged people. 3. Provide, support and/or facilitate access to services and resources that contribute to improved educational outcomes for economically disadvantaged people, especially children. CNCS will, throughout its activities, focus on the use of evidence-based and promising practices and will collaborate with other agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of

Labor and the White House Oce of Faith-based Initiatives. Priority in funding new grants will be given to applicants that provide evidence on the eectiveness of their programs. 4. Provide direct services that contribute to increased energy and water eciency, renewable energy use, or improving at-risk ecosystems, and support increased citizen behavioral change leading to

Joseph B. St. John

Mr. MoJo Rising

"Over-regulation" is the answer Board President Nan Lot gave, when asked about the decision to close the oce and no longer receive the grant that helps fund the program. "We want everyone to know that the Diala-Bus and the Home Delivered Meals will continue. We are hoping to keep the RSVP quilting project, but there will no longer be an RSVP sta." Jayne Reynolds, RSVP Program Director, agrees with the assessment and added, "With the extra regulations, we would have to hire another individual just to oversee the grant, and that money is just not available. e extra work has created a situation where projects would have to be tracked continuously and performance goals would have to be done for every project. It was just creating a lot of paperwork and paper trail."

e $41,000 annual grant helped pay salaries and funded the program. RSVP also received assistance from the United Way, the City of Columbus and Lowndes County.

e extra regulations have caused both Ms. Reynolds and her assistant, Sandra Wilson, to lose their jobs at RSVP. When questioned about her thought on her job loss, Ms. Reynolds stated, "All the work that I have done to grow the program and all the promises I have made to the volunteers are just gone, overnight, and now, we have to look for a job in a down market." e present volunteers have been serving at hospitals and other organizations and even had a senior band


April 4, 2012

Mayors Department Head Meetings Closed to Press, Public

Editors Note: is article was originally posted on our website, under the headline, At Weeks End for March 30, 2012 From the I couldn't make this stu up file: I attended my first City of Columbus Department Head Meeting as a media representative, this past Monday. ese meetings have been open to the media, for a few years now, so I thought I would stop in and see what was going on. ere was the usual boring stu that I had witnessed for years, during my time as a City employee, but in light of the craziness of the last City Council meeting, I thought I would stop in, to take a peek. Nothing of note happened, so nothing was reported by e Real Story. Well, on ursday, the following letter was sent to e Real Story, as well as to the Columbus Packet, which also had a representative at the meeting. March 29, 2012 TO: Columbus Packet Real Story Publishing Some time ago our legal counsel wrote to the Mississippi Attorney General about whether there was any requirement that the media be allowed to attend my regular Monday morning meetings with department heads of the City. The attached response shows that such meetings are not considered public meetings and may be closed to the public. In order to foster the free exchange of ideas between our sta and my oce, and to perform a more open and honest self-critical analysis of our City Departments, I have elected to close these meetings to the media and the public. I hope you understand the reasons for my decision. For your easy reference, please find the letter from the Attorney General that supports my decision. Sincerely, Robert E. Smith, Sr. Mayor City of Columbus ___________________________ 2011 WL 5006013 (Miss.A.G.) Oce of the Attorney General State of Mississippi Opinion No. 2011-00355 September 2, 2011 Re: Applicability of Open Meetings Law to Municipal Department Heads Sta Meetings Mr. Jerey J. Tumage City Attorney City of Columbus c/o Mitchell, McNutt & Sams Post Oce Box 1366 Columbus, MS 39703-1366 Dear Mr. Tumage: Attorney General Jim Hood has received your request for an ocial opinion and has assigned it to me for research and reply. Issue Presented Whether the Open Meetings Law is applicable to meetings between the mayor and municipal department heads? Response No. Applicable Law and Discussion For purposes of the Open Meetings Act, Miss. Code Ann. Section 25-41-3 defines "public body" as ...any executive or administrative board, commission, authority, council, department, agency, bureau or any other policy-making entity, or committee thereof, of the State of Mississippi, or any political subdivision or municipal corporation of the state, whether such entity be created by statute or executive order, which is sup ported wholly or in part by public funds or expends public funds, and any standing, interim or special commit tee of the Mississippi Legislature. In a previous opinion to Brenda Carter dated September 13, 2002, we opined that a sta meeting between the mayor and department heads does not constitute a public meeting of a public body subject to the Open Meetings Act. MS AG Op., Carter (Sept. 13, 2002). This remains our opinion. Please contact our oce if we may be of further assistance. Very truly yours, Jim Hood Attorney General By: Margarette L. Meeks Special Assistant Attorney General



As you can see, we have been banned from the reindeer games and we are not allowed to attend the meetings anymore. And just think - I only attended one meeting!

What can I say? What is the Mayor trying to hide? What is he trying to keep from the public?

e Real Story is still watching and still writing. We will never stop. We will continue to be the communitys watch dog, even if the people that were watching make it clear that our presence is not appreciated.

Joseph B. St. John

Mr. Mojo Rising


Local Boutique Named One of 10 Great Places...

When the business in question is a vintage clothing boutique! Opening o of this hallway, are rooms devoted to womens clothing, mens clothing, and much more. As you browse through the shop, you are trans ported back in time, not just by the amazing selection of clothing that goes back decades, but also by the music that dates from the 1920s to the 1960s, which emanates from the shops stereo. Customers can easily create a complete wardrobe, just from the contents of KKs fantastic boutique. Although the selection of unique items is so vast that listing all of them is virtually impossible, some highlights are a 1920s glass-beaded, silk chion flapper dress, an 1800s white net garden party dress, and a most stunning 1950s blue layered rue tulle ball gown with a flowered bustle. In addition, KK has recently acquired several amazing party dresses from the mid1950s that belonged to Valeka Gray, the southern actress with roles in Love Is a Many Splendored ing and As the World Turns. What really sets e Attic apart is the proprietor. KK Norris, who spent years as a Hollywood stylist, possesses a wealth of knowledge about fashion, and combines that with an attentive, but not overbearing, customer service sensibility. In addition to accommodating everyday lovers of classic fashion items, KK is oen called upon to outfit performers in various local theatrical productions, as well as historical re-enactments. She also worked with the wardrobe department of the recent film, e Help, to provide the actors with just the right look. Getting back to the matter of the recognition recently bestowed upon her shop, I asked KK what it means to have e Attic selected for this list. Having the store recognized nationally is by far, the best "pat-on the-back", yet! I submitted e Attic to USA Today aer getting a suggestion from a fellow Vintage Fashion Guild member, Big Yellow Taxi, in Quebec. Larry Bleiberg, from USA Today, was preparing a story about vintage clothing stores considered "well worth the travel," with input from Melody Fortier, author of e Little Guide to Vintage Shopping. Knowing there are thousands of vintage clothing stores in the United States, it was certainly a huge surprise and honor to be chosen and the charm of Columbus, no doubt, had a part in the final selection. In response to my query about what the reaction to e Attic being named to list has been, KK replied, e phone started ringing at 6am the


When do you plan for the future, by looking to the past? What type of business epitomizes the saying Everything old is new, again?

e Attic, Columbus only boutique dealing exclusively in vintage clothing, was recently included in a list compiled by USA Today, entitled 10 great places to shop for vintage clothing.

April 4, 2012

morning the paper hit the stands and hasn't stopped! Even as far as Africa, colleagues and customers are sending congratulations, along with new inquires about the stock and selection of e Attic. e timing of the feature was perfect, during Columbus Spring Pilgrimage, when there is such a fun flurry of activity in town and that just spilled over to the excitement of the article. Pilgrims walked into the store asking if I knew about the write-up and their friends texting them saying, You're in have to go to e Attic! It really has been a whirlwind of press and mentioning our connection to the costumer for e Help didn't hurt, either. Folks are buying items to take back to friends in their hometown and requesting that I attach my store card to the purchase for proof! e Attic is located at 116 3rd Street South. You can also take a virtual tour by visiting Follow e Attic on Facebook at


People purchase vintage clothing for a variety of reasons. One of these is that they dont like cookie-cutter fashion. e Attic is emblematic of that aversion to the everything looks the same concept in fashion, even down to the layout of the shop.

Upon entering e Attic - which is spread throughout the ground floor of a Victorian mansion, and located across the street from the first home of Tennessee Williams, Americas greatest playwright one steps into a long hallway, which is filled with hats, jewelry, and other accessories. It is also packed with spring dresses and summer rompers, with a museum of artifacts from the south hanging from the walls and ceiling. One cant help but notice the 45RPM records spelling out ATTIC.

e Real Story Sta Report


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Citywide Neighborhood Watch Meeting Proves Very Informative

property forms that are designed to aid in taking inventory of ones possessions, and which should be kept on-hand for the insurance company and the police, in the event that a burglary rakes place. Oce Richardson distributed blank copies of these, at the end of the meeting.

Sta Photo


Ocer Rhonda Sanders, Ocer Je Guyton, Capt. Fred Shelton, Asst. chief Joe Johnson, Chief Selvain McQueen, Lt. Carroll Culpepper, Ocer Ron Richardson, and Sgt. John Duke.

Captain Mike Chandler, from the Columbus Fire Department, spoke about the exciting things taking place, within his department. About four weeks ago, an inspection team descended on the Columbus Fire Department, to begin the long and arduous process of getting the department accredited. When completed, the Columbus Fire Department will be the first in the state to be accredited. As part of this

April 4, 2012

A citywide Neighborhood Watch meeting was held on ursday, March 29th, at e Municipal Complex. e meeting was called to order and Mayor Robert Smith greeted the group of 5060 concerned citizens in attendance. Asst. Chief Joe L. Johnson gave a warm invocation, and then Chief Selvain McQueen opened the meeting by talking about justifiable homicide. He said, speaking in plain English, if someone breaks into your home and you are afraid for your safety and life, you can protect yourself. McQueen also stated, "I will do whatever I have to do to protect myself and my family." is being

said, he pointed out that there are a number of steps and measures that can be undertaken to reduce the likelihood that one would be the victim of a crime. What followed was a well thought-out program, highlighted by a Power Point slide show, with brief presentations by selected police ocers, each focusing on a dierent subject area. Ocer Rhonda Sanders gave an indepth explanation of what Neighborhood Watch is and how it can help each of us. She stated that a serious crime happens, in this country, every 2-3 minutes, and that we need to take precautions to protect ourselves and our

homes, family and property. Neighborhood Watch will train you how to identify suspicious activity in your neighborhood and what to do. Neighborhood Watch can also bring a neighborhood together. You will be trained in a little self defense, but, most of all, what steps can be taken to safeguard your home and property. Ultimately, Neighborhood Watch will teach you how to be a "nosy neighbor." What is a "nosy neighbor", you ask? It is a person who watches the houses around them, can tell when there is suspicious activity, and will call E-911 when necessary. ey know if a particular individual lives in the neighborhood or not. ey are the people you can trust to be alert and know whether your home is safe or threatened. Next up, to speak, was Community Resource Ocer Ron Richardson. He gave a detailed description, with slides providing examples, of ways to secure your home and keep it safe. ese were very straightforward and eye-opening. Ocer Richardson also showed the

Sta Photo

Ocer Rhonda Sanders explains what Neighborhood Watch is and how it can help.

process, they are passing out surveys for the citizens of Columbus to fill out and return. is will enable the department to see if they are meeting the needs of

See WATCH Pg. 7


WATCH cont. from pg. 6


the citizens of Columbus. If you have a Neighborhood Watch group, Capt. Chandler will be happy to attend your meeting and make the surveys available to your members, as well as give a presentation about the process they are going through. If you are interested in having Capt. Chandler speak at your meeting, you can contact him at 662889-8367, to schedule an appointment. Lt. Carroll Culpepper, the Columbus Police Departments Administration Commander, spoke on how important it is to be the eyes and ears of the CPD, because they can't be everywhere, all the time. He also informed the attendees about a little- known service that the police department oers - the Vacation Home Watch program. You can go to the CPD, fill out some paperwork, and a police ocer will go to your home, at least once a day, for up to 14 days, and will check your home to ensure that everything is OK, while you are gone. As all of the ocers in attendance stood in a line before the audience, with so music playing, Chief McQueen stated, "is is your team; we are here to serve and protect you. Help us to help you." Asst. Chief Joe Johnson stressed the importance of calling E-911. He closed his remarks by saying, "If you see it - tell it. We don't want your name - we want your information." Chief McQueen then introduced John Duke, a narcotics ocer who was just coming in o of an assignment. Ocer Duke briefly urged the audience members to give tips to the police. ere is not a tip given that is not investigated, he said. ere was a brief question and answer period, and then the meeting was dismissed, with an oer for anyone with questions to come forward and speak with any of the ocer present, individually. As a reminder, they provided the phone number for Crime Stoppers: 800-530-7151.

I bought Porkchop a pot-bellied pig harness a few weeks ago, but had not tried to put it on him until last week. Fran, a great friend and co-worker, was visiting Porkchop one day and we decided wed give it a go. What a sight - you should have seen us trying to figure out how the harness went on that fat pig. We put it on (correctly, we later figured out), but both of us decided THAT wasnt right. So we put it on backwards, which REALLY wasnt right. Finally, we decided to look up pot-bellied pig wearing a harness on Google images, so we could quit harassing Porkchop. YAY! We finally figured it out (even though Fran had it correct the first time)! Porkchop seemed awful proud to wear his lime green harness for the rest of the day. I have not tried to attach a lead to it, yet; I dont want to traumatize him all at once. He does a pretty good job of following pretty close to me when we walk, and even heels better than a dog does! At least, better than our dogs! Ive been having the hardest time finding healthy food for Porkchop. Pot-bellies are a lot like humans, in that if they eat potato chips, junk

food, etc., they will gain weight. So, last week, when Porkchop and I were visiting my aunt and he stole one of her freshly picked beets, I thought: Hey, thats something he can eat! He was enjoying chewing on it, too - even had a beet red nose for a few hours, that aernoon! Well, leave it to me, but I found out, later that night, that beet pulp is sometimes used to put weight on horses. Porkchop really does not need to gain weight! He does love sliced cucumbers and carrots, though. And he really loves dried veggies - carrots, snap peas, okra, green beans, zucchini and squash - but does not care for fresh squash or zucchini. Porkchops main diet consists of a specialized feed made for pot-bellied pigs; he only gets his treats every now and then. However, his biggest fan, who comes to see him a few times each week, does tend to bring him some dry cereal that he really shouldnt have (but really does love). But, I guess, once (or twice) a week

April 4, 2012


Porkchops beet red nose!

isnt too bad. At least thats what I tell myself when I cheat on my diet!

Aimee Shaw Aimee is the Oce Manager at Malone Electric Company, Inc. and also has her own freelance graphic design business. She is married to Kenneth Shaw of Columbus.

Fran Andresen Fran is a homemaker who enjoys experimenting and creating tasteful diabetic and kidney-diseasefriendly recipes. She is married to John Andresen and likes to crochet in her free time.

Belated Happy Birthday, Tennessee!

World-famous playwright Tennessee Williams was born in Columbus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911. Born omas Lanier Williams III, Tennessee went on to write plays, short stories, novels, poetry, essays, screenplays, and a volume of memoirs. His career spanned the 1930s until his death on February 25, 1983. His work included A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, e Rose Tattoo, Sweet Bird of Youth, Suddenly Last Summer, and many more. e second item donated is a 1960 lobby card from the movie Suddenly Last Summer. e movie included famous actors, such as Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, and Mont-

Photo of the Week

In honor of his birthday, two items were recently donated to the Local History Department at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. One item is an envelope from 1995, with the Tennessee Williams US postal stamp in the upper right hand corner. It also contains an ArtCra print of Williams on the le hand side of the envelope. It was produced by the Postal Commemorative Society.

gomery Cli. e plot centers on a young woman who, at the insistence of her wealthy New Orleans aunt, is being evaluated by a psychiatrist to determine whether she should receive a lobotomy, aer witnessing the death of her cousin, Sebastian Venable, while traveling with him in Spain the previous summer. e library will be showcasing these new acquisitions, along with many other posters, playbills, lobby cards, and photographs from their collection of Tennessee Williams memorabilia, in September and October of this year.


Sta Photo

$15 worth of mix could've fixed this tire-getter in an extremely busy intersection between Kroger and Wendy's on Hwy 45 North.

Special to e Real Story


Signs of Spring Abound

Evidence that spring has arrived is all around us in the beautiful blooms of azaleas, the switch to Daylight Saving Time, and happenings in the galleries. What?! e galleries?! ats right signs of new life are taking place in our local art galleries! is past ursday, I decided to beat the crowds that one always finds at the Rosenzweig Arts Centers gallery openings, by checking out Hillary Parkers new show, early that aernoon. Simply stating that Hillary Parker is technically proficient is like saying that Tennessee Williams was a talented playwright both assertions would not only be incredible understatements, but they would also do a tremendous disservice, not only to the work, but also to our enjoyment of it. Ms. Parkers sprouts, orchids, and fruits and vegetables are not just perfect replicas of the items that they represent; they seem to burst forth from the page, with a ripe lushness that belies their 2-D nature. I was particularly drawn to her orchid collage shadowboxes and her Edible Art series. e shadowboxes each consist of a variety of items dried plant parts, watercolor images, text, and more all encased in a simple wood and glass display. e Edible Art series was made up of fieen small prints of realistic images of fruits and vegetables. Her portraits of dogs added a playful, yet very lifelike, air to the show. All but a handful of pieces in the show are iris giclee prints, making Parkers work easily aordable, with many examples priced at less than

Get Out and Get Your Culture On!

$100 each. For individuals desiring original artwork, there were some halfdozen watercolors, ranging in price from $400 to $3,000, which would make fine additions to any collection. Parkers work will be on display until April 28th. Earlier this day, I had spent a glorious hour soaking in the days warmth, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying a musical performance by Mike Cooper, as the most recent installment of this years Noon Tunes, a delightful music series sponsored by Main Street Columbus. Mike is a talented musician, who is versatile enough to bridge a variety of musical genres from blues, to country, to rock & roll. e audience obviously recognized this, as well, as they rewarded Cooper with enthusiastic applause aer each number. Even if, Heaven forbid, you missed both of those spring-like events, you have another opportunity, as more art will burst forth, tomorrow. e opening reception for Emergence, a group show of work by emerging artists, and the latest in the Art in Columbus series, is scheduled for ursday, April 5, from 5:30pm7:30pm, at Renee Reedy Studio (101 5th Street South; below Caf on Main).

April 4, 2012

Having had an opportunity for a sneak peek at the work that will be on display at the show, I can tell you that you will be impressed by what you see, as the term emerging artist belies the talent that is evident in the paintings, photographs, and mixed media works.


e Art in Columbus series is a partnership between Renee Reedy Studio, which also oers incredible photography and cinematography services, and Random Acts of Culture, a local arts organization.

ursdays reception will feature food by Caf Aromas, beer sponsored by Mitchell Distributing, and wines provided by Rooks Wine Cellar, as well as so drinks. In addition, poster production was provided courtesy of Signature Sound & Printing Media Solutions.

is event is FREE and open to the public.

So, as you can readily see, just like flowers, art can bloom, during this season of renewal. Its a perfect time to

Get out and get your culture on! e Real Story Sta Report


Across 1: Chips pal
5: Talk informally 9: Mar. follower 12: Air freshener target 13: Penny ___ 14: Wine and dine 15: High hills 17: Gives approval 18: ___ League 19: Flooring squares 21: Towels o 24: Plaster mold 26: Charged particle 27: Adams abode 29: Close with wax 33: Posed 34: ___ basin 36: Cycle start 37: Ravens cousin 39: ___ carotene 40: Jasmine beverage 41: Talk back 43: Outmoded weapon 45: Threes a ____ 48: Roly-poly veggie 49: That man 50: Place for a levee 56: ___ moments notice (2 wds.) 57: Speedway shape 58: Actors prompt 59: Average 60: Shut in 61: Prophecy

20: ___ Magic 21: Word in CD 22: Crowds sound 23: Fascinated by 24: Surrenders territory 25: College course (abbr.) 28: Youngsters claim 30: Feminine suc 31: Territory 32: Pinocchio, for one 35: Eye surgery beam 38: Compass dir. 42: ___ in the bucket (2 wds.) 44: Artist Picasso 45: Chafe 46: Actress Hayworth 47: Actor Sharif 48: Throw rocks at 51: ___ Lost You 52: Moving vehicle 53: Intention 54: Opposite of SSW 55: Mattel male

ALWAYS THE TRUTH...NO compromise

DownDiMag1: DeLuise or
gio 2: Confused bustle 3: Actor Jacobi 4: Tennessee ____ Ford 5: Gumbys material 6: Bali ___ 7: Sothern of Maisie 8: Experiments 9: Evading army duty (abbr.) 10: Punch 11: Flagmaker Betsy 16: Boob tube (2 wds.)

Coddling Kids: Hollyweird Silverstone as a Model for What Weve Become

assume some responsibility of their own learning. At the expense of sounding too New Age, I spent a lot of time creating and facilitating authentic learning situations that encouraged my students to step out of their safety zone, avoid the use of textbook company-prepared worksheets, and start thinking for themselves. I recall a particular students mother blasting me, when her daughter received a C in my Biology II class. Not my baby! she exclaimed. My baby has always made straight As, and now youve ruined her college plans. (She really did say that, she and many others.) I attempted to help her understand how my classroom was set up for student-centered learning and that there were no worksheets to memorize, no test reviews that covered every detail of the upcoming test. I also asked her why she had not attended either one of the two Open House nights that I had held for my parents, in my classroom. ose were informal events, where I engaged the parents in the types of activities that their children would experience. No, I didnt come to those, she admitted. ere comes a time when a parent and a teacher must practice tough love and demand accountability from their children. is is not to say that parents and teachers have to be mean and aggressive. On the contrary! Deep inside, students like limits, and they can have respect for the adults in their lives only when that same respect is modeled for them. Students need structured activities, with guidelines and consequences; they deserve praise, where praise is needed and genuinely given. All of the PC garbage that has infiltrated every aspect of our society, down to the baseball parks, is making us weak. I was in Atlanta, watching some friends children play a steppedup version of t-ball. I asked one of them, Whos winning? Oh, we dont do scores, she said. Why the hell not? I was livid. How will you know who wins? I belted out. Oh, thats not important, said the mother of another player. We just want each of out little players to feel special, she explained. On top of that, each and every kiddo got a special ribbon aer the game because they were all special, and they went home thinking that they are really great at modified t-ball, and all is well with the world. We do the same thing at school, making sure that each child feels special, packing them all into the same death crate, creating little robots who cant think, cant read or solve problems, and who cant identify India or New Mexico on a map. But hey, they sure feel special, and isnt that what counts? I could tell by the expressions on the faces of several of the parents at that ball game fathers, in particular - that they wanted to agree with me. But they sat, spineless, non-verbal, so as not to upset anyone. Just like the bulk of the American public, who has sat through this big giant insular bubble of a disease called Political Correctness. is hideous disease has swept through our country like wildfire, ruining the landscape. You cant call Christmas vacation, Christmas vacation any longer, because it might be oensive to nonChristians. You mustnt call a janitor a janitor because theyre actually environmental technicians. Its way out of hand, and its all tied in with the dontwant-to-hurt-little-Johnnys-ego bull crap. No Child Le Behind? Wanna bet? Life is rough, parents; you know this, so why do so many of you continue to over-protect your child like thats going to insulate him or her from lifes harsh side? It reminds me of the sickening video that made the news and U-Tube this week. at clip showed the Hollyweird actress Alicia Silverstone feeding her child chewed-up food, directly from her mouth to his. Well, folks, that sort of sums it up. If you missed that clip, look it up, now, and be prepared to be freakedout and grossed-out for sure. Its just how that lady was treating her special son at Panera Bread Company, in Birmingham. Parents, quit coddling your kids, and teachers, stop making your students fill out endless worksheets to memorize! And America, get a grip! Its time to curtail this PC environment, today. You can still be civil without being over-the-top.


Last month, I was traveling for work and stopped for lunch at Panera Bread, in the Summit Shopping Mall, in an affluent section of Birmingham, Alabama. My server delivered my food, and le me to eat and watch people.

April 4, 2012

Seated to my le was what appeared to be a young mother, her child, and her parents. My first thought was that the boy was much too big to be seated in a high chair. But, who am I to decide that? Maybe hes a special needs child, I thought.


e next thing that caught my attention was the fact that the mother was taking the boys sandwich apart, breaking it into bite-size pieces. She pleaded for him to try a piece of the cheese, which she had stripped o of the sandwich and placed on a napkin on the table. Come on, darling.try just a small bite, she coaxed. is is that bread that you love so much He took a piece of the sandwich out of her outstretched hand. It reminded me of a mother bird feeding its baby.

She continued to dissect the sandwich, feeding him bite by bite. If that wasnt enough, the grandmother took over to let her daughter take a few bites of her own lunch. e grandfather looked disgusted, but outnumbered. I had a feeling hed rather be at the park, playing baseball with Junior. No chance of that happening, though.

John Dorroh John Dorroh is a Columbus resident who presently works and lives part-time in the St. Louis area. He works as an educational consultant, traveling in the Midwest and Southeast. He writes short stories, essays, and cheesy poetry about people he has met along the way.

As I ate my lunch, I noticed that other adults were also coddling their kids. It reminded me, in a way, of what we teachers oen do with our students. We spoon-feed them. Parents oen expect and demand it.

As a high school science teacher, with several years of experience under my belt, I began to expect my students to

Your weekly dose of Porkchop!




Fraud Alert:
We have learned that there has been a rash of credit/debit card fraud occurring in our community, recently. Our sources indicate that most of these incidents have occurred aer the victims have dined at area restaurants. Victims have reported that, within a short period of time aer they used their card to pay their restaurant bill, they have learned that their checking account has been emptied or their credit card has been charged up to the limit. When they have contacted their bank or card issuer, they have learned that the majority of the charges made on their account were for access to the on-line game World of Warcra. Citizens are urged to exercise caution when using a debit or credit card. e following are some tips to help protect yourself from being a victim of credit/debit card fraud: Keep all receipts from credit/debit card purchases, and compare them with bank or card statements. Check your on-line account records, frequently, to monitor all activity associated with your cards. Immediately report lost or stolen cards to the issuing company and the police. Never give your bank or credit card information over the phone, unless you initiated the call. Never

Great Job, Ladies!

Protect Your Bank and Credit Card Accounts


April 4, 2012

The ladies of Saum Chiropractic Clinic pulled off a great Ladies Night!

ank you so much from the Relay Story sta

give this information over a cell phone. Although protection for account holders varies, according to location and company, you should always report any suspicious activity on your account both to the issuing company and the police. Consider using cash for some transactions. Some of the above recommendations have been compiled by the National Crime Prevention Council. Be alert! Be safe!

e Real Story Sta Report



Why Good People Do Bad Things

Shakespearean characters are the embodiments of pure, unalloyed, untrammeled ambition the perfect expression of Nietzsches theory of the pure will of the Superman, an amoral striver beyond good and evil. A simple, but familiar example from Machiavelli, which Shakespeare espoused in Antony and Cleopatra: Love is a link of obligation, which men, because they are rotten, will break at any time they think doing so serves their advantage Machiavelli also commented on law and force, suggesting that princes need law, but there are times when only beastly force will suce. He, like Nietzsche, understood that accession to power requires setting aside the bourgeois assumptions of morality; and believed that while love of the people can be useful, fear is the most instrumental tool in gaining and retaining power. Machiavelli also suggested that princes need law, but there are times when only beastly force will suce. Human nature, however represented by the Bible, Shakespeare, or Nietzsche, is neither good nor evil. Shakespeare was especially good at chronicling the endless cycle of history and describing the human nature which underlies it. e same palace coups, plots, duplicity, greed, desire, and ambition are played out over the centuries. As Brooks observes: In a survey of students, David Buss of the University of Texas found that 91 percent of the men and 84 percent of the women had detailed, vivid homicidal fantasies; and had taken steps toward carrying them out. One woman invited an abusive ex-boyfriend to dinner, with thoughts of stabbing him in the chest. ese thoughts occur because we are descended from creatures that killed to thrive and survive. Were natural-born killers and the real question is not what makes people kill but what prevents them from doing so. [Italics mine]. ere are, then, three types of people: 1) those who have successfully incorporated the principles and moral precepts of society, who repress evil thoughts, and lead normal lives; 2) those who do not live by the rules and express the evil of their natures; and 3) those who live by Nietzsches rules. ese last are Supermen - the Genghis Khans; the Richard IIIs, Macbeths, and Edmunds who plot to accede to power; who fulfill desires to conquer and acquire without the ethics and morals of what Nietzsche called the herd. WWW.SUDOKU PUZZLES.NET SEE SUDOKU ANSWERS ON PG 14 Brooks adds another category that which includes Robert Bales; people who have always lived well within the margins of society, but whose containment vessel springs a serious leak. Robert Bales has to be a freak, we argue. People just arent that way. Most of us live within the rules and devise others to keep pathological killers at bay; but we also secretly admire the Supermen, the amoral heroes who express their true, basic, and fundamental natures. e closest we have come to both realizing and admiring this primitive potential is by acknowledging it within a psychological theory: Self-actualization is the organism's master motive, the only real motive: "the tendency to actualize itself as fully as possible is the basic drive...the drive of self-actualization" or mans tendency to actualize himself, to become his express and activate all the capacities of the organism." (Wikipedia) In one brutal act, Robert Bales raised issues that we have long chosen to ignore the nature of war and the stresses that can release primitive urges; human nature; and the nature of good and evil and David Brooks has discussed them all intelligently and well.



David Brooks has written an article in the New York Times (3.20.12) about human nature. Why, we ask, Do good people do bad? Brooks wonders why this doesnt happen more oen, since we are programmed from birth and down the millennia of human existence to be self-protective and aggressive and to expand our perimeters and secure our interests. John Calvin believed that babies come out depraved. G. K. Chesterton wrote that the doctrine of original sin is the only part of Christian theology that can be proved; and that the inner world is a battlefield between light and dark, and life is a struggle against the destructive forces within. is worldview was both darker and brighter than the one prevailing today. It held, as C. S. Lewis put it, that there is no such thing as an ordinary person. Each person you sit next to on the bus is capable of extraordinary horrors and extraordinary heroism. Frank Bales, the topical subject of Brooks article, is the young soldier who massacred 16 people in Afghanistan, recently. Friends and teachers describe him as caring, gregarious and self-confident before he in the vague metaphor of common usage apparently, snapped. As one childhood friend told e Times, ats not our Bobby. Something horrible, horrible had to happen to him.

April 4, 2012

Ron Parlato


is is a normal reaction, arms Brooks: According to [the prevailing worldview] most people are naturally good, because nature is good. e monstrosities of the world are caused by the few people (like Hitler) who are fundamentally warped and evil. is worldview gives us an easy conscience, because we dont have to contemplate the evil in ourselves. However, Christians believe that Man was expelled from the Garden of Eden in shame and sin; and that redemption can come only through Jesus Christ. Nietzsche espoused the theory of beyond good and evil that is, acting on those very basic and primitive impulses of self-protection, acquisition, expansion, and security, without the guilt and recrimination imposed by society, is the highest form of human expression. As Nietzsche says: life itself is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of what is alien and weaker; suppression, hardness, imposition of ones own forms, incorporation and at least, at its mildest, exploitation

Ron Parlato is a writer living in Washington, DC. He has close ties with Columbus which he visits frequently. His writings on literature, politics and culture, travel, and cooking can be found on

Although we may not admit it, we admire Nietzsches Superman. In a world in which religion, morality, and the strictures dominate and reduce the individual to a herd-following being, we would like to be Richard III, Aaron the Moor, Edmund, Goneril, Regan, or Macbeth. We would want to, as Nietzsche puts it: ...sail right over morality, we crush, we destroy perhaps the remains of our own morality by daring to make our voyage [to a world where hatred, envy, covetousness, and the lust to rule are the conditions of life and must be present and must therefore be further enhanced, if life is to be further enhanced.



Broccoli and Goat Cheese Souf le f

4 servings Total Time: 45 minutes Ingredients 1 1/2 cups finely chopped broccoli florets 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 1/4 cups low-fat milk 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese 3 large eggs, separated 2 large egg whites 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar Directions Preheat oven to 375F. Coat four 10ounce ramekins (or a 2-2 1/2-quart sou dish) with cooking spray and place them on a baking sheet. Place broccoli in a medium, microwavesafe bowl. Cover and microwave until the broccoli is tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside. Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan over mediumhigh heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Adjust heat, as needed, to prevent the mixture from getting too dark; it should be the color of caramel. Add milk, mustard, rosemary and salt and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in goat cheese and 3 egg yolks, until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl. Beat the 5 egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on high speed, until so peaks form. Add cream of tartar and continue beating until sti peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold half of the whipped whites into the milk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites and the reserved broccoli, just until no white streaks remain. Transfer to the prepared ramekins or sou dish. Bake until pued, firm to the touch and an instantread thermometer inserted into the center registers 160F; about 20 minutes in ramekins or 30 minutes in a sou dish. Serve immediately.


April 4, 2012


An African Goose enjoys the beautiful weather.

Mississippi Speech Language Hearing Association at the Capitol

Courtesy Photo

Mississippi University for Women student Sarah Donaldson of Starkville, back row, left, recently participated in Legislative Day at the Mississippi Capitol. This was part of a grant through the Mississippi Speech Language Hearing Association, with emphasis on training future professionals to be advocates for the profession and the people they serve. The Louisville native is pictured with Brittany Jones, Jackson State University, back row, right; Front row, from left, Ashley Hicks Foresman, head of the MSHA Young Professionals Committee, University of Mississippi graduate; Noelle Dunbar, The University of Southern Mississippi; Amy Simmons, UM; Stephen Clay, MSHA's lobbyist; and Cory Washington, UM.



Columbus Middle School Students Excel at Regionals

Jebakas 1st Place in the eatre/Drama Challenge: Brianna M. Brown Shemaiah Caine Amari Colvin Kerrigan Hill Ayana Morris Jessica Verdell Evelyn Walker WALLJAZ 1st Place in Scientific Research Challenge: Ansley Dale Leonardo Dismukes Zoe Fowler Jaylan Lenoir Anthony McClelland Wrishija Roy Laurel Yarborough Bojangles SPIRIT 1st Place in the Technology/Engineering Division: Ladd Chain Jimbo Killebrew Camden Sanders Avery Velek Cooper Weseli Joshua Williams Columbus SPIRIT 2nd Place in the Architecture/Structure Challenge: Michael Bailey Amari Colvin Cameron Douglas Darrion Fisher Chris Gray Russell Taylor Jessica Verdell

MUW Receives National Recognition for Community Service

For the second year in a row, Mississippi University for Women has been recognized on the Presidents Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. e President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, launched in 2006, annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement, by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve. Honorees are chosen based on a series of selection factors, including: the scope and innovation of service projects; the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum; the schools commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships; and measurable community outcomes, as a result of service. We are truly honored by this recognition. I am very appreciative of all faculty, sta and students for their commitment to community service and dedication to making a dierence, said Dr. Jim Borsig, MUW president. Community service is important in developing leadership skills among our students. It is also an opportunity for faculty and sta to demonstrate leadership, through service on campus and in the community. MUW students, faculty and sta completed 263,000 hours of community service in 2010-2011. ose programs included weekend service trips to assist with disaster recovery, summer programs benefiting students in at-risk school districts in the state, and service learning projects that helped students learn more about their field of study, while helping those in the Golden Triangle. Jessica Harpole, MUW coordinator of leadership and service, said, Our students, faculty and sta are examples of how a small group of committed people can make a huge impact on the region. Hopefully, others will follow this example of servant leadership and get connected to a project that they can be passionate about. e Corporation for National and Community Service oversees the Honor Roll in collaboration with the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education. CNCS is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America programs, and leads President Barack Obamas national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit



April 4, 2012

Columbus Middle School SPIRIT Students recently competed in the regional Destination ImagiNation Tournament in Madison, MS. e competition was held on Saturday, March 24, 2012, at St. Anthony's Catholic School, and Columbus Middle School teams won in four out of five divisions. Destination ImagiNation, Inc. is an extraordinary non-profit organization that provides educational programs for students to learn and experience creativity, teamwork and problem solving. Destination ImagiNation is an educational program in which student teams solve open-ended challenges and present their solutions at tournaments. Teams are expected to think on their feet, work together, and devise original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the challenges. Participants gain more than just basic knowledge and skills - they learn to unleash their imaginations and take unique approaches to problem solving. e following teams qualified to compete at the State challenge, on April 14, 2012, at Columbus High School. Sixth Grade Super Smart Squirrels 1st Place in Architecture/Structure Challenge: Braden Bonsall Christina Clark Aidan Dunkelberg Karlito Hill Jonas Oswalt Graham Weseli


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Special to e Real Story


If you have a local business or establishment you would like us to consider for review, please e-mail us at: You will get our honest opinion of the business, their personal customer service, and the services oered. We strive for fair, unbiased reporting, so we hope to hear from you.


by Mo & No-Mo

e skies are blue, with big white puy clouds floating by, in the shapes of bunnies, sheep and other imagined creatures. A gust of wind sends a kite o to locations only dreamed of. Yes, spring fever is here - oh boy, is it here! Stores are full of shoppers; the parking lots are full. Upon entering a store, the first obstacle you encounter is the hunt for the elusive shopping cart. ere are a few lined up against the wall, but you soon discover that most have wheels that dont work in the same direction; the rest have at least one flat tire. How do you resolve this challenge - you go back out to the parking lot where you ran the obstacle course of buggies to get your car into an empty parking space, and find a functional shopping cart. Back in the store, the aisles are in gridlock - crowded with buggies filled with crying babies or toddlers; small children running around, playing hide and seek or tag; items spilling o the shelves and scattered across the floor. You ever-so-gently navigate around the frustrated young woman, whose "little darling" is throwing a tantrum because mommy won't buy him that Easter basket or chocolate rabbit. It doesn't take long to realize that you aren't going to get anything done, this day, so let's go to another store and take care of some of those other errands. Let's see - envelopes, file folders, ink cartridges - yes, Oce Depot


April 4, 2012

is the place for me. Jumping in the car, I head towards that magical place where my shopping list intersects with a peaceful environment and plenty of help to locate the needed items. Walking in the door this Saturday morning, I stop to breathe in the calm and quiet of a nice, well-stocked (and all on the shelves - not the floor) store. Taking notice of the large number of customers, I venture out to find the

March 22, Music by Shane Tubbs at the Trotter Courtyard. Lunch served by Zacharys March 29, Music by Mike Cooper at the TN Williams Welcome Center. Lunch served by the Front Door April 5, Music by Paul Brady at the TN Williams Welcome Center. Lunch served by the Front Door April 12, Music by Marian Montgomery at the Trotter Courtyard. Lunch served by Zacharys April 19, Music by Kelsey Collins at the Trotter Courtyard. Lunch served by Zacharys
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first item on my list. Aer several minutes, I stumble upon the envelopes, and place this much-needed item in my basket. Continuing with my quest to locate items on my list, it becomes apparent that a store associate is needed to complete this task. What, no assistance is available?! But this is Oce Depot; they are supposed to be there to assist you in your every need. Walking through the store, I am amazed to discover how many customers are having the same issues I am - at the last count it was around 23. Not surprisingly, it appears that only one register is open. e cashier has about eight customers lined up and

waiting to check out, so no help is available to assist me, there. Ahhh, I see one associate. He is sitting over at the copy desk, using a computer. e woman who should be working behind that counter is hunkered down behind a display, chatting and laughing with her co-worker, who is at the computer. Finally, I hear one customer walk over and ask if she is working, and she replies to the customer, "I guess I am, now." Should we blame this whole scenario on spring fever, or is this simply indicative of bad customer service and bad business practices? You be the judge. All we can do is report what we see.

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Saving Boots, Having Faith

on his car. She had a kitty cold and a hernia. Boots was only supposed to stay with us until she was well, but you know how that goes. Boots short stay has turned into 8 years. My husband passed away, unexpectedly, last summer, so my emotional attachment to her is immense. A couple of weeks ago, I made an appointment, for Boots, with my veterinarian. I knew that the sore wasnt going to heal and most likely it needed to be amputated. If she needed surgery, I knew that I wouldnt be able to aord it. If my financial circumstances were dierent, I would not hesitate to have her leg amputated. I asked my son to go with me, for moral support. I already knew what the recommendation was going to be and I knew what I was going to have to do. e veterinarian said that Boots needed to have her leg amputated. My heart sunk and the tears started flowing. (ank goodness, I was not sobbing loudly.) She stepped out of the room. I thought she was getting the consent form for the euthanasia, for me to sign. My son, AJ, asked me to let him pay for the surgery because he knew how much I needed Boots. I told him no, because that was not good stewardship of our money, right now. e veterinarian came back into the room and told me that someone had set up a fund for people with special circumstances to help with the care of their pet. e veterinarians at the clinic thought that we fit the criteria. I continued to cry, but now, they were tears of joy. AJ told me that he knew we werent going to have to euthanize Boots. He said that he knew I prayed for God to give me the strength to make the decision to euthanize her. I asked him how he knew that I prayed for strength. He said I just know you - how you think and how you pray. AJ said, Mom, God has been taking good care of us, since dad died. He knew you needed Boots. My son wasnt worried. On March 12th, Boots had her right rear leg amputated up to her hip. e next day, she came home. As soon as she got home, she went through the cat door, straight to the food bowl, to eat. Boots has adapted well to having only three legs. Animals, unlike people, dont know that they are dierentlyabled. ey just do what they normally do. (We should take a lesson or two from them.) God did answer my prayer - just not in the way I expected. I thought that, because Boots didnt get better, I would lose her. God answers prayers in His own time and in His own way. God cares about me so much that He cares about the little things that are important to me. God loves us all that much. How awesome it that?!



When you read this story, you are going to fall into one of two categories you are either an animal lover or you arent. Let me clarify; I am defining animal lover as a person who treats their pets as little human beings. We let them sleep with us at night; place Christmas presents in their own personalized stockings; carry pictures of them in our wallets or on our cell phones; and tell stories about them to anyone who will listen to us. By my own definition, I am an animal lover. One of my four-legged children, Boots, had a sore on her right rear leg that would not heal. I had taken her to my veterinarian several times, over the last three months. She was prescribed oral antibiotics, topical antibiotics and one REALLY expensive super antibiotic. I was even trying some holistic wraps on the wound. I cant forget to mention there was a massive amount of prayer, on my part, for her. All my furry children are special, but Boots was my husbands baby. He rescued her from the body shop where he was working

April 4, 2012


Candi Vezina
Candi is involved with several community groups. She enjoys doing things for others and spending time with her family.

Sale Elementary Wins Governors Award

Sale Elementary and Mississippi University for Women College of Education & Human Sciences was awarded the Governors University Partnership Award. is distinguished award recognizes the innovative partnership between two outstanding educational entities - MUW College of Education and Human Sciences and Sale International Studies Magnet School. ey have partnered together for the Kids N College Program, which has provided unique learning experiences every semester, since 2009.

Spring Safety Tips

Bicycle Safety
Bike riding can be a fun activity for children, but if they don't know how to ride safely, it can also be a very dangerous one. In 2002, almost 300,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms, aer bicycle accidents. Oen, these accidents are preventable. You can protect your children by teaching them the following rules: Always wear a helmet and make sure it's fastened. Helmets can reduce head injuries by up to 85 percent and, in many states, it's illegal for children not to wear them. Wear bright clothing. Bright and light-colored clothing makes riders more noticeable. If children are allowed to bike ride aer dark, make sure they have reflectors on their bike, helmet, and clothing. Ride in safe places, such as in parks, on bike trails, and on roads with little trac. Obey the rules of the road. Bikers must stop at all stop signs and red lights, use hand signals when turning, and ride only on the right hand side of the road, with the flow of trac. Look both ways before crossing an intersection. Seven out of ten bike crashes happen at driveways and intersections. Whenever possible, cross the road at crosswalks. at's where drivers expect to see bicyclists and pedestrians crossing intersections. Remember, always walk bikes across crosswalks. Give bikes regular tune ups. It's just as important for a bike to be well maintained, as it is for a car. Lock up or keep bikes in a safe place. To help police return a bike, if it is stolen and recovered, record the serial number and take a picture of the bicycle for their use. Many local police departments have free bike registration days and other bike registration programs. Ride with a friend. It's more fun and safer, because help is there, if needed.


Special to e Real Story



The Seeds of Tomorrow

I love science. Like many people, when I was a little boy, I used to look up at the stars and wonder and theorize about the vastness of space and the thought processes of things like bugs and plants. I would imagine what a rhododendron might say to an ant as it crawled about the petals of its blooms. I wondered if cicadas flying through the air navigated using the stars as placeholders, and imagined shrimp whistling tunes as they foraged for food in the seemingly never-ending soup of the ocean. As I got older, and I became a little less fantastical about the world and universe that surrounds us, I abandoned these fantasies, in search for truth. Each day, more and more, as I learned about the world, I became drawn to history and the people that discovered and created constructs of our reality. ere were so many people and so many components to the vast body of knowledge that we accumulated, and the even vaster body of knowledge that we did not know. As I tried to back my mind away from the entire population, though, it began to seem as if as time moved along, fewer and fewer scientific celebrities appeared. en, I discovered Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan was many things. He was an astronomer, a cosmologist, an astrophysicist, a novelist, a teacher, and a promoter of the search for extra-terrestrial life. Sagan brought the technical nonsense that oozed from nerdy scientists in white lab coats behind closed doors in government facilities, to the living rooms and minds of people like you and me when, in 1980, he hosted the landmark series, Cosmos. rough this wildly popular television show, Sagan translated all the mumbojumbo that science had to oer, put it into a common and workable form, and gave it an even more common perspective that most anyone could easily translate. Once more, he gave all of it purpose. Cosmos was more than a science program. It was a presentation of the driving force of why science existed, and its part within the human mechanism. In essence, Cosmos was the human interaction and observation of everything that was, is, and might be. is astounded me. Somehow, in the bowels of my mind, I knew that everything had to fit in line with everything else. ere had to be some sort of order to the chaos of the universe. But, up to that point, I had never heard anyone or anything put it in such a viable form, as when I began to watch Carl Sagan pull apart the universe and the earth, and glue it to the human purpose. en I discovered Neil deGrasse Tyson. Neil deGrasse Tyson has become the face and voice bridging the gap between the general population and science and exploration, today. Tyson's career, like Sagans, is marked by a number of titles and talents, such as astrophysicist, cosmologist, science communicator, teacher, and, perhaps, even celebrity. Currently, he is the Director at the Hayden Planetarium in Manhattan, New York, and has, not one, but ten honorary degrees from a variety of institutions. e author of several books, including: e Pluto Files: e Rise and Fall of America's Planet; Death By Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries; and his most recent publication, e Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, he has racked up a formidable resume of guest and TV appearances. He's appeared on e Colbert Report seven times, on e Daily Show with Jon Stewart six times, and has been a guest on Real Time with Bill Maher a number of times. He shows up everywhere, and still has time to be the host of the PBS series, NOVA: scienceNOW.

April 4, 2012

and cold war, he goes on to mention that once America decided that we had won the space race, we stopped dreaming about discovering new planets and traversing the cosmos. As he asserted with frank and expert articulation, the problems of this country are "...the collective consequence of the absence of ambition that consumes you when you stop having dreams."

But Carl didn't answer all of the questions. Sagan le the entire universe open and still greatly undiscovered. His presentations re-ignited the dreams and wonders of anyone who lounged on the couch with a bag of potato chips and a willingness to wonder. Sadly, in 1996, this pioneer of translation, Carl Sagan, died. For a while, some of us wondered if there would ever be another face of the scientific world, a man so knowledgeable and, well, human, to present the hidden world of science to the people again.

But Neil deGrasse Tyson is not merely a scientist, nor is he merely a celebrity. He has a message to share, and it starts with a dream. In his recent oering to the world, e Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, Tyson shines the spotlight on the significance of the rediscovery and importance of America's space exploration program and NASA. On March 7th of this year, Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked to speak before Congress on the future of just these topics. ere, Tyson explained to the Science Committee that "...audacious visions have the power to alter mind states, to change assumptions about what is possible, and when a nation allows itself to dream big, these dreams prevail in the citizens' ambitions." But, as much as Neil deGrasse Tyson is a student of the present and scientist of the future, he is also a student of history. Noting that the space exploration program and NASA was born out of a national fear

Neil deGrasse Tyson gets it. What made this country great was not war, nor was it legislation; but, rather, innovation and opportunity - the seeds of which are grown in the dreams and the wonders of children. As those seeds grow and are watered by our environment, the stalks burst forth from their beds, peering at the sky for the first time. ose stalks are the dreams of a new generation, who begin to see the possibilities and that there's a place and room for their flowers to grow. Eventually, they will open their petals to the sky. ey will become mathematicians, engineers, physicists and geologists. ey will become teachers, inventors, discoverers and explorers. It is this next generation that will transform the desert of yesterday into the garden of tomorrow. Yes, we must worry about today, but we cannot continue to ignore tomorrow. Without dreams, there are no ambitions. Without ambitions, there is no progression. Without progression, there are no heroes. And without heroes, humanity becomes unable to realize the possibility of escaping the harshnesses of the world and its environment. Dare to dream, Neil. Keep spreading the seeds of tomorrow.


Invino Veritas Attempting to make sense of his universe, Invino Veritas bubbles outward from the chaos, sometimes submitting to its infinite whirl, and other times raging against its disregard for its own elements. His writings incorporate multiple styles and energies which can be found on his own blog of random things at

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The True Definition of Eating Healthy

Havent you been told, for years, to eat healthy? You have been told by your doctor, your family, the media, and even by the labels on products in the store. is information diers from source to source, each having its own definition of what is healthy. We are constantly searching for the one thing that works. is has become a national obsession, which has led to many products being sold to the public as the cure-all. is, consequently, has shied the focus from trying to find out how to eat healthy, to what product can make us lose weight. is oen leaves the basics of nutrition forgotten. e vast majority of society finds itself overweight. is is reflected in the Centers for Disease Control statistics that show that more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese, and approximately seventeen-percent of children and adolescents, age 2-19 years, are obese. Of course, we are reminded that Mississippi has ranked as the fattest state in the nation, for the last six years. About 95% of those who are overweight and go on repeated diets, usually gain the weight back (and more), within one year. Obesity is defined more clearly by body-fat percent, composition and circumference measurements. Body-fat percentage is that percentage of body mass that is not made up of bone, muscle, connective tissue and fluids. Body-fat is measured most commonly by skinfold calipers, Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), Anthropometric Tests, Hydrostatic Weighing, and Dexa Scans. e American Council on Exercise body fat chart is as follows: Men Women Athletes 14-20% 6-13% Fitness 21-24% 14-17% Acceptable 25-31% 18-24% Obesity >32% >25% So, lets delve into what healthy and nutrition really means. e dictionary states that nutrition is a necessity for existence. It defines healthy as possessing or enjoying good health. ink of food for the body, just like gas is fuel for your automobile then, you can better understand how the body works and the role of proper nutrition. Eating smaller more frequent meals, approximately every three hours, will help to reduce body fat and have positive results, including: Increased energy level and metabolic rate Improved hormone balance Stabilized blood sugar Improved mental clarity and mood Reduced food cravings Improved sleep e biggest misconception is that you have to eat food you dont like. is is not the case. Instead, it is all about eating more of the foods that are good for you, that you do like. Selecting foods that you like from the following categories will help you to establish a more balanced pattern of healthy eating. Food Protein Fruits - Fresh or frozen Examples Lean beef, turkey, chicken, fish, eggs Strawberries, blueberries. apples, oranges, pineapple When To Eat Every meal During the day Examples When To Eat Food Vegetables Fresh or frozen Green beans, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, squash, onions, peppers, green lettuce, carrots, cucumbers Every meal Olive oil, natural peanut Limited amount during the day butter, nuts Oats, whole wheat, sweet potatoes, Starchy Aer exercise Carbohydrates pasta, brown rice Reduce the amount of fried foods and choose foods that are grilled, baked, broiled, or steamed. It is also best to reduce or eliminate boxed foods or frozen dinners, as they contain many chemicals, sodium, and sugars. Always choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. Canned fruits and vegetables are dead - devoid of the nutritious properties that are needed for the body - due to the processing and additives. Learn to read and understand food labels, because that will help you to reduce the likelihood of eating food and food products that arent healthy. Be aware that what you read on the front of food packages is just to encourage you to buy that product, and not necessarily the whole truth. Always read the label and fine print on the back. Phrases such as low fat and light can also mean hidden sugars, for example. Last, but not least, drink a minimum of sixty-four ounces of water a day. e body requires water to perform the following functions or processes: forming the fluids around joints; regulating body temperature; alleviating constipation; eliminating waste; reducing body fat; and regulating metabolism. You may not realize this, but when you first notice thirst, you are already dehydrated. e most important key to success is to realize that we must be responsible for creating a healthy lifestyle by utilizing basic nutrition. Points to remember: Eat at regular intervals, during the day Be consistent with good eating habits Eat foods you like, from each category Reduce or eliminate pre-packaged foods Choose foods that are grilled, baked, broiled, or steamed Read and understand food labels Drink sixty-four ounces of water per day Fats



April 4, 2012


Melinda Due

Melinda Due is a certified personal trainer, with additional expertise in nutrition counseling and life coaching, as well as a B.A. in Business.

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Springtime Blues
For most of us, when we think of spring, we think of sunshine, birds, and flowers - happy things. Walks in the park, the sounds of kids playing outside, spring showers, budding treesyou get the picture. But, if spring is such a happy time, why are 99% of the people who walk through my doors feeling irritated, anxious, stressed and upset? Women complain of more menstrual-related pain, PMS, and anxiety/depression, and men come in stressed and aggravated from work, home, kids - whathave-you. Headaches and migraines also flourish at this time of year - partly because of the pollen, yes, but there's another reason, too. Chinese Medicine, an ancient art practiced for thousands of years, oers a dierent way to look at the seasons and how our bodies and emotions react to them. According to this tradition, the human body has numerous energetic systems, or channels, that correspond, on some level, with the various systems of Western Medicine (musculoskeletal, neurological, endocrine, etc.). Beyond their anatomic and physiological correlations, these energetic systems also relate individually to dierent emotional states, seasons, mental states, times of day, etc. Spring, in Chinese Medicine, is the time of the Wood element. Part of the underlying theory of Chinese Medicine is that we humans, being a part of nature, also reflect it (nature), both in our physical bodies and in our emotional states. e Wood element, during this time of year, represents nature's urge to grow. In the spring, everything that was hibernating, both literally and figuratively, is responding to nature's urge to burst forth with new life. We humans, too, experience this urge to grow, to push out of our hibernation and move our bodies more hence the term, "spring fever." Spring is also the time of Wind those of us living in this area of the country know this well, with tornado season upon us, once again. Wind stirs everything up and moves it sometimes gently, sometimes forcefully. Because we humans reflect what's going on in nature, Wind externally becomes Wind internally, stirring up whatever might be "stuck" in our physical, emotional, or mental body. Wind is seen as the root of many types of pain and disorders, from the common cold to seasonal allergies to a bad headache or a bad mood. Spring is also the season of the Liver in Chinese Medicine ("Liver" with a capital "l" refers to an entire theoretical system, not just the anatomic liver, which itself is only a small part of the whole). e Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (pronounced "chee"; meaning life energy) in the body, in addition to numerous other functions (many of which correlate directly with the functions of the liver in Western Medicine). e mental state associated with the Liver is control, and the emotional state when the Liver is out of balance, is anger. At this time of year, then, here's what happens. Wood energy is dominating, and our bodies respond to the urge to move, to push forward, to grow. Wind, which is also dominant around this time, starts to stir everything up externally, blowing away the old and sometimes destroying the new. Wind, or the stirring up of things, is a necessary part of the process of change (think, "winds of change"), and change, as we all know, can sometimes be painful. is external Wind moves internally, causing an aggressive movement of Qi and oen with it, pain (which happens when Qi is disrupted). e Liver responds with frustration, irritation, and anger at its inability to control everything as smoothly as it would like (both literally and figuratively), and the result is pain, insomnia, anger, stress, and anxiety. e key to all of this is knowing how to help your Wood element during this season of spring. If your out-of-sortness is mood-related, sometimes just simply knowing you're not crazy helps - there is a reason for your feeling the way you do! e very best thing you can do for yourself, during this season of springtime, wood, and wind - whether your symptoms are physical (pain), mental (over-obsessing), or emotional (irritation/anger/depression), is to keep your stress as low as possible. Stress is unavoidable in life, and while we can't necessarily control what goes on around us, we can control our own reactions to it - by taking care of ourselves and minimizing our internal stress. Simple ways to keep internal stress at a low include: taking time out for yourself on a daily basis (even five minutes makes a dierence); taking deep breaths; moving in some way; meditating; taking a bath, etc. e important


thing is to place yourself in the center of your world in a positive way, even if it's just for a small amount of time, rather than focusing on all the things you're stressed about and all you should be doing. Remember, the Liver, when out of balance, pushes us into over-control mode; the less control you have of your own internal world, the more out of whack everything else is going to seem. And finally, treating yourself regularly to therapies such as massage, yoga, and acupuncture is a fantastic way to keep stress levels down. Massage does this through the simple form of relaxation, combined with passive movement of your muscles: It gets your Qi moving, which makes your Liver happy. Yoga does the same but in an active sense, connecting you with life in a larger sense and helping you get more in touch with your own internal strength. Acupuncture does both, working with your body's inner wisdom to bring it into a place of balance from where health and well-being can emerge. So, the next time your head starts pounding, or you're stuck staring at the ceiling at 3 a.m., or you feel like you could kill your boss - remember your Liver, take a deep breath, and relax. It'll pass. All seasons do.


April 4, 2012

Clare Mallory Clare Mallory, L.Ac., M.Ac., holds a master's degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She is the owner of North Mississippi Acupuncture in Columbus, MS. Visit her website at


CMS Students Perform The Jungle Book



I was invited to Columbus Middle School, this past ursday, to watch some pretty talented students perform e Jungle Book. Together, there were forty students who made this event come together, as well as a wonderful drama teacher, Chelsea Petty, who stands in the shadows, and who directed the play.

I was truly amazed at the talent that was before me. ere was a little jungle boy who stole the show, as Mowgli. is young man, Jalen Robinson, displayed outstanding acting ability. I had never laid my eyes on so many lively, talented young people, before. ey seemed to come from everywhere, springing into the air, as they sang and danced. is performance was a must see!

April 4, 2012

Christy Tracey Christy is a wife and mother of four children and wants to capture Columbus one photo at a time.

Callaghan. e event was a big success, with the group raising $1,200, aer all was said and done. Mr. Craddieth told me, during an interview, that he wants to thank each and every one who has stepped up to help him. He said that he is truly amazed at the communitys eorts.

Facebook Barn Raising Hosts Benefit at The Junction

anks to the eorts of postal worker Rebecca Swain, who posted a comment on Columbus MS Facebook Watch group page, local farmer Jimmy Craddieth is closer to having his barn replaced, aer losing it in a fire on March 7, 2012. Many people came forth to help. On March 25th, the Barn-Raising group met at 11am at e Junction to help Mr. Craddieth with a fundraiser. Don & Gloria Taylor donated the use of e Junction for this event. In addition, Kenneth Montgomery and Wayne Beard grilled hamburgers for the get-together. Karaoke equipment was provided for the event by Johnny and Marilyn O

Christy Tracey Christy is a wife and mother of four children and wants to capture Columbus one photo at a time.

Rebecca Swain, Ron Williams, and Mac Martain.




by Jeremiah Short


April 4, 2012

Myles Leading Yellow Jacket Resurgence

Justin Lucas: Next in Line


e Aberdeen High School Bulldogs have emerged as one of top high school programs in the state, in the past few years. ey have been blessed with Division One talents Jamerson Love and, more recently, five-star defensive end Channing Ward. e expected star of next years Bulldog team is Justin Lucas, who mans the middle for the Bulldog defense.

Courtesy Photo

Starkville High School Yellow Jackets starting quarterback, Gabe Myles.

e Starkville High School Yellow Jackets have returned as one of the states top programs, in 2011. e leader of that resurgence is starting quarterback Gabe Myles, who threw for 1,837 yards, to go along with 19 touchdowns. He also rushed for 849 yards, proving to be a true dual-threat. Myles is quietly becoming one of Mississippis top prospects, because of his exploits. Myles was able to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 12-3 record and a berth in the state championship game, before losing to Picayune High School, 38-21. is was something that no one expected from this young football team. I felt, as team, we did pretty well. We did what people didnt expect us to do, that first year, because the team was so young, said Myles. Individually, I did alright; good enough to get the job done. He (Jamie Mitchell) brought in a fresh desire for the players to want to win. He gave us a better work ethic. My 10th grade year, we had great seniors. ey were able to turn the season around, and go 5-6. is past year, we had something to build o of, aer missing the playos. One goal was to get back to the playos, and also win the state championship. e Yellow Jackets had just experienced a great season, but they faced tragedy, aer the season, when sophomore football player Devin Mitchell was killed in West Point, Mississippi, on New Years Day. Mitchells death hit the Starkville community hard. Myles spoke on how the team dealt with the loss. It was tough, when I got the news. Its like a bad dream youre having. It aects the whole team in dierent ways. Some took it more to heart. Some were closer to Devin than others were. As a whole team, it hurt us all. He was a won-

derful guy and person; also a wonderful athlete that helped us win ball games, stated Myles, on Mitchells death. What a lot of people are trying to say, is that they are doing it for Devin. We just want to do better, because we know if Devin was here, he would be holding it down for us. e team does plan to honor him, next season, by keeping his locker up in the newly-built lockeroom. ey also plan to display his jersey, so he can still be a part of the team, in spirit. Myles should be able to honor Mitchell, at the next level. He already has an oer from his hometown Mississippi State Bulldogs. He isnt planning on committing early to the Bulldogs, even though his father, Eddie Myles, lettered at Mississippi State, from 1987-1990. Ive been a Mississippi State fan as long as I remember. My dad played at Mississippi State. Its a good feeling to know that Mississippi State is looking at me. I just want to experience the recruitment process, said Myles. e versatile athlete is being recruited to play defensive back, but he is still focused on playing quarterback for Starkville High School. Right now, Im a quarterback at Starkville High School. So, everything I have will go to being a quarterback - aer that, Im a defensive back, said Myles. I cant stop getting better at a position I play now, for a position I will be playing later on. Myles is emerging as a young star, but he is focused on the Yellow Jackets bringing home the state championship. When Myles does finally sign scholarship papers, he is planning on bringing a lot to the table. [Im] A very hard worker that excels at anything he sets his mind to, said Myles.

e Bulldogs had a terrific season in 2011 - going 14-2. Lucas feels that the team still fell short of what he expected. Channing Ward has really helped Lucas in his development. He discussed how much it helped, playing with Ward. Its good. It frees you up to make plays. Channing was so dominant; you cant single block him. He takes up two or three blockers. It enabled me to make plays freely, said Lucas.

Lucas has garnered attention from a few college programs; mainly Mississippi State and Ole Miss. He attended both schools Junior Days. e athletic linebacker hasnt received any oers so far - possibly because he is undersized. He plans on proving the detractors, who knock his size, wrong.

It gives me a chip on my shoulder to work harder. ey have height, but I have something better than that, though. I go 110 percent and have a motor that doesnt stop, said Lucas. I can play at the D-1 (Division One) level and I am capable of doing anything 61 or 64 linebackers can do. He knows that there are areas he needs to work on. I need to work on my footwork, 40 time, and pass-rushing skills, Lucas said. As his recruiting interest picks up, former teammates Ward and Love have given him advice on how to deal with the process.

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Jeremiah Short Jeremiah Short covers Mississippi State University football and basketball. Follow him on Twitter, @JeremiahShort26; or join his Facebook blog, Real Story Sports: J.Shorts Blog.


ey told me to watch out for other people around you. Some people are going to be like, go to Mississippi State or Ole Miss - stu like that. Its your decision, at the end of the day. Do whats best for you, said Lucas. Lucas, with a stellar senior season, could become a sought-aer prospect, but he only has one goal: to win football games. I want to win State; try to win every game we play. Im a winner, and I dont care about stats - touchdowns, interceptions, fumbles. I just care about winning, Lucas said.

Jeremiah Short

Back row: Gena Dichiara, Mollie Carnathan, Rachel Perkins, and Elesha Carr. Front row: Alex Melton, Amy Chain, Angela Price, Mott Ellis, Ralie Perkins, Jaime Melton, and Cassidy Prescott All proceeds benefit Relay for Life

Former Bulldog Track Star Wants to be Americas Next Top Model

the In meantime, Lee began to focus on other professional opportunities, such as earning her personal training certificate - hoping to do that as a profession, one day.
Courtesy Photo know I Talisha Lee that I want to coach, someday, and I always wanted to do physical training or something around that area. I was already training my friend Ashley Newsome. She had torn her Achilles and was scared to start running again. I started her back to running. I was like, I can do this, Lee said.

Former Mississippi State track star Talisha Lee had an interesting journey to Mississippi State. She began her college career at Bevill State, as a basketball player and track athlete. Lee eventually quit basketball, to concentrate on track. e Las Vegas, Nevada native was an All-American as a freshman at Bevill State. She struggled with injuries, her sophomore year, but several colleges still coveted her services. Lee chose to be a Bulldog.

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I didnt really know anything about MSU, until I went on my recruiting visit. I just enjoyed my visit; I liked the people and felt comfortable. ey were the first ones to put the paper in my hand, said Lee, on signing with Mississippi State.

April 4, 2012

e Bulldog coaching sta expected a lot of Lee, in 2009, which was her first year at MSU, but she struggled in making the transition to the SEC.

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e training was dierent and I wasnt use to working so hard or running as much. I didnt adapt well to the running conditions. I couldnt finish some of the races. I got the flu twice. It was horrible; I couldnt even do a push up, stated Lee, on her first year at Mississippi State.

Recently, she has decided to try to be a member of the next season of the modeling competition show, Americas Next Top Model. Its a long process that cuts 200 girls down to a final 12. Ive done pageants every since I was in high school. I didnt run track this year, so I did the Miss MSU pageant and the Maroon and White pageant. It was something that was fun, and helped me build my communication skills, said Lee. To begin with, I went to two auditionsone in Montgomery, Alabama and one in Auburn, Alabama. I did that, the first week of spring break. en, I came back home and turned in a video. So, I did three auditions. If Lee doesnt become Americas Next Top Model, then she should have more time to train for the 2016 Olympics. Talisha Lee seems to have a bright future, no matter what route she chooses.

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ey were expecting a lot out of me. Coach pulled me out of the SEC indoor championships.

In 2010, Lee was able to put everything together and became an All-SEC hurdler. She also was able to set the school record in the 400 meter hurdles, with a time of 59.50.

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Lee was a senior, but track rules are dierent and she had an opportunity to run one final indoor season, in 2012. e explosive athlete was dealing with an injury, and decided to concentrate on graduating from college. When I started training, last semester, I had a bulging disk in my back. I had one of the worst spasms, ever. I couldnt even walk. I couldnt get myself up. I felt like my back was broken, said Lee.

I stopped running; I stopped training, and got discouraged. I started thinking that maybe I should be done with track.

Jeremiah Short

Although Lee was no longer running collegiately, she still planned on training for the Olympics one day - considering that most track and field athletes dont hit their stride until they are in their mid-20s.

Jeremiah Short covers Mississippi State University football and basketball. Follow him on Twitter, @JeremiahShort26; or join his Facebook blog, Real Story Sports: J.Shorts Blog.


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April 4, 2012


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