March 24, 2010 11:03:00 AM
OK, class, let''s settle down. Feet in front of your desks. Listen up.
We''re at the end of the first quarter of 2010, so we''re having a little pop quiz to see if you''ve been paying attention. The following questions come from local news stories in the first three months of the year.
I hope you all had a good night''s sleep, and brought two sharpened No. 2 pencils.
1. What was the weapon used in an assault at Mississippi State during the Egg Bowl, which led to the arrest of a Columbus student in February?
2. What did two Mississippi State students allegedly break into a convenience store to steal, in early March?
3. What caused the fatal fire that killed nine people in Starkville in late December, according to the state Fire Marshal?
4. What caused the January motel fire in Hoover, Ala., that killed four Mississippi University for Women students?
5. What country did the person responsible for the fire flee to, avoiding civil lawsuits?
6. What historic downtown West Point building did Clay County supervisors purchase, to be used for office space?
7. What not-so-historic downtown Columbus building did Lowndes County supervisors purchase, to be used for office space?
8. What spilled from a tractor-trailer after an accident along Highway 82 outside Starkville, and was scooped up by the bucketful by rescue workers and passersby?
9. Which Golden Triangle city was the first to be granted Sunday liquor sales -- Starkville, Columbus or West Point?
10. Which was the last?
11. A police officer from which Golden Triangle city was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison in February for embezzling from the Crimestoppers fund?
12. Aberdeen''s mayor says he isn''t on speaking terms with which city department head, amid the scandal surrounding the city''s electric department?
13. True or false: Starkville and Columbus police made fewer DUI arrests in 2009, compared to the year earlier.
14. What can you no longer do in a Columbus restaurant, after a January vote by the City Council?
15. What did the city and county each vote in January to renovate, splitting the $1.7 million price tag?
16. Cold medicines containing what ingredient, which can be used to make methamphetamine, will no longer be available over the counter in Mississippi after July 1?
17. Which former Lowndes County supervisor reported to prison after the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld his fraud conviction?
18. Who will no longer be welcome in the Lowndes County Detention Center after April 1?
19. How many local legislators either wrote or co-sponsored a bill to clear the way for a name change of Mississippi University for Women? Name them.
20. True or false: Mississippi''s commissioner of higher education supported a name change for The W.
21. What two institutions did Mississippi University for Women announce new partnerships with, after lawmakers failed to allow a name change for the school?
22. The W''s name didn''t change, but Oktibbeha County Hospital''s is, amid a $27.5 million renovation. What''s the new name?
23. True or false: A Columbus convict who failed to return to a state work-release program is still at large after attacking and robbing an elderly Columbus couple in early February.
24. What hip-hop pioneer and co-founder of the group Public Enemy gave a lecture at Mississippi University for Women in February?
25. What product did a Lowndes County company celebrate making 100 of this month, prompting a visit from Gov. Haley Barbour?
26. Who resigned as president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, only to be reinstated little over a week later?
27. True or false: Columbus has a higher unemployment rate than Lowndes County as a whole.
28. True or false: Oktibbeha County has a higher unemployment rate than Lowndes County.
29. Mississippi State athletic director Greg Byrne is leaving MSU for the University of Arizona. In what city is the University of Arizona located?
30. BONUS QUESTION: What two items did my wife send me to Fred''s to pick up yesterday evening? Hint: They''re both round. Second hint: You won''t get this one. If you do, you''re either her, me, or a psychic, none of whom are eligible to participate in this contest.
Pencils down. Time''s up. Pass your tests forward.
Did I mention our top students will be rewarded handsomely with Dispatch swag? Answer all the questions, and pop the answers into the mail (P.O. Box 511, Columbus, MS 39703), drop them by our office at 516 Main St. in Columbus, or (better yet) e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, by Friday.
Points will be given for the most correct answers, or the most clever ones, depending on how Teacher is feeling when he grades them.
We''ll review the correct answers next week.
Steve Mullen is Managing Editor of The Dispatch.
Walum82 commented at 3/25/2010 10:18:00 AM:
Using two fatal fires as fodder for a trivia-styled pop quiz is the single most offensive and reprehensible use of a newspaper forum that I think I have ever seen. That the deaths of so many innocent and unsuspecting people would be reduced to a method for readers to achieve "swag" is disgusting. While I have often found myself on the opposite side of the fence on issues and have rarely ever agreed with Mr. Mullen on matters relating to my alma mater, I truly did not expect him to sink this low. And I definitely expected better from The Commercial Dispatch.
For a respected and long-established member of the Fourth Estate to sink to this level under the guise of commentary in a tone of lighthearted "opinion" s a sad, sad state of affairs. In my opinion, this is a case of the "Teacher" needing some re-education as to the appropriate role of editorial in a hometown daily newspaper.