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Hob Bryan: Pay increase for teachers should be priority

Posted 3/1/2014 in Local Columns

As the state budget works its way through the Legislature, the news is not good for Mississippi taxpayers. As things stand, we risk losing our best teachers and state workers, all the while giving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to everyone from shopping centers to multi-state corporations.


Birney Imes: To wake a sleeping bear

Posted 3/1/2014 in Local Columns

Not everyday do you run up on someone who has crawled into a bear's den, roused its hibernating inhabitant, jabbed him with a sharp stick ... and lived to tell about it. Craig Jamison is one such person, and if you were among the 800 or so folks at the wild game dinner at Fairview Baptist Thursday night, you heard his story.

Lynn Spruill: Stepping up to the plate

Posted 2/28/2014 in Local Columns

I have discovered the world of MSU college baseball. It took a spur of the moment trip to the ballpark last season, and I was at least partially hooked. I confess I had never even been to Dudy Noble Field until the latter part of the season last year.


Wyatt Emmerich: Newspapers stand out in a crowd of ever-increasing electronic clutter

Posted 2/27/2014 in Local Columns

I am starting to suffer from social media overload. Admittedly, I am a gizmo geek. But the proliferation of multiple social media platforms is becoming hard for even a geek to handle.


Slimantics: The snake-handlers in the Capitol are at it again

Posted 2/27/2014 in Local Columns

Some people never learn. Three days after the pastor of a small Kentucky church died from a rattlesnake bite during a church service, church members mourned his passing by, you guessed it, going to church and handling rattlesnakes.


Charlie Mitchell: Nothing changes unless the conversation continues

Posted 2/24/2014 in Local Columns

It didn't come up this time, perhaps because attention quickly shifted to the suspects. But it's a question that has been asked before and will be asked again. It's not a bad question.


Shannon Bardwell: It all started with the Boston butt

Posted 2/24/2014 in Local Columns

It's strange how in five minutes you may experience an event that, at least on some level, changes your life. It happened not a mile from the house.

Ask Rufus: A terrifying night

Posted 2/22/2014 in Local Columns

On those warm, rainy days and nights in February when the temperature suddenly drops 30 or 40 degrees and a wintry blast comes roaring out of the Delta, I think of the Eliza Battle.

Slim Smith: The book on Aunt Tatie

Posted 2/22/2014 in Local Columns

During our semi-regular phone conversations, my brother, Fred, always starts the conversation with the same question: "What is your book going to be about?" I always respond, "Oh, I don't know" and move on to some other topic.

Lynn Spruill: Politics vs. government

Posted 2/21/2014 in Local Columns

"I hate government" is an oft-repeated refrain. We hear it more and more as Washington becomes ever more dysfunctional. It is sad to hear because I really don't believe it's government people hate, it's the politicians who are the source of the unrequited anger and frustration.


Charlie Mitchell: Public-private partnerships

Posted 2/18/2014 in Local Columns

When the U.S. economy was imploding in 2008, federal officials decided which car companies, which investment firms would be given infusions of taxpayer cash and which would be allowed to go belly-up.


Possumhaw: Birding from the skybox

Posted 2/17/2014 in Local Columns

Dressed in all our outdoor gear, we watched a bird soar over the sage field and lake. "It's a small hawk or maybe an owl. The head looks like an owl," Sam said.

Birney Imes: Random notes

Posted 2/15/2014 in Local Columns

As Jeff Shepherd was pulling out of the parking lot of Columbus Inn and Suites Friday, he stopped his red Ford F-150, rolled down the window and shook his head. "You better be careful what you ask for," he said. "I told Lou Anne I wanted a red-hot Valentine, and I got this."


Lynn Spruill: Movie memories

Posted 2/14/2014 in Local Columns

I am an avid movie goer. I would say a movie buff, but that would imply that I can hold my own in a movie trivia contest which is far from the truth.


Susan Estrich: A human face

Posted 2/14/2014 in Local Columns

"On Aug. 4, he's an Eagle Scout and has the highest honor," Pascal Tessier's mother, Tracie Felker, told a reporter. "Aug. 5, all of a sudden, he's no longer good enough to be a Boy Scout."

Slimantics: Where it's OK to discriminate: The NFL and Mississippi

Posted 2/12/2014 in Local Columns

When University of Missouri football player Michael Sam told the New York Times in a Sunday interview that he was gay, players, pundits and ordinary people were quick to respond. Mississippi State player Rufus Warren took to Twitter, saying "this is a MAN sport. And being gay is not a man." Later the same day, Warren took down that tweet and apologized for the comment.


Wyatt Emmerich: Gov. Bryant and Rep. Thompson have a conversation

Posted 2/12/2014 in Local Columns

Gov. Phil Bryant and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson on stage together talking to each other about faith and race was quite interesting to watch.



Charlie Mitchell: Goal: Limit prison costs without called 'soft on crime'

Posted 2/11/2014 in Local Columns

Texas has paved the way, meaning Mississippi lawmakers have "cover." If they so choose, they may follow Gov. Phil Bryant's reform suggestions this year that include abundant alternatives to incarceration.


Remembering Joe Ray

Posted 2/10/2014 in Local Columns

Joe Ray Roberson, longtime Dispatch photographer, was one of those people so well known around town, the use of a surname was superfluous, if not confusing; he was simply "Joe Ray." Roberson died early Sunday morning after a long illness.

Sounds in the night

Posted 2/10/2014 in Local Columns

Darkness came early; I beckoned Jack, the cat, to come inside but he stopped, uneasy, and stared into the woods. There was a sound unlike any I'd ever heard. Not at all like the snort of a deer warning its young, then the sound of deer running through the woods. This sound was different, and it didn't run. There was thrashing, a scream, but no running.


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