- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Recent editorials from Mississippi newspapers:

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Oct. 14

The Sun Herald on the lottery:

Gov. Phil Bryant says he’s willing to discuss a state lottery.

We think it is a discussion worth having.

You’ve seen the pictures and videos this news organization publishes. Mississippians pour across the state line to buy lottery tickets every time a Powerball jackpot grows to life-altering levels.

Why let that revenue go to Louisiana or Florida?

As Sun Herald staff writer Mary Perez reported this month, Mississippi voters approved a state lottery in 1992, but the Legislature never followed up and has voted down bills introduced to legalize the lottery.

In the last session, in fact, Rep. Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, sponsored a bill that would allow Powerball tickets to be sold at the state’s casinos and Sen. Tommy Gollott, R-Biloxi, sponsored a bill that would funnel lottery proceeds into education, roads and bridges in the state.

Louisiana directed $185 million last year from the lottery into its state coffers, and it’s a safe bet a portion of that money came from Mississippi residents. We need to keep that money here.

Gambling is a tricky subject in the state Legislature, because so many upstate legislators have moral or religious objections.

But Father Richard McGowan, a Jesuit priest and associate professor at Carroll School of Management at Boston College who frequently writes about lotteries and casinos, told our reporter he sees buying a ticket as a “morally neutral act.” McGowan also doesn’t see a lottery hurting state casinos.

So often, what you are buying with a lottery ticket is the dream of walking away with suitcases of cash, because the possibility of winning is so remote - 1 in 292 million for the Powerball jackpot.

We think it is OK for Mississippi residents to enjoy the dream, and we urge Gov. Bryant to do what he can to make the lottery a reality in the Magnolia State.

Online: http://www.sunherald.com/

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Oct. 16

The Oxford Eagle on protecting students with special needs:

Our children - especially those with special needs - deserve to feel safe when they enter school grounds each day and while they’re under the direct care of educators.

The videos that surfaced recently on social media of a teacher dragging a special needs student by the hair across a Greenville High School gym floor left many upset, angered and sickened that someone who is responsible for caring for students would act so inhumanely towards a child.

On Friday, it was learned the teacher has been suspended of her duties at the school by the Mississippi Department of Education and the school district superintendent has also been placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing.

Criminal charges are also possible, but that’s not enough.

Mississippi needs legislation in place to protect special needs children. State senator Gray Tollison introduced such legislation in 2014 but it died in the state house after clearing the state senate without any opposition.

We urge Senator Tollison to once again introduce his bill in the next session and perhaps this time the entire Mississippi Legislature will see the need for protecting the most vulnerable students in our school systems.

Online: http://www.oxfordeagle.com/

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Oct. 17

The Daily Corinthian on the reopening of the Old Courthouse Museum in Iuka:

One of Northeast Mississippi’s best historical gems can now be visited by the public.

The Old Courthouse Museum in Iuka has reopened.

The Tishomingo County Board of Supervisors recently voted to fund the nonprofit museum operated by the Tishomingo County Historical & Genealogical Society. Closed since June 1 due to lack of funding, the museum is now open two days a week.

The museum will receive $25,000 in annual funding from the county, allowing the tourist attraction to reopen to the public. The funds will also cover salaries for a part-time executive director and a part-time librarian.

Although publicly closed for the last four months, the museum has hosted visitors by appointment only.

Housed inside the 1870 old Tishomingo County Courthouse, the museum displays artifacts highlighting Native American (Chickasaw) Indians, Civil War and county-wide cultural heritage.

The museum also holds the John Marshall Stone Research Library.

The museum enjoyed more than 3,200 visitors in 2015.

Supervisors also approved the funding of $1,800 per year to the county historical society.

The funds will be used to pay membership in FoundationSearch, an online database that provides leads from more than 114,000 foundations looking to grant money to nonprofit organizations.

We applaud the Tishomingo County Board of Supervisors for funding the Old Courthouse Museum.

Maybe someday this will grow into an effort for the historical gem to remain open seven days a week.

Online: http://www.dailycorinthian.com/

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