- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Recent editorials from Mississippi newspapers:


Jan. 3

The Greenwood Commonwealth on Mississippi residents voting down marijuana legalization:

It’s hardly a surprise that a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Mississippi barely got off the ground.

In a religiously conservative state where alcohol, more than 80 years after the end of Prohibition, is still outlawed in some places, we didn’t expect many Mississippians to support this initiative when it was launched about a year ago.

And they didn’t.

According to the organizer of the petition drive, DeSoto County resident Kelly Jacobs, the initiative ended up with only 13,320 signatures by last Tuesday’s deadline - well short of the 107,000 required.

This probably won’t be the last attempt at legalizing marijuana in Mississippi. National trends usually arrive here eventually, and the trend in this country is toward some form of legalization.

Twenty states now allow for marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes, and four states and the District of Columbia have legalized the recreational use of the drug.

Interestingly, though, not a single state in the Southeast is among those early adopters.

Rather than outright legalization, it’s probably more likely that Mississippi will first consider decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. In states that have done this, offenders are ticketed rather than locked up. It’s treated as a civil infraction rather than a criminal one. That makes a lot of sense, particularly in a state which tends to incarcerate too many people anyway.

Online: https://www.gwcommonwealth.com/


Jan. 3

The Oxford Eagle on teen pregnancy in the state:

Teen pregnancy in Mississippi always has been an issue within our state.

In 2012, Mississippi had the third-highest teen birth rate in the United States. More than 4,700 girls age 15 through 19 gave birth, which equates to roughly 13 per day.

In 2010, these births cost taxpayers of our state $137 million.

Statistics regarding teen pregnancy show that children born to teen parents are more likely to enter the child welfare or juvenile justice system and become teen parents themselves. A healthy baby is no accident and you can increase your chances of having a healthy baby by quitting smoking, following good health habits, and making sure that your diet includes the right amount of folic acid.

Locally, Oxford Family Pharmacy owners Jimmy and Jennifer Yancy are doing their part to help these babies from expecting mothers, whether they are teenagers or adults. The pharmacy also is helping children once they are born on up to junior high by giving them vitamins.

The pharmacy has given out more than 22,268 vitamins to children since 2014 with all expenses absorbed by the Yancys. More than 756 bottles have been given out since the pharmacy started the program.

According to Oxford Family Pharmacist Adam Baskerville, “The Yancys heard about other pharmacies doing something similar and decided to try it in Oxford.” For expecting mothers the pharmacy gives vitamins that are high in folic acid. This helps prevent Spina Bifida. Pregnant women who take regular vitamins may not be getting the recommended dose of folic acid between .5 to 1 milligram a day.

Vitafusion is the prenatal vitamin that is given and averages $10 a bottle. So many parents realize that saving any money helps and what the Yancys are doing has assisted so many families in our community. Children ages 2 to 12 are given either Disney gummies or Flintstone chewable vitamins that contain iron.

According to Baskerville, residents don’t need to show documents to prove income in order to receive the free vitamins.

The EAGLE acknowledges the Yancys and Oxford Family Pharmacy for giving back to the L-O-U community by supporting the nourishment of our children.

Online: https://www.oxfordeagle.com/


Jan. 5

The Commercial Dispatch of Columbus on why the Tombigee River is “an enduring treasure”:When Columbus was in its infancy, there was no ignoring the Tombigbee River.

Much like the towns that popped up and flourished along the railroad lines, Columbus owes its existence to the river. While many of those “railroad” towns vanished as rail lines were abandoned and moved, rivers cannot be relocated. That assured Columbus, in its formative years, would endure and prosper.

In the days before highway systems, railroads and airplanes, cities positioned along rivers had a distinct advantage over those whose access to the larger world relied on dirt roads beat through the sprawling wilderness.

Such cities relied on the river for sustenance, transportation and commerce and prospered above their land-locked neighbors well into the 20th century.

Things are different today, of course, and for many of us, the Tombigbee River is something we see from a bridge as we hurry by on our daily travels.

Two recent events have reminded us of what a forgotten jewel we have in the Tombigbee - the first an accident, the other a celebration.

On Dec. 26, two barges broke loose from their moorings after heavy rains and came to rest against the dam at the John C. Stennis Lock and Dam. One of the barges partially sank; the other remains afloat. The barges await recovery, and in the interim, the scene has become something of a tourist attraction, with hundreds of curious on-lookers dropping by to gawk at the spectacle.

The second event that attracted visitors to the river came Monday as the City of Columbus and the Columbus Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau again staged a Christmas Tree Bonfire. Scores of adventuresome citizens bundled up and gathered on the Old Highway 82 pedestrian bridge, which spans the Tombigbee at the Riverwalk. They sipped hot chocolate and stared, transfixed, at the roaring bonfire on the banks of the river below.

The Tombigbee, thanks to the completion of the $2 billion Tenn-Tom Waterway in 1985, remains a tool of commerce as millions of tons of cargo are shipped down the system to the port of Mobile. While few rely on the river for sustenance, and no one relies on the river for daily transportation, we recognize the river continues to play an important role in our community, particularly for the recreational opportunities it provides.

The river nurtures our natural world, sustaining a rich variety of wildlife and standing firm against the ravages of time. Railroad lines can be torn up; roads can be abandoned, but the river remains.

On those occasions where we are drawn to the river, we sense its power and permanence and are reminded of the essential role the Tombigbee River has played in our history and the important role is continues to serve.

It may often be an overlooked treasure, but it is a treasure just the same.

Online: https://www.cdispatch.com/

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