Staying busy during “slow” months

By BRYAN DAVIS EDITOR,

December and January are supposed to be slow months.

Not in the newspaper business, I guess. At least not this year.

Indianola has been anything but a sleepy little town the past two months, and in some ways that’s a positive, and in some ways that’s very negative.

The same can be said for Sunflower County as a whole.

We’ve been in the thick of the crisis at the Mississippi Department of Corrections that has gained national and international attention, mostly due to the conditions and deaths at Parchman.

Newly-inaugurated Gov. Tate Reeves appears to have a plan in place for bringing normalcy back to that agency, which faces overcrowded prisons and not nearly enough funds to hire and keep qualified labor.

Reeves’ first move at MDOC was appointing Boyle Mayor Tommy Taylor to serve as interim director after Pelicia Hall’s term ended on Jan. 15.

Taylor’s small town of Boyle is not only a few miles from the troubled Parchman prison, but he also has extensive experience in corrections and the Legislature.

Reeves said there is a nationwide search underway, but time will tell. The answer may have been in Parchman’s backyard all along.

Also, folks in the northern end of the county are finally returning to normal life after a menacing severe weather system came through a couple of weeks ago and knocked out electricity from Sunflower to Rome.

It was confirmed that tornadoes were on the ground that Saturday morning, and the wind did enough damage on its own, snapping light poles, trees and helping to destroy a couple of mobile homes in the Drew area.

Convoys of linemen were seen leaving the area late last week, as the linemen worked tirelessly for days to restore power to the north end. We certainly send our thanks to those men and women who brought electricity back to those citizens.

Indianola, in the meantime, seems to be energized and ready to combat some of the recent violence that has taken place in our city.

We have been fortunate to have had a welcomed quiet January, but we can’t take anything for granted.

It was encouraging to see so many show up for Monday’s march on violence, organized by Ken Featherstone, and the program that followed at the Sunflower County Courthouse.

We heard from local elected officials, pastors, volunteers and even some of the victims’ family members.

It was moving and encouraging.

I was proud that my two little girls were there.

It was bitterly cold, but I wanted them to have that memory, and one day, I hope they will be  involved in events like this one in Indianola.

It would be great to go the entire year of 2020 without a homicide, but even if we do not, this will hopefully be the year Indianola is able to curb the problem of random and gratuitous shooting of bullets into the air.

Despite the recent killings and the pleas from city leaders to not do so, New Year’s Eve was arguably one of the worst nights we’ve had in a long time when it comes to random shootings.

These bullets do come down, and if this continues, one of these shootings will end in tragedy.

We have not had a lot of time to breathe since Christmas, but that’s a good thing.

We are busy, trying to make our communities better.

It’s not too late to get involved.

Like Featherstone said in his remarks on Monday, “This is not an event. This is a movement.”

Let’s hope this movement stays alive in 2020.

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