A1 A1
Fitch tells Republican women: Fight human trafficking, push for equal pay legislation

HOUSTON – The Chickasaw County Republican Women’s Club was formally chartered during a dinner held Thursday night at Pinson Place.

The guest speaker for the evening was State Treasurer Lynn Fitch, who is seeking the Republican nomination in the Aug. 6 primary to run for Attorney General in November. She urged Republican women to fight against human trafficking, as well as seek legislation guaranteeing for equal pay for women.

Human trafficking is the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another, typically for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the National Anthem, Invocation and Blessing was by CCRWC Chaplain Betty Atkinson.

Emcee at the charter dinner was Nancy B. Frohn, who is the 1st Congressional District Director of the Mississippi Federation of Republican Women. She introduced the guests there for the event, which included many Republican candidates for various offices. A list of those on hand is at the end of this article.

MFRW President Vivian Dailey, who drove from Gautier for the event, presented the charter to the club.

She then installed officers of the group as President Diane Clark, 1st vice-president Virginia Rowlett, 2nd vice-president Betty Gore, secretary Joyce East, and treasurer Ann Kimmel.

She said Thursday night’s event – including clubs in Alcorn and Tishomingo counties chartered this week – represented the 13th such chartered group in northeast Mississippi.

Following the installation, Secretary Joyce East discussed human trafficking, which the club has taken on as an issue. She said the group has had rolls of stickers printed with the names and contact numbers of organizations that help victims of human trafficking. She asked men and women at the meeting to take rolls with them. “When you go in a public restroom, put a sticker on the back of the stall door,” she said.

She said the stickers work: “Calls from the stickers have doubled since we started this project.” Those interested in obtaining the stickers should contact CCRW President Diane Clark.

Also on hand was Lucien Smith, who is chairman of the Mississippi GOP. He told his listeners: “There’s no more powerful force in Mississippi than these women’s clubs. They help us spread a message voters need to understand: The Democratic Party no longer has a place for conservatives. You can’t be a conservative and a Democrat any more.”

He added: “Jim Hood’s not a bad person; he’s just a member of the wrong party.”

Added Frohn: “My priorities are God, family and country. I want my grandchildren to have the same opportunities I had growing up. We have to work hard to bring this country back from the way it’s headed, and get some of these idiots out of office.”

Dailey reminded her listeners they could enroll in a phone calling/texting system to ask others to vote for Republican candidates. For more information, those interested can contact MSGOP.org

She also reminded her listeners they could vote early or absentee under certain conditions until Sunday, Aug. 4. Some people can also vote early due to their ages. For more information, those interested could contact the local Circuit Clerk’s office.

Rowlett introduced the keynote speaker, Lynn Fitch.

Fitch told her listeners the women’s clubs offered “empowerment, opportunity, and strength, and reminded that “Justice is a lady, and so is the Statue of Liberty.” She said the clubs help support Republican women who are seeking office and “have never been in the arena before.”

She termed human trafficking as modern slavery, and said it is a problem in this state, as elsewhere in the country and the rest of the world. She said there is only one shelter in Mississippi for victims of human trafficking.

“Our location, our Interstate highways, our proximity to ports makes us a hub for human trafficking. When President Trump says that we need to secure our borders to help fight trafficking in human life, we here in Mississippi know what he means, because we are at the epicenter of this heinous crime.”

She urged her listeners to use the sticker system, to be a “driving force against human trafficking,” and to support law enforcement.

She also urged her listeners to fight to insure pay equity for women. Mississippi is the only state that doesn’t have a law on the books supporting equal pay for equal work.

She said that was a problem for women in Mississippi. Passing such a law would be good for Mississippi families, and could put billions of dollars back into the state’s economy, she said.

“Seventy-eight percent of households living in poverty in this state are headed by women. Three quarters of children living in poverty in Mississippi are living in those households. Give them equal pay for equal work and help them rise out of poverty,” she said.

Republican legislator Rep. Tracy Arnold of Booneville, a pastor, introduced Mississippi’s most recent pay equity bill. In 2018, he got that bill to the House floor and it passed 108-8, but it died in the Senate.

“It never would have made it that far were it not for Republican women pushing the issue. We can make a difference again in the 2020 legislature,” she said.

In conclusion, she urged her listeners to vote on Tuesday, Aug. 6 to express “conservative, Christian values.”

Dignitaries at the Chickasaw County Republican Women’s charter dinner included the following:

--Sen. Roger Wicker represented by Tanner Newman.

--Cong. Trent Kelly represented by Susan Parker.

--Lucien Smith – Chairman of the Mississippi GOP.

--Rep. Robert Foster running for governor represented by Richard Stone.

--Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves running for governor represented by Tony Laudadio.

--Retired Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller, Jr. running for governor represented by his wife, Charlotte Waller.

--Secretary of State Delbert Hoseman running for Lt. Gov. represented by Copey Grantham.

--Sen. Michael Watson running for Secretary of State represented by Russ Nowell.

--State Treasurer Lynn Fitch running for Attorney General.

--Andy Taggart running for Attorney General represented by Regan Monk.

--David McRae running for State Treasurer.

--Trey Bowman running for Transportation Commissioner of the Northern District.

--John Caldwell running for Transportation Commissioner of the Northern District.

--Geffrey Yoste running for Transportation Commissioner of the Northern District.

--Stephen Scott Griffin running for a Senate seat in District 8.

--Ben Suber running for a Senate seat in District 8.

--Tommy Futral running for a Representative seat in District 22.

--Margaret Futral running for Supervisor District 5.

--Michelle Moore running for Constable District 1.

--Jeff Olson running for Senate seat District 3.

--Rep. Mac Huddleston running for re-election represented by Hunter Fooshee.

--Houston Alderlady – Kelli Atkinson.

--Houston City Board Attorney – Elizabeth Ausbern.

Hood held North MS rally

TUPELO – Houston native and gubernatorial candidate Jim Hood made a stop in North Mississippi on his campaign trail.

The rally was held at the Tupelo Furniture Market on Thursday, July 18. It had finger foods and a meet and greet hour before the speeches started. The crowd totaled somewhere around one hundred people.

The event also saw several Democratic public officials step out in support of Hood, including Tupelo Mayor, Jason Shelton. Shelton addressed the crowd before introducing Hood, saying that it was time for Mississippi to elect a Democrat to the office of Governor.

Then Hood took the stage. He addressed the crowd and gave some insight into what his platform is and why he wants to be the next governor.

Hood’s main point was healthcare. He spoke about the lack of affordable healthcare access in Mississippi. He also talked about the trouble facing rural hospitals. He used the example of Shyteria Shoemaker. She passed away after having an asthma attack because the hospital in Houston was closed. He said that things like this shouldn’t be happening anywhere, let alone our state.

Next he addressed the infrastructure problems of roads in bridges being in a state of disrepair.

His next focus was education. He said that education in Mississippi should be more accessible. Hood believes that the tuition guarantee program that has been implemented in the North Mississippi community colleges should be state-wide. He said community colleges are at an advantage because the demand for technical and skilled positions is high right now. He said this would allow those who do not want to go to a four year university the opportunity to go into a skilled position with a certificate, thus making them more desirable for hiring.

He also spoke about the number of young people leaving the state. He said it is an alarming trend, and that it needs to be addressed. He said that the typical student has tens of thousands of student debt upon completion of college. With that, he said they cannot move back to small town, Mississippi and find the job to pay that off. He said that Mississippi needs to strengthen its economy and make the job market more favorable for younger people to find the jobs they need and want after graduation. Only then he said, can we start retaining people instead of losing them to neighboring states.

He ended his speech with what he said was a need to “Clean up the legislature,” which was met with thunderous applause. He also said that they can win this election, but it’s going to “take everything they’ve got”.

Hood has big plans for Mississippi if elected governor.

“We can make a difference in our state so our kids can stay here,” said Hood.

Sweet Potato Council receives new building

VARDAMAN – The Sweet Potato Council will soon have a new base of operations in the city of Vardaman.

BancorpSouth recently completed construction on their new building, which sits right beside their old building. They held a grand opening for the new building on Wednesday, July 17.

The old building will soon serve as the home of the Sweet Potato Council.

The choice was an easy one it seems.

“When they decided to build a new building, BancorpSouth wanted to see if there was a group in the community that could benefit from this building,” said Sherry Williams, Vice President of the Vardaman branch of BancorpSouth. “The Sweet Potato Council was the first thing that came to our minds. We knew that they rented a small building, and when they had meetings, they would go to Pitsborro to the multipurpose building, so that’s traveling out of Vardaman to do that, but with this [building] they can have a meeting place. There’s lots of things they can use this for.”

The Sweet potato Council is responsible for promoting Mississippi grown sweet potatoes. They also educate sweet potato farmers on the latest and most effective practices to make sure the yield is as good as it can possibly be. According to their website, they represent 105 different farms and 26 different packing facilities in Mississippi.

They are certainly glad to have the new building too.

“We appreciate the BancorpSouth leadership for understanding the unique relationship we have with the sweet potato industry,” said Jamie Earp, President of the Sweet Potato Council. “We plan to do some renovations inside and put some memorbillia on the walls, to remind people of years past.”

Sherry Williams presented Jamie Earp and the Council with the deed to the building at the grand opening ceremonies.

Old documents often a window into past loves, frustrations

I have always enjoyed reading and ‘deciphering’ old documents. Though plowing through an old will or land description can be maddening at times, it can also be amusing or sad, or educational.

I saw an interesting quote the other day to the effect that ‘we have gone from teaching Latin, Greek and the Classics in high school to remedial math and reading’ and I fear it is pretty much true in today’s world. And handwriting! From beautiful curls and flourishes to awkward printing that looks as if it was done by one still in kindergarten. But I digress here.

Legal documents of ages past, for the most part, displayed the handwriting of a very educated person as most of the ‘common folk’ had little to no education.

But, the handwriting skills were not the only thing that could make you chuckle as you might compare them to today’s documents. Land descriptions might read like this one from the settling of the estate of one William H. Dula (and yes, a relation of the “Tom Dooley” as in “Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley” who is back up the tree in my husband’s family).

The location of the plot of land is described as “north of the ditch on the river bank of the corner of J.C. Harper’s and running down the meadow of the same to a sycamore stump on the right bank at or near a bend of the river, thence south 21 degrees across the bottom to a locust stump” The description continues thusly – “to a stake in the branch then south 25 degrees west, 34 poles (a pole was 16.5 feet) to a black pine on a ridge”.

I always wonder, okay, what happens when the stump or the black pine rots away or is hit by lightening and is burned up? How many legal fights or fistfights have occurred because of such vague descriptions in an important legal document?

Wills are just as interesting and frustrating as land descriptions – they can be funny or sad and I often smile at the flowery language in them. During past centuries it seems that all testators testified that they were “weak of body but of perfect mind and memory, thanks be given to God, calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all once to die” they give their soul to the “hands of almighty God that gave it” and their body to the earth etc.

The listings of what goes to whom in old wills are also entertaining and sometimes sad. You know that in your will you want to ensure that your very best and dearest items go to whomever you desire to have them. Other than the big items like parcels of land, cattle, horses, wagons etc., men were so specific as to who got the particular saddle and bridle, or the blacksmith tools, then we get down to the ‘good’ feather bed, the cupboards, and ‘cupboard furniture’, whatever that is, the iron pots, the Dutch ovens and hooks, fire tongs and shovels.

One kind lady back in my family willed to one of her sons ‘munny (sic) sufficient to purchase him a sute (sic) of black casamore (cashmere?); then the rest of her estate to be divided among the rest of her children.

I also wonder about this – invariably the male makes out his will, leaves all sorts of land, possessions etc. to his beloved wife – as long, mind you, that she does not remarry.

After he’s been dead and buried for years, and mama meets and marries another man, she loses it all, assets are then sold and divided amongst the children – in other words, he’s still in control even from the grave.

The saddest will I have ever read is one of the shortest. It is from the will of a man named James McClure (one of the forefathers of the McClure families in Oktibbeha County) of South Carolina, written September 23, 1756 and it reads: “To my son James, the Bible and the big pot. To my son Samuel, the next biggest pot. To my wife Agness – to have the use of both pots.”

Now remember that we will our most prized, precious possessions to those we love and here the only prized possessions the man had were his Bible and two pots. He loved his sons and wanted them to have them, but he knew for them to survive, much less prosper, mama had to be able to use both pots.

Another interesting group from long ago is the names of old occupations and how they have come down to today’s world and offer many of our current popular surnames.

Like Baxter was a baker, Brazier was one who worked with brass, a Chandler was one who made and/or dealt in candles, a Cooper was one who made or repaired vessels made of staves and hoops, such as casks, barrels, tubs etc., a Crocker was a potter, a Draper was one who dealt in dry goods, a Faulkner was a Falconer, a Fuller was one who ‘fulls’ cloth or one who shrinks and thickens woolen cloth by moistening, heating and pressing, a Higgler was an itinerant peddler, a Hind was a farm laborer, a Hooper made those hoops for casks and barrels, a Jagger was a fish peddler, a Lavender was a wash woman, a Plumber was one who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows, a Porter was a door keeper, a Slater was a roofer, a Tucker was a cleaner of cloth goods, a Tapley put the tap in an ale cask, a Turner turned wood on a lathe into spindles, a Webster operated looms, a Wright was a workman, especially a construction worker. My favorite is that a Pettifogger was a shyster lawyer.

Remember as you painstakingly devise your legal documents today, in centuries to come, someone like me will be poking fun at them and wondering “what in the world were they thinking?”