Wicker backs Obama's nonpartisan's approach

- WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said Tuesday he looks forward to working with Barack Obama and hopes the nation's problems can be solved in the nonpartisan manner the new president has advocated.

"The president rightly told Americans that despite our troubled economy, future generations need not lower their sights," Wicker said in a statement after the inauguration.

He also said he agreed with Obama that duplicative or ineffective government programs should end.

Despite the inevitable disagreements over major issues, Wicker said, "we can and should come together as a country to solve our problems together."

Tupelo woman's trip to D.C. makes headlines

Tupelo native Megan Holcomb found a creative way to attend the inauguration and, as a result, was featured Jan. 14 in the New York Daily News.

Holcomb, a 24-year-old New York University law student, offered up her East Village Studio apartment to a couple with a house near Washington, D.C., through the online site Craigslist.

The couple - Rose Reis and Brian Patrick Weeks - spent five days at Holcomb's place in New York while she visited family in Mississippi. And for the inauguration this week, Holcomb is staying in the couple's house while they are out of town.

"I was looking for a cheaper way to stay in D.C. because I'm a student and everything was very, very expensive," Holcomb told the Daily News. "I can't pay the thousands of dollars that people are asking for apartment rentals. And I think the hotels have been booked since long before the election even."

Holcomb's parents are Tarji and Kelly Holcomb of Tupelo. It was Kelly Holcomb, president of Staggs Carpets & Interiors, who decorated his daughter's apartment.

Boutique owner praises Michelle Obama's outfit

Michelle Obama's inaugural outfit played just as well to a Mississippi audience as it did in Washington, D.C.

"I think she looked exactly in the moment. There couldn't have been a better way to go with that look," said Karen Trumpore, owner of Omi Boutique in downtown Tupelo.

Obama sported a yellow-gold sheath dress with matching coat by Cuban-born American designer Isabel Toledo. She paired the outfit with green gloves and shoes.

"The color, that beautiful sunshine gold brocade, was classic but fun," she said. "It wasn't too overstated and not too understated."

Trumpore said Obama's inaugural outfit was a little bit more conservative than what we're used to seeing her wear.

"But it still had a lot of oomph to it. The coloring was perfect on her. The green and the yellow - those are the two big colors for spring. And the whole idea of the dress and coat matching is coming back."

Oxford native marvels at history unfolding

Erin Smith, who graduated from the University of Mississippi and now lives in the D.C. area, gave a "well done" to the new president after watching the inauguration ceremonies on the Mall.

"I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't dreaming," Smith said in a message to the Daily Journal. "This Mississippian had witnessed history."

She said it was worth getting up at 6 a.m. "to cram in a crowded Metro train only to land at the Foggy Bottom/George Washington University metro stop and then walk a mile to the National Mall in temperatures that hovered below freezing.

"We, the nearly 2 million people on the National Mall, stood together as whites, blacks, Christians, Muslims, non-believers, young, old, men and women. We all came out with the same quest in mind. Wearing our Obama gear loud and proud, we proudly cheered as we welcomed the 44th president of the United States to his newly elected office.

"Well done, President Obama."

Group from Ole Miss finds going rough

Susan Glisson, executive director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi, took a group of students to witness Barack Obama's inauguration.

Unfortunately, latecomers who would not leave formed a bottleneck at the gate to which Glisson's group had been assigned, and while most of her students eventually got into a less-restricted area on the Mall far from the Capitol, Glisson had to watch the festivities by TV from her hotel room.

"It was disappointing," she said. "There was a lot of disorganization that allowed some ill-tempered people to bully other people. They clearly underestimated what it would take to handle this crowd."

Even former Gov. William Winter, now in his 86th year, barely got a seat, Glisson said.

"Gov. Winter did make it into the yellow section," she said. "He was able to get into a seat about 11:30, just before the inauguration began."

MSU student describes scene

Kristen McClellan, a senior at Mississippi State University from Tupelo, attended the inauguration with a group from her school and had this to say about it:

"It was a very surreal feeling to witness such a huge event in American history. It was very encouraging to see our nation uniting in hope for the future of our nation.

I was thankful that I was able to witness something that I will be able to always share with future generations. I was also filled with hope for our nation as we are experiencing hard times that we will hopefully overcome by uniting together through change.

It was honestly the largest crowd I've ever seen. Masses of people were gathered together to witness an important part of history. Although there were millions of people, the tone was peaceful and optimistic. There were street vendors on every corner selling Obama family memorabilia."

- Daily Journal, wire reports

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