One year later, Katrina news is good

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 19, 2006

This week will forever be a safe week of sorts, smashed in between the anniversaries of America&8217;s worst tragedies

&8212; Hurricane Katrina and Sept. 11.

The one-year anniversary of Katrina has passed, yet the good news for the Miss-Lou lingers on. No one quite wants to admit that such a tragedy was good for Natchez, but the numbers tell the truth.

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Natchez sales tax revenues have been up since the storm. Vidalia&8217;s mayor says he sees the positive effects of Katrina in his town daily. And individual businessmen have success stories, too, such as Weeks Furniture&8217;s 20-percent sales increase.

But before we get too close to the next tragic anniversary, let&8217;s review some of the other good news from last week.

Natchez public schools got the acknowledgement they deserved when the state offered them a &8220;hold harmless&8221; waiver for last year&8217;s test scores. Though there weren&8217;t any major drops, the district didn&8217;t improve like it had hoped either, possibly due to the mid-year addition of 600 students from Katrina-affected areas. The wavier holds off a series of consequences, and lets teachers get back on track this year.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu has written a bill that could help Concordia Parish projects by funneling new oil and gas dollars to the coast and other state funds to northern parishes. Though its work on the coast is a top priority, Louisiana can&8217;t forget the rest of the state.

We hope your week is filled with good news, too.