Gift of mortar was costly for us all

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Your headline “Explosive was gift from friend” really opened my eyes this morning, Aug. 12. Let me take a moment to absorb this follow-up to your article in Thursday’s (Aug. 11) issue of The Natchez Democrat: “Mortar left at house … Possible live mortar round left at Judge Vess’ doorstep.”

What kind of friend leaves a military weapon on a pubic servant’s doorstep and doesn’t quickly acknowledge the “joke”?

Why is this friend remaining anonymous and not accepting his share of responsibility? Why isn’t Judge Vess accepting his share of the responsibility instead of saying he’s relieved that the device was left by a friend?

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This situation is much more than a joke that got out of hand. Just look at not only the chaos created but also the fear experienced by those professionals who were seriously performing their jobs.

I’ll get a laugh over this joke as soon as you report when Judge Vess and his nameless friend repay taxpayers for the following costs:

1. Man-hours for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office

2. Man-hours for the Fort Polk, La., Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team

3. Man-hours for Natchez Fire Department

4. Cost to use a mechanical robot

5.  Cost to replace a safe container, assuming that it was blown up in the demolition process

6.  Cost of damage to unused runway at Natchez Municipal Airport

Lorraine A. Hampton

Natchez resident