Time to empty the reporter’s notebook again

Published 10:24 am Monday, May 15, 2023

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Somehow April has passed and May is upon us … is anyone else out there suffering 2023 whiplash? It seems to be moving so quickly.

That said, it’s time to clean out the ol’ reporter’s notebook once again, sharing thoughts, observations and more than a few queries about happenings in the Miss-Lou.

  • The deaths of Larry L. “Butch” Brown and Tommy Ferrell marked the loss of two men who were never described as “easy going” but always known for their vision, passions and leadership. I had the pleasure of working with both Butch and Tommy for many years, navigating a tenuous campaign with Butch when he ran against my late father-in-law for mayor and playing the give-and-take of news media and sheriff with Tommy over the years. There were times we got along and times we agreed to disagree, but both men were true to themselves and their convictions in all they did. They were effective leaders, respected by many, and able to bring about much-needed changes. And, I suspect history will show that both men left a legacy for good in Natchez, Adams County and beyond. May they rest in peace.
  • So many of you contributed to blood drives in April to benefit Rose Borum and Miller Gamberi. Thank you for literally giving the gift of life for them. But the need continues, for prayers and for financial support. So many of us know Rose Borum – one of the sweetest and most genuinely kind women I’ve ever met. Rose has been diagnosed with Stage 2 Hepatocellular Carcinoma, a type of liver cancer, and is awaiting a transplant. Friends have rallied to provide emotional support, transportation and aid through this process. A GoFundMe account to help defray medical expenses is available to anyone who wants to continue to help. If you are called to do so, please contribute here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/rose-borums-medical-fund Sweet Miller Gamberi was born without an immune system, thanks to a rare disease. The toddler battles daily for his life, and a recent bone marrow donation has increased his odds. But there are still challenges ahead, and the family is asking people to continue to donate blood and platelets – for Miller and for the many other children in need – and to register for Be The Match, which could allow you to help save another child’s life. Again, if you feel called to help, please do so.
  • As for queries, I have a few. What will happen in Concordia Parish now that residents voted against tax increases for fire services and coroner’s services? None of us like to see taxes increased, but officials made strong cases for the need for the services – particularly with the expansion of the fire service in the rural parish areas. What happens now?
  • And how, exactly, do Adams County officials propose to pay for the garbage collection in the county now? Thanks to the bankruptcy filing of Metro Services, and its reincarnation as United Infrastructure Services, the county now has an emergency contract that will cost the county an additional $600,000 more per year with a 4.6 percent annual increase. County residents now pay $15 per month for garbage collection. How much will that increase as the county passes along the new costs to taxpayers and homeowners?

I don’t know the answers, but you can bet we’ll keep asking the questions. And hopefully fill up a few more notebooks.

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Stacy G. Graning is regional editor of The Democrat. Contact her at stacy.graning@natchezdemocrat.com.