September 28, 2015 Rotogram: 12

Theatre MSU

Following Saturday’s season opening of Pinocchio, Theatre MSU’s Tim Matheny and Cody Stockstill of the Department of Communications will speak.

Next Week: Fall Social

Oct. 5: Social hour—5:45. Dinner—6:45.

Good fellowship, good steaks, and Bingo or other entertainment is the order of business at the annual cookout. Signup sheets are on your table. There is no noon meeting that day.

Oct. 12: Starkville’s Robotics Team

Denise Adair is coach of the Millsaps Career and Technology Center’s Robotics Team at Starkville High School. Carey Hardin will introduce her.

For the Record—September 21

  • Invocation and pledge:                  Roy Ruby
  • Attendance:                                        70.4%
    Present — 107 (43 exempt, 1 honorary)
    Absent — 72 (12 exempt, 11 honorary)
  • Guests: Member guest was Seth Pounds of Frank Chiles. Guests of the club were Eddie and Amy McReynolds; Cody, Andy and Julie McClelland; Kamden, Wade and Amber Shultice; John Emmerich; Benedetta Trentarossi, RYE student; and, James Carskadon, Starkville Daily News.

Meeting Notes

  • On behalf of the club, President Zach offered condolences to Ned and Mary Browning on the death of Ned’s 96-year-old mother.
  • He congratulated John Rigdon on the birth of a baby girl.
  • Congratulations were also extended to Micah Huffman on his recent marriage to Sara Kilpatrick.

Teacher and Students of the Month

Nancy Walsh introduced Teacher of the Month Amy Ellis McReynolds, who teaches art at Sudduth Elementary. She previously received Rotary’s Merrill Hawkins Teacher Award. McReynolds introduced her Students of the Month, Kamden Shultice, 1st grade, and Cody McCleland, 2nd grade.

Proposed Members

The board has approved for membership Shawn Mauldin, professor and director of the MSU Adkerson School of Accountancy. A former member of the Rotary Club of Thibodaux , La., he is proposed by Bud Gordon. His classification is Education – Accounting.

Kelly Prather, area sales manager for Novartis Pharmaceuticals, has been proposed for membership by Jeff Read. His classification is Pharmaceutical Sales.

Opportunities for Service Above Self

  • Between the Lions reading—contact Christina Lucas.
  • Rotaract mentoring—contact President Zach.
  • Interact sponsorship—contact Ned Browning.
  • Rotary Youth Exchange host—contact Grant Arinder.
  • Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, Dec. 3 and 19 at Walmart.

Mississippi Politics Observed by Leading Columnist

September 21 — Wyatt Emmerich, well-known newspaper publisher and syndicated columnist, proved to be as skillful a verbal communicator as he is with written words as he spoke at last week’s meeting.

He represents the third generation of Emmerich Publishing, founded in 1923 in McComb by his grandfather. He is president of the company that today publishes newspapers and related websites and magazines in more than two dozen Mississippi communities.

He was introduced by long-time friend and fellow columnist Sid Salter, who said “Wyatt has an incredible résumé. I always read his columns, but I don’t always agree with him!”

Emmerich noted that he is the president-elect of North Jackson Rotary Club. His participation in the RI Convention in Sao Paulo, Brazil, was an incredible experience that gave him a new appreciation of Rotary’s worldwide impact. He said it’s ironic that he’d spoken to our club several times, but had never been asked to speak at his own club.

Speaking extemporaneously without notes, Emmerich turned to several major current concerns for Mississippi.

On the upcoming state election, he said the contest for the office of attorney general is the most fascinating and interesting race. Republican Mike Hurst is running against three-time incumbent Jim Hood, the only Democrat state official.

Hurst served as assistant United States attorney in the since 2006 and resigned to run for the Mississippi AG post. He led the bribery prosecution of former Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps

“He’s a very impressive candidate. It will be a close race. If he can’t beat Hood, nobody can,” Emmerich predicted.

He said the Democrat candidacy of truck driver Robert Gray is a strange and interesting development in the gubernatorial race that sees little or no chance of success.

Emmerch is an independent. He doesn’t believe a one-party system (either party) is good for the state. “Competition is good.”

He said Issue 42 is a good issue facing voters in the November election. However, “the ballot is tricky. I favor putting the legislature on the spot, but I don’t feel comfortable having a municipal judge ever having to make a decision on funding education.”

Changing the subject, he said he had written a lot about how the state has subsidized large industries. He calls the practice of giving huge tax incentives as “crony capitalism.” Small businesses don’t get the same kind of break.

“We need a level playing field,” he said.

The state gives too many incentives in his opinion. He said studies have shown that states that subsidize to favor new large industries have greater unemployment. “Our biggest growth is in small businesses.”

Mississippi needs good roads and good education. He pondered, “How is a mall in Pearl a tourist destination? The $180 million for a shopping center is not fair,” nor does it make sense.

An outspoken opponent of the Kemper County lignite gasification project, he’s adamant that the Kemper County Power Plant is “ill-conceived.” In his view, efforts to pass enormous bailout costs to rate payers should not be permitted by the state Public Service Commission. The Southern Company is worth billions and will never let Mississippi Power fall.

He likened the Kemper Plant situation to the infamous beef plant failure and bailout, only millions of dollars more costly.

“The Public Service Commission MUST protect consumers not companies,” he said.

“We are in the middle of the fastest growing region in the fastest growing nation in the world,” he said. “I believe Mississippi has a very bright future if they level the playing field.”

Editor’s Note: Thanks

A special thank you goes to Keith and Ruth Remy for handling the bulletin during Ned’s absence over the past two weeks. And, thanks to Trey Breckenridge for wrangling the audiovisual gear.

 

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