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Death Notices for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017
Jan 23, 2017 | 34 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sarah Elam Sarah Elam, 90, died Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017, at her daughter’s home in Millington, Tenn. Brittney Nicole Moser Brittany Nicole Moser, 27, of Iuka died on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, in Iuka.
Coach John McKinney and his former student Robin Diamond Miller catch up after years of being apart.
Coach John McKinney and his former student Robin Diamond Miller catch up after years of being apart.
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Student reunites with life-changing teacher
by Kimberly Shelton
Jan 23, 2017 | 427 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Coach John McKinney and his former student Robin Diamond Miller catch up after years of being apart.
Coach John McKinney and his former student Robin Diamond Miller catch up after years of being apart.
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Relating a story almost 30 years in the making, the Daily Corinthian recently sat down with ISAA Flash Coach John McKinney of Booneville, who shared a heartwarming story of a reunion with one of his former students. Now a 43-year-old litigation lawyer at Ulmer & Berne LLP in Cincinnati, Ohio, Robin Diamond-Miller says she will never forget her 5th grade teacher at Madison Elementary School in Trotwood, Ohio, or the profound impact he had upon her life. “My relationship with him back then literally helped shape my views on the world,” said Miller. “Though I had not seen him in decades, it felt very natural and right to me when we reconnected. It was as if nothing had changed.” It was through a chance sighting on social media that the two recently found each other after years of being apart. “He spotted my step-daughter Ashlynn on Facebook and I’m not sure how he realized her connection to me, but I am so glad that he did,” said Miller, who was overjoyed to receive a text from Ashlynn asking who John McKinney was. “I was so surprised,” she continued. “I just can’t even begin to describe the emotions that sprang forth. I just said, ‘You don’t even know!’” Coach McKinney was likewise elated to finally locate Robin. “It was something else,” he said. “I was shocked to be able to find her and talk to her after all these years.” Since reconnecting over the phone, the two have met three times in Ohio. “I got to go and visit with her and her family in April, August and December of 2016,” said McKinney, who was excited to learn that Robin now has children of her own. “I had an opportunity to meet her husband, Ty, attend her daughter Lauren’s recital and see her son, Brady play baseball.” “It meant a lot to me,” he added. The long-time educator recalled a very different Robin than the strong, confident woman he now knows. “She came to me at 10, going on 11 years old with a lot of baggage from unbearable pressures and problems that life had given her. They were bottled up and were eating away inside of her,” he explained. “I took what I saw as a child who just might be looking for a way out and was searching for help, not knowing where to go.” “I watched, observed and realized something was bothering her, so I called her mother for insight. I then became attached to her needs according to her mother. She trusted I was the answer to her prayers and allowed us to build a bond that would change us both in many ways.” For approximately two years, Robin went wherever her teacher went and the two became inseparable. “Her mother sometimes worked late so I would bring her to my house after school and my wife, Gloria, would make dinner for everyone,” said McKinney. “She was and still is a member of my family. In fact, she does not allow me to say I am her mentor. She prefers that I call her my daughter.” Robin describes her younger self as being lost, confused and hurting on the inside while trying not to show it on the outside. “I thought if I stayed quiet, no one would notice me, but he made me talk,” she said. “He made me smile.” “It started with him asking me to help with little tasks in class. Little did I know that, while I worked, he was gently extracting information from me, trying to understand my withdrawal. It didn’t take long for me to open up to him because he was so kind and genuine,” she continued. “Before long, I was everywhere he was. He made me feel needed, important and understood. I truly felt loved. He didn’t have to be so caring and that’s what made our connection so strong.” Though the two lost contact over the years after Robin and her mother moved away, Robin says she held on to the locket her father-figure gifted her as child and cherished the lessons he taught her both in and outside the classroom. “There are many things that I am grateful for, but some moments I remember plainly stick out. He helped me bury my kitten when she died and held me while I cried. He taught me how to wash dishes and bought me a pair of pink gym shoes when mine were getting ragged,” she said. “He also knew my mother was struggling, emotionally and financially and offered his support to her as well.” “If ever there was an angel sent from Heaven to bless my life at such a critical time – it was him,” she added. The busy lawyer admits she was excited, but nervous to see her role model again. “I worried that I hadn’t lived up to everything he taught me because I had made some mistakes in my life and been divorced. I was terrified he would be disappointed at the way I turned out. All those thoughts vanished the moment I saw him,” she said. “We hugged and it was a familiar, happy feeling. It felt like home. The smile on my face from the pictures taken that night say it all.” “Looking back, I thought I was the only one he helped in that way – he made me feel so special. But now, years later, I’m thrilled to find out that he has helped so many others. He has even allowed me to come into the life of another young girl he knows would benefit from a little extra love and support from me. As I have talked to her and her sweet mom, I can’t help, but think how a little love and encouragement from an unexpected source can go such a long way. We won’t lose contact again. We’re family.” A mother and stepmother to four children, Miller currently lives in Mason, Ohio. She looks forward to many more visits from Coach Mckinney and Gloria. “Growing up, I always thought I had a cool dad and wanted to be around him,” said Ashley McKinney who is proud of all the lives her father has touched. “Almost everywhere you go people know him, his reputation precedes him.”
Big difference between Capitol and real world? Free stuff!
by Emily Wagster Pettus
Jan 23, 2017 | 76 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print

JACKSON (AP) — The Mississippi Capitol is not the real world, and that can be easy to forget during a legislative session.

Unless there's an alternate universe neatly hidden from most people, the real world doesn't have the plethora of freebies that are readily available at the statehouse.

Almost every morning during a 90-day session, groups set up tables in the first floor rotunda near the main public entrance at the center of the building. Universities, mental health advocates, museums, tourism groups — there's a rotating cast of characters with ideas to pitch and services to promote.

What better way to grab lawmakers' attention than by luring them to your table with a free chicken biscuit, a chocolate-dipped strawberry or a big blueberry muffin? Or, even with a lunch buffet that makes the whole rotunda smell like gravy?

Often, the entertainment is free. The Mississippi Museum of Natural Science brought a big snake to the Capitol this year. Folks couldn't take the snake home, of course, but they got to pose with it for free (scary!) photos to amaze their friends and family.

There are trinkets aplenty. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County shows up every session with bright, flashing NASA lapel pins and astronaut toys made of squeezable foam. Railroad companies hand out calendars with lovely photos of locomotives traveling through the countryside.

Some of the freebies are more valuable. Last week, medical professionals offered a wide range of free health screenings at the Capitol, including those for blood pressure, cholesterol and vision.

The freebies are not limited to lawmakers. They are generally available to anyone who walks up, including Capitol staffers, lobbyists, journalists and random people visiting the building.

There are also plenty of freebies available at the invitation-only events for lawmakers, including steak dinners with lobbyists and a long list of receptions that offer beer, wine and cocktails for those who choose to partake. (Yes, there are plenty of teatotalers in the Legislature, in case their deacons are reading this.)

Mississippi is not alone in this culture of freebies for the powerful and privileged. This is common in lots of statehouses, and there's reason to believe that some elected officials in Washington might be wined and dine from time to time.

Most of the freebies and the hospitality are legal, and it's reasonable to think that a grown-up legislator can maintain his or her integrity while eating a complimentary sandwich. The challenge is to keep in touch with how people are living their lives back at home, because it's generally pretty different from life at the Capitol.

Despite the type of "only positive Mississippi spoken here" sloganeering that has been popular among some politicians for decades, this has long been one of the poorest states in the union. It remains so, even with economic advances.

The world of freebies must be completely foreign to workers with some of the lowest-paid and most thankless jobs in state government — for example, those who earn only a smidge above minimum wage as direct care workers in mental health facilities.

The free medical tests given at the Capitol last week are just the kind of thing some people outside the building might need.

Politicians like to talk about how folks sit down at the kitchen table and decide how spend their own hard-earned money. People living paycheck-to-paycheck probably can't stretch their grocery budget by loading up on all-you-can-eat shrimp at a reception. It's something to remember in the land of freebies.

Emily Wagster Pettus has covered Mississippi government and politics since 1994. Follow her on Twitter: http://twitter.com/EWagsterPettus .

President Trump lays down the law
by Dick Morris & Eileen McGann
Jan 23, 2017 | 68 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Lest people think that President Trump (it feels so good to write these words) was making it up as he went along the campaign trail, his inaugural address should set their hearts at rest. The new president continued his campaign themes into his inaugural, signaling that they will dominate his policymaking and thinking for all of his presidency.

He declared the end of globalism, noting that the world's foremost nation was going to put its own needs first. And he notified the world's most controlling establishment that the goals of the average American would have supremacy.

No longer will the style and vogue of Paris and German salons or the consensus of self-interested bureaucrats be prevailing. Everything will be judged strictly by one criterion: What is best for the people that own this nation -- the American people.

An economy committed only to the aggregation of wealth will now have to focus instead on the distribution of prosperity, not to different ethnic groups, but to those whose labor has made the wealth possible in the first place.

It was a fighting inaugural, devoid of the grace, eloquence and trappings of previous speeches. It plainly articulated what Trump plans to do and elaborated the themes of his election campaign. Watching the speech, we come to realize that President Trump regards the government as a continuation of the campaign by other means. He did not run for office as a candidate who now sheds the populist suit and governs as a bureaucrat. He is going to govern as he ran -- raw, unvarnished, clear and decisive.

The message of this inaugural is clear: President Donald J. Trump means what he says.

Dick Morris, former advisor to the Clinton administration, is a commentator and writer. He is also a columnist for the New York Post and The Hill. His wife, Eileen McGann is an attorney and consultant.

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