Enterprise-Journal from McComb, Mississippi on December 17, 2007 · Page A001
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Enterprise-Journal from McComb, Mississippi · Page A001

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McComb, Mississippi
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Monday, December 17, 2007
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Page A001
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HIGHLIGHTS n Wintry blast freezes Great Lakes, New England DETROIT (AP) — A pre- winter blend ofsnow, sleet and freezing rain cut visibility and iced over highways from the Great Lakes to New England, dumping up to a foot-and-a-halfofsnow, stranding air and road travelers. School districts across the region — including Michigan’s largest, in Detroit — canceled today’s classes. A winter storm warning remained in effect today in northern Maine, where visibility was cut by snow blown by wind gusting to 35 mph. Slippery roads caused by the big storm were blamed for four weekend deaths in Indiana, two in Michigan and one each in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and the Canadian Maritime province ofNova Scotia. The northern New York state community ofPeru had 18 inches ofsnow, and high wind this morning whipped up fallen snow across the state, the National Weather Service said. In Michigan, Ann Arbor measured 10.5 inches and parts ofIndiana had 14 inches. “It’s winter,” said Ann Arbor resident Linda Thelen, 53, as she and her husband dug out their home. “I expect a couple ofthese each year.” The storm canceled hundreds offlights at airports in Chicago and about 300 flights at Boston’s busy Logan International Airport. Few major problems — though plenty ofdelays — were reported at airports in Philadelphia and the New York area, which had braced for plenty ofsnow but got mostly sleet and rain. DEATHS n Tommie Lee Bates, 58 Hattie Martin Butler, 84 Juanita D. Dunaway, 92 Leroy Hughes, 64 Debra Ann Jackson, 46 A3 WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal budget deficit would have been 69 percent higher than the $162.8 billion reported two months ago ifthe government had used the same accounting methods as private companies, the Bush administration reported today. The administration, releasing the “Financial Report ofthe United States Government” for 2007, said that the deficit under the ac- crual method ofaccounting would have totaled $275.5 billion for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The report was released by the Treasury Department and the president’s Office ofMan- agement and Budget. Under the accrual method ofaccounting, expenses are recorded when they are incurred rather than when they are paid. That raises the costs for liabilities such as pensions and health insurance. The $275.5 billion deficit under the accrual method ofaccounting was still down by 38.7 percent from the deficit under this accounting method the previous year, when it totaled $449.5 billion. The deficit on a cash-flow basis of$162.8 billion represented the lowest imbalance in five years. The administration noted the de- cline in the deficit under both measurements. “The 2.6 trillion in record- breaking revenues that flowed into the Treasury this year reflect a healthy economy,” Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said. But officials warned that something must be done to address the significant shortfall in the government’s largest benefit programs for Social Security and Medicare. The new report indicates that funding for Social Security and Medicare will come up $45 trillion short in the next 75 years in paying for projected benefits over that time frame. Congress ordered the government a decade ago to issue annual reports using the accrual method in an effort to show the finances in a way that was comparable with the private sector. Accounting method changes deficit figures Enterprise- Journal 117TH YEAR n NO. 209 www.enterprise-journal.comMcCOMB, MISSISSIPPI MONDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2007 50 CENTS In wild card hunt Stecker comes through for Saints with Deuce, Bush on bench. A7 Thou shalt not steal: Lawmen probe burglary ofFernwood church. NEWS A3 UNITEDWESTAND Enterprise- Journal The one newspaper in the world mos t inte rested in this community BY ERNEST HERNDON ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL People honored the late civil rights activist C.C. Bryant with speeches and songs Sunday night, but perhaps nothing bore witness to his influence as much as the number ofblack elected officials present. At least a dozen current and former elected officials — including county supervisors, justice court judges, mayors, town board members, a state legislator and former state Supreme Court justice — attended the memorial celebration at the Southwest Mississippi Community College Fine Arts Auditorium. When C.C. Bryant was fighting for black voting rights at the height ofthe civil rights struggle in the 1960s, there were no black elected officials in Pike County. “Every individual who is African-American who holds any elected position owes that position to what he stood for,” said Jimmie Travis, president ofVeter- ans ofthe Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. Some 350 people attended the 2 1 / 2 -hour ceremony in which speeches were punctuated by songs and even a praise dance. Mr. Bryant’s family was assembled on stage and in the front rows, and Mr. Bryant’s body lay in a closed coffin at the foot ofthe stage. Speakers heaped Bryant with praise, and told some humorous stories as well. “One ofthe last things he told me was, ‘You need to shave,’ ” said his son Curtis C. Bryant Jr. “I said, ‘Jesus didn’t shave nor cut his hair.’ He said, ‘You ain’t Jesus. You need to shave.’ “That was my dad.” C.C. Bryant Jr. was present in his dad’s last hours at his home. He said he knelt at the foot ofhis dad’s bed and prayed, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven,” and his father took his last breath. Several grandchildren spoke, perhaps none more eloquently than Cynthia Bryant, who performed a praise dance to the song “The Battle Is Not Yours, It’s the Lord’s.” Barefoot and dressed in a long black dress, she enacted a person fighting enemies on all sides and turning repeatedly to God on high for strength and comfort. Others explained that Bryant was a devout Christian, devoted to his wife and committed to the nonviolent struggle for justice. Former Supreme Court justice Fred Banks described Bryant as “determined and unstoppable, ... fearless, incredibly soft-spoken, modest.” “The C.C. Bryants ofthe world are the people who make our society better,” Banks said. Mr. Bryant’s funeral was today at Society Hill Missionary Baptist Church. Bryant remembered BY ERNEST HERNDON ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL The mayor ofMcComb issued a formal apology for the civil rights violations committed in his town in the 1960s and vowed to continue to make McComb a place to be proud of. Mayor Zach Patterson — McComb’s first African-American mayor — made his remarks Sunday night at a ceremony celebrating the life ofthe late civil rights activist C.C. Bryant, who died Dec. 9 at age 90. “All the citizens ofMcComb, Miss., regret that back in the summer of1963, our hero, Mr. C.C. Bryant, was compelled to describe his city, his hometown, as ‘hell on earth,’ ” Patterson said, reading from a prepared speech to a crowd ofsome 350 people including Mr. Bryant’s family at Southwest Mississippi Community College. “We regret that our city, McComb City, during the hot summer of1964, was shamefully la- beled ‘the bombing capital ofthe world. ...’ ” Patterson said. “We regret the incarceration, the jailing ofour hero, Mr. Bryant, back in the early ’60s.” But Patterson expressed determination that McComb become a “beacon ofunity, fairness and justice.” “We are striving harder every day to make Mr. C.C. Bryant’s hometown, McComb, the ‘thriv- ing capital ofthe world,’ ” Patterson said. Patterson received two standing ovations during his speech: when he credited Bryant’s civil rights efforts for enabling Patterson to become McComb’s first black mayor, and when he read a city board resolution declaring Bryant’s birthday, Jan. 15, a city holiday. Here are excerpts from Patterson’s speech: “All the citizens ofMcComb, Miss., regret that back in the summer of1963, our hero, Mr. C.C. Bryant, was compelled to describe his city, his hometown, as ‘hell on earth. Though we regret this description ofour city, Mr. Bryant’s city, we truly believe that because he uttered those words, that shameful description ofMcComb, it encouraged and spurred us all to work harder to make our city, our county, our state a fair and just place for all citizens. We declare and vow that we will re-double our efforts to make McComb, Miss., the beacon ofunity, fairness and justice that our leader, Mr. C.C. Bryant, intended and sacrificed so greatly for. BY TIMOTHY WOERNER ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL An oil well blowout shut down a section ofHighway 570 in Amite County today, and three homes were evacuated as a precaution, an emergency official said. Initial reports indicated no injuries and no imminent danger to residents. Mississippi Department of Transportation officials said this morning that the highway was closed for a five-mile stretch west ofMcComb to just east ofHighway 569 and was expected to reopen by noon. The cause ofthe blowout at the Denbury Resources-owned well was not immediately known, but carbon dioxide escaped the well in an “uncontrolled release,” said Sam Walsh, Amite County emergency management director. No fire was involved in the blowout, officials said. Carbon dioxide is frequently used to loosen oil deposits from previous drilling and force them to the surface. An environmental cleanup crew joined company officials and emergency responders on site, Walsh said. The incident is the second in southwest Mississippi in seven months for Denbury Resources, which investigated a chemical leak that led to the evacuation ofseven homes in Lincoln County in June. A trio ofMcComb residents went before the Pike County Board ofSupervisors last year to ask that Denbury Resources halt operations until the risks of carbon dioxide injection could be studied further. The pressurized gas has been used to revive oil fields in southwest Mississippi since 1984, and company officials have said the method has not led to any incidents reported to the state Oil and Gas Board. In recent years, Denbury Resources has used dynamite blasts to generate underground maps from seismic waves to help guide the process. Denbury Resources officials were not immediately available for comment today, but a local representative said a press release is expected by the afternoon. Oil well blowout closes highway Speeches, song honor leader in civil rights OUTSIDE n Tuesday Partly cloudy High: 62 Low: 52 Rain: 20% Wind: Se, 5-10 A2 TO SUBSCRIBE 684-2713 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday NEWS, ADVERTISING 684-2421 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday CONTACT US n Curtis Bryant Jr. looks at his father, the late C.C. Bryant, during visitation services for the McComb civil rights pioneer Sunday at Southwest Mississippi Community College. CLASSIFIEDSA10 COMICSA9 LOTTERIESA2 OBITUARIESA3 OPINIONA4 SPORTSA7 INSIDE n AARON RHOADS | ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL ‘We regret that our city, McComb City, during the hot summer of1964, was shamefully labeled ‘‘the bombing capital ofthe world. ...’’ .’ Zach Patterson McComb mayor n Patterson McComb mayor apologizes for city’s civil rights abuses SEE APOLOGY, PAGE A5 Cause ofwell incident, the second to occur in area in seven months, unknown; residents not in imminent danger, officials say SEE BRYANT, PAGE A5

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