Westboro Baptist Church came to Oxford Saturday, to protest the movie The Blind Side, and Ole Miss’ love of football.
Much debate arose as to whether or not the group would actually show this time, as they had made threats to protest at Ole Miss before but never actually arrived.
The group has gained international fame for their protests of veterans’ funerals, as well as their hate speech directed toward issues such as homosexuality and abortion.
On Saturday, their signs displayed slogans such as “God Hates Fags,” “God is America’s Terror,” “Soldiers Die for Fag Marriage”, and “Thank God for IEDs.” IED stands for Improvised Explosive Device, a leading cause of death for our soldiers overseas.
A silent protest was arranged by Ole Miss student Jade Genga, who started a Facebook group to counter the hate speech on Saturday, with smiles and friendly faces.
“Nothing upsets picketers more than peaceful people, who love one another, against whom they are picketing,” Genga wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “Of course, depending on their content, it will be difficult to remain silent, but self-restraint for peace… we can do that.”
The protest was held in front of El Milagro’s restaurant on Jackson Ave.
Westboro protested Elvis’ life at his former home, Graceland, in Memphis on Friday. The group is now headed to the University of Alabama, in an effort to convince people that the tornado that hit Tuscaloosa in April of 2011, was the wrath of God. The tornado killed 36 people.
For more information on Westboro Baptist Church, you can visit their website at www.godhatesfags.com ––Jared Senseman, senior journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media
Email Jared Senseman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Art Shirley graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1984 with a BA in Art.
While at Ole Miss, Art drew the daily comic strip Ernie, Skip & Joe which ran for a little over three years in the Daily Mississippian.
Art is currently the Creative Director for Quest Group, an advertising and marketing firm in West Point, Mississippi, where he and his wife, Becky, make their home. Art and Becky have two sons; Will, a junior at Ole Miss, and Drew, a freshman at Mississippi State.
Art has continued to do some cartooning “on the side” in the nearly thirty years since he left Ole Miss, contributing to several local papers, websites and trade magazines. He has just self-published a graphic novel, enjoyed some internet success with a cartoon about the Weather Channel’s alleged “Land Mass” gaffe and is particularly excited to be contributing cartoons for HottyToddy.com.
OXFORD, Miss. – My old friend Ray Smithhart would have loved the irony of union-fighting manufacturer Nissan making a gift of $100,000 to the Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute.
Known in his later years as the “dean of Mississippi’s labor organizers,” Smithhart worked closely with civil rights martyr Medgar Evers in the late 1950s and early 1960s, forging a link between the labor and civil rights movements that Martin Luther King Jr. himself saw as key to the future of both.
“Medgar Evers told me I was the first white man who ever talked to him,” Smithhart told me during an interview the year before he died at 88 in 2005. “We had good relations.”
That’s why he must be smiling in heaven. Nissan, unionized around the world but fighting unionization at its plant in Canton, Miss., made its donation to the Evers Institute last month. “This organization talks about and looks at youth education, diversity, and racial reconciliation, and those are the same things Nissan looks at,” Nissan spokesman Jeffrey Webster said.
If Smithhart were alive today, he would likely ask Nissan to look deeper into Medgar Evers’ beliefs. “All people need their civil rights, especially the working people,” said Smithhart, who served as president of a United Rubber Workers local and secretary-treasurer of the state AFL-CIO.
Mississippi and nation are marking the 50th anniversary of Evers’ slaying with a long series of tributes to the late activist and field secretary of the Mississippi NAACP. Evers was killed in front of his home in Jackson, Miss., on June 12, 1963. Events include the annual Medgar Evers Dinner in Jackson next month. Among those on hand will be Hollywood actor and labor activist Danny Glover, a vocal supporter of the union effort at Nissan.
“I think about Medgar Evers,” Glover said at a gathering of pro-union Nissan workers last July. “He was only 37 years old when he died. Medgar Evers would be right out here supporting you.”
Activists, community leaders and the United Auto Workers have been building support to get Nissan to allow a fair election for the 5,000 workers at its Canton plant. Workers say the company is already waging an intense anti-union campaign within the plant that includes one-on-one meetings with managers, videos and threats of plant closings and layoffs if workers choose to join a union.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has opposed unionization at the company’s plants in Mississippi and Tennessee even though its workforce in other parts of the world is largely unionized.
The UAW has taken the Canton story to the world. Rallies have been held in Atlanta, New York, Detroit, and as far away as Brazil. Hundreds turned out for an evangelical-style gathering at Tougaloo College in January that featured Glover as well as an array of preachers, students, activists, and workers.
The $100,000 gift to the Evers Institute may be a sign that Nissan is feeling the pressure. The company also recently announced a $500,000 education grant to the Canton Public School District. Nissan reported $84.4 billion in net revenues and $4.37 billion in operating profit for the nine months ending in December 2012.
Yet things aren’t all rosy for Nissan’s relations with predominantly black Canton. Efforts by state lawmakers to back a $100 million plant expansion and supplier support plan in Madison County have rankled local political leaders, who are still miffed at a state-backed prohibition against Canton annexing the plant.
Nissan’s cash handouts, welcome as they may be, say nothing about the fundamental question of workers’ rights, itself a civil rights issue.
Evers died in the cause for those rights. Smithhart, too, was on the front lines, integrating water fountains, pressuring Jackson leaders to hire black police officers. In 1962, goons fired 200 pellets into Smithhart’s car near Ripley. A Port Gibson police chief told him “no one would hear” from him again if he didn’t leave town.
“I would not let the anti-union forces intimidate me,” Smithhart said. “I stood my ground, and they did not like it.”
Claude Ramsay, state AFL-CIO president at the time and another Evers associate, told me this during a 1981 interview: “They’d call me and threaten me. I kept a double-barreled shotgun on the floorboard of my car, and I told them I’d take at least two of them with me.”
The labor movement “transformed misery and despair into hope and progress,” Martin Luther King Jr. once said. “The two most dynamic and cohesive liberal forces in the country are the labor movement and the Negro freedom movement.”
If you live north of Highway 6, beginning at North Thacker Loop and going west toward County Road 165, don’t plan to wash the car in the drive or take a shower between two and four p.m. today.
The City of Oxford Water Department plans to disconnect water service on Thursday, May 16th during those hours in order to make repairs.
City water customers in this section of the city will be without water during this time. Meadowview Subdivision will also be included in this outage.
For any additional information, contact the City of Oxford Public Works Department at 662-232-2306.
Opened to large crowd on May 14.
Oxford has a new farmers’ market — not to be confused with the farmers’ market that still operates on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s at the Mid Town Shopping Center. The Oxford City Market opened for the first time on Tuesday, May 14, at 2650 West Oxford Loop.
The Oxford City Market brings additional local-food sourcing, diversity of goods, and an extra market day to the Lafayette County community. Thirteen market vendors had signed up, and 12 actually had enough produce ready to come to town on opening day and sell fresh local herbs, and herbal products, strawberries, honey, veggies, pastured poultry and eggs, and an array of fresh-ground, baked, and preserved goods.
The participating vendors declared opening day a success. A throng of would-be-buyers converged on the open-air market at the start of business. They bought just about everything being offered for sale during the afternoon, accompanied by tantalizing food aromas and the thrumming sound of the blues from a live band. By 5:30 pm, some vendors had completely sold out of their wares, and the rest were down to a fraction of what they had brought.
Yokna Bottom Farms, Woodson Ridge Farms, Native Son Farm, and the Levee Run Farm were local-area farms at the new market. Georgeanne Ross of The Original Grit Girl “traveling” grist mill was a strong presence, selling her stone-ground grits, cornmeal, polenta, and masa, which normally are available only to the food trade. The BTC Old Fashioned Grocery from Water Valley also manned a booth to sell its favorites such as pimento cheese, crab cakes, chicken salad, and BTC-roasted coffee.
Other vendors included The Creative Kitchen (yum, pralines and fried apple pies); Mardis Honey Farm with fresh honey (that the market also used in its lemonade and sweet tea for customers); Good Food for Oxford, with t-shirts and educational materials about its Farm-to-School Program for Oxford; M&J Farms, with handmade laundry soaps; St. Bethany Fresh, with fresh tomatoes; and Sunlight Springs Organic, with a variety of produce.
The Oxford City market is run by the City of Oxford, under part-time director Katie Morrison, with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The land for the market site was donated by John Trezevant, owner of Trezevant Realty Corp. The market will continue to be open every Tuesday from 3 to 7 pm, and may expand to a second weekday. The City needs additional vendors and volunteers to assist with market-day setup and take-down, selling, and programming for children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, gardening presentations, and related healthy-living programs.
Laurie Triplette is a noted author and food writer for HottyToddy.com. Follow her weekly posts in hottytoddy.com
Email Laurie Triplette at email@example.com
OXFORD, Miss. – A beloved professor of political science retires this month, but his calendar will still be full for some time to come.
John Winkle, who joined the UM faculty in 1974, has left an indelible mark on the university during his 39-year career as both an academic and a motivator.
His colleague, John Bruce, chair and associate professor of political science, said that Winkle demonstrated the best practices of faculty across his career, all the while performing extensive service for the department, college and university.
“Without doubt or hesitation, I can say that he has left the largest footprint of any faculty member here in a long time,” said Bruce, who has worked with Winkle for 17 years. “His students think the world of him and routinely mention him when contacted years after graduating from the university. Beyond the work dimension, John is a delightful person, and we have been privileged to call him a colleague and friend over the years.”
Winkle was instrumental in the creation of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College and the honors program before it. In the summer of 1996, he wrote a statement proposing an academic vision for a new honors college, which would be part of a larger document that then-Chancellor Robert Khayat would take to a prospective donor.
“I thought about the need for a unique and transformative experience for each student in a new honors college and I used the professorial model of research, service and teaching,” Winkle said. “I envisioned that each student would write and defend a capstone research thesis in the senior year. I thought it vital that each student understand the importance of giving back to the community in the form of required public service, and I also suggested that students instruct their peers by giving a couple of lectures in introductory classes in their disciplines.”
Two of his three recommendations – the senior thesis and the public service – are components of the Honors College experience to this day.
Winkle also gave his ideas about what would become the Lott Leadership Institute.
“In 1997, I proposed to then-Chancellor Khayat that we consider creating a program in leadership studies,” he said. “He sent Andy Mullins and me to visit colleges and universities whose programs we might model. We returned and submitted a proposal using the model of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. Eventually, because of the chancellor’s leadership, a proposed program became an institute.”
Besides his academic work, Winkle has inspired countless students over the years. He is a recipient of the Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award, as well as the Faculty Achievement award, the Random Acts of Kindness Award and the Frist Student Service Award. In 1998, the IHL presented him with the Harrison Governing Boards Award, given to one faculty member in the state system for contributions to higher education in Mississippi.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mills, a former student of Winkle’s who lives in Oxford, called him a fine instructor.
“I worked with him later when I was in the Legislature and he served as adviser to several law-related committees, and we worked together on various pieces of legislation,” said Mills, who took two constitutional law classes and a political science class from Winkle. “He is a good man and too young to retire. He must have a satisfied mind because he hasn’t aged a day since the first day I met him.”
Since 2003, Winkle has been the faculty adviser for the undergraduate mock trial program.
“I will most miss the classroom interaction and the exchange of ideas,” he said. “I challenge my students to think critically. I tell my students that the answer to any question they ask should always prompt another question, for the essence of true learning, I believe, lies in the ability to ask the better question.”
Winkle earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Mercer University and a master’s and Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. He had two visiting appointments at Emory University in 1991 and 1992; and at the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1999. His research interests are judicial behavior and judicial lobbying.
He has truly loved his time at the university.
“I have respected the learning process and have encouraged my students to do so. I have cared about my students and have treated them as individuals,” he said.
Plans are under way for the John W. Winkle III Fund for Faculty Excellence.
Winkle’s retirement won’t leave him resting on his laurels, though. Next year, he plans on completing two ongoing research projects for publication.
“Thereafter, I hope to explore several possibilities, such as living abroad for six months, working for nonprofit groups, helping to launch honors programs elsewhere or becoming active in court reform projects,” Winkle said.
- Rebecca Lauck Cleary, Ole Miss News from the Office of University Communications
OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi graduate student Raymond Holt dramatically influenced the worlds of computer science and flight in 1970 when he invented the world’s first microprocessor chip, a technological leap that enabled the U.S. military to run integrated flight control systems in the F-14 Tomcat fighter plane.
Forty-three years later, the retired Silicon Valley computer designer, whose invention design was finally declassified in 1998, is using his engineering experience to teach children in Mount Olive about science and robotics. He also has completed the requirements for a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction at Ole Miss as a graduate fellow at the university’s Center for Mathematics and Science Education, or CMSE. He was among some 3,000 candidates for degrees at Saturday’s Commencement ceremonies.
“I didn’t originally plan on visiting Mississippi,” Holt said. “I was sitting in my driveway in Oklahoma in my motor home that I had just bought to travel the country. I’d sold my house and I had to be out in a couple of days when a friend from Mississippi called and invited me visit his nonprofit ministry, R.E.A.L. Christian Foundation. He said he would have me check out the computers in the ministries. After two weeks, I knew I should stay. I liked helping rural ministries.”
After deciding to stay in Mississippi, Holt met Tony Duckworth of Mount Olive Ministries in Mount Olive. The organization provides children and teenagers with educational opportunities to promote an interest in academics and helps prevent students from dropping out of high school.
“Ray’s attitude about his achievements inspire our kids to dream again,” Duckworth said. “They know that their dreams can become a reality.”
Holt suggested starting a robotics team in Mount Olive to spark an interest in the students, and it worked. During the first-ever statewide high school robotics competition hosted by the CMSE in February, Holt’s group, dubbed Team Purple Thunder, took first and second place in two different categories. Their robotic successes continued from there. In late April, the team competed against 128 other robotics teams from 28 countries in the FIRST World Robotics Championship in St. Louis, placing 13th out of 64 in their division. The team was ranked first among first-time competitors.
“He really inspired us to do well in the competitions,” said Mount Olive ninth-grader Whitney Schreiber. “We’re just a small town that never really gets anything, and he teaches us so much.”
Holt splits his time between Oxford, where he is completing student teaching in mathematics at Lafayette High School, and Mount Olive. Throughout the year, he has made efforts to help his students in Mount Olive expand their horizons. Besides visiting St. Louis in April, Team Purple Thunder visited the Nissan plant in Canton last November. Last March, the team toured the UM School of Engineering and the Center for Manufacturing Excellence.
“When you show students what’s possible, you can see them become excited,” Holt said. “After they saw real engineers program robots to preform tasks to build a truck, they started to realize that they’re doing same thing with our robot on a smaller scale. They realized how much they could actually do.”
Offered at UM since 2010, the Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction is a one-year master’s program designed to help college graduates with noneducation degrees transition into teaching at the secondary level. After hearing about Holt’s robotics program, the CMSE offered him a fellowship that included full tuition, office space at the center and access to a variety of professional development and educational materials to complete the degree.
“Seeing the struggling that the youth have in Mount Olive, I had no idea our after-school programs could grow to this,” Holt said. “Our first goal was to make sure none of our children drop out of high school, and the second one was that their GPA would be a 3.0. Now, nine out of 11 students make straight As. Two of our past students have been accepted to Ole Miss.”
Holt said he hopes his new training will help him instill confidence and ambition into more children, particularly those who have an opportunity to become first-generation college students and who may have never previously considered a career in science or engineering. He hopes that in coming years, he can help grow after-school programs in rural communities throughout the state. All 11 members of Team Purple Thunder planned to visit Holt during graduation on Saturday.
“This degree has been way too much work to say it’s just for me,” said Holt. “Working with youth is my passion. I have students who now say ‘I want to come to Ole Miss to study robotics,’ I consider that a real success.”
Southern Airways Express will inaugurate daily air service to University/Oxford Airport in mid-June, Southern Airways Express COO Keith Sisson announced today.
When the three-tier rollout of the startup airline’s service is complete, Sisson said outbound Oxford passengers will be able to fly directly to New Orleans, Destin and Panama City, Fla., on flights originating at Olive Branch Metro Airport and General DeWitt Spain Airport in Memphis.
Initial flights from downtown Memphis to downtown Destin will begin on May 29, with service between Oxford and Gulf beach destinations set to follow by mid-June. The entire Southern Airways Express route will be operational by the end of June, Sisson said, with ticket prices ranging from $129-$249.
Southern Airways Express will fly 10-passenger, turbo-jet-powered corporate planes with all-leather seating and complimentary iPads for customer use in flight.
“These planes are ultra-luxury, VIP aircraft usually reserved for corporate executives,” Sission said.”The general public would usually not be able to afford this executive-style experience.”
Sisson said the goal of the new airline is to put the fun back into air travel. “We’re trying to get travelers out of that six to seven-hour car ride so they can enjoy more of their vacation.”
Southern Airways Express passenger perks will include no parking fees, no baggage handling fees, lower ticket prices that those at Memphis International Airport, passenger boarding 15 minutes before flights and no TSA screening for passengers who pass the airline’s background check.
As part of the rollout, the airline plans to hold preview events in each of the cities it will serve, including an Oxford event that Sisson said would likely take place the first part of June. ”People can come out and get on the planes and stretch out.”
Southern Express also plans to offer special game-day packages for Gulf Coast travelers to make it more convenient for them to attend Ole Miss home games.
“Passengers will be able to buy a season packet to fly to Oxford for all Ole Miss home games,” Sisson said, adding, “All of our tickets are transferrable.”
Tickets are not yet on sale for Southern Express Airways flights, but Sisson said once they are, travelers can purchase them online. For more information on Southern Express Airways, visit their Facebook page at iflysouthern.com.
The end of the spring semester at Ole Miss brings a welcome break from traffic for locals, but the student exodus also means work crews will be taking advantage of the lull to make improvements to city streets.
On Wednesday, city crews began work at the intersection of South Lamar Boulevard and Pea Ridge Road to remove existing asphalt and improve the safety of the busy intersection, city officials say.
When completed, the intersection will have a 90-degree, right-angle turn off of South Lamar similar to the intersections at Whippoorwill, Office Park Drive and Veterans Drive.
Drivers are being cautioned to drive slowly through the construction area and be mindful that vehicles may brake sharply until they become acclimated to the change.
OXFORD, Miss. – In honor of Symbols of Faith, Home, and Beyond: The Art of Theora Hamblett, and in celebration of the hometown of Theora Hamblett, the Mississippi Museum of Art invites all current and former residents of Oxford to a day of events and programs in the Art Garden at the Mississippi Museum of Art on Saturday, May 18.
“The University of Mississippi Museum has been very pleased and honored to partner with an institution we admire deeply, the Mississippi Museum of Art, to share multiple Theora Hamblett artworks with Jackson and central Mississippi audiences,” said Museum Director Robert Saarnio. “The Oxford Day celebration further extends the spirit of partnership between our museums, and deepens the links between our two communities.”
The day-long celebration begins at noon, featuring entertainment by Oxford musicians and performers and highlighting the work of area filmmakers and artists. The Athletics Foundation from the University of Mississippi joins the festivities to promote Ole Miss Athletics, and the Central Mississippi Ole Miss Rebel Club will host a tailgate for club members. This event is free and open to the public.
A variety of talented Oxford musicians and performers will provide entertainment throughout the day on the C Spire Stage in The Art Garden, including Oxford Ballet, Dent May, Jimmy Phillips and the Ruminators and the Kudzu Kings. Literary readings are presented by Vox Journal, and the Southern Foodways Alliance will present a series of independent films.
Artwork from Oxford-based Southside Gallery will be on display inside the museum, showcasing the work of talented Mississippi visual artists. Educational spaces and activities are provided by the museum’s education staff and the University Museum, with a focus on the art of Theora Hamblett and upcoming museum exhibitions. The Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau and representatives of Ole Miss Athletics bring added excitement and energy.
Oxford-themed food options and specialty cocktail selections are provided by The Palette Café by Viking and Chef Louis H. LaRose.
This event is sponsored by BancorpSouth and Southern Beverage.
It is supported by the University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses, permanent home to many of Hamblett’s paintings, and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council.
The Mississippi Museum of Art’s mission is to “engage Mississippians in the visual arts.” The museum is located at 380 South Lamar Street in Jackson. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Monday. For more information about the Mississippi Museum of Art’s exhibitions, programs, and special events, please call 601-960-1515 or 1-866-VIEW ART (843-9278), or visit www.msmuseumart.org.
- Ole Miss News, From The Office Of Communications
OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi has been named to the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.
“The University of Mississippi believes in transformation through service, and we’re honored to see that commitment recognized with this prestigious award,” said Albert Nylander, director of the university’s McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement. “We are working to expand our service-learning and civic engagement efforts so that the university can positively impact the quality of life in communities across the state.”
The university was honored for its participation in the College Corps National Service Program, the UM Big Event and the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
The 60 UM College Corps members commit to 300 hours of service per academic year at 12 locations in Oxford and Lafayette County. They were responsible for serving 2,250 meals, tutoring 400 students, reading 200 books with youth and raising $15,000 for partner organizations.
The Big Event, a student-driven day of service in Oxford and Lafayette County, engaged 3,085 students, faculty and staff, who gave 13,100 service hours in one day, serving 5,000 individuals in the community.
The 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service inaugurated what has become an annual celebration of service and community. In 2012, 87 students, faculty and staff volunteered 435 service hours, tutoring 100 students and working on a project to fight hunger.
“We are proud of our students and their sense of service to the community,” Chancellor Dan Jones said. “Over 10,000 of our students engaged in community service in the past year, and these students collectively gave nearly 478,000 service hours. These students provide tremendous momentum to deepen our future community-engagement efforts.”
“Congratulations to the University of Mississippi, its faculty and students for its commitment to service, both in and out of the classroom,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, or CNCS. “Through its work, institutions of higher education are helping improve their local communities and create a new generation of leaders by challenging students to go beyond the traditional college experience and solve local challenges.”
Inspired by the thousands of college students who traveled across the country to support relief efforts along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, CNCS has administered the award since 2006 and manages the program in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as well as the American Council on Education and Campus Compact.
More information about community service efforts at Ole Miss can be found at http://mclean.olemiss.edu. More information on eligibility and the full list of Honor Roll awardees can be found at http://www.nationalservice.gov.
- Ole Miss News, From The Office Of Communications
Oxford and Lafayette County boast a first-rate parks and recreation sports venue in FNC Park, but when the new Mississippi Flood Futbol Club opens south of Oxford this summer, local youths from throughout north Mississippi also will have an all competitive sports complex worthy of those found in much larger municipalities.
The soccer and football components of the 73-acre private facility are expected to be ready for tournament play in August, with completion of the baseball field slated for late fall or early spring of 2014, says MFFC developer Dr. Michael Perry.
Already, some three months before opening, Perry, an Oxford dentist, says players from Tupelo, Water Valley, Oxford, Batesville, Senatobia, Holly Springs, Grenada and Memphis are pre-registering on line to participate in the 12 to 15 tournaments, in addition to sports camps, that will take place there year-round.
“It’s going to be unique,” Perry says of the complex that will represent a one million dollar total investment when complete. “It will be north Mississippi’s only all competitive sports complex. Because we are solely competitive, we can pick the best of the best and attract recreational all stars to come and compete.”
In addition to soccer, football and baseball tournaments, the MFFC complex also will be home to competitive Lacrosse and softball events, making it a true multi-sports arena.
Along with the higher level of athletes that the complex is designed to attract, Perry said another factor distinguishing the Mississippi Flood Futbol Club from others in the state is the level of coaching.
“Most parks and recreations venues are dependent on parent coaches, and maybe some kids in college who are recreation graduates, but we have assembled the best coaching staff in Mississippi. Our coaches will have the highest licenses of any club in the state. Coaches can maximize their efforts when parents are trying to enhance the potential for their kids. The competitive approach brings out the best in coaches and athletes alike.”
One family in Memphis recently sold their house there and moved to Oxford to make it for more convenient for their child to participate in MFFC sports activities, Perry said.
The Oxford and Lafayette county community, too, stands to benefit from the new facility located at 578 Highway 7 South, approximately five miles from Oxford, Perry said.
“There are estimates that the local parks and recreation sports activities have a half-million-dollar economic impact with their tournaments, so with the 12-15 tournaments we are planning we anticipate that the MFFC can have an impact of one million dollars through increased traffic to restaurants and small businesses.”
Residents of Brandon, Mississippi, are considering a tourism tax to support the construction of a multi-sport complex similar to the one Perry is building in Oxford. In a recent interview in the Clarion Ledger newspaper, Brandon Mayor Butch Lee said a multi-field sports complex would function as an economic development tool to drive the need for more restaurants and retail options.
Parents interested in pre-registering their kids for MFFC tryouts can sign up by logging on to www.msfloodfc.com. –– Michael Harrelson, editor, HottyToddy.com.
Email Michael Harrelson at firstname.lastname@example.org