PRESS CLIPPINGS: Tuesday, February 14, 2006
1. Suprisingly, DHS has no comment on more alleged abuse cases. DHS Executive Director Don Taylor even sent a memo enforcing a gag order on all employees. Glad to see they want to be open about all of this so the issue can be resolved and these children will have the opportunity to live in a better situation.
Lawsuit: DHS failing kids in foster care - The Clarion-Ledger:2. Paul Ott's poem "I Am Mississippi" has drawn the ire of some Ole Miss professors, students and other staff members. While they think Ott is a good man, they added, "'I Am Mississippi' is not a good poem."
New York-based Children's Rights, which is suing the state Department of Human Services, detailed in a few hundred pages of expert reports alleged problems of sexual abuse, unqualified employees and fiscal mismanagement.
The organization cited high levels of children who were maltreated, passed over for physical exams, not seen by their social worker as required, or languished in the system when they were ready for adoption.
DHS attorney Rusty Fortenberry would not address details in the reports, but said they would be "disputed very vigorously."
Proposed state poem has critics - The Clarion-Ledger:3. The C-L endorses posting votes online.
Three dozen English professors, instructors, staff members and students at the University of Mississippi are asking lawmakers to reject a proposed state poem, saying the work "has no literary merit."
"We do not want America and the world to think that 'I Am Mississippi' is the best poem this state can offer," they say in a letter addressed to the state Senate, Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, Gov. Haley Barbour and the people of Mississippi.
Post the votes - The Clarion-Ledger:4. Bobby Harrison looks at the stem cell bill passed in the Legislature.
The Internet has done much to improve government accountability, giving citizens instant access to information on elected officials' actions.
Mississippi state agencies have come far in providing Web-based access. The site, www.mississippi.gov can guide citizens to information and services.
The Mississippi Legislature also has information and bill status at its site, www.ls.state. ms.us. But there is so much more that could be done.
The most urgent and easiest thing that could be added is online voting records of legislators.
BOBBY HARRISON: Legislators pass an ambiguous stem cell bill - djournal.com:
JACKSON - Watch Mississippi legislators, as any politicians, long enough and eventually a true picture of what they think of the intellect of the public will emerge.
That picture was crystallized last week in the state House during debate on stem cell research.
True, it is a complex, scientific issue, and no one, certainly not I, has all the facts. But probably no truer words were spoken during the debate that those of plain-spoken Rep. John Mayo, D-Clarksdale, who at one point exclaimed, "We are politicians who don't know squat, and we shouldn't be dabbling in this."