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Bills aim to help special needs kids
by Zack Steen
Jan 31, 2015 | 15 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Several new laws could be created this year that would assist special needs children in Mississippi. District 2 Rep. Nick Bain (D-Alcorn) created House Bill 814, which is aimed at providing financial help for special education students. “The bill would provide transparency in terms of funding for special education students in the local school districts. It would also create a statewide autism coordinator and would develop a fund to provide help with therapies, services and equipment for special education students,” Bain said. “Under the law, special needs students would stay in public school, where the state could continue to receive federal funds to help with their education, but the bill would create a fund within the Department of Health where parents fitting into certain income levels could go to receive financial aid to help with such items as respite care, private tutoring and other options.” A similar piece of legislation, Senate Bill 2695 also known as the “Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs” bill, passed the Senate Education Committee earlier this week. If it becomes law, it would allow parents to use state funds for a scholarship to attend a school that best addresses their child's needs. Bain said parents of special needs students he spoke with in Corinth and Alcorn County did not want to remove their kids from public school, as they would have to do to be eligible for the scholarship proposal. “They just wanted the public schools to be better equipped to provide the services their children are entitled to receive,” he said. “The bill I created is an attempt to do that.” Bain said he wants to provide options for parents. “I wanted to find a compromise between the scholarship bill and those who oppose such a program,” he added. Bain’s legislation has the support of the Mississippi School Boards Association and the Parents Campaign, a nonprofit grassroots network of Mississippi parents of public school system students. Nancy Loome, president of the Parent Campaign, said Bain’s proposal “provides real, substantive change for children with special needs.”
Victoria Cummings Bobo shows a piece called "Patches" in her exhibit for Black History Month at the Corinth Artist Guild Gallery. An opening reception is next Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
Victoria Cummings Bobo shows a piece called "Patches" in her exhibit for Black History Month at the Corinth Artist Guild Gallery. An opening reception is next Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
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Poet's work springs to life
by Jebb Johnston
Jan 31, 2015 | 2 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Victoria Cummings Bobo shows a piece called "Patches" in her exhibit for Black History Month at the Corinth Artist Guild Gallery. An opening reception is next Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
Victoria Cummings Bobo shows a piece called "Patches" in her exhibit for Black History Month at the Corinth Artist Guild Gallery. An opening reception is next Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m.
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Victoria Cummings Bobo’s art springs to life in print, on the canvas and in spoken and sung words. The Itawamba County artist and poet is joining the Corinth Artist Guild Gallery in a celebration of Black History Month with a display and performance of her work. An opening reception is set for Sunday, Feb. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m. at 609 Fillmore Street. The opening will include a recitation of her poetry. “She has a fabulous voice and will also sing some of her work,” said Guild President Sonny Boatman. “Her performances are really outstanding.” Her artwork grew somewhat out of necessity after beginning work on a book of poetry. “I wanted to show illustrations in a book, and it’s very expensive to try to get an artist,” she said. “I tried my hand at it and loved it.” Her folk art often incorporates objects, which can be anything from a shopping bag to rocks to paper towels. In this exhibit, the shopping bags have been fashioned like Japanese fans in a dimensional work, and the paper towels join soda bottles and a checkerboard in a piece called “Patches.” “I recycle everything,” said Bobo. She enjoys painting with acrylic and oils, sometimes combining the two. The exhibit also includes some abstract paintings and some sculptures of whimsical outhouses. Bobo finds her works often come in groups of three. “Before I do a piece, I pray,” she said. Bobo has multiple sclerosis. When it comes to Black History Month, though, she doesn’t let that diagnosis slow her down. With the help of her husband and sister-in-law, she has assembled exhibits for both Corinth and Fulton for the month. Bobo was creatively inspired by living in New York for some time. “I wanted to bring the arts back,” she said. In Itawamba County, Bobo is the founder of WAM’BA (We Amend Minds By Action), a group that provides cultural activities and enrichment programs for area youth. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Supper offers some wild dishes
by Steve Beavers
Jan 31, 2015 | 3 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A chance to live on the wild side awaits at the Crossroads Arena. When it comes to eating. An opportunity to try some different dishes is being offered at the 30th Annual Alcorn County Wildlife Tasting Supper on Tuesday. The fun gets started with the registering of dishes at 5 p.m. Those who bring a dish are admitted free. If no dish is brought, cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 5-12. Kids under five will be admitted free. The supper is set for a 6 p.m. start. The competition divisions will consist of Water Critter, Feathered, Antlered, Land Critter, Hunting Club, Chili-Stew and Desserts. "We are really excited about the supper," said Sandy Mitchell with the Alcorn County Soil and Water Conservation District. "I would really love to have a bunch of dishes this year." Alcorn County Soil and Water Conservation District along with the Mississippi Forestry Commission, Mississippi State Extension Service, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service combine to coordinate the event. Those who aren't ready to live on the wild side when it comes to the supper have other options. Rollin' Rumps BBQ Catering & Vending will be cooking barbecue and hot dogs for those non-adventurous types. Some new things to look for by those who attend are a couple new events for children. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks will have a computerized shooting game available for kids. A new bicycle will also be raffled off to go to a lucky youngster. Tickets for the bike can only be purchased by children. An adult and youth gun raffle will also be held. A pair of recliners are set to be given away as grand door prizes. "There are a lot of good door prizes coming in," said Mitchell. Transportation for those who need assistance in delivering dishes from the parking lot to the arena will be provided. No store-bought dish can be entered in the contest. Monetary awards in each division have also been increased this year.
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