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Mississippi editorial roundup

August 28, 2019

Recent editorials from Mississippi newspapers:

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Aug. 28

The Columbus Dispatch on the increasing necessity for emergency situation preparedness:

CPR has long been considered a valuable expertise.

Similarly, defibrillator shock pads are as common to see mounted on walls of workplaces and public spaces as fire extinguishers, and civic-minded individuals are encouraged to know how to use them in an emergency.

Now add two more lifesaving skill sets to what is needed to survive in our culture, in which violence and addiction are unfortunately common: active-shooter training and the know-how to quickly administer a dose of naloxone to someone who is in danger of dying from an active opioid overdose. We’re thankful Dispatch Reporter Holly Zachariah recently reported on both types of training.

It is not just sad but infuriating that we need to know how to react for our own safety and to help protect others in the event a madman with a gun shows up in places where we should feel safe — workplaces, our children’s schools, places of worship and in venues where we go for entertainment and relaxation.

Remember “stop, drop and roll”? That mantra can be effective for what to do if your clothing suddenly catches fire. But today one is more likely to be fired upon, and we need to know how to “avoid, deny and defend” — survival tactics taught in a recent course at the James G. Jackson Columbus Police Academy.

Being more aware of surroundings and identifying alternative exits before an emergency arises can help avoid being a gunman’s victim; being prepared to lock doors and create bullet-stopping barriers may deny the harm intended; being ready to fight back with whatever is available is a tactic to defend oneself.

These tactics are important to know and practice because it usually takes time for help to arrive. It was a rare situation that unfolded Aug. 4 in Dayton, where police were nearby and able to immediately confront and kill a gunman who was armed with enough bullets to kill dozens more than the nine lives he took in less than 30 seconds.

As Columbus Police Officer Larry Nelson noted, it usually takes three minutes for police to respond. “Nobody’s coming to save you in those three minutes so you better have a plan to keep yourself alive.”

As we demand that our public officials “do something” about increasing threats of danger in our gun-loving culture, so too must we be prepared to act effectively in an emergency.

Columbus police offer a free CRASE course — short for Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events — several times a year, but the training also can be found through suburban police departments and the Franklin County sheriff’s office. The sheriff’s office even offers advanced CRASE training that includes emergency medical techniques.

Similarly, it is good practice today to be prepared to deliver a lifesaving dose of naloxone, an antidote to an opioid overdose also known by the brand name Narcan. Free training and two-dose kits are available through public health departments and many health care providers. The nasal spray antidote also is also covered by insurance in many pharmacies.

Just as with gun violence, it is increasingly common to encounter someone whose life depends on a fast-acting good Samaritan in public places. Better to be armed with knowledge and Narcan than to be haunted that you were not prepared to help save a life.

Online: https://www.dispatch.com

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Aug. 25

The Daily Journal on a local community college being honored by a national study:

Itawamba Community College has been ranked 25th among the nation’s best community colleges, according to a recent study from financial website WalletHub. Community colleges were ranked according to three dimensions: cost and financing, education outcomes and career outcomes.

The 2019′s Best & Worst Community Colleges list looked at 710 community colleges which are part of the American Association of Community Colleges because of their affordability, as reported by Daily Journal staff writer Danny McArthur.

ICC, with three campuses located in Fulton, Belden, and Tupelo, primarily serves Chickasaw, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, and Pontotoc counties, providing quality, comprehensive educational opportunities through academic, vocational-technical and personal enrichment programs. While some kinds of traditions remain important for college students, most enrollment is driven by affordability and convenience, especially for commuter schools like community colleges. Community and junior college education is an important stepping stone for students who plan to continue their studies at the university level.

Its history of response to changing demands is indicative of ICC’s promising, innovative path for what’s ahead, as illustrated in its workforce training program. The key role community colleges play in workforce training was recently outlined in a workforce development plan proposing $75 million be invested in community colleges to increase the number of workers prepared for skilled labor jobs.

The value of community colleges was expressed during Community College Month by Jay Allen, ICC’s president.

“ICC — with locations in Fulton, Tupelo and Belden — offers an extensive schedule of academic, career, workforce and online classes. Community colleges are a vital part of the postsecondary educational delivery system. They serve almost half of the undergraduate students in the United States, preparing students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities or for immediate entry into the job market, as well as providing workforce and skills training. However, education today goes beyond traditional bricks and mortar with the significant impact of online instruction, which makes possible the attainment of a degree any time, any place, anywhere.”

We applaud this recognition given to ICC, as community colleges continue playing a significant role in our communities, and we know ICC will continue serving our communities well.

Online: www.djournal.com

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Aug. 22

The Greenwood Commonwealth on the University of Southern Mississippi’s decision to sell beer and wine at football games:

The news that the University of Southern Mississippi is going to start selling beer and light wine at its football games is a sign of the times.

Even though the school’s motivation is mostly monetary, the move might actually reduce rowdiness in the stands. How’s that? Because it may cut down on how much hard alcohol is smuggled in.

A study we saw reported recently said that the average alcohol by volume consumed at tailgating was 5 percent — that is, mostly beer. But inside the stadium, where alcohol is not for sale, the alcohol content of what imbibers are drinking jumps to an average of 45 percent. That’s because it’s easier to sneak in hard liquor, which doesn’t take much room in a pocket or purse, than beer.

That study, though, won’t keep USM from holding its breath that there are no incidents inside the stadium by people who have topped off too many times at the concession stand.

Meanwhile, most of the big-time football programs, including those in the Southeastern Conference, are content to see how the experiment goes at the smaller-conference schools before they jump in.

They’ve already got enough money not to take chances.

Online: https://www.gwcommonwealth.com

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