2012 is officially 2/3 of the way over. Jackson Presbyterian Examiner will now survey some of the most significant news events of the last four months, many of which continue to effect our community today.
1. Dr. Gary Holdiness, central Mississippi family physician, was struck and killed while bicycling on the Natchez Trace in Kosciusko on Sunday, May 6. This was the first biking fatality on the Natchez Trace in three years. Holdiness was 54. In his honor, the Gary Holdiness Cycling Foundation has been established.
2. It was another month of celebrity deaths. George Lindsay, best-known for portraying “Goober Pyle” in The Andy Griffith Show, passed away at age 83. Donna Summer, pop star best-known for her 70s hit, “Let’s Dance the Last Dance”, died at age 63, and Doug Dillard the banjo player for the legendary blue grass band, The Dillards, passed away at age 75. The Dillards portrayed the “Darling Family” on The Andy Griffith Show.
3. Skylar Laine of Brandon was eliminated from American Idol, after making the top 5 and creating a tremendous buzz in the metro Jackson area. Though eliminated, Laine was still able to participate in the nationwide summer tour, which consists of the top 10 contestants.
4. Bob Dylan, Columbia recording artist and legendary folk/rock singer/songwriter, was awarded the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama, in recognition of his lifetime achievements. This is the highest award that can be given to a civilian.
5. The United Methodist Church, despite mounting pressure to do otherwise, reaffirmed the Biblical view of human sexuality at its annual conference, stating that sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and a woman is “incompatible” with Christian teaching.
6. President Obama publicly announced that he supports homosexual marriage. The announcement came days after Vice President Joe Biden made a similar announcement.
7. According to May 31 reports from Breezy News (www.breezynews.com) of Kosciusko (an hour south of Jackson) seven central Mississippi elected officials switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican. Leake County Sherriff Greg Waggoner was quoted as saying, “”In the past few years, as we have heard and as we know, the Democratic Party has taken an extreme left turn—and the things that have come out the last few weeks when our national Democratic leaders have endorsed same-sex marriage. I’m Christian, and my first allegiance is to Jesus Christ. There comes a time when you have to stand on what you believe in. And I can no longer have any connection with the Democratic Party if that’s the route that they’re going to take.” In addition to Sheriff Waggoner, the other officials who switched were Leake County Coroner Randolph Scott, Leake County Supervisor Tony Smith, Leake County Justice Court Judge Ken Adcock, Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight, Jones County Justice Court Judge David Lyons and Jones County Constable Mitch Sumrall.
1. Legendary science fiction author, Ray Bradbury, died at age 91. Best-known for his novel, Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury wrote numerous novels and short stories. During its third season, Bradbury also contributed a script to Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone—a futuristic episode titled, “I Sing the Body Electric.”
2. Rodney King died on June 17 at age 47. King is remembered as the man who was brutalized by members of the Los Angeles Police Department in 1991—a scandal which led to the 1992 race riots in L.A., the bloodiest race riot in our nation’s history.
3. The Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to win the franchise’s second NBA championship, and first since 2006. Lebron James was given the Bill Russell Finals MVP award. This was the Thunder’s first trip to the NBA Finals since 1996, when the franchise was still based in Seattle.
4. The Supreme Court ruled on the controversial Arizona immigration law, striking down three of the laws provisions, but upholding one. The Court ruled that though police officers can’t pull over someone just to check for the immigration papers, if someone has been pulled over for some other reason and police have reason to suspect a person is an illegal immigrant, the police have the right to ask to see the driver’s documentation.
5. The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 vote, upheld President Obama’s controversial new healthcare law. The healthcare overhaul is set to take effect in 2014.
6. The Southern Baptist Convention elected Fred Luter, Jr. the convention’s new president. Luter is the first African-American to ever hold the position.
1. Andy Griffith, best-known for his portrayal of Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show and Attorney Ben Matlock on Matlock, passed away on July 3 at age 86.
2. A movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado became the sight of one of the bloodiest massacres in U.S. History, as gunman James Holmes killed twelve people and injured dozens of others at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, the latest Batman film.
3. The 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off in London on Friday, July 27. Hype surrounded the U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team after L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant stated that the 2012 team could have beat the 1992 “Dream Team” if they could’ve matched up.
4. Crystal Springs, Mississippi was put in the national spotlight after Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson of Jackson were barred from getting married at Crsytal Springs’ predominantly white First Baptist Church, where the couple had been attending. Rev. Stan Weatherford of FBC conducted the wedding at another church nearby after a number of FBC congregants came to him protesting the wedding of a black couple in the church.
5. Breezy News (www.breezynews.com) of Kosciusko reported that the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians named Dr. Gary Holdiness Mississippi’s Physician of the Year. Holdiness’ partner at Kosciusko Medical Clinic, Dr. Tim Alford, presented the award to Holdiness’ widow, Donna, at the Academy’s July 17 meeting.
1. Chick-Fil-A found itself in the midst of controversy after company president Dan Cathy (son of founder Truett Cathy) stated in an interview that he and his company support the Biblical definition of marriage and family. In response, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee rallied support to make August 1st “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day”. Christianity Today reported that 93-year-old evangelist Billy Graham had spoken out supporting the Cathy family.
2. It’s about time for Mississippi to be in the press for something positive, rather than negative. In late August, a study was published in Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger newspaper showing that, nationwide, the two most charitable states in the U.S. are Utah and Mississippi.
3. On August 20, a proposed “Saggy Pants Ban” went before the Hinds County Board of Supervisors and was rejected by a 3-2 vote. Opponents had claimed the bill would deter Jackson police from more serious crimes, and also that it could lead to unjust racial stereotyping.
4. On Tuesday, August 21 legendary Blues musician and Mississippi native B.B. King was awarded a Blues Marker on the Mississippi Blue Trail. According to Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger newspaper, the 87-year-old musician has been ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as the No. 6 best guitarist in history.
5. On August 25, Neil Armstrong died at age 82. Armstrong is remembered, along with Buzz Aldrin, as the being a member of the first crew of astronauts to ever land on the moon.
6. Hurricane Isaac made landfall in the evening hours of Tuesday, August 28–seven years to the day after the infamous Hurricane Katrina devastated the Mississippi and Louisiana coast in 2005.
As readers can see, this has been a very eventful summer with much to remember. May God protect us through the remainder of 2012.