NEIGHBORS: ECCC students paint mural for foster children

Submitted photo

East Central Community College art majors painted a mural in the Family Visitation Room of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services office in Decatur. From left:  Joe Prine III, Halley Brooks, Rebekah Smith, Cassidy Jenkins and Keli Smith. Not pictured is Kaitlyn Morris.

Art students at East Central Community College recently brightened up an area of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services building in Decatur by painting a mural on the wall of the Family Visitation Room.

The MDCPS reached out to the college’s Art Department requesting the room be painted to provide a more pleasing space for the foster youth they serve, ECCC adjunct art instructor LeeReyna Lopez Leyva said. The office has more than 30 children in foster care and about 30 families it serves in In-Home Service cases.

“The Art Department is thrilled to have been a part of this creation that will brighten the atmosphere for the youth at the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services in Decatur,” Lopez Leyva said in a statement.

Lopez Leyva said the Art Department faculty appointed sophomore art major Halley Brooks of Carthage to create a sketch of the mural. Once completed and approved, other art majors assisting in the painting of the mural were sophomore Cassidy Jenkins of Philadelphia, sophomore Joe Prine III of Louin, sophomore Keli Smith of Forest and freshman Rebekah Smith of Chunky. Sophomore ECCC student Kaitlyn Morris of Conehatta also assisted.

NEIGHBORS: ECCC students paint mural for foster children

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State Sen. Videt Carmichael, R-Meridian, left, met with Bubby Johnston, of Quitman, at the State Capitol. Johnston advocated for laws to fight cancer.

Cancer prevention discussed

Legislation proposed to prevent minors under 18 from using indoor tanning devices and another proposal to increase Mississippi’s cigarette tax to $1.50 per pack were items discussed by Sen. Videt Carmichael, R-Meridian, and volunteer Bubby Johnston, of Quitman, during Capitol Day held Jan. 23 in Jackson.

The annual event is sponsored by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, of which Johnston is a volunteer. According to ACS CAN, skin cancer is the number one cause of cancer in the United States. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is the fourth most common cancer among young people age 15 to 29. The use of indoor tanning devices has been directly linked to an increase of skin cancer. increasing the tobacco tax is estimated to prevent 21,700 teenagers under 18 from becoming adult smokers, and will help 25,100 current adult smokers quit the habit. The proposed tax increase would also generate $169.71 million in much-needed revenue for the state. 

NEIGHBORS: ECCC students paint mural for foster children

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Yolanda Edmonds, left, hosted a Little Miss Natural Pageant Jan. 26 at the MSU-Meridian's Kahlmus Auditorium.  Charlise J. Payne, 10, was crowned Little Miss Natural 2019 overall winner.

Little Miss Natural Pageant

Team TNT Promotions event coordinator Yolanda Edmonds hosted a Little Miss Natural Pageant Jan. 26 at the MSU-Meridian's Kahlmus Auditorium.  Charlise J. Payne, 10, was crowned Little Miss Natural 2019 overall winner. 

NEIGHBORS: ECCC students paint mural for foster children

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Airman Camryn J. Payne

New airman

U.S. Air Force National Guard Airman Camryn J. Payne graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

He completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training also earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Payne is a 2018 graduate of Meridian High School.

Cheryl Owens writes the Neighbors column for The Meridian Star. Submit items to cowens@themeridianstar.com.

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