We introduce a different editorial style today – Crowns and Frowns – to use on the Opinion page periodically to point out in short form some positives and negatives form around the community.
Crowns are the positive and derives from the Queen City nickname for Meridian. Frowns, well, because it rhymes with Crowns and implies something opposite of positive.
If you have any recommendations for Crowns and Frowns, we’d be happy to consider them. Send them to email@example.com and include Crowns and Frowns in the subject line.
A CROWN TO MERIDIAN CITY COUNCIL for agreeing to to sell the former Meridian Police Station on 6th Street to architect and businessman John Purdy for $45,000. Purdy plans to use part of the building as a tasting room for his Threefoot Brewing Company’s craft beer and create space for other businesses.
As we noted earlier, this gives some money to the city, puts a building back on the tax rolls and hopefully stirs others to invest in downtown. Maybe the city could have held out for a higher bidder or another use, but the vacant building has been available to other offers for more than four years.
ANOTHER CROWN TO CITY COUNCIL for approving plans recommended by the Meridian Museum of Art for a new city park on 7th Street across from the museum. The park “will blend arts, nature and educational experiences for the community.” We like both Purdy’s and the museum’s ideas that will add to the life of the city.
A FROWN FOR THE JUSTICE SYSTEM following the acquittal of Leroy Lewis on charges of murder and aggravated assault in 10th Circuit Court. Lewis waited more than three years for a trial and served 1,188 days in the Lauderdale County Detention Center before a jury found him not guilty.
As we’ve reported in recent weeks, various circumstances from a backlog of cases to a shortage of public defenders to delays at the state crime lab have caused excessive delays in Lauderdale County. Those delays aren’t fair to law enforcement officers, the families of victims and certainly not to someone who is found not guilty after more than three years in jail.
A FROWN FOR MISBEHAVING ADULTS with the city and the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi. A dispute between the two sides has kept youth from the Boys and Girls Club out of the Velma Young Center since Feb. 1. The blame doesn’t really matter, adults working around kids should find a way to get along.
A CROWN TO DOWNTOWN for a new vibrancy. Maybe it’s because it’s spring and we can all take advantage of the outdoors, but a stroll around downtown Meridian on Friday found construction workers buzzing around the Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience, fountains shooting up water near the entrance to “The Max,” students hanging out in Dumont Plaza, people walking up and down the streets and a “Coming Soon Courtyard by Marriott” sign in front of the Threefoot Building. It made for a good feeling about things to come.