/Northeast Mississippi has pockets of economic strength, but many voters see need for more

Northeast Mississippi has pockets of economic strength, but many voters see need for more

He claimed that the manager didn’t see the humor in his remarks. The veterinarian who treated the cat named him Hardee after the animal survived. Goff, 83 years old, can still be found at Verona Hardee’s, where he eats coffee, drinks coffee, and socializes with other opines users. Nathan Goff, a nephew, said that they talk politics, community stuff, and family. Hardee’s Goff’s table suggests that the nation, state and Lee County are doing well. However, they claim Verona is in trouble with crime and other issues. It is obvious that the Hardee’s men will vote for Trump-supporting candidates on Nov. 6. A NBC News/Marist poll found that 54 percent of Mississippians would prefer to elect candidates that support Trump’s agenda. Hardee’s Leon Vilhauer, a Washington State transplant who worked at Boeing for 33 years, before moving to Verona to be near his family, stated that he didn’t support Trump’s first run for the presidency but now supports him wholeheartedly. Nathan Goff echoed Nathan Goff’s sentiments, “Think about the things he could have done if they let him alone.” These men are mostly retired workers from Northeast Mississippi factories and they were upset at the unfair treatment Brett Kavanaugh, U.S. Supreme Court nominee, received during his confirmation hearing. Nathan Goff compared Kavanaugh’s treatment to Jesus Christ’s persecution. He said, “Knowing what they did to him, I don’t know if he could vote for another Democrat.” Mississippi Today has traveled the state to talk to residents about the upcoming federal election and the issues that are important to them. Lee County is located in the middle of what was once a strong Democratic area. Indeed, white voters in northeast Mississippi have a greater percentage of Democratic Party loyalties than the rest of the state. This is a longer-lasting area than many others. The state legislature was dominated by white Democrats from Northeast Mississippi up until two elections ago. They held the House speakership for 24 years consecutively. Several of these white legislative Democrats are now gone, although not all. Barbara Fleishhacker is the owner of Main Attraction, which has been a Tupelo vintage clothing shop since 1988. She says she’s not interested in the Republican Party. As she sat in the middle of her fall inventory, she stated that “I consider myself to be in the middle.” “I don’t want to paint somebody I disagree with or cause havoc. But I believe some things need to change and other perspectives should be heard.” She points out the 2016 Mississippi Legislature legislation that allows governmental entities and businesses to not provide services to the same sex couple as an example of something she doesn’t like. Fleishhacker, in her mid-50s, said that she is concerned about Social Security and health care. She said Tupelo has a lot to be proud about, but she expressed concern over the homeless population. This was based on information she obtained through a program that assists the homeless in Lee County. Ricky Sanderford is an AT&T employee who said that she feels pretty good about the area – both economically and socially. It has been home for most of my adult life. It wasn’t as prosperous economically, I don’t recall.” Pam Reddout, walking into a downtown store on a rainy, overcast day, agrees that Tupelo has thriving. “But we have some problems. People must work together to ensure that our growth is accessible to all and not just certain groups of the population. In 1934 George McLean (a liberal academic) used money from his wife to buy “a bankrupt newspaper” from Tupelo’s bankrupt bank. This was the county seat for Lee at the time, which was the poorest in the country. McLean used his position at the Daily Journal to help build Lee County and northeast Mississippi. McLean and other community leaders traveled together to Chicago to hire Morris Futorian, a manufacturer who would build a furniture factory in the region. The plant was a catalyst for the development of several furniture manufacturing plants, which became the backbone to the region’s economy. (Disclosure: Bobby Harrison was a former employee at the Daily Journal.) The Toyota manufacturing plant is the jewel in the region’s manufacturing base. It is located just west from Tupelo, Blue Springs. McLean’s and the work of other leaders in northeast Mississippi have been widely praised, including nationally, for their contribution to making the region a success. But work remains. “Northeast Mississippi has seen great leadership that has worked towards improving the area,” Lewis Whitfield, senior vice-president of CREATE, a non-profit to which the McLeans sold ownership of The Daily Journal. Its mission is to improve quality of life in the region. We have pockets like Oxford, Tupelo and some others that have done very well. However, there are rural areas that aren’t doing as well.” Whitfield, who was a bank president in the past, stated that northeast Mississippi is not far behind the rest of the state when it comes to per capita income and educational attainment. U.S. Census Bureau data shows that Tupelo’s per-capita income of $27,272 in 2017 was more than the $23,121 state average. However, it was lower among the state’s 10 most populous counties than Madison, Rankin and DeSoto. Madison was the highest with $37,133 annually. The per capita income of most northeast Mississippi counties would be lower than Lee’s. CREATE considers 17 north Mississippi counties, primarily located on the east side of the state, to be its service area. The area lost half its manufacturing jobs between 1990 and 2005. However, Whitfield stated that these jobs have begun to return in recent years. The Lee County economy is bolstered by a strong tourism sector built around Tupelo, which was the birthplace for Elvis Presley. Also, North Mississippi Medical Center, the country’s largest rural hospital, has reopened. This region is deeply connected to the Great Depression-era New Deal Democrats. In fact, New Deal Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt visited Tupelo in the 1930s. It was the first city in the country to get electricity from the federal Tennessee Valley Authority. Tishomingo state park, located on the edge Appalachia and just a few miles from Tupelo, in Northeast Mississippi, is perhaps the most picturesque state park. It was constructed through a federal works program during the Great Depression. Jamie Whitten, a Democrat, was the House Appropriation Chairman. He represented the region in modern times and helped the area with federal programs such as the Tennessee Tombigbee waterway that runs through northeast Mississippi. The Tenn-Tom is a massive public project. It was designed to increase middle American manufacturing and bring it to the Gulf of Mexico. This region is much more Republican. It is also socially conservative and voted against lifting the ban on state lottery registrations in the 1990s. It also has strong blue collar support, thanks to McLean’s efforts to bring employment to one of the state’s poorer areas. Morris Futorian, a German immigrant from Germany, is known for mass producing upholstered furniture the same way Henry Ford did for cars. His work was largely concentrated in northeast Mississippi, where, despite international competition, there are still many furniture plants. Two of the smaller plants are located in Pontotoc along old state Highway 6 west of Tupelo. Both plants have signs advertising hiring. Malcolm Collins works at one of the smaller plants. He hails from Illinois, but has been living in the region since 2001, when his car stopped while he was driving through the region. He said that he decided to stay and that he was registered to vote. However, he doesn’t consider himself to be very politically oriented. He said that he couldn’t give a specific message to politicians. Savannah Harris was in Pontotoc with Dallas Clara Washington, her 9-month-old daughter. She said that she would tell politicians about the drug and crime problem. Harris, 20 years old, said that she is a recovering addict. Harris, age 20, said that the town is difficult. “There should be more for the average person.” She stated that her child has made a difference in her life. She hopes to become a radiologic technician. E-baby Clipper hands, who is back in Tupelo – he requests that his professional name as it appears in his barber salon business card be used – has also been involved in the northeast Mississippi crime scene. He is still a barber stylist and is making his way, even though he can’t vote. He claims he was a convicted felon who lost his right to vote. E-baby Clipper hands believes Mississippi is too focused on marijuana laws enforcement while the rest of America relaxes those laws. He stated, “If I could vote, then I don’t know, but I doubt it.” Before guiding a youngster into his stylist chair, E-baby Clipper Hands said, “People say that if you don’t vote, you should not have any say over it.” What if you vote and nothing changes?” Betty Weeks, 72 years old, is shopping in the same mall where E-baby Clipper hands does his trade. She describes herself as a hairdresser. Clipper Hands isn’t as frustrated as her, but she said she is worried about the cost of social services and health care for her clients at the retirement center. She said, “The elderly have a difficult time.” She admits to using a large portion of her salary to support a relative with diabetes, who is also working and going to school. She explained that the relative cannot get insurance due to a pre-existing condition. She was informed that her relative could get insurance through the federal Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act website at an affordable rate, where a preexisting condition can’t be used to deny coverage. However, she claimed that she was not told the insurance was good. She splurges when she is told that 65,000 Mississippians have insurance through the exchange. Weeks, a former Delta resident said that despite the hardships, she believes Tupelo is a good place. It has so much to offer both young and old._x000D