• At 4 a.m., on a dark but clear Friday morning, Ja’Len Beacher-Orr awoke in his Ridgeland home, put on a dark suit and tightened his tie.

    He was going to see the President of the United States.

    Orr, 17, knew he had to dress sharp because he was also going to Charleston to pay respects to a man who offered him a public platform when Orr needed an outlet to express his grief over his cousin’s murder. The man from small-town Ridgeland who rose to become a state senator in Columbia always sported a nicely pressed shirt and tie.


LeBron James’ otherworldly talent gives me the joy of laughter.

Like many elite athletes, James’ abilities are so awe-inspiring that I often shake my head and chuckle.

It’s like Tiger Woods’ chip shot at the 2005 Masters or a precise Peyton Manning pass over a defender’s fingers or Michael Jordan going up and under, avoiding arms and bodies, for a dazzling reverse layup.

The great ones repeatedly make the difficult look easy. It’s comical. James is one of the game’s all-time comedians. He should be appreciated.


The shooting that occurred in Charleston on June 17 has brought many social issues to the forefront. Many of which have brought national attention to our state. Since that night, many have been glued to their televisions watching various news headlines and awaiting outcomes. 
Many have strong feelings in regards to the state flag and other issues that divide us within the state.