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Prison order brings some closure in WorldCom fall

A judge’s ruling Thursday that requires Bernie Ebbers to beginserving his prison term later this month brings some closure to acommunity that has reeled financially and emotionally with theWorldCom scandal of the past four years.

Regardless of one’s feelings of the innocence or guilt of Mr.Ebbers, it is a sad day for a community that built so much pride onthe efforts of a group of local men. A group of investors who tookan idea, nurtured it, refined it and built it into one of theworld’s largest telecommunications companies.

We wrote countless times, as we watched LDDS morph intoWorldCom, of the power of working together for a common goal. Thepower of taking a chance, taking a risk to achieve a goal – thingsthat WorldCom once did so well. It was those efforts thatinfluenced so many to expand their horizons and reach for a higherlevel.

Not only did Brookhaven find success but also so did Mississippias what one might call a “pride of ownership” swelled the chest ofus all as WorldCom rode the crest of the wave of thetelecommunications revolution.

That all, of course, ended in 2002 as WorldCom collapsed intobankruptcy.

As the story of WorldCom comes to an end, we feel for theEbbers’ family as well as the thousands of stockholders who lost somuch – it is a sad time for us all.