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Plenty of positive news to report

There was plenty of positive news to report over the past week. The pages of The Daily Leader were full of good news stories about people and places in Southwest Mississippi. Below is a look back at a few of those stories.

• The Exchange Club Fair is open today and Saturday from 6-10 p.m. It will enjoy a second weekend run Aug. 2-4 with the same hours. A fireworks finale will close the fair. Parking and admission is free, but there is a charge for food, games and rides. A $10 bracelet can be purchased each night for unlimited rides.

• Brookhaven Elementary student C’aria Brown is a hero to her grandmother after calling 911 when Vondell Brown fell ill. “She saved my life in a way,” Brown said. “I want her to know I love her, but she already knows that.”

• A group of dancers from Brookhaven Dance Academy will get a chance this weekend to visit Broadway, see the historic stages, meet the industry’s top performers and dance under the lights in Manhattan’s Minskoff Theatre. “I am beyond excited,” said Juliana Beeson, 12, a competitive dancer with BDA. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and I can’t wait to showcase our talent.” Seventeen Brookhaven and Lincoln County girls and a group of parents from BDA left  Wednesday for a five-day trip to the Big Apple, where today they will perform Mandisa’s “Oh My Lord” on the Minskoff stage, current home of the Broadway musical “The Lion King.”

• Brookhaven athlete Garrett Lofton was honored recently after winning four gold medals at the  2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington. Lofton has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and is on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome. That sometimes makes it hard for the young man to fit in socially. That’s changed since he’s been participating in Special Olympics, especially since coming home from Seattle.

• C Spire is looking for partners for a new coding initiative in Mississippi, and Southwest Mississippi is hoping to be part of the effort. C Spire Vice President of Marketing Jim Richmond and public relations manager Scott Parenteau unveiled the plan to a meeting of the Brookhaven Industrial Development Foundation Monday afternoon, kicking off a planned state tour of speaking engagements with community and business leaders to build backing for the project. The longterm plan calls for the addition of computer science-focused curriculum on the high school and community college level, taught by certified instructors, that will allow graduates to earn entry-level software development jobs without the need for four-year college programs.

“They can start college with a leg up and dive deeper into their career paths, or if a student doesn’t want to go to college, it will give them a shot at a great career,” Parenteau said. “We’ll definitely see economic growth and an expanding workforce.”