New Albany, MS – Union County discussed, awards given at UCDA banquet.
The speaker at Monday night’s annual Union County Development Association (UCDA) banquet gave a vivid, fact-based description of the opportunities — and hazards — Union County faces.
Good and bad in Union County
Eighty-four people dined on salad, lasagna, and cake and listened as Meridian news commentator, Bill Crawford, described what’s good and what’s bad in the economy and quality of life in Union County and Mississippi.
Besides his newspaper career, Crawford is also a former college administrator and has served on the board of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning. That board governs the state’s public universities, including Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Jackson State, University of Southern Mississippi, etc.
Among the many facts cited in Crawford’s speech:
- Since 2010, Union County’s population grew 5% and the Union County population achieving college degrees increased from 18% to 24%. On the other hand, Union County’s per capita income of $19,500 is $3,000 below the state average, which is the lowest in the nation. And nearly 30% of Union County households earn less than $25,000 a year.
- Union County has two school systems which perform above the Mississippi average (which is, unfortunately, among the lowest in the nation in public school results.) Yet one of every four children in Union County is growing up in poverty. The county’s retirement age population is surging. Sustained growth in these two factors will stress Union County’s economy in years to come.
With his permission, Crawford’s entire speech is posted elsewhere on NAnewsweb.com. Follow the link below this story to read the full text of the speech.
Two prominent New Albany residents received special recognition awards during the Monday evening event.
Mosley receives Citizen of the Year
Sam Mosley was named Union County’s Citizen of the Year. An accomplished blues musician and composer, Mosley has entertained around the United States and in Europe during a musical career that spans more than six decades. His compositions have earned Gold Records, which are displayed at the Union County Heritage Museum.
Mosley continues to perform with his Mosley and Johnson Band. He will be the headliner for the entertainment at this year’s New Albany Freedom Fest. He does extensive volunteer work with music educators and military veterans. Mosley serves on the board of directors of the Union County Historical Society.
West receives Distinguished Community Service Award
This year UCDA inaugurated a new honor: the “Distinguished Community Service Award.”: The first ever recipient of the Distinguished Community Service award was James Lynn West, the long-time editor of the New Albany Gazette newspaper. West is in the 41st year of a distinguished career covering the news in Union County.
UCDA Executive Director, Phil Nanney, cited West’s reputation for integrity and fairness in presenting him with the Distinguished Community Service Award.
The food enjoyed Monday evening was catered by Amy Whiteside.
Full text of Bill Crawford speech: https://www.nanewsweb.com/ucda-speakers-words-are-right-on-the-money/