The latest vice

Electronic cigarettes are the latest vice that is turning into a two-edged sword — probably as beneficial for some as it is detrimental to others.

More hospital bankruptcies

In the last month, four more Mississippi hospitals have filed for bankruptcy in Magee, Batesville, Amory and Clarksdale. This is just the latest in a list of dozens of Mississippi rural hospitals that are either closing, filing for bankruptcy or struggling to pay their bills.

Third time not a charm

For the third time, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office has tried to convict Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith and for the third time this has failed. This time, the case was tried in Rankin County with an all-white jury. Still no conviction. Smith’s attorney called for an end to the “witch hunt” against his client.

Rushed lottery law

Addressing a group of press and involved citizens at the Stennis Capitol Press Forum, 34-year veteran state senator Hob Bryan delivered a persuasive evisceration of the state legislature’s most recent special session creating a lottery to help fund repairs to our state’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Prison death

Fifteen deaths of Mississippi inmates in one month is normal? That’s what this state’s corrections commissioner, Pelicia Hall, claims.

Special session swindle

All state legislature had to do was adjust the fuel tax for inflation. The 18.4 cents per gallon tax has remained the same for over 30 years while the cost to maintain roads has increased, naturally, with the inflation rate. This is not rocket science.

Opioid idea

Of the 11 states with the highest rates of drug-overdose deaths, five of them are in New England. So it is no surprise that one of those Northeastern states has committed extra money to an opioid treatment that appears to be saving a few lives.

Felony job applicants

It is a worthwhile goal to put ex-felons to work, so as to reduce the chance that they will resort again to crime.

The pursuit of this goal, however, should not be used to hamstring an employer’s legitimate need to know pertinent information about job applicants, including whether they have been convicted of felonies in the past.