After a long battle with sepsis, long-time television newsman and high school class mate, Bert Case, passed away last week. Bert’s death closes an era of TV journalism in Mississippi that spanned over fifty years. Bert started his career while attending Ole Miss, working at the campus radio station. After graduation, Bert accepted an ROTC commission, where he served as base information officer at Andrews AFB in Washington, DC.
Bert returned to Jackson, assuming the duties as news director and anchor for WJTV Channel 12. After a brief stint at WAPT, he moved to WLBT, where he worked for four decades, before retiring in 2014. Bert made a difference, and his signature sign off, “Berrrt Case, WLBT News,” echoes whenever TV journalism is mentioned.
On a happier note, I’d like to compliment the Alabama Department of Revenue. Yes, you heard right — the tax collectors. I’ve been in a three year dispute with the department regarding the taxable status of a partnership. I could have never resolved this alone, but I had the assistance of two very capable ladies in the Lee County office.
When we finally presented our case to the powers that be in Montgomery, they agreed that for four years I had been paying a tax that did not apply to me. Furthermore, they determined that not only did I not owe the tax, but they would refund the money I had paid, complete with interest.
Everyone at the department acted with professionalism and pride, and truly tried to do what was right. There are a lot of things broken in Alabama’s government, but the Department of Revenue is a glowing exception.
As the Super Bowl approaches, I allow myself to care just a little about the NFL. This year, more than others, it’s driven by my admiration for Cam Newton. Cam’s the best College football player I’ve ever seen. He led Auburn to a National Championship during a year in which they would have been lucky to break even in the SEC.
He has turned into a top notch pro quarterback, and he still seems to enjoy simply playing the game. He expresses his love of the game openly and with enthusiasm, for which some have chosen to criticize him. I believe Cam is only being Cam, and Cam is a pretty nice guy.
This week, the talking heads will drag up the allegations that Cam’s father sold him to the highest bidder. I’ve always doubted that it ever happened — mostly based on the certainty that Auburn could have never outbid Ole Miss. If Reverend Newton was guilty as charged, he would be the pastor of a Mega Church in Oxford, and Cam would have led the Black Bears to the championship.
Incidentally, the highly successful Ole Miss recruiting juggernaut continues to attract a bevy of five star prospects, as well as the attention of the NCAA. I have every confidence that the Rebels will explain their recruiting success, avoiding even a slap on the wrist. After all, what black kid in Georgia or Texas could resist the chance to play for Colonel Rebel, let alone the lure of the Grove?
Be sure to check out www.porchscene.com this week to see my story: THE YEAR WAS 1947
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