Three good reasons to be thankful we live on the Coast

Whitlely McQueen, a former Hancock High School cheerleader, recently got help with a wheelchair ramp from Hancock High football players.
Whitlely McQueen, a former Hancock High School cheerleader, recently got help with a wheelchair ramp from Hancock High football players.

There is goodness all around us. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the news — the dealings of government, business and the like — we fail to notice the people doing whatever they can to make the Coast a better place.

First, there are the Hancock County football players who noticed Hancock High School graduate and former cheerleader Whitley McQueen needed a wheelchair ramp.

Whitley has a way of inspiring others. Though she has a variety of ailments that keeps her in a wheelchair most of the time, that didn’t stop her from going to high school, making the cheer squad, homecoming court and dance squad. In May, she graduated.

HHS senior Devin Ladner put together a team of players to design and build a ramp for her wheelchair.

“Nobody has ever done anything like that for me before,” she told the Sea Coast Echo. “It made me feel very happy and thankful that people would go out of their way to help someone else.”

We second that, Whitley.

That brings us to Singing River Health System, which has gone through some tough times with its pension system scandal and the firing of a well-known neurologist. Today, though, we remind readers there is another side to the hospital — the side that cares for the sick and injured and is a vital part of the community.

The health system’s two hospitals — Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula and Ocean Springs Hospital — offer a “Veterans’ Blue Plate Special,” a break on the price of a meal. Veterans can get lunch and dinner seven days a week for $5 a meal. Lunch is at 11 a.m. and dinner is at 4 p.m.

At Singing River, recent menu items included baked stuffed potato, blackened fish and garlic herb pork loin.

“I might have to eat there more often,” American Legion Post 42 chaplain Carl King said. We agree.

SRHS Chief Operating Officer Lee Bond called it “our honor to invite veterans to be our guests.”

So join us and SRHS in taking another opportunity to salute our veterans.

Finally, there is the solar facility that is generating electricity on the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport. The 13,000 solar panels generate enough electricity for 450 homes.

The 15-acre facility was built with $7 million in private funding. Mississippi Power buys the electricity. In an emergency, such as the aftermath of a hurricane, the base could be hooked directly to the solar power system.

It was built over a cleanup site, making use of a piece of land that otherwise might have sat empty for years. And, officials say, it will make the base a less attractive target for the next Base Realignment and Closure Commission review.

We’re glad to see South Mississippi enter the alternative energy game on a large scale. This is the future of power generation.

The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.