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Roses and thorns 4/3/11

 

 

A rose to West Lowndes High School''s Bobby Berry, who has imparted countless life lessons on countless young people during his 40 years as a high school coach and teacher. 

 

Berry has been West Lowndes'' football coach since 1998. He is retiring from coaching and teaching at the end of this school year. 

 

The Newton native, began his coaching career in his hometown, and also coached in Monticello, Oktibbeha County, and Columbus'' old Caldwell High. He also served West Lowndes in different capacities, as athletic director, track and field, and powerlifting coach. 

 

We wish Berry the best as he closes this chapter in his coaching career, and begins a new one. 

 

 

 

Roses to Mississippi State University senior Madeline Frances Hardy and Columbus restaurateur John Bean, who were crowned queen and king of this year''s Junior Auxiliary Charity Ball. 

 

The ball, a signature Columbus social event for the past 71 years, was held Saturday and benefits JA''s year-round service projects. 

 

Bean is married to Kathi Bryant Bean, a Junior Auxiliary member. Along with his mother and family friend, the late Harvey Seifert, he opened the first Harvey''s Restaurant in Starkville in 1982 and Harvey''s of Columbus in 1985. The business has since expanded into the Eat With Us group, which includes three Harvey''s restaurants, The Grill Restaurants, Sweet Peppers Deli, Sweet Peppers Franchise System and Park Heights. Bean is the group''s president. 

 

Hardy, a Columbus native, is the daughter of Mary Ann Hardy and the late Allen Boyd Hardy. She is a 2007 graduate of Heritage Academy, a member of St. Paul''s Episcopal Church, and will graduate in May with a bachelor''s degree in Communications/Journalism and Foreign Languages-French. 

 

For more about this year''s king and queen, see today''s Lifestyles section. 

 

 

 

A rose to the first group readying to graduate from Columbus High School''s International Baccalaureate program, who are discovering their artistic side -- in a big way. 

 

As part of the IB program, the students are being judged on a rigorous visual arts program. An IB program judge was in town this week to review the students'' work. The students'' art will be shown at the Columbus Arts Council''s Rosenzweig Arts Center in downtown Columbus this Thursday. 

 

The students -- many of whom didn''t express much interest in art going into the IB program -- have created everything from digital mosaics to oil paintings. 

 

The students are learning that getting in touch with their artistic side helps improve their creative and problem-solving skills in other areas. 

 

 

 

A rose to everyone who participated in Lowndes businesses United Way fundraising efforts this year. On Thursday, the United Way of Lowndes County held its annual awards banquet, recognizing the community''s top fund-raisers. 

 

Coming in at the top of the heap was Columbus Municipal School District, which raised more than $80,000 for the United Way this year. 

 

In all, the United Way of Lowndes County was able to raise more than $500,000, much of it coming from local businesses. 

 

We thank all the donors and those charged with organizing their companies'' campaigns. 

 

 

 

A rose to the Starkville citizens who turned out for Mississippi Main Street Association''s charrette program this past week. 

 

The program brought city planners and marketing experts to town for a whirlwind handful of days. During that time, the team took valuable input from community members and local leaders. On Thursday, the team presented concrete ideas to market Starkville to visitors as "Mississippi''s college town," and forged ideas for a new city hall complex and a more walkable downtown. 

 

The hard part is the planning, and the funding, that takes the ideas further. We urge city officials to take the recommendations to heart, continue to mold them, and follow through to make Starkville a more livable and attractive city. 

 

 

 

A rose to those who turned out for Columbus Mayor Robert Smith''s fourth annual unity picnic at the Columbus Riverwalk on Saturday. 

 

People from all walks of life came together on a glorious afternoon to break bread -- or breaded catfish, at least -- visit, and listen to music and enjoy children''s activities. 

 

Those who turned out had a chance to mingle with city and county leaders in an informal setting, and take in the beauty along Columbus'' Riverwalk.

 

 

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