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Roses and thorns 5/29/11




A rose of remembrance to the late Air Force Capt. Jeffrey Hill, 31, who died in last year during training while stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. 


Hill, who trained at Columbus Air Force Base, was the latest name to be etched into a wall honoring fallen servicemen from CAFB. Hill, 31, completed a three-year tour at CAFB before being transferred to Alaska. 


His name was added to CAFB''s Wing Memorial Wall in the Richard "Gene" Smith Plaza in front of the base headquarters and unveiled during a memorial service on Thursday. 


We should all take time this Memorial Day weekend to remember Hill and the many others who have died in the service of their country. 




A rose of thanks to Columbus'' Jerry Gibson, Jim Lawrence, John Moore, Tommy Patterson and the other members of American Legion Post 69, who paid tribute to our fallen service members and veterans by decorating their graves with flags on Saturday. 


The men and their families went to Friendship Cemetery and other cemeteries Saturday morning, and paid tribute to veterans they had known, or had died before our time. Members of the Ladies'' Auxiliary, Junior Girls, and Disabled American Veterans also participated. 


We thank them and everyone who joined to mark Memorial Day in Columbus, where the Memorial Day tradition originated. 




Roses to the local high school students who won prestigious National Merit Scholarships this week. 


Rachel Stanback, a senior at Columbus High School, was one of 2,900 students nationwide to receive the award. She plans to attend Samford University, where she will major in journalism and mass communication. She is the daughter of Dr. John and Courtney Stanback. 


R. Andrew LaFrance, of Starkville, also received a National Merit Scholarship. LaFrance, who attends Starkville High School, plans to attend Mississippi State University, where he will study video game design and computer programming. He is the son of Robert and Linda LaFrance. 


Other winners included the following seniors from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science in Columbus: Ryan Sofoulis, of Biloxi; Aussie Warren, of Corinth; and Austin Ladner, of Diamondhead. 




Roses to the Columbus Lowndes Development Link and the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau for teaming up to offer a formal Newcomers'' Orientation, to introduce newcomers to Columbus. 


The inaugural orientation meeting included a tour of the city on the CVB''s red doube-decker bus, and a primer on things to do, places to see, and how to get involved in Columbus. 


We hope the sessions continue. We know they''re popular -- at least one newcomer told us so, in a letter to the editor. "I have already encouraged several of our newcomer friends to attend the next orientation," wrote Sheila Nasekos. "Keep up the good work and thanks for the warm welcome Columbus." 




Roses to Joe Higgins, CEO, and Brenda Lathan, vice president for economic development, of the Columbus Lowndes Development Link, for their work to bring home Columbus'' latest economic milestone: The Policom Corp., an independent economics research firm, ranked the city in the top 10 percent of micropolitans in the U.S. 


The ranking reflects the attraction of new industries to the area, among them Severstal, Paccar and Stark Aerospace. 


In 2010, Lowndes County boasted $226 million in dollars invested from new industry locating in the area existing industry expanding. The projects created more than 400 jobs. In 2009, $125 million to $150 million in new investments and 150 new jobs. 


Since its inception in 2003, the Link has helped Lowndes County to attract nearly $4 billion in facilities and more than 6,500 jobs. 


The ranking also reflects existing industry and our proximity to Columbus Air Force Base.



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