July 23, 2011 10:18:00 PM
A rose to the Columbus City Council for handing down a tough but necessary decision in the case of Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John.
The City Council voted 5-1 to fire St. John on Tuesday, after his struggles with an alcohol problem kept him from answering the call of duty earlier in the year. St. John called in sick to a Civil Service Commission hearing where he was set to testify against two officers who were suspended for failure to follow department procedure.
At the time, St. John wouldn''t reveal the nature of his illness. It was later discovered he had alcohol in his system and had drunk a fifth of whiskey that morning.
The hearing was scheduled for 1:30 the same afternoon. It was St. John''s second time falling to his alcohol problem. He previously took a leave of absence to deal with the problem, but he wasn''t on leave for very long before he was back on the job.
Supporters and friends rallied around the chief , asking council members to give him another chance, some threatening to elect new councilmen in their stead if St. John lost his job.
The council stuck by their guns and did what they had to do. It was a tough call to make after hearing the pleas -- some heartfelt, others threatening -- that the chief be given yet another chance.
A thorn goes out to those Joseph St. John supporters who lashed out at the City Council after he was fired. Some became belligerent and even went so far as to follow councilmen to the parking lot, screaming profanities.
St. John has been a highly visible and wildly popular chief, and it is no surprise he has many friends and supporters who didn''t want to see him ousted as police chief. But acting in such an unruly manner was uncalled for, something we doubt the former chief would condone. They pleaded their case, and the council listened. They then sifted through the evidence and made the tough decision. That''s what we elect them to do.
A rose to Mississippi State Head Football Coach Dan Mullen for claiming this a Bulldog state while speaking to reporters at SEC Football Media Days in Hoover, Ala.
Now all he has to do is keep up his winning streak against Coach Houston Nutt and the University of Mississippi.
A rose to the Starkville Longhorns, an 8-under baseball team competing in the World Series this weekend in Southhaven. Good luck to coach Keith Lawrence and his boys as they compete against youth baseball teams from around the South.
A rose to the West Point/Clay County Arts Council for spurring a revival of musical community theater in that town. A cast of about 65, directed by Ginger Fowler, will present "The Music Man" July 29-30 at Center Stage in Central School at 7 p.m. West Point arts community veterans say it''s been 30 or more years since they last produced a Broadway show -- "The Sounds of Music." It''s been at least 15 years since the last West Point Follies, a variety show which the larger productions. Read more about this event troupers hope will be the first of many in today''s Lifestyles section.
brian commented at 7/23/2011 10:36:00 PM:
"A Bulldog state"...how comical. I suppose M-State marketing saying it makes it true, how embarrassing to print.
readaboutit commented at 7/24/2011 7:43:00 AM:
I believe the statement the "council listened" was stretching the truth as they hastily did what they had preplanned to do...............
homer commented at 7/24/2011 8:28:00 AM:
I guess giving him the option to resign doesn't mean the council had already made up there mind ahead of time so why have the hearing at all. Columbus politics as usual. What a sad day for all to have to be subjected to such ineptness.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/24/2011 9:56:00 AM:
So that's how you roll, huh Birney? You curl up your nose at people who were outraged at their elected officials behaviors and then use your paper to protect the very same people who violated Open Meeting Laws by trying to exclude a citizen carrying a video camera?
Oh no let's not get mad at our elected officials who try to present a "do the right thing" face hoping no one will remember how they rolled around on the floor like 5th graders just months before, and now are trying to pee on our leg while convincing us it is raining. Oh no, we wouldn't want those outsiders thinking there might be something wrong with Possum Town, no sir.
So Daddy Birney will spank all his children in public, except for the one's who really should be spanked, all the while trying to boondoggle the neighbors into thinking they are the All American family.
Birney Imes, you are a sad excuse for a journalist, and an even sadder excuse for a citizen.
kat commented at 7/25/2011 10:24:00 PM:
Roscoe- it still never ceases to AMAZE me that you are never satisfied ! You complain about EVERYTHING that goes on in Columbus. If Birney recommends something or promotes it-you hate it...if he criticizes or calls somebody out- you hate it. Don't you understand that by now we all know- you don't like Birney Imes. And you don't seem to like anything else about your life or your town. What a sad life you must lead.
Maybe you should consider volunteering or getting involved in the political process in Columbus- maybe then you could resolve some of your unhappiness.
In the mean time, if you don't mind, the rest of us would like to hear what Mr. Imes has to say. He at least seems to have his finger on the pulse of Columbus. Even if we don't agree with him, we can read about what is happening in Columbus.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/26/2011 6:32:00 AM:
It amazes me that you accept the nonsense that goes on here and happily swallow it whole. While you are all "I'm impressed with Birney", are you aware that he has kept his mouth shut about the Open Meeting Law violation during the last city council meeting? He knew about it, was standing right there when it happened, but have you heard him say a word?
And were you watching when he helped sell Columbus the White Elephant on the Hilltop? And now he's trying to make the tax increase caused by it taste better by stroking our hair and telling us it's for our own good.
Kat, either you're blind or you're one of the kind that makes up the problems this town has had for years. The Dispatch has shielded, formed, and controlled the news from the public for years, and everyone knows it, but here your sad sack is making his lips move.
So now, in order to make me go away, you want to try to make it personal? Ok, let's make it personal.
What I have is a senior I take care of 24/7. She has Dementia, along with a few other complications, and requires constant monitoring for several reasons. Thus, I handle all aspects of the home, inside and out. Since we are speaking of outside, we have a lovely ditch that floods the yard every time it rains which the city refuses to do a damn thing about, and this same ditch backwashes all the trash and what-not's up into this yard. We also have a jackass behind us who lets his property wash down into this ditch, sediment and all, and blocks off the ditch increasing the flooding.
We have a balance left on a hospital bill generated by an Emergency Room ERP who can't tell the difference between a Urinary Tract Infection caused state of confusion and a crazy person. We also have a letter from a Patient Representative at the same hospital who did her best to cover up the assault she suffered while in their care. We have not yet to this day heard anything from any of the staff involved that even begins to look like an apology for all that she suffered under their pathetic care. But we did get a phone call from one supervisor there who informed me "there's no proof", but yet there it is in the Doctors notes. Amazing huh?
And now I have your boney backside suggesting I volunteer my time or get involved in the local political process. I'm sorry, all my time is already being volunteered, and I have met your local political process several times.
And I'm going way out on a limb here assuming Kat is female which really makes the whole thing funny considering a female is complaining about me complaining when bitching is what a female does primarily.
You are female, aren't you?
pat henry commented at 7/26/2011 3:22:00 PM:
I would say that the State of Mississippi has been Crimson for quite a while.
kat commented at 7/26/2011 5:02:00 PM:
Roscoe- sounds to me like what you need is a good lawyer...and considering that Birney knows everybody in town I'm sure he could help you find one. That is -if you could quit "hating" long enough. And YES you need to get out of the house and take a break. Get some church members to help you out.There are scores of high school students looking for volunteer hours. REACH OUT to your neighbors that you despise so much- ASK for help! you need it.
and thanks for thinking my back side is boney...best complement I've had in years.......
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/27/2011 7:11:00 AM:
A lawyer? Well gee, wish I had thought of that. Gee you're smart. I wish I was more like you.
Been there done that, and they narrowly escaped a lawsuit. It seems you need a witness in these things. I would have thought her complaint, the Doctors/Nurses notes, and the letter written by the lying Patient Representative would have been enough to make one see that something happened, but then again, this is Columbus, Mississippi and we can't have anything going on that doesn't, at least from the outside, look on the up and up. Right Birney?
Oh lord, don't tell me you're one of those fools who call people "haters"? Anyone who has something to say that isn't all Birney-Roses and Thorns is a hater? So I guess in your mind the people who boated up and left England years ago were "haters" too? Oh and Andrew Jackson must have been a hater. MLK was too. Why according to kat anyone who has the nerve to open their mouths about anything is a "hater".
First of all Ms. Naive, I would never trust a stranger with the care of this person, nor would I ever leave them alone in this house... church member or not. And certainly not a teenager. And certainly not someone who has no medical training and at least some basic knowledge of medications, their actions, side-effects, etc. And before you ask, yes I do.
And as far as asking Birney who he thinks is a good lawyer, you are out of your mind dear. I couldn't care less what Birney thinks on pile of things, much less the legal world.
Maybe you should just get out of the advice business as you don't seem to be very good at it. And the boney butt thing was dripping in sarcasm...how you missed that is beyond me.
kat commented at 7/27/2011 11:03:00 AM:
who really missed the sarcasm here?
If I thought it worth the effort I would feel sorry for you......but I don't.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/27/2011 7:40:00 PM:
No one asked you to. You made suggestions, and I pointed out how short sighted your suggestion were, and you apparently can't take that very well.
And as a typical Columbusite, you'd rather attack the messenger than ever admit there is something wrong with this town, and has been for a very long time. Also typical of the typical Columbusite, the only time they care about something is when it affects them personally.
What kind of person must you be to say "if I thought it was worth the effort I would feel sorry for you" after I had just told you about the damage being done to her house and how she was assaulted in the care of the local hospital?
You dear, have a personality disorder.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 7/28/2011 8:14:00 AM:
Why is it you can't get hot food from fast food places in this town? McDonalds, Wendy's, Hardee's and Burger King in East Columbus seldom, if ever, hand out hot food. Most of the time it is barely above room temperature, which is a violation of Food Service Handling Codes not to mention dangerous to the public. And where is the Health Department inspectors during all of this? They claim to visit these places every six months but if you go to these dumps on any given day at any given time you'll be handed cold food that should have been hot.
So how come they don't know about it and do something about it?
And you can save your voice by not bothering to complain to the management about it. All you'll get is lip service, and a coupon for more cold food.
So why does the fast food places in East Columbus suck so badly, and why do they refuse to address the issue?
readaboutit commented at 7/28/2011 5:31:00 PM:
I'd like to give the people who choose the thorn or the rose to give out....but you write for the dispatch...so, that explains your "rose" to the city council for ousting JSJ....boo!!!!
1. Slimantics: Is this what America has become? LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Our View: Rural doctor program could be model for reducing brain drain DISPATCH EDITORIALS
3. Froma Harrop: When women's dignity counts for zero NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Leonard Pitts: Immigrant children are real children NATIONAL COLUMNS