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Roses and thorns: 9/18/11




A rose of welcome to Perneatha Evans, who recently took over operations at the Columbus office of the American Red Cross. Evans, a West Point native, has spent the past five years in Las Vegas. When she returned to the Golden Triangle earlier this year to be closer to family in West Point and Columbus, she decided to give back to the community by volunteering at the Red Cross. Little did she know, she soon would be coordinating the nonprofit group''s local efforts. 




Roses to Mississippi State fans for ringing their cowbells responsibly. Though their enthusiasm and discipline was not rewarded with a win against LSU Thursday night, at least it showed we can restrain ourselves and continue the long-standing maroon tradition that has caused much controversy in the SEC over the years. 




Roses to the 21 community members charged with vetting applications for the next Columbus police chief. Choosing the right police chief is an important responsibility, and the committee members are a varied group with the best interests of their hometown at heart. The Columbus City Council gets kudos, as well; they seem to be keeping politics out of the mix and moving forward with urgency. 


Committee members include Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong, Tupelo Police Chief Tony Carleton, Columbus-Lowndes Development Link Vice President Melissa Cook, Pastor Shawn Parker of First Baptist Church, Pastor James Boyd of Zion Gate MB Church, Pastor Joe Peoples of Stephen Chapel MB Church, Rep. Esther Harrison, R-Columbus, of Ward 1, Bobby Jordan of Ward 2, Irma Dickerson of Ward 4, Sarah Fowler from The Columbus Packet, Columbus Human Resources Director Pat Mitchell, Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor, Ward 3 Councilman Charlie Box, Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem, The Commercial Dispatch Publisher Birney Imes, WCBI Assignments Editor Steve Rogers, retired LCSO investigator from Ward 3 Robert "Uncle Bunky" Williams, Sandra Jackson of Ward 5, and CPI Group President Mark Smith of Ward 6. 




A rose to Glenda Buckhalter for her efforts in leading a communitywide food drive. Buckhalter, on behalf of the city of Columbus, is coordinating with the United Way of Lowndes County and local food pantries to host Project Feed Columbus food drive. Citizens are asked to drop off food Saturday, Sept. 24, or to any local food pantry. Items collected on Saturday will be distributed to food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens. 




A bouquet of thorns to the three teens who called in fake bomb and sniper threats to Columbus Middle and New Hope campuses last week. The calls sent the school communities and parents into a panic and drew an army of police, school district leaders and explosives-sniffing dogs. What might have been meant as a prank caused mass chaos and cost taxpayers significantly. Plus, the teens themselves -- two are 15; one is 14 -- could face jail time and a fine of up to $10,000, for each call. We can only hope these teens'' arrests send a message to others who might have considered such a foolish prank.



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