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Roses and thorns 11-27-11




A reluctant rose to the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors for adopting an animal ordinance. With the problems the county has encountered over the past couple years, the ordinance was long overdue. 


Supervisors considered an ordinance in 2010, when a group of pit bulls attacked a Oktoc farmer's livestock, killing five heifers. More recently, two children, ages 4 and 10, ended up in the hospital after they were attacked by five pit bulls on Self Creek Road. 


The new law requires owners to keep their dogs in secure pens and recruits the help of Starkville animal control to pick up dogs deemed vicious. 




Roses to community members who are volunteering their time during this holiday season as Salvation Army bell ringers. Rain or shine, warm or cold, bell ringers are peppered throughout the area, manning red donation kettles. 


Money collected will buy Christmas gifts for nursing home residents and needy children and food for area families. 


While they would be happy with a coin or two from you for their kettles, a smile and a word of good cheer is appreciated as well. 




A rose to the Columbus-Lowndes Political Action Committee for agreeing to pay travel expenses for Columbus' prospective police chiefs.  


Legally, the city of Columbus cannot foot the bill for the three out-of-state candidates to make the trip for Dec. 8 interviews. Without being asked, CLOPAC offered to pay up to $3,000 in travel expenses for them. Thanks CLOPAC. After all, it's not much of a party if we only invite four guests and not everyone comes. 


Roses to Armando and Ruth de La Cruz of Starkville and the First United Methodist Church in Starkville for making hundreds of international Mississippi State University students feel at home for the Thanksgiving holiday. The de la Cruzes, once MSU students themselves, started the event at their home with about 50-75 people. After a while, they had to move the celebration to a larger venue. 


The couple remember what it was like to be away from their native country and a bit lonely as the State campus turned into a ghost town for the Thanksgiving holiday. Years later, they are ensuring international students can feel at home, even away from home. 




A thorn to Black Friday shoppers who let the bargains and excitement get the best of them. At least one arrest was made locally during the retail shopping stampede. A woman was arrested at Belk on Highway 45 North in Columbus just before the store opened its doors at 3 a.m. on Friday. Her charge: Disorderly conduct. Her goal: Cut in line to get an earlier start on the discounts. Can't we be a little more civilized? 




Roses to Mississippi State University professor Charles Freeman and design students who are sewing for a cause. Students in apparel design class have been making dresses to donate to orphans all over the world. 


In addition to learning the basics of apparel design, students are donating their work to Dresses for Africa, an agency that collects homemade dresses and sends them to girls. Most of those dresses are sent to orphanages. 


Thanks to Mr. Freeman's creativity, students can make a difference while making the grade. 




Roses to the army of volunteers who cooked Thanksgiving meals for senior citizens and people who are sick and shut in. More volunteers then fanned out all over the city of Columbus to deliver the hot meals, continuing a Thanksgiving tradition more than a decade in the making. 


The Concerned Citizens of Ward 1 started the annual meal program in 1994. The Columbus Police Department has since joined the effort, and it has gotten bigger every year. This year, more than 1,000 meals were delivered.  


Not to diminish the efforts of such philanthropic groups. But we should all remember people are hungry, sick and shut in throughout the year, not just during the holiday season. Try to make it a point to donate goods to a food pantry and reach out to find other ways you can help throughout the year.



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