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Roses and thorns: 9/16/12




A rose to members of a tri-county group, who for months met weekly to craft a detailed proposal for a single Golden Triangle economic development organization. After comments from each of the committee members, Link CEO Joe Max Higgins presented the result of their efforts at an event attended by hundreds Friday at EMCC. Serving on the committee and working with Higgins were Jackie Edwards and Robbie Robinson from Clay County; Jack Wallace, Parker Wiseman and Marvel Howard from Oktibbeha and Jim McAlexander and Gordon Flowers from Lowndes. Those three counties owe this group a big thank you for their efforts.  




A rose to those who have made recent donations to some very worthwhile causes. A rose to employees at Memorial and Gunter & Peel Funeral Homes, who donated a 1999 Plymouth van to Last House on the Block, a sober living home. The low-mileage van will be used to carry the men to work, meetings, and church. A rose, also, to Ben Baker, a Humana insurance agent who helped facilitate a donation of a computer from the mother of a fallen soldier to the Veteran's Administration office in Columbus. When Baker mentioned during Humana's regional meeting that Columbus-area veterans could not apply for services online because the V.A. offices didn't have a computer, Dee Hughes of Lexington, Ky., donated the computer. Finally, a rose to CPI Group, a Columbus employment agency, for hosting a luncheon for first responders this week and giving them information on programs that can benefit first responders in the event they are harmed in the line of duty. 




A rose to Caledonia Elementary School for achieving star status on state accountability tests, earning the only "A" in the Golden Triangle. A rose to the Lowndes County School District and Clay County School District for ranking as high-performing school districts, earning "Bs" on the Mississippi Department of Education's school report cards. A rose, too, to Starkville schools, which continue to maintain a "successful" rating. 




A rose to the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, whose selection process to fill a vacancy on the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau ensured all candidates got a chance to make their case for the position and allowed time for public comment. 


Unlike the city's most recent appointment to the CVB, all candidates were given a chance to tell board members why they wanted to serve and what they hoped to accomplish.  


Leon Ellis, former owner of Ellis Construction, was chosen from a group of six candidates.  


On a side note, we were disappointed in Lowndes County Supervisor Leroy Brooks, who sullied the proceedings by bitterly complaining that the board should make its appointment based on race. In doing so, Brooks resorted to some of his trademark demagoguery, condemning "business people" and suggesting that African Americans should be exempt from paying the 2-percent restaurant tax. That said, Brooks' complaint that the supes' four CVB appointments all happen to be white merits consideration. 


Let's hope the city follows the county's more deliberative example when subsequent appointments are made -- minus the unfortunate interjection of race into the discussions. 




A rose to the weather, which often is a better candidate for a thorn. Lows in the 60s and highs in the low 80s? What's not to like? Fall may be a week away on the calendar, but it's already here as far as we're concerned. 
















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