March 16, 2013 9:57:34 PM
A rose to Clarissa Crowell, a cashier at Express Mart in Columbus, whose quick thinking Sunday helped save a competing business from a potentially disastrous fire.
When Crowell looked across the street and noticed what appeared to be a fire at United Deli, she called owner Adel "John" Musa to inform him. Fortunately, Crowell spotted the fire before it could do significant damage. Columbus Fire & Rescue personnel arrived and quickly extinguished the flames. The damage was so minimal that United Deli was up and running again within a couple of hours. Crowell's actions confirm the importance of folks looking out for each other, even if they are business competitors.
A rose to Qua Austin, Glenn Lautzenhiser, and other volunteers with First Book, a nationwide initiative to provide new books to children in need.
Members of the local First Books chapter distributed books and read to children Tuesday at Children First Learning Development Center in Columbus. For many children, that first book will begin, hopefully, a lifelong love affair with reading. Studies have shown that students who read well perform better in school, are less likely to drop out and are less likely to end up in prison. That's an initiative we all can support.
A rose to Scott Maynard, who will be the new alderman for Ward 5 in Starkville. Maynard is running unopposed for the seat formerly occupied by Jeremiah Dumas, who chose not to seek reelection.
Even though he doesn't have a challenger, Maynard is doing what all candidates do this time of year: He is going door-to-door in his ward, not to woo votes but to hear from his future constituents. Maynard, the director of the Mississippi State University Career Center, is also attending various city meetings, including the Board of Aldermen and Planning and Zoning meetings, in an effort to familiarize himself with the issues, protocols and processes he will encounter once he assumes his spot on the board.
It's a good sign. At a time when other unopposed candidates might be inclined to relax, Maynard is already at work.
A rose to Karl Gibbs and Eddie Longstreet, who emerged as the top vote-getters in Tuesday's special election to fill the unexpired House District 36 term of David Gibbs, who died in office in January. The two will meet in a runoff election on April 2.
Karl Gibbs, son of the late congressman, captured the most votes with 843, followed by Longstreet, who narrowly edged out Jeannine Johnson-Staten, 659-651.
We look forward to a spirited, substantive contest between the two men for the honor to serve the people of the 36th District.
A rose to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle for the $1 million expansion of its chemotherapy unit.
The expansion will allow up to 23 patients to receive chemotherapy treatments at one time, bringing a family member or friend along for emotional support. The old unit was limited to just eight patients. The new, 5,000-square-foot unit has four private patient areas and four isolation rooms. Large windows and mounted televisions are also new additions. Chemotherapy treatments are never pleasant, but the additions and upgrades certainly add an element of convenience and accessibility that help mitigate some of the difficulties cancer patients face.
A rose to East Mississippi Community College's men's basketball team, which won its fourth consecutive Region 23 title by defeating Northwest Community College, 66-62, last week. The win secured the Lions a spot in the 24-team national championship tournament, which begins Monday in Hutchinson, Kansas.