Article Comment 

Roses and Thorns 10-20-13




A rose to all those who contributed in the restoration and transformation of the Old Highway 82 Bridge in Columbus. The bridge, built in 1925 and abandoned in 1986, was officially re-opened as a pedestrian walkway as part of the Riverwalk complex Friday. Bridges are, of course, tangible things and the refurbished bridge is another adornment to the area, which includes not only the Riverwalk but the Columbus Soccer Complex. But bridges can be symbolic things, too, and this bridge stands as a testament to cooperation. The $2.2-million project was a collaborative effort between the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the city of Columbus, Lowndes County and the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors' Bureau. Through combined efforts what was once an eyesore has become a lovely adornment. 




A thorn to the handful of developers and businessmen who are trying to convince the Starkville Board of Aldermen to significantly weaken -- or even kill -- the city's sidewalk ordinance. Cries of how the ordinance will drive potential new businesses away from the city are likely overstated. In fact, you hear the same cry every time there is a change in a building code. You heard it when federal law required buildings to be handicap accessible. You heard it when sprinklers were mandated. And now we are hearing it over sidewalks. It's a short-sighted, over-stated argument. 




A rose to the West Point duo of Charlie Cox and Greg Michael, who with the help of others in the community, feed more than 1,500 people each year with a banquet held shortly before Thanksgiving. They have held this banquet for more than 13 years and are soliciting food donations only (no cash). They are asking for people to bring prepared dishes, desserts or meat that Cox will cook on his grill. Those who want to donate meat should bring the contributions a few days before the event. This year, the event will be held from 11 a.m. -2 p.m. On Nov. 20 at the Marshal Park Recreation Center. For more information, call Cox at 662-494-4270 or email him at [email protected] 




A rose to the state college board, which this week approved a handful of measures that will mean Starkville's much-delayed Mill project is one step closer to beginning construction. The long-awaited development will transform Mississippi State University's Cooley Building into a conference building with office space, a 450-space parking facility, a Marriot Courtyard Hotel and mixed-use business parcels in the area near the Russell Street-Highway 12 intersection. Project developer Mark Castleberry said he is awaiting approval from the National Parks Service for Cooley Building renovations -- the facility was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975 -- before workers can turn dirt on the project. That appears to be the last obstacle to construction. We can hardly wait. 




A rose to Glenda Buckhalter of the city of Columbus for organizing an informational session for citizens who will be required to enroll in the new national healthcare program. State officials, most of whom bitterly fought against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamcare), have been obstinate in their refusal to help inform Mississippians of the particulars of the program, including basic information on applying for health care through the federal health care exchange. The bottom line is that no matter how the ACA is viewed, residents need to know what is expected of them. So we applaud the city for stepping in to help educate our citizens. 




Do you have a suggestion for a Rose or Thorn? Submissions of 75 words or fewer should be sent to managing editor Slim Smith at [email protected] before noon on Friday.



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