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Roses and thorns 1/19/14


Steven McKinstry of Columbus' United Christian Brotherhood, paints a room at the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus as part of Saturday's MLK Day of Service.

Steven McKinstry of Columbus' United Christian Brotherhood, paints a room at the Boys and Girls Club of Columbus as part of Saturday's MLK Day of Service. Photo by: Luisa Porter




A rose to all the volunteers around the Golden Triangle who are commemorating the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday this weekend. On Saturday, Columbus-area folks participated in the United Way's MLK Day of Service, while in Oktibbeha County, volunteers chipped in for a Day of Service at the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge. Monday, Starkville will host a MLK Volunteer Fair. While we salute these efforts, we also salute all those for whom volunteering is not simply a way to mark a special event, but a way of life. You are our inspirations to serve. 




A rose to our Golden Triangle entries into the Mississippi Theatre Festival competition and conference that began Thursday in Vicksburg and ends today. Columbus' Tennessee Williams Tribute Foundation Board presented Williams' play "Kingdom of Earth" Saturday in the Community Theatre Division. It is Columbus' first MTA entry. Starkville Community Theatre took their production of Donald Margulies' "Collected Stories" to Vicksburg. Bouquets to the casts, crews and donors who made it possible. 




A rose to the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors for its decision to increase its budget for road improvements. The board approved a plan to make improvement on 64 county roads in 2014. Last year, improvements were made to 33 roads.  


The county finds itself in an enviable position where revenue is concerned, thanks largely to the expiration of tax breaks, deferments and incentives provided industries that moved into the county. While we expect the county to be judicious in its use of these funds, we applaud setting aside money for improvements to roads, which remain a critical aspect of the long-term health and prosperity of the county. Good roads make a difference not only in attracting new industries, but in meeting the needs of county residents. It is always money well-spent. 




A thorn to the city council for forming a billboard committee to consider lifting a ban on billboard advertising. While the change might mean more revenue for the city --a good thing --some ideas are just not worth pursuing. The last thing Columbus needs is more visual clutter. The short-term gain is not worth the long-term impact. Spare us the future eyesores, please. 




A rose to Columbus Ward 1 councilman Gene Taylor, who has continued to put pressure on Kansas City Southern to maintain the safety of its rail lines through the city's Southside. When the railroad was rebuffed in an effort to close some railroad crossings in August, it did not relieve the railroad of its obligation to keep railroad crossings in good repair. Taylor's efforts to hold the railroad accountable is commendable. Let's hope the railroad responds in a responsible fashion. 




Do you have a submission for Roses and Thorns? Send your submission of 75 words of fewer to managing editor SlimSmith at [email protected] by noon Friday.



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