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Roses & Thorns 7-6-14




A rose to hometown author Michael Farris Smith, whose first novella, "The Hands of Strangers" is being re-released by his publisher, Simon and Schuster. The re-release is a strategy to capitalize on Smith's impressive debut of his first full-length novel, "Rivers," which has received critical acclaim since its release in September. "The Hands of Strangers" will be available in eBook format on Kindle, Nook and iTunes on Tuesday. Smith, who teaches creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, has finished work on the final draft of "In The Beginning," his prequel to "Rivers." Look for a late-summer release. 




A rose to everyone who remembered to display their U.S. flags this weekend as a tribute to our nation's 238th birthday. The display of flags, large and small, were a reminder that while July 4th may be an official federal holiday, it is best celebrated by regular citizens. Anyone who drove around our community this weekend must have been struck by the simple, yet moving, vision of "Old Glory" adorning the homes in every neighborhood. The simple displays speak powerfully of our love of country. 




A rose to John Hardy, who retired this week as director of the Columbus-Lowndes County Port Authority Board after 16 years in the position. Under Hardy's watch, the port grew noticeably, now spanning more than 265 acres along the Tenn-Tom Waterway, about half of which is being occupied by industries who either lease land from the authority or have bought land there outright. Acquiring new land made way for the arrival of two major industries in 2005 -- Baldor, which manufactures electric motors, mechanical drives and power transmission products, and Kinder Morgan, which unloads barges of scrap iron and raw materials used by Severstal to produce steel. The port's future has never looked brighter. We commend Hardy for his role in that growth and wish him a well-deserved rest. 




Send your suggestions for Roses and thorns to managing editor Slim Smith at [email protected]



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