August 2, 2014 8:44:36 PM
A rose to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the city of Columbus and the 19 teens who took part in this year's MDOT Urban Youth Corp Program. The group, which included students from all county, city and private high schools, spent the summer working in the city's public works department. In addition to working five hours per day for four days a week this summer, the students also participated in sessions where business and community leaders shared information on the working world and developing other life skills. Students were also given incentives for demonstrating a good work ethic and helping others. For the kids, it was a chance to make a little money. We believe the greater benefits to them is learning the value of work.
A rose to the community of Artesia, which wraps its three-day Artesia Days festival today. Residents and guests were treated to various programs, entertainment, games and vendors at the annual event. The event represents a wonderful opportunity for residents to spend time together, get to know each other better and generally rally in support of their community.
A rose to the jurors who heard the Archie Quinn murder trial this week in Starkville. Jury duty is never pleasant, but the nature of a murder trial and the awesome responsibility that goes with it can be close to overwhelming. And when you consider the grim, ugly details of this case -- including a graphic 9-1-1 call where jurors heard Quinn's vulgar, profane rant at his former girlfriend, Stacy Gray, as he shot her to death -- the emotional toll was bound to have been considerable. Quinn was convicted of capital murder and sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Wednesday. We commend the jury for performing its duty under such difficult circumstances.
A rose to Margie Pulley and Jayne Sargent, conservators for the state in its two-year take-over of the Oktibbeha County School District. The district regained its accreditation this week, which should be viewed as a testament to the conservators' work in turning around a district that had been in violation of roughly 30 standards at the time the take-over in 2012. Pulley will continue to run the district until the district officially merges with the Starkville School District on July 1, 2015. She has served as a critical member of the Commission on Starkville Consolidated School District Structure, a local group tasked with developing recommendations for the upcoming merger. We commend not only Pulley and Sargent, but the students, teachers, staff and parents for their hard work in rebuilding the district's academic standards.
A rose to all the football players, cheerleaders and band members who have started preparations for the upcoming high school football season. The hard, hot, monotonous, exhausting work these students put in now will reap dividends when the season begins. It serves as a reminder that most of the things really worth having require hard, often thankless toil. And somehow, that toil makes the end result all the more gratifying. So work hard, kids. Your efforts will pay off as the season progresses.
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