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Roses and thorns: 8/24/14




A rose to the Mississippi State women's basketball team who traveled to Hatley Thursday to visit 16-year-old Serra Pearson, who is battling a rare autoimmune disease (AAG). The players introduced themselves individually to Pearson, an avid Bulldog fan, and then presented her with a signed basketball and her own Bulldog jersey. "It was awesome getting to see them and know they are here for me," said Pearson. "They are amazing girls." 


"It was really a special day," said Bulldog coach Vic Schaefer. "It was a blessing to be able to come here and be a light for someone who is in a fight for their life." 


Pearson accepted an invitation to be a special guest at the Bulldogs' season opener. 




A rose to those who are committing their time, energy and money in downtown Columbus. Although it can't quite be considered a Renaissance just yet, there are encouraging signs all around the downtown area. Kim and Dan Bennett are putting the finishing touches on a costly project on Main Street called The Southern: A Social Venue, which will be a host site for special events. Five new apartments are being built downtown, which will push the number to 175. Renovations to the Trotter Center are ongoing and expected to be completed by year's end. These improvements and additions are good for the entire city because a vibrant, growing downtown is one of the best marketing tools any city can have. Thanks to the investors and developers and also the folks at Main Street Columbus, a tireless advocate for downtown. 




A rose to Starkville alderman Jason Walker, who has been dipping into his own pocket to provide trash bags to help combat an emerging litter problem in the popular Cotton District, which is also home of the Oddfellows and Brush Arbor cemeteries. Irresponsible pet owners have used the cemeteries as a place to walk their pets, often not cleaning up waste. Providing trash bags is a measure to combat the problem but when the city funds designated for that purpose ran out, Walker chose to continue providing the bags at his own cost. 




A rose to the Columbus City Council for its decision to end its policy of paying health insurance costs for retired city employees. While we understand the people who lose this benefit are not pleased, we also understand benefits such as these are, sadly, a relic of a bygone era. These benefits are virtually non-existent in today's private sector. Given the tough choices the council faces in balancing the city's budget, we believe this decision, while painful to a few, ultimately works to the benefit of the majority of the people in the city by virtue of the $400,000 in savings the move will produce. 


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



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