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Roses and thorns: 10/2/16


<b>Roses and thorns:</b> Piper Crigler, 3, makes sand art during the Art Walk in Downtown Columbus Thursday evening.  Piper lives in Columbus with her parents Sarah and Mark Crigler.

Roses and thorns: Piper Crigler, 3, makes sand art during the Art Walk in Downtown Columbus Thursday evening. Piper lives in Columbus with her parents Sarah and Mark Crigler. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff




A rose to Main Street Columbus and the Columbus Arts Council for another successful Art Walk. The fourth edition of the event was held Thursday evening and continues to be a delightful attraction, especially as the weather cools and we are more inclined to get "out and about." The Art Walk serves as a reminder that ours is a rich community in ways that don't necessarily show up on any bank statement. Our community has a long and proud history of talented artists and Thursday's event served as both a showcase and a reminder of our cultural wealth. We also commend the artists, merchants, musicians and visitors who contributed to making the Art Walk Downtown a success. 




A rose of remembrance and gratitude to Monica Banks who died Friday at age 58 after a prolonged illness. Banks had been the chancery clerk in Oktibbeha County, the first black elected to that position when she entered office in 1996. The chancery clerk's office was closed Friday in observance of her passing. She will be remembered not just for her status as a "first," but for her 20 years as a dedicated public servant. Hers is an example all those who work on behalf of the people can emulate. We mourn her passing and celebrate her contributions. 




A rose to the local members of the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus, which held a town meeting Saturday at the Sportsplex in Starkville. Saturday's MLBC event was one of many meetings -- described as a listening tour -- being held throughout the state in advance of the 2017 legislative session in January. Our state faces a serious crisis as that session approaches. Lower than anticipated revenue, coupled with ill-advised corporate tax breaks over the past five years, has meant deep cuts to the state agencies we rely on to provide needed services. All citizens have a stake in the difficult task that lies ahead. That means we are all obligated to familiarize ourselves with the issues and make our voices heard to those who represent us in Jackson. The MLBC's efforts to facilitate that is an important step. We urge all of our state legislators to make themselves available, not only to inform, but to listen. 




A rose to Scott Stricklin, who last week resigned as Athletics Director at Mississippi State to accept the same role at the University of Florida. It is the nature of college athletics, that leaders come and go, yet the departure of Stricklin is especially bittersweet. While we are happy that Stricklin has a new opportunity at one of the top athletic programs in the nation, we note his deep ties to MSU and Starkville and are sorry to see him go, for purely selfish reasons. An MSU grad, son-in-law of legendary MSU basketball legend Bailey Howell and husband of Anne Stricklin, who is a member of the school board in Starkville, his involvement in the community and obvious love for his hometown make his departure even more of a loss. Even so, we wish him well. He may be a Gator now, but he'll always be "one of us."



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