July 1, 2017 10:57:13 PM
A rose to organizers of Saturday's "Fireworks on the Water" event at the Lock & Dam. Although the forecast was "iffy," the event went as scheduled with thousands of spectators gathering to listen to live entertainment as well as take in the fireworks grand finale. The free event, presented by the city of Columbus, Lowndes County, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Columbus Air Force Base and Visit Columbus, is an excellent way to kick off the long 4th of July weekend. We thank everything you contributed to this year's show, including local law enforcement who managed traffic and provided a safe atmosphere for the celebration.
A rose to District 38 Rep. Tyrone Ellis, D-Starkville, who is stepping down from his role as a state legislator, ending 37 years of service. Ellis proved to be a tireless worker and strong advocate for the people of his district and the state, earning the respect of those on both sides of the aisle. Although he held firm positions, he conducted himself with grace and dignity even in the most intense of fights over legislation. Ellis, who will turn 71 in July, leaves some enormous shoes to fill. A special election will be held to fill his term, but no one can be expected to provide the leadership, based on long experience, that Ellis offered. We wish him well, but admit that we are sorry to see him go. He will be missed.
A "welcome home" rose to the city of Columbus administration, which continues to make the move back to the renovated city hall. The $1.9 million project was badly-needed and now provides expanded, updated, energy-efficient office space for our city administrators while maintaining the historic integrity of the building, which was built in 1903. "We are happy to be back home in City Hall in downtown Columbus," Smith said. "The renovation of the building was a huge success. We are grateful for the assistance of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for this funding and for Representative Jeff Smith for his support of the project."
A rose to Scott Maynard, who will take over as the Greater Starkville Development Partnership's president and chief executive officer next month. Maynard was chosen out of a pool of four finalists and more than 75 applicants. His first day is July 17. He was announced during a press conference held Thursday morning at GSDP's downtown office. A proven leader, Maynard he has served as the Mississippi State University Career Center director since 2008 -- and has policy skills and economic development experience learned during his time as an elected official. We believe he will be a perfect fit for the job. Congratulations, GSDP, on an excellent choice. A companion rose to interim CEO Heath Barrett, who -- along with a limited staff -- has maintained the GSDP's functions since the departure of the previous CEO.
A rose to Mississippi State's Brent Rooker, who officially claimed the Southeastern Conference Triple Crown last week. The triple crown goes to a player who leads the league in batting average, runs batted in and home runs. It's in a rare feat for Mississippi State and an unheard of feet for the rest of the conference. Rooker battled .387 with 82 RBI and 23 homers to join former Bulldog Rafael Palmeiro (1984) as the only two players in SEC history to win the Triple Crown. Rooker was also the second MSU player in a row to win the league's batting title. Jake Mangum won that title in 2016. Rooker's achievements add yet another chapter to the Bulldogs' storied history in baseball. Hail State, indeed.