ROSES AND THORNS: Lynn Spruill is sworn in as Starkville’s new mayor Monday at City Hall. Chancery Judge Dorothy Colom administered oaths to Spruill and all seven aldermen. Spruill’s aunt, Frances Jutman, holds the Bible as the city’s first female mayor officially assumes her new role. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
July 8, 2017 10:47:59 PM
A rose to Columbus Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor not only for his service as vice mayor for the past term, but for his grace during Thursday's council meeting when he was replaced in that role by Ward 6 Councilman Bill Gavin.
Both men received a motion and a second for the position of vice mayor. But when the motion to reinstate Taylor ended in a 3-3 tie with the mayor refusing to break the tie, Taylor ended the impasse by taking his name out of consideration. Gavin was then elevated to the position by a 3-1 vote with Taylor and Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens abstaining. Taylor's grace ended what could have an ugly split on the council early in its four-year term. He took the high road. We commend him for that.
A rose of hope and optimism to Mayor Lynn Spruill and the Starkville Board of Aldermen.
The last term four years ago began with a note of discord as aldermen removed Spruill from her chief administrative position. Turmoil and controversy seemed to follow for four years. Although four of the aldermen who relieved Spruill of her former duties were re-elected, Spruill took to social media last week to say times and circumstances have changed since 2013, and this administration will continue forward with respectful discussions and a willingness to reach out to aldermen as a way to find solutions to Starkville's most important issues. We are hopeful Spruill and the seven-person board of aldermen can coalesce, find harmony and move the city forward in the next four years.
A rose to those who are actively involved in improving the quality of our local food supply.
The Eat Local movement, built on using locally-produced, healthy food sources, is helping shift our attitudes toward the foods we eat. In recent years, we have seen growth in the availability of fresh local food grown by producers big and small and even hobbyists. The best way to ensure the quality of the food we consume is to know where it comes from and how it is produced.
It is also a boost for our local economy since the money we spend on local food stays in our community. Through the efforts of local suppliers, we are rediscovering our great food heritage.
A rose to the customers at United Deli whose response helped resolve a tense situation Wednesday outside the popular east Columbus eatery.
An argument between two men quickly deteriorated into a fight, then a gunshot as a crowd of shocked customers watched. At least one customer called 911 immediately while others provided law enforcement with descriptions of the men, both of whom fled the scene soon after the gunshot.
Both men were quickly located by the Columbus Police Department. Police arrested Quinton Hayden, 33, of Columbus in connection with the shooting. Hayden faces a charge of possession of a firearm by a felon, but other charges could be pending, according to the CPD. We commend the citizens who responded appropriately without putting themselves or others in harm's way by contacting police and cooperating with the CPD's investigation.
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