ROSES AND THORNS: The Starkville Lady Jackets celebrate after beating Murrah in the finals of the Mississippi High School Activities Association C Spire State Basketball Tournament at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson Saturday. Photo by: Chris Todd/Special to The Dispatch
March 10, 2018 9:35:02 PM
A rose to the Columbus boys and Starkville girls basketball teams, both of which played Saturday evening in the state championship games in Class 6A, the largest classification. The Mississippi Coliseum is nothing new to either team. The Starkville girls played in the title game there just last year, losing to Olive Branch. When Olive Branch was later stripped of the title for using an ineligible player, the championship was awarded to Starkville. Saturday night, the Yellow Jackets won the title on the court. Columbus, meanwhile, was making its second title game appearance in three years, having beaten Starkville for the championship two years ago. Well done!
A rose to Columbus Municipal School District interim superintendent Craig Shannon, who said he is committed not to simply meet the special education standards the district has failed to live up to, but exceed them.
On Tuesday, the school board was informed that, according to a Mississippi Department of Education investigation, almost all of the district's special education students were not receiving the services they need. As disturbing as that message was, we are encouraged to note Shannon's response. "Being in compliance is not our goal," he said. "Average organizations expect compliance every day. Great organizations expect excellence every day. We're going to do things well. We're going to be sure your kids have above and beyond what they need to be productive citizens."
Of course, the real measure, as it always is, is performance. That takes hard work and commitment. Even so, we are encouraged by what we hear from the leader of the district. Mere compliance, as Shannon noted, does not show true commitment. If, as Shannon said, providing the district's special education students is a priority, the district is on a path to success.
A rose to Zachary's Restaurant, which was honored with the 2018 Restaurant Neighbor Award, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. This honors restaurants that go above and beyond in community service and philanthropy and aims to inspire other restaurateurs to get or stay involved in their local communities.
In the past year, Zachary's has raised more than $51,000 for local and national causes. These causes range from hurricane relief and breast cancer awareness to local nonprofits such as the humane society and helping people through personal tragedies. The award is fine, of course, but the greater message is that when we patronize our locally-owned businesses, the community benefits directly in a variety of ways. We congratulate Zachary's owner Doug Pellum and his staff for reminding us of that.
A rose to the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors for another example of using taxpayer funds in a fiscally-sound way. During Monday's meeting, supervisors approved a plan to invest some of its general funds -- as much as $10 million -- to purchase bank certificates of deposit (CDs).
The county receives almost all of its taxpayer funds in the first quarter of the year, then spends it throughout the year as needed. Since much of that money isn't needed until much later, the decision to purchase the CDs could generate as much as $25,000 in earned interest without creating any cash-flow problems.
While $25,000 isn't a huge amount of money as far as the county budget goes, it's money that can be made with very little risk. It also shows us that the supervisors take seriously their responsibility in managing the money the people of the county provide them through their taxes.
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