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Roses and thorns 6-13-10




Roses to the community members who participated in a communitywide meeting calling for volunteers for a crime prevention task force, Thursday night at the Columbus Municipal Complex. 


Roses also go out to all those who volunteered for the task force. Friday afternoon, Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem reported more than 20 people had already volunteered for the committee. 


"I think we''re headed in the right direction," Karriem said Friday. 


The task force''s primary job will be to gauge public opinion and perception of crime and safety in the community. This information will be provided to Daniel Kellar, executive director of the American Crime Prevention Institute in Louisville, Ky., whom Karriem and Lowndes County District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks plan to bring to Columbus to deliver a seminar on crime prevention. 


The Stop the Violence Youth Summit, scheduled for June 17 at 9:30 a.m. at Lee Middle School in Columbus, will look at the issue from the perspective of middle- and high-school students. 


The Columbus chapter of the National Action Network will host the third annual Stop the Violence-Promote the Peace Rally in Columbus June 26, from 1-8 p.m., at Propst Park. 




A rose to Gary Moore, who retired from the Columbus Police Department after 33 years in local law enforcement. 


More than 100 people were at the Municipal Complex Thursday, to congratulate Moore on his retirement. He will be remembered as a dedicated officer with patience and a sense of humor. 


Moore isn''t straying too far from his field of expertise. Friday morning, he started work for North Atlantic Extradition Services, a company that specializes in prisoner transport. 




A rose to Columbus teen Jackie McGrath, who Friday continued her annual tradition of hosting a lemonade stand to benefit cancer research. 


Jackie started her first lemonade stand at age 10 with a goal of raising $500; she raised almost $2,000. 


Now 13, the Heritage Academy eighth-grader is giving half of her proceeds to Alex''s Lemonade Foundation, an organization started 10 years ago by a 4-year-old girl named Alex Scott who had been diagnosed with cancer just before her first birthday. 


The other half will go to Camp Rising Sun, a camp for kids with cancer hosted by the YMCA''s Camp Pratt.  




A rose to Kay McElroy and the staff of the Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary for all the work they do and for bringing national attention to the Lowndes County sanctuary. 


Cedarhill was founded in 1990 and now has 300 animals, mostly cats. McElroy''s sanctuary is the only one in the United States with such a high number of domestic and exotic cats -- 220 in total. Last Sunday, a five-man crew from Animal Planet filmed at the Caledonia site for a six-part series called "Must Love Cats." 


Cedarhill will be featured on the series in January or February.  




Roses to local finalists for the National Merit Scholarship competition. Three Golden Triangle students were among 1.5 million applicants and now are three of less than 5,000 winners. 


Matthew Berk, a homeschooler from Oktibbeha County, Peggy Buckley, a Heritage Academy graduate and Ryan Mackay, a Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science graduate, received the coveted awards. 


Matthew plans to pursue aerospace science at Mississippi State University. 


Peggy plans to attend Auburn next year to major in English.  


Ryan plans to study engineering at Brigham Young University



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