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Roses and Thorns 11-7-10




Roses to the veterans of the U.S. armed forces. Thursday is Veterans Day, and Columbus celebrated early with a parade and tribute to local veterans on Saturday. 


We should never forget the sacrifices veterans have made to keep this country free. After a particularly ugly campaign and election season, we should remember that, thanks to our veterans, we have the freedom to disagree. 


We also should not forget that our all-volunteer armed forces and mired in all-out war in Afghanistan and remain in Iraq, though in the fewest numbers since that conflict began. 


During the election, Afghanistan and Iraq were barely mentioned, as voters focused on the economy. We hope Veterans Day brings renewed attention to those conflicts, and brings to mind the heroic efforts of all our veterans through the decades. 




A rose of condolences to the Mississippi State University family, who lost football player Nick Bell to cancer this week. 


Bell, a Bessemer, Ala., native, died in Birmingham while fighting skin cancer, which had spread to other parts of his body. 


A tearful memorial was held for the 20-year-old Thursday at Mississippi State, with family, friends and teammates paying tribute. 




A rose to the Columbus Police Department helping the needy and elderly in the community have a decent meal this Thanksgiving, and a gift under the tree this Christmas. 


For Thanksgiving, the department is leading a turkey drive, with the help of the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority, the Concerned Citizens of Columbus, and local businesses. Volunteers will gather at Stokes-Beard Elementary on Thanksgiving morning to help package and distribute 600 meals. 


The department is also working to raise funds to buy bicycles for 200 children for Christmas. 


These are ambitious goals, and we challenge the community to help. To donate food, time, or money, call the police department at 662-244-3528 and ask how you can pitch in. 




A rose to organizers and the army of volunteers of the Empty Bowls event, which culminated with a charity sale Saturday at Brickerton in Columbus. For the past several months, the Mississippi University for Women Department of Art and Design organized the project, which benefits the local Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen and provides food for children in Africa through Global Connections.  


MUW students, university faculty, area artisans, local schoolchildren, and community volunteers pitched in with a goal of making 1,000 ceramic bowls for the event, doubling the number of bowls made last year. Clay for the bowls was donated by Columbus Brick Co. 


Volunteers offered the bowls -- and homemade chili, gumbo and other soups prepared by the MUW Culinary Arts Institute -- for a donation of $10 each. 


Helping fight hunger has never been so tasty. 




A rose to the city of Starkville''s recycling committee and Ward 3 Alderman Eric Parker, who are proposing the city switch its garbage collection method from bags to bins.  


While some aldermen and members of the public already have spoken out against the change, Parker contends the switch would save the city nearly $600,000 over the next 10 years. Sure, there will be initial start-up costs, but the city easily will make its money back and then save an additional $589,100, Parker said.  


Considering the city is facing such tough financial times, the move makes sense, although residents are concerned they will have to purchase their own garbage bags if aldermen approve the change.



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