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Roses and thorns 1-16-11




A rose to Columbus Schools Superintendent Del Phillips, architect Chris Morrow of Pryor and Morrow architects, and contractors Steve and Ronnie West of West Brothers Construction, for the smashing success that is the new Columbus Middle School. 


The sprawling, $19.1 million building was unveiled to teachers and the public this week. Everything in the building is new and top-notch, from the furniture in the classrooms to the kiln in the art studio. The school, just north of Columbus, admits students on Wednesday, after teachers move in Tuesday. 


We were heartened by the turnout to two open houses on Wednesday and Thursday -- hundreds, if not thousands, of people toured the school. We saw senior citizens, parents who send their kids to private schools, and even educators from surrounding cities there.  


We assume few were disappointed. We sure weren''t. The school is something for all of Columbus to be proud of. 




A rose to the volunteers who make the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend in Columbus so special.  


Dream 365, the series of concerts and volunteering opportunities, culminating with a Monday morning breakfast with special guest Ernest Green, has enjoyed good turnout so far. 


While the comedy show featuring Mark Curry and Damon Williams on Friday night was the major draw, the weekend''s events aren''t over. A free gospel concert will be held at 5:30 p.m. today at Lee Middle School''s auditorium. And, the Monday breakfast with a keynote speech by Green, at 8:30 a.m. in the Trotter Convention Center, will no doubt be enlightening and motivating. Green is a member of the Little Rock Nine, the first group of students to integrate Little Rock, Ark.''s Central High School in 1957. Green, the first black graduate of the school, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bill Clinton. 


We thank the weekend''s organizers for putting together such an impressive and enlightening event for Columbus. 




A rose to the first responders across the Golden Triangle who found their hands full after the winter blast that blew snow and ice into the area Sunday and Monday. 


Dozens of motorists found themselves sliding off slippery roads into ditches -- keeping police, sheriff''s deputies and state troopers, as well as EMTs and fire department workers, hopping until roads cleared later in the week. 


Thankfully, there were no deaths on Mississippi roads caused by the storm. Things could have been far worse, locally and statewide. 


We appreciate the speedy response and professionalism of our first responders, this and every week of the year. 




A rose to Ernest Rogers, a Mississippi University for Women graphic design student who has an impressive line to add to his resume. 


Green''s artwork was chosen for the poster for Columbus'' annual Market Street Festival. Main Street Columbus, which puts on the festival each year, has worked with MUW graphic design professor Robert Gibson for the past three years, giving art students some real-world training.  


Rogers received $300, and his artwork will be featured on all promotional products for Market Street Festival 2011. Rogers, as well as second and third-place winners, also received VIP packages to the 16th annual festival, which will be held May 6-7. 




A rose to Starkville''s C, who gives more than she gets on her birthday each year. 


Fox, the dietitian for the Oktibbeha County Sheriff''s office, has served lunch each year on her birthday. The lunches started out as small affairs for sheriff''s office workers eleven years ago, but a good meal doesn''t stay under wraps for long. Eleven years later, around 100 attend the luncheon. Mississippi State University employees, city officials, Starkville police and members of Fox''s church are among those attending now. 


Thursday, the crowd munched on roast beef and fried chicken, turkey and dressing, chicken and dumplings, and desserts of all kinds. 


We''ll add our voice to the dozens wishing Fox a happy 64th.



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