January 22, 2011 8:31:00 PM
Roses to the Junior Auxiliary and its members across the Golden Triangle, who have been tireless in their dedication to area children.
Starkville''s Junior Auxiliary group, among other initiatives, has been working to fund and install improvements at city parks. The group recently raised funds to renovate bathrooms at McKee Park and install four new swings at the park playground. Last year, the group raised funds for a toddler playground at the Starkville Sportsplex and painted at Moncrief Park and Josey Park.
Columbus'' Junior Auxiliary members can be found inside local schools. The group''s "In My Shoes" program teaches area second-graders about the challenges of living with disabilities, with members teaching the lessons. Another program, Girls Empowered to Model Success, targets at-risk high school-age girls, with members tutoring them and offering them advice and assistance.
We thank the JAs for these and the myriad other ways they help local children.
A rose of good luck to the entrepreneurs around the Golden Triangle who are hard at work growing new businesses, and if we''re not careful, our waistlines along with them.
Several new restaurants have opened in Columbus and Starkville in recent months, and more are on their way. In Columbus, Bann Thai, Possum Town Tavern, Bob-Robert''s Barbecue, LaFogata Grill and Cantina and Tiny Tipp''s Taste of the South have opened. Eateries on the way include Smackers yogurt shop off Highway 45 North and a second American Deli in East Columbus.
Tempting Starkville taste buds are The Cake Box, Zazzle''s, Cups-N-Cake and Local Culture Frozen Yogurt.
Best of luck to these small businesses. While locals often moan about the lack of chain restaurants, we should remember that small business owners, willing to invest locally, are what drive the economy more than anything else. We should all return the favor, and frequent these and other locally owned businesses.
Roses to all the businesses and individuals that were singled out by the Greater Starkville Development Partnership for awards this week.
Bill Poe, a member of the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum board of directors and a volunteer with the Starkville Community Market, among other activities, was honored with the T.E. Veitch Community Service Award, given each year to a person who demonstrates exemplary service to the community.
Poe and Joan Wilson shared the GSDP''s Service to the Military Award, for their work on a World War II program at the heritage museum. The museum itself, located at the corner of Russell Street and Fellowship Drive, won the GSDP''s Crystal Pineapple Tourism Award.
Honored businesses included Metrocast and Clark Beverage Group.
Other individuals winning awards included GSDP ambassador Libby Gerald, who won the Ambassador of the Year Award; and local educators Robin Dibble, Dr. Denise Rowan and Bill Simmons, all of whom were inducted into the Starkville Area Education Hall of Fame.
Roses to all the "unsung heroes" honored Monday in Columbus during the culmination of MLK Dream 365 events in the city.
Oasis of Freedom and Justice recipients included Chancery Judge Dorothy Colom, Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director James Tsismanakis, Genesis Church Pastor Rev. Darren Leach, and Mississippi University for Women Interim President Allegra Brigham.
Unsung Heroes awards were given to Nancy Guerry of Helping Hands, Marilyn Agnew of Columbus School District, Rhonda Sanders of Columbus Police Department, Roger Burlingame of Ceco Building Systems, Cable One, and Freedom Riders Viola Weatherby and Ruby Harrison.
Columbus School District students were honored for art and essay contests. Winners included Samuel Yarborough, Kyla Norwood, Hemyar Nagi, Raven Horn, Nathasia Montgomery, Jarvis Bonner, J''Shawn Boyd, Tiya James, Joshua Spencer, Ardrianna Rice, Destiny Roseburg, Kerrigan Clark, Darrell Johnson, India Yarborough, Ty''Jay'' A. Alsobrooks, Malik Seals, Kiara Jones, Gabrielle Dean, Julia Langford, Jalen Parker and Mary Paige Thrash.
1. Possumhaw: And then there was rain LOCAL COLUMNS