It's crunch time for some high school seniors across the state -- 11 percent of them, to be exact, who may spend another year in 12th grade if they can't pass the state's standardized tests.
Will there ever be a president from Mississippi? Maybe someday, but it would take a Herculean effort, which Gov. Haley Barbour is discovering. Unfortunately for Barbour, our reputation precedes us. We're the place where Medgar Evers was shot and Emmitt Till was lynched, where three civil rights workers were buried in a Neshoba County levee, where students and townspeople rioted in Oxford to keep Ole Miss lily white.
Often when I visit a new place or meet a stranger, I think of my Mormon father. James Parkinson and I may not look like father and son, but Parky, as I refer to him, has had an important impact on my life, an impact that started when he became the first white man to join the 100 Black Men of Columbus.
As the weather turns warmer, more of us are getting outside. Those of us shaking off the cobwebs of winter and taking in some exercise along the Riverwalk have noticed more than the signs of spring emerging.
To the rest of the world, the idea is beyond ironic. It's incredulous. Mississippi, 150 years almost to the day after it seceded from the union, is considering putting Nathan Bedford Forrest on a license plate.
Larry Feeney is downsizing. The semi-retired MUW art professor, like an increasing number of widowed and single people in their 60s and 70s, is shedding the accumulated detritus of a lifetime and moving into a smaller, more manageable place.
Recently Columbus lost a very good friend. After a long fight with health problems, Philip Meador passed away in California.
Maybe the groundhog was right. We were muttering under our breaths in subfreezing temperatures, trudging through four inches of ice and snow, just a week ago. But maybe we'll have an early spring after all.
A phrase used by Donna Stark in a Local Voices piece in Monday's Dispatch has caused a stir among our reader-bloggers.
My grandfather, John Benjamin Beck, was born in 1862. His earliest memory was of his father, John T. Beck, waking him up where he was sleeping with his two older sisters in front of the fire. His father put the guns, swords, knives and ammunition he had assembled for his first cousin, Nathan Bedford Forrest, under the blankets in the bed and told the children to pretend to be asleep.
It began Wednesday evening, snowflakes coming down like in a Christmas movie. By the time I headed for home at 7, the streets were empty and white.
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