LOCAL COLUMNS

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Possumhaw: Prairie, wild and untamed

Posted 1/28/2013 in Local Columns

I often wonder how different life would be in the city. I wonder if city dwellers contend with coyotes, fox, armadillos, owls, raccoons and beaver; possibly a snake or two.

Birney Imes: Tony proves his mettle

Posted 1/26/2013 in Local Columns

The story of a skirmish between a hawk and a duck shouldn't be all that difficult to tell. Now consider the duck belongs to a Thai man who speaks broken English and lives in east Columbus, that almost everyone in the story has two names, and the tale begins with a bet on a golf game where the loser will cook duck for the victor.

Ask Rufus: The Prairie

Posted 1/26/2013 in Local Columns

Deeply ingrained in both the history and culture of Northeast Mississippi is the Black Prairie. The prairie takes its name from the dark, almost black soil that typifies its range. From the time of the earliest European-American traders and settlers, the region has attracted attention.

Adele Elliott: 'Friendemys'

Posted 1/26/2013 in Local Columns

The English language is alive and evolving. The word "friend" has been considered a noun for a very long time. These days it is also a verb, as in "to friend" someone, such as on Facebook.

What were they thinking?: 'States' Rights' bill introduced by Smith and Chism misguided and sure to evoke ridicule

Posted 1/25/2013 in Local Columns

Education has been one of the dominant themes in this year's Mississippi legislative session. Although the methods vary, the one thing all parties agree on is that Mississippi's educational system is broken. Most often, a deficiency in math and English skills are cited as being areas of particular concern.

 

Charlie Mitchell: Politics aside, insurance exchange not new or insidious

Posted 1/23/2013 in Local Columns

The Mississippi Insurance Department, in the news due to a disagreement between its elected director, Mike Chaney, and Gov. Phil Bryant, is 101 years old. It is a clearinghouse. If a company wants to sell any type of insurance in Mississippi, the company needs the state's permission and stamp of approval.

 

Possumhaw: Christmas tree recycling

Posted 1/21/2013 in Local Columns

Puffy little dark-eyed juncos are popping in and out of the leftover Christmas tree. The same Christmas tree we bought at Marvin's the day after Thanksgiving. A couple of years back we decided we were no longer able or nimble enough to trek hill and dell to secure the tallest and finest cedar tree in the Prairie.

Birney Imes: Four little girls

Posted 1/19/2013 in Local Columns

Thursday night it was my good fortune to see Spike Lee's heart-rending documentary, "4 Little Girls." The screening was the second item in a remarkably dense schedule of events Dream 365 organizers have programed over six days, beginning with a spelling bee on Wednesday and culminating tomorrow with a prayer breakfast.

Rufus Ward: Halberds, ghosts, buttons and Hernando de Soto

Posted 1/19/2013 in Local Columns

Over the years searching for the route of the Hernando de Soto Expedition through Alabama and Mississippi has been about like hunting a ghost. So I guess that in looking for the route of his 1540 trek through what is now Lowndes County, it is only fitting that an old ghost story turned up.

Slimantics: Charter schools: The poor get poorer

Posted 1/17/2013 in Local Columns

For the second time in two years, the Mississippi Senate has passed Charter School legislation. The bill, which has a faint aroma of Good -Ole-Boy corruption, would permit for-profit charter schools to open in chronically low performing districts.

 

Charlie Mitchell: Shouting matches have no chance at curbing gun violence

Posted 1/15/2013 in Local Columns

That gruesome skip-rope ditty dates to 1892, when young Lizzie was on trial in Massachusetts for the bludgeoning deaths of her parents. The question for us in 2013 is, "If a 9mm Glock had been handy, would she still have used a hatchet?"

 

Possumhaw: Poke salad Annie

Posted 1/14/2013 in Local Columns

I noticed them right off. There on the roadside near the ditch were big, leafy greens. Once or twice I saw people picking them. I was reminded of the time I saw folks picking greens and carefully putting them in a cloth sack. I asked what they were. "Fiddleheads," they said.

Adele Elliott: Fired up

Posted 1/12/2013 in Local Columns

When I was a child we were all terrified of the Russians, specifically, of the bombs from that country, which we believed were aimed directly at my classroom in St. James Major grammar school. We were taught to crouch under our small, wooden desks and bury our heads ostrich-like under our arms.

Ask Rufus: An 1858 lawsuit and the building of the railroad

Posted 1/12/2013 in Local Columns

Reading the Dispatch last week one could not help but notice the problems that a potential new industry seemed to have in living up to its commitments. Such problems are not something new. When the Mobile and Ohio Railroad was constructed through this area in the late 1850s, all was not smooth sailing.

 

Charlie Mitchell: Those 'dang idiots' in Congress keep our boat afloat

Posted 1/10/2013 in Local Columns

As Mississippi lawmakers huddle in Jackson to start the 2013 session, there will be the usual grumbling about those dang idiots in Washington.

 

Slimantics: Meredith remains an enigma

Posted 1/9/2013 in Local Columns

James Meredith was the guest speaker at Tuesday's Columbus Rotary meeting. Having been a frequent enough Rotary guest not to be considered a guest anymore, I noted that Meredith's appearance drew an especially large crowd.

Possumhaw: When loss is a good thing

Posted 1/7/2013 in Local Columns

The telescope stands poised at the window, aimed at the deer feeder. At dawn and twilight a Bardwell can be seen standing with eye pressed to the scope, but on this morning I swung the scope toward the lake. A flock of geese had descended and there was Leah, the domestic duck, amongst them.

 

Alan Nunnelee: Solutions not deals

Posted 1/7/2013 in Local Columns

In the wee hours of the first day of the New Year, after most Americans had concluded their celebrations, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. The deal was then quickly rushed through the U.S. Senate while most people were asleep.

 

Birney Imes: May the good days outnumber the bad ones

Posted 1/5/2013 in Local Columns

Saturday morning I took the dogs down to Friendship. They know the drill. I open the gate and say, "Get in the truck." The truck being a battered Ford Ranger with a tailgate that wants to fall off. Hank leaps in barking with excitement while Maggie cowers, waiting to be lifted.

Ask Rufus: Sam Kaye

Posted 1/5/2013 in Local Columns

This past week I lost a close friend when Sam Kaye passed away and Columbus lost not only a good citizen, but a gold mine of its history.

 

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