The financial landscape of the city of Columbus has been the topic of concern since last week's special meeting of the council, which was held to make adjustments to the proposed budget.
Last week, as the city council and mayor were engaged in a discussion of the city's grim financial outlook, councilman Bill Gavin pushed back when the city's chief operations officer, David Armstrong, suggested that a tax increase was inevitable. Gavin's position was the city should explore all possible options of reducing expenses before taking that step.
Monday afternoon, Philip Hickman, the new superintendent of schools in Columbus, met with The Dispatch editorial board. We left that meeting with a guarded sense of optimism.
It has been a week since Columbus Mayor Robert Smith broke a 3-3 tie to award himself a $10,000 pay raise during a special budget meeting that painted a grim picture of the city's financial picture.
At first blush, the situation might appear counterintuitive: The Lowndes County School District will soon be awash in revenue, yet on Aug. 26 the district will ask voters to go to the polls to support a proposal to issue $47 million in bonds to be used to build, renovate or replace facilities on all three of the district's campuses.
Sometimes, it must appear that the media demonstrates a particular zeal in delivering what is rightfully considered "bad news."
The legend is told that in 1789, when informed that her French subjects had no bread, Marie-Antoinette (bride of France's King Louis XVI) supposedly sniffed, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche"--"Let them eat cake." In the subsequent centuries that callous remark has been considered the standard by which all examples of a tone-deaf leader is measured.
Today is the first day of school in Starkville, Oktibbeha County and West Point. Students in Columbus and Lowndes County begin classes Thursday while some private schools will not begin classes until next week.
The Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority board of directors meet monthly in a small conference room at Propst Park. These are generally low-profile meetings. There are eight chairs for visitors placed along two walls of the small room, but they are usually unoccupied. There is rarely any media at these meetings.
There is a video that has gone viral that shows a Copperhead snake that has just been decapitated. The snake's body continues to writhe and wriggle as the head lays motionless near its body. The snake's body makes contact with its head several times, then -- and this is what made the video viral -- the snake's head suddenly sinks its fangs deep into its own body.
Oktibbeha County supervisors and Starkville aldermen both have something in common: They recently tended to business outside the constraints of their published agendas.
Mississippi has two sales tax holidays. The first came last weekend with a sales tax exemption on back-to-school items limited to clothing and footwear. The other, signed into law this year by Gov. Phil Bryant and enjoying broad legislative support, comes Sept. 5-7.
A rose to Main Street Columbus for another successful "Sounds of Summer" concert series at the Riverwalk.
Figures from a U.S. Census Report paint a grim picture of life in the Golden Triangle. The U.S. Census Bureau classifies "poverty areas" as census tracts with a 20 percent poverty rate or higher. According to this definition the entire Golden Triangle region is a poverty area.
A story in the July 21 edition of Air Force Times is certain to cause some hurt feelings in our community. In the story, Columbus Air Force based was ranked in a tie for "third least popular" of the 68 USAF bases in the U.S.
It has become politically fashionable in some circles to treat Common Core as something akin to the "mark of the beast." More than anything else, Common Core is a victim of timing. It didn't start out that way.
When Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins first announced plans for a $38 million "Communiversity" project a month ago, more than a few eyebrows were raised.
Tonight, the Starkville Board of Aldermen will meet to make a decision that will undo yet another decision made by the previous board.
This morning, the Columbus Municipal School District Board of Trustees, by a 3-2 vote, selected Dr. Philip Hickman as its new superintendent of schools. We congratulate Hickman, welcome him to the city and look forward to hearing his plans for the district.
For its part, the board focused mainly on soliciting the council's help in securing grants, maintaining infrastructure around its schools and exploring ways to turn vacant school-owned facilities such as the Magnolia Bowl and Lee Middle School in revenue-producing sites.
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