An earthquake on the East Coast. Hurricane Irene. What's next? And are we prepared for it? What we didn't see much of on the national news, as the aftermath of the latest natural disasters flashed across the screen, was disaster-management strategy.
It's budget season for counties and municipalities. They have until Sept. 15 to adopt a budget. And we've watched as they divvy out the dollars and cents in an attempt to balance their budgets before the deadline.
We consider public safety a right, not a privilege. We expect to be able to walk down the street without being assaulted and to come home to our undisturbed portion of the world -- everything just the way we left it.
Monetarily speaking, Lowndes County is the seventh most valuable county in the state of Mississippi. It's not by accident.
We're a community led by interim leaders -- from the Columbus and Starkville school districts to the Columbus Police Department and Mississippi University for Women.
Locally, the primary election cycle has been as predictable as local elections can be. But there were exceptions. In the Lowndes County school superintendent's race, a seemingly dark-horse candidate trounced a central office insider.
More than a year at the helm, Interim Mississippi University for Women President Allegra Brigham has done what some thought couldn't be done: She has helped unify divided alumni and fostered a renewed sense of optimism.
Life flies by at neck-breaking pace. Blink and another five, 10, 15 years have passed. It's easy, especially in today's frenzied society, to get absorbed in your own world.
You've heard that well-worn adage, "It takes a village to raise a child." It also takes a village to police the community. A recent string of shootings in the city of Columbus has us wondering what's wrong with the village in The Friendly City.
Rich with history and culture, the South can be intoxicating, exotic and sometimes incomprehensible to the outsider. Its tumultuous past and vivid characters also make it an inviting target for national media and Hollywood.
The Columbus school board answers to no one. Or so it seems. When recently asked to appear before the body that appointed them -- the Columbus City Council -- the school board declined, on the advice of their attorney.
Anytime an important community agency has an opportunity to choose new leadership, the net should be cast as far and wide as practically possible. The importance of good leadership cannot be overemphasized.
We've watched the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau plug along without a full-time director for five months.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "The future of this republic is in the hands of the American voter." Today is a big day for our state and counties. It's election day.
Perhaps it is the venerable letter. An endless flow of money orders. Daily post-office box checks. Or force of habit.
Brace yourself. This year -- as the Columbus school district struggles with decreased allocations from the state, lower local tax collections and the bill for a new $19.1 million school -- taxes will go up, again. The increase affects hundreds of taxpayers in Columbus and Lowndes County.
In other states, personnel records such as like disciplinary action are open when it comes to public bodies. And meetings to discuss those items are held in open session.
Something is brewing at City Hall. And Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John is at the center of the storm. A small group of supporters made an appearance at a special meeting on Monday, where most thought St. John's job was on the line. And we expect it is.
1. Our View: School board appointments: Status quo or no? DISPATCH EDITORIALS
2. Possumhaw: Finding daffodils in hard ground LOCAL COLUMNS
3. Leonard Pitts: 'My Girl': 50 years and counting NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Kathleen Parker: Is Twitter really America's conscience? NATIONAL COLUMNS