I am enlightened but dismayed after having attended a Board of Supervisors meeting yesterday. It was my first since returning to Columbus, my hometown. I had heard and read in the newspaper about rowdy and disruptive meetings and the concern that at times no progress could be made because of it, even on important issues. So I decided to attend a meeting to see for myself; they are open to the public.
Heavy rains swept through Columbus and west Alabama earlier this week, which led to the inevitable. Magby Creek in North Columbus overflowed. Runoff ditches along Tuscaloosa Road weren't able to hold all the water. Fields and streets filled with water. Roads and homes in the Masonic subdivision flooded.
On the demographic surveys that retailers use to build new stores and restaurants, Columbus looks surprisingly similar to other Mississippi cities.
Cadence Bank began its new life as a private concern this week. Its sale to investment firm Community Bancorp is officially inked, its stock pulled from the market, and its board reshuffled and stacked with Texas-based CBC officers.
The fate of the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau office in the almost-finished new building behind the Tennessee Williams Home is apparently in limbo, with the county balking at the price tag.
Gray Swoope's successes in Mississippi have been noticed nationwide, and that's bad news for us, but great news for him.
Unions are having it tough all over. We've seen the battles in Wisconsin and other states over public employee unions and collective bargaining rights, which allow workers to sit at the table and negotiate wages and benefits.
In these parts, the sounds of spring include more than birds chirping and bees buzzing. The sounds of Mississippi blues, New Orleans jazz, and even orchestra arrangements will fill the air -- punctuated by a shout of "Stella!" or two.
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.
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.
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.
We have a hard time remembering when a sunny day felt so cold in Columbus. We were emboldened Thursday afternoon, encouraged by the clouds parting and the snow dripping slowly off the rooftops. But looks were deceiving.
It appears city and county leaders have found common ground over the makeup of the Columbus Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau. The council voted in a special meeting to follow the lead of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, with each body appointing two industry-specific members and one at-large member.
Columbus' latest attempt to forge a comprehensive city plan died Thursday with the resignation of Patricia Southerland, who had occupied the new position of city planner for just five months.
Does anyone remember Operation Pretense? That was the name of big Mississippi FBI sting back in the 1980s, which ended with the convictions of 55 county supervisors on bribery and corruption charges.
Chicken is a game that can't have two winners -- but it can have two losers. The city and county are playing a game of chicken, with the city Convention and Visitors Bureau at the point of impact.
What's an echo chamber? Literally, it is an enclosed, hollow space allowing our own words to bounce back to us. Figuratively, the term has applied to most any group that surrounds itself with others that have like-minded opinions.
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