As meetings go, Monday's meeting of the Columbus Municipal School District Board of Trustees was as eventful as you will likely see. In fact, there was so much ground to cover, the meeting lasted almost four hours.
Tonight, President Obama gives his state of the union address, but in Oktibbeha County the focus will be on the state of the schools.
Earlier this week, the Columbus City Council approved a proposal from Selvain McQueen, the city's police chief for a gun buy-back program.
Barbara Bigelow was not the first choice. But she may well be the best choice. When the Main Street Columbus Board of Directors announced Wednesday that it had selected Bigelow as the organization's new director, no one familiar with Columbus was compelled to ask, "Who?"
If Moses had been from Columbus, he probably would have had to interrupt God somewhere around Commandment No. 7. "I probably should be writing this down, huh?" our Columbus Moses would likely have said. In its almost 200 years, Columbus has had many things. What it hasn't had -- as far as anyone can determine -- is a plan. At least, it has never had a plan that someone bothered to write down.
Thursday afternoon, Main Street Columbus sent out a press release announcing that its director, Nickie Nicholson, had been removed from her role, effective immediately. It was hardly a shocking development to anyone who has any connection to the organization. There have been rumblings about Nicholson almost from the start.
After weeks of negative national press thanks to Messrs. Bryant, Palazzo, Smith, Chism et al., it's nice to have something to be cheery about. Our politicians, who have of late, been imitating barnyard roosters, have provided abundant fodder for late-night television.
Ultimately, it is a matter of accountability. On two separate occasions over the past week, officials have bitterly complained about news stories we published. While The Dispatch stands firmly behind each of the stories in question, we readily admit that each story would have benefited from the insights of those same officials.
The Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau held its regular meeting Monday and, as almost always seems to be the case, it created more questions than it answered. The big issue before the board was the propriety of allowing the elected officials who appoint the board members to solicit funds for festivals they operate.
When Mississippi State and Ole Miss come together, it is not generally marked by a spirit of congeniality. Long and bitter rivals on the athletic fields, the two schools also compete for students and funding. But MSU and Ole Miss play well together in other, less-publicized arenas.
If ever there is a time that a Governor can speak beyond his base to all residents, it is the state of the state Address. In Mississippi it is generally the only time this happens.
You often hear there isn't much to do in Columbus. That is hardly the case this past week, especially. The week offered an embarrassment of riches for anyone who wanted to be informed, entertained and inspired, with two outstanding events unfolding almost simultaneously at the Trotter Convention Center (and other venues) and Mississippi University for Women.
Tommy Prude's term on the Columbus Municipal School District's Board of Trustees will end March 2. While there is some reason to believe Prude will ask to be re-appointed for another five-year term, we do not believe it is in the best interests of the district for Prude to return.
On a visit to the Dispatch about a month ago, Terry Brown, the Mississippi Senate pro tempore from Columbus, was asked why he so vigorously supports charter school legislation.
On Monday, Mississippi University for Women revealed the results of a four-month effort to define, sharpen and unify its goals under the leadership of Dr. Jim Borsig, who has been on the job as president for about a year now.
In September, Link CEO Joe Max Higgins took the podium at a large gathering East Mississippi Community College to announce that a steering committee had been formed to examine the possibility of Starkville/Oktibbeha County joining West Point/Clay County and Columbus/Lowndes County in what became the Golden Triangle Development Link.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant believes in the rule of law and the will of the people. Unless, of course, it's a law he doesn't like or the will of the people turns out to be at odds with his own views.
Normally, this editorial page does not concern itself with the weighty subject of NFL football games and certainly not games that will be played in so distant a clime as Green Bay, Wis. But we make an exception this week as the NFL playoffs get underway with four games this weekend. And we are particularly interested in how the playoff game in Wisconsin will unfold.
There is an old adage in sports that goes, "Lose the loss, but don't lose the lesson.'' On Wednesday, Golden Triangle Development Link CEO Joe Max Higgins confirmed what had been obvious since the start of the week: The grand, $600 million, 971-job Silicor project will not be coming to Lowndes County.
In a few hours, we will be finished with 2012. For better or worse, we will need a rear-view mirror to see 2012. As the old year passes, a new year stretches out before us. That's the way it is with years: No sooner are you finished with one than another shows up to deal with. Without a doubt, 2013 is certain to bring its share of challenges, but with those challenges come opportunities as well.
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