Roses and thorns: 9/2/12

September 1, 2012 8:45:38 PM



A thorn to Lowndes County Sheriff's Department investigator Tony Cooper who said he will not investigate whether Eastview Baptist Church pastor violated state law by not reporting an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. 


In the trial of Benny Shelton, Eads testified that the victim told Eads that Shelton had sexually abused him. The pastor did not report the allegation to the Department of Human Services, as required by state law. Shelton was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor on Aug. 23 and will serve seven years in prison. 


Cooper told The Dispatch that he has no plans to investigate Eads' conduct in the case because he does not believe he was in violation of the law. 


In this instance, Cooper has put the cart before the horse. Determinations should follow investigations rather than the other way around. The trial testimony alone seems sufficient cause for an investigation.  




A rose to Dr. Louis Bounds, who retired Wednesday after 47 years as owner/operator of the Animal Medical Center. While it is comforting to know that familiar faces will continue to operate the clinic -- Bounds' long-time business partner Jim Dowdle, Dr. Clayton Anderson (Bounds' cousin) and Dr. Clay Anderson (Clayton's son) are still on hand -- long-time patrons will certainly miss Bounds. Bounds plans to take up painting now that he's retired. There is also that long-delayed trip to Italy with his wife. He's earned his leisure. We wish him all the best. 




A rose to the Columbus City Council for exploring bus service in the city. The council voted to open discussions with Criss Reeding, owner of a private bus service that operates in Lawrence, Ind. Reeding approached the council with a proposal to use federal grant money to start bus service in Columbus. If the federal funding is sufficient, Reeding said he could put 10 buses, all of them handicap accessible, on the streets of Columbus.  


He said his plan would cost the city nothing aside from some in-kind services such as bus stops and signage. Not only would the service create jobs, it provides a service for those who -- because of age or infirmity -- cannot drive. Many questions remain, of course, but we feel a bus service could be a real asset to the city under certain conditions. 




A thorn to CableOne for its slow reaction to an outage that left thousands of subscribers in the Columbus area without service last Sunday and Monday. Outages happen, we realize, but when you consider this outage lasted 20 hours or more and was not caused by extreme weather, it's apparent that CableOne's reaction to the issue was not as prompt as could be expected. To its credit, CableOne announced it would discount bills to customers for the time they were without service. A rebate is fine and proper, but it would be of more comfort to know that in the future CableOne will respond more promptly when outages occur. 




A rose to Mississippi University for Women and Mississippi State University for its efforts to provide a quality education while maintaining low tuition rates. MUW was 15th and MSU ranked 96th (out of 285) in the Washington Monthly magazine's annual College Guide. At a time when state funding continues to lag and more and more of the costs are shifted to tuition, students are facing sometime staggering student loan debts. The efforts by MUW and MSU to keep tuition costs down means less debt for students once they leave school.