Roses and thorns: 1/20/13

January 19, 2013 9:10:25 PM



A rose to the Homeward Bound program at Mississippi State University. The program sends dogs from Mississippi shelters (where the "kill rate" can be as high as 75 percent) to shelters in the Northeast, where their chances to be adopted are higher. Program members transport animals -- mainly dogs and cats ­-- about every six weeks. Although the program has only been up and running for about a month, it has captured plenty of attention, including a feature in the upcoming edition of Southern Living magazine. So here's a rose and a "wuff, wuff" of appreciation. 




A rose to Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau an the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Department for a successful collaboration in bringing a pair of prestigious state soccer tournaments to the Columbus Soccer Complex. The Coaches Cup (Nov. 2-3) and the Presidents Cup (May 24-25, 2014) are big "gets'' for Columbus. The Coaches Cup will draw about 70 teams from throughout the state while the Presidents Cup is roughly twice as big. That means great competition and a chance to show off the soccer complex, which opened in September. It also means full hotels and restaurants. Play ball! 




A rose to the first responders who performed so efficiently during Thursday's surprise snowstorm. There were roughly 40 wrecks in Lowndes County alone on Thursday, and numerous other "stranded motorists" calls. It marked the end of a busy week that saw 6-1/2 inches of precipitation fall in a seven-day period. Weather like that always means an increase in auto accidents. It also means long, long days for our first responders. As always, they were up to the challenge.  




A thorn to the Mississippi Senate which rushed through charter school legislation this week, putting a bill together in a legally questionable closed-door session and speeding it to the Senate floor where, after just three hours of debate, it was put to a vote. The Senate passed the bill 31-17 and it now goes to the House of Representatives where it will surely die the sort of death it deserves. Even so, that the Senate would give so little thought to a very controversial subject, shows just how little regard the Senate leadership has for a fair, thorough examination of an important matter.  




A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District's annual award winners -- Patricia Overstreet (Administrator of the Year) and teachers of the year (Melanie Ford, Sarah Oswalt, Lucy McKellar, Kandra Wilkins, Evans Dawson, Tracey Agerton, Kimberly Musselman, Erica Lewis and Talecia Scott.). Teachers and principals are often the human piñatas of the educational system. Their work may be ignored, minimized or criticized in some quarters, but those who understand the challenges and obstacles that teachers face each day know their true value.