March 9, 2013 7:54:39 PM
A rose to Columbus native Katy Smith Houston, whose cookbook, "Sweetness Follows: The Story of Sam and the Treat of the Week," was the byproduct of a simple act of loving kindness to a family friend. Houston put together many of the book's recipes from her regular visits to Sam Lane, the son of a friend. Sam suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit while cycling, and Houston reached out to Sam and his family by bringing her baked goodies on her regular visits. The book is a testament to the impact of love shown in simple ways. We commend the cookbook, especially since part of the proceeds from sales will go to research. Katy is the daughter of Nancy and the late Lynn Smith.
A rose to the Starkville Fire Department, which in a couple of weeks will begin installing smoke detectors in the homes of needy families, free of charge. SFD employees will begin canvassing Starkville neighborhoods, identifying homes of poor people who either don't have smoke detectors or have smoke detectors that are defective. The SFD plans to distribute 360 smoke detectors through the program, which is made possible through the State Fire Marshal's Office in Jackson. Over the past couple of months, there have been three fatal fires in the Starkville area, which serves to emphasize how important it is to have properly-functioning smoke detectors. Typically, we think of fire departments as the people who respond to fires, which is true. But by providing this potentially life-saving piece of equipment, the SFD is making an impact by preventing fires, too. That's good for everyone.
A rose to the parents who rallied in support of the MERIT program at Lowndes County Schools. School officials would almost have certainly convinced the school board to end the program for the county's seventh and eighth graders if parents had not turned out in force at Monday's informational meeting and again at Friday's school board meeting. On Friday, the district made an adjustment that permits the MERIT program to remain, now as an elective subject.
A thorn to the same county school officials who, by their own admission, had worked on the plan to eliminate the MERIT program for three years, yet never sought input from parents and did not even inform the parents of their plans until a few weeks before taking the matter to the school board. All too often, school officials complain about the lack of parental involvement. Yet when a decision is made about school programs, they don't even bother asking parents for their views? It defies reason.
A rose to Spencer Broocks of Golden Triangle Planning and Development for his efforts in securing a grant that will provide homes for four families in Lowndes County. Broocks helped secure a HOME grant (part of a federal grant program funded through HUD) in the amount of $465,000. The money will be used to build two homes in Artesia and one home in both Steens and Crawford. Four homes may not seem like much on the large scale, but to the four needy families who will have "a home of their own,'' it's truly a life-altering event.