Roses and Thorns 8/30/09

August 31, 2009 3:21:00 PM



A rose to Matthias Fischer and others who are working to honor Blues Hall of Famer Bukka White with a historic blues marker in downtown Aberdeen. 


White, a cousin of B.B. King, was born in the area and also had family in Aberdeen. 


This year, the annual Blue Bluff festival was renamed in White''s honor. It''s now the Bukka White Blue Bluff Festival. 


White was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1990; his signature songs include "Aberdeen, Mississippi Blues," "Fixin'' to Die Blues" and "Parchman Farm Blues," penned while serving time for shooting a man in the leg, a move White maintained was self-defense. 


White''s marker is expected to be the latest on the Mississippi Blues Trail, which highlights the Mississippi ties of blues greats. The trail rightfully draws attention to the rich roots of blues in The Magnolia State.  


Some bluesmen most recently honored in the area with historic markers include Delta bluesman Big Joe Williams in his birthplace of Crawford and Noxubee County natives and blues legends Carey Bell, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater and Willie King, with The Black Prairie Blues marker in Macon. 




A bouquet of roses to local U.S. Army soldiers stationed at Camp Atterbury, who returned last week to Indiana to prepare for a tour of duty in Iraq. 


About 10 of the local heroes were home for the weekend last week, visiting with friends and family before deployment. 


Family members expressed pride for their military service, and we''d like to echo their sentiments. 


Bouquets also go out to those local servicemen and women who already have served in the Middle East and who currently are serving. 


Jamie Price, wore a shirt reading "Brian, my son, my soldier, my hero," as she saw off her son, Sgt. Brian Price, of Caledonia, at the Golden Triangle regional Airport, Tuesday. 


He -- and others like him -- are our heroes, too. 




A rose to Mississippi State University for its innovative approach to encouraging exercise -- bike sharing. 


It started in January with a hundred MSU bikes peppered all over campus, for student use. 


Only eight bikes managed to disappear by MSU Parking Services'' count at summer break. 


And the program has been so well received, Parking Services ordered another 100 bikes to be place on campus this week. 


The new bikes have a few upgrades -- adjustable seats, steel pedals instead of the plastic and baskets for books. 


Though MSU bike sharing began as a way to kick the state''s obesity rap, it now has areas of campus less congested and students getting to class faster and easier. 


How''s that for return on an investment. 




A thorn to the Columbus City Council for slapping E-911 with a $40,000 budget cut because no one showed up to a council work session to discuss the reasons for their request. 


Hmmm ... We probably can think of a few good reasons to fully fund 911.  


The council slashed the city''s budgeted contribution to Lowndes County''s E-911 department in half. Council members noted they likely would revisit the issue but criticized E-911 officials for not showing up at the meeting. 


Sheri Fancher, E-911 director, and Beverly Broocks, the E-911 commission''s chairwoman, have said they were unaware of the meeting; city COO David Armstrong said there must have been some misunderstanding; he thought the two would be there. 


In any case, the council tentatively proceeded with the cut from $80,000 to $40,000. If the cut stands, E-911 could be faced with losing a city dispatcher. 


Meanwhile, council members added a total of $27,406 to the budgets of the Columbus Arts Council, the Columbus Council on Aging, the Golden Triangle Agency on Aging and the Hitching Lot Farmers'' Market. 






A rose of condolence to the friends and family of U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Mark M. Wheeler, of Florida. 


The Security Forces patrolman died last week in a motorcycle accident on Highway 45 North, just outside of city limits. 


Wheeler was assigned to the 14th Security Forces Squadron at CAFB. It was his first permanent duty assignment with the Air Force. 


Wheeler struck the rear of an 18-wheeler, which had slowed to make a turn. 




Know of someone who deserves a rose -- or a thorn? Send your nomination to [email protected], and we''ll consider it for a future mention.