Roses and thorns 11/24/13

November 23, 2013 9:57:00 PM



A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District, which appears to be emerging from more than six months of bitter infighting. The CMSD held a board meeting Monday that followed a script we have seldom seen this year. The meeting lasted just 50 minutes and there was no petty bickering. Instead, the board conducted its business cordially, then went home. Later in the week, the board approved a settlement with its former superintendent, Dr. Martha Liddell, who had become the central figure in most of the board's disputes. We are hopeful that with that matter settled, Monday's meeting will become the rule rather than the exception for this board. If so, the district and all of its stakeholders will reap the benefits. 




A rose to Columbus Mayor Robert Smith, sponsors and NFL coach Leslie Frazier, who combined to feed more than 1,100 senior citizens Tuesday during the Mayor's annual Thanksgiving Luncheon at the Trotter Center. Tuesday's event was the eighth annual luncheon honoring the area's senior citizens. The event was funded by sponsors as well as a fundraiser this summer featuring Frazier, a Columbus native and head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Area school students, members of Columbus Air Force Base and other community volunteers participated in luncheon.  




A rose to Lowndes County emergency officials and gas company personnel, who executed a effective evacuation of roughly 200 Artesia residents after reports of a suspected break in a major gas line in the early-morning hours Thursday. Southern Natural Gas implemented its emergency response plan and the Lowndes County Emergency Management Agency moved quickly in evacuating residents. The first calls came in at about 3:45 a.m. Emergency personnel went door to door alerting residents to evacuate. Residents were permitted to return to their homes around 5:45 a.m. and no injuries were reported.  




A rose to the Columbus City council and the city department heads, who will tour each of the city's six wards as part of its planning for a retreat/workshop. After the tours, the council will meet with Phil Hardwick, project manager at the John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development at Mississippi State University as it focuses on city needs. The tours will allow all council members to see first-hand the needs and opportunities of each ward. "I don't think we visit each other's wards as much we need to be," said Ward 5 Councilman Karriem said. "I think it would be a good idea for us to know the unique things that are going on in each ward. (Ward 3) might have needs that Ward 5 doesn't need but it's better to move the city in the right direction, so we need to take that time and opportunity to visit each other's ward to see those unique issues in parts of the city."  




A rose to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library and its supporters, who have reached the halfway point toward its $100,000 goal for the Mother Goose Endowment for Children's Literacy and Advancement. The library has collected $50,000 in a little less than eight months after kicking off the campaign named in honor of Edwina Williams, better known as Mother Goose. The endowment was established, in part, because of some startling statistics -- one in five children grow up functionally illiterate and one in every 88 children born in the U.S. will be diagnosed with some form of autism. 


Mother Goose, who has been a mainstay at the library where she reads to children, certainly embodies the worthy goals. If you haven't contributed, the Christmas season would be an ideal time to do your part.