Roses and thorns: 2/16/14

February 15, 2014 6:52:56 PM



A rose to those whose decisions and actions during this week's ice storm helped insure the safety of our community. School officials made the wise decision to cancel classes Tuesday and Wednesday. Although there was some criticism of the decisions, we believe it wise to err on the side of caution. Given there were dozens of wrecks, including one fatality, on those days, we feel the move was justified. We also commend the first responders -- law enforcement, ambulance, fire department personnel -- for rising to the challenges dangerous weather always presents. 




A rose to 4-County Electric, which sent a pair of crews to aid in the weather emergency that emerged in Georgia and the Carolinas. While our area was spared from major outages, as many as 700,000 of our fellow Southerners were without power as the winter storm grew in severity as it moved eastward. In typical Southern tradition, 4-County crews responded to our neighbors in need. You make us proud. 




A rose to the Mississippi State University baseball team, which opened its 2014 season this weekend in a series against visiting West Carolina. This is clearly one of the most anticipated seasons in MSU's proud baseball history after the Bulldogs finished as national runner-up last year. The Bulldogs hope to eclipse that notable achievement this year by bringing home its first national title. It's a daunting goal, of course, but the Bulldog program has reached a point where only the highest goals are worth setting. Play ball! 




A rose the Mississippi House of Representatives for its unanimous passage of a bill that will undoubtedly save lives. House bill 432 would add CPR education to high school physical education classes. If approved by the Senate, the new law would add thousands of CPR-trained young adults to our communities. According to the American Heart Association, 424,000 Americans suffer sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital each year. The survival rate of those people is just 10.4 percent. When given immediate CPR, the survival rates doubles and even triples in some cases. If the goal of education is to prepare our young people to be responsible, contributing adults, certainly CPR training fits that mission. 




A rose to a secret Valentine who warmed hearts from Columbus to the Pacific Northwest. This from Trish Evans of Seattle, Wash.: "(Feb. 13), Daddy (Travis Broocks) went to a local Mexican Restaurant in my hometown of Columbus for a steak. The waiter came by to clear his plate and handed him a receipt for his meal and said that some young woman anonymously paid for his dinner. Daddy turned the receipt over to find a brief note, 'Happy Valentine's Day,' and a smiley face. He was tickled pink but also 'stumped' -- something that seldom happens to the rather shrewd and really sharp octogenarian. I wish I knew who was so kind, thoughtful, and made his day/week/month. Whomever you are, you are a rock star! My Daddy means the world to me and to be so far away is really difficult some days because I love to spoil him and my Momma. To know that you cared enough about my Pops to do this restores a tiny nick of my faith in humanity!" 




Roses to this year's Main Street Columbus award winners, who were recognized Thursday at a reception at the Rosenzweig Art Center. Design award winners this year the Catfish Alley Committee and the Hitching Lot Farmers' Market. "Dedicated Downtowner" Edwina Williams, a.k.a. Mother Goose, was recognized. Columbus Arts Council director Tina Sweeten-Lunsford was honored with the President's Award. 


"Everyone understands the great work Tina has done for our community," Main Street director Barbara Bigelow noted in presenting the award. "She is dedicated, knowledgeable, smart, respected, caring and, most of all, understanding about community, non-profits and partnerships. She has vastly expanded the programs at the arts council." 


The "Preserving the Past" award went to those who contributed to the renovated Old Tombigbee River Bridge, a $2.2 million project that transformed the bridge into a pedestrian walk-way that enhances the city's Riverwalk. Thanks to all these groups that make Columbus a better place to live. 




Do you have a submission for Roses and Thorns? Send your submission of 75 words of fewer to managing editor SlimSmith at [email protected] by noon Friday.