Roses and thorns 10-18-09

October 18, 2009 12:07:00 AM



A rose to organizers of a plethora of events and festivals over the weekend that celebrate what makes the Golden Triangle unique. 


During the Bukka White Blue Bluff Festival in Aberdeen Saturday, the latest addition to the Mississippi Blues Trail, Aberdeen Mississippi Blues, was unveiled honoring Bukka White, Howlin'' Wolf and Albert King. The marker is named for one of White''s songs. After the unveiling, the festivities continued with music and fun. 


Aberdeen''s southern neighbors in Caledonia invited area residents to celebrate the town with Caledonia Day, a street festival featuring food, games, music and displays. 


A bit further south into Lowndes County, the city of Columbus honored a native son whose work in motion pictures made him one of the most influential figures in the world of animation and special effects -- Josh Meador -- with events at Mississippi University for Women and the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. 


And heading west into Starkville, the city again paid tribute to the Man in Black with the Johnny Cash Flower Pickin'' Festival. 


Events like these offer family-friendly entertainment and can serve as reminders of the distinctive features of our very special corner of the world. 




A rose to 18-year-old David Bouchard for earning his Eagle Scout ranking, a feat only 2 percent of all Boy Scouts achieve. 


For his project, David, who is blind, replaced all the signs at Starkville High with those that also included Braille. 


David, a senior at the school, will only get to directly enjoy the fruits of his labor for the next several months. But the project will be helpful to the school and other blind people attending the school and participating in events at the school for years to come. 


David was born blind. 


Bouchard was born blind but hasn''t let blindness keep him from achieving his goals -- one of which was to follow in his father''s footsteps to become an Eagle Scout. 


His father, Dennis Bouchard, earned his Eagle Scout ranking at 14 years old; he died in 1998. 


David also became the first blind student to make the Lions All-State Band, a band clinic offering a limited amount of seats through competitive auditions. David plays the trumpet in the high school band. 


Bouchard will graduate from Starkville High in December and plans to attend the Louisiana Center for the Blind in Ruston, La. then enroll at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., to major in audio production and music. 


David''s mother, Wingfield Bouchard, is proud of her son. And so are we. 






Roses to Heritage Academy students, parents and alumni, who have taken on the task of building a Habitat for Humanity home for a Crawford woman and her family. 


Through the first Leadership Initiative project, the Heritage Academy Class of 2010 is leading the school in an effort to build a house in Caledonia for Shala Hines. 


Hines has two children in college and a 4-month-old grandchild and has worked two jobs, including being an assistant teacher at West Lowndes Elementary School, while taking classes to become a teacher. 


She has been living in a mobile home with a leaky roof, problems with mold, no heat and only one functional bathroom. 


But once the school completes the project, she''ll be a new homeowner in Caledonia where she plans to teach. 


The first workday for the home is Saturday, Nov. 7. 


To help or donate to the project, call Columbus-Lowndes Habitat for Humanity Director Kathy Arinder, 662-329-2501, or Rebecca Partain at Heritage, [email protected] or 662-327-5272. 




A rose to Starkville citizens who left City Sanitation Department trucks 11,090 pounds of recyclables to transport to Starkville Recycling, during the first day if the city''s curbside recycling pickup, last week. 


City officials, community members and Starkville Recycling, are praising residents for embracing the program. And we add our praise to the chorus. 


More than 900 people had signed up for curbside recycling pickup by the first day of the program. Anyone who receives curbside garbage pickup is eligible for the program. 


Starkville Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Spruill called the first day "a rousing success" and Sanitation Department head Sharon Boyd called it a "great turnout." 


Recycling is good for the environment, it also will help the city financially. Starkville pays Golden Triangle Waste Services $23.50 per ton to dump garbage at its landfill in Clay County, Boyd said, so the city saved about $130 Wednesday by recycling more than 5-1/2 tons of materials. 


Organizers of the program expect the recycling tonnage to at least double during the next pickup. 


Residents can put out newspaper, office paper, cardboard, magazines, plastics, scrap metal and aluminum cans for pickup.  


While helping the environment, Starkville residents also are helping the city save money on landfill space.