Roses and Thorns 4-18-10

April 17, 2010 9:06:00 PM

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Roses to Golden Triangle law enforcement agencies for working to form a regional crime scene investigation and cold case unit. 

 

The Clay County Sheriff''s Department''s Cold Case Unit -- formed in 2009 -- already has solved two cold murder cases. And now the department is taking the lead in applying for a grant to develop a regional unit dedicated to high-profile and cold-case investigation. 

 

Along with the CCSD, the Columbus, Starkville and West Point Police, the Oktibbeha and Lowndes sheriff''s departments and MUW and MSU police are working together to put the regional unit in place. Individually, each agency only has a handful of cold cases, but jointly the agencies have several unsolved murders. In addition to working on these cases, through the partnership, each agency also would allow CPD Forensic Director Austin Shepherd to train an officer on crime scene investigation for national certification. 

 

 

 

Roses to the Starkville Area Arts Council and all responsible for Saturday''s Cotton District Arts Festival. This annual celebration of art, food and music continues to flourish and grow. And for good reason, organizers have taken advantage of the crowds drawn to Super Bulldog Weekend; they''ve sought out and limited participation to quality artists and craftsmen and the shady setting along and adjacent to University Avenue offers a pleasant walkway for festival goers. And that is what many of them were doing early Saturday morning, mingling with participants in the just completed 5K run, enjoying the beginning of what was another glorious spring day.  

 

 

 

Roses to Harvey Myrick and organizers of last weekend''s Grilling on the River, which boasted hundreds of attendees and a fierce competition whose intensity could be smelled for city blocks. 

 

The Rookies Sports Grill barbecue cooking team, based in Mandeville, La., won the barbecue championship. But everyone partaking in the events was a winner. 

 

And if the cars lining the streets were any indication, this year''s event was a rousing success. 

 

 

 

A thorn to the city of Columbus for its clumsy attempt to dump half of a $400,000 grant match onto the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors at a press conference. The city secured a $2 million grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation to transform the old Tombigbee River bridge into a pedestrian promenade. Rather than consulting with the their county counterparts beforehand, the city blindsided them by announcing their "partnership" at the event. 

 

Apparently, the county had agreed to such a partnership four years ago, but no one bothered to remind them of it when the deal finally went through. Also give the supervisors and city a joint thorn for shuffling the $400,000 tab to the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, claiming the bridge renovation is a tourism project. The City Council and Board of Supervisors signed resolutions calling for the CVB to foot the bill for the grant match.  

 

The city, county and the CVB, not to mention the people of Lowndes County, are getting 80 percent of the cost of this MDOT-funded project to enhance what is already a wildly successful river-front park. Surely these three entities can stop playing hot potato and come together to find a reasonable way to facilitate this windfall that benefits the entire area.