August 12, 2017 10:35:46 PM
A rose to Columbus Air Force Base for what it means to our community. Friday, CAFB officials announced their annual economic impact report. By their estimates, the CAFB produced an economic impact of almost $261 million last year. We can hardly imagine what our community's economy would look like without the revenue produced, directly and indirectly, by the base and its personnel. We also realize the benefits CAFB provides the community goes far beyond revenue. The men and women of CAFB are good neighbors, quick to contribute to charities, volunteer at community events and make their contributions to the welfare of the community in innumerable other ways. We thank CAFB for all it means to us.
A rose to New Hope High School Principal Matt Smith and the students, teachers and staff who reached out to Oak Hill Academy in a personal way after the West Point school was rocked by tragedy just two days before the school year started on Monday. Thomas Lee Bales, a popular 16-year-old who would have been a junior at Oak Hill this year, drowned Saturday and the Oak Hill family has been trying to come to terms with their grief since then. New Hope High responded by putting together a banner with the signatures of more than 700 students, teachers and staff. Smith delivered the banner to the school Thursday. The New Hope family, which had suffered a near-tragic loss last October when three students and one New Hope graduate were seriously injured in a car crash recalled how other schools rallied to support them in that hour. It was a heart-felt personal expression and a comfort to the Oak Hill family in this time of sorrow and loss.
A rose to Mississippi School for Math & Science which was recently rated as the nation's 8th best public high school and best in Mississippi on the niche.com Best Public High Schools list for 2018. Generally, when we hear the words "rankings" and "education," we wince, but never where MSMS is concerned. For almost 30 years the state-funded residential school has provided a shining example of what all of our schools could be. Even in these times, when funding is a challenge, MSMS continues to thrive and inspire. We also extend roses to our high schools In Caledonia (36th), Starkville (41st) and New Hope (47th) for their ranking among the 200 Mississippi schools evaluated. These achievement are another reminder that our kids can achieve and are worthy of our support.
A rose to Lex Jackson, who announced last week that he will be closing Reed's of Columbus on Highway 45 in the spring. Jackson, in a partnership with the Reed family of Tupelo, opened Reed's of Columbus in 1973 - The store operated for 25 years at Leigh Mall and another 20 at its current location at Jackson Square, which is also owned by the Jackson-Reed partnership. Jackson's influence on the store over these 45 years is obvious to those who have shopped there. His emphasis on quality clothing backed by impeccable customer service was a personal trademark. Jackson also has made community service a priority, too, serving on numerous boards, committees and community organizations ranging from the Chamber of Commerce to The LINK to scouting. Jackson will still manage the shopping center after Reed's closes in the spring, so it's nice to know he will continue to be an active member of our community.