Roses and thorns




A rose to Alma Turner as the longtime educator opens a new chapter in her life. After heading the Golden Triangle chapter of the Institute of Community Services HeadStart program for nearly a decade, Turner is leaving the post to spend time with her family. 


"I have led a very, very busy life for the last 40 years," said Turner, who also serves on the Columbus Municipal School District board of trustees. 


Turner also served as principal of CMSD''s Demonstration School and as assistant superintendent in the West Point School District. 


Family and children always have been at the top of Turner''s priority list. We wish her well as she continues to serve the children of Columbus and makes more time for herself and her family. 




A thorn to Lowndes County District 5 Supervisor Leroy Brooks for his race-based appointment. 


Last week, Brooks motioned for the supervisors to appoint Willie Jones to the Port Authority board seat previously held by Mike Hainsey, whose term had expired. His reason? Simply that Jones is black. 


"All my appointments are white," Brooks said, noting the majority of his District 5 constituents are black. He apparently wanted to bring more "balance" to the table. He did, however, admit Hainsey had done a commendable job while serving on the board. So, why Jones? Is he more qualified than Hainsey? Brooks didn''t say. 


If left to listen to Brooks'' reasons for appointing him, we may never know. Jones, as noted by Board President and District 1 Supervisor Harry Sanders, does not live in District 5. But, he is black, which was the only argument Brooks presented for the appointment. 


The motion passed with a vote of 2-1, with Brooks and District 4 Supervisor Jeff Smith voting for, Sanders voting against and Holliman and Ferguson abstaining, saying they needed more information to make a decision. 




A rose to Wesley Gordon, 18, is one of only 700 winners, nationwide, of a National Achievement Scholarship, worth $2,500. 


Gordon plans to attend Harvard University after graduation, and he credits his parents, Wade and Geraldine Gordon, with his disciplined focus on studying. 


Gordon will graduate from Columbus High School in May. 


A rose also goes to Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science student Charnele T. Dawson, of Cleveland, who also was named as a winner of a $2,500 National Achievement Scholarship. 




Roses to Ryan Shelter of Macon Connections Internet Cafe, who was named Man of the Year by the Noxubee Economic and Community Development Alliance, and to Dr. Pat Johnson-Scott, principal of B.F. Liddell Middle School, who was named Woman of the Year. 


The Alliance held its annual awards banquet last week and also honored Charles Sansing and the Macon Oil Company for Business of the Year, the city of Macon as the Alliance Member of the Year, Charlie Perkins Jr. and Janelle Good as Alliance Directors of the Year, Steve Reynolds as Friend of the Dancing Rabbit Festival and Mike Armour, Appalachian Regional Commission, Sandra Perkins, Appalachian Regional Commission and Henry Sansing, manager of the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge as Friends of the Noxubee Alliance Refuge.



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