Roses and thorns 5-31-09




A rose to the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link, the city of Columbus and Lowndes County for working to rocket Columbus to the top 17 percent of nationally rated micropolitan areas, based on economic strength. 


The Policom Corp., a Florida-based company, this year ranked Columbus 100 out of the 574 micropolitan areas in the country making it the fourth-highest ranked Mississippi micropolitan area, behind Vicksburg, 66, Oxford, 67, and Tupelo, 84. 


Golden Triangle cities Starkville and West Point ranked 218 and 481, respectively. 


The Friendly City has steadily climbed the list since it was ranked 374 in 2004. Last year, Columbus occupied the 174th spot. 


Areas are considered micropolitan if they cover at least one entire county and contain a city of between 10,000 and 50,000 residents. 


Link CEO Joe Higgins attributes the success to industries such as Severstal, Paccar and Eurocopter "that have helped us jump up the list." 




A rose to the West Point/Clay County Arts Council for presenting a free performance by Jubilee at the gazebo in Sally Kate Winters Park in downtown West Point. 


The band, comprised of Becky Kelly, Richard Brown, Torsten Clay and Wayne Kelly, specializes in old time, Celtic and early Appalachian tunes. 


The public convened on the park in lawn chairs and blankets Thursday to enjoy the concert. We can only hope there will be more of the same. 




A rose to Camgian Microsystems Corp., a Starkville company, which was one of six in the state to receive the Governor''s Cup award last week. 


The award recognizes businesses in the private sector for their impact within the community. 


Camgian develops semi-conductors at its office in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park. 


The district winners in each category will receive a Governor''s Cup award and their nominating entities will receive $1,000 each. The Greater Starkville Development Partnership nominated Camgian. 


From these district winners, statewide winners in each category will be selected and presented a Governor''s Cup trophy along with a $5,000 Economic Development Marketing Match Grant for their respective local nominating entities. 




Roses to Wilford and Mary Patterson, of Macon, owners of Patterson''s Professional Car Care, who were recognized by the Noxubee Alliance as Entrepreneurs of the Year. 


The Pattersons purchased their current location on Highway 45 in Macon almost 10 years ago. Since that time, the Pattersons have expanded their successful retail operation to include U-Haul rentals and auto sales. 


A rose also goes to the Thomasson Co./East Mississippi Pole, recognized as the Industry of the Year.  




A rose to the Frank Phillips YMCA and the Columbus Kiwanis Club for hosting "Healthy Kids Day," Saturday. 


The health day for children and families, featured activities to promote wellness and healthy living. 


Lately the YMCA has offered more and free programs to help the area shape up and beat the fat rap. (Mississippi still is ranked at the top in obesity, including childhood obesity.) 


For more information on upcoming events and ways to stay active and healthy, contact the YMCA, 662-328-7696. 




A rose to Holly Travis, who takes pride in making a difference in her community. 


The former Armstrong Middle School student, now a rising freshman, was honored by former first lady Laura Bush for outstanding volunteer work, during the presentation of the 2009 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. 


Holly received a $1,000 award and a personal congratulations from Bush at the 14th annual award ceremony and gala dinner reception, held at the Smithsonian Institute''s National Museum of Natural History. 


She also received engraved silver medallions and an all-expenses-paid trip with their parents to Washington, D.C., for the recognition events. 


Holly is the daughter of Cynthia and Rickey Travis, and, in August, will attend Starkville High School. 


The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards are supported by the American Association of School Administrators, the National Middle School Association, the National School Boards Association, the Council of the Great City Schools, Girl Scouts of the USA, National 4-H Council, the American Red Cross, YMCA of the USA, the Points of Light Institute and other national education and service organizations.



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