Roses and thorns




Roses to the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau''s Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation for a weekend feast of cultural events -- literally and figuratively. Catfish in the Alley kicked off Friday with, (what else), catfish in the alley. Catfish Alley -- the strip of Fourth Street South between Main and College streets, once a booming business and restaurant area -- got its nickname from the aroma of catfish wafting in the air. And Friday afternoon the area rekindled a bit of that nostalgia, as dozens of people lined up for fresh-cooked catfish and chips. Music from Muzik in Action topped off the event.


During the day, free walking tours were led by members of the Missionary Union Baptist Church Youth Drama Ministry. MU is one of the oldest black churches in Northeast Mississippi.


Saturday, the festivities continued with driving tours, conducted by Chuck Yarborough, Mississippi''s Gilder-Lehrman Institute History Teacher of the Year. His history students at Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science also offered dramatic performances at Sandfield Cemetery, a historic black cemetery.



The CVB''s annual tribute to African-American history calls attention to of the rich African-American history right in our backyard. It also serves as a reminder that black history is more than just black history -- it''s American history.




Roses to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library for bringing Abraham Lincoln to Columbus in the "Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln''s Journey to Emancipation" exhibit.


Archivist Mona Vance and former library director Ben Petersen in 2005 wrote a grant to bring the national exhibit to Columbus -- now its only stop in the state during the bicentennial of Lincoln''s birth.


"Forever Free" follows Lincoln''s life in politics and his path to signing the Emancipation Proclamation with 30 panels of images, Lincoln papers in his own handwriting and a timeline.


Events for the exhibit, now on display at the library, include a series of skits about Abraham Lincoln by children, in costume, from the Christian Home Educators in Lowndes County organization, book talks, discussions, documentary showings and more.


See today''s Lifestyle section for a full schedule of events.




Roses to the pre-kindergarten classes at the Catherine Bryan School in West Point for becoming published authors and to the educators who made it possible. Michelle Armstrong, Kimberly Allen and Debbie Lancaster offered their 4- and 5-year-old students the opportunity to become authors and illustrators of their own page in a full-color, hard-bound book.


The literary results: "My ABC''s and Me," "The ABC''s of Christmas" and "Cooking the Alphabet."


Each child received help from teachers to select their letter of the alphabet and the illustration they would create to go with it.


"It was even better than we dreamed it would be," said Armstrong.


It''s pretty safe to say, being published authors in the same year they likely learned to tie their shoes, is a feat not many can claim.




Rose to Columbus Light and Water for restoring power quickly after East Columbus'' substation went down Thursday, leaving thousands without electricity. Phone lines went wild at CL&W at about 10 a.m. when the outage occurred. But within a half an hour, power was restored to most residents; another half-hour and the crisis was completely resolved.


As Todd Gale, manager of CL&W noted, it was too cold to be without electricity that day. And while many were in a frenzy, trying to figure out what became of their power, students at Columbus High weathered the outage by remaining in class as crews worked on restoring power. While businesses and residents alike were without power across East Columbus, Columbus High was the only city school to lose power.




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