Roses and thorns: 8/20/17




A rose to Starkville alderman David Little, who despite his own misgivings, proved to be the decisive vote in 4-3 vote Tuesday that will allow a proposal to relax the city's ordinances on alcohol sales to go before a public hearing. The proposal would allow changes that, among other things, would reduce the distance from churches, schools and funeral homes alcohol could be sold as well as extend alcohol sale hours at bars, restaurants and other licensed retail establishments. Little said he's torn on the matter, but felt the public had a right to have its say on this issue. We commend every effort to involve the community in these decisions. No matter the outcome, residents will know -- at the very least -- they had an opportunity to make their voices heard.  




A rose to the return of high school football. Schools throughout the Golden Triangle kicked off the 2017 season this week. The arrival of football season is cause for celebration. Few things unite a school and its community like football. It's a reward for the weeks of hard work put in not only by football players and coaches, but cheerleaders and band members too. Football, at least in the South, is very much a collaborative effort. The games become gathering places for the community, promote school and community pride and serve to bring people together in a wholesome environment. 




A rose of gratitude and remembrance for Hobie, a 9-year-old English Bulldog who died from rattlesnake bites while protecting a 3-year-old child. Hobie was struck by the timber rattler several times as he protected Jackson, the son of Lance Dodd and his fiancee Jami Harvey, while they were visiting Dodd's grandmother on Highway 373 near CAFB. Jackson was playing along the tall grass at the back of the property when Hobie saw the snake, just a few feet away from the child. Hobie lunged forward. The snake struck Hobie multiple times in the face as he fought it off long enough for the adults to pull the child out of danger. Despite veterinarians' efforts, Hobie died from the venomous bites, but died a hero's death. Man's best friend, indeed. 




A rose to the Frank P. Phillips YMCA for its decision to rescind an earlier decision to close the New Hope YMCA. The board had voted to close the New Hope branch during its July board meeting, effective the end of the month. But thanks to the efforts of YMCA director Andy Body, who met with New Hope Y members twice to explain the reasons behind the board's decision -- the facility has been operating at a monthly deficit of about $4,000 for two years -- the board will delay that move. New Hope members deserve credit for their grassroots effort to raise money and seek new members which are needed if the facility is to remain viable. Whether or not those efforts will succeed remains to be seen. But we applaud the board for giving the New Hope community every possible change to save their Y. We wish them success in that effort.



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