Roses and thorns 12/31/17




A rose to our readers as we pause to reflect on 2017 and look forward to tomorrow and the start of a new year.  


For some, 2017 cannot end soon enough. For others, it will stand out as special year. For most, it will be remembered as most years are remembered: a mixture of good and bad. Most years are like that, of course. Even so, we look forward to 2018 with an open mind and a sense of optimism. Where we failed, we can do better. Where we succeeded, we can build on. Happy New Year! 




A rose to Community Police Officer Rhonda Sanders and the Columbus Police Department, which was recognized this week for its annual Night Out Against Crime.  


The CPD's event was ranked 16th among the 48 communities that participate in the National Night Out Against Crime. Each August, members of the CPD meet with citizens at several different locations in "block parties," organized by Sanders and community members. The events feature music, guest speakers and other festivities as CPD reaches out to engage with the community. Building trust with the community begins with building the relationships between the police department and the citizens it serves. Events such as Night Out are an important part of that effort. 




A rose to the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors for its excellent use of the funds entrusted to it. Since board president Harry Sanders successfully lobbied the Legislature to allow the county to invest its $30 million hospital trust fund in the stock market in 2013, the investment continues to produce impressive dividends. In 2018, the county will be able to withdraw $1 million in profits from its investments made in 2017 while adding another $1 million to the principle (corpus). Since the change, the supervisors have withdrawn $4 million in profits, money used for capital improvement projects, while building the trust fund's balance to approximately $32.5 million. Aside from the sale of the county hospital itself, the decision to invest in the market may be the best decision the supervisors have ever made. 




A rose to the Mississippi State football team, which celebrated its record eighth straight bowl appearance with a remarkable 31-27 win over Louisville Saturday in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.  


Without starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and a skeleton coaching staff that came as a result of Dan Mullen's exit to The University of Florida, Mississippi State relied on true freshman QB Keytaon Thompson (three touchdowns) and an smothering defense (four interceptions) to finish the season with a 9-4 record. Bulldog fans now look forward to the debut of new head coach Joe Moorhead next fall, who will be looking to expand the Bulldogs' bowl streak to nine. To put that in context, prior to the current streak the longest consecutive bowl streak was just three seasons. In fact, of MSU's 21 bowl games all-time, 38 percent have come this decade.



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