Roses and thorns: 6/24/18




A rose to former Starkville mayor Parker Wiseman, whose efforts to obtain grant funding for the city's aging sewer system have born fruit almost a year after he left office. This week, the city was informed that it would receive a $1-million matching grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for sewer system improvements, an application process than began during Wiseman's second term in office, which ended last July. It's a 75-25 match, which means the city would have to provide $250,000, which the board of aldermen approved Tuesday. The unexpected, almost forgotten grant application comes at a most opportune time as the city considers its largest infrastructure improvement effort in history. An additional $1 million is a pretty nice shot in the arm toward that goal. The grant is an example of how the foresight of one administration can produce benefits for future administrations.



A rose to the Columbus Boys and Girls Club, Volunteer Columbus, Ecolab and United Way of Lowndes County, which collaborated to conduct a special cooking class and program for about 50 kids at the Columbus Club last week. The children, who ranged in age from 5 to 13, participated in "Crock Out Hunger," cooking lessons aimed at teaching kids cooking skills. Child nutrition continues to be a serious issue, especially among the poor, and equipping children with basic cooking skills focused on preparing nutrition-rich meals is an effective tool toward developing healthy eating habits and lifestyles. Cooking is a fun way to make a serious point and teach valuable life lessons and stands as another example of the fine work the Boys and Girls Club continues to do for the children in their care. Bon appetit!




A rose to 14th District Chancery judges Dorothy Colom, Jim Davidson and Kenneth Burns for their decision to appeal a state Supreme Court ruling that overturned the judges' ban on guns in courthouses. Earlier this month, the supreme court ruled in favor of the plaintiff in Ward v. Colom, saying that the Legislature had the right to decide the issue of concealed carry in courthouses rather than the judges. The judges filed an appeal this week, arguing that as a co-equal branch of government, the judiciary has a right to make decisions that affect the conduct, decorum and operations of the courthouses where they dispense justice. In their appeal, the judges pointed out 12 points they are asking the Supreme Court to consider, including whether the most current version of the state law covering conceal carry actually confines restrictions to courtrooms only and not the courthouse grounds. A successful appeal will be a win for separation of powers and, just as important, common sense.



A rose to Mississippi State University, which last week was recognized by Victory Media as a "Military Spouse Friendly" school for 2018. The honor is included in an annual companion list to the company's "Military Friendly" schools, which also recognized MSU for its veteran-oriented campus culture. The latest "Military Friendly" schools survey included questions that not only evaluated whether certain schools' admissions, retention, career counseling and mentoring programs are better for veterans, but also whether they address the needs and concerns of military spouses and families. These needs include flexible learning options and degree continuation to accommodate deployments and relocation. Through their long association with Columbus Air Force Base, residents in the Golden Triangle are especially cognizant of our military families and the need to provide services that honor their commitment to our nation's security.




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