Roses and thorns: 7-1-18




A rose to the Lowndes County School District and to the voters whose investment in the county's students was in evidence during recent grand opening ceremonies. On consecutive Tuesdays the LCSD invited residents to tour two major additions. On June 19, residents got a look at the new $11-million Career Tech Center on Lehmberg Road. The 55,000 square feet facility will be able to accommodate up to 500 students this upcoming school year. This past Tuesday, it was time to show off the county's new $24.3-million high school at New Hope. The two additions were part of a $44-million bond issue that also brought improvements to Caledonia and West Lowndes. At a time when the state legislature lacks the interest or will to provide full funding for our students, tax-payers in Lowndes County showed their support in a way that will enhance the education of our children for decades to come.



A rose to Ken P'Pool, deputy state historic preservation officer, who announced he will be retiring after 39 years. Although he now lives in Jackson, P'Pool began his career in the MDAH field office in Columbus and has been a strong advocate for the city ever since, helping identify and shed light on many of the historic homes and buildings in Columbus. Columbus historian Rufus Ward said P'Pool's work in bringing the history of those building to light encouraged the preservation of most of the old homes in the city, including the Ole Homestead, which Ward bought and restored. Recognized as one of the leading architectural historians/preservationists in the South, P'Pool has provided a great service to our community. We wish him well in his retirement.




A rose to Jim Jackson, the new CEO of OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville. Jackson's announcement came Monday. He will take over from Richard Hilton, who is retiring. Jackson's arrival comes at an opportune time as the hospital emerges from a rough-and-tumble debate over its future, including a vote on whether to sell the hospital that was rejected by voters. The previous week, the hospital announced it will affiliate with University of Mississippi Medical Center, a move that it hopes will provide efficiencies and improve health care at the hospital. With the selection of Jackson, formerly the CEO at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, OCH has a new start with a new CEO. We wish Jackson well in his role in helping chart the future of the hospital.



A rose to Sandy Devlin and all those who volunteer their time or donate money or services in support of summer camps that cater to kids who have special needs or circumstances. Devlin founded Camp Jigsaw, a week-long overnight camp for boys who have autism, 11 years ago. The first year, Devlin housed the campers in her home. Since then, the camp has moved to the MSU campus. As the camp has grown to accommodate more campers, Devlin has been a one-woman fund-raising machine, largely responsible for raising $28,000 to fund the camp. She is one of many who step forward to provide these opportunities for kids who might not otherwise be able to enjoy the summer camp experience. Camp Rising Sun, which provides a week of fun and activities for children who have been cancer patients, could not operate without its army of volunteers and donors. We thank all who give so selflessly and work so tirelessly for these kids.





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