Roses and thorns: 7/8/18




A rose to all those who came to the aid of a citizen in need in Clay County over the past few days. When Clay County resident Victoria Hudson, 23, went missing after a car crash early Thursday, a swarm of first responders and community members rushed to comb the difficult terrain. As many as 50 people searched the woods on foot, aided by two helicopters, an airplane, horses, four-wheelers and a drone. Fifty-three hours after Hudson's initial 911 call, she was found safe about a mile away from the crash site. The outcome could not have been better. Although dehydrated and suffering scratches and insect bites, Hudson is in good condition. We thank all those whose efforts contributed to this happy ending to a frightening ordeal. 




A rose to Columbus Fire and Rescue and to city attorney Jeff Turnage for recent statewide distinctions. During its recent convention in Biloxi, the Mississippi Municipal League honored CFD with its Public Safety award for cities with a population of more than 10,000. The MML cited CFD for the addition of two specialized medical emergency vehicles while maintaining its status as the state's only internationally-accredited municipal fire department. Turnage, meanwhile, was elected the president of the Mississippi Municipal Attorneys Association for 2018- 2019. The association has over 160 members who comprise the legal minds for almost every city and town in Mississippi. He was elected to the position following a vote by his peers in the association. Turnage was appointed city attorney in late 2005 and has continuously served that position for almost 13 years. 




A rose to East Mississippi Community College athletics, whose student athletes excelled in the classroom as well as the playing fields this year. East Mississippi Community College had four teams and 18 student-athletes garner national recognition for their academic excellence during the 2017-18 school year. The EMCC football team led the way by winning the National Junior College Athletic Association's (NJCAA) Football Academic Team of the Year honor and the national championship in the same academic year. EMCC's softball team continued to rate among the nation's top programs academically, as it ranked fourth nationally with a 3.65 team GPA. The EMCC baseball team recorded a program-best 3.25 composite GPA to rank among the nation's top 25 teams academically. It eclipsed the 3.00 team mark for the seventh time in the past 10 years. Coach Sharon Thompson's women's basketball team earned NJCAA honorable mention status for the second-straight year with a 3.00 team GPA.  




A rose to Starkville Police Chief Frank Nichols, who was chosen as second vice president of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police at the group's recent conference in Biloxi. Nichols, a 26-year law enforcement veteran, all at the SPD, has been the city's police chief since 2014. During that tenure, he oversaw a $5.4-million renovation of the city's police department, guided the SPD through state and national re-accreditation, implemented programs to enhance police/community relations and grew the department from 55 to 60 officers. We congratulate the chief on this honor.



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