Roses and thorns: 9-9-18




A rose to the ranks of the Eagle Scouts in the Golden Triangle, which will soon expand by three. Simon Banzhaf of Starkville and Eli Box and Noel Fisher, both of Columbus, have completed their Eagle Scout project and now await only certification to become Eagle Scouts. The three teens' projects all represent the finest tradition of service that has been a hallmark of Scouting. Banzhaf designed and constructed a swing stand that allows children with disabilities to enjoy at Mississippi State's T.K. Martin Center. Box, meanwhile, refurbished the 68-year-old Statue of Liberty on Main Street that was in dire need of attention while Fisher worked with the Columbus Boys & Girls Club to build and equip a soccer field on club property. We salute these young men for their creativity in meeting the needs of our community through their projects. Well done.



A rose to the grass-roots campaign that helped make sure the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library received the funding it needs. When speculation began that city and county funding might be cut as the two local governments worked on their budgets for the upcoming year, staff and supporters of the library quickly rose to action, speaking out at civic group meetings, making calls and sending emails to elected officials and attending supervisors and council meetings to get their message out. What role those efforts played in the decisions on funding (the county will fund the library at the same level of $365,000 as it did last year while the city will increase its funding by $10,000 to $284,000), there is little doubt that their ability to forcefully tell the story of how the library serves our community played an important role. We applaud the county and city for responding to their requests.




A rose to organizers, volunteers, participants and sponsors for another successful Tennessee Williams Tribute event. The 17th renewal of the festival honoring Columbus' most famous native son, was held Friday through Sunday, featuring everything from tours, the "Stella Shouting Contest," movie screenings, poetry performances, lectures and its "Moonlight Gala." Although the event itself covers just three days, for organizers and volunteers, it marks a year-long effort to ensure that each Tribute is a unique contribution to our appreciation and understanding of America's Great Playwright. This year was certainly no exception. Bravo, all!



A rose to first-year Mississippi State football coach Joe Moorhead, whose decision to suspend the team's most notable player, quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, is certain to send a clear message throughout the football program and its following that there will be consequences for breaking rules. The suspension was announced the week before the Bulldogs' Sept. 1 season-opener against Stephen F. Austin for a violation of an unspecified team rule in March. That so much time had passed since the incident meant that there was no external pressure on the coach to discipline his star player. That Moorhead enforced that discipline anyway will likely prove valuable. If the star player is accountable, everyone is. There are few more important messages a first-year coach could send than that.




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