Roses and thorns: 10-7-18




A rose to the senior class at Heritage Academy, which is partnering with Make A Wish of Mississippi to grant the wish of a New Hope 7-year-old with serious health issues. Each year, the Heritage seniors choose a senior community service project. This year, the 28-member class selected a very personal project by funding a trip to Disney World for Ethan Marsh, a child with autism and heart and kidney illnesses. The seniors had planned to raise $10,000, but having already raised $7,000, they set a new goal of $50,000, enough to fund Ethan's trip and make the wishes come true for as many as four other children. With 185 kids on the state's Make A Wish waiting list, the Heritage seniors' efforts are much-needed. We applaud these students for their efforts.



A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District for its efforts to make sure students have high-speed internet access at their homes. During a district review meeting Wednesday, school board members discussed plans to broadcast CMSD's internet service citywide in the evenings in an effort to improve student achievement, especially for students who don't have internet access outside of school. Board President Jason Spears said the district is exploring broadcasting the internet provided for the district as far as it can. For example, Spears said, Columbus Light and Water has fiber optic cables throughout the city that are currently unused. Though the board is still in the early stages of developing a plan for citywide internet, Spears said they are hoping to partner with CLW, internet providers and MDE to make providing access to students anywhere in the city a realty. We applaud not just the initiative itself but the creative approach to a significant problem.




A rose to Community Counseling Services and all those who participated in last week's Recovery Walk. About 75 people made the march from The Pines and Cady Hill Recovery Center down Main Street to the Columbus Riverwalk. The march was less than a mile, but symbolically, it represented a far greater journey - from despair to hope. The idea for the walk was to raise awareness locally not only of drug addiction and mental illness but of the type of supportive community that helps people heal. The walk serves to remind us all that people from all walks of life are vulnerable to addiction. Their visible presence should encourage those who need help to step forward rather than suffer in silence and shame. There is a path out of the darkness and resources to light the way.



A rose to the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors who have partnered with an energy audit company in an effort to see what steps it may be able to take to reduce its utility expenses. Nathan Wells, with the Jackson-based Path Company, spoke to supervisors about his company's services at Monday's board meeting. Wells said Path can conduct an energy audit, at no cost to Oktibbeha County, to determine where the county can save money. Once the audit is complete, the company will present recommendations on how to improve energy efficiency. Their approach focuses on using technology - switching to LED lights instead of fluorescent ones or using better weather-sealing to prevent air from escaping through cracks - for improvements. We applaud the supervisors for this first step in improving energy efficiency and saving taxpayers' dollars.





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