Roses and thorns: 4-14-19




A rose to a handful Starkville businesses for getting into the "lemonade business" Saturday. When the threat of bad weather moved organizers of Saturday's Cotton District Arts Festival to cancel the event, Rick Welch opened his club, Rick's Cafe to art vendors who had already arrived for the event as did 929 Coffee Bar and Starkville Community Theater. The community spirit demonstrated by these businesses in making the best of a bad situation is a testament to the city's community spirit and support of the arts community. We also commend the Starkville Area Arts Council for putting the safety of visitors and vendors as its top priority. We understand how disappointing it was for the SAAC to cancel the event, which makes their decision worthy of commendation.



A rose to Starkville Police Department Sgt. Bill Lott, who was honored Tuesday by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood for his work in solving the 1990 Labor Day murders of two elderly Starkville residents. Years after the murder, it was Lott's diligence that ultimately led to the arrest of Michael Wane Devaughn for the murders of two elderly Starkville residents, Betty Jones and Kathryn Crigler. Lott began working on the case after the case had gone "cold" in 1998. Often working on his own time, Lott kept investigating. It's likely the case would never have been solved without Lott's persistence.




A thorn to the city of Columbus, which appears to have allowed a city official to use a public facility at a rate lower than offered the general public. A review of Trotter Convention Center records showed city councilman Fred Jackson paid $200 less than the usual rate for renting Regal Hall in December and appears to have been initially offered space in the Trotter Center for half the going rate for his May 11 wedding. This not only violates city policy, it erodes public trust. These facilities do not belong to city officials to be used for their own benefit at rates not available to anyone else. These facilities are owned by the taxpayers and are held in trust by our elected officials. The public expects them to act that way.



A "Welcome Home!" rose to 275 members of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi National Guard, the last guard members to return home of the 3,250 deployed to the Middle East in April 2018. The Tupelo-based brigade, which arrived at the Jackson airport last Saturday, includes members from Starkville and Amory. We thank them for their service and applaud them during their well-deserved rest.




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