Roses and thorns: 5-19-19




A rose to the New Hope High School and Heritage Academy baseball teams, who claimed state baseball titles in remarkably similar fashion Friday evening. Both teams went on the road to complete two-game sweeps in the best-of-three championship series behind shut-out pitching efforts. Ryan Burt gave up just one hit in a 4-0 shut-out of Sumrall. In winning the MHSAA Class 4-A title Friday, the Trojans claimed their eighth state championship and first since 2014. For Heritage, it was Cole Ketchum's two-hit pitching effort in a 3-0 win over Wayne Academy that sealed the MAIS Class AAA title, the first state championship in school history. Congratulations, Trojans and Patriots on amazing championship runs! 




A rose to Leslie Fye of Starkville, who was selected as Mississippi's Parent of the Year by the Mississippi Department of Education. Leslie and her husband, Don, have two children at Starkville High, but Fye's involvement in the schools goes far beyond the activities her children participate in. A fixture at school events and a eager advocate for the school district, Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Superintendent Eddie Peasant said Fye is the kind of parent every administrator dreams about. "She's priceless," he said. " It's all about children, it's all about our community and it's all about our school district for her. She obviously loves her children, but she loves other children almost as much as her own the way she fights for them and their success." 


We congratulate Fye on this well-deserved honor. 




A rose Jared Rabren, whose hard work has set the stage for some exciting new possibilities at the Columbus-Lowndes Airport. Rabren, chosen to run the airport as its fixed-base operator (FBO), has impressed the airport board with his efforts to clean-up, repair and put in order airport facilities that had suffered neglect in recent years. Rabren is responsible for all airport facilities, including a 4,500-foot runway, hangar space for up to 27 aircraft and fuel tanks and other equipment. Now that he's gotten the airport in clean, well-maintained order, the airport can look forward to having much-needed repairs to the runway, thanks to a $131,000 grant from the FAA, along with matching state and local funds. In his first few months on the job, Rabren has proven to be a great fit for the joint city-county airport. 




A rose to the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District administration and Armstrong Middle School for its handling of a gas leak on the middle school campus on Tuesday. After Atmos Energy workers discovered a gas leak on campus at about 11:30 a.m., administrators evacuated 1,200 students to the Starkville High football field, contacting parents through text messages and social media to arrange pick-ups. The logistics of evacuating the students, while taking care to make sure all were accounted for before and upon pick-up was no small feat. By all accounts, the process worked smoothly. The gas leak was repaired and students returned to school Wednesday as normal. Schools have to be prepared for all kinds of emergencies, including evacuations. While no school system wants to employ those plans, it's encouraging to see the plans work effectively with as little disruption and confusion as possible. It's pretty clear, the school district has a good plan, based on Tuesday's event.



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