Our View: Roses and thorns




A rose to Mississippi University for Women for another excellent Eudora Welty Writer's Symposium, a three-day event which concluded Saturday. This year's event, The W's 31st, featured Mississippi author Kiese Laymon, whose book "Heavy: An American Memoir" was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction, as the keynote author with Washington Post sports writer and author John Feinstein serving as keynote speaker at Friday's Welty Gala. The event featured its usual excellent collection of local authors and artwork. Over the years, we look forward to the event and are never disappointed. This year certainly was no exception. Well done!



A rose to East Mississippi Community College President Scott Alsobrooks, for his leadership in cleaning up an inherited mess. This week, The Dispatch reported on a long history of "hype videos" produced for EMCC's football team that include graphic images of violence, drugs, sex and offensive language, including videos that violated the school's own policies for content and may have included non-licensed music and video. Alsobrooks, who arrived as president in January, had no prior knowledge of the videos, but has been candid and accessible -- acknowledging the problem and pledging to provide proper oversight of EMCC's football program. In some quarters, the revelations are viewed as an attack on a highly-successful football program. That's the wrong message. Alsobrooks' efforts to make sure all aspects of the school are consistent with the mission of the school and responsible in the use of taxpayers dollars strengthen every program. And yes, that includes football. We applaud Alsobrooks for his leadership.




A rose to the Guy II and Will A. Jones U.S. Army Reserve Center for its plans to move a new training facility located at Cornerstone Park in Starkville. Expected to open in 18 months, the new 25,000 square foot building -- 7,000 square feet larger than its current facility, will include features such as a vehicle bay, an assembly hall, a weapons simulation range and officer and classroom space. It will greatly enhance the training opportunity for our Army reservists, equipping them with access with the latest technology and ensuring they are ready and equipped when called to serve. Our nation's readiness to respond to military crises around the world depends on the training they receive. We applaud these men and women as they look forward to this wonderful new facility.



A rose to all law enforcement agents involved in a joint initiative known as "Operation Triple Beam." Last week, the U.S. Marshal's Service announced the arrest of 149 people wanted on crimes ranging from sex offenses, drugs offenses and violent crimes in the Golden Triangle during a six-week operation. The Marshal's Service worked with other federal agencies, state agencies, sheriff's departments in Lowndes, Oktibbeha and Clay counties and police departments in Columbus, Starkville and West Point, combining their resources in this effort. By sharing information and resources, the initiative succeeded in a way that far exceeded what the agencies could have expected to do on their own. Their teamwork has made our communities safer. We salute all who played a role in this important effort.




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