Roses and thorns 2-16-20




A rose to the Starkville Parks and Recreation Department, which has kicked off a program to make sure disabled kids aren't left out of the fun. The first annual Challenger Basketball Program games were held at the Starkville Sportsplex, designed to introduce the game to children with physical or developmental issues, a group that had until then had few opportunities to participate in sports. Thirteen kids have signed up for the program so far and that number is likely to grow as the word spreads. Special accommodations, including lower goals or even hoola-hoops are used to help the kids enjoy the game. But the benefits go far beyond the activity itself, providing kids an opportunity to play and learn together and giving parents an opportunity to meet and develop friendships with other parents, who themselves can feel isolated. We predict the program will grow and flourish in meeting the needs of this well-deserving yet under-served population.



A rose to Joe Nettles, trauma coordinator at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, for his efforts in helping citizens learn life-saving skills through a national program called "Stop the Bleed." Nettles is a certified trainer for the program, which was founded by The American College of Surgeons in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012. Nettles made a presentation this week at the Columbus Rotary Club. While the prospect of mass shootings has certainly raised consciousness about the need for regular citizen to learn methods of stopping blood loss, there are many instances where those skills are needed -- including household accident, automobile accidents and on the job accidents. "Stop the Bleed" holds free training sessions for groups of 10 or more to equip them with the skills to help bleeding victims until emergency personnel arrives on the scene. Often, the quick actions of citizens can mean the difference between life and death. We thank Nettles for his work and encourage other citizen groups to contact Nettles to arrange training.




A rose to the Boys of Summer, which in this case is the Boys of Late Winter. On a cool, but sunny day Friday, Mississippi State opened its 2020 baseball season with a 9-6 win over Wright State at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs are coming off back-to-back College World Series appearances and with a No. 10 national ranking have a legitimate chance to make it three in a row. Obviously, the Bulldogs' success in attaining so lofty a goal remains to be determined over a season that stretches through May. One thing that is already certain, however, is the phenomenal support MSU enjoys. A crowd of more than 9,500 turned out for Friday's 1 p.m. opener. That would be a record crowd for all but a handful of college baseball programs. That MSU could attract that sort of crowd on a work-day afternoon tells you all you need to know about how Bulldog fans support their baseball program.




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