Roses and thorns 10-10-10




A rose of condolences to the family of 16-year-old Caledonia High School student Kasandra Fowler, who died the night Oct. 2 in Lowndes County.  


Two of her 16-year-old classmates, Tabitha Cantrell, who was driving, and Alison Adair, survived the accident.  


The incident serves as another painful reminder of how fleeting life can be. While some accidents are unavoidable, we hope the tragedy serves as a reminder of how careful we all need to be behind the wheel, no matter our age. 




More roses of condolences to the family of Columbus Municipal Court Judge Curtis Austin, who died last week after an illness at a Birmingham hospital. He was laid to rest Saturday. 


Austin, 60, was a trailblazer in the community. He was the second black member of the City Council, on which he served for two terms. He practiced as an attorney for about 30 years before becoming a Municipal Court judge in January 1994. 


Austin''s service to the community has been invaluable, and helped pave the way for better race relations along the way. "(He) was one of those giants in our community whose shoulders we stand on," said Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem. 




A thorn to all the garbage in the news lately. In Starkville, the city is investigating how green garbage bags -- which Starkville citizens filled with recyclables that should have gone to the city''s recycling program -- were instead sent in city trucks to the Golden Triangle landfill in Clay County.  


Exactly what''s going on here remains to be found out, but it sure appears that recycling wasn''t happening the way it should have.  


And in Clay County, supervisors are trying to figure out how to collect more than $153,000 in delinquent garbage bills -- not a small chunk of change, especially amid tight budget times. And that $153,000 is just what the county calls "traceable" -- in all, more than $600,000 is owed, with most of that money tossed in the trash. 


The old saying, "there''s no gold in garbage," certainly doesn''t apply. 




A rose to all the anonymous donors who give their time or money and ask nothing in return. We were told this week of a specific case, of an anonymous donor who gave $15,000 to go toward expenses for a Tennessee Williams'' 100th birthday celebration next March. 


The donation was secured by the Tennessee Williams Tribute Committee. Events planned for the celebration include concerts and plays, and plaques that will be dedicated at the site of Williams'' birth in Columbus (at the Trustmark building) and the original site of the Tennessee Williams Home, near St. Paul''s Episcopal Church. 


Donations large and small are made every day. Even picking up a piece of litter is a small donation of time toward creating a better community. 




A rose to Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, which is continuing to upgrade its facility even amid the recession. A new behavioral health facility is in the works, which will replace the current Willowbrook Road facility. 


The new behavioral health facility, a 30-bed, 26,000-square-foot facility, is only the latest string in improvements at the hospital, which has invested more than $88 million in the Columbus campus since buying it from the county in 2006.



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