Roses and thorns: 10-18-20




A rose (and a reminder) to all the candidates in the special elections for the state legislature, which ended with Tuesday's runoff for the District 37 House of Representatives and the District 15 Senate. Lynn Wright (District 37) and Bart Williams (District 15) emerged as the winners and have been sworn into their respective offices in a race that began with the Sept. 22 election that started with a field of seven candidates. There is one last duty that must be performed, however: removing campaign signs. There are reports that campaign signs for even those who did not make it to the runoff after the Sept. 22 election still have yet to be removed. For all candidates who delay in picking up their signs, it's bad advertising. It means the candidate has not lived up to their obligations.



A rose to the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors for its recognition of one of the county's most faithful public servants. Last Sunday the board held a special ceremony to honor Kirk Rosenhan, who retired earlier this year as the county's fire services coordinator, a position he held for a remarkable 32 years. Even in retirement, Rosenhan continues to serve his community by keeping the media informed on fires and accidents that occur in the county. It's obvious to all that for Rosenhan, it's been a labor of love and service to his community. We applaud the board for recognizing his service.




A rose to Mississippi University for Women, which despite the limitation imposed by COVID-19, will conduct its annual Welty Symposium, featuring an impressive lineup of renowned Southern Writers. U.S. and Mississippi poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Natasha Trethewey will be the keynote author for the symposium, which will be held Thursday through Saturday. The events will be accessible via Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook through the Welty Symposium group, where viewers may also post questions. Because of the pandemic there will be no events held at Poindexter Hall as have been for the previous 31 years. Instead, high school classes and readers from around the country will have access to the virtual panels, and most of the sessions will remain available after the event. However, the keynote session with Trethewey will only be available Oct. 22 live at 6 p.m. and immediately after the reading.



A rose to the Lowndes County School District, which has announced its intention to expand the district's Wi-Fi through parking lots and sports facilities within the next year, allowing members of the community -- and especially students -- to access the district's internet outside class. LCSD Superintendent Sam Allison said the project would be paid for with money from the Mississippi Pandemic Response Broadband Availability Act, part of federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) funds. The pandemic, which prompted LCSD and other area districts to offer a virtual learning option for students whose parents prefered they not be exposed to other students and staff at school, has highlighted the importance of internet connectivity in learning. While Allison previously told The Dispatch he does not know if LCSD will continue to offer virtual learning to the whole student body next semester or next year, he pointed out the expanded Wi-Fi will also help students do homework or search for jobs.




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