Roses and thorns 3-22-09




Roses to Harvey Myrick and the host of volunteers who put on this year''s Grilling on the River. The Friday and Saturday event proved to be a hog fest no barbecue lover could resist.


People poured in to the field in front of Ruben''s next to the Riverwalk to sample the fare of those trying to claim the title for best barbecue.


Amateur contestants competed in chicken and pork ribs (pork) -- provided with eight chicken thighs, two racks of baby back pork ribs and two bags of charcoal. In the amateur league, Sey''s Sports Bar and Grill placed first in chicken and Butts, Bellies and Buddies scored highest in the pork ribs category.



And the pros competed in four categories: chicken, pork ribs, pork shoulder or butt and beef brisket. Team QUAU scored highest in chicken, won the pork ribs category, South Pork placed first in the pork category and House of Q won the brisket competition.


Overall winners were Joey Gilmore in the amateur class and the Wild Bunch Butt Burners in the pro class.


The event, previously held at Magnolia Motor Speedway, has grown each year. This year''s cook-off attracted throngs of people, both from in-town and away. Despite an hour-plus power outage Friday evening the event seem to go well and a good time seemed to have been had by most.



A rose to sales and marketing director for Triangle Maintenance Service, LLC, Karen Stanley, for being recognized as one of the state''s top up-and-coming business leaders under the age of 40.


Recipients of the award were honored during a Jan. 14 reception at the Mississippi Business and Technology Expo.


Stanley moved to Columbus about 12 years ago, staying active in volunteer and civic work for the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link, the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and other organizations.


And none of it is a chore for this mother of two.


"I love being involved in this community I call home, now. Columbus is home, and (my husband) Steven and I are proud to call it that and to be raising our families in such a wonderful city."


Stanley, 31, studied communications at the University of South Alabama and business administration at Mississippi University for Women.


She previously served as marketing director for The Eat With Us Group, before joining Triangle Maintenance Service, LLC.



Roses to the Columbus-Lowndes Development Link for working toward bringing more than 1,700 new jobs to the Golden Triangle, during a time when most economic news is not good news.


Link officials are working to draw several large projects into the county, officials announced Wednesday.


Two projects totaling a $65 million investment, with the creation of 110 new jobs are in the works. Three more projects are expected to be announced within the next few weeks, the Link''s Brenda Lathan announced at the Link''s quarterly luncheon.


All together, the five projects would bring a combined investment of about $220 million and 1,710 jobs -- good news in a sagging economy.



A thorn to local car dealership owner Tommy Parker for taking his customers for a ride.


Parker shut the doors of Columbus'' Parker Kia in December 2008 and Tuesday was arrested for felony embezzlement.


He was charged with sale of encumbered property without disclosing the lender for selling customer trade-ins without paying off debt customers owed on the vehicles.


Parker turned himself in to police Tuesday; he had operated the business for more than 10 years.


Police had received several complaints from customers of Parker; and, according to police, the reports are still coming in.



A rose to Columbus resident Sherilyn Richardson, who helped CPD Lt. Keith Worshaim, CPD Lt. Carroll Culpepper and CPD officer Rhonda Sanders detain a man charged with assaulting Culpepper.


Clarence Dale Washington, 45, of 1906 Sixth Ave. N., was arrested Dec. 19 and charged with punching Culpepper in the face after the officer asked him to leave the Columbus Municipal Complex front lobby.


After the incident, Richardson, Worshaim, Culpepper and Sanders restrained the suspect until he was taken into custody.


"We just want to show our appreciation to all of you for your performance during that incident," Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John said. "Especially you, Ms. Richardson, as a public citizen."


We echo St. John''s sentiments.



A rose to local resident Reed Mackay, who has organized an April 18 cleanup day at Friendship Cemetery and prompted the Columbus City Council to declare April 18 Columbus Day of Community Service.


Mackay''s group will work from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. cleaning trash from the large cemetery.



Roses to the city of Starkville for implementing a citywide curbside recycling program.


After months of discussion, the Starkville Board of Aldermen Tuesday approved a plan to collect curbside recycling from more than 6,000 homes throughout the city.


The Starkville Sanitation Department will pick up recyclables every two weeks from homes already receiving curbside garbage pickup.


Tupelo also has a curbside program, and since implementing it, participation in the recycling program has increased significantly.


We hope to see the same in Starkville, and maybe Columbus can follow suit.


This is one of many of Starkville''s green initiatives; the city also adopted a policy requiring any new city buildings to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.


For a list of items accepted at Starkville Recycling, visit the company''s Web site at




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