Roses and thorns




Roses to the heroic men of 4-County Electric Power Association who are giving of their time and skills to help families in Arkansas recover from ice storms. 


A nine-member 4-County crew left Lowndes County Tuesday to assist in restoring power to residents there hit hard by the storms. Another team left Wednesday, and Friday, 4-County announced another crew was headed out. 


Members of the crews were Mark Thompson, of Columbus; Rob Giles, of Caledonia; Larry King, of Macon; Harold Tallent, of Starkville; Chris Moore, of Columbus, Jonathan Tuggle, of Columbus, Wayne Scarbrough, of Sturgis, Carey Arwood, of Columbus, Brian McClure, of Columbus, Randy Tennyson, of Starkville, Robert McReynolds, of Starkville, Dewayne Carter, of Starkville, Eric Yarbrough, of Columbus, Chris Benson, of Columbus, Glen Ledbetter, of Columbus, Jonathon Edwards, of Cedar Bluff, and Justin White, of Ethelsville, Ala., Curt Wiggins of Sturgis, Brian Glusenkamp, of West Point, Jeff Welford, of Starkville and Wyatt Pumphrey, of Cedar Bluff. 


4-County and other utility companies struggled through ice-covered debris into the weekend. 


And it could be as late as mid-February before many the hardest-hit areas have power restored. 


Those same areas have had to resort to old-fashioned word of mouth when it comes to relaying information about where shelters are located. Cell phone and Internet service also have been interrupted. 


4-County workers expect to be in the area for several days, helping their counterparts at Clay County (Ark.) Electric Cooperative. 


4-County has a reciprocal agreement with the other electric power cooperatives to provide help for each other in times of crisis.  


Clay County Electric Cooperative is a system in northeast Arkansas with about 12,000 meters. 




A rose to East Mississippi Community College for extending its tuition guarantee program to Lowndes County, potentially offering hundreds of students who otherwise might not be able to go to college a chance at higher education. 


Students who graduate from a high school in Lowndes County -- public, private or home -- would be eligible for the tuition guarantee once they have exhausted all other attempts at financial aid. 


The school has a similar program in place with Clay County, through a partnership with the Clay County Board of Supervisors and West Point Board of Selectmen. School officials are in talks with Oktibbeha and Starkville officials to kick off a reflective program there. 


Thus far, neither Lowndes County nor Columbus city leaders have promised any money to the tuition guarantee. In Lowndes, it''s being funded through private donations. 


We''d rose the secret donor(s), as well, but they''ve chosen, for now anyway, to remain just that --secret. 




Wednesday''s edition of The Dispatch featured a picture of two Caledonia soccer dads helping out with concessions at boys'' soccer game. The pair were manning the grill; their daughters play soccer for Caledonia. 


We''d like to offer them and all parents who volunteer at their children''s schools a rose. It can make a huge difference in children''s performance at and away from school. 


Opportunities abound for parents to read at school, chaperone field trips, and yes, work the occasional athletic event. 


So get to your children''s schools and show them how much you care about them and their education. 


While Craig Cannon and Wayne Studdard joked, "They made us volunteer," we know it takes something different than a little arm twisting to get parents to volunteer at school events. It takes caring enough to be there, and yes, it takes time. 


So if you have the time, be there. And if you don''t ... make some time. Your children deserve it. 




A rose to John Davis as he closes a chapter in his community service book and a rose to Glenn Lautzenhiser, who picked it up. 


Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau board members wished Davis a fond farewell Monday, as he ended his 16-year stint on the board. 


Davis said leaving the board was bittersweet, but it was time to pass the torch. 


A rose also goes to Lautzenhiser, who was welcomed to the board the same day. 


Lautzenhiser, a Columbus Municipal School District board member, first got interested in tourism after partnering with the CVB last year to put on events honoring legends in their own right, late sports broadcaster Red Barber and late boxing champion Henry Armstrong. 




Roses to the YMCA and Leadership Lowndes for helping us to get educated about health and nutrition and maybe drop a few pounds in the process. The partnering entities kicked off Lowndes Shrinkdown in January, offering free lectures at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle every Friday. 


Participants also weigh in every Friday, either at their local Lowndes County YMCA or at the lunch-n-learn series at the hospital. 


Speakers each weak talk about health, nutrition, exercise, cooking and other areas related to fitness and wellness. And we haven''t mentioned the best part: It''s free! 


All you have to do is register at the YMCA (It''s not too late!) and participating and weighing in at the lunch-n-learns automatically gets you registered for door prizes. Grand prizes will be given in March for the participant who loses the highest percent of body weight and the participant with the most participation points. 


(You get points for weighing in and for attending lunch-n-learns.) 


Losing weight is at the top of the list of New Year resolutions, so if it''s yours, let the YMCA and LLC help you reach your goal. 


For more information, call Barbara Bigelow at the YMCA at 662-328-7696 or e-mail her at [email protected] 


Along with the YMCA and Leadership Lowndes County, sponsors of the Shrinkdown include State Farm agent John D. Acker and the Columbus Bank Association. 






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