Roses and thorns 11/5/17

November 4, 2017 11:44:07 PM



A rose to 4-County Electric Power Association, which recently completed its 18-month Extreme Energy Makeover program.


The program funded by a $3.8 million TVA grant, enabled 4-County to help 265 low-income homeowners make their homes more energy efficient, saving anywhere from 25-to-40 percent on their utility bills through a variety of ways -- including installation of new energy-saving HVAC systems and water heaters.


High utility bills often require an inordinate portion of income among low-income citizens. They are often caught between a rock and a hard place: Their utility bills are too high, but they cannot afford the cost of the upgrades that would significantly reduce those bills.



It might seem odd that a utility company would actively work to lower the use of electricity they sell. But in this case, 4-County is putting people before profits and has pursued this program with great enthusiasm.


The company wants to continue the program, even if on a smaller scale, but must find new partners to fund those efforts.


4-County is hoping community organizations and charities will join them as new partners in this effort.


Like 4-County, we believe this to be an excellent way to help the less fortunate in our community achieve a better quality of life.



A rose to Jordan Hudson and Amanda Fondren, nurse practitioners who are partners in a new medical clinic in Caledonia.


The two women will be the owner-operators of Caledonia Community Clinic, which is being built next to the town's community center. Their arrival is timely -- just six months after the town's lone doctor's office closed its doors. As nurse practitioners, Hudson and Fondren can provide almost all of the services provided by a doctor.


With a growing population in the area and a school system that serves 3,000 students, the presence of a the medical clinic fills a void in the community. The clinic is scheduled to open in January and we wish Hudson and Fondren success as they prepare for that opening.



A rose to the four generations of the Puckett family whose sale of Columbus Brick marks a major transition in one of oldest family-operated businesses in the city. Owner Al Puckett has agreed to sell his company, founded in 1890, to the Tennessee-based General Shale.


Often when family businesses are sold, it marks an end. But in this case, the company will retain its name and continue its work with Puckett staying on in an advisory position.


So, it's not a goodbye as much as it is a transition. We are pleased Columbus Brick will remain a vital part of the city's business community and a link to its history.



A rose of remembrance and appreciation to Jack Wallace, a long-time leader in the Starkville business community who died Tuesday at age 75.


Wallace was a familiar face for decades in the county's efforts to improve its economic footing, serving most recently as president of the Oktibbeha County Economic Development Authority Board.


Starkville will miss Wallace not only for his extensive knowledge of the business world, but for years of selfless service to his community, a legacy and an example to others that will continue long after his passing.