Roses and thorns: 1/7/18

January 6, 2018 10:40:11 PM



A rose to our firefighters, whose important work -- and the risks associated with that work -- are sometimes taken for granted. We were reminded that our firefighters risk life and limb for their community on Tuesday when a yet-to-be-identified volunteer firefighter from the Lowndes County Fire Department sustained serious burns while fighting a fire in Steens. Firefighters received a call about a burning house on Sycamore Road off Highway 50 at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. Firefighters from District 1 and District 3 battled the flames nearly six hours. The injured firefighter is being treated for second- and third-degree burns to his neck and back. We hope for a speedy recovery as we pause to remember that our firefighters risk much to ensure the safety of citizens and their property. 




A rose of congratulations to Aurora Flight Sciences, which on Thursday was awarded a $48-million contract from the U.S. Air Force for further development of its ground-breaking Orion unmanned aircraft. Much of the work on that project will be done at the company's Columbus facility, which opened at its present site at the Lowndes County Industrial Park in 2006. In October, Aurora was sold to Boeing and while there were assurances the sale would not adversely affect Aurora, the arrival of this new contract should put an end to any of the fears often associated with a change of ownership. The future looks bright at Aurora and for the roughly 100 employees of the Columbus facility. 




A rose to Mississippi State's men's and women's basketball programs, which have a combined record of 29-1 entering the weekend. The MSU women, ranked third in the nation, are undefeated at 16-0, mirroring the women's start last year, when the Bulldogs begin the season 21-0 en route to the national finals. The MSU men's performance is a bit more surprising. The Bulldogs are 13-1 and coming off an upset of then-22nd ranked Arkansas in their SEC opener. Although the MSU men haven't played the toughest of schedules to date, the win over Arkansas suggests the Bulldogs are headed in the right direction. It should be a fun season of basketball for both the men's and women's teams. 




A rose to all those who have persevered, endured and defied the recent cold weather. With temperatures consistently below freezing for almost a week, we all have had to cope with the unseasonably cold weather. For some, however, the demands are particularly great. Utility workers, plumbers, first responders all have had to meet the unusual demands associated with the weather, working in the bitter cold to keep us safe, warm and comfortable. They respond to weather-related emergencies big and small to keep the water running, the heat on and our homes and families safe during this miserable winter weather. The freezing is expected to moderate next week with highs on Tuesday and Wednesday projected to be in the 60s.