Roses and thorns: 5-6-18

May 5, 2018 9:33:39 PM



A rose to Justin Mitchener of Starkville, whose generosity should serve as an inspiration to us all. When Brad Massey, a 19-year veteran of the Mississippi State University Police Department, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer, his law enforcement peers held a raffle to help the family deal with uncovered medical expenses. Mitchener, who owns Juva Juice outlets in Columbus and Starkville, bought a ticket and was chosen as the winner of the $10,000 prize. Rather than plow that money into his businesses or spend it on himself, Mitchener donated the entire prize to Massey. There has probably never been a more successful raffle, thanks to Mitchener's kindness. Perhaps it's a coincidence, but since learning of Michener's act of generosity we find our Juva Juice purchases have never tasted better. 




A rose for a speedy recovery for Rep. Gary Chism, who suffered his second stroke in early April. Chism, who had his first stroke in 2009, shared his story about his second stroke with The Dispatch last week. Unlike the first stroke, Chism said, the most recent stroke was not accompanied by the typical symptoms -- partial paralysis and slurring of speech. Instead, his symptoms were manifested by odd behavior -- getting up in the middle of the night to get ready for work, putting his clothes on backwards, etc. Medical professionals point out that Chism's story is not uncommon -- often stroke sufferers exhibit atypical symptoms, something family members are often the first to detect. By sharing his story, Chism has helped spread the word. No doubt, it will benefit other stroke sufferers who do not exhibit the conventional symptoms. 




A rose to Peco Foods, which announced last week its plans to invest $40 million in opening a poultry process/distribution facility at the former Americold building in West Point, and to the Golden Triangle Development LINK and the Mississippi Development Authority for their efforts in facilitating the project. The state provided $3 million in incentives. A10-year exemption from city and county taxes was also offered. In return, the facility will provide 300 jobs paying an average of $15 to $17 per hour It's a real shot in the arm for the community and our economy. Welcome to town, Peco! 




A rose to the Mississippi State men's tennis team, which captured its second SEC Tournament title -- and first in 22 years -- with a 4-3 victory over top-seeded Texas A&M last weekend. The title was the fifth SEC crown of any kind for MSU men's tennis. MSU won regular-season crowns in 1965, 1967, and 1993. Tuesday, MSU was named as the No. 6 seed in the national tournament and will serve as a host for the first two rounds of the tournament. MSU will play Tennessee Tech May 11 after the conclusion of the Memphis-South Alabama match; if MSU beats Tennessee Tech, it will play the winner of the Memphis-South Alabama match May 12 at 1 p.m. in the second round. Hail State!