Roses and thorns: 5-20-18

May 19, 2018 10:30:53 PM



A rose to the Starkville Parks and Recreation Department and the Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District board for reaching an agreement that will increase the availability for facilities for public use this summer. Under the agreement, school playgrounds and other facilities will be made available to the parks department for summer programs and, on an individual basis, for access to some athletic facilities. Since the school facilities are supported by taxpayers, making them available for the public's use makes a lot of sense. There is no benefit to having these facilities remain idle during the summer months when they can be used for summer programs. It's a great way to derive maximum benefit from these facilities. 




A rose to Dr. Rick Young, who has returned to East Mississippi Community College as interim president. Young, who spent more than 40 years at EMCC, the last 12 as president, will assume leadership of the school as the EMCC Board seeks a replacement for Dr. Thomas Huebner, who resigned last month. Young, who retired from the post in 2015, will provide much-needed stability for the school as that search process unfolds. His knowledge of EMCC makes him the perfect person for the job. Welcome back, Dr. Young. 




A rose to the Mississippi University for Women baseball and softball teams, both of whom finished fifth in the United States Collegiate Athletic Conference Small College World Series in DuBois, Pennsylvania. The W men lost to Salem University by a hard-fought 8-7 baseball loss to bow out of the national tournament while the Owls' softball team also lost a heart-breaker, 3-2 to New Hampshire Technical Institute. The baseball team finished with a 21-16 record while the softball team finished at 21-19. Although both teams fell just sort of their ultimate goal, posting a winning season and making the national tournament in the programs' inaugural season is a measure of success each program can build on. Good job, Owls! 




A rose to the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors and the Columbus City Council for providing summer jobs for 32 area students. For the first time, Columbus will fund its summer program, which had previously been funded by a MDOT grant and, last year, by an anonymous donor. This year, the city budgeted the $35,000 needed to provide jobs for 20 students. Lowndes County's summer jobs program provided full-time jobs for 12 students and is funded through the county budget. The benefits of these jobs go beyond a paycheck. For many, it is their first introduction into the workplace. They learn the value of punctuality, hard work, working as a team and being responsible. It's money well spent.