Roses and thorns: Edwina Williams, aka Mother Goose, visits with an admirer Saturday night at the Trotter Convention Center during “Goose’s Grand Gala,” the final event of a year-long celebration of Williams’ life and contribution to the children of the city of Columbus. Organizers Saturday evening declared successful an effort to raise $100,000 to fund an endowment in Williams honor to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library where she has entertained and inspired children for 30 years through “Storytime with Mother Goose.” Williams celebrated her 80th birthday on Tuesday. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
January 7, 2017 10:39:05 PM
A rose to the organizers of Saturday's "Goose's Grand Gala," as well as a rose to all those in the community who turned out for the final event of a year-long celebration of our much-beloved local icon. The outpouring of love for Edwina "Mother Goose" Williams at the Trotter Center was a reflection of more than 30 years she has devoted to our children as the city's unofficial goodwill ambassador and, more importantly, as someone who has inspired generations of children.
The year-long campaign was designed not only to pay tribute to Mother Goose, but to create and fund a $100,000 endowment to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, where "Goose" has entertained children with "Storytime With Mother Goose," for 30 years (and counting, we are happy to report). The love she has inspired, reflected in part by the successful endowment effort, is a fitting tribute to one who has given much, and required little, in her service to our community.
A rose to Columbus author Michael Farris Smith, whose appearance at the Rosenzweig Arts Center Thursday was a treat for book lovers. "In the Writer's Words" provided an opportunity not only to hear Smith read from his soon-to-be-published novel, "Desperation Road," but a glimpse into the world of a writer as Smith entertained questions from the audience about the writing process.
Smith's first full-length novel "Rivers," published in 2013, was a huge success and "Desperation Road," seems likely to be just as successful, having been included on numerous lists of most anticipated books of 2017. It is set for a Feb. 7 release.
Despite his growing reputation in the literary world, the success has not altered his amiable, approachable demeanor. Smith is proud to call Columbus home and we are thrilled to claim him.
A rose to the Lowndes County School District for its response to the tragic death of one of its students. In the wake of the accidental shooting death of New Hope Middle School student Spenson Bennett Jr., 13, the district is making plans for a gun safety assembly to be held on all campuses before the end of the school year. LCSD Superintendent Lynn Wright said the school district plans to ask representatives from the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office, the Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and the state's Safe and Drug-Free Schools program to attend the assembly and speak about general gun safety.
In 2015, the most recent year where data has been calculated, 265 children died from accidental shootings.
We applaud this effort to bring awareness to our young people as the district grieves the loss of one of its own. We can think of no better, more meaningful, tribute.
A rose to the Starkville Board of Aldermen, which approved a rezoning plan that will allow plans for an industrial park in the city to move forward.
Having previously approved the plan and issuing bonds to finance the project, rezoning was thought to be pretty much a procedural matter. But a lawsuit from a property owner challenged the rezoning, requiring a super-majority vote by the aldermen.
After a long, involved debate during Tuesday's board meeting, aldermen approved the rezoning, which had previously earned support from the city's zoning and planning department, by a 6-1 margin.
Realizing that major projects such as the industrial park will not have the unanimous support of all people does not mean it this is not a worthwhile project.
To the contrary, the industrial park will be a major step in improving job prospects for the city and county. The alderman acted in the best interest of the vast majority of its residents in approving the rezoning and continuing with this project.
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