Every year, more than 830 children, ages 14 and under, drown. During the summer months, the time of year when we're most likely to be in the water, drowning deaths among children spike by a rate of 89 percent over the rest of the year, according to safekids.org.
As deplorable as the thought is of the Westboro Baptists yelling inflammatory messages at the funeral of Army Sgt. Christopher Bell, who was killed in the service of our country, it is just as sobering to think this message could be stifled just because we may disagree with them.
It's become an often-expressed sentiment. Still, it's no less true: Children today are facing harsh realities we wouldn't have imagined even a decade ago.
In 2009, we challenged Columbus schools to implement an innovative 11-month "success calendar" at all five of its elementary schools, rather than just two.
Eighty people died in fires in Mississippi last year. Only in two of those incidents were there smoke detectors. In one of those cases, it is unknown whether the detector was working.
It's questionable when any elected official says he made a weighty decision simply because someone asked him nicely.
By 8:30 Saturday morning Beth and I were coffeed up and headed east on 82. Our destination: Gordo, AL, for the town's annual celebration of the mule and the chicken, Mule Day Chicken Fest.
Over in Starkville, they've got the knives out. The city was rocked by two stabbings on Tuesday. The one that caught everyone's attention was the 6 a.m. attempted robbery at Shipley Donuts, which is nestled in a popular, busy strip mall along Highway 12.
Summer is here. Inevitably, some of our kids will experience a slide -- and we're not talking about the Slip 'n' Dip.
But before we set off on our Memorial Day weekend, we should all pause to remember this number: 1,344,000.
A new crop of college graduates is entering the workforce. On their heels are a fresh crop of college freshmen.
Change is afoot, and Columbus is facing some critical decisions that promise to shape the city, for better or worse, for years to come.
They're not there yet. But they took a step in the right direction.
We're not attorneys. But it doesn't take one to see that recent actions by the board were unethical, if not illegal. State law agrees.
Where are our heroes in Lowndes County? We know there is a shortage of heroes on the board of the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau, which has made what appear to be some clear-cut violations of the state's Open Meetings Act.
What's in the water in New Hope? The unincorporated community east of Columbus in Lowndes County has had its share of controversy in recent weeks.
The Friendship House belongs to the ages. The home, built in 1890, was razed to the ground Wednesday by its owner, First Baptist Church. Back hoes and dump trucks were on the property mere hours after a deadline expired set by the church, which was offering the home for $1 to anyone who would move it.
The Varsity Theater is an eyesore. The empty cinema, abandoned by Malco when it opened its new multiplex on Highway 45 near Kmart, has sat dormant for years.
Laughter, friendship, reconnecting with family and old friends -- and a party atmosphere. Those are emotional, intangible benefits of the festival.
The city of Columbus is halfway through its 2011 fiscal year, and voted this week to nearly double the amount of overtime it pays its police officers -- adding $150,000 to the $200,000 it already had budgeted.