Roses and thorns: 1/13/13

January 12, 2013 8:56:35 PM



A rose to Samuel Morris, 23, and Geraldine Rice, 48, who lost their lives Wednesday in a brave attempt to rescue 92-year-old Celia Robson from her burning home near Starkville. Morris and Rice had managed to help Robson's 91-year-old husband, George, out of the burning home, then went to rescue Celia Robson. They perished in that effort. Morris was the Robsons' grandson. Rice was their care-giver. There is no greater act of devotion a care-giver could perform than risking her own life to save the life of her employers. Morris and Rice are gone, but their lives and the heroic manner in which they laid them call to memory the words of John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." 




A rose to Margie Pulley, the conservator of the Oktibbeha County Schools. In her first school board meeting, Pulley outlined her plans to bring the schools up to state standards after the state took control over the district schools this fall. Of particular note is Pulley's directive that every student participate in an after-school program. Students will be required to spend two hours a day, four days a week in the program. The program isn't gloried day-care, either. Students will spend those extra eight hours a week studying. While we don't imagine the directive will be especially popular with students, we are convinced that the extra study time will produce the desired effect. We applaud Pulley's no-nonsense approach. Ultimately, we believe the students will come to appreciate it, too. 




A rose to Aurora Flight Sciences, which unveiled a $15-million expansion this week. The new 30,000-square-foot facility will enable the Lowndes County operation to produce more components for the company, which produces three lines of manned and unmanned air crafts including the Centaur, Orion and the small unmanned Skate. The new facility should be operational by the end of the summer and will create an additional 50 jobs. 




A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District for taking steps to make sure its students are safe in the wake of last month's tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Intercom systems have been installed in each of the city's schools, requiring all visitors to ring the front office before gaining entry. After the start of classes, all outside doors are locked and entry can only be gained by being "buzzed in'' from the office. Measures such as this demonstrate that there are ways to increase security without turning out schools into armed camps. 




A rose to the Alabama Crimson Tide, which secured its second consecutive national football championship -- and third in four years -- with a resounding 42-14 victory over top-ranked Notre Dame Monday in Miami. Alabama's win marks the seventh consecutive year that a team from the Southeastern Conference has claimed the national title, which allows us to bask in the collective glory of the SEC.