A thorn to Ward 5 Councilman Kabir Karriem, Ward 2 Councilman Joseph Mickens, Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor and Ward 4 Councilman Fred Stewart, for voting in favor of a business rezoning that the neighborhood didn”t want. And let”s add Mayor Robert Smith to that thorny bunch. Smith could have done the right thing by breaking the tie on the first vote. Instead he sent the matter back to the planning commission.
The move by the council came after two unanimous no-votes by the Planning and Zoning Commission, and obvious sentiment against the rezoning from residents in the neighborhood, who came out by the dozens over the course of the meetings.
We believe race played a role in the decision, splitting a city council that has, for the most part, taken a color-blind approach. Morris is black. Most residents opposing her business are white. The council split along racial lines to approve Morris” request.
The council”s actions clearly went against the wishes of neighborhood residents, the city”s own zoning code and the planning commission.
This was really disappointing, fellows.
A rose to the Heritage Academy senior class, which plans to build a playground on the grounds of Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle for its class project this year. The fort-style playground would accommodate children with disabilities, and is being planned with the hospital”s input.
The project is the latest good deed from Heritage, whose senior class comes up with a project as part of the school”s Senior Leadership Initiative. Last year, Heritage seniors spearheaded the building of a Habitat for Humanity house in Caledonia.
A rose to Jermaine Hodges and brothers Dustin Evans and Jeremy Evans, who spotted an erratic driver and took action, leading to his arrest.
The three were in a Honda traveling behind William D. Sherman, who was driving with his headlights off and on the wrong side of the road Thursday night in Columbus. The trio followed Sherman, calling police as the driver in front of them swerved off the road and into residents” yards along Seventh Street North. They then blocked Sherman”s car when he stopped, waiting for police to arrive. Sherman, 26, of 169 Crestwood Drive in Columbus, faces charges of leaving the scene of an accident, driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.
While the three young men “did the right thing” in calling the police and getting a license plate number, Columbus Police Officer Heath beard advised anyone in a similar situation to “get a tag number and back away,” for their own safety.
And, of course, a thorn to Sherman, who claimed he was texting while driving.
A rose to organizers of the Welty Symposium at Mississippi University for Women. The symposium brought together writers and lovers of books Thursday, Friday and Saturday with book signings, lectures, readings and round-table discussions.
Best of all, the event was free of charge to all who wanted to participate. We thank The W and organizers for another enlightening cultural event.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.