A rose to Columbus Ward 1 Councilman Gene Taylor, whose persistence has paid off in repairs at 13 railroad crossing on the Southside. The condition of many crossings has been an issue for residents for some time now — culminating in an outcry from residents at a city hall meeting when Kansas City Southern said it would repair crossings in exchange for being allowed to close others. The public wasn’t buying it, saying the railroad has an obligation to maintain the crossings. The railroad relented and, thanks no doubt to Taylor’s advocacy, we are seeing the evidence. We also applaud the railroad for being good neighbors and partners with our community.
A rose to Tyson Carter of Starkville High School, who was named last week as Mississippi’s Gatorade Boys’ Basketball Player of the Year. Although Carter’s final season ended with a disappointing loss to Columbus High in the 6A State Championship game, he does leave with a state title after helping lead the Yellow Jackets to the championship in 2015.
This season, the senior, who will play at Mississippi State next year, averaged 22 points and five assists per game for Starkville High, which finished with a 27-6 record.
A rose to Dr. Thomas Richardson, who was named provost and vice president for academic affairs at Mississippi University for Women.
The W conducted a nation-wide search for this position, but ultimately realized the best candidate was the person who had been performing these duties for the past two years, albeit on an interim basis. Richardson, 66, has been at The W since 1988. His elevation to the post speaks of his performance as the job on a interim basis and provides continuity for the university as it pursues its educational mission.
A rose of remembrance to Booker Thomas – Air Force veteran, devoted family man and avid golfer, who died Feb. 29 at the age of 79. A much-beloved figure in the Air Force community, Thomas’ reputation as a skilled golfer was widely accepted. He was known as the “best black golfer in Columbus,” said his long-time friend, George Irby. Aside from his prowess on the links, Thomas is remembered as a kind, generous man whose love for his family and the military will long be remembered in our community. As they say in golf, “You’re away, Booker.” Nothing but fairways and greens from this point on.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.