A rose to Columbus Air Force Base, which continues to be a vital part of our community’s economy. During Thursday’s Base Community Council meeting, CAFB Wing Commander Col. John Nichols noted the base’s economic impact – more than $134 million in payroll for 2,800 military/civilian personnel, more than $82 million in direct economic impact through purchases/contracts and another $32.5 million in secondary employment (workers who are hired by businesses as a result of CAFB’s patronage). That’s almost a quarter-billion dollars of economic impact. We also note that the CAFB is not just a powerful economic force. These men and women add much to our community – whether its through volunteering or participating in community life. They are our friends and neighbors in every sense of the word.
A rose to Mississippi State University for its success in getting the best value for its surplus equipment by auctioning those items from the online auction company govdeals.com, which specializes in sales of items by government entities. This week, MSU sold its basketball court on the site through the site, the 533rd item it has sold on the site since 2011. Rather than holding one on-site auction annually as it did prior to 2011, using the govdeals.com site allows the university to reach a far larger audience, which translates into a higher rate of return, as was the case with the basketball court, which sold for $30,600. Previous courts had sold in the $25,000 range. Every penny the university can earn from the sale of surplus items strengthens the university’s bottom line. That’s a sign of good stewardship of resources.
A rose to Oktibbeha County Supervisor Orlando Trainer, who suggested this week that the county explore the possibility of taking over the two county high school campuses that have been abandoned in the wake of the county’s consolidation with the Starkville School District. While Trainer offered few details, we believe it is wise to consider the future of the East and West Oktibbeha County High School buildings, which could be used for a range of community needs. Without a doubt, when buildings sit vacant and are not maintained, their condition deteriorates quickly. What could be a community resource becomes an eyesore and in some cases a threat to public health. We applaud Trainer’s efforts to bring the subject up to discussion. It’s a good first step.
A rose to the Hebron Christian baseball team, which claimed its first Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class A baseball championship with a dominating two-game sweep of Humphreys Academy. There was little doubt of the Eagles’ dominance in the best-of-three championships series. Hebron Christian rolled to a 17-3 win in game one, then closed out the series with a 10-0 five-inning victory Thursday, backed by pitcher Channing Tapley’s two-hit shutout, which included 14 strikeouts. The Eagles didn’t simply win the state title, they soared to it.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.