A rose to the Noxubee County Tigers and West Point Green Wave football teams, which reached the state championship games in their classes. Noxubee County fell just short of bringing home its second state title in three years with a 25-15 loss to Jefferson Davis County in Friday’s 3A championship game. The Green Wave, seeking its fourth straight 4A title, met Picayune in Saturday’s late championship game. Golden Triangle teams are quite accustomed to playing for state titles, of course. Heritage Academy won the MAIS title last week and almost without fail at least one area team plays for a championship.
A rose to the people behind all the community events that have helped us get in the Christmas spirit. Monday, the cities of Starkville and Columbus officially kicked off the Christmas season with their annual Christmas parades, which continue to be a treat for adults and kids alike. That was followed by Thursday’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony, which featured carols by the Choral Society and a synthetic snow fall, always a treat for the kids. On Friday, downtown Columbus merchants celebrated its annual Wassail Fest. For the 16th year, businesses opened their doors Friday evening, providing their own versions of “wassail,” a traditional Christmas drink, in a friendly competition. These events help bring us together and provide a bit of a jump-start to the holiday season. We thank everyone involved in staging these events for their hard work.
A rose to the Columbus Police Department for its efforts to discourage would-be criminals from victimizing citizens in popular shopping areas. Beginning on Black Friday, the CPD has been operating its mobile command center, first at Walmart and later at Leigh Mall. The heightened police presence is an effort to cut down on shopping-relate crimes — shoplifting, use of counterfeit money, car burglaries and theft. The presence is a reassuring sight for shoppers and a deterrent to those with bad intent. The CPD is to be commended for its effort to ensure a safe and happy Christmas shopping season.
A rose to Columbus Air Force Base and the USAF Thunderbirds, which announced last week the return of the popular “Wings Over Columbus” airshow. The two-day event, highlighted by the precision flying of the Thunderbirds, will be held April 25-26 at the base. Usually, the event is held every other year, but this year will be the first appearance of the Thunderbirds since 2016. The 2018 event was canceled after a tragic crash that killed a Thunderbird pilot in a Nevada show shortly before the scheduled Columbus show. We’re delighted to welcome the return of Wings Over Columbus, which has drawn up to 50,000 people in past years. We are certain the big crowd will return again in April and thank CAFB for brining this fun and inspiring event back to our community.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.