A rose to Trooper First Class Steven Jones, who was honored as the recipient of the Columbus Exchange Club’s “Trooper of the Year” award. In addition to his five years with The Mississippi Highway Patrol, Jones has been a volunteer firefighter, served in the Mississippi National Guard and worked for the Starkville Police Department. His background clearly demonstrates his commitment to public safety. We applaud Jones, as well as the Exchange Club for acknowledging the important work of the Highway Patrol through this annual award.
A rose to Atmos Energy, which with the support of Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Public Service Commission announced Thursday a nearly $500,000 expansion that will provide access for up to 250 home sites and other businesses in the area just south of the Starkville city limits. It’s not often that we commend a private business, for what private businesses alway seek to do — expand their customer base. Yet in this instance, it’s more about providing a service than a product. Providing access to natural gas gives home and business owners another option to consider. Over the past 10 years, natural gas has often proved to be a less-expensive energy source than electricity. While not dismissing the electric power option, the arrival of natural gas will allow customers a real choice. What’s not to like?
A rose to Nic Parish of Columbus, who was named to the State Workforce Investment Board. Parrish is vice president of operations at Burns Dirt Construction and has held the company’s contract license since 2015. He brings practical experience to the board, which focuses on expanding workforce training in the state to make sure Mississippians are equipped for the ever-changing workplace. Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosmann made the appointment after being impressed with Parish’s work as a founding member of FORGE, a group of construction-related businesses in Lowndes County that focuses on helping promote skilled trades to K-12 students. Parish appears to be a perfect fit for this important role.