A rose of remembrance and gratitude to Gov. William Winter, who passed away Friday evening at age 97. Normally, this space is reserved for local people and their service. But since so much of what Winter achieved and stood for is relevant in our community, we feel it only appropriate to note the passing of this great Mississippian. Although he served just one term as Governor (in itself a testament to his character, for he was no political opportunist), Mississippi has never had a governor with a greater commitment to public education and racial equality. His is a legacy that transcends politics, especially the kind of partisan politics that is so dominant today. For generations of Mississippians, William Winter will remain an example of who we are when we are at our best. Godspeed, Governor.
A rose to Starkville for another potential “win” for its retail community in the form of a new strip center to be anchored by Chipotle Mexican Grill. Atlanta-developer Mike Birnbry confirmed this week that he has signed a contract with the popular national-chain, which operates more than 2,600 restaurants in the US and Europe. Plans call for a 7,800 development that will include space for two to three more clients at the site, located at the Petty’s Barbecue location on Highway 12 and Jackson Street. The site review process, where each city department will weigh in on the plans, is currently underway before the project is sent to the Planning and Zoning board, then the Board of Alderman for final approval. If all goes well, the restaurant could be open for business in fall 2021. In the meantime, city officials must strike a balance between accommodating the new project while serving the public interest where traffic, drainage and other safety concerns may come into play. We are confident that all parties will work in good faith to make this project a reality.