A rose to the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library for an innovative way to encourage kids to read. The library’s “Downtown Story Walk” runs through February. Starting Monday, kids can walk through downtown and read the children’s book “If You Give a Pig a Pancake” by Laura Joffe Numeroff. The pages of the book, including the illustrations by Felicia Bond, will be enlarged and displayed in the windows of downtown businesses. The idea is to promote children’s literacy and specifically the 2021 Winter Reading Challenge at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library System, said Tori Hopper, children and teens librarian and services coordinator at the Columbus branch. Children, teens and adults are all encouraged to sign up for the challenge and read 10 books between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28. Not only does the walk encourage kids to read, it also gets them up and moving around. It’s also likely to be a shot-in-the arm for downtown businesses, who certainly welcome the exposure.
A thorn to the management at Cypress Park Apartments, for its failure to stay current on the water bill at the 144-unit complex in East Columbus. Columbus Light and Water General Manager Todd Gale said service was disconnected Friday after repeated unsuccessful efforts to reach the complex management. Water service was disconnected Friday morning, but was restored about eight hours later after CL&W was able to reach the company that manages the complex, Michigan-based Beztak Properties, to work out a payment arrangement. Since the water bill is part of the rent, residents were unaware of the problem. Ultimately, it may have been the complex management’s error, but it was the residents who suffered the consequences.
A rose to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for grants to fund much needed repairs to historic buildings in Columbus and Macon. In Columbus, MDAH awarded $25,600 to repair the front porch roof at the Stephen D. Lee Home and $35,000 to rebuild the front porch at the Tennessee Williams Home and Visitors Center. In Noxubee County, MDAH awarded $200,044 to replace the clay tile and make exterior repairs to the Noxubee County Library in Macon. All three buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are designated Mississippi Landmarks. Because repairs and renovations at historic buildings must be consistent with the original architecture and building materials to maintain their cultural integrity, the costs are often high. The grants provide the funding to ensure that future generations can enjoy the history and beauty of these historic places.
A rose to Mississippi State University, which will provide $1,000 for undergraduate students to help them make ends meet during their final year before graduation. MSU announced its first completion grants Tuesday, given to students in financial need who have completed at least 75 percent of their credit hours and are within a year of graduation. The money will help those students that were experiencing financial challenges in the last two semesters of college, according to John Daniels, financial literacy coordinator with the university’s student financial aid office. “As with COVID, we realized that oftentimes those needs were amplified,” Daniels said. “Not only were the needs amplified, but we began to find out more funding opportunities related to COVID relief and programs through the governor’s office that we wanted to participate in so that we could get these funds to the students that needed them in a timely fashion.”