A rose to all the “good neighbors” out there as we prepare for one, perhaps two, winter storm events over the course of the next four-to-five days. The Golden Triangle is under a winter storm watch Sunday night through Tuesday night while another winter storm could emerge on Thursday. Temperatures as low as 13 degrees overnight Monday and a forecast of a wintry mix of freezing rain, sleep and snow could make roadways hazardous, especially on Tuesday morning, and could also lead to power outages. We urge citizens to take preparations now – wrapping exterior water faucets and keeping a low drip on indoor faucets when temps are below freezing. We also urge you to check on vulnerable neighbors, assisting them in preparing for the worst-case scenarios. Wrap their exterior faucets, inform them about keeping their interior faucets dripping. Anticipating power outages, check to make sure they have non-perishable, ready-to-eat food available, candles/flashlights and warm blankets available. In short, let’s take care of ourselves and each other.
A thorn to Mississippi Senate Republicans, including Sen. Chuck Younger of Columbus, who voted down an amendment to the State’s Medicaid renewal bill that would have expanded Medicaid coverage to roughly 300,000 working families in the state. Since 2010, 38 states have taken advantage of the opportunity to expand Medicaid while absorbing only a small fraction of the cost. Over that time, it has proven to be a viable program. It’s a bargain for Mississippi, especially, which currently covers 78 percent of Medicaid costs for the 747,000 people now enrolled. If the state expanded Medicaid, the federal government would cover 90 percent of all enrolled. Expanding Medicaid would create thousands of new jobs and be a life-line for rural hospitals, whose patients often have no health care coverage. Partisan stubbornness primarily prevents our state from something that is both financially and morally a step forward for our state.
A rose to Columbus businessman Jim Mauldin for his decision to preserve the historic elements of the former Fred’s site on Fifth Street in downtown Columbus. Fred’s has been closed for two years, so Mauldin’s plans to open a storage business in the location is a psychological boost for downtown. Mauldin’s plans for renovations will follow guidelines for buildings such as this, which are protected by Mississippi landmark status. That means the building won’t only be brought back to life, but will honor the historical integrity of the building. We welcome Mauldin to the downtown business community.