A rose to our utility providers and regulators, who are dealing with the aftermath of the winter storm that swept through the area during the week of Feb. 14-20. With service now restored, utility providers will be dealing with customers who may not be able to afford their utility bills, which for customers may have doubled or tripled during the storm. Utility companies say they are willing to work with customers who reach out to them for assistance. Meanwhile, a federal program may also be provided for low-income residents. Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley said his office will be posting information on how customers can receive utility bill assistance, next week. On the PSC website, there’s a tab for utility bill assistance, and it will gives instructions on where to go for programs such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. If you find yourself struggling to pay your utility bill, the first thing to do is contact your utility company.
A rose to the Magnolia Independent Film Festival, which is proving the old showbiz axiom: The Show Must Go On! Commonly known as “The Mag,” the 24th annual festival will be a virtual affair, featuring 42 films listed in its website. The festival opened Friday and will continue through March 13. Viewers can purchase the films that pique their interest and watch from their own homes. With the purchase of a VIP Experience ticket, festival-lovers can also access exclusive workshops and panels virtually. The Mag board of directors chose their featured films from more than 350 film submissions for this year’s festival from filmmakers all over the world. Even after whittling submissions to the final 42, they include genres ranging from comedy, horror/thriller, documentaries and more. We applaud The Mag for finding a way to stage its popular event during the pandemic..
A rose to city personnel who will be conducting this spring’s municipal elections. Absentee voting started last week, which signals the real beginning of the election process as city staff in Columbus, Starkville and West Point manage and collect absentee votes, register new voters and answer questions citizens may have in the days leading up to the primary elections on April 6. The elections will continue into June as our cities select new officials to tend to city business. There are long hours ahead for those who are charged with running out elections. We thank them for the service they render in making sure our elections run smoothly.