A rose to both the City of Columbus and Lowndes County for clearly outlining road maintenance plans in the short term. The condition of area roads is one of the most-frequently heard concerns and being open with plans goes a long way toward letting citizens know what to expect. Particularly in the city, where residents have seen the already-underway infrastructure improvement project progressing at a slow pace, updates are appreciated. A couple of times in the past week, Columbus Mayor Keith Gaskin has taken to Facebook to post a list of roads that are slated to receive improvements. Similarly, last week Lowndes supervisors announced a $5 million road maintenance plan that will improve 58 miles of county roads. County road manager Ronny Burns released a list of roads the plan intends to address. The county will borrow the money for the project but plans to aggressively repay within five years using internet sales tax revenue.
A rose to Starkville Public Library’s Children’s Librarian Loraine Walker who received a grant of nearly $8,000 worth of children’s books from Kids Need to Read, a national philanthropic group which encourages early childhood literacy. The benefits of promoting reading with young children are well-documented and extensive. We applaud Walker’s work on the grant as well as Gary and Tina Mlodzik, the founders of Kids Need to Read.
A rose to the grassroots effort to help the owners of Fish and Blues recover after a fire destroyed the Highway 69 building that housed the restaurant. Zachary’s restaurant in downtown Columbus continues to be a community leader in fundraising efforts, dedicating 10 percent of sales over a two day period to Fish and Blues’ owner. As of Monday, Zachary’s had also received about $5,000 in donations earmarked for Fish and Blues. Zachary’s ownership and staff know what it’s like to recover from a fire — their own restaurant was badly damaged by fire in April 2019. We hope to see the return of Fish and Blues soon!
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.