A rose to all those who have pledged donations to the annual fund-raising drive for United Way of Lowndes and Noxubee County. As of this week, the organization — which funds 16 area service organizations — was closing in on its goal of $500,000. Director Renee Sanders said the drive needs another $61,000 to meet that goal. Sanders said the campaign is designed to wrap up by year’s end so it can budget its funds for the many programs it supports. The United Way is a great way for people to help meet a wide range of needs. So if you want to help our community, but aren’t sure how, the United Way is a great way to contribute, either by signing up through the many employers who participate in the annual drive or as an individual. Donors who have a specific interest in one of the organizations the United Way helps fund can designate the donation to that group. For more information and to participate in the fund-raising campaign visit uwlc-ms.org.
A rose to Thomas Lee, who was honored this week for his almost three decades of service on the Lowndes County Industrial Development Authority Board of Directors. During the short ceremony, Lee learned the water treatment plant that serves the sprawling industrial park near the airport will bear his name, a fitting tribute for a man who played a key role in the industrial park. Lee, 78, said when he arrived on the board about the only thing the area was used for was rabbit hunting. Today, of course, the industrial park is one of the most diverse industrial parks in the state. It’s growth over the past three decades is a testament to the work and wisdom of many people, not the least of whom is Lee. A successful businessman (owner of Lee-Sykes Funeral Home) in Columbus, Lee has been a quiet but important leader in our community for most of his adult life. We applaud the LCIDA for taking the time to honor Lee for his important contributions to the economic growth of our community.
A rose to the Starkville Oktibbeha County School District, which will fast-track renovations at Henderson Ward Stewart Elementary School. Once designated for demolition, the building will get a much-needed renovation as the student population at the school continues to grow. Some of the renovations to this building include new roofing and HVAC systems, LED lights throughout the building, acoustical ceilings, energy efficient thermal windows and new flooring. New technology, such as audio enhancements and interactive displays, will also be installed to create dynamic physical learning environments that are comfortable and inviting for students. The Ward building is a part of an extensive capital improvement plan, funded by $8 million in bonds and supplemented by the district’s nearly $24 million in American Recovery Plan funding. The renovations should be completed by the start of the 2022-23 school year.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.