A rose to West Point Police Department Ramirez Ivy for his role in solving a case involving a savage rape and attempted murder of a West Point woman that occurred 19 years ago. Ivy resubmitted DNA evidence from the initial investigation to a national DNA database and built supporting evidence linking DNA to the crime. Ivy was approached by the victim in April and asked to take another look at the crime, which occurred in 2003. Fredrick Fitzgerald Gandy, 52, of West Point, was arrested Monday. He is charged with rape, attempted murder, burglary and robbery. Making arrests in cold cases such as this often relies on one person willing to take another look at the case, as we have seen recently in Columbus (2017, in a 21-year-old case) and Starkville (2018, in a 28-year-old case), both involving murders. Both suspects were convicted in those crimes. The case also illustrates the importance of DNA technology, which continues to advance, leading to more break-throughs such as this. Of course, that technology relies on someone willing to take another look at a crime that has been put aside. We commend Ivy for his work in this case.
A rose to all those who turned out for Friday’s “Party With A Purpose Gala” at the Trotter Center. The event is the primary fund-raiser for the Community Benefits Committee. The committee sold all of its available tickets, which will go a long way in supporting the CBC’s projects, which include a Christmas Toy program, Thanksgiving turkey give-aways, programs supporting families of law enforcement and help in times of emergencies. Public support for the CBC’s efforts are essential, and Friday’s event clearly demonstrates how our community recognizes the CBC’s important work. We congratulate the CBC and its sponsors for Friday’s successful fund-raiser. We are certain to see the fruits of their work in the near future.
A rose to the community members who participated in this weekend’s street mural projects in downtown Starkville. The murals were funded by a $25,000 grant awarded to Mississippi State’s Fred Carl Jr. Small Town Center, but organizers quickly put out the call for community volunteers to participate. Did they ever. Within hours, almost all of the dozen available slots were filled. On Friday volunteers helped paint a large cowbell-themed mural in the center of University Drive near its intersection with Camp Street — an area in the Cotton District close to MSU’s campus — and added similar motifs to nearby crosswalks as part of the University Drive Corridor Connections project. Similar murals and crosswalks were painted at University Drive’s intersections with Fellowship and North Nash streets on Saturday. The murals emphasize the important relationship between the city and the university. That so many citizens participated in the project demonstrates the strength of that bond.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.
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