Roses and thorns 7-19-09




A rose to Columbus Federal Program and Inspections Director George Irby, for continuing to make Columbus a beautiful and inviting place. Irby, one of the driving forces behind bringing the Riverwalk to Columbus, still finds ways to brighten the city for residents and visitors. This week, another Irby initiative, the city''s summer youth work program, has been replacing crape myrtle bushes along the entrances to the city from Highway 82. Sometimes the "little things" go a long way. Thanks, George, for all you do for us and our city.



A thorn to the person or persons who have been passing fake $100 bills throughout the Golden Triangle in recent months. Last Friday, someone reported to Starkville police that he was given a counterfeit $100 bill by someone asking for change. In separate incidents in April and May, $100 bills were passed at Columbus fast-food restaurants and a gas station. Whether or not the incidents are related, here''s hoping that these counterfeiters are brought to justice. (Those of us who have to earn our $100 bills the hard way find it a little unfair.)




A rose to the Columbus Municipal School District, for being the only district in Mississippi to land a nearly $1.5 million federal grant to upgrade its school bus fleet. The grant, part of $156 million distributed nationwide, will allow Columbus to replace 30 old buses, and to install equipment into 22 others that will increase their life span and make them more fuel efficient. The money means Columbus will be able to revamp its fleet in one fell swoop, instead of parceling out the work, and the money, over several years.



A rose to the organizers of the Columbus War Museum, which held a program honoring local veterans on Wednesday at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library. Especially heartening at the ceremony was the presence of several World War II veterans. As the ranks of these heroes thin with the passage of time, we are heartened that volunteers like those behind the War Museum work to keep their memories and sacrifices alive for future generations. Military memorabilia contributed by local veterans to the War Museum, typically displayed at the city Municipal Complex, will be on display at the library through August.




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