Roses and thorns: 6/9/19




A rose to organizers of candidate forums ahead of the August primaries. Thursday, candidates for chancery clerk, District 1 supervisor, District 17 state senator and District 1 justice court judge in Lowndes County participated in a forum at the Caledonia Community Center. In April, a similar session attracted 23 candidates at Anderson Grove Community Center. Meanwhile, the Columbus Exchange Club has been devoting its regular Thursday luncheons to hear from candidates for particular races. What these forums have in common is that they are held as non-partisan events, allowing all willing candidates to make their cases. That's important, especially in county races where exposure for candidates is minimal. We believe the forums allow voters to be better informed on the races and, as a result, make better choices when they go to the polls. We encourage groups to consider following their lead. The more we know, the better we'll be represented.



A rose to 2019 Columbus High School graduate Marian Turner who graduated as valedictorian of CHS with a 4.581 grade point average. But before that, she graduated Summa Cum Laude at East Mississippi Community College with a 4.0. It is a great personal accomplishment built on sacrifice and diligence. But let's also take a moment to acknowledge the opportunity provided for her. If ever there was a testimonial for dual enrollment this is it. In the few years since high school students were allowed to take community college classes simultaneously with their high school work, many students have used this to reduce the cost and time commitments associated with earning a college degree. Turner will now attend Spellman College to complete her studies. This is a testament not only to Turner and her support system, but the educators who have provided this fast-track to a degree. Turner's story should serve as an inspiration to other capable students.




A rose to the volunteer group Community Recovery of Lowndes County, for stepping in where FEMA -- at least to date -- has declined to go in helping victims of the Feb. 23 Columbus tornado. This week, volunteers from as near as Columbus and as far as Belleville, Illinois, under the direction of CRLC and United Way of Lowndes County, began demolishing and removing debris from three homes on Shady Street, one of several streets in north Columbus that saw the most damage as a result of the tornado. They have also gone to houses on Waterworks Road to help install air-conditioner units and repair roofs on homes that are still in livable condition. In March, FEMA ruled that it would not help private property owners with damages they suffered during the storm. While that ruling is under appeal, it may turn out that no federal dollars will ever reach those who need help with the recovery. Given that, the work of the CRLC is crucial. We applaud everyone who has made donations or volunteered to help in this recovery and encourage others to lend a hand as well.



A rose to the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Columbus for providing fun, free and family-friendly entertainment as the long summer begins. Thursday marks the opening of the 12th annual Sounds of Summer concert series, which will feature music by Style the Band from 7-9 p.m. at the Columbus Riverwalk. Subsequent concerts will feature Juke Joint Gypsies, Swing Shift and The Bouncing Betty. The event has proven wildly popular, with folks gathering at the Riverwalk an hour before the concerts, mixing with neighbors and strangers alike in a relaxed setting. It's a great way to spend a summer's evening.




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