November 2, 2019 11:08:11 PM
A rose to Courtney Taylor, who was announced last week as the first executive director of East Mississippi Community College's Communiversity. For EMCC, it's like putting together a great team and finding a quarterback to run the show. Taylor comes to the job with experience in both educational work force training and economic development, a combination of experiences that made her uniquely qualified for the job. The Communiversity, which began classes this fall, is a collaboration among EMCC, Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Development Authority, focusing on the advance manufacturing skills required by local industries. Taylor has served in higher education for the last 13 years, most recently as the regional director of workforce and economic development for the Alabama Community College System. Prior to that, she served as the director of the Workforce Solutions department at Calhoun Community College where she managed open-enrollment programs and customized training for local industry. Welcome to the team, Courtney!
A rose to Mennonite Disaster Services, whose first work crew arrived in Columbus last week to help with repairs for those whose homes were damaged during the Feb. 23 Tornado. A group of 32 volunteers from the Midwest began work, and more help from MDS is on the way later this month and in December. For years, the Mennonite volunteer organization has provided their expertise in construction and repair as a response to disasters throughout the U.S. and Canada, traveling at the their own expense and being housed by fellow Mennonites in the areas where they are working. They come. They work. They shy away from publicity. Most of all, they make a difference. We thank them for their selfless service to our community.
A rose for everyone who is pitching in to make the Black Prairie Blues Museum in West Point a reality. Last week, the Black Prairie Blues Society held a fund raiser for the museum, which will be located in the former Bank of West Point building at 640 Commerce St. It will greatly expand on the current but cramped Howlin' Wolf Blues Museum on Westbrook Street. Howlin' Wolf (1910-1976) was born in Clay County and became a towering figure in the Chicago and worldwide blues scene. His legacy inspired West Point's annual blues festival that has become a Labor Day weekend tradition. While the new museum will pay tribute to Wolf, it will also explore other blues pioneers with roots in Mississippi and especially the Black Belt Prairie region. We thank the Society and all those who have contributed and will contribute to this wonderful new addition to downtown West Point.
A rose for all those early Christmas shoppers, courtesy of local merchants who kicked off the season Friday in Columbus with the Downtown Christmas Open House. Downtown stores were open through the weekend, donating gift certificates totaling about $650 for to one lucky shopper in a grand prize drawing. Starkville's Christmas Open House is today 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at various merchants downtown and in other parts of town. Open house events are a great time for the community to show its support for small, local businesses. Other upcoming seasonal events in downtown Columbus include the Holiday Farmers Market Nov. 23, Small Business Saturday Nov. 30, the Columbus Christmas Parade Dec. 2, the official lighting of the Christmas Tree Dec. 5 and Wassail Fest Dec. 6. The Starkville Christmas Parade is Dec. 2.
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