Roses and thorns: 12-15-19




A rose to all our law enforcement, for whom Wednesday was a very busy day. When the Tuesday night rainfall continued as the overnight temperatures dipped into the 20s, icy conditions -- especially on bridges and overpasses, created perilous driving conditions. Mississippi Highway Patrol Troop G responded to 20 crashes alone while city and county law enforcement were also responding to accident scenes. Their quick responses helped clear accident scenes, critical in helping avoid the chain-reaction crashes that sometime occur. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported. Wednesday served as yet another reminder that our law enforcement is at its best in times of emergencies. We thank them all for their diligence.



A rose to Starkville's Unity Park Advisory board for its selection of Dorothy Bishop and Carole McReynolds Davis as the newest selections to be honored at the park. The two women contributed in different ways -- Bishop as a civil rights advocate, Davis as an artist and tireless promoter of Starkville - yet shared a common love and devotion their hometown. Bishop was the Oktibbeha County NAACP's first female president and was committed to voter registration. She was also a principle figure in the campaign to establish Unity Park, which makes her enshrinement all the more fitting. McReynolds used her art and words (she wrote a regular newspaper column) to champion Starkville and its citizens. She was also devoted to improving race relations in town, serving on the city's first race relations committee in the early 1990s. Each year, she painted a portrait of a notable civil rights leader as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration. Bishop, 71, and Davis, 72, both died in 2014, but their legacies endure.




A rose to Brenda Lathan, who will be retiring from her role as executive vice president for economic development at the Golden Triangle Development LINK at the end of the year. For more than 20 years, Lathan, 62, worked in economic development in our community, a quiet, steady presence who played an integral role in the phenomenal growth of manufacturing and industry here. An expert in research, Lathan provided the documentation required to consummate the deals that brought much needed tax revenue and jobs. She was also an inspiration to minorities and women, who were long underrepresented in economic development. We thank her and wish her well in her retirement.



A rose to the West Point Green Wave football team, which captured its fourth straight state championship on Nov. 7 with a 38-26 win over Picayune in the 5A Championship at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi. That means the players who were freshmen on the 2016 team finished the season with a state title all four years. With the victory, the Green Wave has now reached the zenith of high school football in the state. The win secured West Point's 11th state championship, tying South Panola for the most football championships in state history. We salute the coaches, players and staff for this remarkable accomplishment.




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