Roses and thorns: 1-12-20




A rose of welcome to Mike Leach, who was hired as the 34th football coach in Mississippi State history. Leach comes to Starkville from long coaching stints at Texas Tech and, most recently, Washington State. He has built a reputation as one of most innovative offensive minds in college football. Leach's "Air Raid" offenses, a pass-happy attack he helped create more than two decades ago, has produced staggering numbers over the years. Leach's always-entertaining and often enigmatic personality has captured the fancy of fans across the nation. By both approach and personality, Leach brings something far different than the MSU program has ever seen. We predict Leach will raise the profile of Bulldog football like nothing seen here before. It should be tons of fun. Welcome, coach!



A rose to the Oktibbeha County Humane Society and Starkville Police Department, which has teamed up to make a great use of the shelter's "Dog's Day Out" program. The program allows volunteers to take a dog from the shelter for a walk around town. It's great for the dogs, but also great for the SPD, who use the dogs to make connections with citizens as they make their doggie rounds. Too often, some residents find police to be intimidating and unapproachable. But when an officer is accompanied by a dog, somehow that dynamic changes. It's proven to be a great ice-breaker and, of course, a wonderful treat for the dogs, whose exposure to the community may help find them a permanent home. We applaud OCHS and all those who are taking part in this program.




A rose to Eddie Hawkins, as he begins his duties as Lowndes County Sheriff. In his first week of office, Hawkins, who replaced two-term sheriff Mike Arledge, devoted much of his time and energy into setting his staff, which has included moving a handful of veterans into new roles. In any organization, the arrival of new leadership brings with it a fresh look at the organization and often results in changing roles. We are hopeful that these new assignments will serve to further strengthen the sheriff's department in the important role it plays in our community.



A rose to the city of Columbus for its efforts in preparing the Terry Brown Amphitheater for public use. Councilmen approved two bids for the construction of perimeter fencing along the Tombigbee River side of the venue and front wall/entry area. Expected to be completed in four to six months, the additions will allow for free public events to be held at the facility. Until funding is made available to finish the project, which includes securing the western perimeter and restrooms, the amphitheater won't be ready for paid events, which is the ultimate goal. But until then, pursuing a plan that will enable some use of the venue is a step in the right direction for a project now five years in the making.




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