Roses and thorns: 1/19/20




A rose to all those who have worked diligently, often around the clock, to address the Oktibbeha County Lake dam crisis. Since county engineer Clyde Pritchard alerted the community of the perilous condition of the dam on Tuesday, a host of officials from the local and state level, including fire departments and law enforcement have worked tirelessly to inform the public of the danger and mitigate damage and work toward a solution. While the status of the dam remains precarious, it's obvious that all those who have been involved have taken every available measure to protect those in harm's way. It is hopeful that those efforts -- and the efforts yet to come -- will secure the dam and prevent damage to people and property in the area.



A rose to Columbus Municipal School District Superintendent Cherie Labat and Lenora Hogan, director of the Starkville-Okitbbea County Consolidated School District's Millsaps Career and Technical Center, who will serve as two of 19 members named this week to serve on Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann's Administrator Advisory Council. We believe the experience and skills of these public school administrators will be an invaluable resource for Hosemann as the Legislature addresses the wide-ranging challenges faced by our schools. In the past, the Legislature, whose members generally have little to no experience working in education, has often passed education bills with no understanding of the implications. We applaud Hosemann in his efforts to make sure legislators can make informed decisions and to council members Labat and Hogan for their important contributions in that effort.




A rose to Ron Thornton, the new CEO and President of the Boys & Girls Club of the Golden Triangle. Thornton comes to the Golden Triangle from the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson, where he served as vice president. In accepting the position, we believe Thornton's familiarity with the mission and the strong foundation set by his predecessor, Nadia Colom, will mark a new chapter of growth for the programs in Columbus, Starkville and West Point. We welcome Ron to our community and wish him every success in the important role the club plays in our community.



A rose to the Joe Max Higgins, who was appointed this week to serve on the East Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees, filling the unexpired term of Lance Walters, who resigned after moving away from the area. The 12-member board is made up of two representatives of each of the six counties served by EMCC. As CEO of the Golden Triangle Development LINK, Higgins has a reputation for doing his homework, asking the tough questions and seeing projects through to completion. Those qualities are especially important in EMCC's efforts to reverse a trend of spending beyond its means over the past eight years. Higgins' in-depth knowledge of economic development will make him a strong advocate on the board for continued support of the workforce development efforts both at the Mayhew campus and Communiversity. We are certain Higgins will be a strong, effective voice on the EMCC board.




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