Roses and thorns: 9/15/19

September 15, 2019 1:03:51 AM



A rose to the three Columbus Police Department officers who helped save a life Tuesday night. After a call reporting a person was standing on the rail of the Highway 182 bridge, where it crosses the Luxapalila, the officers climbed the structure in order to make verbal contact with the person. Ultimately, they were able to convince the person to come down with their assistance. In risking their own lives, the officers were able to prevent a needless death. The person, who was not charged, was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle for treatment. We applaud these officers for their heroic actions.



A rose to Lowndes County Port director Will Sanders and the port's board of directors for securing funds necessary to keep the port operating at peak efficiency while accommodating future growth. For the second time in 14 months, the port has taken advantage of Mississippi Department of Transportation grants to fund upgrades at both East Bank and West Bank operations. Last week, the port secured $749,000 in MDOT grant funds to go to the purchase of a new 110-foot crane for the East Bank, replacing an almost 50-year-old crane that was on its last legs. In July 2018, a $476,000 grant provided funding for a 250-foot crane and rail extension that allowed for operators to offload two barges simultaneously. These moves both improve efficiency and capacity at the port, which serves a vital role in bringing in materials and shipping out products for our industry.




A rose to the Townsend Community Center senior citizen group for its efforts in organizing Tuesday's candidates forum. Eight of the nine candidates for the Sept. 24 special election to fill the unexpired term of Gene Taylor, who died Aug. 6, participated in the event. Roughly 100 citizens turned out to hear the candidates answer questions they submitted before the forum. These kind of events are especially important in local races where the candidates may not be as well-known as the high profile county and state-wide races. Every chance the public gets to hear from the candidates helps them make an informed choice at the polls. We thank the senior citizens group for providing this service to their community.



A rose to Community Counseling, which will now be able to expand its service to youths in Winston, Webster and Choctaw counties, in addition to the counties it already serves -- Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay and Noxubee, thanks to a $5 million grant. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration grant will provide funds for clients up to age 21, a time when both diagnosis and treatment is often hard to recognize. The grant will not only expand Community Counseling's footprint, it will allow for more staffing and resources. The grant will add 14 positions, including a project director, therapists and a outreach specialist, Taylor said. Some of those positions will work in the new counties, with others reinforcing already-existing services. Community Counseling expects to double the number of children it serves to 800 through the seven-county area. In a state where mental health care has been seriously under-funded, this is a very positive step in the right direction.