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Possumhaw: Murmurs of murmurations

Posted 2/16/2019 in Local Columns

Stepping outside at twilight, a whishing and whirling of hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of blackbirds could be heard as the birds were twirling across the sky. For a moment they may rest in the treetops or light on the ground, nosing under dry leaves.

Ask Rufus: The Passing of the Tombigbee Steamboats

Posted 2/16/2019 in Local Columns

The first steamboat arrived at Columbus in 1823. For almost 100 years they were the principal means of shipping and passenger service along the Upper Tombigbee River.


Brett Kittredge: Film incentives are a losing proposition for taxpayers

Posted 2/14/2019 in Local Columns

The prospect of a movie star eating at a local restaurant or a movie being filmed in your home town is appealing to most people. Yet it shouldn't be funded by taxpayers.


Home Base: On a public health matter, the South fails to rise ... again

Posted 2/12/2019 in Local Columns

Mississippi claims the No. 1 ranking in a statistical category that might surprise you. No, it's not public education funding, vocational training skills or even the number of 4- or 5-star football recruits per capita.

Possumhaw: The Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.

Posted 2/9/2019 in Local Columns

Why would anyone want to steal dead birds? It was the hook that grabbed author Kirk Wallace Johnson's attention. It was the hook that grabbed mine. Johnson's book "The Feather Thief" introduced a world I knew nothing about.

Ask Rufus: A Forgotten Aviation Milestone

Posted 2/9/2019 in Local Columns

The centennial of an aviation milestone that was connected to our area passed unnoticed 11 days ago. It was the first transcontinental round-trip airplane flight and only the fourth transcontinental flight.


Wyatt Emmerich: Northsiders plan Franklin County destination resort

Posted 2/7/2019 in Local Columns

C Spire is spearheading a public-private partnership to build a beautiful 200-room resort and 1,000-seat conference center on a beautiful spring fed lake in southwest Mississippi.


Ask Rufus: The 'Bold Feat' of Simon, a Free Black French Captain

Posted 2/3/2019 in Local Columns

In the 1730s, conflict in Europe between England and France spread to the Tombigbee River Valley between the Choctaw-French alliance and the Chickasaw-English alliance. It was a North American extension of a European conflict with a local twist.

Possumhaw: Bring your own bodock ball

Posted 2/2/2019 in Local Columns

There we were standing in the woods, surrounded by half-eaten and mostly-eaten bodock (bois d'arc) balls. Something had a party.


Legislature serenades teachers with "How Great Thou Aren't"

Posted 2/1/2019 in Local Columns

This is one of those years the Mississippi Legislature pretends to care about all sorts of things they've spent the previous three years hacking to pieces.


Possumhaw: Warm within and cold without

Posted 1/29/2019 in Local Columns

Sometimes the house feels like it's holding a chill. I add layer upon layer until I think I could hardly bend over, but still there's a chill.

Partial to Home: Moon river

Posted 1/26/2019 in Local Columns

It was a scene straight out of Huck Finn. Two guys standing around a campfire on a remote island in a wide river, bright moon and stars overhead.

Ask Rufus: Columbus Water/Ways

Posted 1/26/2019 in Local Columns

A Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit on waterways has opened at the Agnes Zaiontz Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Transportation Museum on Seventh Street North here in Columbus.

Home Base: Perhaps we've forgotten how to treat each other as human

Posted 1/25/2019 in Local Columns

One day when I was 15, I was sitting at my dining room table along with about five of my high school track teammates, all of us male. We were laughing about another boy from our school when my mom walked by and heard us.


Wyatt Emmerich: Balance is needed in a democracy

Posted 1/24/2019 in Local Columns

Count me as one of the few people who believe the United States, and many other developed countries, have a good, balanced way of governing.



Marion Whitley: Ambrosia? Food of the who?

Posted 1/23/2019 in Local Columns

"Will you be serving ambrosia?" Another Mississippian who'd come North to a teaching career included this question in his Christmas greeting, and the answer was, "No, I wouldn't."



Jon Pritchett: Why did Mississippi lose population last year?

Posted 1/22/2019 in Local Columns

New Census data shows income tax free states as the big winners when it comes to adding residents.


Partial to Home: Area paddlers enjoy rich offering of natural wonders

Posted 1/21/2019 in Local Columns

Having spent a healthy slice of time in my formative years on the Tombigbee in a ski-boat dodging stumps, blue rock and gravel shoals, it seems like a fitting destiny to be quietly paddling a kayak through those same waters half a century later.

Ask Rufus: Ancient Medicine

Posted 1/19/2019 in Local Columns

The winter edition of American Archaeology has a fascinating article titled "Physical and Spiritual Health." It is about general health care and medical care among Indians in prehistoric and historic period America.

Possumhaw: Here kitty, kitty

Posted 1/19/2019 in Local Columns

There's the Bobcat "One tough animal"- advertised as a compact, hardworking construction machine. There's the Sebastopol basketball team's bobcat mascot; then there's the bobcat that was spotted across the road from my driveway.


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