Author Archives: Colin Krieger

Starkville Coffehouse to Add Midtown Location

Starkville Coffehouse to Add Midtown Location

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

Starkville’s Midtown is a mixed-use development that will feature Orangetheory Fitness, 66 apartments and other businesses to be announced at a later date. (courtesy photo)

Strange Brew Coffeehouse owner Katelyn Reed recently announced the nascent opening of their second Starkville location; their intent is to open before September 1st. Their existing store, which has a drive-thru, is “busting at the seams,” Reed said. “So we are really excited to have some more space, and to now be walking distance from campus.” The new location will be in the Midtown development on University Drive, and is meant to be be “more of a ‘come sit a while’ feel,” Reed went on to say. Both locations will share the exiting menu, as well as new products that will soon be on offer.

A second Instagram and Twitter account was made for the Midtown location, and it can be found at @SBCoho for more updates

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Orthodox Christians Now Have a Dedicated Place of Worship in Columbus

Orthodox Christians Now Have a Dedicated Place of Worship in Columbus

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Jason and Kelsey Bigelow are among a small, but  growing number of Orthodox Christians in the area who have long been seeking a permanent place of worship, rather than driving as far as Tupelo irregularly in order to have access to the services they want. They recently found that their numbers had grown large enough to found a local mission, and that a former Christian Science worship center was available for purchase – so they and their congregation did so. They now meet at the church on 4th Avenue North, which they have been extensively renovating. They are considered a Mission for now, as they are still working on the funding required to maintain a full-time priest, rather than having one come in once every 3-4 weeks, and having congregants preach in the meantime. They intend to begin holding formal worship services in July; they expect to begin with about thirty congregants.

“It’s a small world of Orthodox Christians in Mississippi,” said Columbus physician William Rosenblatt who bought the building along with Jason earlier this month. “Everyone kind of knows everyone. (When we) moved here, we knew … the Bigelows were in town. (We) put our heads together and said, ‘Look, we’ve got to do something. We can’t keep driving an hour and 45 minutes to church every Sunday.’ They had been looking at area buildings, just kind of thinking into the future, and we found this one, started getting the ball rolling.”

William Rosenblatt of Columbus does yard work outside the new Orthodox Church on Fourth Avenue North – credit – Isabelle Altman.jpg

“The first time you walk into an Orthodox Church that’s all set up, not like this,” Kelsey said, gesturing to the construction around her, “(but) with the candles and iconography and the singing, it’s overwhelming. If you have studied art and history, even if you don’t know anything about the Orthodox Church firsthand when you come in, you instantly see the beauty of the worship.”

“The building is sort of in the classic church configuration, a Latin cross plan,” Jason said. “So that’s what we would have built if we had built this from scratch.”

“Most people aren’t as fortunate,” Rosenblatt said. “They’re in a store front for a long time or something much less formal.”

“When you drive your kids an hour every other Sunday to go to church, and you can’t stay late for coffee hour because you’ve got to get back and do stuff or you can’t be there on Wednesday night and you can’t fully raise them in the church — to have a church that I can walk to is absolutely a miracle to me,” she said.  “It’s like having your grandma next door,” she added. “That’s the only thing I can liken it to. It’s like having your community, the things that matter to you (and are) close to you, within reach.”

“Everybody’s welcome,” Jason said. “It’s not just Orthodox — which we think there’s other area Orthodox. But this church is for everybody. … Everybody’s welcome that wants to learn about Jesus.”

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USA Today Honors Columbus

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of the Columbus Visitors’ Bureau

Please join with all of us at GFB to congratulate everyone who gives their all to make our town a better place!

PRESS RELEASE

Columbus, MS has been voted No. 6 in the Best Small Town Cultural Scene category of USA TODAY’s latest 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest!

“Visit Columbus is honored to win a coveted spot on this list, and is grateful for the many voters who helped our city win this distinguished award” said Nancy Carpenter, CEO of Visit Columbus.

Columbus, MS has been voted No. 6 in the Best Small Town Cultural Scene category of USA TODAY’s latest 10Best Readers'…

Posted by Visit Columbus on Friday, May 18, 2018

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New Burger King to Open in Starkville on Monday

New Burger King to Open in Starkville on Monday

The new Burger King in Starkville – photo credit: Alex Holloway

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Starkville is just days away from its newest Burger King opening its doors. The location is situated near Hardee’s at 409 Hwy 12 East, and they plan to start serving hungry crowds come Monday morning.

Tom Barlow of Cambridge Franchise Holdings said, “We’re firing up all of the equipment and getting the final inspections. . .We’re meeting with the chamber of commerce to, hopefully, that Thursday (May 24) have a ribbon cutting. . .We’re very excited about being part of the community,” he went on to say. “We want everyone to come see us and visit us. We’re excited to be here and think it’s an honor to be here as well.”

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Yokohama Reports Significant Job Growth at West Point Facility

Yokohama Reports Significant Job Growth at West Point Facility

Stacey Perusse, senior human resources manager for Yokohama Tire Corporation’s West Point plant (Photo by: Alex Holloway/Dispatch Staff)

WEST POINT – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Yokohama Tire Corporation’s West Point plant opened in fall 2015. They have reported that they are “continually” hiring new employees, bringing the current total to over 650, despite having been here for only about three years. Senior Human Resources Manager Stacey Perussespoke to the Rotary Club recently: “About a year ago, we were right around 500 (employees),” she said. “We actually had a job fair here in Starkville last August and we had over 700 people come.” She reports that they hire about fifteen new people every Monday, and that they’re always looking for new talent; they start employees at $14.50/hr, with semiannual pay raises for the first six years.

Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins said, “We’re pleased with Yokohama’s progress thus far,” Higgins said. “They have already exceeded all of their obligations for phase one, including employing more than 500 people and investing more than $300 million.”

Please click here for the full article.

 

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Cadence Bank and State Bank FC to Merge

Cadence Bank and State Bank FC to Merge

Courtesy of The Dispatch

Cadence Bancorporation has announced that they will be merging with State Bank Financial Corporation, in a deal valued at roughly $1.4 billion. Cadence’s press release stated that the merger will create a regional bank organization with about 100 branches in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. Cadence shareholders will own about 2/3 of the combined company, while SB shareholders will own the remainder.

Cadence Bancorporation Chairman and CEO Paul B. Murphy Jr. expressed his enthusiasm: “We are excited to announce that two great companies are joining forces. State Bank is an impressive organization with talented, experienced and customer-centered bankers,” Murphy said. “When we went public a year ago, we said we wanted to be active with (mergers and acquisitions). We said we would be selective and that we were looking for a gem . . . We found a gem with State Bank. I believe this is going to be an outstanding combination,” he added. ” I see it as a joint win for both company’s shareholders, customers, employees and the communities we serve.”

Tome Willey, vice chairman of the State Bank board, will move to Cadence. “We are excited to be partnering with Cadence,” Evans said in a statement. “From this incredible combination of talents and resources will emerge a truly exceptional bank that will be a formidable competitor in the dynamic markets we serve.”

 

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Planned Starkville Subdivision Seeking Roadway Variances

Planned Starkville Subdivision Seeking Roadway Variances

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

John Tomlinson – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Starkville developer John Tomlinson is bringing the City a pair of variance requests for a proposed estate subdivision on the south side of Highway 182; the planned location will be between Long Lake and the Stark Road-Hwy 182 intersection. The planned variances are intended to allow for a sidewalk along Hwy 182 on the property’s northern edge, and an internal road with a walking path within the subdivision itself. No rezoning would be required.

Tomlinson stated that he would like to build the subdivision for 15 lots on about 22 acres of land.  “What we’re trying to do is replicate what’s on the east side, on Tally Ho Road,” he said. “We’re looking at the same type of road and construction. We think it’s got good topography. It’s got some good sight lines and lake view lines. That’s what we’re shooting for… We’d like the road to be narrow with no curb and gutter unless that’s what the engineer says that’s what we need,” Tomlinson later added. “We’re going to follow good environmental practices. We just don’t want to have to widen the road. We want to maintain the character of the site itself, as much as we can.”

Proposed subdivision overview (Courtesy of The Dispatch)

“I’m not in this to get rich, but I am in it to have a good place to retire,” Tomlinson went on to say. “If the city and planning folks will bear with us, I think it will be something Starkville can be proud of.”

Please click here for the full article.

 

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First Steps Toward Sandfield Re-Development Taken

First Steps Toward Sandfield Re-Development Taken

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Local developer Jabari Edwards, a Sandfield native, recently had the opportunity to take a good, hard look at his old stomping grounds. What he saw motivated him to do something about the urban blight and other issues that had brought the area to its current state. Thus, he decided to do something about it; “…I just thought to myself, ‘This isn’t the Sandfield I grew up in,'” Edwards said.

Jabari Edwards (photo courtesy of The Dispatch)

He is working with the Carl Small Town Center at Mississippi State to come up with a comprehensive plan for redeveloping Sandfield, from 15th Street North to Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. “We’re taking a holistic approach looking at overall well-being,” Edwards said. “What does it do for crime in the area, for kids going to school and for our employment base? … For me, this is a labor of love because this is my community,” he added. “No matter where I go, Sandfield will always be a part of me.”

A first, tangible step has already been taken – a former housing development on the corner of Martin Luther King and College Street was destroyed in a controlled burn session by the local Fire Department in a training exercise. This makes it just one of fifteen or so such controlled burns conducted in the last twelve months. Conducting these training exercises has the added benefit of helping the local FD to maintain its certifications, a notable contributor towards lowering home insurance rates.

After the dust settled, groundbreaking work was immediately begun on a dozen single-family homes that will be sold for prices ranging from about $100,000~120,000 each. This pricing structure, which will include both rent-to-own and traditional home sales, will also allow homebuyers (especially first-timers) to qualify for financial aid via Mississippi Home Corps, HUD, and other agencies. The hope is that the homes will all be ready within the next nine to twelve months, and will be simply the first step toward improving the area for residents old and new.

“We’re all trying to beautify the community and draw people here,” Fire Chief Martin Andrews said. “If we can do it legally and the right way, we try to help with new developments because they add value to the community and we need the training opportunities. So it’s a win-win.”

“These [blighted] properties were an eyesore in a main thoroughfare of the community,” Mayor Robert Smith commented. “… Everybody needs a nice place to live, and quality of life is important regardless of income. These will be nice homes that will enhance the neighborhood, and they should also reduce crime because when you remove blight, you remove a lot of the places where your criminals hang out. …We would hope whoever buys these homes (once they are completed in Sandfield) will take pride in their home and their neighborhood.”

Please click here for the full article.

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Lee Middle Redevelopment May Be Coming to Life Soon

Columbus Redevelopment Authority on Wednesday released possible future plans for the Lee Middle School property.

An anonymous developer purchased an option on the 15-acre site in November, and he plans to preserve most of the original school’s 1950s-era structure for reuse. He also intends to reuse and enhance as much of the remainder as possible “with the enhancement of Lee High School in mind,” the press release said. The second phase includes the construction of new buildings, making up a mixture of commercial retail and apartments.

John Acker – courtesy of the Dispatch

The city Board of Adjustments and Appeals will soon take into consideration the CRA’s request to change the property’s zoning from R-1 (single-family residential) to C-1 (neighborhood commercial).

During Phase 1 of the proposed re-development, which is estimated to cost between $3 and 5 million, the following changes are planned: Converting the existing cafeteria into a 16,000 sq.ft. restaurant or banquet space; a 24,000 sq.ft. multi-use venue/community center in the auditorium; and converting the gym into a 22,000 sq.ft. free-standing retail space. There are also plane to implement an apartment complex in the existing classroom buildings. Phase 1 is expected to be completed by January 2020.

Phase 2 would see a 4,000 sq.ft. restaurant in place of the front lawn and gym parking lot. Also, there are plans for a 90~100,000 sq.ft. mixed-use commercial space, to include both retail and residential areas. That phase is expected to cost $10 million.

The intention is that the plan will supply 50 to 100 construction jobs, 70 restaurant jobs, 40 to 80 free-standing retail space jobs, five to eight venue and apartment management jobs, and 25 to 30 part-time venue event jobs.

Please click here for more information

 

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Columbus’ Rite Aid on Hwy 45 Closing Its Doors

Columbus’ Rite Aid on Hwy 45 Closing Its Doors

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

The Rite Aid Pharmacy on Highway 45 will close later this month after Walgreens bought more than 1,900 Rite Aid stores nationwide. All prescription accounts locally have already been transferred to the Columbus Walgreens. Photo by: Slim Smith/Dispatch Staff

The local Rite Aid Pharmacy at 1800 Hwy 45 recently announced that they will be shutting down this month, pursuant to a deal worked out between their company and Walgreens’. Any prescriptions customers have there have already been transferred to the neighboring Walgreens, and the store will be liquidating its remaining stock until May 18th, or until stock runs out, whichever happens first, according to an anonymous employee.

Nationwide, Walgreens has agreed to purchase 1,932 stores and three distribution centers from Rite Aid for nearly $4.4 billion.

The property is being marketed by SRS Real Estate Partners in Birmingham, Alabama.

Please click here for more info

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