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Starkville School Shuffle Could Impact Real Estate

Starkville School Shuffle Could Impact Real Estate

 

stk-ok schoolFor the second time in just two short years, parents of students in the recently-consolidated Starkville Oktibbeha County Consolidated School District may find their children in a new school. I’m not here to opine about the causes of the issues that the schools and government leadership in Oktibbeha have on their hands, but the effect it could have on home prices.

Starkville is keeping pace with major market trends nationwide, with many homes selling at peak prices, and in a very short time. The recent school moves in 2014-15 saw many homeowners selling their properties to move up or over in order to insure that their child was in what they consider a top school district. As price trends continue to rise in the area,  fueled by the continued growth of the university, many parents with children in public schools find themselves unable to afford homes in the realigned districts – or even unable to find a home for sale. Now, the changes to the school districts appear to be forcing a few families to switch around again.

Oktibbeha County and Starkville are in a difficult spot, especially with the Justice Department’s involvement. Let’s hope they can keep the changes to a minimum.

 

 

(Courtesy of WCBI) –

Some students and schools would be realigned in order to comply with federal guidelines on racial balance within the new district … The proposal would move all K – 5 students at East Elementary School into existing elementary schools of the district. The plan moves rising fifth graders to Overstreet and rising second graders to Ward Stewart. The plan, which would go into effect in August, does not include changes at West Elementary School.

The board will have a special called meeting on February 23rd. There are also several sessions for employees, parents and stakeholders. The first is Thursday night at East Elementary at 5:30pm.

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Mississippian Appointed Chairman of UPS

Mississippian Appointed Chairman of UPS

UPS CEO David Abney. Photo credit: UPS/courtesy image

UPS CEO David Abney.Photo credit: UPS/courtesy image

Mississippi’s own David Abney, who was born in Greenwood, worked his way to the top of international shipping giant UPS over the course of a long career, starting in 1974 in his hometown of Greenwood. Abney was recently elected as Chairman of the company by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors. He also served as COO since 2007, CEO since 2014, and former President of UPS International. He is also a Trustee of The UPS Foundation, and Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta.

How does it help to have a local in that position? Abney will have first-hand knowledge of the ample warehouse facilities and inter-modal options in our great state (many of which are located in the Starkville-Columbus area). It’s not that he can necessarily influence business our way, but he will be a powerful voice in the company who can help get Mississippi to the table to compete. Any person of influence from the state helps – even in the smallest of ways. It might only be a small chance that he remembers a friend of a friend who told him about an affordable building for lease in rural Lowndes County…but, his small decisions at UPS have a lot of zeros behind them.

It is ALWAYS good for business to have friends in high places!

Some info courtesy of UPS Pressroom. Please click here for more information.

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Oby’s In Starkville Finishes “Best in State” for Sandwiches, Columbus’ United Deli Near Top

Oby’s In Starkville Finishes “Best in State” for Sandwiches, Columbus’ United Deli Near Top

Oby's Mufellata. Pic credit: Joe R. Bumgardner of eatjackson.com

Oby’s Mufellata. Pic credit: Joe R. Bumgardner of eatjackson.com

Best of the best??? The writers at the quirky site “only-in-your-state.com” picked Oby’s as the best sammich shop in Mississippi this past week. As a New Orleans native, I’ve been a big (in the waist) fan of the Cajun eatery for years now. Their hot roast beef, oyster po-boys and gumbo are hard to beat! Another favorite place to chow-down, United Deli in East Columbus, also topped the list. I’m so happy for my main man Mr. John. His Gyros and French Dips are second to none, and I think his french bread is the best you’re gonna find outside of Louisiana.

So proud for both of our local spots – any attention is good attention…and definitely good for business!!

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Mr. Freeman and Mrs. America Tour North Mississippi

Actor Morgan Freeman (stock photo)

Mr. Freeman and Mrs. America Tour North Mississippi

The current reigning Mrs. America, Madeline Gwin, and legendary actor Morgan Freeman made appearances in Mississippi this last week. Freeman stopped in Tupelo to accept an honor from the Boy Scouts, and Mrs. America toured several schools in West Point. What does this have to do with business, you may ask? You see, it always good to get attention- especially positive attention.

Mississippi seems to have a certain knack for showing up on the national news for bad news. Failing education, comical political moves and national disasters are our specialties. But, to have an award-winning actor and a beauty queen swing by, it helps to show we aren’t just a wasteland of a society. Especially in the case of Freeman, most of the moves he makes are taken in a positive light.

Mrs America 2015, Madeline Gwin (courtesy photo)

Mrs America 2015, Madeline Gwin (stock photo)

And that light shines on our state.

Click the links below for more information:

http://www.wtva.com/news/local/Morgan_Freeman_honored_by_Boy_Scouts.html

http://www.wtva.com/news/local/Mrs_America_visits_local_students.html

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American Futures: Manufacturing Returns to Columbus, Mississippi

American Futures: Manufacturing Returns to Columbus, Mississippi

 

The Golden Triangle Development LINK is such a vital organization to our area. The premier economic development agency in the South, the LINK has brought nearly 5 billion dollars in business to the Golden Triangle in just over ten years. When big business does good, so does small business. Columbus, Starkville and West Point are lucky to have the best team in Mississippi working for us. Companies such as Steel Dynamics credit the GTR LINK with facilitating the complex process of incorporating in the area and running a business here. Locals who have found work at these newly-arrived major companies thank area schools such as EMCC for providing them with the skills needed to succeed and thrive there.

American Futures brings us a documentary about the rebirth of Colu,bus

American Futures brings us a documentary about the rebirth of Columbus

Here’s a piece the Atlantic did on the LINK recently, including a mini-documentary about the amazing revitalization of Columbus as a manufacturing nexus in the South:

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/460452/american-futures/

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Parks Key To Quality Of Life In Golden Triangle

Parks Key To Quality Of Life In Golden Triangle

probst park

Beautiful Probst Park in Columbus, MS gives us all room for play, sports, athletics, parties, and even just hanging around and enjoying the breeze. (click for full size)

In my travels as a real estate agent, I have seen the enormous impact that playgrounds and parks play in the market. Often overlooked by taxpayers, a strong parks and recreation system is a top item on checklists of potential buyers when moving into a market. In our region (and quite possibly the entire state of Mississippi), Columbus currently boasts the premier soccer complex, which has hosted several state-wide events. It has an ideal setting, nestled between historic downtown Columbus and the Riverwalk.

Starkville has a top-notch sportsplex in the center of town, but has recently began a movement to build a best-in-class facility, in order to attract more attention and tourists to the town. Mississippi State University already lends a hand hosting major events, and an additional complex outside of the school should prove to be valuable as the area continues to grow.

Nice, clean parks and facilities help potential buyers open their minds’ eye to imagine living in a community – playing, riding and enjoying a picnic. Parks also often provide a buffer between urban and rural areas of Columbus and Starkville, and provide a great public service to our residents – as well as to potential citizens. They help to make a brand-new city feel more like “home.”

WCBI has more on our growing park system :

“Our citizens, citizens everywhere pretty much have an expectation of having quality play spaces, parks that are accessible and facilities that offer not only enjoyment but opportunities to help themselves to personal health and wellness,” Starkville mayor Parker Wiseman said.

http://www.wcbi.com/local-news/video-sustaining-a-successful-parks-and-recreational-service/

 

CK

 

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Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Students Scores Big

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science Students Scores Big

 

Four students from a local high school have qualified for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award, one of the most prestigious awards for academic achievement in the nation.

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students Dauttatreyo (Wrishi) Bandyopadhyay of Starkville; Nathan Barlow, of Starkville; Jason Necaise of Ridgeland; and Meilun Zhou of Oak Grove have been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science students Dauttatreyo (Wrishi) Bandyopadhyay of Starkville; Nathan Barlow, of Starkville; Jason Necaise of Ridgeland; and Meilun Zhou of Oak Grove have been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Who wouldda thunk it? The Golden Triangle of Mississippi, which is well-known throughout the Southeast for a booming industrial sector, sprawling farmlands, and tough-as-nails football players, is also home to one of the finest specialized high schools in the country. The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) is located on the picturesque campus of the Mississippi University for Women (MUW) in the heart of historic downtown Columbus.

Four MSMS students were selected for the Dauttatreyo (Wrishi) Bandyopadhyay of Starkville; Nathan Barlow of Starkville; Jason Necaise of Ridgeland; and Meilun Zhou of Oak Grove have been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholar Award, which is given to up to 161 students each year. It recognizes the most distinguished graduating seniors in the nation. Factors such as high ACT and SAT test scores, academic achievement, and related considerations are taken into account.

“We celebrate this success with the home schools of (the students),” MSMS Executive Director Dr. Germain McConnell said. “Realizing we are an extension of those schools, and that they have played a significant role in the development of these students.”

MSMS itself keeps a small footprint on campus, with about 250 total students passing through its doors each year, and competition to get in is fierce. The average student ACT score is 28, and the average SAT score is 1857. Students in both grades (Junior and Senior) are work hard for their grades, taking mostly college-level courses. They are also expected to study for and re-take their ACT and SAT tests in order to improve their scores over time. The school itself has been honored, being named one of the top 25 high schools in the nation by Newsweek and the Daily Beast (#55 out of 1000), as well as one of the top 25 in the US South.

Click here for more information about MSMS: MSMS Website
Read more about the national award competition, courtesy of the Commercial Dispatch: Click here

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Bulldog Burger Makes Its Mark On Starkville

Bulldog Burger Makes Its Mark On Starkville

Let’s all welcome Bulldog Burger to the great city of Starkville!! Starkville’s economy continues to expand with another locally-owned eatery. Go get yourself a burger today, and, if you think you can handle it, ask about their special eating challenge!

Bulldog Burger Company is located at 702 University Drive in the historic Cotton District.

The Grand Opening

The Grand Opening. Photo courtesy the GSDP

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When Big Business is Small Business

When Big Business is Small Business

The Superbowl has not always been my favorite time of year. You see, I spent a good bit of my formative years in the pizza business, and Superbowl Sunday is traditionally the busiest day of the year, sometimes painfully busy – as the linked story from WCBI will attest, below. The funny part about it then, and about it now, is hearing friend and coworkers laud, ” Papa John must be printing money today – and he ain’t doin’ nuttin!! ”

John Schnatter (AKA Papa John) does indeed make some money off of the local stores. He earned that right 30 years ago when he built the company. However, the lion’s share of the reward is earned by local owners who worked for their money and took a risk on a franchise. Like most towns in Mississippi, Starkville and Columbus have the majority of restaurant chains owned by local folks. A local businessman or manager took the chance to buy into a chain to see if he could defy the odds and make a living.

The Papa John's team celebrates the launch of its Quality Guarantee at Super Bowl 50. (Graphic courtesy of Business Wire)

Schnatter, far right, and his team enjoying the sweet taste of victory. (Graphic courtesy of Business Wire)

Most franchises fail within a few years, often leaving the proprietor in very poor shape for his gamble. There are hundreds of locals who have lost their life savings taking a shot on a cafe, sandwich shop, or fast food joint. Buffalo Wild Wings, The Grill, McDonald’s, Subway, Papa John’s, and others all have local franchisees as their roots. The tax money stays in the state. They participate in the community by sponsoring soccer teams and school functions. The owners, quite often, live in your neighborhood; they might even go to church with you. Many of the chains that we routinely view as giants are, in reality, just as local as our favorite watering hole or dry cleaner.

Ask around, and keep a sharp eye out for locally owned “big businesses.” When you find one, thanks them for investing in our community. Their big, small business is good for our tax base, good for our community and great for business.

CK

http://www.wcbi.com/local-news/pizza-companies-gear-up-for-super-bowl-rush/

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Hope Community Church Begins Construction on Main Street

Construction begins at the location of the former Varsity Inn

Construction begins at the location of the former Varsity Theater

Kudos to Hope Community Church for their investment in downtown Columbus! This should help a ton for all downtown business owners, especially on the North side of Main St.

Also, give some love to Main Street Columbus, Inc. for their support of all the small businesses – and churches – that make our downtown the best in Mississippi! Barbara Bigelow and Amber Murphree Brislin, thanks for all you do!!

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