SnowCones Bring Relief, While Rains Do the Opposite

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Ashley Beard and Sharon Owen have brought their dream project, the Southern Snow Shack, to life on Chubby Drive in Columbus, but they’re not stopping just yet! As time goes by, they plan to play hose to food trucks, swingsets, and more to help provide some variety to the place.

They have already come out with their first signature dessert, “The Snow Shack Cadillac,” Beard said. “It’s the works. It comes with soft serve ice cream at the bottom, shaved ice, flavoring, soft serve ice cream on top, cream and the topping of your choice. It’s just a little bit of everything.”

Southern Snow Shack offers 32 flavors and is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Mike’s Package Store has closed its old location, and they are now almost ready to open its new one at 1925 Hwy. 45 N., the former Aaron’s building. They only lost two bottles to breakage out of over 3,000, so all is going as planned. They plan to reopen next week, and their hours will be: Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

Downtown, The Steel Forest Furniture Company has had to close down temporarily because recent wind and rains tore open a hole in the ceiling, ruining several furniture items. while the storefront is closed for now, this won’t slow them down any; they can still take orders 662-570-4745.

Finally, Popeyes on 45 is temporarily shut down for remodeling, inside and out. No official word yet on when they plan to reopen.

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MS Sales Tax Holiday (July 26-27) to Include School Supplies for the First Time

MISSISSIPPI SCHOOLS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Sale Elementary veteran teacher Demetria White has been setting money aside from her salary every month for as long as she can remember in order to pay for school supplies that many of her students need. She and many other teachers spend anywhere from hundreds of dollars to much, much more out-of-pocket to help their less fortunate students, and they do so gladly:

“We want to make our classroom welcoming for the kids, we want to make sure we have everything they need to succeed,” she said. “And all those supplies cost money.”

Starting this year, they’ll get a bit of a break in that regard. For the first time, school supplies will be included in the (state-) tax-free shopping days, from July 26 to July 27, 2019. “It’ll sure save me a couple dollars,” White said. “I think it’s great that school supplies are going to be included this year. . . I work a second job to support myself, but I also work it to support my classroom . . .It’s part of being a teacher.”

Sen. Chuck Younger (R-Columbus), who co-authored the bill, said, “We have a tax-exempt holiday for firearms, and we said that if we have that, then we sure as heck need it for our teachers and our parents,” he added. “It’s just 100 percent good for everyone.”

For a complete list of tax-free items included in this year’s sales tax holiday, visit the Mississippi Department of Revenue’s website at

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[PRESS RELEASE] EMCC Communiversity Open House to be Held July 16 and 17, 2019

Columbus, MS – Courtesy of EMCC

YOU ARE INVITED: EMCC’s Manufacturing Technology and Engineering Division will host an open house from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, Wednesday, July 17, and Thursday, July 18, at the college’s Communiversity, a $42 million facility dedicated to training students for careers in modern manufacturing. Come out and see what the Communiversity has to offer. EMCC’s MTED is registering students now for programs that include Electrical Technology, Mechatronics Technology, Engineering, Drafting & Design, Precision Machining & Manufacturing, Systems Based Automation, and Industrial Maintenance. Call 662.243.1970 or email for more information. The Communiversity is located at 7003 Frontage Road, between EMCC’s Golden Triangle Campus and PACCAR Engine Company.

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Joe Max Gives Update on Northstar IP at Rotary

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

Golden Triangle Development LINK President and CEO Joe Max Higgins spoke at the Starkville Rotary Club meeting this week. He was there to present an update on the ongoing progress of the Northstar Industrial Park project, which is currently under construction off of Highway 389, north of Starkville.

GTR Link President and CEO Joe Max Higgins speaks at the Starkville Rotary Club meeting Monday 7 11 2019

He informed them that the 384-acre park is progressing smoothly; water and sewage lines are in place and ready, and the needed roads have been constructed. He also said that a natural gas line would be added once the first tenant was officially finalized, that it would have a water tank, and a 60-MW power substation; 4-County Electric says that another 100MW of power can be added in the future should the need arise.

“We anticipate being home to a speculative building of somewhere around 100,000 feet,” Higgins said. “We made a presentation to (Tennessee Valley Authority) for grant funds for the investment a couple of weeks ago. We think we’ll know in a month at the latest whether we get it or not.”

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Ribbon Cutting at the Southern Snow Shack Thursday, July 9

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of The Columbus-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce

This week! Come join us for the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Southern Snow Shack on Thursday, July 11th at 10AM!

Southern Snow Shack is located at 240 Chubby Drive Columbus, MS 39705. The Shack will be serving up desserts of all kinds – Swing on by and give their treats a try!

This is the perfect time for a treat for people of all ages trying to beat this summer heat! Go reward yourself for making it through another long Mississippi summer! They will even have corn hole for you to play while you enjoy your food!

We hope to see you there for a cool treat or a baked sweet & good time!

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Fire Services, Wine, and a Place for the Kids to Play

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch


Columbus Fire Service has been operating in town for a good four decades, and they’re not about to let a little thing like tornado damage keep them down. After they lost about half of their Tuscaloosa Road building to the Feb 23 tornado, manager Vanessa Poteet says that they immediately began using portable buildings and even her car as their new office. They have since moved everything over to their new location at 2516 S Main Street: “Finding a new facility was a task,” Poteet said. “We’re now set up fully. There were some issues with not having a proper building, but we managed. Most people probably didn’t know we were even hit by the tornado.”

CFS services fire extinguishers and offers fire prevention services & hardware to a broad area, from Meridian to Tupelo and even to the Tennessee border. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Also in town, Towne Liquor, 507 18th Ave. N. Suite 1., plans to open up shop in Towne Plaza in the old frozen yogurt store’s location. No word just yet on their anticipated opening date.

A new chartered taxi service is coming in, as well: Friendly City Transportation will pick up customers from the airports as far away as Birmingham, Memphis, Jackson, or as close as GTRA. They also offer localized taxi services; just drop them a line at 662-364-6164.


Little E’s Indoor Playcenter at 821 Hwy 12 has now opened for business; they are open from Wed~Sat 9AM to 5PM and Sundays from noon to 5PM. They have a kids’ version of Main Street, plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained, and they also host birthday parties. Check their website, below, for more information.

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Mom’s Own Recipes Bring a Tasty Touch at Three Sisters

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Rachel Guery has her hands full running Three Sisters Pie Shop on Main Street in downtown Columbus. Whether she’s coming up with new treats for customers to try or just relaxing with a cup of hot tea or coffee, she and the rest of the folks at the shop keep things humming. Meanwhile, her patrons can work on their laptops, read a book or play a board game, or just kinda hang out on the comfy couch.

Rachel Guery, center, and her mother, Melanie, left, talk with a customer of Three Sisters Pie Co at the Hitching Lot Farmers Market on Saturday
Victoria Cheyne – Dispatch Staff

Guery credits her mother for her education in how to run a kitchen. She started out making cookies before moving on to pies and breads and more, thus cementing her love of baking: “It’s always been a part of my life,” she said. “. . . I know that I’m good with it, so I’ll continue that, but it’s also very fulfilling to be like, ‘Yeah, I did that.'”

She has since tweaked her mother’s recipes over the years and the results have brought her success at her shop. When off-duty, she can often be found sculpting, painting, or keeping her hands busy in the garden. She also has a booth at the local Farmer’s Market, where she sells pielets, cookies, home-made syrups, and whatever else she has come up with that week.

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Tasty Mediterranean Fare and More Coming to the GTR

Courtesy of The Dispatch


Klaasroom owner Tyler Klaas has announced that he will be opening Boardtown Pies and Pints at 705 University Dr in Starkville in September. The new venue, located below the Vista Apartments, will offer brick-oven pizzas, slow-roasted gyros, and beer on-tap.

Starkville Ford-Lincoln on Hwy 182 was recently acquired by Cannon Motors of Mississippi. The dealership will remain a Ford-Lincoln shop, however, the new owners are planning to expand their inventory and hire at least 15 new employees in order to accommodate the expansions to their service center/body shop over the next few months.

“We’re excited about being in Starkville,” Michael Cannon, President of the parent company said. “We feel like this is one of the best areas in Mississippi and we hope to reach all car-buyers throughout the Golden Triangle.”


Friendly City Mini Warehouse has expanded its holdings, having recently purchased New Hope’s Magnolia Mini-Storage units on Beatty Rd and Hwy 69 S. Existing customers’ leases will continue uninterrupted. This brings the total number of units owned by FC to 168, across four locations.

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Harvey’s Veteran Reminisces on Her Ongoing Career

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Thirty-three years ago, Clara Hicks went down to a relatively new downtown restaurant called “Harveys” in order to answer a Help Wanted ad: “I just went to the unemployment office and they told me, and I went down to talk to John Bean,” she recounted. She’s still there to this day.

“She’s kind of like our MVP,” said Harveys Columbus Executive Chef Jonathan Boyd. “Everything kind of goes through her. I could go on and on about how many items she preps. Her hands touch more product in this building than anyone else.”

Clara Hicks celebrates her 33rd anniversary of employment at Harveys Restaurant in downtown Columbus this month – She joined the staff about one year after the Harveys location opened its doors.
Photo by Jennifer Mosbrucker – Dispatch Staff

One of 11 children, Columbus native Hicks first learned to cook from her mom, whom she described as “a great cook.” Her sisters did the same, and have ended up cooking in local eateries, themselves.

Hicks delights in passing on the knowledge that she and others have accumulated over the years: “I play a major role in leading when all the new people come in; I have to show them the ropes,” she said. “They ask me a lot of questions.”

Ashley Wilson, HR Director for the Eat With Us Group, was once one of her protegees: “I started out as a server (at Harveys) in 2011,” Wilson explained. She worked with Hicks. “Miss Clara is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet. You can ask her a question 15 times and she’s gong (sic) to give the same sweet answer.”

Harveys General Manager Pat Donahue remarked that “She’s been a phenomenal part of our success. She’s the kind of person you just love to have on your staff because she cares so much about it.”

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The Ups and Downs of Construction in Starkville

Starkville – Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

New construction is booming in the Cotton District, with hopes of bringing in plenty of new stores and jobs in the future. Some existing businesses are faring better than others, however.

Two Brothers and Bulldog Burger have stated that their sales are doing well despite the widespread changes to the neighborhood’s look. On the flip side of the coin, the venerable City Bagel will close their doors for good as of June 23rd.

General Manager of Bulldog Burger Ian Few noted that they initially had concerns about the extensive changes in the area, as they only had “15 spots in [their] parking lot” to begin with. Unexpectedly, their sales went up, perhaps due to curiosity about the business and residential construction in the area. The story was similar at Two Brothers, located nearby.

On the other hand, City Bagel’s Ty Thames said the construction created issues with their restaurant’s parking lot, such as obscuring its entrance and having construction cones taking up parking spaces outside of the lot: “People figured out getting into City Bagel was a hassle,” Thames said. “And they didn’t want to do that.”

He went on to say that, while they expected some losses due to construction, the lack of business has been so severe that he can no longer turn a profit: “There becomes a line in the sand,” Thames said. “And, unfortunately, we crossed it. We have a great staff. That’s the hardest thing for me.”

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