W’s Nursing Program Tops In State

COLUMBUS, Miss. — Courtesy of MUW recently ranked The W’s online RN-to-Bsn program No. 1 in their 2019 – Best Online RN to BSN Programs in Mississippi list.

“We are very pleased to have our RN to BSN program recognized as number one in the state. The ranking takes note of the fact that the faculty and staff continue to be dedicated to maintaining the highest academic standards while assisting each individual student. The program takes pride in making the transition to a BSN degree as seamless as possible for the working nurse,” said Dr. Tammie McCoy, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

The site stated, “The Mississippi University for Women’s online RN-to-BSN program gives licensed registered nurses a trusted, tested way to accelerate their careers.”

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Downtown Columbus Gets its First Electric Car-Charging Station

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

A ChargePoint electric car charger was recently installed in front of the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center, at 300 Main St. The CLW board voted two months ago to lease the charger from the TVPA; the lease is scheduled for five years CLW director Todd Gale said.

The ChargePoint charger, which charges electric vehicles, was installed on Main Street in front of the Tennessee Williams Home and Welcome Center Wednesday – Photo by Jennifer Mosbrucker, Dispatch Staff

The fee is 75 cents per hour; different vehicles require different charging times. “It’s close to downtown, so people can park, shop around and leave,” Gale said. This one marks the 11th station within a 15-KM radius of Columbus, according to the ChargeHub companion app. Among other local car chargers are the ones at Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott and Hampton Inn and Suites, all off of Hwy 45. Note that the latter two locations offer charging services for Tesla vehicles only, while Fairfield’s is more broadly compatible. Columbus Nissan on MS-12 has a multi-brand charger, as well.

While the usage of electric cars in the state is still quite low, sales numbers are slowly growing. One potential contributing factor to a possible future growth in sales is the belief that, by 2025, the average price of an electric car will drop below that of gas-powered cars.

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Entrepreneurship is Alive and Well in the GTR

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch


Gayle Guynup – Photo by Luisa Porter, Dispatch Staff

Gayle Guynup, originally of Santa Rosa, CA, recently purchased the building at 115 Fifth St. S. building downtown, which is near near Huck’s Restaurant. Its last active tenant was the Fuhgetaboutit Bar, which closed its doors five years back.

The two-story structure is nearly 6,000 square in size; it currently has two apartments on the upper floor. Her Realtor, Royce Hudspeth, says that Guynup is planning to convert 1,000 square feet into another and the remaining space for a commercial tenant. Guynup currently owns roughly 60 thousand sq ft of space downtown.

Hudspeth went on to say that “Downtown is an interesting place to be. She’s had a lot of luck with buildings down there. She’s a good owner and a good asset for downtown.”

Shawn Stone opened up AlarmPro, a security company at 1430 Gardner Blvd. last month. They offer alarms, home security, and related services. AlarmPro is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m.-noon.


The GSDP is hosting unWine Downtown Starkville: Christmas in July tonight from 5:30-9:30. Participating stores will offer 20-percent off merchandise. Wine tastings will also be happening;.tickets are available at or by contacting the GSDP at 662-323-3322.


The state of Mississippi is holding a sales tax holiday this weekend! Check the Mississippi Department of Revenue Commissioner’s website to see what can be purchased tax-free starting at 12:01 a.m. Friday and ending midnight on Saturday. All eligible items are tax-free as long as each individual item is under $100. Some of those tax-free items include clothing, footwear, accessories, binders, calculators and more.

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Bringing Whole New Meaning to ‘Work at Home’

STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Several years ago, MS State grad Hagan Walker could have had a job at Tesla upon graduation, but he chose instead to remain local and start his own business: Glo. Fast forward a few years to 26 years of age, and he’s now turned enough profit to buy himself a home: the renovated Buckely Grocery Store location, first built almost a hundred years ago.

“I guess I’ve always been the oddball in that way,” Walker said. “I’ve always taken a quirky path. When I saw it was for rent, I jumped on it. My landlord was my professor at State. … I think a lot of people wanted it. I’m just glad I got it.”

Local entrepreneur Hagan Walker stands outside his newly purchased home on Louisville Street in Starkville Tuesday afternoon
Jennifer Mosbrucker, Dispatch Staff

The structure is known for the Coca-Cola mural painted on its side; Walker has been spending much of his spare time researching the history of the place, which he plans to renovate as time goes on: “You never really think about it until you’re looking back, how often things change,” Walker said. “It’s been fun. It’s like a puzzle.”

One of his finds in the long-unused portions of the house was a 1950s glass bottle Coke machine, which he is fixing up: “This probably hasn’t run in 50 years, so that’ll be a fun project to get it working,” Walker said. “It’s period-accurate though. … I plan to put it outside the house [next to the big mural] so people can come by and grab an ice-cold bottle Coke if they want.” He also plans to have a local artist revitalize and preserve the mural itself.

The main structure has seen many uses in the past: Buckley’s Grocery from 1932 thorugh 1952, then O’Rears Grocery in 1961, a television and radio repair shop in 1981, a TV sales and service store in 1985 and a florist and gift shop in the ’90s. It sat vacant for nearly a decade until its prior owner purchased the building in 2007, renovating the store into a residence: “Dr. Bruce was the one who really took the time to restore the place,” Hagan said. “I think I’ll leave things mainly as-is (inside).

“It’s a cool part of Starkville,” he added. “I feel like Starkville is a pretty creative community.”

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EMCC Communiversity Right on Schedule to Open this Fall

COLUMBUS, MS – Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

The final preparations are underway for the Communiversity to accept its first students this August – Machinery is being put into place, endless rows of boxes are getting opened, and tools the students are to use are finding their proper homes.

Electrical technology instructor Jason Throop sets up equipment in his program’s
high bay at the Communiversity Wednesday in advance of the first students
starting at the facility in August – Photo by Charlie Benson, SDN

“We’re so ready to have students start in the fall,” said EMCC Dean and Workforce Director Joe Cook. “We hope to fill up classrooms and start the education process.”

He went on to say that the programs the Communiversity offers will include precision machining, engineering, drafting and design, electrical technology, systems-based automation, mechatronics, and industrial maintenance.

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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.

Please see the image blow for more details.

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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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