Brandon Presley and the PSC Seek to Expand Internet and Power Options for Citizens

Brandon Presley and the PSC Seek to Expand Internet and Power Options for Citizens

Courtesy of the Commercial Dispatch –

Brandon Presley, who is currently in his third term as Northern District Commission and his first term as Mississippi’s Public Service Commission Chairman, recently spoke to the Columbus Rotary Club at Lion Hills Center. He is advocating better ways to get utilities to the people of Mississippi — especially in rural areas, which often lack access to basic resources such as natural gas, despite the fact that our state has more gas pipeline than almost any other state:

“We have 10,000 miles of natural gas pipelines in Mississippi, the fifth most of any state,” Presley said. “Yet, for many rural areas, there is no access to natural gas, which happens to be, right now, one of the cheapest energy sources available . . . So extending natural gas service in those rural areas is very important, especially to poor folks . . . And if we can give people access to natural gas, they may be able to cut their power bill by 30-40 percent. That’s no small thing . . . It’s not about being against any one kind of power,” he said. “It’s about giving people access to what’s available. The way I see it, everything the Governor has access to in the Governor’s Mansion in Jackson is something every person in the state of Mississippi should have access to.”

PSC Commisioner Brandon Presley makes his case to a Rotary Club member. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

PSC Commisioner Brandon Presley makes his case to a Rotary Club member. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

He continued to say that the PSC also wishes to encourage developing alternate sources of power, including solar power and natural gas.

He also spoke of high-speed internet, something which he considers to be a basic utility in this modern day and age – and hence, something everyone should have ready access to for a reasonable rate: “High-speed Internet is the electricity of the 21st century,” said Presley. “No matter where they live, the people of Mississippi have a right to have high-speed Internet. It’s not about Facebook or whatever else you might enjoy doing on the Internet. It’s about access to services and in the world we live in now, not having access to high-speed Internet service means not having access to critical services . . . It’s a quality of life issue. It’s an education issue,” he added.

Improving access to utilities will help all of the people of Mississippi to improve their quality of life, by saving them money and granting them ready access to the tools they need to compete. And that’s Good for Business!

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President’s Cup Soccer Tournament Brings in an Estimated Two Million Dollars

President’s Cup Soccer Tournament Brings in an Estimated Two Million Dollars

Courtesy of the Commercial Dispatch –

The tournament, which is the state’s largest, took place here in Columbus this past weekend, bringing with it about 120 teams from across the state, as well as more than six thousand loyal fans. Nancy Carpenter, executive director of the Columbus-Lowndes CVB, reports that the total economic impact on our area is around two million dollars. Hotels for miles around were booked solid, and many visitors reported that local restaurants went out of their way to provide superlative service.

Mario Aguirre, left, a member of Columbus United, looks to make a play during the Presidents Cup Tournament in Columbus this weekend. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Mario Aguirre, left, a member of Columbus United, looks to make a play during the Presidents Cup Tournament in Columbus this weekend. Photo by: Courtesy photo

Columbus also played host to the recent SLW bass fishing tournament, with approximately 300 fishermen on 147 boats, many of whom had been coming up to check out the local waters for weeks in order to prepare for the event.

“It’s been a huge, huge weekend,” Carpenter said.

Games were held a the Soccer Complex, as well as at Cook soccer field and Columbus High School soccer fields.

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Starkville Trustees, MSU, LINK Are of One Mind on Industrial Site

A new industrial park is on its way to Starkville, which will help to attract new big business and enhance extant ones – and that’s Good For Business!

Courtesy of The Dispatch –

Mississippi State University  and The Greater Starkville Development Partnership Board of Trustees (GDSP) have announced their support for the GT LINK’s plan to develop about 400 acres north of the Highway 25-Highway 82 interchange into a new industrial park.  MSU Vice President for Research and Economic Development David Shaw weighed in: “We must not waste it,” Shaw said of the proposal in his statement. “Not having a 21st-century park is holding us back. In my three decades at Mississippi State, I have seen a lot of great changes take place in our community when people make tough decisions and invest in the future. I believe that we can do that again by developing this new industrial park.”

Supervisors previously dedicated $7 million toward the project, and the LINK seeks a similar contribution from aldermen.

“[The chosen site] was identified by the … LINK as the ‘best site’ and ‘best value’ for an industrial park in Oktibbeha County,” the resolution states. “Successful industrial recruitment can result in an expanded tax base and provide much needed living-wage jobs to the citizens of Oktibbeha County. … The community must take advantage of opportunities presented for the development of the industrial product in order to be competitive in the industry.”


Read the full article here:

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Market Street Starts Tomorrow Night! Mardi Gras Comes to Columbus!

market street 2016Just a reminder, everyone! Columbus’ 21st Market Street Festival kicks off tomorrow night with a bang and a party! This year’s theme is Mardi Gras, so wear your best purple, gree, and gold outfit and Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez!

The kid-friendly party will get rolling at around 7 PM with music from New Orleans band, The Big Fun Brass Band! A couple hours later, zydeco legends Rockin Dopsie will take the stage! Food will be available Friday evening and all through the Friday~Saturday festival. The concert is free — Bring your folding chairs, but please leave your coolers and pets at home. More wonderful music, arts & crafts, and foods will be sold throughout the Main Street area during Market Street.

You can find a complete music and events lineup at 

You can also give Market Street a call at 662-328-6305 for more info.

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State Wants to Expand CompSci Learning in Schools


Mississippi is taking one more step towards making sure that our children will be ready to compete in the brutal job markets once they graduate. Our state has lagged behind for years in this area, but now it’s high time we do something about it – And that’s Good for Business!cs4ms logo

Courtesy Jeff Amy/The Associated Press

JACKSON — Greene County School Superintendent Charles Breland wants to see more MS residents computer-trained by the time they graduate high school. Thanks to a new push from the State, that dream is rapidly coming closer to being a reality. A total of 34 districts will send 167 elementary school and 68 high school teachers for training this summer, in the first phase of a plan to increase learning about computers in all grades.

“We see the need for so many tech-related jobs out there that aren’t filled,” said Breland. “I look at it as future economic development for not only Greene County but the state of Mississippi.”

The state has set aside $200,000 for training students, but this is just the first step. The idea is that new grade levels will be added yearly, with all of K through 12 to be covered by the mid-2020’s.More info about the program can be found Online:

Read the full AP article: here, courtesy of the Dispatch:

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EMCC Job Fair – Today!

A job fair is happening today at EMCC’s Golden Triangle Campus! Polish up your resume, put on your Sunday best, and come on by! All are welcome!

EMCC Office of Public Affairs – PRESS RELEASE:

Employers on hand will include manufacturers like Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, Airbus Helicopters Inc. and PACCAR Engine Company, along with representatives from other businesses seeking everything from health care workers to diesel technicians and fast food workers. Some employers will fill immediate openings while others will offer training that could lead to a job.The job fair is open, and free of charge, to all college students and area residents. The list of employers signed up to participate in the job fair is available on EMCC’s website, Look for the East Mississippi Job Fair link on the home page.

For more information, contact Melanie Sanders at (662) 243-1904 or

Click here for the full article:

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Mississippi Senator Cochran has co-sponsored an amendment that will help  to strengthen the FAA, improve and clarify laws regarding drones and consumer privacy regarding the devices, and help to improve safety at airports nationwide.

FAA Reauthorization Bill Important to FAA Center of Excellence Led by Mississippi State University

WASHINGTON, D.C. (courtesy of Senator Cochran) –

The U.S. Senate has approved an amendment authored by U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) to ensure greater public and private sector coordination of research and policy development for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), the mission of the center of excellence headed by Mississippi State University. The amendment would prevent duplicative research efforts and strengthen existing UAS research programs at the FAA, including the FAA Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft Systems (COE) and existing tests sites.

“The nation most needs a strategic, coordinated research effort to explore important questions safely integrating about unmanned aircraft systems into our airspace and economy.  My amendment would allow that to occur by keeping the focus on the FAA Center of Excellence established last year instead of establishing duplicative programs,” Cochran state

The underlying Senate bill would reauthorize the FAA and specified programs through the end of FY2017.  Related to unmanned aircraft use, the bill includes provisions that would:
•    Require the Government Accountability Office to review privacy issues and concerns associated with the operation of unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system;
•    Require the Department of Transportation to issue guidance for the operation of public drones;
•    Require the FAA to carry out a pilot program for airspace hazard mitigation at airports and other critical infrastructure;
•    Require the FAA to have a Senior Advisor for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration.

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EMCC Honors PACCAR, Yokohama, Baptist at Industry Luncheon

emcc-logoEast Mississippi Community College held its Industry Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday at the Golden Triangle campus. They chose to honor businesses that have invested countless hours – and dollars – to help improve the Golden Triangle and make it a force to be reckoned with on a national scale.


PACCAR and Yokohama both received the Director’s Award, the event’s highest honor.

Also honored was Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle, which was granted the Best Practices Award, and Special Recognition Awards for developer Mark Castleberry and Lt. Col. Richard T. “Sonic” Johnson (retired).

EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner Jr. proudly told the assembled that “We are proud to serve the people of this region. When your people, our people, take what they have learned in these four walls and they make a better product, provide a better service, earn a higher wage, send the next generation to college, change the trajectory of their families, we are all better.”

PACCAR received the Director’s Award for “the highest level of recognition through workforce training, demonstrating management excellence with superior outcomes, continuing to improve and build upon outstanding results and excellent systems and deploying world-class processes.”

Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, which took the Director’s Award last year, accomplished a repeat performance this year for “the highest level of recognition through workforce training, demonstrating management excellence with superior outcomes, continuing to improve and build upon outstanding results and excellent systems and deploying world-class processes.”

Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle earned the Best Practices Award for “providing outstanding examples of workforce training, quality management and business practices that serve as models for others.”

More information may be found at the link below, courtesy of WCBI:

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LINK Industrial Park Report Coming Up Soon

gtr linkThe GTR LINK, which has been a large part of making our Golden Triangle community better for many, many years, is reportedly preparing to discuss plans for new industrial park options in the area.

The GTR LINK is expected to meet with Oktibbeha County supervisors and Starkville aldermen with regards to any potential projects. The exact area which will be focussed on has yet to be determined, but is likely to be selected from one or more of the following: land north of the Highway 82-Highway 25 juncture; 16th section land south of George M. Bryan Airport; and Cornerstone Park.

Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker, who also serves on the steering committee, said each plan offers different benefits and problems: “One thing that the committee members do agree on is that no matter which option we choose, [the Cornerstone improvements are] something we have to definitely look at,” Walker said. “Part of my hesitation is money. [Another] is looked at as a game-changing effort, but they said the same thing about Cornerstone years ago. The good parts of [the 16th section and Cornerstone options] are that they tie in with the structure of town, build on what we have and affirm that we’re not abandoning what we’ve already invested in.”

For the full article, please click this link below (from the Commercial Dispatch):

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