Former employees Debbie Putt and Janis Kertsetter are now the new owners of The Purple Elephant on Wilkins Wise Road in Columbus. The shop had been closed briefly after the prior owner, Marca Glenn, retired.
“We hated to see another store close in Columbus,” Putt said. “We just felt like jumping in and doing it. Everything comes full circle.”
Putt went on to say that the shop will be the same as always, though they are open to carrying new and interesting items for their clientele to buy; also, they have retained the crew that worked under Ms. Glenn. The gift shop is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt, next to CJ’s in Columbus, has announced that they are closing their doors after being in business for six years.
Construction work has officially begun at Grand Junction condos, 509 University Drive. They are hoping to open Phase I for new homeowners in late August of this year. Tabor Development’s VP of development, Kay Regimbal, says that about one third of the condos have already been purchased.
The units vary in size from 1~3 bedrooms & 750~1,500 square feet, and in price from about $200,000 to $445,000.
MSU’s Colvard Student Union had a couple of changes quite recently:
State Fountain Bakery, which is now across the union, has penlty of goodies on offer just in time for Valentine’s Day. Mediterranean restaurant Olilo is now open in the student union.
Popular downtown yoga studio Firefly on S Lafayette St has shut its doors, and appears to be on the market.
Mossy Oak recently signed a multi-year deal with the NRA to offer a new camo design called “Overwatch,” to be used as the NRA’s official camoflage pattern.
The People’s Cup MicroRoastery is has opened its doors in Starkville. The shop, located at 12-1/2 Lummus Dr. near the Cotton District, roasts, brews, and serves its own hot, fresh coffee on weekdays from 7 AM to 2 PM.
The Greater Starkville Development will be holding its annual “SOUPerbowl” soup competition Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Main Street. Hungry visitors seeking a variety of nice, hot soups may do so for $15 in advance of the event, or $20 at the door. At the end, patrons get to vote on whose soup is the cream of the crop!
Huntsville, Alabama-based Hometown Lenders is preparing to open up shop in Columbus, making it their third Mississippi location. Their office will be located at Second Ave. N. They have nearly 80 locations nationwide. Appointments only, please.
John and his crew have been providing us with the best sandwiches in town for over a decade. They keep us fed and happy, and ready to face whatever may come at work. Even the Mayor says so — and we thank His Honor for going around and supporting our local shops, restaurants, and entrepreneurs of all types…’cuz that’s Good for Business!
PRESS RELEASE – COLUMBUS MAYOR’S OFFICE United Deli and Grocery in Columbus is Mayor Robert Smith’s Business of the Week. The business is located at 212 Tuscaloosa Road on the corner of Tuscaloosa Rd and Gardner Blvd. “It’s an honor to recognize United Deli as our Business of the Week,” said Mayor Smith. “John and his staff serve amazing food and work hard to take care of their customers every day. I enjoy every meal here.”John Musa is the owner. He opened United Deli in 2006. In the past 12 years, he has found the key to success in the food business. “Listen to the customers,” John said. “The best ideas for our sandwiches have come from the customers. We have changed our menu with feedback from our customers, and we are always listening.” John learned the restaurant business from his uncle in Washington state. “I worked with my Uncle for about eight years before coming here. He taught me a lot, and I use his lessons every day.” The deli serves a large variety of sandwiches on bread that is made in the store. “We cook our bread twice a day,” John said. “We also slice and prepare our meats. That is what keeps everything fresh.” When asked what his favorite sandwich was, John was quick to answer. “Our cheeseburger is amazing,” he said. “Everything here is good, but the cheeseburger is my favorite.” United Deli does catering for group meals too. They are open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. They serve breakfast too. “There is great satisfaction in cooking a great meal for others,” John added. “We love to do that here.”
Ida Smith starts preparing hundreds of fresh biscuits at Hardee’s every day an hour and a half before the store even opens, and has been doing so for nearly thirty years. She needs no recipe, she needs no help, she just does it all by heart.
“I like to be back there alone,” she said. “When there’s somebody else back there, they just get in my way. I know how I like to do things.”
Hardee’s assistant manager Bessie Allen interjected. “We all know better than to interrupt the process.”
Smith is an avid cook, and she credits her mother as the inspiration for many of her recipes. “We all cooked in my family,” she said. “My mom had 11 kids. We all were cooking.”
She is popular with customers and co-workers alike: “We love her here,” Allen went on to say. “Everybody loves Miss Ida.”
Smith loves them all right back: “I like working with people I like,” she said. “It makes the time go quick if you like who you’re spending time with.”
The state Senate recently passed legislation that, if signed by the Governor, will allow electric co-ops statewide to offer its customers a new utility service: high-speed internet. Current state law forbids this, but the new law will override the old once it is in effect.
Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley has been a driving force behind getting this measure put into law. He also notes that this will not mandate provision of such a service by the co-ops; it simply allows them to do so.
This will allow huge portions of rural Mississippi to gain access to affordable high-speed internet, a must if you’re doing business at all, and a great help for civilians, as well. Previously, the daunting cost of having lines run out to many areas was simply too much to take, as it was a cost that would be passed on to the consumer. With this law in place, existing wire infrastructure will become usable for the high-speed data lines.
“I never would have imagined I would end up here,” said Kingdom McGee, a graduate of the Columbus school’s first-ever graduate class. “It’s sort of surreal going from things looking pretty bleak and ending up with a job that’s really a start to my career.” He went from being stuck at home with devastating health issues to a job with the Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, and all at a tuition-free vocational school.
The GTR Coding Academy in Columbus, an affiliate of MSU, is one of two in Mississippi (the other is in Jackson). The schools’ aim is to provide training and coding instruction for serious students and also to help them find jobs in the industry. Director Sarah Lee, MSU engineering professor, stated that their ultimate desire to expand students’ opportunity for success in technical fields.
“It’s to create more computing pathways for people in Mississippi,” Lee said. “Not everyone is the same so not everyone is on a pathway to college. We don’t all fit into the same mold. In order to increase the pool of technical talent in the state, we have to think outside the box.”
“They said, ‘we like what we see,'” McGee went on to say. “I was floored. Before, I thought that my opportunity was gone. That moment was life changing for me.” McGee said that wouldn’t have happened had it not been for his education at the coding academy, which taught him to never stop learning and to grow with technology as it progresses.
“There’s no telling where my job might lead me,” McGee said. “I’m pretty easy-going and I’m eager to see what else is out there for me. My past two years have been truly blessed. You can’t write or make this stuff up. I have a creative background and coding is another one of those outlets for me and people want to pay me to do this.”
“It’s life changing for those students who complete the program and are able to go into employment,” Lee said. “It’s also a positive thing for the state in that we are increasing the tax base and increasing the pool for qualified persons for technical jobs, which hopefully will result in more companies coming to Mississippi and providing those jobs.”
Lee said that the academy will be accepting applications for the next class which will start in July. Each applicant undergoes an interview & board review process. Those interested can apply online at mscodingacademy.org.
“When you’re working in a technical field, you have to be a lifelong learner because the technology is changing so rapidly,” Lee said. “The learning doesn’t stop after you graduate. It’s taken them from either unemployment or hourly wage employment to professional positions and working in a professional environment with a competitive salary in the state.”
German journalist Steffen Weyer was just one of over two dozen European journalists and Airbus reps who took in a tour of the Airbus facility while on the North American Airbus Tour. “It’s interesting to see how they’re built here and how they’re organized,” Weyer said.
He went on to say that the Hamburg, Germany Airbus location mostly produces airplanes, whereas the Columbus facility produces helicopters. He also said that he had no idea how large the facility was, nor of its community impact: “It is a very small city, but it seems that a company like Airbus comes here offers education and possibilities for people to stay here,” Weyer said. “I see that there is a effect (sic) when you see the employees talk about it. It seems that there’s something positive for the region but I don’t know the region.”
The Airbus North American tour began at their Canadian facility, followed by Columbus and then Mobile, AL, and was aimed primarily at visitors who were not part of the European operation.
Airbus, an international company, has nearly 25,000 employees worldwide, including its four locations in America. The Columbus location opened in 2006 and has nearly 200 employees who manufacture two to three Lakota Helicopters each month for the U.S. Army.
“I can’t tell you how that decision changed this region,” GTR LINK Joe MAx Higgins said. “I don’t know if we could have attracted Steel Dynamics or Paccar if it weren’t for (Airbus).”
City councilmen are currently asking for proposals that would replace the city’s more than 4,300 traffic lights with LED bulbs, which shine brighter, and use much less energy, than traditional bulbs; 371 have already been replaced via smaller projects. They anticipate saving as much as $400 thousand per year by fulfilling such a project.
Ward 5 Councilman Stephen Jones, of Ward 5, was a dissenting vote, saying that “I wanted more time to look over it and research this company,” Jones told The Dispatch. “I’m open-minded to supporting the project, especially if it saves us money.”
“Over the last few years, by us adding fixtures, adding lights at the request of the mayor and the council, that pot of money has gone up, so they’re continuing to pay more each year,” Columbus Light & Water Director Gale said. “I don’t see how their bill would ever go down unless they start taking lights out, and you know that’s not going to happen.
“For someone trying to sell power, it’s not a good thing,” he added,
referring to CLW’s potential lost revenue long-term. “(But) to be honest
… if all the numbers work out, it’s kind of a no-brainer (for the
“The net savings would be more significant over time,” Ward 3 Councilman Charlie Box said. “… I was totally against this at first, but when I found out how this would be structured, it became obvious to me it was a win-win.”
It is believed that a secondary effect from the brighter lights would be a reduction in crime, due to increased visibility.