Category Archives: Columbus

Football and Spices and Bars, Oh My!

GTR REGION – Courtesy of the Dispatch

1920 Hwy 45 in Columbus will soon be the home of a new sports bar called “Yo’Bar.” The venue is the brainchild of Ledrico Isaac, who has been working hard on the idea for nearly five years.  The place will have food and drink as well as a mechanical bull, karaoke, football games on the TV’s.

On a related note, The Elbow Room will re-open (under its original ownership) while they look for a buyer. They’re asking for just under $190K, including their recipes book.

Rex’s Direct Foods on Alabama St. was recently purchased by Slyvia Graham, a loyal customer who jumped at the chance to buy the store when the original owner decided to retire. She hopes to expand the variety of items on offer.

In Starkville, variety shop Tuesday Morning has moved to its new location at 402 Mississippi Hwy 12.

In Clay County:

Peco Foods will be holding a job fair this Saturday from 10AMto 2PM at the EMCC CMTE Building in Mayhew. Interested applicants should register with www.mdes.ms.gov.

The West Point Peco location is hiring maintenance technicians, management-supervisors, management trainees, experienced forklift operators, and refrigerator technicians.

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Lowndes Community Foundation Seeks to Help Locals Help Themselves

LOWNDES COUNTY – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Matt Bogue, co-chair for the Lowndes Community Foundation, outlines five key focus areas for Columbus and Lowndes County – Photo by Deanna Robinson, Dispatch Staff

The Lowndes County Foundation has put together a steering committee comprised of many local community leaders in order to help decide how best to distribute grants intended to identify and address community challenges on a grand scale. The LCF is a local branch of the Tupelo-based CREATE Foundation, which has given out more than $109,000 among dozens of organizations and projects in Lowndes County since 2005.

At a recent meeting of the committee, attended by 44 members, Matt Bogue (co-chair of the LCF and VP of Dutch Oil) stated that “(We have) people from business, people from education, people from social service, people from all walks of life . . . These are people who are engaged and very invested in Columbus and Lowndes County. It’s a solid group.” He went on to say, “We’re business owners, people who work and teach in the community, people who live here. Our kids play ball in the parks . . . Organizations are working on these problems and get hung up. What we’re saying is, you tell us where you’re running into dead ends and let us see where we can help you.”

The group seeks to address many issues in the area, from blight and poverty to crime and educational issues. They know that no one group can fix every problem, so they are working on finding ways to address small portions of every issue that they can, conquering one problem at a time.

“(For example) I think ‘How do we solve the poverty problem?’ is almost the wrong question,” Bogue said. “It’s too big of a question. Instead, how do we take action in ways that reduce the impact of that issue? There are great organizations in the community trying to address poverty in Columbus. How does this task force plug in with those and bring those together instead of duplicating those efforts . . . That takes coordination. You can’t look at the problems of crime or educational proficiency in Lowndes County as ‘I’m going to address this (broad) problem.'”

“We’re good at arresting people for drugs, but what happens next?” Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton, said. “We need to do things that help get people off drugs and return them to being productive citizens . . . I like the holistic approach the Lowndes Community Foundation is taking here,” Shelton said. “By (better educating our children and implementing other improvements), I believe it will work.”

“We always gravitate toward the bad,” said Bogue, as he remarked upon the community’s view of itself, especially with regards to crime. “Things aren’t that bad. We live in a great community.”

Colin Krieger, a Re/MAX Realtor serving on the community engagement task force, feels the same way; he believes that we need to rid ourselves of our own apathy before we can truly move forward: “We’re often our own worst enemy with our narrative, when in fact, Columbus is a lot better off than many other communities,” he said. “Economically, we’re growing.”

LCF is not the first group to make such an attempt; some have done better than others: “There are generations of brilliant people who have tackled these problems, and yet they still persist,” Bogue said. “It doesn’t mean they didn’t do their job or do a fantastic job. What it means is these are very complex issues. Solving them is an overwhelming task. But hopefully, we can leave our community in a little bit better place for the next generation than where it was when we inherited it.”

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Wedding and Catering Venue to Open in The Depot Early Next Year

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Matt and Kelly Pittman, with their daughter, Harper, go over plans for renovations at The Depot with Realtor Royce Hudspeth and contractor Gene Reid on Tuesday – Photo credit – Slim Smith, Dispatch Staff

Kelly and Matt Pittman will be opening a new events & catering venue which will be named after its historical location: “The Depot.” The business, to be located at the corner of Main and 13th St South, is planned to open in early 2019: “The name fits it really well and that’s what Columbus has been calling it,” Kelly Pittman said. “We just thought it was a good fit.”  The Pittmans are experienced wedding caterers and planners, having won couples Choice Awards (from Wedding Wire) for the past four years in a row.

“We love the town of Columbus,” Kelly added. “It is beautiful. When we drove down Main Street with the shops and buildings, we were just in awe.”

“[I and building owner Guynup have] got a reason for everyone to be excited,” Realtor Royce Hudspeth said. “Columbus needs to be excited about this. They do a first class job. For a young couple, it’s just amazing the practices (they’ve) built up, and (Kelly is) bringing that to the Golden Triangle.”

Pittman plans to have up to ten employees to help run the venue. It will have two large rooms, a reception and ceremony area, and a bridal room. A kitchen will also be built between those two rooms. The space will be available for rental for a wide variety of events.

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MUW Ranks Well in Recent Southern College Comparison

COLUMBUS, Miss. (Courtesy of WCBI) –

U.S. News and World Report recently released its ranking of the best public regional universities in the South, and the “W” did well, with a very respectable showing! Its overall ranking was #20, it came in at #11 as far as value for your dollar is concerned, and #40 for colleges for veterans. The report took sixteen measurements of academic quality into account.

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Local Business News in the GTR – Sept 9, 2018

Local Business News in the GTR – Sept 9, 2018

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION, MS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

WEST POINT

The nonprofit group The Regional Foundation for Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities recently announced that they had purchased Hoover’s Bakery, and that they are planning to reopen it this October at its new location at 58 Hwy 45 N in West Point, replacing the former Wendy’s location at that spot. The recipes will stay the same, according to the announcement. The new owners are also hoping to hire some people with either mental or intellectual disabilities in order to provide them with gainful employment, in addition to its normal complement of bakers and other staff.

STARKVILLE

The owner of Cappe’s Steak and Seafood, Eric Hallberg, announced that the venue has been closed, and that the building is up for sale. Starkville Properties is listing the 2,091 sq ft building for $450,000. Mr. Hallber has elected to focus his efforts more on am existing new venue – Cappe’s in the Park, at 60 Technology Blvd; as well as a new venue which is scheduled to open in 2019.

Hallberg is also planning to open another new restaurant: Chicken Salad Chick, an Alabama franchise, which should be open this coming January at 602 Highway 12.

This weekend, a locally owned hardware store is celebrating its 80 years of business with free refreshments and hot dogs. East Mississippi Lumber Company, 300 Russell St., will have the food from 11 AM to 2 PM, and they will also have a “bucket sale” going on all weekend: 20 percent off anything that fits in the hardware bucket they provide.

NEW HOPE

Work has begun on a new Dollar General store at 1642 Pleasant Hill Rd in New Hope. They are planning to hire up to ten employees and to open up early next year.

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Paccar Planning to More Than Double Existing Space

Paccar Planning to More Than Double Existing Space

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) –

CEO of the Golden Triangle LINK, Joe-Max Higgins recently announced that Paccar plans to invest about $7 million in additional warehousing and shipping space, adding 150,000 square feet to their existing 100,000 logistics center facility. Once the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors approves the project, groundbreaking is expected to take place almost immediately.

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Need a Flight to the Coast on Short Notice? Aurora Flight Services May Have Your Answer

Need a Flight to the Coast on Short Notice? Aurora Flight Services May Have Your Answer

GOLDEN TRIANGLE REGION – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Columbus Rotary Club member John Davis chats with Aurora Flight Sciences Vice President Greg Stewart – photo by Slim Smith, Dispatch Staff

Aurora Flight Sciences Vice President Greg Stewart recently spoke with the Columbus Rotary Club in Columbus. His company was sold to Boeing last year, and is already reaping the rewards: “We weren’t a small company before the sale,” Stewart told his audience. “We had about 500 employees. But Boeing is huge, about 77,000 employees. One of the biggest things about that is suddenly we have access to the resources of a company that size. It’s been less than a year since the sale, and we’re already seeing the benefits of that . . . “There were areas before the sale where we were competitors and, a lot of times, Boeing had the advantage because of their superior resources,” he went on to say. “Now that we are partners, we’re seeing new opportunities.”

One new project they are working on is the aircraft equivalent of a service such as Uber or Lyft – On-demand flights; they hope to be able to use small, unmanned passenger aircraft for this purpose. “Imagine that you need to get to the (Gulf) Coast all the sudden,” Stewart said. “What we are working on is a system like Uber. You order a flight, go out to the airport, get on the plane and you’re on the coast in an hour. You’re the only person in the plane.”  This project along has called for them to add a hundred fifty new employees.

“[The merger with Boeing has] taken some time for us to adapt to, but on the other side, the opportunities it has presented have been more than we could have dreamed of. It’s been a great move for both companies,” he added.

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PUBLIC RELEASE: High Quality of Life in the GTR

PUBLIC RELEASE Courtesy of GTRLINK.ORG

The Golden Triangle offers multiple options to allow residents and visitors to experience the highest quality of life.

Columbus, Starkville and West Point Mississippi – a trifecta of quality living. Three distinct communities each with their own unique offerings for residents to find the best fit for their best life.

A low cost of living means that residents make the most of every hard-earned dollar while building the life they want. A diverse range of educational options ranging from quality daycare to top-tier universities spans the region.

The Golden Triangle region offers a desirable place to work and a delightful place to live. World-class recreational attractions, cultural enrichment opportunities, the unparalleled athletics of the Southeastern Conference and a people whose arms are as wide and welcoming as the Mighty Mississippi.

Visit the sites below to learn which community holds your golden opportunity for a better business, and a better life.

www.starkville.org

www.clchamber.org

www.westpointms.org

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International Paper Keeps Going On Strong in Columbus

International Paper Keeps Going On Strong in Columbus

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

David Phillips, Columbus Mill manager for International Paper – Photo by Mary Pollitz

Columbus Mill Manager David Phillips recently spoke to the Rotarians at Lion Hills Center in Columbus about his facility, which was acquired by International Paper a couple of years ago, and the company’s plans for the future. They have begun a new initiative called “IP Way Forward,” having already invested $135,000 within the local community as a way of giving back to the good people of Columbus. Their initiative calls for the company to focus on “[I]nvesting in people, sustaining forests, improving the planet, innovative products and inspiring performance.” This includes helping out the less fortunate by assisting with education, hunger, and medical programs.

Kellum Kim, mill communications manager said that they wish to continue the good works done by Weyerhauser, the prior owners of the mill, with regards to the community in Lowndes County: “People that know Weyerhaeuser, know that they did a lot of great things in the community, they just did more behind the scenes,” Kim said. “What we are really trying to change is getting more hands-on, (and) get more of our team members involved.”

“Part of the IP Way Forward is to provide value for stakeholders,” Phillips said. “One of our stakeholders is the community and so we want to make sure we are providing value for the community that our employees live in.”

Kim added: “It’s all about investing in our communities and being a good steward of our communities and what we can do to make our community a better place for everyone in Lowndes County.”

The mill currently has about 325 full-time employees, including thirty who were brought on board this year. They also contract up to a hundred workers per day, and their average pay rate is about $28/hr. Philips noted that the mill is largely self-sustaining, as they generate all of their own power by harnessing the steam generated by burning tree bark that might not otherwise be useful; they also use the surrounding 65-acre marsh to treat their wastewater.

International Paper and their Columbus Mill are giving back to their local community while making products that we use every day — and THAT’S Good for Business!

Please click here for the original article.

 

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Columbus Superfund Site Cleanup Well Under Way

Columbus Superfund Site Cleanup Well Under Way

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

EPA Region 4 Director Franklin Hill – Photo by Mary Pollitz

The EPA recently brought together local officials at each of ten Superfund cleanup sites across the country in order to recognize the solid progress on each of them, and the Kerr-McGee site here in the Memphis Town area of Columbus was one of them. In part, they celebrated the fact many of the 42 officially-recognized recommendations from a list put together last year were things that the KMG cleanup crew had been doing for as long as seven years already: “We’re already on the cusp of that . . . We’re already taking early actions in this community,” said EPA Region 4 Superfund Director Franklin Hill.

Kerr-McGee once had a wood treatment plant here that was in operation from about 1928 to 2003; the resulting waste product, creosote, contaminated the site and local grounds, making it one of the 1,800 Superfund sites in the US, and one of the top 30 “priority” SF sites which are being given special attention and expedited funding.

Hill went on to say, “We did that collectively … and this community [of Columbus] was at the forefront of it. This community are the people who held us to task. … Even though we slipped schedules from time to time, they would remind us when we were slipping schedules.”

“We no longer want to clean up the site and walk away from it and leave it and it becomes just an open field,” Hill said. “We’d like to see that property return to the tax rolls. We’d like to see that property make a contribution to the local municipality and government, and we’d also like to see the community realize a benefit from their community being revitalized from years of the plight that’s been associated with the site that’s basically (been) dormant in this community since 2003.”

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