Category Archives: Columbus

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!

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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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In Business News: Starkville Getting New Butcher Shop; Columbus Coffee Shop Under New Ownership; Tax-Free Weekend Starts Friday

In Business News: Starkville Getting New Butcher Shop; Columbus Coffee Shop Under New Ownership; Tax-Free Weekend Starts Friday

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Noxubee County native Eric King hopes to have his new shop, King’s Craft Butcher and Cafe, open by the end of August in Starkville. The shop will be located at 211 S. Jackson St., Suite B. Having honed his craft at a New York butcher shop, King brings plenty of experience and expertise to the chopping block. His goal is to focuis primarily on meat and other produce from local farmers, as well as prodiving cuts that are not often seen in grocery stores, such as Denver steaks.  The venue will also include an 80-seat cafe and full bar, where patrons can order from the dry-aged meats on display as well as from vegan and vegetarian selections.

COLUMBUS

C.J. Andrews, owner of Coffee House on Fifth, recently finalized the purchase of the city’s oldest coffeeshop, Beans and Cream. Andrews said that the shops will remain independent from one another, but that there are plans to expand the menu somewhat. Andrews also purchased Southbound Coffee, B&C’s provider of ground & roasted coffee beans.

STATEWIDE

Beginning 12:01 AM this Friday, the state’s tax-free weekend will begin; it will last until 11:59 PM Saturday evening. The exemption applies to “clothing” items such as clothes, shoes & boots, costumes, swimsuits, and the like, but not to accessories such as jewelry and wallets. The purchase price must be under $100 per item, not including discounts due to manufacturer’s coupons; items that cost $100.00 or more each will be taxed at the full normal rate. Check with your local store for details on their eligible items when you arrive; a list is available at the first link below. The exemption also applies to relevant items purchased online or over the phone during this time period.

Please click here to download a list of eligible items.

 

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Lowndes County Port to Receive ~$450K Port Expansion Grant

Lowndes County Port to Receive $450K Port Expansion Grant

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Will Sanders

The Mississippi Department of Transportation recently authorized a grant worth roughly $476,317, to be used to add a 250-foot crane rail extension to the Lowndes County Port in order to increase its capacity.

“We’re very fortunate that MDOT allows this grant every year,” said Will Sanders, director for the Port Authority. “Without these types of funds, we would not be able to continue these economic development projects every year.” He went on to say that the port will initially increase its current tonnage by at least 20 percent, and that they may eventually double the current amount.

SDI General Manager Madhu Ranade remarked that “It will improve the barge unloading capabilities,” Ranade said. “So we can get our raw materials faster to the plant. With the increased capacity, we may consider bringing in other materials there as well. It is a benefit to us, our key raw materials come in through that part of the port. Just having that extra crane would make the unloading go a lot faster and smoother. It’s a good situation for the port as well as for us.”

“These improvements will make the Lowndes County Port more efficient and allow for increased through-put,” said Golden Triangle Development LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins in a prepared statement. “The more product moved on the Tenn-Tom, the stronger the waterway becomes as an asset for our region.”

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Two Columbus Businesses are Up for Sale

Two Columbus Businesses are Up for Sale

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Barbara Swindol (Elbow Room) and Scott Carley (Thai by Thai)

Called The Historic Landmark when it was first opened, The Elbow Room restaurant and bar on 2nd Ave North in downtown Columbus had been enjoying a revitalization ever since Barbara Swindol reopened it in 2013. She had been working hard for many years to bring the place back to its former glory, and the hard work showed. Unfortunately, the venue is closed for the moment, as she looks for a buyer. Her adult son, Rob (who also worked there), was recently diagnosed with Leukemia, so Swindol has decided to focus on helping her family, so she has had to put the Elbow Room up for sale.

“I had no intentions of ever selling that bar,” Swindol said. “Rob put himself into that bar for a long time and just did a great job turning that around.”

She plans to have it formally listed the location for sale in the next few days, and things are looking up! She has already garnered interest from some buyers simply due to word of mouth. The venue will be sold as a “turn-key” operation – the buyer will take it over from where it stands now.

“We watched some amazing (musical) talent grow in that bar,” Swindol said. “I’m very sad to be walking away from it, but it really deserves someone who can make it their priority. My son’s my priority right now.”

Thai by Thai, a Main Street restaurant, is also up for sale, per owner Scott Carley.  He and his wife, Gon, had originally opened the place onWIlkins Wise Road about six years ago, and moved it to its current location near the art gallery in 2014. Carley cites lack of business as the primary motivating factor in his decision to sell. TBT will remain open for now, possibly with some menu changes.

“We’re going to try to add some things for people that are skittish of the food,” he said. “But Thai food is 100 percent healthy and made from scratch.”

The current plan is to sell the restaurant along with all of its recipes and equipment.

Barbara Bigelow, executive director for Main Street Columbus, reflected on the importance of restaurants to Main Street and Downtown in general: “We would love more restaurants in our area. We hate to have any that are considering leaving for any reason,” she said. “We certainly value our restaurants and would love to have more in downtown Columbus. The ones that we have now provide great variety to our community.”

It’s not bad news when good businesses go up for sale. These two vibrant operations are going to be a great opportunity for a willing entrepreneur…And THAT’S Good for Business! Here’s hoping for success too both sellers that they find a new buyer soon, so that these two great restaurants can keep up the good work with help from our community. With luck, the new owners will help both places reach great new heights in the future! Best wishes to both the current and future owners of both businesses in all  that they do!

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