Category Archives: Columbus

Palmer Home Hires Local for New Director of Development

Columbus – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Palmer Home for Children, Christian organization which offers education and shelter to children in need, has hired Columbus native Meryl Fisackerly as director of development at the regional children’s home.  In this role, her main role will be to handle relationships with donors and put together fundraisers.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Fisackerly said. “I’m so far loving the job. Everyone there is great. I’m looking forward to getting involved in the community and establishing who Palmer is and what we’re about. … It’s a fabulous organization and everybody needs to know about it.”

PH spokespeople said that she has experience in both retail and commercial sales, and that she is deeply engaged with the community, making her a great asset,

“Meryl is one of those rare find,” Vice President of Engagement Sarah Hollis said. “She is integrated in the Golden Triangle community personally, professionally and through civic involvement, including tutoring children at Palmer Home. Meryl embodies our mission and will be vital to engaging this community to fulfill our call to care for vulnerable children.”

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Columbus’ Wingate Hotel Sold to Merchant Hotel Group

Columbus’ Wingate Hotel Sold to Merchant Hotel Group

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of the Mississippi Business Journal

CBRE Hotels recently announced that it has arranged the sale of the Wingate by Wyndham Columbus. The hotel complex is located at 129 Brickerton Street in Columbus.; the buyer is Merchant Hotel Group.

“We attracted tremendous interest from both in-state and out-of-state investors on this asset,” Michael Yu of CBRE Hotels said. “We received multiple offers and sold the asset for a considerable premium to the pricing guidance.”

“It was a truly pleasurable experience working with Mr. Yu and his team. I appreciate their guidance at every step of this transaction. I would not think twice about partnering again with this CBRE Hotels team for another transaction,” said Greg Posmantur, with LMF Properties.

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Columbus PD Recruiting New Officers

Columbus PD Recruiting New Officers

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

From left, Assistant Chief Fred Shelton, new cadet Haley Lucas, CPD Chief Oscar Lewis, Mayor Robert Smith and cadet Shawn Neal spoke at a press conference in the Municipal Complex courtroom on Wednesday. Columbus Police Department is set to send 14 cadets to the police academy soon. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff

The Columbus Police Department is ready to send fourteen trainees, five of whom are already slated to be hired, to the police academy. This will bring the total officer count up to about 60 officers, Mayor Robert Smith told reporters at a Wednesday morning press conference.

Police Chief Oscar Lewis said that the class will commence training at the academy starting May 21 in Moorehead. They will undergo a twelve-week course, after which the officers will return to Columbus to ride with veteran officers and take advantage of the field training program.

“The good thing with these guys now — they’ve been in the classroom before the academy,” Lewis said. “They’ve been put with officers and are riding around learning the standard operating procedure for the city and working with firearms and doing different things.”

Shaun Neal, 22, of Columbus, is one of the officers who will be part of this record-setting class.  Neal decided he wanted to become an officer late last year so he could make a positive impact in his community: “I want to be a police officer because I don’t want to be statistic — I want to be a changer, not to fit into what the news is saying about police because not every police officer is the same,” he said.

Haley Lucas, a 23-year-old officer trainee, is a military police officer for the U.S. Navy, and said she’s been interested in law enforcement since her early childhood. Lucas, who is from Caledonia but currently lives in Tupelo, told reporters she’s happy to come back to try to help improve her home area.

On Wednesday, Lewis said he’s thankful to see the department drawing closer to full strength, adding that measures the city took such as increasing officer pay and purchasing new vehicles were instrumental in recruiting more officers. He expressed his gratitude to the current officers on the force who have been working extra-hard to get the job done: “These officers have been working long and hard — some not even getting days off just to make this work –and I admire them for the job that they have done,” he said. “It’s been great to see the things they’ve been able to accomplish with the numbers that we’ve had during that time.”

“No one more than I would like to see us get to where we need to be, which was approved in the budget for 67 officers, because they’re really needed,” Mayor Smith said. He later added, “I see the city trying to immediately continuing to try to reach that goal of 77 (officers). That’s where I’d like to see us at.”

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Ceco MBS Property Sold to Grandview Investments

Ceco MBS Property Sold to Grandview Investments

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Ceco Metal Building Systems, which has operated a support office on Hwy 45, recently sold its property to Grandview Investments, LLC, after a year or more on the market. Ceco Operations Manager Gregg Smith has stated that Ceco will maintain a presence on the property, leasing the space from Grandview, while determining where locally to move its operations offices.

“We built metal buildings here for a number of years,” he said. “Back in 2008 or 2009 when the economy hit (recession), this location — the plant — was closed down. We’ve had a full operation staff here since then of around 50 or 60 employees. We’ve got full operations — customer service, engineering, estimating, drafting, purchasing, field service. There’s still a large group of people here that supports the operations of Ceco Building Systems . . . Our full intention is to be here in this area,” he said. “We just don’t need 329,000 square feet of space to do the operations side of the business.”

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New Process Steel Expansion Slated to Add Fifty Jobs

New Process Steel Expansion Slated to Add Fifty Jobs

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of The Dispatch

Joe Max Higgins, left, and Harry Sanders

During a recent board meeting, Board of Supervisors President Harry Sanders confirmed that New Process Steel will start on its new expansion on the Steel Dynamics campus soon. Two loan resolutions were approved for the project on Monday – in addition to the approximately $1.7 million in grants and loans for the $7.5 million steel processing facility which were approved last month. In addition, it is expected that the project will require $750 thousand in Development Infrastructure Program grants from the Mississippi Development Authority for road improvements, and up to $1 million in a state loan to pay for a rail spur from the railway near the SDI campus.

“This just goes to show that Columbus is a good place for industry,” Sanders said. “It’s great that we can have some expansion from people who are already here. Most of the emphasis is on getting new people and new industry, but this is an older industry that’s been here and evidently they’re real happy with what’s here and they decided to expand their operation.”

The Board also discussed, and temporarily tabled, a proposal to hire former CLRA Executive Director as the county’s interim recreation manager. The matter will be taken up in their next regular meeting, once they are able to formulate a proper job description for the position.

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SDI Paint Facility in Columbus Now Open for Business

SDI Paint Facility in Columbus Now Open for Business

“The opening of this new paint facility is a significant milestone for Steel Dynamics and the people of the Golden Triangle region, as it represents the company’s commitment to doing business in Lowndes County and creating jobs for the area’s workforce,” Governor Bryant said.

“The Paint Line project will improve the Columbus Flat Roll Division’s competitiveness and sustainability in our steel markets,” said Madhu Ranade, vice president and general manager of Steel Dynamics, Flat Roll Group, Columbus Division. “We’re grateful to the state of Mississippi, MDA, Lowndes County, TVA and ARC for their continued partnership as we expand in Columbus.”

The Mississippi Development Authority helped with infrastructure improvements, rail construction and workforce training. The Tennessee Valley Authority, Appalachian Regional Commission and the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors also provided assistance for the project.

“Sustainable growth in economic development is achievable in our state when all levels of government work together to create a business environment in which companies can achieve their goals,” said MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough, Jr. “MDA congratulates SDI and our partners at the Golden Triangle Development LINK, Lowndes County, TVA, ARC and the Lowndes County Industrial Development Authority on this momentous occasion.”

The facility’s new paint line has an annual coating capacity of 250,000 tons.

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Bargain Hunt, Vapezy Open; LA Shrimp Shack Shutters its Doors

THE DISPATCH

In mid-February The Dispatch brought us the news that Bargain Hunt would be opening in Columbus in the former Southern Family Market location next to K-Mart. The store is now preparing for a grand opening to be held on March 17. Their new Columbus location is in addition to their existing one in Starkville, and more than sixty others nationwide.

The store’s hours will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sundays. It will bring 25 new jobs to the area.

Highway 45 gained another new attraction in the form of Vapezy, a premium e-liquid and supply store located at 1909-B Hwy. 45 N.  Billy and Andrea Ezell opened Vapezy in September of last year.  The couple are originally from Webster County, where they became friends through the medium of vaping, that is, the enjoyment of vapor-producing electronic cigarettes.

“We want to present a greater sense of community than other shops,” Ezell said regarding the store’s future. “That’s what the vape scene is really about.”

While currently operating out of the store’s front section, there are plans to add a lounge into the 1,800 square-foot building. The store carries eight different lines of e-liquid and plans to expand to carry numerous vaping devices, from starter to advanced level, alongside additional e-liquids.  Vapezy is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Finally, the Louisiana Shrimp Shack quietly closed its doors on Feb. 21.  The Shrimp Shack originally opened Sept. 8, 2016, with Kenny Whitey, a fisherman from New Orleans, as owner. It was located at 1909-A Hwy. 45 N. and enjoyed much praise from locals for its fresh from the gulf seafood and “straight-outta-the-bayou” home-cooking.  Whitey said the travel to and from the shack was too much for the family to maintain.

http://cdispatch.com/news/article.asp?aid=56789

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CPD Looking to Community for Involvement, Recruitment

K. B. Turner (courtesy photo)

CPD Looking to Community for Involvement, Recruitment
THE DISPATCH

At a series of public meetings held in each ward throughout the month of February, police consultant K.B. Turner and other city administrators heard from citizens about concerns and suggestions for improving public safety in the city: “I’m still very encouraged by what I have heard from the meetings during last month. Citizens have come out to express themselves and they honored my request … not to just talk about their frustrations but also to provide some recommendations and some suggestions as well,” Turner said.

“I think the meetings went well,” CPD Chief Oscar Lewis agreed. “There were different things that came out of the meetings. … It was far-reaching as far as community concerns.”

In order to best assess the local community’s concerns and ideas, Turner had attendees fill out surveys about crime and safety in the city, getting input on concerns ranging from concerns about drugs and gangs to the last time the person filling out the survey talked to a police officer to whether street lighting is adequate.  Turner got approximately 180 surveys back from the six meetings.

He spoke of his initial findings to date, pending a more in-depth analysis to come: “How was it different between Ward 1 and Ward 6, for example? How about people who are retired versus those who are working? What about those who are below the age of 30 versus those who are over age 30?” Turner said.

Turner says that he plans to keep getting civilians involved with CPD.  He was able to get roughly thirty volunteers signed up between the six meetings, though several others have also expressed interest in helping out. These civilians might be called upon to assist with traffic stops, clerical work, and other such things, so that they may help without placing themselves in danger.

“They would be in a non law enforcement capacity,” Turner said. “They will not have access to weapons or any other items that identify them as a law enforcement officer. A lot of (what they do) will be clerical in nature.”

In addition, he remarked that “We’re going to continue to engage in what I call this ‘aggressive’ form of recruiting for new officers.” About 50 people attended a CPD Career Day on February 25, Turner said. According to CPD’s Twitter, the department handed out 45 applications in about four hours. Before the day was up, 15 had been filled out and returned, City Public Information Officer Joe Dillon said, while more have come in since.  Turner plans to hold another career day on March 25 — and it won’t be the last, he added. Dillon said the department will coordinate with universities to determine a good time closer to graduation when potential applicants could attend a career day.

Turner also wants to recruit from universities and military bases and institutions. He wants everyone who might be interested to know CPD is hiring officers.

“In terms of the future, we are going to continue to look ahead,” he added. “…What can we do for 2017 to enhance conditions to make sure we improve upon our staffing numbers and make this place a greater place to live? In terms of the department, we’re going to make Columbus the department destination for folks who want to work as an officer.”

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LC Supervisors Have Approved Funding for Job Development at Steel Dynamics’ Industrial Park

LC Supervisors Have Approved Funding for Job Development at Steel Dynamics’ Industrial Park

LOWNDES COUNTY – Courtesy of The Dispatch

GTR LINK CEO Joe Max Higgins reports that Lowndes County supervisors unanimously approved more than $1.7 million in grants and loans for a company to build a $7.5 million new facility on the Steel Dynamics, Inc. campus at the industrial park west of Columbus. Some further funding will be required, but this gets the ball rolling in a major way, and opens the door to new facilities (including a railroad spur) which should provide at least fifty local jobs.

Joe Max Higgins, left, and Harry Sanders

“They need to ship out product by rail,” Higgins said. “And there needs to be an improved road to where they can do truck deliveries out as well . . .  The steel’s made on campus, so it’s just taken up there and processed,” he added. “But then it will go out by train to those customers who want train delivery or by truck for those of them who want trucking.”

“[The new company will] basically take steel that SDI makes and further process it into what I understand is a consumer product,” Higgins said. “It’s about a $7.5 million investment that’ll create 50 jobs, and I think that’s (the job count) a conservative number — I think it could go higher . . . It’s not a Steel Dynamics project, but it’s a result of Steel Dynamics being here,” Higgins went on to say. “Quite frankly, it’s a result of the new paint line that they’re fixing to put online. This is probably the first new business that you can directly attribute to the new paint line.”

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Nursing Program at The W Named One of the Very Best In Mississippi

Nursing Program at The W Named One of the Very Best In Mississippi

PRESS RELEASE – MISSISSIPPI UNIVERSITY FOR WOMEN

COLUMBUS, Miss —

Success on the National Council Licensure Examination earned Mississippi University for Women’s nursing school a high score from Registerednursing.org.

Ranking The W’s programs No. 2 out of the state’s 23 programs, Registerednursing.org examined the university’s NCLEX-RN pass rates for the past five years with the more recent passing rates weighting more.

“This is a significant recognition of the excellence of our nursing programs and we are honored to continue to gain national recognition,” said Dr. Shelia Adams, dean of the College of Nursing and Speech-Language Pathology. “Our program equips today’s nurses with the skills and knowledge needed to deliver the superior level of care needed in today’s complex healthcare system.”

Registerednursing.org cited that NCLEX-RN pass rates are one of the best ways to determine a nursing program’s student preparedness. If schools had the same overall NCLEX-RN pass rate after being analyzed, additional characteristics were then considered, including the number of students taking the exam and the number of years of exam data available. Of the top ranked schools, The W was the only university to host both an associate of science in nursing and bachelor of science in nursing program.

Scoring a 98.01, RegisteredNursing.org found The W to be home to excellent nursing degree programs where nursing students learn to integrate clinical excellence with advanced practical concepts to advance the nursing profession.

“We are consistently high in all these areas due to the dedicated faculty, staff and department chairs who are willing to mentor and help our students succeed,” added Adams.

Registerednursing.org looks to promote excellence in nursing through enabling future nurses with the tools they need to succeed.

via   http://www.muw.edu/news/4185-website-ranks-w-s-nursing-program-one-of-the-best-in-state

 

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