Category Archives: Golden Triangle

Historic Home Restorer Speaks Up About Why He Does What He Does

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) –

Many older homes, such as Antebellum and Victorian houses, that have been around for a long time have fallen into disrepair simply due to not having anyone there to take care of them; often, the owners have either moving on to other homes, or have otherwise become incapable of maintaining them properly. Many folks would love to see them restored, but not everyone can do so. Starkville’s Buddy Sanders is one man who is making a difference in his own 1920’s Starkville home.

“Everyone wants a nice looking home, something that’s unique, and for someone that lives in a historic home such as myself, it’s just a matter of pride and a matter of, just essentially liking the history of a community,” says historic homeowner, Buddy Sanders.

Historic Homeowner Buddy Sanders (WCBI)

“One day, some of these people that own these homes, their children will come back here and will want to see where their parents, their grandparents lived and it’s no longer here,” says Starkville resident, Faye Turner.

“If somebody don’t want it torn down, then they need to buy it, they need to preserve it, but I think they should be preserved and there is federal money and grant money out there to preserve them,” says Starkville resident, John Fondren.

The fact that construction materials and techniques change over time makes a difference, too:  “The character of the neighborhood and the structure itself. There’s generally an architectural style and materials and designs that are just unique to that structure,” says Sanders.

Sanders purchased a 90-year-old home more than a year ago; he plans on spending around $11 thousand on renovations.

“Restoring the original hardwood floors, essentially replacing the wood with materials that are alike on the home. Returning the color to a color of the house that would be typical of something that was built in the 20’s, along with doors and windows.”

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Long-Running Kerr-McGee Lawsuit Bears Fruit

Long-Running Kerr-McGee Lawsuit Bears Fruit

Pastor Steve Jamison (courtesy WCBI)

COLUMBUS, Miss.(WCBI)— People of Columbus who were affected by toxic Creosote seepage from the former Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation’s plant are now beginning to receive settlements from a class-action lawsuit that was filed about fifteen years ago, around the time of the plant’s closing. KMCC agreed to settle the lawsuit, and has agreed to pay a sum of over five billion dollars in total.

“Getting the plant closed down was crucial. I saw the plant as a source for all this disease and all this death,” said Maranatha Faith Center Pastor Steve Jamison.

Creosote has often been used in the past for uses such as preserving railroad ties and other wooden products intended to last for many years, as a preservative. The chemical itself has proven to be toxic to humans and other animals when it seeps into the water table.

Jamison was exposed when he was working to expand his church on 14th Ave North, not far from the plant; he says that working in a ditch there gave him health problems for life: “When I came out of the ditch, I had a blood pressure that was so high, I had to take two pills, four times a day, to control it. I learned that my kidneys dropped in function, to almost a third of their normal function. At that point, I realized whatever it was, was deadly and dangerous,” said Jamison. He went on to say, “In Memphis Town, people were dying from cancers in clusters. Whole homes being wiped out. Whole families just die with the same thing. People had uncontrollable kidney disease and other things that can be related to Creosote.”

“All in all it was worth it. If I had to do it again, I would do it again. In the process I had a heart attack and my kidney failed. I’m yet grateful that God allowed me to stay here to see it done,” said Jamison.

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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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Zoning Approved for Starkville Industrial Park

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of The DIspatch

Circuit Judge James Kitchens recently affirmed a recent zoning change for a proposed 360-acre industrial park near Hwy 182 & Hwy 389. Starkville aldermen had previously re-zoned the parcel in question as appropriate for Manufacturing, but that decision was challenged by LMK LLC, Bettye Bell, Mary S. Bell, Margaret Copeland and Laura B. White. Judge Kitchens said that these appellants were unable to meet their burden “to show that the decision was invalid.”

As such, GTR LINK plans to go ahead and seek funding to the tune of $14 million that had been pledged by the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors and Starkville Board of Aldermen.

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State Lawmakers and Businessmen Cruise Down the Tenn-Tomm [video]

State Lawmakers and Businessmen Cruise Down the Tenn-Tomm

LOWNDES COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) –

Courtesy photo

The Tenn-Tom Waterway Development Authority invited business leaders and lawmakers for a ride on Friday morning, taking them on a leisurely cruise down the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway. The Army Corps of Engineers hosted the event; they used the time to showcase industries and businesses that depend on the Waterway, and emphasized its value as a promoter of economic development.

“When you get right down to it, it generates revenue for the cities, the counties, and the state. But more than that, it’s people who have jobs that work at these businesses and industry, and it’s all about their quality of life,” says Tenn-Tom Waterway Administrator, Mitch Mays.

Please click here for the full article and a video.

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SOCSD Breaks Ground on Partnership School

SOCSD Breaks Ground on Partnership School

Mississippi State, Starkville Oktibbeha School District and statewide officials broke ground Wednesday on the new SOCSD Partnership School at MSU. Photo by: Russ Houston

The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District broke ground on its new Partnership School Wednesday morning near Hwy 182 & George Perry Blvd. Once construction is complete, the $27.5 million facility will serve all SOCSD sixth and seventh grade students, and also act as a laboratory for the Mississippi State University College of Education. SOCSD has contributed $12.5 million toward the project; the state of Mississippi has given another $10 million, in addition to MSU’s $5 million plus the land the school will be built on.

“This was a challenge,” said School Board President Keith Coble. “It took a lot of leadership on all sides to make this happen, the university, the school district, the state legislature, a lot of cooperation. In the end people made this happen. If we had not had these people I don’t think it would have happened.”

Courtesy Photo

“This wouldn’t have happened without collaboration and true partnering,” MSU President Mark Keenum said. “There’s no way the Starkville-Oktibbeha School District could do this on their own. We had to work together in tandem . . . I think you’re going to see a great deal of interest, and who knows, we may see other schools like this in other areas of our state or across the country.”
Dirt work at the site is set to begin at once, as the school board’ has approval of a $2,493,903 bid from the Tremont-based Cademy Construction, LLC, at its last meeting. Completion is projected for January 2019.

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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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Academy Set to Open New Location in Starkville

Academy Sports+Outdoors Communication Specialist Karly Makovy has announced the Grand Opening date for the chain’s new Starkville location: Friday, June 2. Their website will have more information about the location in the coming months, including special events and other promotions.

Academy sells an array of sporting, hunting, and fishing equipment; Starkville’s location will have apparel with Mississippi sports teams, including the Mississippi State University Bulldogs.

Up until this point, the nearest locations to Starkville have been in Tupelo and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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West Point’s Hwy 45 Corridor Thriving

West Point’s Hwy 45 Corridor Thriving

WEST POINT, Miss. (Courtesy of WTVA)

Ever since Yokohama opened for business on the North side of town in 2015, the area’s South side along Hwy 45 has been booming, reports Lisa Klutts, the director of The Community Development Growth Alliance. She says that more business openings are on the way: “Burger King opened just under a year ago, Express Lube opened just recently and Love’s truck stop with Arby’s will be opening in May.”

The Growth Alliance said  that Burger King on Highway 45 surmounted national record sales on its opening day. “It seems like a pretty good business move to me, if they’re in it to make money,” said driver David Nelson.

The Growth Alliance said they watch trends to see if businesses are expanding in the state. “We would like to see more shoe stores or clothing stores,” said Klutts. There are currently no public plans to bring such stores to the area (yet), but, at the city grows and the Golden Triangle becomes more and more attractive to big business, who knows what the future may hold…?

All we know is, that’s good for the Golden Triangle, and that’s Good for Business!

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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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