Category Archives: Starkville

Inventive MSU Students Turning Golf Carts into Gold

Inventive MSU Students Turning Golf Carts into Gold

STARKVILLE, MS – Starkville Daily News

CFO Cameron Maddox, 19, left, and COO James Moore, 19, of Cowbell Carts (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)

MSU students Sophomores James Moore and Cameron Maddox are launching Starkville’s first micro-transportation system, called “Cowbell Carts.” Each of their two carts (at the moment) can seat six passengers comfortably, and the young men plan to use them to help people travel safely during busy times hours, e.g. acting as designated drivers, shuttling people to big games from distant parking lots, etc. Their initial coverage area will include primarily MSU’s campus, the Cotton District, and Main Street. The cost for a ride for a group of people from Main Street to the dorms will be about $8 total.

“I think we are really going to provide a service that not only makes everyone safer, but it’s going to be really fun and entertaining,” Moore said. He went on to say that their company was inspired by the observation that college towns, such as Starkville, tend to have a vibrant night life; thus, the decision was made to offer a low-cost, safe way to get people where they’re going while they’re out on the town.

While not everyone has been as enthusiastic about the prospects for such a business, their professors and the college have given them valuable criticism and supported their idea: “We try to take the criticism as constructive,” Moore said. “I’ve been relying heavily on people that have much more experience than I do.”

While they plan to keep it a 2-man operation at first, in order to test the waters, they plan to expand once football season begins. They know that the road ahead is uncertain – as they need to balance their new jobs with their scholastix endeavors – but they are confident that they can pull this off, and they are willing to work hard in order that they succeed on both fronts: “When you’re thinking of the idea, let your head go to the clouds,” Maddox said. “But when it comes down to actually making the business, you’ve got to be on the ground.”

Cowbell Carts is projected to have a ribbon cutting ceremony sometime between Aug. 7 and Aug 11. The company will begin immediately when school starts back for Mississippi State students this fall.

“I’m obviously incredibly excited for this to be here, not just because it’s my business but it’s something that Starkville doesn’t have and Starkville needs,” Moore said. “I think Starkville and the campus is going to see a lot of good come out of this.”

Business hours will be every Thursday through Saturday from 6 P.M. to 2 A.M.

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Local Port, Airports Among Grant Recipients Aimed at Improving GTR Transport Infrastructure

Local Port, Airports Among Grant Recipients Aimed at Improving GTR Transport Infrastructure

Courtesy of Carl Smith/The Starkville Dispatch –

Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert (courtesy photo)

Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert recently announced that the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be providing upwards of $660 thousand in grants intended to help with transportation improvements in the GTR area. Beneficiaries of these grants are to be statewide – e.g.,  railroads, public transportation networks, ports, local airports, and more; the local area had these four major recipients, alongside others:  Columbus-Lowndes County Airport, Golden Triangle Regional Airport, Lowndes County Port and Starkville-Mississippi State University Area Rapid Transit (SMART) system.

“Each of these modes of transportation plays a vital role in transporting people, goods and services that promote economic growth and development throughout Mississippi,” Tagert said in a release. “Mississippi no longer competes regionally, but on a global level. Investing in local and municipal airports supports global economic development and logistics. Improving our ports and rail system allows appropriate amounts agricultural products to be transported in a safer, more environmentally friendly manner, while reducing maintenance costs on roads and bridges.”

“Considering if there’s an incident at the airport, numerous agencies will be responding. This network is needed since it allows everyone to be on the same page,” GTRA Executive Director Mike Hainsey said. “The biggest thing we’re focusing on with it is the terminal, which has a lot of metal on the inside. We’re going to install a repeater system to make sure everything works as it’s supposed to there.”


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Fox Onsite at MSU for an Article About ASSURE


Courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

The Fox Business Network was on the MSU campus Friday, getting footage for the Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE), for a story scheduled to air this coming Monday at 4:30PM on Fox Business. ASSURE, an international coalition of universities, is managed by MSU. Their Deputy Director, Steve “Lux” Luxion said that “MSU has taken a leadership role, and it’s got to be recognized . . . When Fox News comes to do a story about the progress, it’s a win.”

Fox News also covered UAS research at MSU, and went to North Farm to take a look at drones used for crop surveyal: “Increasingly, people are beginning to figure out that drones can do many things more efficiently and safely,” Luxion said.

He went on to say that many jobs currently (or formerly) performed by manned aircraft that might end up being done by drones in the future include those which are hazardous, dirty, or just plain monotonous, including routine surveys and hazardous material applications.

Please click here for the full article

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Columbus To Get New Places To Go To For Fresh Burgers And Trucker Service

Courtesy of The Dispatch


Wythe Rhett of Rhett Real Estate recently confirmed that Cook Out, the North Carolina-based burger chain that set up a successful location in Starkville about a year ago, plans to open a location in North Columbus. Cook Out recently finalized the purchase of the old Immanuel Baptist Church property on 18th Ave N, which had not been in use in the past two years.  Their current intention is to “demolish the (church) building and carve out enough of the property to put Cook Out on, then look at the possibility of adding another motel or strip (mall).”

Cook Out eateries are known for grilled burgers, barbecue and more than 40 kinds of milkshakes. The Starkville location employs approximately 50 and is open 10:30 a.m.-3 a.m. Sunday-Thursday and 10:30 a.m.-4 a.m. Friday-Saturday. This would be the fourth Cook Out location in the state, joining its over 170 brethren nationwide.


The Volume Freight shipping company, owned by Doug Estes, is currently building a new steel structure on Hwy 82 near the Vibrant Church West location. The finished building will serve as a two-floor terminal with a three-vehicle bay shop to maintain Volume’s fleet of 65 trucks. Next up once that’s ready is a planned 150-thousand square foot warehouse and approximately 35 new trucks. The company employs about 80 drivers, who service the contiguous 48 states, plus about eight local mechanics; roughly half of the trucks  are based locally, as well. Volume Freight, a local company, has been in business since 1988.



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Greater Starkville Development Partnership Hires New President/CEO

NEWS RELEASE: Greater Starkville Development Partnership Hires New President/CEO

Starkville, MS., Courtesy of the Starkville Insider –

Scott Maynard

The Board of Directors of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership has announced that they have appointed Scott Maynard as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the organization, following a nationwide search that included over 75 candidates.

“It is with great excitement that we welcome Scott Maynard to the Partnership team,” said Chairman Michelle Amos. “From the start of our search, we have been committed to finding a leader for this organization who understands all of the possibilities for Starkville, someone who shares our vision and passion for this community. Under Scott’s leadership, we are confident our already strong community development program will be pushed to even greater heights.”

Maynard previously served as the Director of the Career Center at Mississippi State University (since 2008), and has also held management positions with the University. Maynard has also served as a City Alderman in Starkville, as well as on various Boards of Directors including the GSDP Convention and Visitors Board and the Starkville Parks and Recreation Commission.

“I am truly excited about becoming the next President and CEO of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership,” said Maynard. “I believe we are on the cusp of tremendous growth for our city and look forward to capitalizing on all of the opportunities before us. The Partnership plays a vital leadership role in the areas of economic development, tourism, entrepreneurship and business development. We will work hard to continue to represent our members and enhance the quality of life for all living in our community through education, job creation and continued economic growth.”

“Starkville, Oktibbeha County and the entire Partnership Membership will be well served with Scott as our new President,” stated Amos, who also chaired the search committee. “The vision and leadership he brings to the GSDP positions us for a tremendous future.”

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


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.”

Please click here for the full article and a video.

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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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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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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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