Category Archives: Quality of Life

Terry Brown Ampitheater Looking Good, Could be Ready to Rock Within Two Years

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

The Columbus-Lowndes CVB Tourism Partners recently gave a preview of the (still under construction) Terry Brown Ampitheater to a number of its members. Pjase I of the construction was completed in 2007, but Phase II is still pending funding to the tune of $2.5 million needed to complete the project. It is hoped that it will be ready to rock by early to mid 2020.

 

City engineer Kevin Stafford provides details of the plans for the Terry Brown Amphitheater during a tour of the facility Tuesday morning. City officials hope the venue will be ready to for its first event in spring 2020 as they await $2.5 million in funding needed to complete the project. Photo by: Slim Smith/Dispatch Staff

The venue is planned to have a seating capacity of roughly 3,500 including seating for 1,800 on a grassy area, according to city engineer Kevin  Stafford: 1,100 hard-back seats plus a table-and-chairs area for VIP use and an open area nearest the stage that can be altered as needed for any given show.

Rep. Jeff Smith, the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, said that they hope to receive enough state bond money to complete the project in the upcoming year, but it’s uncertain whether enough will be incoming to meet the $2.5 million goal. Mayor Robert Smith suggested that a 2% county-wide restaurant tax could provide $2 million annually for tourism and economic development. Per an existing resolution, $400 thousand of that could be used each year for parks and recreation.

As part of the joint resolution between the county and the city that will be used to craft the legislation, $400,000 annually would be provided to the city for parks and recreation: “We are going to be talking to our local legislative delegation about both the bond money and the 2-percent money,” Smith said. “We know there is going to be some bond money to help complete (the amphitheater). We don’t know if we’ll get the $2.5 million we need, but if not, the plan is to use some of the 2-percent money, which would be more than enough to complete the project.”

Please click here for the full article.

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Mississippi Steel, Liberty Steel Announce New Partnership; New Shops in Columbus and in Starkville

COLUMBUS – Courtesy of the Dispatch

Columbus’ Mississippi Steel Processing has announced their majority acquisition by North Jackson, Ohio’s Liberty Steel Products Holding. MSP processes rolls of steel to the tune of 750 thousand tons annually; the company also runs and makes handcrafted steel and wooden furniture for their downtown shop, Steel Forest Furniture. Their president, Chip Gerber, made the announcement Wednesday night via press release: “We are excited for the future of MSP and our partnership with Liberty,” Gerber said. “The experience and reputation of Liberty in the industry is a welcome addition to our team at MSP.”

Susan McKay, the owner of Party and Paper, plans to open her new shop, Impressions by Susan, at 424 Main St by November. The new venue mainly offers event printing, personalized invitations, gift-wrapping, and the like. The store will be open from Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Kate Cryder will be opening an organic spray-tan business for those interested in safer methods of getting tanned in the next few weeks. Gypsy will be located at 109 5th St S, in the location formerly occupied by Fin’s Bobby Pin. She will be open from Tuesdays through Saturdays. Appointments can be scheduled online at tangyspy.co, and a personal consultation is included for each client.

Brickerton Day Spa now has new ownership: Amy and Matt Bogue will continue the spa as it is now, but they are looking to expand its services in the future, with medical treatments as the first thing on the list.

STARKVILLE

Starkville Nutrition, which offers healthy shakes and teas, has opened up at 500 Russel St, Ste 18. They had their grand opening in August, and will be open from Mondays through Saturdays.

Thrive Health, which used to be located on Hwy 12, has moved to the same building; their new address is 500 Russel St, Ste 29. They offer Chinese medicine, acupuncture, CBD oil, etc. They accept walk-ins from Mondays through Fridays.

Please click here for the original article.

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Starkville Recognizes its Own in Awards Program

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of the Dispatch

 

The Starkville Main Street Association presented its 2018 Partner of the Year Award to Brian Kelley and Ty Thames with Eat Local Starkville. The association held its annual awards ceremony on Thursday.
Photo by: Alex Holloway/Dispatch Staff

Starkville’s Main Street Association recently recognized a number of local businesses and developers during its annual awards program. GDST Interim CEO Jennifer Prather spoke to recent additions such as the breezeway lights near Starkville Cafe and the street pianos on Main as improvements that “create a sense of place for people to want to be downtown and stay downtown, and they want to spend money.” She went on to say that these, as well as investment in community events, “create an impact on our city, but it also created a unique experience for visitors to our city who may have been in our community for the first time,” she added. “Now they want to come back, and they want to dive more into what we have going on here.”

 

Michelle Jones, who is now past President of the Main Stree Assn Board, presided over the meeting immediately prior to the awards ceremony. “I moved to Starkville in 1998. At that point, when you drove downtown at 5 o’clock, there was no activity,” she said. “There was no night life. There was not a lot going on. Today, I showed up at 5:15 (p.m.) and almost couldn’t get a parking spot. It’s so exciting, and our sales tax base keeps increasing, which increases what our community can do. It’s all about economic development and protecting what is special and important to Starkville.”

Among the award recipients were: Eat Local Starkville (Partner of the year for 2018), Pop Porium, Glo, Jackson Square, The Gin, 550 Russel Street, and George Mary’s.

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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.

Please click here for the original article.

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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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Starkville Habitat for Humanity and MSU Collaborate on Tenth Maroon Edition Home

Starkville Habitat for Humanity and MSU Collaborate on Tenth Maroon Edition Home

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Courtesy of MSU

Habitat for Humanity groundbreaking in Starkville (photo courtesy of MSU)

Mississippi State University and Starkville Area Habitat for Humanity recently broke ground on their tenth Maroon Edition home. The project, which has been going on for about a decade, provides homes to Habitat-eligible families in the area who need the help, with emphasis on those who are students and/or otherwise associated with MSU. Construction on the home will take place this Fall, with the help of Habitat and MSU volunteers.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum Habitat for Humanity with a $5,000 check from the university during the event. “I’ve now been a part of 10 homes and it’s something that I’m very proud of,” Keenum said. “We’re about helping other people. A lot of the people working to build this home will be employees, retirees, and more importantly, students of Mississippi State. What better experience for students to share than to help someone have a new home?”

All in all, the Starkville Area HfH has now built, or otherwise supplied, over sixty homes to local families in need. Students are encouraged to volunteer to help out on these projects; roughly 3,600 volunteers have become involved and generously donated their time, effort, and expertise over the years.

“When you look at the Habitat website, it says that we solidify and build strong communities,” said Charles Ware, Starkville Area HfH president. “What it doesn’t say is that it’s a game-changer for the new homeowner.”

The new homeowner, Lou-Quan “Quan” Lucious, pitched in to help build a new home for a friend of hers last year: “I learned a lot working on [the] house,” Lucious said. “It showed me that I have to work hard for something I really want. I had to put work into it to get this. I had to put my mind to it.”

“Habitat, for me, is about creating homes and creating spaces where families can live and grow and learn and love each other,” said MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt. “We are delighted at Mississippi State to be able to send students here to help create hope.”

More information about the program, for both potential homeowners and for volunteers, can be found in the full article here.

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Glo Shines on in one of Mississippi’s Favorite Towns [VIDEO]

Glo Shines on in one of Mississippi’s Favorite Towns

STARKVILLE – Courtesy of getglo.com

Hagan Walker of Glo with some of their glowing ice cubes – courtesy of the Starkville Daily News

Hagan Walker of Glo, am innovative local company that makes liquid-activated glowing ice cubes, among other clever items, recently released a video celebrating Starkville businesses and the beauty of the town in general. This is the third in a series that they call “East Lampkin,” and it was inspired by Mississippi Magazine’s recent announcement that they had voted Starkville as their “Best Place to Live” in the state. Their youthful energy could very well serve as a positive example for us all.

An excerpt of his blog follows:

“Pals of Glo,
Right after Episode One of East Lampkin aired, it was really amazing to see how many people tuned in – almost 10,000! Thank you! We had people all over the USA, and beyond, that watched the first episode.

Our small town of Starkville was just named “Best Place to Live” by Mississippi Magazine and we couldn’t agree more – so we’ve taken a slight segue in this video to simply show Starkville – and list below how this small town has been a huge positive for our company.

The probability of a company becoming “successful”, which we’ll define as being profitable, correlates strongly with cost of living, various support structures, the product/service offering, among others. In Starkville, we’re able to pay our employees decent wages, we have wonderful community support, and we want to showcase that. We believe more than having a successful company is having a company that is creating jobs, creating a positive impact on the community, and working to create products that people love. Our town of Starkville has allowed us to do that, and we’d love for you to see the town that we slowly have learned to love.”

Please click here for the full article and their video showcasing some of the best Starkville has to offer!

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Broadband Summit Opens Up Possibility of High-Speed Internet in Rural Areas

Broadband Summit Opens Up Possibility of High-Speed Internet in Rural Areas

HAMILTON, AL – Courtesy of WCBI

Last year, the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative began making high-speed internet available to some rural areas as part of a new program called “Freedom Fiber.”

“Fourteen miles east of the Mississippi line, some of the fastest internet speeds in the US at some of the cheapest prices are being offered, in some of the most rural parts of Alabama. If they can do it in Alabama, we can do it in Mississippi,” said Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley. This idea spurred Presley to hold a “Broadband Summit” at TEC’s offices in Hamilton, Alabama. The hope is that they will soon be able to make inroads towards making such services easily available to the people of Mississippi for a reasonable price.

While the results look promising, one hurdle that will need to be jumped is current Mississippi law, under which electric co-op’s are not allowed to provide internet service to rural areas, just power. They are hoping that the issue will be raised in earnest in the next legislative session: “That has to be changed by the legislature first and foremost and I think it will, beyond that we’ve got to sell the co-ops on it, it’s going to be a heavy investment on the co-ops,” said Rep. Steve Holland.

A federal initiative has set aside about $600 million in grants to fund infrastructure and other costs that will be required to expand high-speed internet to rural areas.

Please click here for the full article.

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