EMCC Honors PACCAR, Yokohama, Baptist at Industry Luncheon

emcc-logoEast Mississippi Community College held its Industry Appreciation Luncheon on Wednesday at the Golden Triangle campus. They chose to honor businesses that have invested countless hours – and dollars – to help improve the Golden Triangle and make it a force to be reckoned with on a national scale.


PACCAR and Yokohama both received the Director’s Award, the event’s highest honor.

Also honored was Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle, which was granted the Best Practices Award, and Special Recognition Awards for developer Mark Castleberry and Lt. Col. Richard T. “Sonic” Johnson (retired).

EMCC President Dr. Thomas Huebner Jr. proudly told the assembled that “We are proud to serve the people of this region. When your people, our people, take what they have learned in these four walls and they make a better product, provide a better service, earn a higher wage, send the next generation to college, change the trajectory of their families, we are all better.”

PACCAR received the Director’s Award for “the highest level of recognition through workforce training, demonstrating management excellence with superior outcomes, continuing to improve and build upon outstanding results and excellent systems and deploying world-class processes.”

Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, which took the Director’s Award last year, accomplished a repeat performance this year for “the highest level of recognition through workforce training, demonstrating management excellence with superior outcomes, continuing to improve and build upon outstanding results and excellent systems and deploying world-class processes.”

Baptist Memorial Hospital – Golden Triangle earned the Best Practices Award for “providing outstanding examples of workforce training, quality management and business practices that serve as models for others.”

More information may be found at the link below, courtesy of WCBI:

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LINK Industrial Park Report Coming Up Soon

gtr linkThe GTR LINK, which has been a large part of making our Golden Triangle community better for many, many years, is reportedly preparing to discuss plans for new industrial park options in the area.

The GTR LINK is expected to meet with Oktibbeha County supervisors and Starkville aldermen with regards to any potential projects. The exact area which will be focussed on has yet to be determined, but is likely to be selected from one or more of the following: land north of the Highway 82-Highway 25 juncture; 16th section land south of George M. Bryan Airport; and Cornerstone Park.

Ward 4 Alderman Jason Walker, who also serves on the steering committee, said each plan offers different benefits and problems: “One thing that the committee members do agree on is that no matter which option we choose, [the Cornerstone improvements are] something we have to definitely look at,” Walker said. “Part of my hesitation is money. [Another] is looked at as a game-changing effort, but they said the same thing about Cornerstone years ago. The good parts of [the 16th section and Cornerstone options] are that they tie in with the structure of town, build on what we have and affirm that we’re not abandoning what we’ve already invested in.”

For the full article, please click this link below (from the Commercial Dispatch):

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Grand Opening Held For Entrepreneurship And Outreach Center

ms stateMS State has done it again! In their ongoing efforts to give students new opportunities to learn about how business works out in the real world, a new facility has been built to help house and support offices and support local startups!

Starkville, Miss. (Courtesy of WCBI) –

MS State’s College of Business recently held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of its new Center for Entrepreneurship and Outreach. The facility, which was made possible by $750 thousand in private donations, has meeting areas, offices, and workstations that will support up to sixteen local staff or faculty startups.

College of Business Dean, Dr. Sharon Oswald said, “We have designed our Entrepreneurship Center to look very much like what they have at M.I.T. and Berkeley, and some of the places like that. The students are already occupying it, and in there all of the time.”

Please click the video link below for more info:

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The young people of Columbus are out there, serving our community – literally!

loaves n fishesCOLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) —
Students from the W and from West Lowndes HS served folks in need at Loaves and Fishes this past Wednesday, as part of Global Youth Service Day.
“When I was first contacted about this, I thought it was about teaching teenagers how to cook something simple, something healthy, to get them away from snack foods and fast food restaurants, but then it turned into a community event,” said Wilson Beck, a chef at Zachary’s.
See more at the link below:
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Downtown Columbus YCMA Renovations are in the Works

ymca_blu_rgb_rCynthia Mutch, Membership and Marketing director at the YMCA in Downtown Columbus, says that the facility is in the process of undergoing extensive renovation, including getting new, modern workout equipment in order to better sere the local community.

One of the gyms will be outfitted with new lights, ceiling and floors as part of its transformation into a “Healthy Living Center.” It will also be receiving the bulk of the new equipment, which is being provided by fitness equipment company Cybex. Existing equipment will be retained wherever possible, resulting in a greater variety of workout options for the people of Columbus.

Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of May, after which time the new lobby and main entrance will be positioned on 2nd Avenue, rather than near the side entrance, where it is now: “We’re planning a nice lobby entrance and a welcome desk and all of that similar … to how it was in 1930 when the building was built, more similar in location,” Mutch said.

Future improvements include separate rooms for group fitness classes, a new roof for the indoor pool, and a repaved parking lot – these changes are scheduled for completion by the end of September this year.

For more information, Read more:

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Columbus Celebrates 60 years of Pilgrimages

The people of Columbus have always known that we have a bunch of beautiful homes that are worth seeing. It seems that plenty of folks from all across the country agree with us! We’ve even had a huge celebration held every year for decades to celebrate: The Pilgrimage, which is in full swing. Take some time this weekend to indulge in a bit of Columbus’ vibrant history.
Hit the link below for the video, courtesy of WCBI:
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Aurora Wins Major DARPA Contract for VTOL Drone Aircraft

lightningstrikeAurora Flight Services recently announced that they have beat out several high-end competitors – including Boeing – for am $89 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract. They will be designing and constructing a VTOL drone, which could also be modified to accommodate a pilot, for future use in the military.


Aurora reports that they have been working on a design for such a craft for about two years now, and that they will be able to go ahead and create the actual “LightningStrike” plane, as it has been dubbed, in anticipation of a 2018 test flight series. It is hoped that the whole process will help to bring a number of additional jobs to this area. Aurora has roughly twenty years of experience creating VTOL aircraft, so the project is in good hands.


“Aurora is proud to support DARPA on what we all hope to be a truly historic breakthrough in aviation technology,” Aurora chairman and CEO John Langford said in a statement. “If successful, the VTOL X-Plane’s radically improved flight capabilities could lead to revolutionary advancement of the U.S. military’s future missions capabilities.”
For more info, and a video, check the link here:

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Roadways Have Been Cleared — Additional Tornado Cleanup Begins

Tornado debris in New Hope. Image courtesy of the Commercial Dispatch

Tornado debris in New Hope. Image courtesy of the Commercial Dispatch

Our hearts go out to the many local folks whose homes and businesses damaged, or even destroyed, by the recent EF-1 category tornado that ripped through the New Hope area. The good news is, there is some light at the end of the tunnel!
The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors recently approved the allocation of $50,000 towards debris removal and cleanup efforts in the area, to begin as soon as contractors accept the offer. While the ultimate cost is expected to be much higher, starting with this amount will allow for immediate cleanup to begin; higher amounts, which are in the works, require as much as a month to truly get rolling, due to the complexity of the bidding process.
Road Manager Ronnie Burns said that all of the roads were clear by 1 AM on Friday morning; he credits the workers from Lowndes and surrounding areas for the speed: “Our guys did a great job and we really appreciate the help from those other agencies. It was some great teamwork, I thought.”
Hit the link for more info:
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Mayor’s Unity Picnic TODAY in Columbus

6295577-unity-picnicThe Mayor’s Eighth Annual Unity Picnic will be held Saturday at Columbus Riverwalk Park, after Catfish in the Alley, from 4 to 8 p.m. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. There will be hot dogs and catfish, as well as a live band, a DJ and jump castles for children.  All food and events have been donated by local businesses, organizations, and individuals. There will also be a half-marathon beginning at 7 a.m., which takes runners alongside the Tombigbee River bed. A 5K begins at 8 a.m. and goes through Columbus’s historic neighborhoods. Catfish in the Alley begins at 10 a.m. on Fourth Street, where families can enjoy food and live music.



The Mayor’s Unity Picnic is sponsored by Mayor Robert Smith, the Columbus-Lowndes Recreation Authority and the Columbus Visitors’ Bureau.



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Trustmark Building Purchased, Undergoing Renovation


Local company Dutch Health Services recently purchased the old Trustmark building on the corner of Bluecutt & Hwy 45. They have announced their plans to remodel the bottom floor into a family medical clinic and an independent pharmacy that will allow for drive-thru, walk-in, and local delivery service. The upper two floors of the structure will remain as they are, along with any of their current tenants that wish to remain.

DHS owner Joe Gillis has remarked that “In the past year, Allegro Family Clinic in New Hope has more than doubled its patient volume. Expanding this successful model to North Columbus with the addition of a pediatric specialty practice and full-service pharmacy positions us to help meet the health care needs of the broader Columbus and Lowndes County communities.”

Allegro Plaza


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