|August 27, 2012||La Vino, ex-Rebel Package owners sue each other||1 comments|
|August 27, 2012||Gloster Creek to get new roof, new focus||no comments|
|August 24, 2012||Cheapest gas: Corinth & Sam's 8/24/12||no comments|
|August 24, 2012||Tupelo to have restaurant week in Sept.||5 comments|
|August 23, 2012||Inspections: Schools, Chick-fil-A, Cinemark 8/23/12||no comments|
|August 22, 2012||Tips for better gas mileage||no comments|
|August 22, 2012||Local actors land roles in Faulkner movie||1 comments|
|August 22, 2012||Tupelo actor lands role in 'Hunger Games' sequel||no comments|
|August 22, 2012||Ideas for improving downtown Tupelo housing||no comments|
|August 22, 2012||New brewery to open in Ocean Springs||no comments|
In case you missed this action-packed story earlier this month, here you go. It's from our #djournal cohort, Patsy Brumfield (full text):
TUPELO – Two well-known liquor store retailers are squaring off in chancery court over one’s deal to sell out to the other.
Andrew W. Nash, president of RPS Retail Inc., which operated now-closed Rebel Package Store on North Gloster Street, fired the first shot with a lawsuit against Andy Graf, president of La Vino Inc., situated farther north on Gloster.
Nash claims Graf refuses to “comply” with their May 3, 2010, agreement in which Nash sold to Graf “certain assets,” including his store, and agreed not to compete in the liquor business within 50 miles for six years.
In a document filed Feb. 28 but dated May 3, Graf agreed to pay Nash $50,000 per year with two weeks paid vacation, “even if he resigns or is terminated with or without cause.”
Graf counter-sued Nash, claiming Nash breached their deal by selling a liquor store register and software package to a liquor store in Baldwyn.
Graf insists he doesn’t owe Nash the remainder of their contract, more than $187,500.
From Sunday's paper (full story):
TUPELO – Gloster Creek Village has new owners with big ideas to jump-start Tupelo’s former mall.
Chris Mills, Dr. Steve Mills, Sean Kohen and Jason Perry bought out the former owners and took possession of the complex June 15. Chris and Steve Mills’ mother, Jane Mills, was part of the previous ownership group, along with Len Pegues, Tommy Morgan and three others.
Chris Mills is from Tupelo and used to run Uncle Joe’s Shell stations. He oversees the daily operations of Gloster Creek Village.
With a long list of items he wanted to do, Mills had Mother Nature help him prioritize.
About a month after Mills and his partners bought the facility, a major storm hit and flooded parts of the complex.
The entire 240,000-square-foot roof has to be replaced.
In addition to a new roof, Gloster Creek is getting a makeover. Mills hired The McCarty Co. to help give the facility a cohesive look. Some of the mall’s exterior is stucco, while other parts are brick.
“We’re wrapping the entire mall with bricks to bring it up-to-date,” Mills said.
Mills also plans to change the Gloster Creek Village signage soon.
And all this work is going on while he’s recruiting more tenants. Last week, he confirmed Sir Antony’s Bakery will reopen in the food court. Sir Antony’s joins Ms. Ruth’s Express and Pizza Dr.
Sir Antony’s is slated to open in October.
Plus, Origins, a church offshoot of The Orchard, said it is moving this year from a space in downtown Tupelo to the former Premier Lady Fitness location.
Mills said the overall mission is to make Gloster Creek more of a medical and professional center.
We have a tie today for the cheapest gas in Northeast Mississippi.
Both Corinth and Sam's have regular gas for $3.37 per gallon, according to our Daily Journal survey of stations.
To get that price at Sam's, you have to be a member.
Most expensive: Starkville $3.59
New Albany $3.45
Sam's Club (member price) $3.37
Tupelo (Kroger at Crosstown before discounts) $3.53
Read the Sunday Journal for more prices.
Back in February, we told you a restaurant week was in the works for downtown Tupelo (previous coverage).
Guess what? It's happening in two weeks.
Press release from Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association:
Inaugural Downtown Tupelo Restaurant Week
Tupelo, Miss. – The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association is working in collaboration with downtown restaurants to present Downtown Restaurant Week 2012.
During the week of September 6-13 participating downtown restaurants will offer various types of specials during breakfast, lunch and dinner. Downtown restaurants will be offering specials such as fixed price menus, discounted menu items and new restaurant features.
The participating restaurants are:
A list of participating restaurants and specials can be found on http://tupelomainstreet.com/events/detail/downtown-restaurant-week.
Reservations are not required for all restaurants. The existing reservation policy for each restaurant will be the same during Downtown Restaurant Week.
For more information, please call (662) 841-6598.
The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association (DTMSA) is a membership based organization focused on sustaining and enhancing the downtown experience.
Lots of inspections this week. Nice!
The state Department of Health regularly inspects restaurants and food facilities.
The facilities are graded from A to C. “A” is the best. “C” is the equivalent of failing, but the inspection isn’t bad enough to merit the closure of the restaurant.
The following Lee County facilities were inspected between Aug. 17 and today.
The facilities are listed as they are in the MSDH system, even if there are typos. To search MSDH’s web system, users have to enter the name of the restaurant as it appears in the system.
-- A's --
Valley Services Inc (Endville Road)
Bushwacker Sports Bar (Baldwyn)
Simply Sensational Catering (Guntown)
Kelly’s Grocery (Palmetto)
Riverbirch Residence (Plantersville)
Nettleton Primary School
Tupelo Childrens Mansion
Shannon Primary School
Good Time Charlie’s
Tupelo Movie 8 (Cinemark)
Ryan’s Steak House
Chick fil-A (Thompson Square on Barnes Crossing)
Chick-fil-a (inside mall food court)
Don Julio (Kings Crossing)
Arby’s (South Gloster)
Wendy’s (West Main)
Knight’s Drive Inn (McCullough)
–– B’s ––
Saltillo Primary School - 8/17/12 - in compliance on all items but can’t make higher than a B after scoring a C.
A Gold Star - 8/23/12 - in compliance on all items but can’t make higher than a B after scoring a C.
–– C’s ––
Saltillo Primary School - 8/15/12 - not in compliance: hands clean and properly washed, hot and cold water available with adequate pressure
A Gold Star - 8/16/12 - corrected on site: proper date marking and disposition; not in compliance: hot and cold water available with adequate pressure
A Gold Star’s records were marked with an “X” as of Aug. 16 and no score was recorded. However, the online records have been updated to show the restaurant made a C.
The website shows Itawamba Community College Culinary Arts Kitchen was inspected Thursday. However, the grade and the report are not posted online yet.
The health department’s disclaimer:
“If in doubt about any facility, call the responsible health department. Data are for informational purposes, not enforcement.”
To check facilities in other counties, go to msdh.ms.gov/ food/defaultDates.aspx.
We've posted fuel efficiency tips many times, but here are some more reminders.
Via a press release from Angie's List:
The last summer hurrah is right around the corner and with it millions will hit the road. But as motorists are paying more than ever to fill up their gas tank there are actually ways to save a few bucks. Angie Hicks, co-founder of Angie’s List, has great tips to boost your gas mileage on this Labor Day weekend.
Angie’s List Top Tips to Boost Gas Mileage
• Kick the tires: Make sure your tires are inflated properly. Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure increases your mileage up to 3 percent. Look on the driver’s side door jamb or in your owner’s manual for your vehicles recommended tire pressure.
• Sleep all day, drive all night: Consider driving to your destination during non-peak hours. Nearly half the energy needed to power your vehicle goes in acceleration. Unnecessary braking wastes that energy.
• Save the limbo for the beach: Don’t get below one-eighth of a tank of gas. Your fuel pump is located at the bottom of the gas tank where sediment from gasoline can collect. The fuel pump can pick up the sediment, reducing your fuel efficiency.
• Slow down: It’s tempting to race to your destination but speeding and rapid acceleration/deceleration decreases your gas mileage – it’s bad for your transmission too.
More cool movie industry news. Yesterday, it was "Hunger Games" (previous story) casting.
Today, we've got buzz about "As I Lay Dying," which was written by Oxford's William Faulkner and is being adapted by James Franco (read more).
Tupelo's Casey Dillard confirmed she auditioned for Franco and was cast as Addie Bundren.
Dillard also said Kenny Cook from Baldwyn got a role in the film.
We're excited for both of them. Congrats!
Tupelo resident Juliet Reeves tells us she's landed a role in "Catching Fire, " the upcoming "Hunger Games" sequel. Congrats!
She's been cast as the host for District 4. She says it is a small role, but we're still excited for her.
We profiled Reeves earlier this year. Click here to read our story. Cool part: This is how she makes her living.
Earlier this month, we covered (previous story) two focus groups geared at getting suggestions for improving housing options in downtown Tupelo.
The Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association and the Tupelo Redevelopment Agency, which governs Fairpark, hosted the groups.
The goal, according to Debbie Brangenberg of Main Street, is to "take a look at what were doing currently and how we can make it better."
About 20 people total weighed in. They included Fairpark residents, potential downtown residents, downtown business owners, real estate agents and landlords. Plus, Tripp Muldrow was the hired consultant and facilitator. He sprinkled some of his research throughout the discussions.
Some suggestions from people in the focus groups:
• We need houses in Fairpark that are $140K - $150K, not more $240K homes. I don't think the $400K homes are working. Need more $150K homes.
• We need smaller homes with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
• Need better mixture of homes with high and low prices like Harbor Town in Memphis.
• The land costs are driving up prices with the homes. Do you write the land cost down? Is the objective to fill Fairpark and get it performing on the tax rolls or to get cash flow on the property?
• We debate on our building. We have empty space. Do we bring the price down? Will it lower the value of the property? Is it more important to fill up the building and generate cash flow?
• In Greenville, the city wrote off the land price and privately developed some of the projects. Very successful. Used to have 21 units downtown and now there's 1,200.
•We need zero-lot lines for empty nesters.
• Need to recruit the young people who are moving to Joyner and Robins Street.
• If we build the smaller 2BD/2BATH homes, we won't take anything away from Joyner and Robins. There's demand and we need to fill the void.
• What about 500 or 600 SF homes and build them like a little European village?
• The apartments across from Milam are nice. Would like to see that replicated downtown.
• Good price for apartments for young professionals: $800/month. For empty nesters, we should target home price o $175K to $200K.
• I like living in Fairpark and being able to walk to restaurants.
• The St. Jude dream homes are the only recent residential development. But, they wound up depressing the market because the winners didn't want the homes and basically gave them away for nothing.
• We bought into the idea that this would be a mixed used area and we'd get more services as homeowners. That's been a slow, slow process.
• Big concern of the $250K to $300K homeowners is maintaining the property value. If TRA puts in a $100K home, what does that do to our property values? We don't want to buy at $250K and sell at $150K.
• If we really are trying to bring people downtown, why aren't we doing anything? Is there an effort to market the residential side of Fairpark?
• It feels like you constantly have to push TRA members to do anything. We need people on the board who are vested in the idea. They need to have skin in the game. Does anyone on the board live in Fairpark?
• But, if they have too much skin in the game, when things get tough, they may get tempted to bust the plan to make money. We need to board to stick to the vision.
• We have lots of commercial development but there is not coordinated effort between the commercial and residential sides.
• If you put in the residential, you'll get the commercial. Businesses will go to where the people are.
• The more people we've got living down here, the more activity we have.
• I'm in the market to buy a house and I want to live downtown, but I can't afford anything.
• Research shows that residents who are closer to downtown have higher education levels than if you live in more rural areas (15 to 30 minute drive from downtown).
• We need to be aware of white flight. Tupelo's demographics are close to Clinton. Need to make sure it doesn't hit tipping point like Jackson that is now something like 80 percent black in the city limits and 80 percent white in the suburbs.
• We have a problem with our public school system but it has broad support and we're working to fix things. Our public schools are competing against each other not private schools.
• We were the brownstones built in that style? They don't fit in. They should have been built in New Orleans style or with Southern architecture.
• Brownstones had original asking price of $209K to $219K. Sold for $190K to $200K. Two went into foreclosure and one is for sale for $160K.
• We need more quality apartments built above retailers downtown. Need to encourage commercial development to do more apartments upstairs.
• Do we think there is more need for apartments or condos? What about renting versus buying an apartment?
• There used to be a tree row that blocked the cement plant. They cut it down and now they are talking about putting it back up. Would be nice if that view was blocked.
• Is there a sales office for downtown housing? It's a shame that there's not a booth or any literature at events when there is a concert downtown. Skyloft is downtown, but it only has six apartments. Need something for all of downtown.
• Taylor has an up-to-date website and brochure for housing. There's not residential marketing whatsoever in Fairpark.
• What if Main Street listed all downtown houses and apartments for rent/sale on its website? We've asked for this over and over and it hasn't happened.
• I have four apartments already. Tried to get a building to create four more apartments but I couldn't get the apartment. I've had apartments for 15 years and have only had 1 three-month period when I couldn't rent an apartment.
• I don't think getting the people here is the problem. I think finding them a place to live is the problem. CDF is going to be recruiting young professionals in Atlanta, Houston and Memphis. Think this will help draw people back.
• We need a little grocery store or bodega downtown. Somewhere you can buy premade food for dinner and buy milk. When I was a young girl, there were three grocery stores downtown. We should have something like a 10,000 to 12,000 square foot Corner Market with staples and good meats.
• What about morphing Papa V's into more of a grocery store?
• Tupelo is a good place but it's dangerous when you start comparing us to Oxford because we don't have 20,000 college kids with disposable income.
• As long as I'm living in Tupelo, I will live in downtown. I think there's a lot of people with that feeling but they can't find housing.
• We need more angel investors. There is venture capital out there but it is geared at technology and the investors are real estate adverse.
• Restoration Corporation had six people on it. We were willing to make small investments to get the ball rolling. We'd buy one building, fix it up and then sell it. It had some energy behind it about a year ago but it fell apart. We were talking about doing a commercial project or building something from the ground up in Fairpark.
Tripp Muldrow is doing more research. He said he'll be back next month to present suggestions to Main Street. Stay tuned.
I'm betting we're going to start seeing and more breweries pop up around the state.
From SunHerald.com (full text):
OCEAN SPRINGS -- The Board of Aldermen voted Tuesday night to approve a small, specialty brewery for the city.
It will be in an outbuilding on the property of Broome's Grocery on Government Street and will produce 1,500 to 3,000 barrels a year beginning in November.
Crooked Letter Brewing Co. will sell a lager, a dark and two light beers that will say "brewed in Ocean Springs" on the label, co-owner Wanda Blacksmith said.
Brews will be distributed in Mississippi and south Louisiana, but also in Ocean Springs, which has more than 100 restaurants and bars.
The Planning Commission unanimously approved the project. The aldermen voted it in unanimously as well.
"Bring us all of those beer tourists," Mayor Connie Moran said.
The brewery will offer tours and samples, Wanda Blacksmith said. But beer will not be sold at the 5,000-square-foot building.