|September 06, 2012||Chickasaw Village hiking trail closes temporarily||no comments|
|September 06, 2012||List of specials for Tupelo restaurant week||no comments|
|September 06, 2012||Inspections: Multipurpose centers 9/6/12||no comments|
|September 05, 2012||Changes coming to this blog||no comments|
|September 05, 2012||Does N. Gloster have a safety problem?||no comments|
|September 05, 2012||Farewell, Flat Tire Grille||no comments|
|September 04, 2012||Live from Tupelo CVB meeting (9/4/12)||no comments|
|September 04, 2012||Reports: Restaurant to open in ex-Shogun bldg||no comments|
|September 04, 2012||Kroger remodels Crosstown store||no comments|
|September 04, 2012||BancorpSouth case may help decide illegal wire transfer law||no comments|
Via a press release from the Natchez Trace Parkway:
Tupelo, Mississippi: The hiking and walking trail north of the Chickasaw Village Site (milepost 261.8) is closed until further notice. The impassable section of trail will be marked with flagging at the beginning and end of the affected area.
This closure is necessary to repair a trail bridge damaged by a fallen tree. The trail will be re-opened as soon as repairs are made.
The Parkway regrets any inconvenience this closure may cause. For more information, please contact the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center at 662-680-4027.
Eight downtown Tupelo restaurants are participating in a week of special menu items and prices.
The specials start today and end Thursday, Sept. 13. Read more by clicking here.
----- RESTAURANT WEEK SPECIALS --------
Bar-B-Q by Jim
• 20 percent off barbecue sandwich plate. Choice of two sides.
• Breakfast special: sausage cream cheese croissants
• Lunch special: free drink with purchase of lunch
• 10 percent off all new menu items, such as nachos, pork tenderloin and various wraps and sliders.
• Free appetizer with purchase of lunch or dinner entree
Half and Half - $7
- Shrimp bisque
- Chopped salad with mozzarella, tomato, cashews and basil vinaigrette
- Chicken salad sandwich (half)
- Pimiento cheese and fried green tomato sandwich (half)
3 courses - $22.50
- Park Heights Caesar OR mixed greens with pear vinaigrette, Roquefort and walnuts
- Park Heights crab dinner with whipped potatoes, green beans and remoulade OR pork tenderloin with lima-leek succotash and whipped sweet potatoes
- Warm bread pudding with caramel OR double chocolate mousse pie with raspberry sauce
Appetizer: BBQ chicken eggroll $4.99
Entree: sample platter: pulled pork, pulled chicken and ribs with two sides and Texas toast $11.99
Stables Downtown Grill
Lunch: Wild Alaskan salmon with sides $8.95
Dinner: Extra thick, bone-in glazed pork chop with sides $13.95
Tea for T’arts Tea Room
– New fall menu and outdoor seating
- $1 off kids menu
– $3 off to-go orders
- 20 percent off tins of tea and other tea items
The Great American Grill inside The Hilton Garden Inn
- Buy one, get one free lunch special (weekdays only)
Menu items and prices are subject to change. Prices do not include tax and gratuity.
Light week for inspections (read last week's). No restaurants, just multipurpose centers and they were inspected Friday.
No inspections have been posted for this week. Not sure if there haven't been inspections or if they just aren't in the system yet.
Either way, let's get started ...
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. 31 and today.
The facilities are listed as they are in the MSDH system, even if there are typos.
-- A’s --
Pratt Satelite Multipurpose (Baldwyn feeding center)
Tupelo Multipurpose Center (5338 Cliff Gookin - feeding center)
Verona Satelite Multipurpose Center (151 Mattox - feeding center)
Saltillo Multipurpose Satellite Center (216 Park St - feeding center)
-- B’s & C's --
To check facilities in other counties, go to msdh.ms.gov/food/defaultDates.aspx.
The health department’s disclaimer:
“If in doubt about any facility, call the responsible health department. Data are for informational purposes, not enforcement.”
Please excuse our progress ...
You may have noticed some changes to Biz Buzz this week. We've moved our comments over to Disqus (more info) and that has created formatting changes to our blog.
You'll notice that the comment counts are wrong on the posts. The posts may say there are no comments when there are comments. It's an integration problem with our blog host that we hope to resolve soon.
But don't worry – we're reading your comments. If you don't hear back from us, here's how to get in touch:
• firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
• Twitter: @dennisseid or @carlie_kollath
• Phone: (662) 678-1578 or (662) 678-1598
The format of Biz Buzz has changed temporarily. You'll see a little snippet of the post on the front instead of four posts. It's a temporary change before we unveil our new format.
And, the biggest news ...
We're moving Biz Buzz over to Wordpress.com in a few weeks. Yay! If you'll remember, we started Biz Buzz on Wordpress about five years ago. We're excited about the options we'll have with Wordpress going forward.
Thanks again for reading Biz Buzz. Your interest and participation keep us going. We feel fortunate y'all are business news nerds like us.
The Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau and its board members are concerned about pedestrian safety on a section of North Gloster Street. Read the full story in today's paper (click here).
The half-mile stretch north of McCullough Boulevard and south of Lakeshire Drive has drawn criticism for its congestion and perceived safety concerns.
The Tupelo CVB is involved because that stretch of road is heavily populated by hotels and thus visitors.
Board members suggested a traffic light, crosswalk, elevated pedestrian bridge or something else to improve pedestrian safety.
What do you think? Is there a safety problem for pedestrians in that area?
Flat Tire Grille has closed for good, according to Jeff Snyder, the general manager at the Mall at Barnes Crossing.
The restaurant was in the mall across the hall from Ulta. It was in the former Ruby Tuesday location, which later was home to Varsity Grille. Snyder said the space has a new tenant that will be announced soon.
Thanks to readers @GregBama and @Tupelo_Guy for the tip.
We're live at the Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau board meeting. The board is meeting at the CVB. Meeting starts at 2 p.m.
Disclaimer: I'm typing as people are talking. There may be typos. People also have a tendency to talk at the same time, so I can't always hear everything.
And, I'm not typing every word. Think of this more as the highlights of the meeting.
Something doesn't make sense? Corrections? Have questions? Ask.
Financial report from Kim Hanna:
This is the last financial report for this fiscal year.
Sales tax has been really strong this year. Already $78,000 over budget and we still have a month to go.
Budget was more than adequate this year for personnel expenses.
We've only spent about half of the money allocated for supplies.
Not many capital expenditures this year.
One more payment of $83,000 to transfer to Coliseum Commission for debt. I'm planning that this category will go up $100K next year for aquatic center.
Had a really good sales tax month in June, even though it's down. June sales were good but not quite what we received a year ago. Overall, we're looking at a 9 percent increase for the entire year.
(Carlie note: I don't have the packet in front of me. Will grab one after the meeting for specific numbers.)
Neal McCoy, chairman of board: If we aren't using the money in supplies, we need to be using them for marketing or other things.
Film report from Pat Rasberry:
We have a lot of projects going on. Going to highlight three. Rest are in the report. I'm also going to be working on the in-market specialist tasks (new position that was created last month at board meeting).
Commission overview. We've been working on some Chickasaw videos. Working with filmmaker for Chickasaw film. She wanted a farmhouse. We found one in the Sherman community. It was very raw. They dressed it and now it looks great. You can watch it on Chickasaw.TV.
Manhattan Film Festival: We're the second city in Mississippi to particpate. Will be Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. at Malco. 10 short films were finalists. Audience will vote on the best films.
Community work - Tammy Rodgers and I have been working with supervisors to get the old courtroom opened in the courthouse. We'd like to use it for filming and for festivals. Supervisors approved the proposal on a case-by-case basis. Our ultimate goal is to get it brought back to its authenticy and to use it for historical viewing and to have it like a museum. It's a 107 years old this year.
Full report in the packet (copy and paste):
Tupelo Film Alliance – Next TFA meeting will be held Saturday, September 22 at the Tupelo Convention & Visitors Bureau. The presentation will be based on acting on camera vs. acting on theatre. Sam Dalton from Watkins College out of Nashville, TN will be one of the guest speakers presenting the “acting on camera” segment. On August 25th Kat Phillips from Atlanta, GA presented “Women in Film and Television in 2012 & Distributing Indie Film.” Around 32 people attended with 20 new members either renewing or joining. It was a great presentation with much interest and many questions from the audience. The TFA is seeing a growing trend that has expanded in the state as well as far away as CA.
While in town for the TFA meeting, Kat Phillips and I worked on a new film development concept for the area. In addition she also spoke about returning to Tupelo in the near future to support those who would like to have more knowledge and direction on starting a “Women in Film” organization.
Commercial Shoot - Worked with Helen Urriola, Production Manager – Tool of North America, film crew and local production assistant – crew began arriving August 23r. The project was in regards to a commercial shoot taking place in Tupelo which ended August 31st. The commercial brought in around $50,000 to the city in which lodging, dining, crew, props, gas and other supplies, etc. were incorporated into the project.
Director Matt Ogens with above commercial project is working on a documentary – while he was in Tupelo I supported him and local production assistant with location venue requests and personalities he was interested in for his upcoming film project.
Chickasaw Nation Film Project - In fall of 2011 Jeanette Elliott, Chickasaw Nation, contacted me about support with film locations needed in our area for a documentary being produced. The outcome was very successful and they have recently updated me to the many television programs the new content has been featured on in addition to being seen on Chickasaw.tv. Tupelo is mentioned along with local and regional locations sited in the videos. You can refer to chickasaw.tv to view all the videos listed.
Tupelo Film Festival – The10th Annual Tupelo Film Festival will be held July 15-19, 2013. Submissions are now open and extend until January 31, 2013.
I am working with Shaunagh Connaire who is with the program “Unreported World” in the UK regarding the making off a 30 minute documentary? The crew will be filming in Tupelo for 3 days in September. This is a documentary project which will require a junior local producer to assist them with in which I have secured for them.
Met with Roy Turner and Cheryl Cole- Memphis, TN (actor in Cookies Fortune – Holly Springs, MS) on a new documentary project that is in its early stages.
Met with Allyson Adams (father Nick Adams – The Rebel.) She was in town for the Elvis statue unveiling, writing a book that could possibly lead to project she would like to film in Tupelo. She attended the TFA meeting in August and joined. Her home is in CA.
Tuesday, September 25, the Indie Film series will begin with film Age of Champions. This event will be held at The Link Centre and begins at 7 p.m. Filmmaker Christopher Rufo from Sacramento, CA will be in attendance and available for presentation and Q&A.
Working with Tammy Rodgers and the Lee County Board of Supervisors regarding the old court house court room. They were very positive about the future uses for the court room and history of this venue that could mean so much to visitors and community. They have asked us to continue our research and update them when necessary.
Meeting this week with filmmakers Peggy James and Brandi Alexander, who wrote and directed GumTree Chronicals I – the story of Tupelo told by these two incredible filmmakers and they are in the process now of the sequel – GumTree Chronicles II.
Manhattan Film Festival – scheduled for Thursday, October 4th. Tupelo is one of the only two cities in Mississippi that offers this event and was the first to be invited. It is a one night event held at the Malco Theatre where the audience chooses the best film of the night. The voting cards are calculated and sent to Director Nicholas Mason at the Manhattan Film Festival and names are calculated and winners are announced on the following Monday. Out of 520 entries received from 49 countries around the world, MANHATTAN SHORT selected ten short films as finalists. Each film is 18 minutes or under in length. Countries represented this year include Norway, The Netherlands, Russia, England, Ireland, Peru, France, Romania, Spain and the USA, in what festival organizers describe as the “United Nations of Film Festivals.”
MS High School Film Competition is now open. The closing dates are January 31, 2013 and the competition will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013. Winners will be showcased at the 2013 10th Annual Tupelo Film Festival.
In regards to the new transitions in the office – ideas and directions for meetings are in place with the event people along with new ideas already on my radar.
Marketing report from Sean Johnson:
Elvis statue unveiling went well.
Facebook page is growing. Now have 25,000 likes. We were getting 1M impressions last month. We spend money with Facebook, but it's so cheap per "like."
Full report (copy and paste):
• The Tupelo Facebook page has exceeded 25,000 likes (25,736) and has begun generating impressions of more than 1.5 Million per week. Prior to Elvis week we were generating 300K per week; Elvis week was 500K and then it jumped drastically. While we’re still looking into the reasons for this, our preliminary research is pointing to 25,000 being a threshold number for the amount of fans that have our posts posted to their walls.
Current and Upcoming Promotional Efforts
In other news…
Sales and meetings report from Linda Elliff (copy and paste):
• MS Banner Users Group (MBUG)–Worked with the meeting planner for this association on details and hospitality services for this convention to be held Sept. 16-18, 2012. They expect an attendance of 250-300 delegates. (This group met in Tupelo in 2011 also)
• MS Municipal League Fall Board Meeting – This group of 125 municipal leaders from throughout the state will hold their board meeting in Tupelo Sept. 27-28, 2012. The host city for this meeting is asked to assist in sponsoring a welcoming reception for the group. This year they are pleased at the prospect of hosting their reception at the Tupelo Automobile Museum.
• Tourism Summit Meeting in Jackson, MS Sales Calls – Called on meeting planners/executive directors of associations to finalize details on upcoming conventions and site visits to Tupelo. Met with planner with MS Forestry Assoc., MS Farm Bureau Federation, MS Municipal League and MS Young Farmers and Ranchers.
Hosted freelance travel writer Jackie Finch on a press visit to Tupelo during the Elvis Fan Appreciation Days in order to generate coverage on the various events that were taking place in Tupelo that week. She is commissioned by an Indiana newspaper to write an article for Elvis’ birthday in January 2013 and so far we’ve had three stories to run on Examiner.com, all of them illustrated with up to 10 photos each:
Press release titled “Elvis Presley’s Mississippi Hometown of Tupelo honors him with statue” and a picture of the unveiling was published in Group Tour Magazine and Southeast Tourism Society’s Travel and Tourism Talk Newsletter.
Sports development report with Seth Gaines:
Numbers have been down for King of the Hill triathlon. Working with them to find a date to get numbers back up. Also adding Xterra trail.
Running banner ads on Auburn.rivals.com to encourage Auburn fans coming to MSU game to stay in Tupelo.
Tupelo Park & Rec will break ground on aquatic center Sept. 25. Completion day is Oct 2013. Move-in date is November 2013. Once we open the doors to the facility, we are at least 3 years away to host for national aquatic events. We have to host local and state events until then.
Partnership report from Stephanie Moody-Coomer:
We were at candlelight vigil last week.
Traffic to our mobile site is up 77 percent compared to this time last year.
Philadelphia Inquirer put out top 10 Elvis sites to see. Tupelo got three of them - Tupelo Hardware, Johnny's Drive In and the birthplace.
Full report (copy & paste):
Regular – 18,209 – a 9% increase over August, 2011
Mobile – 4,090 – a 77% increase over August, 2011
The Auburn fan site showed up as our #6 referrer to our mobile website and as #10 referrer on our regularwebsite with about 500 visits generated by the Fan Site Campaign launched August 10. Auburn has a smaller fan base than some of the other schools that we will be marketing to so we are really excited by this good response.
Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area
1. New rack cards, brochures, MS Hills Video, Tupelo Customing ending (that can also serve as a 1:30 commercial) will be distributed at the Sept. 11 meeting, along with a CD of royalty free images.
2. Management Plan workshop led by Phil Walker along with his initial findings report will be help Sept. 11/13. This is one of the final processes prior to putting together the first draft of the federally mandated mangement plan.
3. Chickasaw Nation display now in Exhibit Center. The Chickasaw Nation ad agency Ackerman McQueen will be coming to Tupelo the second week of October to interview several local Tupelo Chickasaw enthusiasts for one of their upcoming videos to be featured on the Chickasaw.TV website.
4. The grant money from MS was received by MS Hills last week.
The Natchez Trace Compact
1. Compact is in the final stages of editing a visitor video that will be available for us to populate the content on our social sites.
2. The new image magazine is close to completion and will be printing in the next couple of weeks.
3. We have an active facebook “free gas” promotion currently running.
4. We have scheduled a free social media class with MOJOLOCO which does the social media for the Compact for Tupelo.
The Civil War Center Board
1. The center will have a new video featuring the black soldier's role in the civil war and the Battles of Brice's Crossroads and Tupelo by the beginning of 2013. Funding is provided in part by the Mississippi Humanities Council.
2. We are pursuing funding for a 20 minute video featuring the Battle of Tupelo.
3. Several large groups of history tours are booked in September.
Other Items of Interest
Elvis Week in Memphis was really good for Tupelo. We had a booth at the Ultimate Elvis competition for 3 sessions and attended the candlelight vigil. Conversation with attendees showed that many were including Tupelo in their trip to Elvis or had future plans to include Tupelo. We distributed 1,000 brochures and helped several people make their travel plans.
We continue to get traffic and a lot of social media buzz off of our new statue.
Governor’s Conference on Tourism is September 23-25 in Tunica.
Tourism Leadership Program is set to be announced this week with a deadline of October 1st.
Tupelo’s social media workshop has been moved to October 9th because of a conflict with the Mississippi Hills workshop series happening September 11-13.
Event promotion match grant program guidelines for 2013 will go out this week. Events will be required to turn in applications by October 1.
FY2013 budget from Neal McCoy:
We need to vote on next year's budget. Need to discuss personnel issues. Board votes to go into executive session at 2:30 p.m.
Board returns from exec session at 2:36 p.m.
McCoy: All board members here (Jeff Snyder not here) voted to approve the reorganized CVB staff.
(Passed out flowchart)
McCoy: We also need to vote on the new budget. Nothing has changed since the board retreat.
Members vote to approve budget.
Meeting adjourned at 2:40. Questions?
I have a CVB packet with more info to go through. Read tomorrow's Journal for more info.
Have we mentioned lately that y'all are AWESOME?!? Wow. First, you blew up our phones last week when we asked if you saw gas prices jump at your regular station after Isaac hit.
And now, you've been filling up our inboxes and Twitter feeds with tips about the new restaurant going into the former Shogun building on North Gloster.
Shogun closed in May (previous coverage).
We're in and out of meetings all day so we can't get over to get the scoop today, but we wanted to let you know we are on it.
Multiple readers have said there's a new sign on the building. The sign was covered with a black tarp, but the wind knocked it loose. Readers said they saw "International Cuisine" on the sign.
Thanks especially to William Crump, Jon Pernell and another tipster who wants to remain anonymous.
Thank you for your tips! We'll check into the restaurant ASAP. Plus, we're following up on a few other restaurant rumors.
Kroger is in the process of remodeling its Crosstown (West Main) store in Tupelo.
We swung by last week and noticed:
• The area devoted to kitchen supplies has shrunk. A lot of the merch is now in a clearance section in the seasonal aisle.
• The natural, organic and nutritional area has gotten bigger.
• The pet food department has been reworked.
• A lot of the aisles have been shifted. The store hasn't been reorganized, but the spacing of each aisle feels wider.
• We hear the produce area is going to be upgraded this month.
Via ComputerWorld.com (full story):
Computerworld - A federal judge has rejected BancorpSouth's plan to use contractual agreements with customers as a shield against liability claims stemming from an online heist of some $440,000 that was illegally wire-transferred from the account of one of the bank's commercial customers in March 2010.
The customer, Choice Escrow and Title LLC in Springfield, Mo., filed a lawsuit Tupelo, Miss,-based BancorpSouth in November 2010 alleging that the bank failed to implement commercially reasonable security measures as defined in the Funds Transfer Act provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
BancorpSouth countersued earlier this year arguing that Choice Escrow was solely responsible for the breach because it allowed hackers to gain access to legitimate login credentials.
The bank contended that Choice Escrow signed a contract that included an agreement not to hold BancorpSuth responsible for losses stemming from the a failure to use the online services in a secure manner.
In its lawsuit, BankcorpSouth said Choice Escrow should be held liable for legal costs and other expenses for breaching the terms of the contract by filing claims against the bank.
In a four-page ruling last week, Judge John Maughmer of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri rejected the bank's claims, ruling that Funds Transfer Act provisions preempted any other agreement between Choice Escrow and Bancorp South.
The judge did note that both sides in the dispute had made convincing arguments to support their case.
The ruling means that the case between BancorpSouth and Choice Escrow could soon head to trial.
The case is one of several asking courts to decide who is responsible for online account takeovers where attackers use legitimate access credentials to initiate illegal wire transfers from commercial accounts.