|June 26, 2012||Tupelo CVB's McCoy named one of 'Forty forthe Future'||1 comments|
|June 25, 2012||BancorpSouth Insurance to acquire Alabama provider||no comments|
|June 25, 2012||Christy's Hamburgers closed in Tupelo||7 comments|
|June 22, 2012||Bumpers making way for Fresh Market Cafe||5 comments|
|June 22, 2012||Timber Products Co. in Corinth to expand||no comments|
|June 19, 2012||Feds looking into Toyota, GM door fires||no comments|
|June 13, 2012||Marshall County to add 150 jobs with new company||no comments|
|June 13, 2012||Firehouse Subs coming to Tupelo||no comments|
|June 11, 2012||'Mall of Tupelo' is somebody's fantasy||2 comments|
|May 25, 2012||Gas prices cover a wide range today||1 comments|
Congrats to Tupelo Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Neal McCoy, who has been named to the inaugural "Forty for the Future: Travel's Leading Talent" class by the Southeast Tourism Society.
Here's a portion of the press release from the Atlanta-based STS:
Those chosen, most of whom were nominated by their employers or professional mentors, range from the tourism director in the north Georgia town of Dahlonega and the marketing and communications manager at the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky to the president of the visitors bureau in Fort Bragg, Calif., and a partnership marketing specialist for the Virginia Tourism Corp.
All are younger than 40, and they represent businesses and organizations in 14 states.
“All of them have demonstrated leadership in their careers and communities and are beacons for others,” said Bill Hardman, president and CEO of the Southeast Tourism Society.
STS will recognize the Forty for the Future Class of 2012 during a special presentation at the STS Fall Forum in Virginia Beach, Va., Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
“Our objectives with ‘Forty for the Future’ are to recognize leadership, demonstrate how varied tourism jobs are and inspire even younger people to consider tourism as a career,” Hardman said.
A panel of tenured professionals representing numerous components of the tourism industry evaluated the nominees.
“We wish we could have recognized even more, but this group lives up to the program’s name. They truly are ‘Forty for the Future,’ and we expect even bigger accomplishments and leadership from them,” Hardman said.
BancorpSouth Insurance Services Inc., a subsidiary of BancorpSouth Bank, headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of The Securance Group Inc., an independent property and casualty and life and health insurance agency headquartered in Brewton, Alabama.
The transaction is expected to close on July 2nd. Financial terms of the pending transaction were not disclosed.
BancorpSouth Chairman and CEO Aubrey Patterson said, “This agreement to acquire the assets of Securance Group reflects our long-term strategy to expand our successful insurance brokerage business, already among the banking industry’s largest. The growth of our insurance business has been a key contributor to the expansion of our fee-based revenues. Insurance commission revenue accounted for nearly one-third of noninterest revenue for 2011, which, in turn, increased to a record 38.4% of total revenue for the year. Our insurance services enable BancorpSouth to serve more of our clients’ needs, while diversifying and enhancing the stability of the Company’s total revenue.”
Yank Lovelace, President and CEO of The Securance Group, Inc. said, “This new relationship will enable us to continue bringing new resources to our clients, while complementing our agency’s growth and development as we work and share all of the unique talents and skills within BancorpSouth’s agency network.”
In addition to the agency’s Brewton, Alabama headquarters office, Securance Group also operates offices in Montgomery, the state’s capital, and in Troy, located in southeast Alabama. BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc. currently serves the Birmingham and Mobile, Alabama markets.
“Securance Group is a well-run, multi-lines agency, and we have the utmost respect for Yank and his management and staff. We look forward to the agency becoming part of the BancorpSouth family,” commented Markham McKnight, BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc. President.
James Threadgill, BancorpSouth’s Vice Chairman of Financial Services added, “While expanding our existing agency franchise, the pending Securance Group acquisition will also help solidify our Alabama market coverage by complementing our existing Mobile and Birmingham market areas.”
BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc. ranks as the nation’s 26th largest insurance firm based on the latest rankings available for top insurance brokerage firms in America by Business Insurance. BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc. currently operates approximately 26 offices, with over 500 associates serving clients across the country.
Thanks to a tip from a reader who told us that Christy's Hamburgers on West Main Street in Tupelo looked closed.
Sure enough, we called the Starkville location – where the restaurant got its start years ago – and the son of the owner confirmed the Tupelo location had closed.
He said the lease had run out and they chose to close it. It will not reopen, he said.
Christy's opened in March 2011 in the former Hollywood Video location. The video store, which had closed months earlier, was converted to a small retail center, which now includes C Spire Wireless.
In an unusual move when it opened last year, Christy's chose to go without a soft opening and flung its doors open the first day.
I remember going the next day for lunch and it was packed, with the line stretching out the door and the wait being around 30 minutes.
The former Bumpers Drive-In on South Gloster Street, which has been closed "for renovation" for quite some time, is now being renovated after all.
Crews have taken down the awning of the former restaurant, owned by Jackie's International out of Canton.
Sunny Sethi of Jackie's said the old Bumpers will be transformed into a Fresh Market Cafe. It has a location in Brandon near the Ross Barnett Reservoir, and Sethi said it is a concept that has taken off.
"it's Southern cooking with a modern flair," he said. "For example, it's not just meatloaf – it's applewood-smoked bacon-wrapped meatloaf."
The restaurant, which will employ 25 to 30 people, should be open in 45 to 60 days he said.
It will be a sit-down facility, but will also have a drive-through for, as Sethi put it, "moms on the go."
"Everything will be freshly made every day," he said.
Timber Products Co., which has been in Corinth for 20 years, announced an expansion of its facilities there.
The hardwood plywood maker is investing $350,000, adding clear ultraviolet processing at the facility. The move will create up to four jobs, as well as help keep the 50 workers currently employed there.
The Mississippi Development Authority provided assistance through the Job Protection Grant program for building modifications in support of this project. The Tennessee Valley Authority and The Alliance of Corinth and Alcorn County also provided assistance for building modifications.
“I’m pleased that MDA was able to assist Timber Products Co., with this expansion, and I thank the company for creating new jobs and for its ongoing commitment to its existing workforce in Corinth,” said Brent Christensen, MDA executive director. “I wish the company many years of continued success in north Mississippi.”
Bud Reaves, division controller for Timber Products, said, “This expansion is providing us with a more diversified product offering, allowing us to enter new markets, create new jobs and help protect existing jobs.”
“We are proud to work with our economic development partners in assisting with the project. Any time you have the opportunity to preserve manufacturing jobs (and in this case, create a few) in your community, you jump on it,” said Gary Chandler, president of The Alliance.
Founded in 1918, Timber Products Co. is headquartered in Springfield, Ore. The company offers a wide range of diversified wood products and specializes in hardwood plywood. One of the largest material suppliers to the U.S. kitchen cabinet industry, Timber Products Company owns eight state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities across the country, a major international division and 112,000 acres of forestland in northern California.
Federal safety regulators are looking into reported door fires caused by power window switches in several Toyota vehicles, as well as some General Motors vehicles. The Toyota and GM problems appear to be unrelated. The companies got their power window switches from different parts suppliers, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said.
From the Associated Press:
The government has expanded an investigation into fires that can start in the doors of several Toyota models, adding 600,000 Camrys and other vehicles to the probe. Federal safety regulators also are investigating a similar fire problem in the doors of 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SUVs made by General Motors.
The Toyota investigation now includes 1.4 million cars and SUVs from the 2007 to 2009 model years. When the probe began in February, it involved more than 800,000 Camrys and RAV4 SUVs from the 2007 model year.
Certain Camrys from the 2008 and 2009 model years, as well as some 2007 to 2009 Yaris subcompacts and all 2008 Highlander Hybrid SUVs, have been added to the investigation, the NHTSA said on its website Monday. The vehicles were built from September of 2006 through August of 2008, the safety agency said.
So far, Toyota and the government have received 161 complaints of fires involving the vehicles. Nine people have been hurt, according to government documents.
All the vehicles use the same power window switch in the driver’s door. The switches can overheat and cause fires, the government said.
Owners of the Toyotas who smell smoke or feel heat in the doors should call their dealers or take them in for an inspection, Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said. The company is cooperating with NHTSA in the investigation, he said.
NHTSA posted documents on Saturday saying that the GM probe also had been upgraded to a full engineering analysis. Originally the investigation covered more than 309,000 TrailBlazers from the 2006 and 2007 model years, but the government said that it’s up to nearly 342,000 vehicles.
NHTSA and GM have received 242 complaints about the problem, including 28 fires. No one has been hurt, according to the documents.
The government said Saturday that it also will evaluate other GM vehicles with the same underpinnings. They include the Buick Rainier, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X SUVs. GM said it is investigating two reports of fires in Envoys and one in a 97-X.
Several of the TrailBlazer fires occurred while the vehicles were moving, but others happened when the engines were off and the vehicles were unattended.
The TrailBlazer was discontinued in 2009. The SUVs are not being recalled.
GM has said any TrailBlazer owner who smells smoke or whose power windows stop working should contact their dealer.
Good news for Byhalia and Marshall County! A new company is investing $130 million and creating 150 jobs.
From Gov. Phil Bryant's office.
A leading manufacturer of stone wool insulation has announced plans to open a manufacturing facility in Byhalia, Miss. The facility will create 150 jobs.
Roxul Inc. selected a site in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park in Marshall County for its new facility – the company’s first manufacturing plant in the United States. The company is investing approximately $130 million in the facility.
Roxul Inc. is part of Denmark-based Rockwool International, the world’s leading producer of stone wool. Stone wool is a fiber-based insulation made from natural stone and recycled content.
"Roxul recognized the business-friendly nature of our state, and I am thrilled they have chosen Mississippi as the place to locate their first U.S. facility," Gov. Phil Bryant said. "Mississippi welcomes Roxul as its newest corporate citizen and looks forward to new jobs in the Byhalia area."
Added Trent Ogilvie, president of Roxul: "Roxul is thrilled to be building its first manufacturing facility in the United States. Roxul has continued to experience double digit sales growth throughout North America, and the new facility will ensure we can meet our customers' growing demands in North America. We appreciate the warm welcome we have received from the State of Mississippi and look forward to becoming an active member of the community."
The Mississippi Development Authority worked closely with company and local officials to help support the project. The agency provided loan assistance through the Mississippi Industry Incentive Financing Revolving Fund for site preparation, as well as assistance for road improvements and workforce training. Additionally, Marshall County and the Appalachian Regional Commission provided assistance for infrastructure improvements.
“This is fantastic news for Marshall County, and this global company’s decision to locate these operations in Mississippi is a testament to our state’s hard working and skilled workforce,” said Brent Christensen, executive director of MDA. “I thank Roxul for its investment in Mississippi and look forward to watching the company thrive in Marshall County.”
Roxul Inc. is the North American division of Rockwool International and has been operating in Canada for more than 20 years. The company is the leading North American manufacturer of stone wool insulation products for the North American market and has operations in Milton, Ontario, and Grand Forks, British Columbia. Both facilities employ world-class technology to produce residential products, as well as a wide array of industrial, commercial and marine stone wool insulation products.
Firehouse Subs, the sandwich chain founded in 1994 by two firemen brothers in Jacksonville, Fla., plans to open a location in Tupelo.
Chris Stephenson, the owner and franchisee of the Oxford store, confirmed plans are being finalized to open by Jan. 1.
Stephenson has the franchise rights to North Mississippi and opened the Oxford location some 18 months ago.
“We’re finalizing a site, waiting to hear from the higher-ups,” he said, referring to city officials.
Stephenson said he hopes to have the site finalized within 30 days, which would allow a six-month window to get the restaurant open.
The site Stephenson is eying is the former Dixie Oil Co. gas station on West Main Street, across from Starbucks and Wendy’s
Firehouse Subs – which features a firefighter theme – features sandwiches with the meats and cheeses steamed and placed on toasted bread.
“Then we add the lettuce, tomatoes, etc., after we put them together,” he said.
Last year, the company went on a growth spree, adding 79 restaurants, 80 franchises and entering 13 new markets.
Sales system-wide grew more than 20 percent.
Stephenson, by the way, also has a Tupelo connection. His wife, Kada (Utley) Stephenson, is a from the city and graduated from Tupelo High school.
Read more about Firehouse Subs and plans for the Tupelo store in tomorrow’s Daily Journal.
NEWSFLASH: Breaking news (that's not real) – Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy's and PF Chang's will anchor a new 1.2 million mall near Tupelo....
BUT sorry – it's only somebody's wild imagination.
This blurb was posted on a Topix forum a few days ago. It's full of inaccuracies, but it has a ring of good marketing. Here's the fantasy/fiction post from a "Sally" from Memphis:
"Lee County will be the fastest growing county in Mississippi for the next 20 years according to forecasts by the Tupelo Regional Council of Governments. Retail development has announced The Mall of Tupelo, which is a 1,200,000 SF retail development in Tupelo, Mississippi and will be located approximately 5 miles from New Albany and Blue Springs, MS off highway 78.
This prime location is ideally situated directly in front of the busy Interstate 22 and highway 78 near the Toyota Plant. Easy access and great visibility positioned this development front and center in this growing and successful area.
The Mall of Tupelo will be anchored by Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s to include Nine West, Juicy Couture, and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro.
Ground-breaking will begin in July 2012 with a projected opening of Spring 2013. The Mall will employ over 800 workers.
That's pretty wild, isn't it?
So let's tear it down a bit:
• First, there's no Tupelo Regional Council of Governments. There is a Council of Governments that includes the citys and towns of Lee County.
• Second, "five miles from New Albany and Blue Springs" is basically in the middle of nowhere.
• Third, the supposed mall "ideally situated directly in front of the busy Interstate 22 and highway 78 near the Toyota Plant" ... well, Highway 78 and Interstate 22 are the same thing. Highway 78 has been designated the future I-22.
• Fourth, if a 1.2 million square-foot mall were to open in less than a year, wouldn't we have seen some massive dirt work going on? More importantly, do you seriously think the developer would keep it quiet and post it on an online forum?
• And finally, if Target hasn't made it to Tupelo yet, do you really think the likes of Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Macy's would build near Blue Springs? Nothing against the good people of that community, but seriously...
Now, should this all come true, then I'll gladly take my computer and eat it.
News flash: Tupelo has the highest gas prices in Northeast Mississippi. But you kinda knew that already, didn't you?
Let's cut to the chase: The cheapest price that we found in our survey of area gas stations is in Sherman, at $3.19. Close behind are Corinth and Fulton at $3.21
Tupelo cashes in at $3.53, though with a Kroger card, you can do better. At Sam's it's $3.47 if you're a member.
Other gas prices:
The lowest gas price is on the Coast in Gautier, at $3.09.
The state average is $3.33. A year ago, it was $3.59.
By the way, I drove up to Booneville this morning, and like in other cities, there's a range of prices there, too. While $3.25 was the cheapest, it was as much as $3.39. For ethanol free gas it was $3.49.
But yeah, still less expensive than Tupelo.
Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend! Fill 'er up and be careful!