Archive for June 2013

Inspections 6/28: Outback, Atlanta Bar & Grill

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Lots of A’s this week on area restaurant inspections.

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 Northeast Mississippi facilities were inspected between June 22 and today.

The facilities are listed as they are in the MSDH system, even if there are typos.

Outback (Tupelo)
Express Shop Travel  Center (Belden)
Kroger (HISSHO) (Tupelo)
Steak Escape # 335 (Tupelo)
Bren’s Diner (Saltillo)
Atlanta Bar & Grill  (Tupelo)
Short Stop Grocery (Holly Springs)
Trinity Misson Health & Rehab of Great Oaks, LLC.(Byhalia)
Arandas Authentic Mexican Restaurant (Byhalia)
Arandas Bar (Byhalia)
The Cherry Place (Waterford)
Busy Bee Shaved Ice & Concession Stand (Holly Springs)
Graceland Care Center of Oxford (Oxford)
High Point Coffee (Oxford)

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Written by Sarah Robinson

June 28, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Posted in Business news

Area gas prices vary 06/28/13

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For another week, we found a 20 cent fluctuation in gas prices around the area. Check out some of the better spots to fill up before you head to the beach this summer.gas_pump

This time last year, gas prices across the state dipped below $3 with a state average of $2.99. That average is up 27 cents to $3.26 this week, down five cents from last week.

This week, Starkville and Amory have the highest price of the places we checked, at $3.34 a gallon.

The lowest we found was in Sherman at $3.13 a gallon.

The national average is $3.52, down seven cents from last week but still up 12 cents over the same time last year.

Other prices around Northeast Mississippi:

Amory: $3.34
Belden: $3.25
Booneville: $3.19
Corinth: $3.29 Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sarah Robinson

June 28, 2013 at 11:54 am

Posted in Business news

Cochran co-sponsors jobs plan

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Senator Thad Cochran’s office released a statement today on a plan to help get more Americans back to work.  The plan includes grants to local businesses who participate in or want to establish on-the-job training programs.

These programs have big implications for manufacturing.  The full press release…

Legislation would help Americans find and keep work

(Washington, DC) ­– U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) have reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would help Americans find and keep employment through on-the-job training (OJT) programs.

“There are hardworking people who desperately want to work, but they need the skills training for the jobs that are available,” said Shaheen, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.  “The workforce development programs that we’re proposing offer one of the most effective ways to meet economic demand, get people back to work, and keep America’s workforce competitive.”

“Changes in markets and within industries make it important that workers have the ability to obtain the skills needed to secure and keep jobs.  This legislation would benefit both workers and employers by providing resources to help ensure qualified workers are available to meet demand,” Cochran said.  “I’m pleased employers and workers in Mississippi have utilized this training program to maintain and grow commerce and industry.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sarah Robinson

June 27, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Business news

Tupelo Furniture Market gets $250,000 from Legislature

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The Tupelo Furniture Market is getting $250,000, via the state legislature to help promote


That may sound a lot, but consider the High Point Market in North Carolina gets 10 times that. But every little bit helps

Anyway, here a press release from TFM:

During its last session, the Mississippi Legislature approved $250,000 in funding to the Tupelo Furniture Market.  The funds are to be used for promotion of the bi-annual trade event which brings more than 20,000 buyers and sellers of furniture and furniture accessories to Mississippi each year.

Furniture manufacturers are a valuable part of Mississippi’s economic engine, and the Tupelo Furniture Market is a great place to showcase those products,” said Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves. “Sen. Nancy Collins and Sen. J.P. Wilemon shared with senators the important role the Market plays in the state’s furniture industry and how these funds would help the Market grow.”

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Written by Dennis Seid

June 27, 2013 at 11:08 am

BancorpSouth to buy back $125M in securities

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BancorpSouth is redeeming $125 million in trust-preferred securities, the Tupelo-based financial holding BancorpSouth logocompany said late Wednesday.

BancorpSouth is using $75 million in cash, plus another $50 million in debt for the buyback on Aug. 12

By buying back the securities, BancorpSouth expects to save about $9.1 million in interest expense.

Here’s what the bank said in its press release: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

June 27, 2013 at 10:01 am

Renasant, First M&F shareholders approve merger

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As expected, shareholders for Renasant Corp. and First M&F Corp. overwhelmingly approved the merger of their two companies. RENASANT CORPORATION LOGO

The deal, first announced in February, would see Tupelo-based Renasant acquire Kosciusko-based First M&F in a stock transaction then valued at about $119 million. As of today, that deal is now valued at about $142 million.

First M&F shareholders would receive 0.6425 shares of


Renasant for every First M&F share they have.

The merger was approved by 99.65 percent of eligibile Renasant shares and 99.1 percent of eligible First M&F shares. The Renasant vote equated to 17.2 million of 17.3 million shares approving the merger; for First M&F, 6.53 million of 6.6 million voted in favor.

The deal still must meet regulatory approval, but it’s expected to be complete by the third quarter of this year.

“Sooner, rather than later,” said Renasant Vice President of External Affairs John Oxford.

After that, the banks could work to combine their systems, and everything should be operating under one roof, so to speak, by the end of the year.

As for what will happen to some Renasant Bank and M&F Bank offices that are in overlapping markets, Oxford said there are “seven to 10 branches which will be overlapping that we’ll be looking at consolidating.”

In fact, nine M&F and Renasant locations are within a mile of each other, and in an SEC filing in April, Renasant said it plans to “close or consolidate” the following locations: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Dennis Seid

June 26, 2013 at 9:44 am

Carnival a bargain but still not selling

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Well, after the recent PR nightmares for the cruise line, its hard to say it comes as a surprise to find out they are in financial trouble.

It’s not difficult these days for a value-conscious vacationer to score a deal on Carnival Cruise Lines (CCL). The trouble for the beleaguered cruise giant is that many vacationers are still avoiding the brand. That’s what happens when your stickren cruise ships become TV news fodder, as the Carnival Triumph did in February after an engine fire left it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.

What started as a public-relations disaster has led to a predictable financial mess for the Miami-based cruise operator, which has seen its bookings for this year fall behind 2012 levels even as its cruise fares have moved lower in a bid to win back wary travelers. For Carnival’s nine other brands, including Holland America, Princess and Costa, bookings have been stronger than a year ago even with higher prices. The biggest hitch in this math, however, is that Carnival is the company’s largest U.S. brand with the most inventory to sell.

Carnival’s net income of $41 million topped forecasts, helped by a nearly 10 percent drop in fuel costs and less fuel use across its fleet. But the company had already cuts its 2013 profit outlook last month because of the rampant discounting used to help fill ship berths. Some three-night Carnival cruises are selling from prices as low as $209. Five nights? Those have sold for as little as $249. A seven-night Caribbean cruise in August? Yours for $369, if you don’t mind an interior cabin. In April, as Carnival desperately sought to restore sales from theTriumph debacle, some four-night cruises from Miami were being sold for a mere $149. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sarah Robinson

June 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Posted in Business news