Press Releases

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Governor to speak at Vicksburg Main Street Meeting


Gov. Haley Barbour will be the keynote speaker at the Vicksburg Main Street Program's annual meeting Wednesday night at the B.B. Club.
By Steve Sanoski

“We have had some very prominent speakers in the past, but this is by far our most prominent,” said Harry Sharp, Main Street Program Board of Directors chairman. “Gov. Barbour is nationally renowned as a phenomenal leader, and I think it’s just fantastic that he’s agreed to take some time out of his busy schedule to speak at our annual meeting.”

Sharp and Barbour attended the University of Mississippi together in the late 1960s and, along with a handful of others, formed the first ever Young Republicans Club at any university in the state, Sharp said.

The Vicksburg Main Street Program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and has about 200 members. Three of the program’s founders — Nancy Bell, Ronnie Bounds and Jerry Hall — serve on its board of directors. Kim Hopkins is the program’s director, having been installed in January after serving in an interim position since October. Health issues were cited when 10-year director Rosalie Theobald stepped down last year.

Sharp said the annual meeting will give members a recap of the program’s developments over the past year and provide a glimpse into its short- and long-term goals. He said he has left the topic of Barbour’s address up to the governor, who is expected to speak around 6:15.

“In the coming year, we are really going to focus on two things: we’re going to try to expand the Main Street district to I-20 on Washington and Clay streets, and we also want to work toward making Vicksburg more business-friendly,” said Sharp.

Businesses in the Vicksburg Main Street Program Taxing District support the program by paying an additional 5.05 mills in property tax. Sharp said expanding the district would not affect residents’ taxes and would allow for further development of small businesses in the city.

If you go:
The B.B. Club, 721 Clay St., will host the Vicksburg Main Street Program’s annual meeting Wednesday with keynote speaker Gov. Haley Barbour. Social hour, with a cash bar, begins at 5:30 p.m. Barbour’s address, dinner and the meeting begin at 6. Cost is $10, seating is limited and reservations can be made by calling Kim Hopkins at 601-634-4527. The meeting is open to all Main Street members, but nonmembers can join by paying a minimum membership fee of $25.

Contact Steve Sanoski at

Houston Gains Crosswalk Markings to Enhance Downtown


Historic Hometown Houston, a member of the Mississippi Main Street Association, has plans to enhance the community by providing crosswalk markings along several of the intersections by the Court House square. A sample area was marked off as a test for this project.

Shown placing the the materials:
Kevin Garmon, Regional Sales Manager with Flint Trading Inc.,
Rosemary Alford, Chair of the Design Committee, Hometown Houston;
Joyce East, Main Street Manager for Hometown Houston and CDF Executive Director; and
Ricko Nichols, Public Works Director for the City of Houston.

Moss Point’s “Celebration Designation” set for Feb. 25


Moss Point, MS - When Moss Point’s iconic Downtown Clock strikes 11 a.m. on Feb. 25 the City will officially become a “Main Street City.” To mark this occasion the City is holding a “Designation Celebration” around the clock’s base with Gray Swoope, Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority and Mississippi Main Street representatives.

Moss Point is the only City in the State of Mississippi to receive the designation this year. Becoming one of the communities that bear the official designation as a Certified Mississippi Main Street Association is very competitive. Of the 56 Main Street cities statewide, only seven are in South Mississippi.

“Moss Point offered one of the most complete and compelling applications we have ever seen,” Stacy Pair, Mississippi Main Street Southern District Director, said. “The community cooperation and municipal buy-in was apparent. That is exactly what our application panel looks for. The passion and organization of the Moss Point team really set them apart.”

Mississippi Main Street has a solid reputation for restoring a community’s historical fabric, creating sustainable commerce and bringing new vitality to it’s communities. The Association is a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Mississippi Development Authority.

To earn this recognition, residents along with city officials, business leaders, and FEMA Long Term Recovery came together to form the “Moss Point Main Street Designation Taskforce” almost a year ago.

“This ‘Main Street’ designation confirms what we’ve known for years; the City of Moss Point is a treasure just waiting to be fully discovered,” said Monica Cooper-Battle, chairman of the Main Street Designation Taskforce. “This recognition affirms us as a desirable address for businesses and residents alike.”


With the turn of the clock, the City of Moss Point will become the Mississippi Main Street Association’s Certified “Main Street City” for 2009.

As part of the application process the Designation Taskforce created first year goals and objectives, answered 13 narrative questions about Moss Point, and compiled a “Community, City Government and Historic Fabric” profile. All of which can be viewed at

Becoming a Main Street City isn’t a casual wish come true for Phil and Sally Scordino, owners of Scordino’s Main Street Market in Downtown and members of the Taskforce.

“We’ve worked hard for this,” said Phil. “And we are ecstatic we’ve been chosen.”

With Downtown as a focal point of revitalization, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen have provided the Main Street Designation Taskforce support, both financially and through the availability of resources.

“The Downtown district has historical and economic significance for Moss Point,” Mayor Xavier Bishop said. “Once the center of commerce for the entire City, today downtown shares that spotlight with other commercial areas within Moss Point while remaining the heart of the City and the gateway to our fabulous waterfront.”

ABOVE: E-card sent to community leaders and businesses within Moss Point and Jackson County

Columbus Main Street Celebrates 23 Years


Group urged to strive for a better downtown
By Wade H. Leonard

Main Street Columbus celebrated 23 years of existence Wednesday, handing out awards to its supporters and getting some advice from an old friend of the city.

At its annual luncheon, the organization reported the opening of 15 new businesses in downtown Columbus in 2008 and the closing of six; the creation of 50 new jobs and the loss of 11; and eight facade rehabilitations. The organization also noted the downtown area could soon boast 138 upper-floor lofts and apartments — the highest number in the state.

Gregg Mims, who served as Columbus’ chief operations officer from 2001 to 2006, was the guest speaker. Mims is currently the COO for Fairhope, Ala., near Mobile. Mims was enthusiastic about downtown Columbus and said it acts as a model for downtown refurbishment projects in other cities.

“Y’all are truly the leader in downtown development,” he said. “Not just in Mississippi but in the Southeast.”

Mims encouraged the assembled body not to rest on its laurels, but to continue to strive to make downtown Columbus even better.

“So goes your downtown, so goes your community,” he said. “You need to redouble your efforts to do bigger and better things in downtown Columbus.”

Mims also told the audience the city needs to get serious about annexation, saying the city needs the tax base from businesses which lay outside the city limits. But overall, Mims said, few other Southern cities have been as successful as Columbus with their downtown projects.

“Just keep doing what you’re doing,” he said.

Awards and honors

Several citizens and business owners were honored during the meeting. Awards were given out in three different categories. The Main Street Design and Renovation awards were awarded to citizens and business owners who, in 2008, refurbished existing buildings or built new structures which enhanced the look and quality of life downtown. The Main Street Service awards were given to individuals and organizations who worked to help Main Street Columbus on its mission to revitalize and improve the downtown area.

However, the most prestigious award of the event, the President’s Award, is handed out to one person a year who best exemplifies the goals and ideals of Main Street. This year, the award was given to longtime Main Street supporter Nell Thomas. Thomas has served the organization since it began in 1985. In her time she has served as manager, board member and volunteer; Thomas was manager of the organization during the very first Market Street Festival.

“I love this organization more than you will ever know,” Thomas said upon receiving the award.

Main Street Design and Renovation awards were handed out to the following recipients:

Ruth and Scott Berry; Fritz Ehrentraunt and Donnie Counts of 509 Tapas Restaurant; Chris Chain of Renovations of Mississippi; Brian and Bubba Huckabee of Huck’s Restaurant; Mark Castleberry of Castle Properties; The Brunini Law Firm; Gloria Herriott of Holly Hocks; Doug and Katherine Phillips of DKR Properties; David and Anne Griffin of Mississippi Coffee House; Becky and Clifton Scott of Granby Properties; and Mary Broussard and Beth and Joe Rogers of J. Broussard’s Restaurant.

Main Street Service awards were handed out to the city of Columbus, Susan Bell, Pat Wheeler, Tjajuan Boswell, Bo Jarrett, Kevin Stafford, David Sanders and Jason Heleniak.

Main Street Columbus is responsible for several high profile Columbus events and activities including the Market Street Festival, Noon Tunes, Afternoon Tunes, The Hitching Lot Farmer’s Market, the Columbus Christmas Parade, Wassail Fest, Columbus Day Celebration, the New Year’s Eve Block Party and Sounds of Summer.

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Mississippi Main Street Association
P.O. Box 55747 | Jackson, MS 39296
Phone: 601/944-0113
Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
District Offices:
P.O. Box 445 | Columbus, MS 39703 | 662- 364-0435
426 Northpointe Lake Dr. | Oxford, MS 38655 | 601-941-5409
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Mississippi Main Street is a program of the National Main Street
Center and the Mississippi Development Authority