Tag Archive for: Tupelo MS

NEMiss.News BNA Bank Plaza ribbon cutting, Tupelo MS 11-16-22.


Officers and board members of BNA Bank were joined in Tupelo this morning by more than 200 officials, business people and others.

The occasion was the grand opening of BNA Bank Plaza on E. Main St. in downtown Tupelo.

The 20,000 square-foot structure houses BNA Bank‘s third Lee County location and includes a Tupelo River coffee shop off the main lobby.
The Phelps Dunbar regional law firm occupies the second floor of BNA Bank Plaza.

The new bank building is in the heart of downtown Tupelo, next to both the Fairpark District and the long established Tupelo businesses west of Front Street.

BNA Bank is owned by Mississippi investors.

It’s headquarters are in downtown New Albany, where the have been located for more than a century.

More about BNA Bank Plaza. 

NEMiss.News BNA Bank Plaza, Tupelo



BNA Bank will celebrate the grand opening of its newest location, BNA Bank Plaza in Tupelo, with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16.

The new BNA Bank Plaza is located at 105 East Main Street in downtown Tupelo.

“We are excited to expand in the Tupelo and Lee County market and strengthen our presence here with a new user-friendly style of bank lobby,” said BNA Bank CEO James R. Collins. “With Tupelo River Coffee located in our more open format lobby, our staff can offer customers hands-on assistance with our digital products and services. This level of in-person customer service reinforces our brand of excellence in ‘relationship banking,’ for which we are known.”

NEMiss.News Tupelo City Hall

The white-domed Tupelo City Hall is about 175 yards across Main St. from BNA Bank Plaza.

The BNA Bank Plaza is a high visibility location on Main Street in the heart of downtown Tupelo. It is within walking distance of Tupelo City Hall, the Hilton Garden Inn, and the arena that serves as the venue for many regional entertainment events.

In sight from BNA Bank Plaza are the many restaurants, retail stores and professional offices operating in the dozens of new structures built in recent years in the Fairpark District east of Front Street.

And, immediately west of BNA Bank Plaza, across Front St., are the iconic Tupelo Hardware, Reed’s Department Store and hundreds of other long-established downtown Tupelo businesses.

“We are a local Northeast Mississippi bank, and as a business and as residents who live here, we understand and value the importance of local business,” said Carter Naugher, President of BNA Lee County Banking. “During the pandemic so many local businesses struggled, especially locally-owned businesses. The timing of our grand opening works out perfectly for us to show our support and belief in the power of local shopping.”

BNA Bank Plaza is the institution’s third location in Lee County, joining the Belden and Barnes Crossing locations, which opened in 2007 and 2014 respectively.

BNA Bank Plaza is the location of Phelps Dunbar, the regional law firm, which occupies a large suite of offices on the second floor of BNA Bank Plaza.

NEMiss.News Tupelo Hardware Store

Iconic Tupelo hardware is directly across Front St., from BNA Bank Plaza

The new BNA Bank Plaza also features a rooftop terrace with stunning views of all of downtown Tupelo.

BNA Bank, established in 1896, is a state-chartered bank with approximately $710 million in assets. It is one of the few “A” rated banks by Weiss Bank Rating Services and was inducted into the Seifried and Brew Top 15th percentile of community banks. BNA has eight locations in Union and Lee counties and one loan production office in Lafayette County.

The BNA Bank Plaza staff will be composed of both local bank veterans and tech savvy Universal Bankers, who are able to assist each customer personally with their banking needs. Carter Naugher now has his office in BNA Bank Plaza, along with Drew Dodds, Vice President of Business Development; Libby Adams, Senior Universal Banker; Bella Vance, Marketing Coordinator and Universal Banker; Morgan Posey, Loan Assistant and Bailey Hanson, Universal Banker.

To celebrate the opening of BNA Bank Plaza, the bank is hosting contests that include a little over $5,000 in cash prizes for downtown Tupelo shopping and dining.

Again, the grand opening of BNA Bank Plaza at 105 East Main Street in downtown Tupelo will be Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 10 a.m.


For bank information and contest registration: https://bnabankplaza.com/

BNA Bank Plaza groundbreaking in September, 2021: https://newalbanyunionco.com/bna-bank-breaks-ground-on-plaza-downtown-tupelo/


NEMiss.News John Smith, Jr., JSJ Trucking


FedEx Ground has selected JSJ Trucking, Inc. as one of 20 regional Entrepreneur of the Year winners from among more than 6,000 small businesses that provide contracted package pickup, delivery and transportation services to businesses and residences.

Entrepreneur of the Year winners are recognized by FedEx Ground for valuing safety above all,
delivering excellent customer service, building a team of dedicated and engaged employees, and
conducting responsible operations during the fiscal year that ended May 31, 2022.

JSJ Trucking, Inc. has been operating for more than 20 years and was founded by President John Smith, Jr.

“It all comes down to our people,” says John Smith Jr., President of JSJ Trucking Inc. “None of this would be possible without their safe, hard work.”

JSJ Trucking is a big proponent of the yearly state Trucking Driving Championships (TDC). Smith is a FedEx Ace, a 10-time state champ and a three-time national champion. In 2016, he was named
Mississippi Trucking Association’s Driver of the Year.

JSJ Trucking, Inc. will join 19 other regional winners in Pittsburgh, the headquarters of FedEx Ground, on October 18 for a ceremony during which they will be recognized and three overall company winners announced.

“These exemplary companies have successfully navigated changing economic and market dynamics while placing their highest priority on safety and exceptional service to FedEx Ground customers,” said Paul Melander, Senior Vice President of Safety & Transportation, FedEx Ground. “As customer and consumer expectations continue to evolve, we are grateful for their outstanding efforts and are proud to recognize this year’s regional Entrepreneur of the Year winners!”

NEMiss.News Chris Copeland arrested in holdup shooting death


A man murdered the store clerk in the Chevron convenience store at Cliff Gookin and South Thomas St. in Tupelo Sunday morning. A spokesman for the Tupelo Police department said the clerk was shot in the head during a holdup attempt. The incident occurred about 9:30 a.m.

The shooting victim was taken to North Mississippi Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Tupelo Police Chief John Quarka said Chris Copeland, age 26, was arrested by Tupelo officers about four hours later at a Moore Avenue address.

It is not yet clear what charges Copeland will face at his arraignment.

The name of the murder victim has not been released.

Follow the link to the WTVA story for further information:  WTVA link to holdup shooting death


NEMiss.News Magnolia Soap opening

Tupelo, MS  — Magnolia Soap & Bath, which offers plant-based bath and beauty products, is pleased to announce the opening of its second location in Tupelo. The new store is located at 1667 North Coley Road and is in the recently opened shopping center that also houses Brooks Grocery.

 “Our store in the Mall at Barnes Crossing has been very successful and we plan to continue our presence there, but the growth on this side of town prompted us to develop a second location for those who want to pull right up to the store and get in and out quickly,” said Magnolia owner Magen Bynum.

 Magnolia offers a wide variety of bath items as well as laundry soap, pet care products, and candles, all made by hand in each local store. The products are plant-based and chemical-free, making them gentle on skin.

 Founded in 2019 by Bynum, Magnolia has grown quickly from its single location in New Albany. Now the company includes 24 stores located as far south as Destin, Florida and as far north as St. Charles, Illinois.

 The new Tupelo location is open from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday – Friday, and 10:00 – 5:00 on Saturday.

 For more information, visit www.magnoliasoapandbath.com.

Northeast MS news Tupelo orders social distancing


BY: Kendall C. Stancil

The Tupelo City Council held its first meeting of 2022 on Tuesday, January 4. It was a short meeting.

Mayor Todd Jordan thanked the Downtown Main Street organization and the Tupelo Tourism Bureau for a great New Year’s Eve event. The mayor asked Neal McCoy with the Tourism and Bureau office to speak to the board.

McCoy told the board that people are traveling to Tupelo, and they have been tracking the hotel bookings over the past couple of years. The Tourism Bureau has been seeing an increase over the past year even with COVID pandemic. He said Tupelo hotels have seen increases in both weekday and weekend bookings. McCoy said it means people are coming to Tupelo not only for leisure but also for business. During 2021 12the city collected over $5 million in tourism taxes.

The City Council worked on budget amendments for 2022. Amendments included the Executive Department which had a $56,560 increase for moving a grant writer to a full-time employee position. The second amendment was a decrease of $56,560 in the Finance Department budget which transferred funds from contracts under finance to personnel costs in the mayor’s budget.

Last was an amendment increasing the 2022 budget for equipment  by $20,500.

In another matter Tupelo Municipal Court asked the board to approve the schedule of fines, fees and bail bonds. It is required that the fee schedule be updated and presented to the City Council for review and approval every year. The council approved the new municipal court schedule.

City Attorney Ben Logan proposed a resolution in support of legislation to name portions of Interstate 22 as the Korean War Veterans Highway and Vietnam Veterans Highway. The Council approved Logan’s request.

District 19  State Representative Randy Boyd of Itawamba County will introduce the legislation in the 2020 session of the Mississippi legislature. The legislation will designate a portion of Interstate 22 beginning at exit 81 down to exit 87. This section would be renamed Korean War Veterans highway. Beginning at exit 87 and continuing to exit 94 would be renamed Vietnam Veterans way. It was believed the action could increase visits to the city’s Veterans Memorial Park which is located off exit 87 on Veterans Blvd.

Due to family illness Ward 4 Councilwoman Nettie Davis was not present for the January 4 meeting.

The next meeting of the council will be at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, at Tupelo City Hall.

Video of full meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=6IQ4jWOrDj8

NEMioss.News Holley Retirement from MDOT


December 30, 2021 TUPELO, MISS. – After almost 28 years of dedicated service, Mark Holley is retiring from the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) December 31.

Holley’s career with MDOT started in 1993, when he took a position at the Foxworth project office in District 7. He was transferred to the District 1 Materials Lab in 1996. Over the past eight years, Holley worked as an Assistant Materials Engineer, Project Engineer at the Aberdeen Project Office, Assistant Materials Engineer (a second time), Assistant Maintenance Engineer, District Maintenance Engineer and District Engineer.

Mark took over as District 1 Engineer in 2013. During his time in that position he oversaw several important transportation projects, such as the construction of Corridor V and the 4-lane expansion of U.S. Highway 15 in Pontotoc County.

Mark is a graduate of Tremont High School.  He attended Itawamba Community College and received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at Mississippi State University.

He is married to Kristin and has three daughters, Hannah, Mallory and Rylie.

MDOT would like to thank Mark Holley for his many years of service to the state of Mississippi, and wish him well in his retirement.

Matt Dunn, who serves at the District Maintenance Engineer will take over as District 1 Engineer after the first of the year.

Northeast MS news Tupelo orders social distancing


A new Chief of Police for Tupelo was approved by the City Council at its December 7, 2021 meeting.

John Quaka, a veteran Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent with 26 years of experience, was appointed to the job by Tupelo Mayor Todd Jordan. The mayor told the council that he selected Quaka after an extensive search. There were 28 applicants for the position. Interviews were done, and references and records were checked. The mayor was advised in the search by a diverse committee of citizens.

Quaka’s appointment was unanimously approved by the city council. He is married with three children and has lived in Tupelo for 20 years.

NEMiss.News John Quaka, Tupelo Police Chief

John Quaka approved as new Tupelo Police Chief

In comments following his approval, Quaka thanked the mayor and council for the opportunity. “I am so excited and terrified at the exact same moment, because I understand the responsibility this holds,” said Quaka.

The Tupelo council voted unanimously to increase the salary of the mayor and members of the council. The raise will not take effect until after the next city elections in 2025. The mayor’s salary would then be increased from $105,000 annually to $125,000. Salary of city council members would increase to $23,000, an increase of three thousand dollars annually.

Other business at the Dec. 7 meeting included these appointments:

Mark Williams was appointed to the Tupelo Planning Committee, representing Ward 6. Williams is Chief Operations Officer and Senior Vice President of Renasant Bank.

Darrell Marcele was appointed to a four year term on the BancorpSouth Arena Commission. Marcele is a cinematographer and multimedia engineer. He owns MRI Productions and Entertainment, based in Tupelo.


NEMiss.News Tupelo Mayor Todd Jordan



During remarks at the Nov. 16 meeting of the Tupelo City Council, Mayor Todd Jordan said, “Things seem to be booming in Tupelo.”

Jordan said business appeared to be strong when he drove through downtown Tupelo the prior Saturday. Jordan commended Lucia Randle, the recently appointed Tupelo Main Street Director, for her work in promoting downtown Tupelo and keeping it a vigorous retail center. “We have a lot to be thankful for,” the mayor said.

Nettie Davis, City Council Member for Ward 4, reminded everyone of the Thanksgiving community service scheduled for the following day at the Link Center.

Kim Hanna, the city’s Chief Financial Officer asked for permission to open a bank account for deposit of tax money for the Thoroughfare Fund. The council approved unanimously. Hanna also recommended early payoff of a debt to Bank of America, which she said would save the city $339,000 per year in interest payments. It would free up that amount to be used for other expenses paid from the city’s general fund. The early payoff was unanimously approved.

Alex Farned, Director of the Tupelo Parks and Recreation Department, spoke about the city’s plans to build a skate park. Farned told the board, “This was the second time we bid out the skate park project. Once again our lowest bid was for around $349,000 and they went up from there.” Farned asked the board to reject the bids and said he would get back to work on ways to make the skate park a reality including looking for other sources of funds. The board approved rejecting the skate park bids and for Farned to explore other options.

Board President Buddy Palmer told the council it needed to consider final approval of exemption from ad valorem taxes for three Leggett & Platt components within the city. City Attorney Ben Logan said the state tax commission and the Lee County board had approved the exemptions and recommended the city council give the Leggett & Platt requests final approval, which it did. Logan said the property exempted had a value in excess of $700,000.

The city council then went into a closed executive session to consider economic development matters.

Click link for video of Tupelo City Council Nov. 16 meeting: https://youtu.be/oZzpc0Yb2zw

NEMiss.News "Smitty" Harris & Tap Code chart


U.S. Congressman Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) will host a ceremony naming the Tupelo Post Office after Colonel Carlyle “Smitty” Harris. Col. Harris is a Vietnam War veteran who was held prisoner for eight years after his F-105 was shot down over North Vietnam on April 4, 1965.

While imprisoned, Harris taught other prisoners Tap Code  – an old long unused World War II method of communication through tapping on a common water pipe.

Speakers: U.S. Congressman Trent Kelly, Col. Carlyle “Smitty” Harris, USAF, Ret., LTC Michael C. Pettigrew, U.S. Army, Ret., Vettra Dobbs, Acting MPOO, North Mississippi, Thad Childress, Tupelo, Mississippi, Postmaster, June Martindale, AL/MS District Manager, Customer Service & Sales, and Lewis Kindle IV, Manager, Customer Relations, AL/MS District.

When: Friday, November 19, 2021, 2:00 p.m.

Where: 500 West Main Street, Tupelo, Mississippi

*Upon conclusion of the ceremony, there will be an opportunity for interviews.

TAP CODE: https://newalbanyunionco.com/harris-former-vietnam-pow-speaks-at-the-museum-nov-20/ 


NEMiss.News Harville and Mayor Jordan


A Tupelo police officer with 23 years of law enforcement experience was honored at the Tupelo City Council meeting Tuesday evening, Nov. 2.

Sergeant David Harville was recognized as Mississippi Crime Stopper of the Year. The honor was presented by Tupelo Mayor Todd Jordan.

Harville has been with the Tupelo Police Department (TPD) since July 1999. Before joining the TPD, Harville worked in law enforcement in Alcorn and Prentiss Counties for about a year and a half. He is Northeast Mississippi Crime Stoppers Coordinator and is a certified instructor of the international Crisis Intervention Team (CIT).

The Tupelo City Council conducted routine business including approving minutes of its prior meetings and paying the bills.

The council approved the use of special police details as needed at the Bancorp South Arena and at the Barnes Crossing Mall.

A number of re-appointments and new appointments to several commissions and boards were approved including:

  • Rick Faucette was re-appointed to the Three Rivers Solid Waste Management Authority.
  • Randy Hanlon, Jay Scruggs and Richard Rhudy were re-appointed to the Tupelo License Commission.
  • Bentley Nolan was appointed to the Tupelo Planning Committee.
  • Mathew Freeman, pastor of the Mt. Nebo CME Church, was appointed to the Police Advisory Board.

In other business the Tupelo council approved change orders to two drainage projects at Ballard Park.

The next meeting of the Tupelo City Council will be Tuesday, November 16, 6 p.m., at Tupelo City Hall.

Share your questions or comments about this article publicly via the Comments section below.

NEMiss.News Montford Point Marines, 2017


TUPELO – On Saturday, October 30, U.S. Congressman Trent Kelly will award the Congressional Gold Medal to the family of the late World War II Veteran Embra Jackson, Sr. Mr. Jackson was among the first of more than 20,000 African Americans who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. The Congressional Gold Medal is the nation’s highest civilian honor.

When:  4:30

Where: First United Methodist Church in Wesley Hall, 412 West Main Street, Tupelo, MS, 38804

NEMiss.News Montford Point Marines

A group of Montford Point volunteers in their dress uniforms

Who were the Montford Point Marines?: https://daily.jstor.org/who-were-the-montford-point-marines/

Embra Jackson, Sr. entry in Congressional Recordhttps://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2021/8/13/extensions-of-remarks-section/article/e891-4