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WTOK spotlights growth in Neshoba County

By Staff
Nov. 18, 2001
WTOK-TV's reports from Philadelphia this week spotlight the tremendous growth and development of what once was a small, poor enclave in the red clay hills of rural Neshoba County.
Undergirded by the successes of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, the reports focused on a variety of issues and projects underway just a short drive north of Meridian. Philadelphia has become a happening place with even more potential for future development.
Herb Stott, an avid reader of The Meridian Star, kept up with WTOK's reports and furnished a copy of an e-mail he sent to the TV station's John Johnson. He compared "relative" economic improvement in Neshoba County with Lauderdale County and the state as a whole.
Here are three of Stott's key findings relative to measuring quality of life during the decade of the 1990s:
Number of residents employed Neshoba County, up 39.7 percent; Lauderdale County, up 3.7 percent; Mississippi, up 14.4 percent.
Per capita income Neshoba County, up 176 percent; Lauderdale County up 49.8 percent; Mississippi, up 156.7 percent.
Average wage per job Neshoba County, up 149.2 percent; Lauderdale County, up 130.1 percent; Mississippi, up 138.1 percent.
Stott pointed out some "value relationships" that are instructive in evaluating how Lauderdale County and the state are doing as compared with Neshoba County.
The short answer  Neshoba is beating the pants off Lauderdale and the state.
I'm happy to see Neshoba County progressing, as we all should be. Rather than looking at the data negatively, Stott's research should lift Lauderdale and Meridian spirits with the recognition that growth and development could also happen here.
Mississippi Business Journal
publisher sets Meridian visit
The East Mississippi Business Development Corp. has invited the publisher of Mississippi's premier business newspaper to Meridian on Dec. 11 for a "Business Before Hours" appearance. Joe Jones is a CPA who has worked throughout his professional career to help businesses solve problems related to operations, growth, staffing and training, product and service delivery, regulation, taxes and a host of other meaningful issues. In short, he has lived the life with business successes and failures, making his views even more appropriate for the real life world in which all businesses exist.
He has also developed the Mississippi Business Journal into a legitimate source of business news with deep insights into economic trends and solid reporting on the character of Mississippians whose creativity and ingenuity make our state such a great place to do business.
The Mississippi Business Journal offers much more insightful coverage than some other publications that use a sophomoric cheerleading approach that reveals a lack of understanding or appreciation of how real business works in the real world.
Mississippi business people say they need useful information they can translate into more efficient operations, higher sales, product advancements or new ways to attract and retain good employees. They say they want facts, which, frankly, are much more valuable than a shallow, flashy, feel-good feature designed to boost someone's image or ego. Business news should reflect how trends and decisions affect the lives of working Mississippians struggling to build a secure financial future.
Jones is a positive thinker and experienced publisher who believes content matters. He also believes deeply in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People program pioneered by Stephen Covey and how identifying problems, communicating with each other and working together on solutions can lead a community forward.
Having worked as editor of the Mississippi Business Journal under Joe's leadership, I have a special appreciation for what he's done to enhance coverage of Mississippi business news. I also appreciate the willingness of EMBDC to bring him to Meridian, where his remarks should be of considerable interest.
Buddy Bynum is editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3213, or e-mail him at