Amanda Sexton Ferguson No Comments

Sumners Grant pays out $118M

By Amanda Sexton Ferguson
Editor and Publisher
The Winona Times

WINONA — Since it was formed in 1980, the E.H. Sumners Foundation has paid out more than $118 million to educate residents of Attala, Carroll, Choctaw, Montgomery and Webster counties.

John Sumner, retired attorney for the foundation, said the current payout for tuition for students to attend five Mississippi institutions for higher learning has reached a new milestone for the foundation.

“The foundation has been in existence for more than 40 years,” Sumner said. “This is the most [the payout] has ever been.”

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Porter Foster No Comments

Aspire MS Ackerman Team

Most people know what makes their hometown great, but they sometimes find it hard to communicate that to others. An outreach from the Mississippi Development Authority is helping communities do just that, and it’s called Aspire Mississippi.


Emma Moffett No Comments

Business Booms in Small-town Mississippi

By: Emma Moffett

Amid the humidity of Mississippi in July, hundreds of shoppers and tourists gather in French Camp. Located next to the Natchez Trace is Barlow Blue, a boutique that despite its quaint appearance draws hundreds of shoppers to its annual, “Christmas in July,” sale.

Owner Tonya Barlow never imagined her business would evolve from being housed out of her back-bedroom to the 1,400 square foot building she currently works out of. However, after 17 years of hard work, Barlow has made a name for herself not only in Mississippi but also all over the world.

Barlow is one of many business owners who proves it is not only possible but also profitable to build a business in small-town Mississippi.

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Emma Moffett No Comments

Barlow Blue: From Back Bedroom to Booming Buisness

Located along the Natchez Trace in French Camp, Mississippi is Barlow Blue. A one of a kind boutique that encapsulates southern charm and hospitality.

Barlow Blue has a devoted online fan base of 19,000 Facebook followers and is well known in the South for its“Christmas in July”sale and open house sale at Christmas. The store ships across the United States, only four states short from having shipped to all 50 states, and ships internationally. One of the farthest places Barlow Blue has shipped is to Sweden.

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Emma Moffett No Comments

Main Street Fabrics brings options to small towns

Christie O’Kelley made her passion a reality when she opened her business Main Street Fabrics 29 years ago in downtown Ackerman, Mississippi.

O’Kelley learned to sew from her mother and has always been passionate about the art of sewing. When she was in high school, O’Kelley dreamed of owning her own fabric store after having worked in the fabric department at Ben Franklin in Ackerman.

When O’Kelley’s family moved back to Ackerman after living in the Delta for many years, the lady she worked in high school asked if she still wanted to run a fabric store since she was closing down her business and selling her merchandise. O’Kelley already had plans drawn up for a potential store and seized the opportunity to pursue her dream.

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Emma Moffett No Comments

Noxubee Hills Trail System

The Noxubee Hills Trail System in located in the Ackerman Unit of the Tombigbee National Forest is overlooked, underused and one of the best mountain biking trails in Mississippi.

This trail system has been in the works since 2000 under the supervision of District Ranger Baswell. After 18 years, the trail system now has approximately 30 miles of volunteer built mountain biking and hiking trails. The Noxubee Hills Trail System offers detailed maps and trail descriptions to visitors, so people hiking or biking on the trails can easily navigate around the system. This trail system includes at least two dozen bridges and many board walks around the lake.

The majority of these single-track trails were designed by trail manager Charlotte Faquay, her husband, Hugh Ector, Betty Ector and Mike Murphey, the previous owner of The Bicycle Shop in Starkville. Faquay spearheaded the majority of the projects and work done on the Noxubee Hills TrailSystem. Through her hard work and dedication, Faquay has earned the nick name of “Lady Nox.”

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