Daily Journal editor Rod Guajardo joins Derek and guest host Emma Kent to look back at the top stories in Tupelo and Northeast Mississippi for 2015. The Daily Journal’s annual year-in-review also was featured in Sunday’s newspaper.
Guest host Emma Kent joins Derek and talks about “Masterpiece Fridays,” a pilot program launched recently at Plantersville Middle (2:35). Students focus on different skills like carpentry, catering, gardening and landscaping in a program designed to help eighth-grade students learn life and career skills. Also on today’s show, Daily Journal religion reporter Riley Manning (6:21) details plans for Christmas services at Tupelo churches, as well as efforts to restore First Christian Church from the April 2014 tornado. Food editor Ginna Parsons (13:20) discusses this week’s food section, M. Scott Morris (21:33) reviews “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and Derek tells us about this week’s Scene section (28:50).
Tupelo rap duo Rae Sremmurd held its first Sremm Fest over the weekend, featuring a concert at the BancorpSouth Arena and barbecue at Ballard Park. Guest host Lauren Wood (3:15) photographed the concert on Saturday night and describes the energy inside the venue. Also on today’s show, Daily Journal Capitol Bureau Chief Bobby Harrison (9:15) tells Lauren and Derek about the Mississippi Economic Council’s plan to improve the state’s roads and bridges, religion reporter Riley Manning (16:17) discusses the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, and the hosts look at highlights from last week’s crime reports (20:50).
Greg Pirkle, chairman of the Major Thoroughfare Program, joins Derek and Brad (3:22) to outline the latest plans for the program that uses a special tax levy to improve Tupelo’s major roads. The public will vote in May on whether to extend the program for its sixth phase, and Pirkle speaks about the projects that would be funded, as well as a new initiative to use some of the money for maintenance. Also on today’s show, Emma Kent (19:52) tells us about the latest school state test scores, and Riley Manning (26:55) previews this weekend’s SremmFest featuring renowned local rap duo Rae Sremmurd. M. Scott Morris (31:01) also reviews the movie “Heart of the Sea.”
A planned commercial development could open up West Main Street across from Ballard Park to restaurants and other retail businesses. The City Council discussed the development at Tuesday’s meeting and approved a new traffic light near it. Daily Journal reporter William Moore (8:05) joins Derek and Brad to discuss the plans. Also on today’s show, Daily Journal reporter Zack Orsborn (15:12) discusses his Sunday story about how people are handling grief during the holidays, and Capitol Bureau Chief Bobby Harrison (24:53) outlines efforts to develop next year’s state budget. Food editor Ginna Parsons (31:02) talks about this week’s food section — Symphony brownies and a barbecue restaurant in Fulton.
The controversy surrounding the state College Board has died down since last spring’s Dan Jones decision. However, some Legislators say they still plan to introduce bills that could strip the Board of some of its powers and instead create individual boards to oversee personnel decisions at each of the state’s four research universities. Daily Journal Capitol Bureau Chief Bobby Harrison (3:48) wrote about this in Saturday’s paper and joins Derek and guest host Lauren Wood for more. Also on today’s show, Lauren and religion reporter Riley Manning (8:29) discuss a story-photo package they did about Hanukkah. Derek (12:44) also breaks down last week’s wacky crime reports.
Ellie Turner and Lauren Wood join Brad and Derek to talk about the newest issue of Mud & Magnolias magazine (6:29). Topics include a tintype photographer in Oxford and decorating advice from Aspen Bay in Starkville. Also on today’s show, Daily Journal chief photographer Thomas Wells (18:57) discusses his photo essay on the creation of a Tupelo Community Theatre set, M. Scott Morris (25:01) reviews “Chi-Raq,” and Derek (33:04) breaks down the weekend entertainment scene.
Tupelo School District Superintendent Gearl Loden and Executive Director of Operations Andy Cantrell (6:35) join Brad and guest host Emma Kent to provide an update on the projects that have flowed from the district’s April bond issue. Loden also spoke about TPSD Administrator of the Year Corlis Curry, as well as about Loden’s goals and visions for the district. Also on today’s show, Oxford Citizen reporter Errol Castens (16:32) provides an update on a controversial Lafayette County/Oxford/Ole Miss program that uses confidential informants for drug cases. Emma (21:09) tells us about a new mentoring program in Tupelo, and food editor Ginna Parsons (26:05) discusses this week’s food section.
Lee County last week received designation as an Excel By 5 certified community, capping a three-year effort. Education reporter Emma Kent (8:04) joins Derek and Brad to describe the significance of this early childhood education recognition. Also on today’s show, Daily Journal Capitol Bureau Chief Bobby Harrison (14:45) talks about how the legislature might address the need to improve Mississippi’s roads and bridges, and Brad (21:35) breaks down last week’s crime reports.
Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton joins Brad and Derek to discuss what 2016 holds for neighborhood revitalization projects. Shelton also talks about Friday’s Christmas parade, the Vietnam Replica Wall and citizen committees. Also on today’s show, Zack Orsborn (18:36) breaks down efforts to preserve Mill Village, Ellie Turner (21:50) tells us about Santa’s visit to the Journal next week, M. Scott Morris (26:39) reviews “The Good Dinosaur,” and Derek (31:44) discusses the weekend entertainment scene.