Musgrove’s visit is the talk of Natchez area

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 22, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The talk of the town would usually be either football or the chilly temperatures.

But after Gov. Ronnie Musgrove’s announced Jan. 15 that he would return this week to make a major announcement, Natchez is buzzing over what that announcement might be.

As of Wednesday, Musgrove was scheduled to make the announcement at 9:30 a.m. Friday at City Hall. But Musgrove staffers still aren’t saying what the governor will reveal.

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&uot;It’s something he’s been working on since December 30,&uot; said Musgrove spokesperson Lee Ann Mayo, referring to the first of two visits the governor has made to Natchez in less than a month.

During both visits &045; Dec. 30 and Jan. 15 &045; Musgrove met with city and county officials from Adams and surrounding counties to discuss economic development.

And during a public forum Jan. 15 in Natchez, Musgrove briefly mentioned press conferences he has held around the state in recent months to announce small industries &045; 10, maybe 15 jobs each.

He has already pledged a $25,000 grant to fund a study of the strengths of southwest Mississippi and how it should market those strengths to attract industry.

Such signs hold promise for a community that has seen the closing of Johns Manville and Ethyl Petroleum plants and the 2001 near-shutdown of a Titan Tire plant.

Still, there’s no guarantee that the governor’s news will be related to industry.

And local government and economic development officials are saying they also do not know what Musgrove will announce Friday &045; but that they are anxious to find out.

Lynwood Easterling, president of the Adams County Board of Supervisors, asked Musgrove earlier this week, but to no avail.

&uot;And I said, ‘It’s got to be good, because everyone in town is talking about it.’&uot; Easterling said.