JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Restaurants, like the one we visited in downtown Chattanooga, were filled. What's so unusual is that it was mid-week, Wednesday evening and not the weekend. Jackson businessman Mark Fields grew up in Chattanooga, and he admitted it's not the city he remembers.
"As in every city we've been to, one of the themes has been don't turn your back on the river," said Fields.
Much of the success of downtown cChattanooga can be attributed to the city and county and the private sector, coming together to transform the Tennessee River from an industrial waste dump to a vibrant waterfront destination.
Downtown Jackson Partners head, Ben Allen saw no reason why Mississippi's capital city couldn't do the same with the Pearl River.
"We've got something that they don't have, and that's called two creeks running through our city right now," said Allen. "They could be akin to San Antonio, Texas. We've got a beautiful place for a Riverwalk. It's there."
Kim Hilliard is director of Jackson State University's Center for University-Based Development. She said she was impressed with the connectivity, with how almost everything was within walking distance in downtown Chattanooga.
But Hilliard said she was most struck by how clean the city was.
"There wasn't overgrown weeds, blight. You didn't see litter, and so that is one of the simple things that I think that we can address as well, to take advantage of our natural landscapes as well," said Hilliard.
H.A. "Beau" Whittington has been a downtown Jackson-based businessman for 26 years, and he said he has no plans of relocating. This was his third D.J.P.'s tour. He said the pride Chattanoogans have in their city impressed him, and while Whittington acknowledges they've done an excellent job of restoring their city, he said:
"I think Jackson can exceed that. We've already started that. If you look at downtown Jackson, the Convention Complex, Farish Street, Standard Life, King Edward," said Whittington. "When all the things are going in downtown Jackson right now, we've already started that process. All we have to do is build on it."
Allen said he's seeing different divisions of government starting to be receptive to the idea of downtown redevelopment, and he praised Mayor Harvey Johnson for his recent negotiation of the project for the 200-million-dollar Convention Center hotel.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:58 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:58:13 GMT
The votes are in, and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee. With 100% of precincts reporting, Lumumba claims the electionMore >>
The votes are in and preliminary results show Chokwe Lumumba has come out on top in the Democratic Party Runoff Election against Jonathan Lee.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:34 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:34:41 GMT
NOTE: Photos and videos will be added to this story later in the evening. The Walthall County Sheriffs Department along with The Humane Society of the United States are in the process of raiding a puppyMore >>
Among the dogs, many are dead, and skeletal remains were mixed with living animals in small, dark, filthy enclosures.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:21:59 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
James Hutto, accused of capital murder in the beating death of 81-year-old Ethel Winstead Simpson of Clinton, expressed anger over certain evidence in court Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 2:15 PM EDT2013-05-21 18:15:12 GMT
The two men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's democratic primary runoff. On the WLBT 6pm report, we talkedMore >>
The two leading men battling for the chance to become Jackson's next mayor campaigned into the night as voters prepared to go to the polls for Tuesday's Democratic Primary runoff.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 21:48:55 GMT
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday. The brunt of the action will stay northMore >>
The storm system from Oklahoma is moving eastward Tuesday night. A Tornado Watch is in effect for Humphreys, Attala and Holmes counties until 10 p.m. Tuesday.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:35:19 GMT
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue, IRS security of conservative groups like the tea party. We found some 20-25More >>
The Mississippi Tea Party carried a nationwide protest of the IRS to the streets of downtown Jackson at high noon. The issue is IRS security of conservative groups like the Tea Party. More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 11:48 PM EDT2013-05-21 03:48:15 GMT
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.A witness told police that the four girls, ages 7, 5, 3 and 1, had been in the same dirtyMore >>
A woman has been arrested after she allegedly locked her four young daughters out of their home for days at a time.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:35 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:35:44 GMT
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from missing to wanted during their 2012 searchMore >>
Linda Gale Reed is accused of stealing over $20,000 from her employer in Copiah County, Moore Fabrication. That's what led investigators to change her status from "missing" to "wanted" during their 2012 search following her disappearance.More >>
Tuesday, May 21 2013 1:41 PM EDT2013-05-21 17:41:07 GMT
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night. Shortly before 7 p.m., two male suspects entered the T-Mobile store at 4924 I-55 north. They robbedMore >>
The Jackson Police Department is searching for two men who robbed a cell phone store Monday night.More >>
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