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TUPELO • About 20 people were shopping inside the Sears store at The Mall at Barnes Crossing around lunchtime on Tuesday, with a handful looking at shoes and some checking out apparel. Others were eyeballing some of the famous Craftsman tools, while a few more stood in a line to make purchases.

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Justin Brock is senior vice president of Brock and Credille Insurance, owner of JC Brock LLC and chairman of Medicare Coach. LLC. He runs Brock and Credille's sales and marketing and trains more than 900 Medicare insurance specialists nationwide. A U.S. Marine for eight years before returnin…

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Tiffany Stone: A universal banker for BankPlus, Stone opens checking accounts, does teller transactions and consumer loans, manages a branch, etc. She has more than a decade of banking experience. She was Mrs. Mississippi 2017, and is active with Catch Kids, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Bo…

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Lindsey Hines is Saltillo Main Street Director, a position she's had for three years. A self-described advocate for the city, she works with city leaders and plans events that enhance the quality of life in Saltillo. Active in the Saltillo Jr. Women's Club and Saltillo Events Committee among…

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Chasity Jernigan is a fitness influencer, body positive motivator and fitness and fashion blogger whose Goa is to "encourage other plus-size women to embrace fitness and work out because they love their body not because they hate their body." She is active in the community and also serves al…

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Daniel Mejia has been pastor at Soma campus for The Orchard for six years and also is the founder of Liga de Futbol en Tupelo, a soccer league for adults in Tupelo. He is national coordinator and founder for Fundacion Ecuatoriana Elohim and active in several organizations in his native Ecuad…

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Braden Bishop teaches broadcast journalism and economics at Tupelo High School and also serves as sports information director and a game administrator. He leads students in award-winning marketing efforts. A two-time Teacher of Distinction and recipient of several teaching awards throughout …

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Anthony Golding is principal of Houlka Attendance Center, a school of 500 students. He taught at Tupelo Middle School for four years before being named to the post in July 2017. The was named three times as a Tupelo Public Schools Teacher of Distinction. He also is a recipient of a Pi Kappa …

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Bill Dickerson is a relationship officer with Renasant Bank. Deeply involved with the Community Development Foundation, Dickerson is a CDF ambassador, a member the the Tupelo Young Professionals and a participant in the CDF's annual Reach campaign. He's served with the Boys and Girls Club, B…

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Belle Naugher is executive director of the Gumtree Museum of Art and the Gumtree Festival. This is the third year she's been nominated for Top 40 under 40. She's a founding member of Tupelo Rocks and the "Off the Wall" downtown mural projects. Volunteers in several organizations, including t…

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Albine Bennett is director of communications for the CREATE Foundation, where she also is the coordinator of the annual Imagine the Possibilities Career Expo. She is involved in several community nonprofit organizations and volunteers for many other groups. She is a Top 40 under 40 finalist …

Q. We are debt-free except for our home, and we have six months of expenses set aside in our emergency fund. Every time we do our monthly budget, we set aside a small amount of personal spending money for us both. Do you see anything wrong with this?

Q. I follow your advice and live on a budget, but it’s really hard to save up for a down payment on a house because property is so expensive here in New York. My family in Indiana says I should buy a cheap property there, then fix it up and sell it to get the money I need. I’m not sure how I…

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TUPELO – Smart manufacturing may be the operational process of the future, and businesses may have to become accustomed to the blurred lines between technology and industry and work with communities to create a highly skilled workforce through early, specialized education.

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STARKVILLE • Mississippi State University experts see a positive outlook for the state’s beef cattle industry, with prices at profitable levels and herd numbers up.

Q. My husband started his own one-man, small business as a handyman a little less than a year ago. He has netted $17,000 in that time, but the business has about $13,000 worth of debt. We’ve always kept personal finances and business separate, but what would you think about us selling one of…

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TUPELO • Chris Moody oversees what he terms “the biggest body shop in town” with his wife, Tina, and son, Blake, at Moody’s Collision & Restoration in Tupelo.

I have a pretty good idea of how food trucks felt after they found out that not only has the city resurrected talk of a food truck ordinance, it could be a draconian monster everyone feared and loathed. So, with apologies to Pink Floyd, get the song in your head and think about this to the t…

Q. I’m stuck in a dead-end job, and I only have a high school diploma. I’ve never minded long hours and hard work, but I’ve begun to realize I need to have a better career, so I can spend more time with my kids. I feel like I’m missing out on their lives, because I work 65 to 70 hours every …

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TUPELO • Ron Wanek is the founder and chairman of the world’s largest furniture manufacturer and retailer, Ashley Furniture Industries. With sales topping $8 billion, Wanek’s company has been an unqualified success.

Q. I have about $36,000 in debt, not including my house. Of that amount, $30,000 is a truck that’s worth about what I owe on it, and the other $6,000 is student loan debt. I make $50,000 a year. I also have 24 EE bonds that were gifted to me that haven’t fully matured. Right now, they’re wor…

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