From community entertainment to business and education, there was a lot of good news to celebrate last week from throughout Northeast Mississippi. Let’s look at some of the highlights from last week as reported by staff writers Dennis Seid and Blake Alsup.

• Houston wins grant to present the Levitt AMP Houston Music Series — The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation named Houston as one of 20 small to mid-sized towns and cities across America to win a Levitt AMP Grant Award of $25K in matching funds to present a free concert series. The Chickasaw Development Foundation (CDF), in association with Potter’s House submitted the proposal.

The three goals of the Levitt AMP awards are to amplify community pride and the city’s unique character; enrich lives through the power of free, live music; and illustrate the importance of vibrant public places.

The first Levitt AMP Houston Music Series will create an inclusive, music-filled gathering space within the scenic 10-acre Legion Park. Situated just blocks away from the city’s historic square, the upcoming series will highlight the potential of the underused local green space, while bringing momentum to local efforts to energize the city’s economy through strategic cultural initiatives.

• Two longtime Northeast Mississippi accounting firms merge — With more than 200 years of combined experience, the eight shareholders in Nail McKinney added another experienced hand recently.

A Tupelo-based accounting firm, Nail McKinney Professional Association began in June of 1951. Judson L. Vance & Company PA began in 1991, but Vance – who has been an accountant for 40 years – practiced with other local public firms before starting his own firm. Last week, Vance officially joined Nail McKinney.

The two firms provided similar services with accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and benefits and tax preparation and planning services, but Nail McKinney also offers assurance services (audits, reviews, compilations, financial statements). And while the services and how they’re delivered have changed over the years, Nail McKinney is structured to endure another 70 years or more.

• IAHS student Graden Jarrell earns perfect ACT score – Northeast Mississippi student Graden Jarrell recently learned that he earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT.

Jarrell, 17, is an Amory native and junior at Itawamba Agricultural High School. He took the ACT in October and got the results back in mid-December. It was his second time taking the test. He scored a 34 the first time.

Earning a perfect score is no small feat. Less than half of 1% of test-takers earn a score of 36. Just 4,879 out of 1.8 million U.S. high school students in the class of 2019 who took the exam earned a perfect score, according to ACT CEO Marten Roorda.

• Daily Journal reaches online milestone — 2019 was a big year for our company online, as we hit record numbers for our digital product. In the last year, our overall page views were up 41%, we increased our users by 30% overall, and the visits to our site increased 50%.

More than 45,000 have downloaded our mobile app, where you can get the latest headlines throughout the day. Follow the latest from our team online at djournal. com, on Twitter (@djournalnow), Facebook, and on our mobile app.

Those are just a few of the great things that took place in our community last week, but we know there will be plenty more to share with you.

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