Honda Battle of the Bands, JSU Selling Properties and MSU Walking Path

Jackson State University's Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band is one of eight bands competing in the Honda Battle of the Bands, making its ninth appearance at the event. Photo courtesy JSU

Jackson State University's Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band is one of eight bands competing in the Honda Battle of the Bands, making its ninth appearance at the event. Photo courtesy JSU

More than 1,800 student musicians and dancers from eight college marching bands across the United States will compete in the 17th-annual Honda Battle of the Bands on Jan. 25, 2020, in Atlanta, Ga.

The eight bands participating in the showcase came out of 38 bands that initially chose to participate. Fans voted for their favorite bands, and the four that received the highest number of votes got spots on the lineup. The HBOB committee selected the other four bands.

Honda will award each participating band a $20,000 grant to support their music education program and an all-expenses-paid trip to the showcase.

The participating bands include Jackson State University's Sonic Boom of the South Marching Band; Benedict College's Marching Tiger Band of Distinction; Florida A&M University's Marching 100; Grambling State University's Tiger Marching Band; Hampton University's Marching Force; North Carolina A&T State University's Blue & Gold Marching Machine; Prairie View A&M University's Marching Storm; and Tennessee State University's Aristocrat of Bands.

Tickets for the HBOB Invitational Showcase start at $10 and are available for purchase on the official website. For more information, follow the HBOB Invitational Showcase on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

JSU Selling Surplus Properties to Grow Downtown Jackson

Jackson State University recently announced that it is selling 134 parcels of surplus properties to surrounding homeowners. The university is selling the properties for around $100 to $1,000, with one selling for only $1, a release from JSU says. JSU has sold 49 properties so far, and 85 more will remain on sale through Dec. 31.

Mississippi Senate Bill 2681 allows JSU to "transfer, convey and dispose of certain tax-forfeited real property and any improvements thereon that are in the possession and control of the university." After Dec. 31, the properties "shall revert to the possession and control of the university on Jan. 1, 2020," the bill's language states.

Gov. Phil Bryant signed the legislation earlier this year, and it went into effect on July 1. The Board of Trustees of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning approved the sales on Oct. 17.

MIHL also authorized JSU to work with community development corporation Midtown Partners Inc. to help sell the surplus properties. Properties that don't sell will go to Midtown Partners, the release says.

Potential buyers must be homeowners who live within 0.25 miles of the property they intend to purchase and must provide authenticating documentation. All properties will go back onto the tax roll and will help generate annual revenue for the city of Jackson, the release says.

MSU Commemorates New Walking and Cycling Path

Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum joined Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill and representatives from the city of Starkville and Oktibbeha County to commemorate a new multi-use path on Locksley Way on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The walking and bike path links the south end of the MSU campus to the south side of Starkville, a release from MSU says. It runs from the intersection of South Montgomery and Locksley Way to the intersection of Blackjack Road and Stone Boulevard and connects to the Lynn Lane multi-use path, which runs from South Montgomery to McKee Park.

MSU built the path using federal funding the Mississippi Department of Transportation administered together with matching funds from Starkville and Oktibbeha County. The total construction cost was $971,828, and Starkville and Oktibbeha County each contributed $133,000.

Combined, the paths provide more than 2.5 miles of pedestrian pathways through high-traffic areas of Starkville, the release says. Locksley Way also features the first two-way cycle track in Mississippi and a stop for the Starkville-MSU Area Rapid Transit system.

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