Continuing on, Despite Pandemic | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Continuing on, Despite Pandemic

Walthall Lofts is hosting virtual tours of its grounds.  The new apartments are in the renovated and historic Edison Wathall Hotel in downtown Jackson. Photo courtesy Walthall Lofts

Walthall Lofts is hosting virtual tours of its grounds. The new apartments are in the renovated and historic Edison Wathall Hotel in downtown Jackson. Photo courtesy Walthall Lofts

Despite setbacks from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Jackson is still moving forward. Here are just some of the latest developments taking place in and around the capital city.

Virtual Tours for Walthall Lofts

The newly finished Walthall Lofts (225 E. Capitol St.) in downtown Jackson is offering both virtual and in-person tours of its apartment complex in the historic Edison-Wathall Hotel, which will open for move-ins on Friday, May 15.

Walthall Lofts features amenities such as two restaurants, a barbershop, a theater, a game room, a massage room, a resort-style pool and more. Studio lofts start at $900, and apartments start at $1,265. The grand opening of the apartment complex, which has been under construction for 10 months, will take place on June 1.

Guests can schedule virtual tours online at walthalllofts.com. Virtual tours take place via Zoom and cover the different apartment types available and the building's amenities.

In-person tours are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but Walthall Lofts is asking potential visitors to wear protective masks and make use of hand sanitizer available on the building's premises.

For more information on the new downtown apartments, call 601-288-8311 or email [email protected].

JSU Engineers, Students Studying Yazoo Clay Highway Slopes

Sadik Khan and Farshad Amini, civil engineers from Jackson State University's College of Science, Engineering and Technology, have partnered with the Mississippi Department of Transportation and graduate students from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering on a project to study six highway slopes made of Yazoo clay.

The study uses moisture sensors, rain gauges and temperature sensors to monitor the impact of rainfall and temperature changes that cause slopes to fail.

JSU is also simulating the behavior of the slopes under different climate conditions of Mississippi and evaluating scenarios that cause highway slopes to fail.

The study will help MDOT better manage slope failures and avoid costly repairs from landslides that cost the state millions of dollars, a release from JSU says.

Canopy Launches LINK to Help

Canopy Children's Solutions recently launched a new program called LINK, which connects families with state, local and federal community resources for when they are in crisis situations.

Key features of the program include Helping families navigate through community resources, enhancing parenting skills using Active Parenting, increasing assistance in accessing formal and informal supports, educating and linking family to mental-health and substance-abuse services, educating parents on self-care and self-control and providing teen pregnancy prevention and substance abuse training

LINK is a free resource provided to any family in need. For assistance, individuals can contact a Canopy Children's Solutions Care Coordinator at 800-388-6247. Canopy Children's Solutions offers an array of behavioral health, educational and social service solutions to children and families throughout Mississippi. For more information about solutions offered through Canopy, visit mycanopy.org.

Northpark Mural Project

Northpark is hosting a photography-based social-media project on behalf of communities practicing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The "Northpark's Got Heart - Communities #ComeTogether" photo project will use submitted photos to create a large-scale, heart-shaped mural that will go on display at Northpark after the social-distancing period ends.

All of Northpark's social-media platforms will host activities such as digital scavenger hunts, pet photography, coloring pages, dress-your-best from home photos and more.

Northpark's Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter pages will each feature content based around a theme each week.

For more information on the project, see visitnorthpark.com.

Cathead Distillery's COVID Pivot

On March 22, Cathead Distillery in Jackson, which previously had to close its brewery due to the COVID-19 pandemic, announced that it had repurposed its facilities to create its own line of hand sanitizer called Comfort & Mercy.

Cathead began selling the product online as well as through select retailers across the South. Comfort & Mercy is compliant with FDA guidelines and features 80% alcohol antiseptic.

The product is currently available in packs of 12 for $100 or $270 for a five-gallon bucket, which customers must then pick up from the distillery. Each 12-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer is individually packaged with a sealable, easy-to-dispense top designed with safety in mind.

For more information, email [email protected].

Mt. Olive Cemetery Preservation

The National Park Service recently awarded Jackson State University a $496,023 grant to preserve the historic Mt. Olive Cemetery on the university's campus.

Heather Wilcox, director for community engagement at the Center for University-Based Development at JSU, applied for the grant in 2017 after Mt. Olive Cemetery made it onto the National Register of Historic Places.

Mt. Olive, constructed more than 200 years ago, serves as the resting place for famous African American figures in Mississippi such as Jim Hill and Ida Revels-Redmond. JSU will use the funding to repair all of the cemetery's headstones and mausoleums and recreate the pathways and original landscaping on the site.

The National Park Service has donated a total of $7.7 million in grants to 18 Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the preservation of historic structures on their campuses, and has awarded more than $60 million in grants to more than 80 HBCUs since the 1990s.

Robinson Road Repaving

On Wednesday, May 6, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba along with Hinds County District 3 Supervisor Credell Calhoun announced the Robinson Road Repaving Project.

The project will come in three phases. Phase 1 includes Capitol Street to Ellis Avenue and is currently underway as of this writing.

Phase 2 includes Ellis Avenue to Highway 80, while phase 3 includes Highway 80 to I-20. The City will also repave Woodrow Wilson Avenue in the package from Fortification Street to Martin Luther King Drive.

The resurfacing project came from an inter-local agreement with Hinds County Board of Supervisors. Hinds County received a $950,000 grant from the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which the City of Jackson matched with $1,085,058.82 through the city's 1% Sales Tax Commission. The total cost of the project will be $2,396,194.00.

Email business and development news to [email protected]. Read full COVID-19 coverage at jfp.ms/covid19.

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