I'm sure you've noticed, but gas prices have been going up all week. Higher oil prices, spurred by Iran's smack talk, plus the expiration of the ethanol subsidy contributed mightily to the jump.
In Northeast Mississippi, in our survey of gas stations this morning, we found Amory with the lowest price at $3.13.
Usually leading the way with the highest price is Starkville, but for today at least, Pontotoc and Tupelo had the highest price, each at $3.29.
Here's what we found elsewhere:
DID YA KNOW: The average price statewide is $3.23, up 5 cents from yesterday and 11 cents from last week. A year ago, the average was $2.93
Nationwide, the average price is $3.35, up 4 cents from yesterday and 9 cents from last week. Last year, it was $3.07.
General Atomics, which has a state-of-the-art facility in the Tupelo Lee Industrial Park South, announced it had delivered its 12th and final Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (or EMALS) energy storage system motor generator set to Naval Air Systems Command.
NAVAIR will install it in the new U.S. Navy carrier, the Gerald R. Ford (designated CVN 78), which will use the EMALS to launch aircraft from its decks. Traditionally aircraft carriers have used steam-powered catapults to launch the places.
Here's more from San Diego-based General Atomics. You gotta remember, the military and defense contractors love abbreviations:
General Atomics-Electromagnetic Systems Group (or GA-EMS) delivered the first motor generator set in June 2011, ensuring the components met the in-yard dates of Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., construction yard for CVN 78.
“The last four motor generators were ready to deliver 30 days early,” said Dean Key, GA-EMS’s EMALS/ AAG (Advanced Arresting Gear) production program manager. “This was a tight schedule, but it demonstrates what can be accomplished when government and industry collaborate in a focused effort. It was challenging work and we are very proud of this accomplishment,” Key said.
The EMALS and AAG CVN 78 shipset consists of more than 8,400 hardware items, the first of which was delivered in May 2011. To date, GA-EMS has delivered more than 522 tons of hardware and 35 miles of cable. Its storage facility houses several hundred more tons of hardware and more than 12 miles of cables ready to deliver. GA-EMS continues to deliver all hardware items on time to HII for installation into CVN 78, which is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S.Navy in 2015.
“We are determined to continue managing to the required in-yard need dates while ensuring qualification lessons learned are incorporated into the final CVN 78 EMALS and AAG hardware to support the on time, high quality delivery of CVN 78,” said Scott Forney, GA-EMS Division vice president. “There are still many challenges facing us, but I am confident in the team we have put in place to handle those challenges, providing on time delivery of both EMALS and AAG hardware to CVN 78.”
EMALS and AAG will replace the traditional steam catapult and hydraulic arresting gear. This new electromagnetic system will lower operating costs, reduce maintenance, improve catapult performance and expand the range of manned and unmanned aircraft that the aircraft carrier can launch and recover.
Tupelo Regional Airport is looking for a private company to run the operations of its fixed base operator (more commonly called an FBO), Tupelo Aviation Unlimited.
The airport is asking for proposals for a private firm to take over staffing of TAU. The airport would retain the assets of the FBO, however.
Airport Executive Director Josh Abramson said new general aviation policies have helped the airport see "large growth" in 2011 with the addition of Universal Asset Managment and Airline Maintenance Service.
From the airport:
In order to keep this great momentum going, the Tupelo Airport Authority has decided to make room for private enterprise to flourish at the airport. The first step is to issue a request for proposals to solicit a firm to take over all of the management duties of Tupelo Aviation Unlimited. The Airport Authority will establish a selection committee to ensure that Tupelo selects the best possible candidate. The goal is for the Tupelo Airport Authority completely out of the FBO business in five years.
Tupelo Aviation Unlimited is the fixed-based operator of the Tupelo Airport Authority. This is the business aviation division of the airport that provides services such as fueling, aircraft rental, hangar rental, tie-down and parking, just to name a few.
Quick history: The airport did have two privately run FBOs, Southernaire and Tupelo Aero, up until a few years ago.
When the airport decided to begin selling self-serve aviation fuel in 2005, the companies filed a petition to stop the airport from buying a fuel truck and building a fuel farm to supply Delta Air Lines, which had begun jet service between Tupelo and Atlanta.
Negotiations in 2006 began, with the authority attempting to buy out the FBOs. The board later agreed in 2007 to buy the FBOs for $1.5 million, and the lawsuit was dropped.
The airport and the authority then renamed the FBOs Tupelo Aviation Unlimited.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Mississippi in Blue Springs now employs 1,950 workers, nearly matching the promised number of jobs.
At the line-off ceremony in November, when Toyota officially rolled out its first Mississippi-produced Corolla sedan, the plant employed about 1,700. The automaker had said it intended to employ 2,000 by spring as it ramped up production. Looks like they're nearly there.
We also learned that the plant has its two shifts working together, but starting Monday, they'll start staggering the shifts. By February, the two shifts will be completely separate.
David Copenhaver, the vice president of administration for TMMMS, said the plant is now producing about 100 cars a day. At full capacity, the plant will build about 600 a day between the two shifts.
And while black was the first color available on the Corollas being built initially at TMMMS, they're now also being built in red, blue, silver and white. Beige and light blue are on their way, Copenhaver added.