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Browning on Business: Where to get your 'crazy' fireworks


William Browning

William Browning



William Browning



"It's crazy." 


That's what Deborah Turman said Wednesday when talking about this time of year. Turman has sold fireworks in Lowndes County for nearly three decades. She does this during the two weeks leading up to New Year's Eve, and the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July. Pyrotechnics big and small come in on two semi-trailers filled to the brim and within 15 days most of it is sold. This is a hectic time. 


We shoot fireworks to celebrate our country's independence from Britain because in a letter to his wife dated July 3, 1776, John Adams said the occasion should be "solemnized with...guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more," according to U.S. News & World Report. 


Turman operates three Orbit Fireworks locations in Lowndes County: One is on Highway 45 North just past Spivey Road, one is across from McDonalds on Highway 182, another is on Highway 50. She operates five others, with businesses in West Point, Starkville, Macon and Louisville. She has roughly 10 employees regularly, but on July 3 and July 4, when crowds show up, she employs 30-plus. 


Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., but on July 3 and July 4, Orbit Fireworks are open until midnight. 


Another place to get fireworks in Lowndes County is Midsouth Fireworks at 4338 Hwy. 69 S. (Management there did not return a message for comment.) 


There is no place to purchase fireworks in Columbus. City ordinance forbids it. City ordinance also forbids the shooting of fireworks inside city limits. 


Be careful: Fireworks were involved in roughly 8,700 injuries treated in U.S. hospitals during 2012. About 5,200 of those occurred between June 22, 2012, and July 22, 2012, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 


The commission also reports that of those injuries, 74 percent were to males. 


Moving on. 


The 4-County Electric Power Association is making plans to close its office at 2000 Sixth St. N. in Columbus. The company sent a letter to customers on June 12 notifying them of the closing. The move is being made to reduce costs, company officials say. 


"Technology is changing the way we do business," CEO/General Manager Joe Cade said in a statement to The Dispatch. "We appreciate our members understanding as we reinvent ourselves and strive to serve them with more and better options in the future." 


Other ways to pay your bill to 4-County include payment by phone (800-431-1544), bank draft option, online payment (, prepay or by mail. If you prefer going to an office to pay your bill you can still do so at the Corporate Center at 5265 S. Frontage Rd., near the Highway 82 airport exit. 


There are also three 4-County kiosk locations in Lowndes County: one at the Dutch Village Shell (1245 Lehmberg Rd.); at Spring Gasoline (3115 Hwy. 45 N.); and at New Hope Shell (5780 Hwy. 182 E.). Another kiosk will open soon at the Sprint Mart near the intersection of Highway 69 South and Yorkville Road. 


No definitive closure date as been set for the Sixth Street North location, according to 4-County communications specialist Brad Barr. The company is selling the office and property and when a sale is final, a closure date will be established. 


No jobs will be lost as a result of the office closing, Barr said. 


Lastly, the Sonic Drive-In at 1916 Hwy. 45 N. in Columbus is now open 24/7. 


Browning on Business is a weekly column that runs each Thursday. We want your input. Send items and tips to [email protected] or [email protected]


William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.



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