Huntington Ingalls Industries Announces Opening of New HII Family Vision Centers

vision_center21jun18 Huntington Ingalls Industries Announces Opening of New HII Family Vision Centers

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PASCAGOULA, Miss., June 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) announced that it has opened two HII Family Vision Centers for its employees and their families. The vision centers are an expansion of the services available at the HII Family Health Centers in Gautier and Newport News, Virginia.

“The addition of vision services to our health centers is another step toward ensuring the overall well-being of our workforce and their families,” Bill Ermatinger, HII’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer, said. “We are committed to the belief that a healthy employee is an engaged employee, and this expansion highlights that commitment.”

The vision center in Mississippi opened on Tuesday, and the vision center in Virginia opened on May 1.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://newsroom.huntingtoningalls.com/file?fid=5b2be69d2cfac24fa71b0f35.

The new vision centers, operated by Vision Services Plan (VSP), offer comprehensive eye care with an optometrist and opticians on-staff. The centers also house retail sections, complete with adult and children’s eyeglasses, safety glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and more.

Other vision center services include:

  • Adult and pediatric annual eye exams
  • Correction exams
  • Diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism
  • Vision therapy
  • Lens prescriptions
  • Frame selection and fitting

The vision centers offer preventive and acute eye care to all HII employees and their dependents. In-network rates and discounts are available to employees enrolled in an HII or union vision plan. Employees are encouraged to contact their vision insurance provider for details and pricing.

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Business of the Week: Edd’s Drive-In

If you live in the Pascagoula-Moss Point area, you have likely enjoyed a meal (or 200) at Edd’s Drive-In. Since 1953, Edd’s has been serving up its famous chili cheeseburgers and handmade milkshakes to loyal patrons and newbies alike. The consistently good food and nostalgic atmosphere keeps people coming back for more.

The original location at 3834 Market Street has kept its retro vibe with the green-striped awning and neon ice cream cone signage. Customers place orders at the walk-up window and usually chat with one another while waiting for pickup.

In 2001, the Foster-Martin family purchased Edd’s and have maintained the quality that customers have come to expect for over 60 years. In 2012, a new location was opened at 19400 Highway 63 in Hurley offering the same menu favorites; plus a few new items, like chicken nuggets and catfish plates.

The next time you are in Pascagoula or Hurley, stop in at Edd’s Drive-In and enjoy a chili dog or chocolate malt.  You know you won’t be disappointed!

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National Dairy Goat Awareness Week… No Kidding!

Goats seem to be everywhere these days.  From funny commercials on TV to goat yoga (look it up, you’ll thank me later); goats have gone viral. In addition to the cuteness factor, goats have gained popularity for the milk they provide. Seven years ago, Ken and Brenda Goff of Vancleave embarked on a journey to raise and breed quality milk goats.

The Goffs wanted a self-sustainable lifestyle and spent six months researching what type of goats would be productive for Briarcrest Farm. There are two types of goats: dairy or meat. The Goffs chose to raise purebred Nubian dairy goats because they, “fell in love with the way they look,” according to Brenda. Nubians are a popular goat because of the high butter fat content of the milk. The milk is used not only for drinking, but in products like soap and hand lotion.

During the first year of raising goats, the Goffs found themselves with an abundance of goat milk. After drinking the milk and making cheese and yogurt, Brenda says, “we still had milk coming out of our ears.” Soon, Brenda began researching how to make soap from goat’s milk and was surprised by what she found.

 “It’s so good for your skin.  Soap from a store is like rubbing detergent on skin,” remarks Brenda.  “People come several times a week, by appointment, to buy soap. People with psoriasis and acne swear by it.” Briarcrest Farm soap is made from 100% goat’s milk and highest quality food grade ingredients. The soap is handmade through a cold process which maintains the quality of each ingredient. 

The Goffs are diligent about the care given to each of the 20 goats currently on the farm. The goats are milked twice daily, and once a month, a sample of the milk is sent to Langston University in Oklahoma for analysis. The results of the testing will be included in the goat’s permanent record, which is then sent to the Dairy Records Management System. The DRMS keeps track of a goat’s heritable traits for future breeding information.

Additionally, Briarcrest Farm goats have earned numerous awards throughout show competitions in the Southeast. With the rise in goat ownership, the Goffs and other owners have started a new dairy association called Southern Browsers. The purpose of the association is to give new or potential goat owners the information needed to properly raise goats.

You may visit Briarcrest Farm at 10401 Cherokee Rose Road in Vancleave to purchase soaps. Appointments are available during weekdays by calling 228. 366.0254 or email: brendagoff@briarcrestfarm.com.  The soaps are also available at the Second Saturday Farmer’s Market in Gautier City Park from 8am-12pm. You can also learn more at www.briarcrestfarm.com and follow their farm happenings on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BriarcrestFarm/

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New Whispering Pines Clubhouse Scores Points with Customers

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The new clubhouse at Whispering Pines golf course has been bringing some new faces to the golf course since it opened four months ago, according to management.

Richie Diamond, facilities manager, said many of the newer faces are there to eat a good meal instead of swing a golf club.
The 3,400-square-foot clubhouse opened in February with an expanded menu at the grill, indoor and covered outdoor dining areas, lockers in each bathroom, and an updated pro shop.

“We see a lot of new faces these days. Surprisingly, as many at the grill as there is to play a round of golf,” Diamond said.

Diamond said that Jackson County Supervisors, along with state Sen. Manly Barton, were instrumental in budgeting funds for the $1.2 million project. The 18-hole, 72-par course is operated by the county and is managed by the county’s Recreation Department, and the funds for the project came from the county’s General Fund.

“It shows how committed the Supervisors are to providing quality recreational facilities to the residents of Jackson County. Our golf course is available to all High Schools and Community Colleges in Jackson County, at no cost and is considered the home course of some,” Diamond said.

Aside from this project, Jackson County has put more than $800,000 since 2013 into improving the course. This most recent project also included improvements to the parking lot. Diamond said the next big improvement likely will be a new pavilion to replace the one that was removed from the property when the new clubhouse was built.

The clubhouse and course open at 7 a.m. Sunday – Tuesday and Thursday – Saturday, and at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

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Iconic Restaurant in Gautier Changes Ownership

tiki-2 Iconic Restaurant in Gautier Changes Ownership
tiki-2 Iconic Restaurant in Gautier Changes Ownership

GAUTIER–Changes are coming to the iconic Tiki Restaurant in Gautier, but locals have nothing to be worried about. 
The seafood menu that made the restaurant on the Mary Walker Bayou a staple for decades isn’t going anywhere. It’s just that now barbeque is joining the crab legs and shrimp on the menu. 
“If there’s any change at all, what we want people to understand is that Tiki’s will always be a seafood restaurant,” said Darryl Jackson, a consultant for the Tiki’s new owners.
Those new owners, David and Deborah Lindsey, are just adding barbeque recipes they have perfected from working at their son’s restaurant, Hog Heaven BBQ in Laurel, Jackson said.
The Lindseys bought the restaurant after years of living near the restaurant and being customers, Jackson said, and they are working to improve the quality of the seafood fare that locals have come to expect from the Tiki.
Regulars will notice a few other changes designed to bring in more customers. 
The restaurant will expand its hours to be open all day on Sundays and Mondays, and the owners are trying to book new musicians and plan more weekend events, particularly ones that take advantage of the outdoor patio and deck. 
The Tiki has already started a weekly Thursday night karaoke contest. The year’s weekly winners will compete against each other in December for a chance to win $2,500.
“We’re just trying to get the crowd back over here like the old days,” Jackson said. 
Edward Thornton’s family bought the Tiki in May of 1969, and ownership eventually passed to Thornton. Selling the family’s iconic restaurant has been emotional at times, Thornton said, but he has no regrets about handing it over to the Lindseys.
“They’re wanting to keep things as they are,” Thornton said. “They realize that a place like this that has been around as long as it has, it’s created some deep roots.”
Not only that, but Thornton also gives his stamp of approval on the barbeque.
“I’ve eaten everything they got, and it’s well worth it,” Thornton said.

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Mississippi Export Railroad Investing in Rail Improvements

mer-shoot Mississippi Export Railroad Investing in Rail Improvements

Upgrades Will Yield New Growth, Increase Productivity in Region

PASCAGOULA, Miss. – June 13, 2018 – The Jackson County Board of Supervisors has approved a Freight Rail Service Revolving Loan provided by the Mississippi Development Authority to support new investment in rail upgrades by the Mississippi Export Railroad, a short line railroad with much of its service in Jackson County. Funds will be used to construct 3.2 miles of rail car storage, passing and field repair space, representing a total investment of approximately $4.7 million.

Randy Bosarge, President of the Board of Supervisors, stated, “We are proud to be able to assist in the growth of this important Jackson County-based industry and salute the Mississippi Export Railroad for investing to better serve its current and future customers.”

This project will allow existing businesses to expand their production capacity in the future and enable the railroad to better meet the needs of the numerous businesses served by the rail line. Construction should begin in July and be completed within 12 months.

“We are excited to kick off this project with our partners at the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation and the Mississippi Development Authority,” said Kate Luce, chief executive officer of the Export Railroad. “Mississippi Export’s unit train storage and interchange capabilities, combined with its full service car repair shop, make it a one-stop solution for car owners and rail shippers.”

The Mississippi Export Railroad is a short line Class III railroad with the primary mission of serving local industries. With connections to four Class I railroads, it links the Gulf of Mexico and foreign ports to all of North America. The railroad is a diversified company with a full-service maintenance and repair railcar and locomotive shop with AAR M-1003 & AAR M-1002 (C6) certifications, railcar storage facilities, track maintenance and repair and transloading terminals. It also partners with Aaron Oil Company to provide tank car cleaning and waste disposal services. Please visit http://mserr.com/ for more information.

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Singing River Health System receives AHA Quality Achievement Award for Stroke Treatment

AHA-award Singing River Health System receives AHA Quality Achievement Award for Stroke Treatment

PASCAGOULA, MS  ― Singing River Health System has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and Stroke Honor Roll status for their treatment of stroke patients. The award recognizes the system’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Singing River Health System’s two hospitals at Ocean Springs and Pascagoula earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke.  These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their health, help with scheduling a follow-up visit with their physician, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Singing River Health System is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative, and this award is a testament to our team’s commitment and skill,” said Dr. Randy Roth, Chief Medical Officer for the system.  “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes for stroke patients.”

The system also received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll/Target: StrokeSM award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize Singing River Health System for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

For more information on stroke and the AHA Target:  Stroke quality award, see their website at http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/About-Stroke_UCM_308529_SubHomePage.jsp.

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Burger Barn Serves as Vancleave Staple for Burgers and Ice Cream

Burger-Barn-1 Burger Barn Serves as Vancleave Staple for Burgers and Ice Cream

Have you been to the Burger Barn in Vancleave yet? If so, you’ve joined people that come from around the region to take part in this Vancleave tradition. If not, it might be time to give the Vancleave staple a try.

Approximately four years ago, Lisa and Larry Green took ownership of the burger joint, which has always been “the place to go” in Vancleave. In that time, the Greens have seen the Burger Barn continue to be a regular meeting place for many Vancleave residents and visitors coming through the town on Highway 57.

People come to the Burger Barn, sit down inside, visit, and talk, according to Lisa Green. “We serve the community. We have good food, family oriented,” she said, adding that they get a lot of work and school traffic there as well. She’s confident that once people visit they “always come back when they’re in the area.”

The Burger Barn is also located close to the high school, so it’s a regular hangout spot for students after school and after big school events like football games.

Burger-Barn-1 Burger Barn Serves as Vancleave Staple for Burgers and Ice Cream

The family-oriented Burger Barn is one of the only places in Vancleave for a burger, but it’s more than that too. Visitors can get po boys, shrimp, catfish, ice cream, chicken tenders, chili dogs, and more. They also have monthly burger specials.

Moving forward, the Greens hope to keep the business growing and have discussed putting in a drive through. They’ve also discussed the possibility of expanding to a second location in Hurley, which is where the Greens are from.

You can visit this Vancleave staple at 12316 Highway 57 in Vancleave. See their specials and more on their Facebook page.

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Bringing Blueberry Heaven to Earth

Blueberry-Heaven-2 Bringing Blueberry Heaven to Earth
Blueberry-Heaven-2 Bringing Blueberry Heaven to Earth

Blueberry Heaven is once again available for blueberry picking and now – the second and third weeks of June – is the best time to do so.

Sissy Inabinette, who works on the farm, says that blueberry season really runs from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July, so now is the time to come to their farm in Vancleave for the best crop. She said the first week of June is also an ideal time to pick their berries, so those interested can go ahead and plan for next year.

According to Inabinette, this year’s weather has been more conducive for the blueberries than last year’s, and they have a great crop. “We’ve absolutely been getting the proper amount of rain and the proper amount of sunshine now,” she said.

This year, they’ve also welcomed many new customers. Inabinette said that, out of the 400 people who have come through so far, 300 of them have been new. She said that word of mouth has been the best way to spread the news of their U-pick blueberry farm.

“It’s amazing to me the amount of people that are coming that didn’t know this existed,” Inabinette said.

The Vancleave farm, which has become a local hot spot, has approximately 6,300 blueberry bushes showcasing four different blueberry varieties. Picking blueberries seems to be a favorite for the kids that visit the farm as well. According to Inabinette, many of the kids think they don’t like blueberries, but they find that the ones at Blueberry Heaven taste different than the ones from the grocery store.

Visitors can pick their blueberries directly for $10 a gallon. Visitors can also get pre-picked ones that are fresh or frozen for $20 a gallon.

Weather permitting, the season may run a little past July 4. After that, the farm is on an honor system for those who want to brave the heat and the grass. You can get more details about Blueberry Heaven here.

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