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Where You Can Find Your Christmas Tree in Jackson County

treefield Where You Can Find Your Christmas Tree in Jackson County

Christmas trees are ready to cut at A&W Tree Farm.

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, many Jackson County residents are turning their focus to finding the perfect tree for their holiday season.

While fresh cut trees are available to purchase at stores like Lowe’s in Gautier, starting from $29.98, those who want the authentic tree farm experience have a couple of local options in Jackson County: A&W Tree Farm in Moss Point and Bozo’s Seafood Market & Deli in Pascagoula.

Since 2014, A&W Tree Farm has allowed for families to come to the farm, purchase live trees, and even choose their tree and cut it themselves. They grow three types of trees: Virginia Pines ($35 to $65) Green Giants and Carolina Sapphires and also source Frazer Firs from North Carolina. The Virginia Pine trees are available for choosing and cutting, with the others becoming available in 2018. Visitors can also choose live potted Green Giants ($25) or Carolina Sapphires ($65).

Wanda Clark said she and her husband decided to start the Christmas tree farm around 2011.

“We have 40 acres, and after cutting down pine trees in the past destroyed the property, we never wanted to do that again,” Clark said. “We thought about growing fruit trees and some others at first. But we decided on Christmas trees and nothing bigger than what our pickup truck could get back to and carry.”

In addition, the Clarks built a train visitors can choose ride back to the property. On Sunday, Dec. 3, the farm will celebrate the holidays by having a visit from Santa. Clark said it will also likely mean that the number of available trees will dwindle. While A&W Tree Farm will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Dec. 3, those still in need of a Christmas tree will need to call 251-751-2596 in advance to see what is left.

The farm has seen many successes over the years, including supplying Moss Point and Dauphin Island with their official Christmas trees, and Clark said the years keep getting better.

“We’re a small mom-and-pop farm,” Clark said. “But this has been our best year yet.”

Bozo’s Seafood Market & Deli in Pascagoula also carries the annual tradition of converting its lawn into a tree farm. 

Jackson County resident Zeke Clancy and his family returned to Bozo’s this year to choose their trees.

“This is really my first year to come out here and experience this and pick out a tree,” Clancy said. “My sister and her kids have been coming for the past four or five years.”

He said the main reasons he visits Bozo’s for a tree are the location and high reputation. Most of all, though, he said choosing a tree each year is always a family affair.

“My grandfather came here and always picked out his trees,” Clancy said. “I guess we just carried on the tradition.”

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‘Tis the Season: Ugly Christmas Sweaters for a Cause

Ugly-Sweaters 'Tis the Season: Ugly Christmas Sweaters for a Cause

Photo by Tammy Smith | SunHerald 

Over the years, people worldwide have added the ugly Christmas sweater to their list of necessary holiday items.

These sweaters, known for their tackiness and gaudiness, can range from knitted sweaters to sweater vests, handmade to handed down, and can feature an endless number of decorations and images – everything to get you into the Christmas spirit.

This year, Ocean Springs resident Brandt Russo decided to open up a pop up shop in Ocean Springs and take ugly Christmas sweater shopping to the next level.

Russo, who runs his own vintage store through Instagram called Rebirth Vintage Company (@rebirthvintageco), said he’s been collecting these sweaters all year and got the idea to set up a pop up shop from a fellow vintage shop owner.

“Pop up shops basically raid another business’ space for a month,” Russo said. “They help those businesses, and they help your business.”

As a kickboxing instructor at the Alan Belcher MMA Club, he asked the owner if he could use the space next door to set up a shop to sell his sweaters. After the owner said yes, Russo didn’t turn back. 

“It just made sense,” Russo said. “Instead of selling them to my usual place in New Orleans, I could use this space and sell them on my own and donate a portion of the proceeds.”

Russo calls his shop the Naughty Elves Ugly Christmas Sweater & Vintage Finds Pop Up Shop, and he offers sweaters that can match any personality, as well as some other vintage holiday items. He said buying from his shop offers a unique experience compared to bigger box stores like Wal-Mart.

“The cool thing about these, for the most part, is that they’re older; they’re wool; they’re knit – hand-knit,” Russo said. “If you go to Wal-Mart, they’re going to fall apart on you. You’ll only spend $12, but you’ll only use them twice.”

In addition, 10 percent of all sales will go to the Humane Society of South Mississippi – a cause near to Russo’s heart.

Seven years ago, Russo said he found his dog Dorothy under an interstate at a homeless camp. There was a litter of puppies, all sick with Parvo, and he chose her. He said she’s been his best friend ever since.

“I’ve had a couple of relationships over the years, and, you know, the only one that has been solid has been my dog,” Russo said. “It was very easy to want to help other animals in that situation because she’s been such a blessing.”

The Naughty Elves Ugly Christmas Sweater & Vintage Finds Pop Up Shop, located at 2646 Bienville Blvd. in Ocean Springs, will be open 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday through Dec. 20.

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Support Local Businesses for Small Business Saturday

22255110_1786080211691528_8662196027356696320_o Support Local Businesses for Small Business Saturday

Provided by Downtown Ocean Springs

If you haven’t finished (or even started) your holiday shopping, consider visiting a local store in your community on Saturday, Nov. 25, for Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.

First observed in the United States on November 27, 2010, as an advertising campaign created for American Express, it is a counterpart to the all-popular Black Friday and upcoming Cyber Monday, which feature big retailers like Target or Best Buy and e-commerce stores, respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to visit small brick-and-mortar businesses in their local areas. 

According to American Express, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses during the 2016 Small Business Saturday, up 13 percent from the year before. In addition, more shoppers reported visiting local independent businesses in 2016 more than ever before, and a record high of 72 percent of U.S. consumers were aware of the day.

For local businesses, however, the recognition of shopping small means much more than the sales.

Mickie Miller, who owns Two Dogs Dancing, a pet store in downtown Ocean Springs, said that she thinks more people are starting to see the benefits of shopping locally even outside of Small Business Saturday.

“The difference in shopping locally versus online is you’re able to walk in and try things on,” Miller said. “You can buy unique items and take them home with you that day.”

Miller said many of the items she features in her store cannot be found at big-box stores like Target, and that’s an extra benefit to shopping locally. She added that shopping locally adds a personal approach to shopping all year-round.

“If you come into my store, I can tell you everything about every single item,” Miller said. “I can help you find all the items and give you recommendations. It’s more of a personal connection.”

Maryalice Miner from Miner’s Doll and Toy Store agreed that the personal connection is what sets brick-and-mortar stores apart.

“People love to feel connected,” Miner said. “It’s satisfying to get back in your car and feel good and to know those people cared that you came into their store.”

After 30 years of owning Miner’s Doll and Toy Store, Miner said another benefit of shopping local is continuity.

“We’re here,” Miner said. “We’re always here. You can come and you’ll always find some good stuff. People know they can count on us.”

Miner said that the store also provides free gift wrapping, meaning people can come in, find a gift, have it wrapped for free and be out the door and on their way to a party. It’s special touches like these, she said, that keep people shopping locally. 

Miner said that while bigger box stores and online shopping have their place, it’s all about people creating a balance of where they shop. She stressed that supporting local business is not only good for the businesses but for the community as a whole.

“We do depend on people coming in to shop,” Miner said. “It’s really worth it for people to make an effort to support their local business. We donate to the local charities, and we’re here for the community. It’s an investment for all of us to have that continuity of these stores. We’re really the treasures.”

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Singing River Health System First in US to Deploy “OR Cockpit” for Patient Safety, Efficiency

OR-Cockpit_Email_1-copy Singing River Health System First in US to Deploy “OR Cockpit” for Patient Safety, Efficiency

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The next generation in Operating Room safety and efficiency is making its nationwide debut in Jackson County, MS with the delivery of the “OR Cockpit” software suite at Singing River Health System.

The OR Cockpit is a revolutionary interoperability software system that monitors all facets of an operating room to optimize patient safety, OR efficiency and infection control with real time analytics and reporting throughout a surgical procedure. The system was installed in the OR Suites at Singing River Health System’s Ocean Springs Hospital as a Beta Test site, the first in the United States.

Developed by New Compliance, USA, the OR Cockpit was developed in The Netherlands and has been successfully deployed in hospitals across Europe. The system ties into the hospital’s electronic medical records data and uses giant touchscreens, air quality monitors, timers and electronic checklists to provide constant feedback to the OR team on procedure specific patient safety, infection risk and environmental conditions. “We are very excited to bring our OR Cockpit+ Suite solution online at our first US hospital location in Ocean Springs. Working together with the hospital and our US distributor Skytron, our company’s mission is to protect patients and empower medical staff by
bringing hospitals smart, interoperable real-time information technology” said New Compliance CEO Bo Wiesman. “With this first project at Singing River Health System we mark the start of an exciting patient safety journey into the US healthcare market.”

Singing River Health System is already nationally ranked for medical excellence and patient safety in a number of surgical specialties, and the surgery team did not hesitate to be the first in the US to install the OR Cockpit. “We jumped at the opportunity to help test this new technology,” says Tiffany Murdock, Executive Director of Surgical Operations for Singing River. “It’s another tool we can use to assure the absolute highest quality care for our patients, and we’re excited to show the rest of the country what we can do with this technology. While there’s no substitute for human skill, the OR Cockpit gives us real time data for better decision making and better care.” Murdock expects to deploy the technology to all of the system’s operating rooms in the near future.

To launch the system in the United States, New Compliance has partnered with the Skytron Company, a global healthcare equipment and technology provider, as its exclusive US distribution channel.

“Singing River Health System’s focus on continuous improvement and their long term vision fit well with our core values and our efforts to help leaders in healthcare achieve the highest utilization of their people, their facilities and their capital,” says Dave Mehney, CEO of Skytron. “They’re a perfect partner as a US pilot site for the OR Cockpit Solution.”

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Huntington Ingalls Authenticates Keel of Guided Missile Destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123)

higbee_keel_3aa0c5e7-33e9-466d-969e-f550710dc806-prv Huntington Ingalls Authenticates Keel of Guided Missile Destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123)

Ingalls Shipbuilding division authenticated the keel of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123) today. The ship is named in honor of the first woman to receive the Navy Cross.

“It is always exciting to celebrate the keel authentication of another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer,” Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias said during a shipyard ceremony this morning. “The keel authentication is an important milestone in a ship’s life, as we lay the foundation upon which this great ship will be built. Like her namesake, DDG 123 will be strong and capable. Our men and women in the Navy—and Mrs. Higbee’s legacy—deserve nothing less.”

Louisa Dixon, Virginia Munford and Pickett Wilson are the ship’s sponsors. The three women played an important role during former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ term as governor of Mississippi.

“We want to thank Ingalls Shipbuilding, its employees and its suppliers for the high standards of design and construction and the strong and important support they give their employees and the state of Mississippi,” Dixon said. “We are thrilled and look forward to seeing everyone again at a christening in the very near future.”

C.C. Tanner, a structural welder at Ingalls, welded the three sponsors’ initials onto a steel plate, signifying the keel of DDG 123 as being “truly and fairly laid.” The plate will remain affixed to the ship throughout its lifetime.

“Today marks the true start of this ship’s construction,” said Cmdr. Scott Williams, program manager representative for Supervisor of Shipbuilding Gulf Coast. “With 29 Ingalls-built Arleigh Burke-class destroyers currently in active service and four of her sister ships also in production here at Ingalls, the mere continuity of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer over the past 25 years shows their importance to our naval forces. To the men and women of Huntington Ingalls Industries who will bring DDG 123 to life, thank you. Thank you to the shipfitters, pipefitters, electricians, welders, testers and engineers who will toil in this historic shipbuilding journey that will carry a pioneer’s name.”

DDG 123 will be the second ship named for Higbee. The first was a destroyer commissioned in 1945 and was the first U.S. Navy surface combatant named for a female member of the Navy. Higbee joined the Navy in October 1908 as part of the newly established Navy Nurse Corps, a group of women who would become known as “The Sacred Twenty,” and became the second superintendent of the Navy Nurse Corps in January 1911.

Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) and Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121).

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Huntington Ingalls Industries Christens Destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119)

Bottle-Break-Photo Huntington Ingalls Industries Christens Destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119)

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PASCAGOULA, Miss., (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE:HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding division celebrated the christening of the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer Delbert D. Black (DDG 119) on November 4th with approximately 1,200 guests in attendance.

“This ship is a fitting tribute to the master chief who set the tone for all of us to follow as authentic, competent and courageous leaders,” said Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Steven Giordano, who served as keynote speaker. “This ship represents the enlisted force perhaps more than any other ship in the Navy.”

The ship is named in honor of Delbert D. Black, who served as a gunner’s mate in the U.S. Navy and was aboard the battleship USS Maryland (BB 46) during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“Delbert D. Black is the first ship built to honor the man appointed in 1967 as the first Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy,” said Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias. “Black enlisted in the Navy in March of 1941, and over the years, he served in three wars and on nearly a dozen ships, spending 21 of his 30 in the Navy at sea. Ingalls’ ships are built for men and women like Master Chief Black with one goal in mind: to protect the brave Americans who protect our freedom.”

Ima J. Black, Delbert’s widow and a World War II veteran of Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), is the ship’s sponsor. She and Delbert were married for 50 years until he died in 2000. She officially christened the ship by successfully breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across its bow.

“This is a ceremony that we’ve all been looking forward to for a long time,” Black said. “My message to the shipbuilders has always been, ‘Hurry up! I’m running out of time.’ Well, look at me. I made it! I made it! I made it! Today I’m thinking of my husband. I’m wishing that he was standing here instead of me. However, I know that his spirit is anchored in the hull of this ship. Now let us christen this ship and get her ready to join the fleet, where she belongs.”

Ingalls has delivered 29 Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the Navy. Other destroyers currently under construction at Ingalls include Ralph Johnson (DDG 114), Paul Ignatius (DDG 117), Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG 121) and Lenah H. Sutcliffe Higbee (DDG 123).

“Defending our country has not gotten any easier,” said Rep. Gregg Harper, R-Miss. “We are confronted in many ways, but we are comforted as we visit this exceptional shipyard. Brian Cuccias and his team are building 10 or 11 ships right now representing four classes, and even with all that, it’s not at full capacity. Ingalls shipyard is well positioned to provide additional ship production to support a U.S. Navy force structure of 355 ships.”

Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are highly capable, multi-mission ships that can conduct a variety of operations, from peacetime presence and crisis management to sea control and power projection, all in support of the United States’ military strategy. DDGs are capable of simultaneously fighting air, surface and subsurface battles. The ship contains myriad offensive and defensive weapons designed to support maritime defense needs well into the 21st century.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Mission Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 37,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit:

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You’re Going To Love This Pascagoula!

IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!Get ready Jackson County! “The Menagerie on Market” is now open for business and just in time for the holidays. Tina Thames and her son Brent renovated the old, long time saloon Johnny Joes and created a wonderful hometown emporium featuring local known artists, craftsmen, cooks, and more. “This is not a flea market, this is not an antique mall, this is an emporium. It’s inviting, warm, and it is going to be great for Jackson County,” says Thames. The Menagerie holds 44 spaces for local unique vendors which 42 of them are already taken. You can find clothing, sports, children’s accessories, cooking, and so much more, that you couldn’t find in other stores because of the overhead associated with starting a small business. The city of Pascagoula has stepped in to help get the idea off the ground and according to Thames, they have been more than helpful, “Absolutely wonderful, they have been phenomenal helping me get in here. I could not have done this without them.”

Future plans for The Menagerie include a coffee shop in the rear which is almost complete and an outside sitting area. Locals may notice some of the old remnants of Johnny Joes,

IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!

and enjoy the unique styling of each micro store. “The Menagerie is going to be a great concept when we get everyone in here, filled with all types of unique items. What excites me is that small businesses will be able to broaden their perspectives and be able to sell some of their items without quitting their day jobs so to speak,” says Chelsea Thames, owner of “Fabricology.”

The Menagerie promises to be good for the economy in Pascagoula, and help add to the revitalization of the Market Street area. It will also offer it’s own brand of jams, jelly’s, and other goodies.

Check it out at 2302 Market Street in Pascagoula.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
IMG_3922-300x225 You're Going To Love This Pascagoula!
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Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Technical Solutions Division Announces New Vice President of Human Resources and Director of Communications

Melaniekristine Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Technical Solutions Division Announces New Vice President of Human Resources and Director of Communications

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Oct. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) announced today the appointment of two leaders at its Technical Solutions division. Melanie Anderson has joined the division as vice president of human resources, and Kristine DiMarco has been named director of communications.

Anderson brings 20 years of multifunctional human resources experience supporting high-performance organizations in the government services, aerospace and defense, commercial and high technology industries. Most recently, she led human resources for the engineering business of KBRWyle, following KBR’s acquisition of Honeywell Technical Solutions, Inc. Prior to joining Honeywell, she held HR leadership roles of increasing responsibility for The Boeing Co., Harris Corp. and Raytheon. She earned an undergraduate degree at Michigan State University in German with a dual major in employment relations. She also holds a master’s degree in labor relations and human resources management from the same institution.

DiMarco is an award-winning communications professional who has been supporting the Technical Solutions division with special projects since its inception in December 2016. She has a wide range of experience through various communications, knowledge management and process improvement positions at HII since 2004. Her most recent assignment, which underscored her experience supporting aircraft carrier and submarine construction and maintenance, was communications lead in Technical Solutions’ Fleet Support group. She previously managed communications and information technology initiatives for SRA International and for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from James Madison University.

“We have over 5,000 tremendously talented professionals in our Technical Solutions division, and we are committed to providing them the best possible programs and communications support,” said Andy Green, president of HII’s Technical Solutions division. “Melanie and Kristine bring a wealth of experience and leadership to this growing organization, and we are delighted to have them on the Technical Solutions team.”

Photos of Anderson and DiMarco are available at: https://newsroom.huntingtoningalls.com/releases/tsd-hr-communications-leadership.

HII Technical Solutions is a professional services business providing solutions to a variety of government and commercial customers worldwide. The division was formed in December 2016 when HII acquired Camber Corp. and combined it with HII’s existing services subsidiaries, including AMSEC, Continental Maritime of San Diego, Newport News Industrial, SN3, Undersea Solutions Group and UniversalPegasus International. Technical Solutions provides fleet maintenance and modernization, unmanned solutions and rapid prototyping, agile software development and network engineering, training systems, logistics support, nuclear engineering and fabrication, and oil and gas engineering. Technical Solutions employs more than 5,000 people working in 35 states and 11 countries, with mobile “fly-away” teams that support emergent situations around the globe.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Missions Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 37,000 people operating both domestically and internationally. For more information, visit:

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Chevron to Host Hundreds at Middle School Career Fair

Chevron Pascagoula Refinery will host a career fair for approximately 400 area middle school students on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Pelican Landing in Moss Point.

Interactive displays will give the students hands-on experience with the equipment and tools of the trade at each booth, and Chevron personnel will provide guidance and advice about training and education.

The local schools participating will be:

  • Resurrection and Moss Point High School 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Ocean Springs High School and Pascagoula High School – 9:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
  • Vancleave High School and Green County High School – 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Martin High School and George County High School – 9:45 p.m. to 11:15 a.m.
  • East Central High School and Gautier High School – 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
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McDonald Elected President of Jackson County Bar Association

AprilMcDonald-240x300-1 McDonald Elected President of Jackson County Bar Association

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 McDONALD ELECTED PRESIDENT OF JACKSON COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION

Pascagoula attorney April McDonald was recently elected President of the Jackson County Bar Association. McDonald is an attorney with Heidelberg, Steinberger, P.A., which has offices in both Pascagoula and Jackson.

“I’m honored to serve my peers in this leadership role,” said McDonald. “We have an outstanding group of attorneys who strive to help our clients and companies throughout Jackson County, and I look forward to working with each of them.”

McDonald previously served the Jackson County Bar Association as Vice President and Secretary. She received her juris doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law and her bachelor’s degree from Delta State University. She is native of George County and is member of the Mississippi Bar Association, the Alabama Bar Association and the American Bar Association.  

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