Head Start – Just a few spots left!

School starts August 7th and Head Start is down to just a few spots! Apply online at www.jccivicaction.org quickly to secure your child’s spot. Head Start programs promote school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by supporting their development in a comprehensive way.

Head Start programs support children’s growth and development in a positive learning environment through a variety of services, which include; Early learning: Children’s readiness for school and beyond is fostered through individualized learning experiences. Through relationships with adults, play, and planned and spontaneous instruction, children grow in many aspects of development. Children progress in social skills and emotional well-being, along with language and literacy learning, and concept development Health: Each child’s perceptual, motor, and physical development is supported to permit them to fully explore and function in their environment.

All children receive health and development screenings, nutritious meals, oral health and mental health support. Programs connect families with medical, dental, and mental health services to ensure that children are receiving the services they need. Family well-being: Parents and families are supported in achieving their own goals, such as housing stability, continued education, and financial security. Programs support and strengthen parent-child relationships and engage families around children’s learning and development.

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Vancleave Library To Host Fourth Annual Library-Con

Vancleave-Library-Con-2018 Vancleave Library To Host Fourth Annual Library-Con
The Vancleave Public Library will host the Fourth Annual Vancleave Library-Con on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the library meeting room. There is no charge for admission. 
Everyone is invited to come celebrate the heroes and villains of movies, Sci-Fi, fantasy, comics, games, graphic novels, and gaming. Join in role-playing game demos; Cosplay; card game demos; chess lessons; Magical and Mythical Miniature painting; introduction to Anime; Manga and Manya drawing demonstrations, and so much more.
Scheduled presenters include members of The Wayward Kraken; Game Master Catherine Redmond with RPG; Stephen Gill for light sabers/miniature painting demos; cosplay expert Audra Thompson, and many others.
Vendor booth spaces are available for a fee from the Friends of the Library. Limited availability of tables, power strips and indoor space. For more information, call the library at 228-826-5857. The library is located at 12604 Highway 57. For more information about programs, visit the website at www.jgrls.org.
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Shelter Animals Need Your Help!

jc-pet2 Shelter Animals Need Your Help!

Consider this statistic:  In June, the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Gautier took in 550 animals.

That staggering number represents about 18 dogs and cats a day that need shelter, food, water, bathing, and plenty of potty breaks.

“Animals are just pouring in,” said Maridee Mallette, the shelter’s adoption coordinator.
The reasons for the near-constant stream of animals vary.  Many pet owners are not spaying or neutering their animals, while others are using the shelter as a way to re-home unwanted pets, Mallette said.

The problem can seem overwhelming, but playing a part in saving an animal’s life doesn’t require you to adopt a hundred animals. It can be as small as buying some cat food or paying for Fluffy’s rabies shot.


Mallette said the greatest need is for monetary donations. The “free” adoption days, where the usual $50 adoption fee is waived for adoptees, are funded by sponsors. The adoption fee pays for spaying or neutering your new best friend, initial vaccinations and health exams.

In addition to money, the shelter currently needs Purina Dog, Puppy, or Kitten Chow, canned dog or cat food, dog treats, dishwashing and laundry soaps, and bleach.

jc-pet2 Shelter Animals Need Your Help!


Mallette said the shelter is always looking for people who are willing to help bathe animals, clean kennels and give the animals a little bit of that human socialization necessary to prepare them for their forever families.  Those interested in volunteering are asked to visit the shelter to fill out an application and discuss available opportunities.

The shelter also needs foster homes for animals that are not adoptable when they first arrive to the shelter. These animals may be too young, sick, injured, or otherwise require special care that’s better provided in a home.


Last, but not least, the shelter needs people who are looking to adopt their family’s newest best friend—as long as you’re ready for the commitment.

Considering that cats and dogs routinely live up to 15 years old, adopting an animal is a major decision, Mallette emphasized.

“They’re going to chew things up. They’re going to mess up your house sometimes. They’re going to potty in your house,” Mallette said. “They’re going to bark, but you can’t get rid of your kids, so why would you get rid of your animal?”

Once you know you’re ready, the process itself is easy, Mallette said. You’re asked to bring a photo ID and $50 for the adoption fee to the shelter when you’re ready to adopt. 

The shelter maintains a Facebook group called “Jackson County Animal Shelter Gautier, MS Adoptable Pets,” complete with information about available animals and a picture (or video!) for each one that is guaranteed to melt your heart.

Learn more about the animal shelter and the animals available for adoption at https://www.co.jackson.ms.us/departments/animal-shelter/

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M&M Bank Holds Groundbreaking, Announces Changes

IMG_1717 M&M Bank Holds Groundbreaking, Announces Changes

On June 27, Merchants and Marine Bank broke ground on a new bank building in Gautier, after announcing earlier in the month that Clayton Legear would be succeeding Royce Cumbest as bank president. Board of Directors member, Jerry St. Pe’, said the promotion of Legear, as just the seventh president in the bank’s 86-year history, reflects his increased level of responsibility at the bank; as well as the strength and stability of the bank’s management team.

Cumbest will stay on as chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors. “We’re getting ourselves into position for tremendous growth and success for the next 10 to 15 years,” St. Pe’ said. He added that many of the bank’s employees are well-known, active pillars of the community.  “It reflects the community banking attitude and culture that M&M Bank displays.”

Legear said that his internal goals for the bank are to acquire and develop talent and to focus on technology. “Our value proposition is not necessarily the products being a step up from somebody else, but it’s the level of service and the personal relationships,” he said. Because of this, they will invest in hiring the best team of bankers on the Gulf Coast and develop the current team with additional training. He said that technology is rapidly changing in the banking industry. M&M Bank will be investing heavily in technology that will allow them to operate more efficiently, accurately and securely and to enhance the overall customer experience.

Externally, Legear wants to continue to be involved in the local community – even more so than they already have been. “We are a community bank through and through, and we hope to put our money where our mouth is time after time, and show that we are the bank that can be counted on when the community needs it,” he said. Part of this commitment is shown in the recent groundbreaking of the multi-million dollar branch of M&M Bank that is set to open next year in Gautier. Legear says the investment of more than $2 million shows they believe in the city of Gautier. He hopes the new facility will lead to additional development and revitalization in Gautier and that the new design aesthetic will set a tone for other facilities in the area as well. “I think this, hopefully, sends the message that we are very committed to home,” Legear said. “We are very excited about the future of our organization. We think our future is very bright, and we are excited to be a part of Jackson County.”

M&M Bank went public in January. For more information on M&M, visit their website: https://www.mandmbank.com/

Author Bio:Lindsay Mott writes about community and local news in the Jackson County area. She previously worked for the Mississippi Press and Singing River Health System.

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Merchants & Marine Bank Announces Promotions, Executive Leadership Team

mm-bank Merchants & Marine Bank Announces Promotions, Executive Leadership Team

Pascagoula, Mississippi:  Royce Cumbest, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merchants & Marine Bank (“M&M Bank”) (OTC QX: “MNMB”), proudly announces several key promotions, including the promotion of Clayton Legear to Bank President.  Legear succeeds Cumbest as Bank President.

Legear will be joined in leading M&M Bank by a seasoned executive leadership team.  Members of the executive leadership team include: Jimmy Conyers, promoted to Executive Vice President and President of the Bank’s Alabama Market; Mack Rushing, promoted to Executive Vice President / Chief Lending Officer; Kristi Burge, promoted to Executive Vice President / Chief Retail Banking Officer; and Elise Bourgeois, who serves as Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer.  

Cumbest remarked, “These promotions reflect the extraordinary talent of our executive leadership team.  Clayton’s experience, community involvement and leadership qualities ideally qualify him to lead this strong team.”

Legear has served as a member of M&M Bank’s senior management team for 7 years, and as Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer for the last 2 years.  In this role, he oversaw a significant majority of the Bank’s operations, business lines and strategic initiatives.  Legear is a native of Webb, Alabama, and is a graduate of Troy University.  He is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, Leadership Jackson County, and Leadership Mississippi.  Legear is actively involved in numerous charitable, civic and professional organizations, including:  United Way of Jackson and George County, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, the Pascagoula Rotary Club, and the Mississippi Bankers Association. 

Conyers, has over 15 years of banking experience, and has worked with M&M Bank for 7 years.  He has extensive experience in commercial lending, relationship management and business development.  Conyers most recently served as Senior Vice President / Senior Banking Officer of the Bank’s Baldwin County Market.  He is a graduate of Auburn University and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.  Conyers currently serves on the City Council in Fairhope, Alabama, and is actively involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations in Baldwin County, Alabama. 

Rushing has worked in numerous roles within M&M Bank since being hired as a management trainee in 1988. He has extensive experience in commercial lending, credit analysis and portfolio management, and most recently served as the bank’s Senior Vice President / Senior Lending Officer. Rushing is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. 

Burge has over 25 years of banking experience, with over 12 years of service at M&M Bank.  She has extensive experience in all facets of retail banking, bank operations and talent development.  She most recently served as Senior Vice President / Senior Administrative Officer.  Burge is a graduate of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. 

Bourgeois has over 30 years of broad ranging experience in public accounting, auditing and financial management.  She has worked with M&M Bank for 12 years, and has served as the bank’s Chief Financial Officer since 2010.  Bourgeois is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

About Merchants & Marine Bank

Merchants & Marine Bank (M&M Bank) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merchants & Marine Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: MNMB), a Mississippi based bank holding company.  Unlike most banks, M & M Bank was established in the middle of the worst economic disaster in the history of the United States. In 1932 a small group of Pascagoula citizens saw the potential of the local area, considered the risk of probable failure, and then made the bold commitment to provide dependable financial services to the people and businesses in the area. More than eight decades later, M&M Bank’s assets have grown from $25,000 to over $600 million and from 2 offices to 12 locations in Jackson and George Counties in Mississippi and Baldwin County in Alabama. Along the way M&M Bank has earned numerous awards, including a listing in the U.S. Banker Magazine as a Top 200 Community Bank and multiple 5-Star Superior Ratings from Bauer Financial, Inc. Most banks can quote growth figures and at M&M we’re proud to cite those numbers. But we’re most pleased with the way we’ve helped our communities to grow. We know that our success as a bank depends on how we help our customers achieve financial success.

For further information, please contact:
Jackie Skelton

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Resurrection Cheerleaders Join Pet Pack Challenge

The Resurrection Varsity and Middle School cheerleaders have joined the JaxCoHome Pet Pack Challenge. RCS cheerleaders are calling on Pascagoula, Gautier, Moss Point, Vancleave, Ocean Springs, East Central and St. Martin high school cheer squads to join the Pet Pack Challenge today!

Coach Alice Lachaussee says, “Our cheerleaders are excited to help out the Jackson County Animal Shelter. We hope our challenge to other high school cheer squads will result in a huge amount of supplies being brought in for the animals.”

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Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

Music-on-the-Lawn-2017-Audience Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

Gautier, Mississippi; July 11, 2018 – The City of Gautier will host its second annual Music on the Lawn, featuring award-winning Mississippi songwriters, at Gautier City Hall on July 21.

The City is teaming up once again with the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance for the free event, which will feature artists Derek Norsworthy, Wayward Jones, Flatt Capps, Double Dee and Sean Gasaway.  

Music lovers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to set up on the grounds of City Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Vendors will be on site to provide food, drink and treats.

There’s a sound for every musical taste, as the featured artists cover genres including country, folk, Americana, and more.

“We’re excited about working with the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance again for this wonderful afternoon of music and fun,” Gautier City Manager Paula Yancey said.

Music-on-the-Lawn-2017-Audience Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

“We had a great time last year, and we hope to see a big crowd supporting our local songwriters and performers,” she said. “These are some very talented songwriters.”

In June, Derek Norsworthy was named the winner of the 2018 Boswell Media’s Songwriter of the Year contest. Norsworthy, an Escatawpa native, won the competition with the song “Raised by the Radio.”

Lucedale’s Wayward Jones won third place in the same competition with “You Ain’t Johnny.”

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Pascagoula-Gautier School District Registration for 2018-19 School Year is Thursday and Friday, July 19-20

gautier Pascagoula-Gautier School District Registration for 2018-19 School Year is Thursday and Friday, July 19-20

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District will hold district-wide registration 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, July 19, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, July 20, for all returning and new students to the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. Mandatory residency and online registration verification at each school campus will also take place during these registration dates. All returning 5th-6th grade academy, middle and high school students may register at their respective schools. All returning kindergarten through fourth grade students may also register at their respective schools if residency has not changed since the previous school year. Parents of returning students need only to bring a photo identification and two proofs of residency. All new students to the district or any returning students who have changed residency during the summer, kindergarten through fourth grade, must register at the Pascagoula-Gautier School District’s central office located at 1006 Communy Ave., Pascagoula.

Parents of new students to the district should bring their photo identification, the student’s birth certificate, social security number and Mississippi Immunization Form (121 Form) to registration as well as two proofs of residency. Proofs of residency must be: driver’s license, automobile registration, complete lease for all apartment/Section 8 housing listing the parent’s name, or utility bills dated in the last 30 days. Parents must all bring a withdrawal form from the last school attended and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if applicable. All living-with forms must be accompanied by the person whom the family is living with, photo identification and one proof of residency. Guardians must present court documents before registration. For more information on registration, call the Department of Student Services at 228-938-6500.

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Autism Fundraiser Kicks off at Shell Landing

shell-landing Autism Fundraiser Kicks off at Shell Landing

GAUTIER— A charity tournament to benefit children with autism will bring golfers from across the Mississippi Gulf Coast—and beyond–to Shell Landing Golf Club in Gautier later this month.

The Swing Into Autism Awareness 2018 Golf Tournament on July 28 kicks off the largest annual fundraising event for the Mississippi Centers For Autism And Related Developmental Disabilities.
The nonprofit organization in D’Iberville provides treatment programs for children with autism spectrum disorder and their families at its facility.

Ganece Darden, coordinator for the golf tournament volunteers, said that Shell Landing is an ideal venue because of its size, location, and inviting atmosphere. With other weekend events taking place in Harrison County, having an event in Jackson County brings the fundraiser to a wider audience.

“They’ve always been very cooperative and supporting, so we’ve partnered with them,” Darden said of Shell Landing’s participation in the event over the years.

Darden said the golf tournament draws locals as well as those from outside Mississippi. Special guests of this year’s tournament include NFL sporting agents and retired NFL players. Refreshments and lunch will be provided, and volunteers will be running golf carts for participants.

Those interested in swinging a golf club for a good cause can register with others as a team or as individuals to be placed on a team.

After the Saturday morning golf tournament, the fun continues that evening with an All White Affair at the Scarlet Pearl. On the following Sunday afternoon, author and actor T.C. Stallings will be the guest speaker at the Living Life With a Purpose event at the Biloxi Civic Center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 68 children in the U.S. has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This means if you don’t have it, you probably know someone who does, Darden said.

“Autism is very prevalent in this day and age, and I think it kind of has an effect on everybody,” Darden said. 

For more information or to register for any of the fundraising events, visit www.mscentersforautism.org. The website also includes a link for visitors to make a donation to MCARDD.

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Artist’s Reception for the 2018 Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Winners.

Audubon Center Welcomes Junior Duck Stamp Art Exhibit


MOSS POINT, MISS. – The Pascagoula River Audubon Center will be hosting an Artist’s Reception to welcome the student winners of the 2018 Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest and showcase their artwork in the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery. The Artist’s Reception is free and open to the public and will take place Thursday, July 12th from 5-7pm. The winning artwork will be on display from July 12th through August 4th.


This art exhibit will be the culmination of the Junior Duck Stamp Educational Program that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. After studying waterfowl anatomy and habitat, students expressed their newfound knowledge by drawing or painting a picture of an eligible North American waterfowl species. Students then submitted their artwork to their state art competition. The winners of Mississippi’s 2018 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest will be on display in this exhibit.


The Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge plays a large role in the Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp Program and coordinates Art contest by sponsoring it, receiving, and judging the artwork, as well as providing prizes. Submitted artwork was grouped into four categories based on the age of the student. Student winners submitted artwork from varied parts of Mississippi, including Natchez, Vidalia, Biloxi, Gulfport, Clinton, Ocean Springs, Jackson, Flowood, Brandon, Ridgeland, and Perkinston.

The Center, located in historic downtown Moss Point, Miss., is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Learn more about the Pascagoula River Audubon Center at http://pascagoulariver.audubon.org.


We invite you to join us on Thursday July 12th from 5-7pm for the Artist’s reception to welcome the students and their winning artwork.

Untitled-1-1 Artist’s Reception for the 2018 Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Winners.




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