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Bacot McCarty Makes an Impact for Family Fun

IMG_2371-300x225 Bacot McCarty Makes an Impact for Family FunThe new H20 and Beyond Aquatic Center in Pascagoula is focused on pool-time fun while also thinking about the safety of all who swim there and being able to grow what they offer the local community. According to Tyler Sexton, local physician and owner of the H20 and Beyond Aquatic Center, many of the pool’s guests identified the need of having life vests for both children and adults who want to visit the pool while learning how to swim. After renovating and remodeling the aquatic center, Sexton wasn’t sure how this was going to happen financially, but said that the Bacot McCarty Foundation stepped in to donate more than 20 new life vests of all sizes.

“It really makes a statement that Bacot McCarty cares, that we care and this community cares about family fun,” he said, adding that the donation was a huge blessing for their company and the community members who swim there.

Sexton said that they want everyone in the community to feel comfortable coming to the aquatic center and to feel safe, so they wanted to do what they could to provide this extra level of safety that had been requested. He said they also have an ADA compliant pool lifts installed as well as certified lifeguards

“We want kids to have fun and we want parents to have fun no matter the circumstances,” he said. “We at H20 and Beyond Aquatic Center really strive to be something of a community, family area for Pascagoula.”

Beyond adding the life vests, Sexton has other plans for the future of the aquatic center, including opening an arcade in the lot next door, having motor boat races and off-season events, allowing swim teams to practice there and possibly even hosting swim meets and swim lessons. Eventually, he hopes the place can stay open year-round.

“The more people come and swim the more things we can provide,” he said. “I know what this used to be. It was an epicenter for families and the community. I want to bring that back.”

H20 offers birthday parties and other types of event booking. They offer a membership for $35 a month, but the membership is not required and anyone can swim for $5 a day.

Learn more about H20 at h2oandbeyond.com or find them on Facebook.

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Pascagoula native finally tells the tale of amazing close encounter

For 45 years, Calvin Parker kept his mouth shut about the Pascagoula alien abduction that captured America’s attention. But now he’s ready to tell his story.

Parker, who claims he was abducted and examined by alien beings while fishing on the Pascagoula River with Charles Hickson in 1973, will hold a book signing event at Main Street Pascagoula on Oct. 11, 2018, on the 45th anniversary of the alleged abduction.  

“I never really told my story,” Parker said. “Nobody has ever talked to my family about it, never talked to my friends about it. I’ve always kept it quiet.”

A few months ago, however, Parker decided to share his story through a book titled Pascagoula – The Closest Encounter: My Story.

The idea came to him after attending a funeral. Visitors saw his name on the registry and began asking questions.

“They was coming up asking a lot of questions, wanting pictures,” he said. “We left the funeral because it was taking attention away from the family, but on the way home (me and my wife) talked about writing a book.”

As fate would have it, when they returned home a publisher had left a message about a book deal.  

“He told me, ‘It’s your legacy. People need to know. People want to know,’” Parker said. “He said the media always changes things. They make it a little spicier. I wanted to document this and put it in a book where it can’t be changed.”

Parker said he’s eager to kick off his book signings in Pascagoula because he owes the people of Jackson County an explanation of what happened.

“I don’t know if they believe it or not,” he said. “It don’t matter to me if you believe it or not (because) I know it happened.”

The book, should help readers make up their minds, he said.

“At least read the book and get the facts, like the polygraph test, the voice stress test, the eye witnesses, the hypnosis sessions,” he said.

UFO-MAINSTREET-232x300 Pascagoula native finally tells the tale of amazing close encounterThe book is available for purchase for $30 through Main Street Pascagoula by emailing mainstreetpascagoula@gmail.com. The book will be available for pick-up at the book signing event.

The book signing will be held at 618 Delmas Ave. from 5-8 p.m. on Oct. 11.

The book reveals all, Parker said.

“I remember everything about it,” Parker said, recounting that night in 1973.  

He and Hickson, who has since died, were fishing on private property on the east bank of the Pascagoula River.

“We had seen some blue, hazy lights, and I had figured that maybe the law was coming,” he said. “We stood up and turned around, and then a real bright light appeared about the time we stood up. It was really blinding for a minute.”

He believes the blinding light was the craft’s door opening.

“We saw three figures coming toward us,” Parker recounted. “You couldn’t make it out much because of the lights, but when they got closer, you could kinda make out that they weren’t human. They were more like robotic looking.”

Two of them approached Hickson, he said, and one grabbed Parker.  

“When they got a hold of me, it was like an injection,” he said. “It just took the fear and life right out of you. You couldn’t do nothing. You couldn’t talk; you couldn’t do anything but look. I couldn’t turn my head to see what was going on.”

Parker said once on board, he was put on an examination table at about a 45-degree angle.

That’s when something resembling a deck of cards with a silver bottom came out if the ceiling, he said.

“It came and hovered around my head just little bit (and) clicked four times,” he said. “I figure it was something close to an MRI.”

Then the “big ugly one” left the room, he said, and “the little feminine looking one” came inside to examine Parker.

“She pulled at my skin,” he said. “She put her fingers in my throat, nose and ears and just gave me an examination. She left the room, and the big ugly one came back in, the one I call the soldier. He came back and set us back at the river.”

Parker said he and Hickson sat on the riverbank and talked about what happened for a few minutes.

“I didn’t want to tell anyone,” he said. “But the next day, it was a media frenzy. It was national news and it still is.”

Parker believes social media has kept the abduction story alive and helped fan the flames of its popularity.

He’s been contacted by television stations and has a forthcoming radio broadcast, he said, and he wouldn’t be surprised if some movie deals come out of the book’s release.

“We’re just taking it slow and easy, not jumping into anything,” he said. “It’s been 45 years and I’ve kept my mouth shut. I kinda want to lift the cloud and lift the doubt. I just want to bring everybody together on the real facts of what happened.”

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Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your Mind

IMG_2334-300x225 Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your MindOthers might think having two female kickers on the football team is strange, but to Ocean Springs coaches and teammates, its just not a big deal. The two soccer-players-turned-football-kickers are Kaylee Foster, a senior, and Sydney Johnson, a freshman.  To the outside world, having female kickers makes a statement that “our ladies take athletics seriously,” Coach Ryan Ross said.

But to the team, “they’re just part of us, and we don’t look at them any differently,” he said.  “We look at them like athletes who contribute to our team.”

Both ladies have been kicking since the seventh grade and say the community has been overwhelmingly supportive of their time on the field. Foster, who plans to play soccer for Mississippi College, said it’s going to be hard to leave her teammates. “I’ve been doing this for so long and to think it’s going to be over in a few months is sad,” she said. “It was a little scary at first, but all of the guys have been welcoming. I don’t have a brother, but now I have 99 brothers.”

When she’s gone, “I just want them to remember that I worked really hard,” Foster said. “I got this spot not because I’m a girl, but because I worked really hard.” Johnson said she enjoys kicking because she gets to make new friends, and she’s thankful for the path Kaylee has helped pave for female kickers. “Now I get the same respect she did,” said Johnson, who has a brother on the team. “There’s a few people who think, ‘Oh my God! It’s a girl kicker!’ but really it’s pretty normal. It’s great.” Johnson appreciates good competition, she said, “and obviously Kaylee is a very good kicker.”IMG_2334-300x225 Female Kickers from Ocean Springs will Blow Your Mind

Coach Ross said having a stellar soccer program helps groom the girls for kicking. “Kicking is in their blood,” he said.  “They go above and beyond. It’s good for them, and it’s good for us.” Even though Johnson and Foster aren’t viewed as a novelty by the team, Ross admits, “it’s a big deal when you sit back and look at it.”

Cheerleader Chloe Kirby said having female kickers helps get the crowd pumped up, but the ladies represent much more than that. “The fact that there are two female kickers is an empowerment to women in general,” Kirby said.  “It sets an idea in other little girls’ heads that maybe I want to be a kicker when I grow up. I think it’s a hard task to find female kickers in general, but if you have them it sets you apart as a school that embraces females in athletics.” The cheerleaders even have a special cheer for Kaylee that uses her name, Kirby said. For any females considering a spot in a male-dominated sport, Johnson has some advice: “Just do you. Do what you want to do, and people will respect that.”

 

 

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Will You be Cruisin’ through the Decades?

blog-post-181-300x225 Will You be Cruisin’ through the Decades?The City of Gautier will host its second annual Cruisin’ through the Decades, an official Cruisin’ the Coast event, on Sept. 30, 2018. The event, held at 2800 Highway 90, will feature live entertainment, car shows, food, and trophies for crowd favorites. The event runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Gautier event helps kick off the weeklong Cruisin’ the Coast event. “Last year was an overwhelming success, with nearly 300 vehicles registering and even more showing up to support us,” City Manager Paula Yancey said. “We’re preparing for an even bigger and better event this year, with some amazing entertainment and vendors to help keep the party going.”

The Cruisin’ through the Decades concept comes from celebrating the classic cars, as well as the more modern customized vehicles. All makes, models and years are welcome at the Gautier event. There will be reserved parking and a cruisin’ lane for all cruisers. There will also be multiple People’s Choice awards for cars and motorcycles. The live music lineup will include Derek Norsworthy, Six String Andrew & Band, The Cat Daddyz, Double Dee, and Wayward Jones.

New this year will be an artistic hook. Jackson County artist Robby Amonett will be on site to memorialize the event in acrylics. Attendees will have the opportunity to have their classic cars painted on canvas right before their eyes.  “We’re excited to bring this unique opportunity to cruisers who might like original artwork featuring their beloved cars,” Yancey said. “Robby is a very talented artist who the crowd will enjoy watching work his magic.”

For more information on Gautier’s event, visit www.gautier-ms.gov.

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It’s Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here – Football Preview 2018

America has always been a football-crazy country, and within that dynamic, the South takes that passion to another level. There’s no better example of that feel than right here in Jackson County, Mississippi.

So it is that Friday, August 17, is a big day in these parts, as the 2018 high school football season kicks off for all eight of our local teams. Therefore, Jackson County Home feels like a brief preview of each squad is in order. Let’s take a look and see what’s in store for our pigskin warriors (how’d you like that throwback term), starting with 6-A and moving through the classifications (last season’s record noted in parentheses).

 

6A

C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Pascagoula (3-8)—The Panthers had their first losing season since 2010 last year, and hope to jump quickly back to their established winning ways. Coach Lewis Sims has a team that is still young, but appears to be very coachable. Slade Mink is scheduled to start at quarterback, and linebacker Brantley Torjusen will be a leader on defense.

“We look forward to the chance to improve upon last year’s campaign, and see the maturation of our players as they take on new roles and responsibilities,” said Coach Sims. “We need more depth, but you will see a team that will prepare well and give maximum effort for four quarters.”

 

C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018

 

Ocean Springs (4-7)—Like Pascagoula, the Greyhounds look to rebound from a rare losing season. Coach Ryan Ross has a budding star in quarterback Blake Noblin, with linebacker Mitchell Bowie featured on the other side of the ball.

“We’re excited about the Friday night atmosphere with a new team and new season,” said Coach Ross. “We should have a fast tempo offense, but need to play good team football in all three phases.”

 

C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018St. Martin (6-6)—The Yellow Jackets of Coach Eddie Wayne Whitehead have had powerful offenses recently, and this season should be no exception. Talented running back Ham McGee and QB Mileon Graham will lead the way.

“We have a big senior class and a lot of returning starters,” said Coach Whitehead. “We should have a great running attack and a solid defense, but must play as a team with no egos.”

 

 

 

5A

C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Gautier (3-8)—The Gators have a new coach, Marc High. Kameron Kincaid has proven to be a stalwart running back, and the defense will feature Franklin Young at linebacker.

“This will be a new beginning for Gautier High on the field,” said Coach High. “We hope to bring pride and excitement for Gator football.”

 

 

 

 

4A

 

C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Moss Point (3-9)—Coach Eugene Harmon is in his second year as he tries to restore the Tiger program to its once lofty heights. Several candidates have emerged at quarterback, and defensive end Keandre Booker, already committed to Southeast Missouri, will lead the defense.

“We are working toward a rejuvenation of Moss Point football,” said Coach Harmon. “We have a tough non-region schedule, but our summer workouts have been about character-building, so we’ll be ready.”

 

 

C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018East Central (13-1)—The Hornets of Coach Seth Smith are coming off the best season in school history, when they made it all the way to the state championship game. The always potent East Central ground attack will be led by running back Cameron Gray, and linebacker Avery White has all-star qualities.

“We’re extremely excited about watching our 2018 team try to work hard and perform at a high level,” said Coach Smith. “We have to replace key offensive linemen from last year, but we hope fans can expect to watch our team play extremely hard every Friday night.”

 

 

C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Vancleave (3-7)—Coach Lavon Capers looks to get the Bulldogs back to playoff contention. C.J. Johnson at running back and Cody Bean at linebacker should help lead the way.

“I’m impressed with the size and speed of our offensive and defensive lines,” said Coach Capers. “Folks can expect a hard working team and coaching staff, and we believe we have the pieces in place to be successful.”

 

 

 

 

1A

 

C7LV7Zm-300x261 It's Time: Jackson County High School Football is Here - Football Preview 2018Resurrection Catholic School (7-7)—In just a few short years, Coach Scott Sisson has built the Eagles into a 1-A power. QB Jake Galle should lead the attack on offense, while defensive end Terrence Spivey is a force, recording 15 sacks last year.

“We graduated 15 seniors that went 47-13 during their time here, and they’ll be hard to replace,” said Coach Sisson. “We’ve got a good group coming back, though, and I expect a similar result as last year—a slow start during a tough non-region schedule, then playing well down the stretch.”

 

 

 

OPENING WEEKEND HIGHLIGHT

With all the Jackson County teams kicking off on the weekend of August 17, there will be plenty of anticipation for each game. No contest, however, holds the impact of the 80th meeting between old rivals Pascagoula and Moss Point. The Panthers lead the storied series 40-36-3, with this year’s Battle of the Cats set for War Memorial Stadium in Pascagoula.

I have gone on record before bemoaning the fact that PHS-MPHS is no longer the traditional regular season-ending game as it once was forever. Several years ago, Mississippi High School Athletic Association rules dictated that only region games be played at the end of each team’s schedule. Since Moss Point had dropped to a lower classification, the Panthers-Tigers game had to be moved. I will say that it was a wise decision by the two schools’ administrations to make it the first game of the year, as being the season opener does keep a bit of the cachet alive. Still, I long for those chilly November Friday nights at  War Memorial or Dantzler Stadium when our crosstown lads went at it before packed houses.

 

So, here we go: football time in Jackson County, and a great thing it is. Please head out on Fridays and support the team of your choice—they’ll appreciate it and you’ll enjoy it. See you at the stadium.

(Richard Lucas may be contacted at rblucas17@gmail.com.)

 

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Salvation Army Welcomes Majors, Opens Store in Pascagoula

With the new Family Store in Pascagoula and the new MS Gulf Coast Area Commanders arriving, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Salvation Army is solidifying its efforts to serve the community and make the area a better place for all.

The Salvation Army Family Store is located on Denny Ave in Pascagoula and proceeds will go to their social service efforts, such as running the local shelter, the pantry, emergency services and so on, according to Morgan Shiyou, Director of Public Relations for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Salvation Army. She added that this is important to their work as the local shelter is full every night and they don’t turn anyone away.

People can now donate to and purchase items from the store, and Shiyou said there have already been a lot of donations. They’ll have typical thrift store items such as clothing, furniture, household goods and knick knacks. They’ll also have a boutique section for name brand items, and Shiyou said it’s a great place for both back to school and holiday shopping.  

Along with the new store, the lower six counties of Southern Mississippi are now being served by Majors Bradley & Anita Caldwell, the new MS Gulf Coast Area Commanders. The husband and wife team arrived from Waco, Texas, a few weeks ago.

Since arriving, Bradley said they have already started on some repairs at the Pascagoula shelter, and they want to talk with Mayor Dane Maxwell to discuss some other ideas. Their future goals include focusing on changing people’s lives and not just the emergency services that the Salvation Army provides.

“We want to try to invest more in those programs and referrals that help people move on to their own situation and stability,” he said.

The Salvation Army in Pascagoula has church services every Sunday as well as other programs throughout the week.

Anita said that homeless prevention is a key goal of the Salvation Army’s efforts, and they provide assistance to help keep people from losing their homes.

“If we can keep you in your home, we have now prevented homelessness and that is huge,” she said, adding that they are thankful for the support of the local community in these efforts. She also emphasized the residential rehabilitation programs in New Orleans and Mobile.

For Shiyou, the success of the Salvation Army comes down to the generosity of those living in Jackson County: “We couldn’t do what we do without the people in the community helping us. It all really relies on our volunteers and the donations that we get.”

For more information, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Salvation Army, visit their website

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Qu’est Que C’est: Picking up Pawpaws?

IMG_3965-300x225 Qu'est Que C'est: Picking up Pawpaws?

Picking Up Pawpaws & Eat Em!

In my world there are two kinds of pawpaws – the loveable grandfather that goes by that name (me included) and the ones you eat!  And yes, we have both in South Mississippi. As Andrew Moore writes in his book entitled Pawpaw: In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit, this small native tree is a member of a more tropical family of plants that produce fleshy, sweet-tasting fruit. In most of the eastern U.S., the larger pawpaw, Asimina triloba, is common in wet bottomland forests. For the gulf coast, the smaller shrub-sized species known as Dwarf Pawpaw, Asimina parviflora, grows in well-drained woodlands. Pawpaw’s large leaves give these plants a tropical look and once you spot them, are easily seen again.

 

As with many native plants, pawpaw fell out of our consciousness as we have spent far less time roaming woodlands and foraging for things to eat. Air conditioning has become our excuse, and some say ruin, for not venturing outdoors. As for Dwarf Pawpaw, you can witness this earliest of blooming plants in late-February to early March. The small, brown, leathery flowers emerge before the larger leaves. Once pollinated by small flies and beetles (yes beetles do pollinate many plants), small, greenish-yellow “bananas” appear, in clusters of 2-4 fruit, growing to 2-3 inches in size. Rock hard until right before they ripen, the fruit hang on until mid-July to early August, but be diligent in checking for ripeness, as they can go from hard to ripe overnight.

For our smaller coastal Pawpaw, they are best enjoyed by cutting open the greenish skin and sucking the sweet, yellow flesh from the large brown seeds. Small amounts of flesh can also be scraped from the inside of the skin and used to flavor homemade ice cream or anything else you care to try. Pawpaw has a banana-like flavor and texture.

Apart from humans and other mammals that eat the fruit, this shrub is the host plant for the Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly. This small, black and white-striped beauty emerges in late spring from a small, squatty, striped caterpillar that eats by night. Look for them under dead leaves on the ground at the base of the plant during the day and munching on leaves after dark. So whether you have ever heard the lyrics “Picking up pawpaws and putting em in your basket”, or not, look for these attractive shrubs next time you venture out of the air conditioning.

Hope to see you in our great outdoors!!!

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Most Popular Classic Car Show in America Looking for Volunteers

More than 5,100 classic car enthusiasts from 44 states and Canada are pre-registered for the 22nd annual Cruisin’ the Coast, and Jackson County is revving up for a greater showing this year.

“Those are good numbers for us,” Cruisin’ the Coast Executive Director Woody Bailey said. “We’re on track with last year.” Moss Point, Pascagoula, Gautier and Ocean Springs are all bringing back their Cruisin’ events, with a few changes. “Pascagoula is going to be moving to Beach Park for their event, and we think that’s going to be a terrific venue for Cruisin’ the Coast,” Bailey said. “It’s so neat to see the other cities and the county come aboard,” he said. “Moss Point’s event is called Cruisin’ the River City, and it’s become very popular.” Gautier’s event is on Sept. 30, the first Sunday of Cruisin’ the Coast. That event, in its second year, is called Cruisin’ Through the Decades.

“We had a great turnout there last year, and we’re expecting a good turnout this year,” Bailey said of the Gautier event, which takes place on U.S. 90 adjacent to Belk. Pascagoula not only gets a new venue this year, but it also gets an expanded event.“Pascagoula is now going to a three-day stamping venue,” Bailey said. “That’s going to be even more impact for Jackson County.”

The Cruisin’ organization completes an economic impact study every five years. In 2016, it was estimated that the event generated a $26.5 million economic impact in Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties. “A lot of people over here in Jackson County are spending money,” Bailey said.

While the overall Cruisin’ schedule will look very similar to last year’s event, “we’re working to improve it any way we can, and hoping for a good turnout, hopefully good weather,” Bailey said. “It should be a super event for this year,’ he said.

One of the event’s biggest needs is volunteers, Bailey said. Historically, Cruisin’ has relied on car clubs from state line to state line, he said, but the need for volunteers grows each year. “We’re launching a volunteer group called the Cruisin’ Krewe to help direct traffic, help with registration, and do computer work,” he said, noting volunteer information and applications are available online at www.cruisinthecoast.com.

“We’ll try to work with you and place you in a good spot,” he said. “The people of the Gulf Coast are tremendous ambassadors for this event. We want people to come out and support the event and enjoy the event. Bring your kids out, and help us with the event however you think you can.”

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Did You Know About This Free Health Clinic in Ocean Springs?

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. – Bethesda Free Health Clinic, from its Ocean Springs home, is offering community members free healthcare, basic dentistry and health education, regardless of residency, insurance or income.

The clinic, at 6912 N. Washington Ave., has proudly served more than 14,000 patients from Jackson County and beyond, Executive Director Mary Buffington said, even from as far away as Japan.

The clinic receives no state or federal funds. “We depend entirely on the community,” Buffington said.

The clinic’s medical unit operates much like an urgent care facility.

“We are never going to be your personal physician,” Buffington said. “We just hold you up until you can either get in to see your physician, or, for the working folks … meet your deductible or copay.”

Since dentistry is such an expensive segment, the clinic is currently only able to offer basic extractions. One local dentist comes in once a week, and another comes in every other week to perform those services.

Another important service is health education.

“Mississippi is number one with diabetes, hypertension and obesity,” Buffington said. “We teach people how their lifestyle affects those diseases. We teach a lifestyle that makes it easier for you to feel better.”

Bethesda received a $20,000 grant from the CVS Health Foundation, in partnership with the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics. That grant supports the work of a nurse educator, who provides patients with information on diabetes, high blood pressure and general health education, including nutrition, exercise and stress management.

The clinic’s mission, Buffington said, is “to keep our community as healthy as possible.”

Bethesda is open Monday-Thursday, with one physician on site every day.

“If you walk in our doors, our goal is for you to be able to see a physician and us help you as much as possible,” Buffington said.

All of the physicians volunteer their time, and the medical director is Dr. Francis Selman, a well-known retired surgeon.  

“We have some very highly qualified physicians,” Buffington said.

She said the clinic is “extremely important” to Jackson County.

The clinic opened in d’Iberville in March 2011 but moved to Jackson County in 2012.

“Ocean Springs has been wonderful to us,” Buffington said. “A lot of our volunteers come from Ocean Springs, and most of our doctors come from Ocean Springs, so it’s been very welcoming, and we can use all support.”

Locals have been helpful to the clinic, but the clinic is returning the favor through its services.

“I think that we are extremely important to the working folks of Jackson County,” Buffington said.  

Monetary donations are always needed at the clinic, as well as volunteers.

Buffington said she can use anyone in the medical field, clerical and administrative help, and just about anyone else.

“Almost any profession, if you’ve got an hour or two, I can use you,” she said.

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What Happens When You Roll Ice Cream and Serve Coffee?

OCEAN SPRINGS—Since Fahrenheit Café opened in Ocean Springs, the rolled ice cream eatery has captured an audience with a novel way to eat a classic dessert.
“I call it an ‘Instagrammable’ business,” said owner Justin McMillian. “It’s very eye-appealing. People enjoy watching the process.”

The art of rolled ice cream begins with a base liquid poured onto a cold metal surface and ends with the ice cream artist scraping your ice cream into little columns that stand upright in your container. Basic vanilla and chocolate are available, of course, but it’s the interesting flavors and endless topping combos—like, say, fruity pebbles ice cream topped with brownie bites and strawberry syrup–that have helped sustain the buzz. “I think it’s a good fit for Ocean Springs, because it’s just different,” McMillian said. “You can’t get it anywhere else.”

If rolled ice cream isn’t enough for you, McMillian, who purchased the café on U.S. 90 about a year ago, has recently added more options to satisfy your sweet tooth:  A Hawaiian shaved ice machine, scooped ice cream, cake slices, cake pops and a full-service coffee bar for coffee however you want it. If you need something savory to go with the sweet, Fahrenheit Café also dishes up pizza.

The idea, McMillian said, is to sustain his business beyond the rolled ice cream “fad” inspired by Thailand street vendors. The original owners opened the shop here after visiting a rolled ice cream shop in Atlanta, and the concept is spreading across the United States. Still, while people are still enjoying rolled ice cream, McMillian and his crew enjoy experimenting with flavors. His personal favorite flavor so far has been a king cake flavor that was offered during Mardi Gras season, but any cake that catches McMillian’s eye could end up a special flavor of the week—if it passes the taste-testing phase. (McMillian admits, however, that his idea for Takis-flavored ice cream was immediately rejected by his employees.)

“That’s what I like about it. We experiment and come up with new stuff all the time.”

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