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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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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Singing River Health System has again been named #1 on the MS Gulf Coast for Overall Hospital and Surgical Care.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Georgia Storey, 228-382-7045

July 5, 2018     

Sarah Duffey, 228-326-0824

 

 

 

Singing River Health System Ranked Best on MS Coast for Medical Excellence  

1st in Medical Excellence in Overall Medical Care and Surgical Care

Pascagoula, MS –Singing River Health System has been recognized by an independent quality ratings firm as the Number One Provider on the MS Gulf Coast for Medical Excellence in Overall Medical and Surgical Care for 2018 based on key clinical performance measures.  

 

This distinction along with dozens of others was announced by CareChex®, an information service of Quantros, Inc.   CareChex is an innovative medical quality rating system designed to assist hospitals and health systems in improving the quality of inpatient care and promoting medical excellence to consumers, payers and employers across the US.   Unlike other publicly available quality ratings, CareChex provides a composite evaluation of all components of medical quality including process of care, clinical outcomes and patient experiences.  

 

Besides the #1 ranking for Medical Excellence on the Gulf Coast, Singing River also garnered top rankings in the region for an additional 36 categories, including Overall Hospital Care, Surgical Care, Cancer Care, Major Cardiac Surgery, Heart Attack Treatment and others.   The system was also named #1 in Mississippi for Patient Safety in Interventional Coronary and Neurological Careand among the top ten percent nationally for Patient Safety in Overall Medical Care.   A complete list of the system’s awards are available on their website athttps://www.singingriverhealthsystem.com/featured/number-one-quality-awards-2018/ .

 

“This is a testament to the compassion, skill and commitment that our team of caregivers delivers” said Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer for Singing River Health System.  “CareChex provides the most statistically accurate quality ratings available in the industry, using publicly reported data to look at all aspects of care.   It is an important quality of life measure for all who live and work here on the coast.”  

 

Andy Weissberg, SVP Marketing Communications at Quantros noted, “Singing River Health System has demonstrated its ability to provide high quality care to the community it serves.  To receive this many awards for medical excellence and patient safety is an outstanding accomplishment for both the physicians and hospital staff.  We congratulate them on their commitment to delivering high quality, patient‐centered care.”

 

Additional information about the ratings and those of other providers across the nation can be found online at www.CareChex.com

Singing River Health System is pleased to announce some of its latest clinical achievements.  Recently, SRHS was awarded the American Stroke Association’s “Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award,” and now it has received another set of quality awards for outstanding healthcare.

The full list of awards received may be found below.

 

#1 on the MS Gulf Coast for:

Overall Hospital Care

Overall Surgical Care

Cancer Care

Major Cardiac Surgery

General Surgery

Heart Attack Treatment

Spinal Surgery and Hip Fracture Repair

 

# 1 in Mississippi for:

Interventional Coronary Care Patient Safety

Neurological Patient Safety

Vascular Surgery Patient Safety

Top 10% in the US for:

Overall Medical Care Patient Safety

Cancer Care Patient Safety

Interventional Coronary Care Patient Safety

COPD Medical Excellence

 

 

Singing River Health System strives to provide the community with top-notch healthcare and are here to serve you. For more information on these achievements, call 228-382-7045.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Gautier to host art show, reception June 14 at City Hall for plein air competition

plein-air Gautier to host art show, reception June 14 at City Hall for plein air competition

The City of Gautier is inviting the public to witness the beauty of nature’s playground through an art show and reception June 14 at Gautier City Hall. 

“Gautier through the Eyes of an Artist” will run 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the City Council meeting chambers and feature drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and art showcasing the City of Gautier.  

The event will display the entries from last month’s Paint the Town Plein Air Art Competition, a three-day event that drew artists from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Diamondhead, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, and other locations. 

City officials will award prizes to winning artists, and the public can visit with artists about their special creations. 

“A lot of times when you live in a place and see it every day, you can take it for granted,” City Manager Paula Yancey said. 

“It’s fascinating to see what these artists can paint and the quality they produce within just a few hours,” she said. “This event really shows you the beauty of your city through their eyes.”

“Plein Air” is a term used for artists who paint outdoors in the elements. The second-annual Paint the Town Plein Air hosted by Gautier was expanded into a three-day event this year. 

It began with an opening reception May 3, and it included optional Plein Air and nature photography workshops on May 4. The main event was May 5, as artists headed outdoors to locations such as Huck’s Cove, the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, and Pitalo’s Marine to paint Gautier. 

They started with stamped blank canvases and returned several hours with one or two complete pieces. After framing the art, the art was judged and curated. 

“This is an exciting event that we hope will grow each year and shine a light on just how beautiful our city, nature’s playground, is,” Mayor Phil Torjusen said. “We appreciate all of those  who have attended and who are helping us to grow.” 

Thursday’s event is free and open to all ages.

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Local Girl First on Coast to Receive Distinguished Award

IMG_E9040 Local Girl First on Coast to Receive Distinguished Award

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Gulfport – Samantha Schwartz, 17, of Gautier has earned the highest recognition the American Heritage Girls offers to Girl Members, the Stars & Stripes Award. American Heritage Girls, a Christian scouting program, reserves this honor for members who have epitomized AHG’s Creed, Oath, and completed a number of daunting requirements, including earning 16 required badges, serving in a troop leadership position, and passing a board of review. The ultimate challenge Stars & Stripes recipients must accomplish is the service project. Honorees must develop and implement a service project of 100+ hours in their community. Schwartz chose to serve Sue’s Home, a women’s transitional housing program run by Community Care Network of Jackson County. Schwartz’s project involved refurbishing a cabin with freshly-sewn linens, exterior paint, and indoor organization. To pay for supplies, Schwartz organized a charity garage sale and church supper fundraiser. She supervised teams of volunteers for the sewing project and cabin-painting. Schwartz spent a total of 284 hours on her project. Diane Easley, CCN Executive Director, described Schwartz as a “real leader” who “was there from beginning to end”.

As a member of Michael Memorial Baptist Church Troop #MS0408, Schwartz is the first Stars & Stripes recipient on the MS Gulf Coast, fifth in the state and 390th in the United States since the organization’s founding in 1995. The award is the equivalent to becoming an Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. She was recognized in a Court of Honor Ceremony on April 23 at Michael Memorial Baptist Church in Gulfport. Miss Schwartz has been a member of AHG since 2011 and currently serves as troop historian. Schwartz is a homeschooled eleventh grader, active in several extracurricular activities including Beta Club, Mu Eta Sigma National Math Honor Society, piano and community volunteerism. She is the daughter of Keith and Jennifer Schwartz of Gautier. American Heritage Girls, Inc., is the premier national character development organization for young women, ages 5-18, that embraces Christian values and encourages family involvement. For more information on AHG, visit www.americanheritagegirls.org.

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Gautier High Seniors to Graduate May 25, 2018

Francisco-Arellano-1-1 Gautier High Seniors to Graduate May 25, 2018

The Gautier High School Class of 2018 will graduate at 7 p.m., Friday, May 25, 2018, at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi.

Leading the Class is Francisco Arellano, Valedictorian. The son of Francisco and Flo Arellano, he will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he will major in aerospace engineering.

Francisco-Arellano-1-1 Gautier High Seniors to Graduate May 25, 2018

Taylor McVeay is Salutatorian, graduating second in the Class of 2018. The daughter of James and Shelley McVeay, Taylor will attend William Carey University where she will major in history.

Francisco-Arellano-1-1 Gautier High Seniors to Graduate May 25, 2018

Graduating third in the class is Bailee Green, daughter of Debra Green. Bailee will attend the University of Southern Mississippi where she will major in music education.

Francisco-Arellano-1-1 Gautier High Seniors to Graduate May 25, 2018

Graduating fourth in the class is Breanna Lambert, daughter of Allan and Heather Lambert. Breanna plans to attend Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Mississippi where she will be a pre-med major.

Francisco-Arellano-1-1 Gautier High Seniors to Graduate May 25, 2018

Graduating fifth in the class is Maggie Baria, daughter of Frank Brass and Christina Baria-Brass. Maggie will attend the University of Southern Mississippi where she will major in theatre design and technology.

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First Hispanic Valedictorian from Gautier High School gets full ride to MIT

Francisco-Arellano-1 First Hispanic Valedictorian from Gautier High School gets full ride to MIT

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Francisco Arellano knew he wanted to go to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since reading a book in the seventh grade where the lead character was trying to get into the school. The character was a good person and very intelligent, and Arellano made it his mission to pursue this dream back then.

When the time came to look at colleges, he realized MIT was the greatest technical school in the country, and he set his mind even further on doing what needed to be done to get accepted. He decided that if he got accepted, he would attend the school.

“If I can get there, there isn’t much I can’t do,” said the high school senior, who made a 35 on the ACT and is Gautier High School’s first Hispanic valedictorian.

 

He accomplished what he set out to do and got accepted to the Massachusetts school while also receiving a full need-based scholarship to attend. Now, the Gautier native, who hasn’t traveled out of the South before will head to Cambridge in the fall to study engineering. He thinks this will be his biggest challenge – the shift in culture.

He’s had a few moments of doubt about attending school so far away but said that he has relied on conversations with school staff to help him figure everything out. He said that these conversations helped him remember “all the reasons I wanted to go in the first place.”

Arellano, who was also involved in the band program at GHS, plans to initially major in mechanical engineering, but the first two years of core classes are the same for all, so he can decide down the road if he wants to change. He said that he is also interested in nuclear engineering and aerospace engineering.

Wayne Rodolfich, superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District, said that this opportunity is like hitting the lottery for someone Arellano’s age, and he’s confident that he will succeed there.

“He’s a young man that has the ability to see the opportunity through,” Rodolfich said. “We’re just super proud of him. He’s come a long way and made a great impact on that high school.”

GHS Guidance Counselor Paulette Edwards agreed: “MIT is going to give him the world where a Southern college is going to give him the South. It’s where the world’s geniuses come to study. He’s going to do great.”

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