Kickoff for 2018 Community Business-to-Business Membership Drive

Pascagoula, MS—All businesses are welcome to participate in the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Community Business-to-Business Membership Drive.  The kickoff will be held on Thursday, February 22nd, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Pro Health & Fitness, LLC (619 Krebs Avenue, Pascagoula).  The Membership Drive will start on February 22nd and will end on April 9th.  Chamber volunteers will invite the businesses to join the local business community through Chamber membership.  There will be grand prizes for top volunteers along with networking and many other opportunities to grow businesses that are currently members and that are looking to join the Chamber. 
 
This kickoff will also include applications for $2,500 Façade Grants.  These grants are available to small businesses that are members of the Chamber.  Applications are available online at www.jcchamber.com and are due on April 6th, 2018.  Printed copies of the application are available at the Chamber as well (720 Krebs Avenue, Pascagoula).   
 
There will be a drawing of a $1,250 Small Business Grant (subject to approval) for any new member that becomes a member during the membership drive.  Only businesses and non-profit memberships are eligible.  Volunteers who sign up a new member will also be in the drawing for a $1,250 Small Business Grant (subject to approval).   
 
New members will also be able to take advantage of other Chamber membership benefits.  Those in the industrial field will receive a free outdoor booth at the Jackson County Industrial Trade Show on March 20th, 2018 (value of $400). 
 
The goal of this membership drive is to increase the membership base and together grow the business community.  During this time the Chamber will host a Community Awareness Day in banks and credit unions throughout the county.  Information will also be available at Area Council meetings including the Gautier Area Council Meeting (led by Todd Trenchard) and Coffee with the Chamber on Tuesday, March 13th, at 8 a.m. at Shell Landing Golf Club in Gautier (3499 Shell Landing Boulevard).  Chamber Ambassadors, the Chamber Membership Issue Manager Group (led by Ellen Cole) and Chamber staff will be distributing information on the Chamber’s resources for businesses and the community. 
 
The Chamber Membership Appreciation Day, Membership Drive Grand Finale and Business After Hours will be held on April 19th from 4 to 6 p.m. at Belk of Gautier.  Companies that have joined can network with the membership. 
 
Together the membership of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce accomplishes many things throughout the year including the Jackson County Industrial Trade Show, Jackson County Veterans Day Program, Taste of Jackson County, Explosion of Excellence Scholarship Program, Leadership Jackson County and much more.   
 
The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO is Carla Todd Voda, IOM.  The Chamber Board of Directors is led by Amy Brandenstein of Chevron Pascagoula Refinery.  The staff, Board of Directors and a complete membership directory are available at www.jcchamber.com. 
 
If your company is interested in learning more about Chamber membership, please contact Yvette Barr, Director of Membership Communications, at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or email newsletter@jcchamber.com.  The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce is located at 720 Krebs Avenue in Pascagoula.  The Chamber invites all companies to consider membership with over 600 other companies.  More information can be found online at www.jcchamber.com.

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Grants Available for Storefronts in Jackson County

PASCAGOULA, MS—The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2018 Façade Grant Program.  Façade Grants are due on April 6, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.  These are available for Chamber member businesses and organizations with under 50 employees.  Examples of façade improvements can include but are not limited to the following: overall cleaning; awnings/canopies; signs; lighting; ornamental elements (i.e. – shutters); painting; general maintenance (i.e. – glass replacement, caulking, etc.); and wall material.  

The grants are $2,500 each.  The fund allows businesses to apply for these grants through corporate contributions from companies that are interested in the growth and development of the business community in Jackson County.  Grants are privately funded.  The Chamber is here to support community and business development throughout Jackson County. 

Companies wishing to apply for upcoming grants from the Chamber must be active members of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and already be in business.  Applications for these grants can be found on the Chamber website (www.jcchamber.com).  The deadline to submit the grants electronically is April 6, 2018, at 5:00 p.m.  Award recipients will be announced at the Grand Finale and Business After Hours for the 2018 Community Business-to-Business Membership Drive on April 19th.  This will also be in celebration of Membership Appreciation Day.  

Anyone interested in learning more about the guidelines of this program or joining the Chamber to be able to apply should contact the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or newsletter@jcchamber.com.  New members who join between February 22nd and April 9th are also eligible to be in a drawing for a $1,250 Small Business Grant (subject to approval) during the 2018 Community Business-to-Business Membership Drive.  New members can also apply for a free outdoor booth at the Jackson County Industrial Trade Show on March 20, 2018.  More information can be found online at www.jcchamber.com

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Here are the Final Numbers on November’s Mississippi Coastal Cleanup

OS1 Here are the Final Numbers on November's Mississippi Coastal Cleanup

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The 2017 Mississippi Coastal Cleanup brought in more than 1,700 volunteers to help pick up trash at 40 locations along the coastline. Although the event is typically held in October each year, the cleanup was pushed back to November 18th due to Hurricane Nate.

Volunteers of all ages picked up more than 13 tons of trash along 200 miles of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Out of all the trash collected, 77% of it was plastic. And the most common item picked up- cigarette butts. Over 48,000 cigarette butts were collected with over 12,000 food wrappers coming in second.

The cleanup is a partnership between the Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Mississippi Debris Task Force. It is a part of the International Coastal Cleanup and is one of the largest volunteer efforts in all of Mississippi. Since 1988, thousands of volunteers gather in the fall to remove millions of pounds of trash from Mississippi’s coastline, waterways, and barrier islands. Additionally, these volunteers help collect data that are used to categorize the major sources of marine debris entering the coastal environment.

Eric Sparks, Assistant Extension Professor at Mississippi State University, says the marine debris problem in our area is pretty bad. “You definitely won’t have a problem going out to our beaches and finding trash”, said Sparks. “We’re working on research trying to figure out how to compare our problem to different areas, but it doesn’t take a hard look to see the issue”, he said. 

However, we can help prevent this problem in a numerous amount of ways. Sparks suggests by first reducing your usage of single-use items such as straws, plastic cups and instead using items like re-usable water bottles. Also, ensuring your items won’t get blown away by the wind can help.

“We’re working on educating young students by going to different schools throughout the year and teaching them to leave the beach the way you found it”, he said. “Our long-term goal is to have these cleanup events and there’s nothing to pick up”, said Sparks. 

Local sponsors have also worked to make the event a success. Chevron, Sparks said, played a huge role in the event by providing a monetary donation for event supplies and by sponsoring its own clean up site. Other sponsors include the U.S. Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sea Grant of Mississippi/Alabama, The Shed, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and more.

The Mississippi Coastal Cleanup will be hosting a July 5th cleanup to battle all the firework debris that litters our beach and waterways after the night of July 4th festivities. In the long term, Mississippi State University Extension Service aims to sponsor additional smaller cleanups throughout the year. Sparks said this could allow for more people to get involved and will help raise awareness of the impact of trash on the environment. The 30th Annual Mississippi Coastal Cleanup will take place Saturday, October 20th, 2018. More information on the registration of July 5th’s cleanup will be posted at a later time, but interested participants can stay tuned on their site at mscoastalcleanup.org

 

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JaxCoHome Proudly Introduces #JaxCoSnaps

jaxcosnaps-slide JaxCoHome Proudly Introduces #JaxCoSnaps

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Are you a photographer who enjoys capturing the scenic views of Jackson County? Or even someone who enjoys taking photos at local events? Well, JaxCoSnaps is your next favorite photo-sharing site! 

What is JaxCoSnaps?

JaxCoSnaps is a new addition to the JaxCoHome website and is the premiere place to be seen. Using photos YOU take and featuring them in galleries on our site, JaxCoSnaps is the place to share all of your favorite photos of Jackson County. 

How does is work?

JaxCoSnaps is easy to use and anyone can do it. All you have to do is tag your image with #jaxcosnaps on Facebook or Instagram and you will be eligible for showcasing your photos in our galleries. Our galleries currently include Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day and Nature, but there is always more to come! If you don’t have Facebook or Instagram, you can also upload your photo to the JaxCoSnaps section on our site

Wait, isn’t this like Snapchat or Instagram? 

Good question. But no, not at all. JaxCoSnaps is a unique platform on its own. You can view different galleries of photos submitted by people from all over Jackson County, and you don’t even have to follow/friend them. How cool is that? And if your photo is featured, it can be seen by over 100,000 of our monthly site visitors. We bet that’s more than your Instagram followers. 

What kind of photos do I send?

JaxCoSnaps can be used for any and all photos highligting the best aspects of Jackson County. You can tag a photo of a beautiful sunset on Front Beach or your favorite restaurant in Pascagoula- the possibilities are endless! And the best part? It’s FREE! We want to see your photos of the views you love most in the county. So, get snap’n, Jackson County! 

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American Heart Association asks Jackson Countians to “Go Red” on Friday, February 2

Go-Red-Women-Multicultural-Group American Heart Association asks Jackson Countians to "Go Red" on Friday, February 2

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Ask any stylist, job coach or dating expert and they’ll tell you that red stands out. Eyes are immediately drawn to it. Some even say that the color red is a confidence booster and makes you feel powerful. Maybe that’s why the American Heart Association chose the color red to signify the fight against the No. 1 killer in women.

In 2003, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute took action against a disease that was claiming the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year – a disease that women weren’t paying attention to. A disease they truly believed, and many still believe to this day, affects more men than women.

Stemming from that action, National Wear Red Day was born. It’s held on the first Friday in February every year to raise awareness about heart disease being the No. 1 killer of women.

This coming National Wear Red Day, Feb. 2, 2018, will mark 15 years since the initial National Wear Red Day, which was first observed to bring national attention to the fact that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, and to raise awareness of women’s heart health.

In the decade-and-a-half since National Wear Red Day originated, great strides have been made regarding cardiovascular disease in women. They include:

• Nearly 90% of women have made at least one healthy behavior change.
• More than one-third of women has lost weight.
• More than 50% of women have increased their exercise.
• 6 out of 10 women have changed their diets.
• More than 40% of women have checked their cholesterol levels.
• One third of women has talked with their doctors about developing heart health plans.
• Today, nearly 300 fewer women die from heart disease and stroke each day.
• Death in women has decreased by more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.

But despite that progress, more work is crucial. 1 in 3 women die of heart disease and stroke each year. But what’s more powerful? Millions of mothers, sisters, daughters and friends making a change. The Go Red movement, through campaigns like National Wear Red Day, seeks to build upon those success and rally an overwhelming network of women, care providers, and researchers to conquer cardiovascular disease once and for all.

Why go Red?
Heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths among women each year, killing approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Fortunately, we can change that because 80 percent of cardiac and stroke events may be prevented with education and action. That’s why this year we are asking that you wear red on National Wear Red Day® ,February 2, 2018, encourage others to do the same and make the time to Know Your Numbers. Five numbers, that all women should know to take control of their heart health are: Total Cholesterol, HDL (good) Cholesterol, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar and Body Mass Index (BMI). Knowing these numbers can help women and their healthcare provider determine their risk for developing cardiovascular diseases.

Here’s how you can get involved in the Go Red movement, and show your support for the American Heart Association mission to create longer, healthier lives for everyone.

Wear red.
On National Wear Red Day®, be sure to wear something red to show your support for women with heart disease and stroke. Get your #GoRedWearRed gear from Shopheart.com!

Share your photos.
Take a selfie, organize your office to wear red, paint your neighborhood red, organize a neighborhood walk wearing red, dress your family up in red. However you Go Red, take photos and share them using the hashtag – #WearRedandGive.

Join the conversation.
Like Go Red For Women on Facebook and Instagram. Follow us on Twitter to get daily inspiration, photos, quotes, heart disease news, healthy living tips and more. Better yet, like and share photos with you friends or be a part of the conversation by sharing what going red means to you.

Donate.
Donate directly to Go Red For Women. By doing so you help support educational programs to increase women’s awareness and critical research to discover scientific knowledge about cardiovascular health.

For more information on how you, your business, or your organization can become engaged in the Go Red movement on the MS Gulf Coast, please contact Jackson County Heart Walk Director Ashleigh Gaddy at ashleigh.gaddy@heart.org or by calling (228) 604-5317 (desk) or (228) 236-5830 (cell).

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What’s with the Baby in King Cakes?

kingcakebaby What's with the Baby in King Cakes?

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King Cakes are a traditional dessert loved by all during the Mardi Gras season. They come in a variety of flavors from cheese cake to chocolate and is known for its sweet icing and colorful frosting. But what’s the deal with the plastic baby inside the cake? There are many beliefs as to what the baby actually represents, so JaxCoHome wanted to research the history of the baby and king cake; how it’s relevant to Mardi Gras; and what it means if you get a piece with a plastic baby in the middle. 

King Cakes can actually be found as early as the beginning of the year and at the center of celebrations through early spring. Some associate it with Mardi Gras, others with a celebration known as Epiphany. According to Eater, King cake is eaten on January 6 in honor of Epiphany, or Twelfth Night, which historically marks the arrival of the three wise men/kings in Bethlehem who delivered gifts to the baby Jesus. King cake also appears on tables throughout the Carnival season, which runs from Epiphany to Fat Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent).

Many people call King Cakes different names and it comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles. Most people are familiar with with the dough-like consistency twisted into a ring, filled with a wide array of flavors and decorated with colored icing and sprinkles. The glaze is the most popular part of the cake, including the three colors found on top: gold, green and purple. Variants can be made from cake batter or bread dough or pastry, but almost all versions are shaped into a circle or oval to mimic the appearance of a king’s crown. 

Every king cake contains a trinket — often a small figurine in the shape of a baby — which plays a crucial part in the celebration of the holiday that inspired this pastry. There are two theories behind the trinket in the cake. Some believe the plastic baby is symbolism of Baby Jesus because of the religious connection to King’s Day. Others, however, believe the popular New Orleans lore, which suggests that an elaborate cake was served with a bean or ring placed inside during the commemoration of the king’s ball in colonial Louisiana. Whoever found the bean or trinket in his or her slice of cake would be crowned the king or queen of the balls leading up to the lavish finale on Mardi Gras. 

Now, instead of using a bean or a ring the plastic baby is mostly used today as an emblem of good luck. Though as history would have it, the lucky individual who scores the piece of king cake with the baby inside is said to gain favor, and they’re also tasked with hosting duties and bringing their own king cake for next year’s revelry.

So, you’re probably craving one now, right? Well, you’re in luck because there are plenty of bakeries in Jackson County who make these delicious, seasonal treats. Our favorite is Crazy B’s Coffee & Confections located in Pascagoula. Owner of the bakery, Susan, says they sell out of their famous king cake bites every year. “It’s like a mini ball of king cake”, she said. “It makes a great party tray to bring to your Mardi Gras party for everyone to share.” 

For all updates and information for Mardi Gras in Jackson County, visit our Mardi Gras section on our site and Facebook page

 

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January is National Blood Donor Month

blood-donate January is National Blood Donor Month

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Throughout January, the American Red Cross is celebrating National Blood Donor Month and recognizing the generous individuals who roll up a sleeve to help save lives. The winter months can be especially difficult to collect enough blood and platelets to meet patient needs, and this winter is proving to be a challenging one. John McFarland, Executive Director of South East Mississippi’s Chapter of the Red Cross, says blood is always needed, but winter is when they experience the greatest shortage. 

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. Inclement winter weather – like what the U.S. is experiencing so far this year – often results in cancelled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, may cause some donors to become temporarily unable to donate.

The Red Cross urges healthy donors who have made a commitment to donate during the winter months to keep their appointments. Each appointment kept, and each donation given, offers hope to a patient in need. McFarland says there are 22 blood drives scheduled along the Coast this month.

“Every 3 seconds someone is needing blood”, he added. “Blood is something that can’t be synthesized or manufactured, so it’s important that there’s an inventory of blood available in the hospitals”, says McFarland.  

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Donors with blood types O negative, B negative, and platelet donors are especially encouraged to make an appointment to give.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Donors can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, which is free and available for download now. It can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download. Message and data rates for texting may apply.

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MDMR Announces Closing of Shrimp Season North of ICW

shrimpboats-620x330 MDMR Announces Closing of Shrimp Season North of ICW

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Officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources announced last week that all waters north of the Intracoastal Waterway are closed effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

This closure applies to Mississippi territorial waters. All other Mississippi territorial waters will remain open to shrimping.

For more information about this closure, call the Shrimp Information Hotline at 1-866-938-7295.

MDMR officials also announced openings and closings for some recreational and commercial fishing seasons. The recreational fishing season for Greater Amberjack opened in Mississippi territorial waters at 12:01 a.m. local time on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

The commercial fishing seasons for Gray Triggerfish and Greater Amberjack also opened in Mississippi territorial waters at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

The commercial fishing season for Flounder closed in Mississippi territorial waters at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. The season reopened at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

The Total Allowable Catch for commercial landings of Flounder will be set at 74,000 pounds. The season will be open through Dec. 31, 2018, or until the quota is met.

The commercial fishing season for Red Drum closed in Mississippi territorial waters at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. The season has reopened at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.

The annual TAC for commercial landings of Red Drum is 60,000 pounds. The season will be divided into three four-month periods: Jan. 1-April 30; May 1-Aug. 31 and Sept. 1-Dec. 31. The quota is 20,000 pounds for each period. If the quota is not met or is exceeded in any of the four-month periods, the pounds shall be added or subtracted to the following period. If the total quota of 60,000 pounds is met in the third period, the season will be closed.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at dmr.ms.gov.

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Fuel Your School, Chevron Pump $210,000 Into Local Classrooms

Chevron-Pecan-Park-donation-222 Fuel Your School, Chevron Pump $210,000 Into Local Classrooms

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Chevron-Pecan-Park-donation-222 Fuel Your School, Chevron Pump $210,000 Into Local Classrooms

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Chevron contributed $210,000 to local public school projects in October and November through the annual Fuel Your School program and an additional company contribution.

Chevron’s 2017 Fuel Your School program generated $50,000 to help fund 70 classroom projects, including 33 focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), to help connect real world experiences to classroom learning for 8,803 students at 33 Jackson County public schools.

Through the Fuel Your School program, Chevron contributed $1 when consumers purchased eight or more gallons of fuel at participating Chevron and Texaco stations in Jackson County during the month of October, generating $50,000 to help fund eligible classroom projects at local public schools. Pascagoula Refinery employees were able to contribute an additional $160,000 through employee gift code redemptions on the DonorsChoose.org site.

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Chevron Veterans Employee Network Unveils Memorial, Commissions New Flag

VetMem.3 Chevron Veterans Employee Network Unveils Memorial, Commissions New Flag

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The Veterans Employee Network at the Chevron Pascagoula Refinery hosted a brief ceremony on Nov. 9 to commission a Veterans Memorial and American flag.

The memorial and flag pole were installed at the refinery’s PNC campus earlier this year, and the commissioning ceremony was scheduled to coincide with Veterans Day festivities.

The ceremony included remarks and the raising of the American flag by the Moss Point High School NJROTC Color Guard.

The memorial inscription reads:
This memorial honors all American veterans
who, although separated by generations,
shared a common undeniable goal to valiantly
protect our country’s freedom. The memories
of those brave men and women will continue
to live on wherever and whenever democracy exists.
Chevron salutes our veterans, forever a symbol
of heroism, sacrifice, loyalty and freedom.

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