PGSD Athletics Gets An Overhaul

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District is making major improvements to War Memorial Stadium in Pascagoula and Vaughn-Wallace Stadium in Gautier in anticipation of the upcoming school year.

     The plans include new field turf at both stadiums as well as a track straight away at Gautier as part of the practice track. For Pascagoula, stadium restrooms are receiving a facelift as well as new track and remodeling a dressing room for the girls’ soccer team. Painting and sealing the bleachers, renovations underneath the visitors’ side of the stadium and a new press box on the home side are also part of the summer plans.

     Other projects include painting the exterior of the Panther baseball field house, refurbishing the tennis courts at South Field, painting the South Field house and new sidewalks, bleachers and concession stand at South Field. Renovations for both football fields is $3.4 million with other venue improvements valued at $1.8 million.

     “These projects are among some of goals of the district’s 2017-2021 five-year strategic plan,” said Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich. “This strategic plan was written by 250 community members and school district employees. Improvements at both stadiums was one of the goals for members of the athletic strategic planning committee.”

     Rodolfich said the improvements to the stadiums will benefit not only those who come to watch the various sporting events, but those who use the field including the football team, lacrosse, team, soccer teams, band and cheerleaders as well as the members of the track team.

     “The new turf will provide a consistently-level playing field which will dry quickly, and the improvements will give our stadiums a cleaner, high-quality appearance,” Rodolfich said. “We moved our high school graduations to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum this year so we could go ahead and begin work on these stadium improvements and be ready in time for football season. There’s been a great deal of excitement throughout the community about the projects.”

Gautier-HS-Football-Soccer-Drawing-skinny-both-blue-end-zone PGSD Athletics Gets An Overhaul Gautier-HS-Football-Soccer-Drawing-skinny-both-blue-end-zone PGSD Athletics Gets An Overhaul

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Chevron employee gives back to honor those who helped him

We all know that there never seems to be enough time in the day. Between work, family, running to the grocery store to get dinner on the table and just everything that life throws at you, it can be hard just to enjoy a cup of coffee, let alone give back to the community. However, none of this stops Michael Seales.

A Chevron employee in Maintenance and Reliability, Michael is said to volunteer at every event that Chevron participates in.

“I’m just paying it forward. People have helped me out through my life in various ways growing up, so I want to give back and help others.”

Michael volunteers with the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson County, the Moss Point Baseball League and the Moss Point Recreation Department.

“When I was coming up as a kid, we had guys like me helping out in the recreation department teaching us different sporting skills, and it has led me to volunteer at things like sporting events. I also enjoy helping people in their homes, like installing smoke detectors. I want to do the things for others that people did for me.”

Michael enjoys volunteering with children’s organizations because he cherishes making an impact on children’s lives.

“I feel like you have to start with them young in teaching them the right things and things they need in life in general. My hope is that you teach them values now and they can hold on to that as they get older.”

 

Pay it Forward Fridays:

JaxCoHome would love to hear about people doing good in our community. If you know someone that is a champion for our community, the environment, education or local business, fill out the nomination form by clicking here.

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Jackson County holds Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day

Earth Day marks the anniversary of the modern environmental movement. It’s the day people around the country make an effort not only to celebrate nature, but preserve it as well.

On the morning of April 22, Chevron volunteers helped collect waste at Jackson County’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection event in Gautier. Hundreds of vehicles lined up to responsibly dispose of paint, cleaning supplies, motor oil and other types of household waste.

Old household cleaners like bleach and detergents can have a huge impact on the local environment when disposed of improperly. With Jackson County home to one of the largest free-flowing rivers in the country and numerous habitats stemming from that waterway, protecting the local environment is vital.

If you missed the event and want to know about properly disposing of household waste, click here.

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Vancleave students experience Fab Lab

Chevron, Jackson County School District and the Fab Foundation joined together to bring a $1.2 million Fab Lab project to the Gulf Coast.

Fab Lab, short for fabrication laboratory, and was born out of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. Fab Labs provide widespread access to modern means for invention and serve as a place for children to play, create, learn and invent. The Fab Lab will be another tool for children interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. 

The unveiling was held in the Vancleave High School gymnasium, where students were able to experiences they will have in the Fab Lab when it is completed at the end of the year. The mobile Fab Lab is expected to be complete by the summer of 2017.

Some of the features in the Fab Lab include a laser cutter that makes 2D and 3D structures, a sign cutter that plots in copper to make antennas and flex circuits, a high-resolution NC milling machine that makes circuit boards and precision parts, a large wood router for building furniture and housing, and a suite of electronic components and programming tools for low-cost, high-speed microcontrollers for on-site rapid circuit prototyping.

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Attract Hummingbirds to your Backyard

March 15, also known as the Ides of March, doesn’t have a sinister connotation in Jackson County. It’s the day that marks the annual return of our summer residents, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds. 

2015-09-17-13.53.46-224x300 Attract Hummingbirds to your Backyard

A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird rests on a twig

These fast-moving nectar-drinkers return from their winter habitat in Central and South America in mid-March each year just as the first flowers appear on our native cross vine and coral honeysuckles. 

Hummingbirds spend the summer in Jackson County, seeking out nectar from flowers and feeders. During their nesting season (June-August) they will spend more time seeking out insects, particularly caterpillars, to feed their young and you may see less of them during this time. 

The best way to attract hummingbirds to your backyard is to provide them with plenty of nectar sources. A combination of  native plants, a few special tropical blooms, and nectar feeders will help keep your hummingbird visitors happy and healthy. 

Here are some tips and tricks to attract hummingbirds to your yard:

Nectar Feeders

 Simple nectar feeders can be filled with a mixture of water and white table sugar, in a 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio. Do not fill your feeders completely full, as the sugar water tends to ferment quickly in our hot climate. Add a small amount to your feeders and keep the rest in your refrigerator to slow spoilage. 

Feeders will need to be cleaned regularly (at least weekly) during the warmest months as the sugar water attracts ants, bees, and can quickly grow mold. Scrub the parts (inside and outside) with hot soapy water and a dash of vinegar, rinse well, and refill. You’ll often find your resident birds impatiently awaiting the return of their favorite feeder!

It is NOT recommended that red food coloring be added to the nectar solution, and some evidence indicates that red dyes may be harmful to hummingbirds.

Native Plants

Planting native plants with tube or trumpet shaped flowers encourages hummingbirds and other winged pollinators to your garden. Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata), trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), and various salvia species provide plenty of nectar.

Native plants are adapted to our Coastal climate, are typically more tolerant of our native insect pests, and provide habitat and food for a variety of wildlife. Native plants generally require less from gardeners (except maybe some pruning when they overgrow their space) than plants adapted to other weather and climate regimes. 

Tropical Plants 

There are some wonderful tropical plants that can be added to encourage hummingbirds as well. The bottlebrush tree (Callistemon citrinus) is a familiar sight, though it is actually native to Australia, and its beautiful red flowers bloom just as the hummingbirds return to Jackson County, making it a great addition to a bird-friendly backyard. Many tropical plants can be grown as annuals here along the Coast as they cannot survive even our mildest winters and are welcome garden guests during the summer. Fuschias (Fuschia magellanica), cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), and other bright and cheerful flowers can keep hummingbirds well fed and gardeners happy. 

 

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Jackson County holds annual Industrial Trade Show

JC-industrial-trade-show Jackson County holds annual Industrial Trade Show

Businesses in the industrial supply and manufacturing fields attended the 28th Annual Jackson County Industrial Trade Show on Tuesday, March 21, at the B.E. “Mac” McGinty Civic Center in Pascagoula.

The Ribbon Cutting was held at 9 a.m. in the Fair Hall next to the Civic Center, with guest speaker Anthony L. Wilson, Chairman, President and CEO of Mississippi Power. The Chairwoman of this year’s event was Trudi Dixon of Chevron Pascagoula Refinery.

Businesses each year are encouraged to allow employees working in procurement, management, engineering and other industrial fields to attend the event. Participants are also encouraged to invite their business network to attend this show—regionally, nationwide and worldwide.

The trade show provides the environment of face to face interaction where attendees learn about new and existing products and opportunities.

This year’s special guest speaker, Anthony L. Wilson, is president and CEO of Mississippi Power in addition to the role of the company’s Chairman as of Aug. 4, 2016. He started his career with the company in Biloxi in 1984, as an engineering cooperative education student and as a native of D’Iberville. Wilson attended Mississippi State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in addition to a MBA from The University of Southern Mississippi and graduating from the Oxford University Advanced Management Program. 

There were many companies represented through indoor and outdoor booths, in addition to a Jackson County Industrial Trade Show Committee, Jackson County Chamber of Commerce staff and the following sponsors:

  • 2017 Gold Sponsors
    • Chancellor, Inc.
    • Chevron
    • Hargrove Engineers + Constructors
    • Ingalls Shipbuilding
    • Mississippi Power
    • Orion Engineering, Inc./Sirius Technical Services
    • Performance Contractors
  • 2017 Silver Sponsors
    • Brock Services, LLC
    • Cable ONE Business
    • Compton Engineering, Inc.
    • Floore Industrial Contractors, Inc.
    • IBEW Local Union 733
    • M & D Construction Company, Inc.
    • MobleySafway Solutions, LLC
    • Talon Electrical & Mechanical Group
    • Zachry Industrial
  • 2017 Reception Sponsor
    • Lokring Gulf Coast, LLC
  • Branding Sponsors
    • Blossman Propane Gas, Appliance & Service
    • Goodgames’, Incorporated
    • ISC Constructors, LLC
    • Mitchell Distributing
  • Media Partner
    • The Mississippi Press
  • Continental Breakfast
    • Navigator Credit Union
    • Wells Fargo Bank
  • In-Kind
    • ACE Party Rentals
    • E.&J. Gallo Winery
    • Jackson County Board of Supervisors
    • Jackson County Fair Board
    • Lenny’s of Ocean Springs
    • Mississippi Security Police, Inc.
    • Pugh’s Florist, Inc.
    • Turf Masters Lawn Care, Inc.

The Jackson County Industrial Trade Show is one of many examples of economic and community support in the area throughout the year. Additionally, the Jackson County Industrial Suppliers Association (ISA) meets every other month at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.  The next meeting will be held on May 17 at 8:00 a.m.

 

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JGRLS announces computer classes schedule

Libraries throughout Jackson and George counties will hold computer classes during the month of April.

  • East Central Public Library – 228-588-6263
    • April 10: Tech Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Gautier Public Library – 228-497-4531
    • April 24: Tech Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Ina Thompson Moss Point Library – 228-475-7462
    • April 13: Tech Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Lucedale-George County Library – 228-947-2123
    • April 18: Tech Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Ocean Sprngs Municipal Library – 228-875-1193
    • April 25: Tech Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Pascagoula Public Library – 228-769-3060
    • April 5: Intro to Windows 10, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • April 7: Intro to Windows 10, 1-3 p.m.
    • April 12: Intro to Excel, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
    • April 19: Tech Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m.
    • April 27: Intro to Word, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m./ Intro to Excel, 2-4 p.m.
  • St. Martin Public Library – 228-392-3250
    • April 6: Tech Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m.
  • Vancleave Public Library – 228-826-5857
    • April 26: Tech Day, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m.

Registration is open, but a minimum of three participants is required to hold each class. A valid JGRLS library card must be held by each participant.

Email any questions to kharvey@jgrls.org.

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Spring Nesting Season Has Begun

bluebird-nest-5-eggs Spring Nesting Season Has Begun Eastern Bluebirds commonly lay 4-6 turquoise eggs

 

According to the North American Bluebird Society, a non-profit that oversees bluebird conservation and education, the Eastern Bluebird nesting season begins on March 1st. Try telling that to our local Jackson County bluebirds, however, that started constructing their nests in early February.

By March 1st, many nest boxes not only were full of the pine needle and grass nests that are typical of Eastern Bluebirds, but the first clutch of 4-6 turquoise blue eggs were already laid.  

Bluebird eggs, like many songbirds, hatch after about two weeks of incubation. Bluebird parents both take an active role in raising the young ones, feeding them large quantities of insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. The young birds rapidly grow from featherless and helpless to noisy feathered “teenagers” begging for food. Within three weeks of hatching, these babies will be fully fledged and ready to fend for themselves. 

Once the fledglings leave the nest- some willingly and some encouraged by the parent birds- the adult male helps to feed them while the adult female starts the process of laying a new clutch of eggs. In our warm coastal climate, songbirds like bluebirds can raise four or more clutches in a season. 

Encouraging nesting birds in your yard is as simple as putting up a nest box appropriate to the species you hope to see and protecting it from predators. Bluebird boxes may also attract Carolina Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, House and Carolina Wrens, and more. Patterns to make a nest box can be found online for a variety of species. It is important to protect your nest boxes from predators- everything from raccoons to snakes to neighborhood cats like to eat bird eggs and young. 

It’s also critically important that we don’t disturb, touch, or collect nesting birds. Songbirds, as well as all of their nests, eggs, and feathers; are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

If you observe a baby bird that has fallen from its nest, continue to monitor it without touching it. In many cases, it is learning to fly and simply misjudged the landing. The parents are typically watching it and feeding it regularly. If the fledgling is in danger from predators, traffic, or something else, you may scoop it up and put it on a nearby branch out of the way, but where the parents can still observe the baby and feed it. 

Help our songbird populations have a successful nesting season by putting up nest boxes, keeping them clean and free of predators, and observing the babies from a safe distance. 

 

 

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