Blue-Grey Pride to Perform Free Show

The Ocean Springs’ Blue-Grey Pride Band will perform their 2nd Annual Preview Show on Thursday, July 27 at 7:00 PM.

The high school band will be performing a free show to the public at the Greyhound Stadium. The performance will serve as a sneak peek of what is to come from Blue-Grey Pride in their upcoming season.

The Blue-Grey Pride Band just wrapped up their summer band camp last week, and has learned a new performance that will surely bring excitement to the crowd. The show will be approximately 30 minutes long and will be a preview of the big show they will be performing this season.

Head director, Dr. Schuman, “encourages everyone to come out and enjoy a wonderful evening of OS Spirit”.

There will also be an opportunity to make donations to the band after the performance. Guests can locate Andrea Osman (OSHS Band Parent Association President) after the show.

So, plan to show your support on Thursday night for Blue-Grey Pride and yell “Go Greyhounds!”. 

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Ocean Springs 5K Fun Run/Walk

The Mississippi Municipal Service Company will be hosting their 7th annual Fun Run and Walk on Wednesday, July 26.

Individuals and Group participants from around Mississippi rise and shine early to get their juices flowing and start their day off with exercise. 

The race will start at 6:30 AM on the Ocean Springs side of the Biloxi Bridge. Participants may walk or run the bridge for $20.

The MMSC sponsors this event every year to raise money for the local Mississippi municipalities and its annual conference. The conference focuses on teaching programs that promote healthy municipalities.

If you haven’t already registered for the race, then you have until 2:00 PM today to do so. Participants can register at the Convention Center at booth # 1100. Your $20 registration fee includes: a bag, armband, keychain and t-shirt.

Parents may register children, so families are encouraged to come out and participate.

After the race is completed, various awards will be presented for top male and female runners. Additionally, the largest running group receives a plaque and a group photo.

The MMSC is expected to see a large crowd of over 100 participants. The event is rain or shine.

For more information: contact The Mississippi Municipal Service Company at 800-898-1032.

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New Veterans’ Blue Plate Special

Singing River Health System in partnership with Morrison Healthcare has announced a new Veterans’ Blue Plate Special to be served daily at the hospital cafeterias for a discounted rate of just $5 per meal.

The Veterans’ Special will be offered at lunch and dinner seven days a week, and is available with any valid military identification.

“We are honored to serve our veterans with great health care when they need it and also with great dining offerings prepared by our outstanding Morrison’s Chefs,” said Chief Operating Officer Lee Bond. “It is our honor to invite veterans to be our guests.”

The cafeterias at both Ocean Springs Hospital and Singing River Hospital are participating in the program, and open for lunch at 11:00 am and dinner at 4:00 pm.

For more information: contact Singing River Health System at (228)-818-1111

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TONIGHT: Songs and Stories at the Mary C. O’ Keefe Cultural Center

The Mississippi Songwriters Alliance and the Mary C. O’ Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education bring you ‘Songs and Stories: Live Show’.

This week’s performance will be featuring Chris and Camille Wallin. This country duet couple has made a big name for themselves in the music industry and have worked or collaborated with many artists and bands.

Chris Wallin has established himself as one of Nashville’s most sought-after songwriters. Some of Wallin’s biggest hits include, “Love Me If You Can” by Toby Keith; “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney; “I’m Tryin” by Trace Adkins; “You’re in My Head” by Brian McComas, “Something to Be Proud Of”; “Speed” by Montgomery Gentry and “People Loving People” by Garth Brooks.

In the various road groups she has played, Camille, otherwise known as ‘Hericane’, has opened for The Georgia Satellites, Dr. Hook, Johnny Paycheck, Mel McDaniel, Montgomery Gentry, George Jones, Mark Chestnut, Darryl Singletary and many others. Her song, “All You Gotta Do”, is the theme song for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Dakota.

Chris and Camille will be performing tonight at 7:00 pm and the admission is free. Donations will be accepted. For more information, please contact the Mary C. O’ Keefe Cultural Center at 228-818-2878.

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Sidewalk Sale: Great deals at local businesses

Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual July Sidewalk Sale this Friday and Saturday (July 21-22) throughout the city of Ocean Springs.

This event is coming just in time for back-to-school shopping so parents can catch great deals at local businesses. Participating businesses will have a red balloon on the outside of their establishment and will also have special sales going on for the event. Some stores may stay open later than normal but the standard hours for the Sidewalk Sale will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce will also be open during the Sidewalk Sale with snacks, drinks and chances to win prizes.

Come out and support local businesses and take advantage of the great deals happening this weekend!

For more information, contact the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce at 228-875-4424.

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Catch more fish with science

Learn tips, techniques, and facts about Speckled Trout at this month’s Catch More Fish with Science at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs.

Catch More Fish with Science seminars are held on the third Thursday of every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and teach locals and visitors how to have a successful fishing trip, focusing on a specific game fish each seminar. Attendees learn things from habits and habitats of the fish to how to prepare them in the kitchen.

This week’s featured scientist if Trevor Moncrief who will give tips about the speckled trout’s lifestyle and where you can find them throughout the year.

One session is $30 a person, which goes toward scholarships for kids to attend the GCRL’s summer camp and boat tours.

To register for a session or get more information, visit their website at http://gcrl.usm.edu/mec/fishing.seminars.php.

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What is Crooked Feather?

Have you ever noticed the Indian head sculpture on the side of Highway 90 between Ocean Springs and Biloxi? Ever wondered its story? Well, JaxCoHome.com did some extensive research so we could inform the community of this gem found in Ocean Springs.

The sculpture, named Crooked Feather, was originally built in 1976 by Peter Wolf Toth and portrays the face and neck of an Indian man with a feather sticking out of his headband. Toth is a Hungarian sculptor who created a series of sculptures throughout the U.S. and Canada called the Trail of the Whispering Giants, which honors Native Americans. There are over 74 sculptures within the series and Jackson County’s very own Ocean Springs is home to the 17th sculpture he made. Each sculpture is 20 to 40 feet tall and are all made of wood.

The Crooked Feather Sculpture was made from 2000 year old cypress log and painted red. This particular log was one of the last remaining cypress logs from the Cumbest Mill in Wade, MS. The Ocean Spring Chamber of Commerce sponsored the sculpture and locals donated materials and aided Toth.

Unfortunately, the sculpture you see today is a replacement that exactly resembles the original. Due to rotting and termites, the City of Ocean Springs hired local sculptor Thomas King to make the replacement because the city thought Toth had already passed.

Many people throughout the U.S. come to Ocean Springs to see this sculpture while on vacation or during the quest to see every Trail of Whispering Giants sculpture. Nonetheless, the Crooked Feather is a must-see for visitor and locals.

More information for the Crooked Feather Sculpture can be found in Ocean Springs Archives at oceanspringsarchives.net.

 

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Mississippi’s Summer Ranger Programs are educational and fun for the family

Ranger programs are informative, yet interactive talks or tours that enlighten visitors on the resources, stories and history of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The National Seashore offers a variety of environmentally-based programs to guests of all ages and is highly recommended for your next family outing.

“Our ranger programs give visitors a chance to connect with the park. Some of our ranger programs take visitors out on a boat or kayak and immerse them in the natural world and stories of the park. Other programs allow visitors to look through a spotting scope into the nest of an Osprey family or learn more about the Alligators that call bayous home”, says Park Ranger Chris Bramblett.

For no charge, kids can become Junior Rangers by completing activity books throughout the tour. The activity books can be picked up at the visitor center and are also age-specific. Once completed, they are sworn in and are given their official Junior Ranger badge.

Most of the programs are between thirty minutes to an hour, with the kayak program being an hour and a half. Additionally, Ranger Programs are free of charge and ADA accessible.

Visitors can find out more about all of the Ranger Programs through their website: https://www.nps.gov/guis/planyourvisit/calendar.htm or by calling 228-230-4100.

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Dobson: ‘My loyalty and interest is always what is best for Ocean Springs’

After 12 years, Ocean Springs will begin July with new leadership in the mayor’s office with Republican Shea Dobson.

image1 Dobson: 'My loyalty and interest is always what is best for Ocean Springs'

THE CANDIDATE

At 31 years of age, Dobson has been interested in politics for nearly a decade, beginning with the 2008 presidential election.

“I was visiting my dad in Tennessee during the holidays of 2007, and he had one of the debates on TV,” Dobson recalled. “I was really impressed by Ron Paul. I could tell he was genuine, and that when he said something, it wasn’t because it was the necessarily the politically-correct thing to say, but because he really felt it. It was just the opposite of how I thought of politics as a whole. It eventually inspired me to go back to school and major in political science.”

While in school at the University of Southern Mississippi, Dobson also minored in religion and became involved with the Young Americans for Liberty before earning his degree in 2014. 

“I traveled all over through different campaigns I worked on,” Dobson said. “I have been to Colorado. I lived right outside Austin, Texas, after I graduated from college. I lived in Iowa for the summer of 2015. I’ve traveled all over Mississippi as well. I hope one day to travel more.

“I decided to return to Ocean Springs because honestly during the 2016 presidential election I saw how divisive things got and got fed up with national politics. I decided I wanted to get more involved locally.”

Dobson saw the 2017 municipal elections as his way to get involved and be the change he wanted to see in Ocean Springs.

“I saw a void in leadership in Ocean Springs, and I felt I had the right life experiences, the right drive, and felt like I was what Ocean Springs needed,” he said. “I feel I’m able to bridge the gap. Especially with my generation, we’re not as polarized, so I can bridge the gap not only in political parties, but ideology, religions, socioeconomic division, downtown versus east, and just in so many other ways. With my age group, I can remember the good old days where kids played outside, I was also still in school when social media and chat rooms rose in popularity. I think some people underestimated me because of my age, but I feel it’s an asset. I have the drive and energy. I’m single with no kids, so I have plenty of time on my hands. I’m a political nobody as far as the Gulf Coast goes, so I’m not knee-deep in political circles or bogged down with tradition. I’m able to talk to my constituents with a new perspective on things.”

THE PERSON

While some may think it takes an outgoing personality to choose to run for public office, Dobson doesn’t consider himself an extrovert.

“I’m actually naturally introverted, meaning I do well on a stage giving a speech, but not as well in small groups making small talk and networking,” Dobson revealed. “I’m a big football fan, mainly the Tennessee Titans. I consider Tennessee my second home. I grew up with my dad living there, so even though I’ve never had a Tennessee address, I think of it as my second home. Having studied political science and religion, I joke that I studied the two things you’re not supposed to talk about. However, in my minor, I was a lot more interested in the philosophy and sociology of religion over the theology. I really like reading, and I’ve especially gotten into audio books, nonfiction mostly, I still enjoy learning about theology, philosophy, quantum physics, just anything. My favorite philosopher and writer is Alan Watts. He was born in the United Kingdom and does a really great job of explaining Eastern theology from a Western perspective.”

THE PUBLIC SERVANT

Now that Dobson has been elected and will begin serving after the 4th of July holiday, he is excited to help foster business growth in Ocean Springs. 

“I really want to make sure we’re not overbearing potential small businesses with regulations and red tape,” he said. “I want to make sure entrepreneurs are spending less time jumping through hoops and more time creating jobs. Those regulations only hurt small businesses, because bigger corporations have the time and money to jump through those hoops. I’m willing to listen to companies that want to come and build here in Ocean Springs. When you have your big chain stores like Wal-Mart, there is an opportunity for smaller business to build around it. I also want to build up east Ocean Springs more, and give people to take the 57 exit from I-10. Right now, people mainly take the Washington Avenue exit, and I want to change that.”

Dobson also understands the unique opportunity presented to Jackson County with all four municipalities electing new mayors in this past election.

“We have discussed having a meeting once a month to keep each other informed and share best practices to help promote and grow our respective municipalities,” he explained. “We want to work together to make Jackson County a great place. However, my loyalty and interest is always what is best for Ocean Springs. I like to think it as I’m not necessarily trying to get the city a bigger piece of the pie, but that I’m trying to grow the pie.”

With all of his hopes and visions for Ocean Springs, Dobson understands not all residents will be as receptive to so much change.

“I understand people could be very nervous about all the change,” he said. “People are afraid I will uproot and compromise the identity of Ocean Springs, but that is not my intent. I don’t want to compromise who we are, but I also want to make sure we aren’t stagnant. I want to take our identity and move it into the future. I don’t want to see the Gulf Coast grow around us and not reap any of the benefits. In the end, it’s all a balancing act.”

Dobson will take his oath of office on June 30 at the Ocean Springs Community Center on Washington Avenue at 5:30 p.m.

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Ocean Springs recognized for climate resilience efforts

This article was originally published in May on the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium website.

os-award_community_environment Ocean Springs recognized for climate resilience efforts

Members of the Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice honored the City of Ocean Springs for its work in the field of climate adaptation planning and environmental resilience.

Through a competitive process, group members voted for Ocean Springs to receive its 2017 Spirit of Community Award.

Each year, members of the Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice select a municipality to recognize for outstanding leadership in climate adaptation and resilience planning. The group is made up of more than 300 education, outreach and extension professionals, community leaders and planners, whose work includes contributing to the resilience of coastal communities. Group members learn from each other about how coastal communities are adapting to sea-level rise, precipitation changes, coastal storms and other issues.

Since the inception of the Climate and Resilience Community of Practice in 2010, Ocean Springs has been an active member and participant that shares climate ideas, challenges and needs. The city regularly communicates with group members and leaders. These correspondences help the city leverage its resources and implement initiatives and policy proposals that have been outlined within the community of practice. Just recently, the city was awarded a series of small grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coastal Storms Program to address various environmental risks, such as storm surge, coastal erosion and sea-level rise.

“The City of Ocean Springs has made great strides toward addressing future storm and flooding vulnerabilities,” said Tracie Sempier, regional program manager for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and coastal storms outreach coordinator for the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. “This award recognizes the city’s commitment to finding creative solutions to erosion control, stormwater runoff and flood mitigation. The city’s proactive approach serves as an example for other Gulf of Mexico communities.”

Most notably, the City of Ocean Springs recently proposed a modified living shoreline for property owned by Jackson County. The county supervisors agreed and implemented the Inner Harbor Park project, which will protect the area from further coastal erosion while preserving some of the basic ecological functions of the waterways in the park. The city found out recently that it will be able to implement living shoreline elements on Front Beach in FY2018 with support from the Mississippi Tidelands Trust Fund Program. The living shoreline design was developed through Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium awards. The use of this innovative coastal mitigation technique is an example of the city’s commitment to using local government resources to advance applied science. 

For more information about the Climate and Resilience Community of Practice, go to their website.

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