25th annual soap box derby to be in downtown Moss Point

The 25th anniversary of the Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby will be held in downtown Moss Point on Saturday, April 29.

The race, sponsored by the Chevron Black Employee Network (BEN) and Moss Point Active Citizens (MPAC), draws participants from across the Southeast. It is open to children between the ages of 7 and 17 who build their engine-less cars from kits purchased from a designated supplier.

Winners of the Moss Point divisions will travel to Akron, Ohio to compete in the All-American Soap Box Championship.

Originally known as the Magnolia State Soap Box Derby, the event’s name was changed to honor Deborah Washington after she lost her battle with breast cancer. Washington started the event in 1992, and was a beloved Refinery employee known for her active community involvement.

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Yacht club chef returns to Food Network

One of the great things about the Mississippi Gulf Coast is the amazing food the region offers.

It isn’t just because of the local seafood or the proximity to New Orleans. All of those assets would mean nothing if not in the hands of talented chefs such as Food Network-featured Stacie “Cheffy” Vande Wetering.

cheffy-ggg Yacht club chef returns to Food NetworkWetering has been featured on Beat Bobby Flay and is now returning to Guy’s Grocery Games as part of a Winner’s Tournament after winning on the first episode she competed in, which was a whirlwind of an experience.

“I remember getting a call on a random Wednesday afternoon in October asking if I would be interested in auditioning for Guy’s Grocery Games. I did a Skype interview that Friday and then had 48 hours to submit a three-minute video of myself to determine if my personality would be right for the show. It was a long process of lots of phone calls and being asked the same questions over and over again.”

Wetering flew out the week before Thanksgiving and ended up appearing on a special episode of the series.

“It turns out I’m working with another chef during this competition who I’ve literally never met before. You’ve got two people crammed into this cooking station that is really only meant for one, and he’s a foot and a half taller than me on top of that.”

Guy’s Grocery Games is a show, hosted by Guy Fieri, that sends four chefs shopping for ingredients in a grocery store set to then make a dish for the challenge. However, things are not as straightforward as they seem because the challenge also lies in the different parameters set for the shopping and cooking, such as a budget or an unexpected added ingredient all while under a time limit for the shopping and cooking.

“I just remember it all being a whirlwind,” Wetering recalled. “Those clocks are for real and that was the fastest 30 minutes I have ever experienced in my life. You just go into automatic pilot. Even though we had just met, [my partner and I] worked together like we had been working together for 20 years.”

Wetering and her partner won the competition for that episode, and now she is returning to the Flavortown Market.

“I got a phone call asking if I would be interested and available to compete in a winners’ tournament and I said of course. While I can’t say much about it now, I will say I ended up competing against my partner from the first episode I was on. We keep in touch, but we didn’t know we were both invited back until we were flying out.”

Competing on Food Network programming is just the latest accomplishment Wetering has made in her culinary career.

Wetering has had a passion for cooking since early in her life, inspired by her father. She decided early in her college career that her ideal classroom was the kitchen and her instructor a professional chef.

“I’ve been cooking for almost 27 years now,” she said. “I started a formal two-year apprenticeship under a German chef in Orange Beach, Alabama, working from 1991-1993. I’m not knocking culinary schools, but I firmly believe I would not have gotten as far in my career as I did if not for my apprenticeship.”

Wetering’s culinary career has included working under five different Certified Master Chefs, the highest level of achievement from the American Culinary Federation.

“At any one time, there are only 55-65 Certified Master Chefs in the world,” Wetering said.

Wetering has experience with cuisine in the style of classic French, Italian, Asian, Central and Southern Mexican. She can do everything in her kitchen from managing the menu to washing the dishes.

“In cooking, you have to pay your dues,” Wetering said. “As a chef, you need to be able to do everything in your kitchen to have the respect of your staff. A lot of my career I’ve been choosey about who I work for. I knew what I wanted to learn and what I wanted to do.”

Wetering has worked in numerous restaurants throughout Atlanta as well as New York and various locations in Alabama. She now finds herself as General Manager and Executive Chef at the Singing River Yacht Club in Pascagoula.cheffy-ggg Yacht club chef returns to Food Network

“If you had asked me five years ago if I would be interested in moving to South Mississippi running a private yacht club, I would say you’re insane,” Wetering joked.

Wetering’s previous position was working as the Executive Chef at a tennis club in Fairhope, Alabama.

“I had a lot of freedom with my menu and a great crew,” she recounted. “But even if I’m happy in my position I’ll talk to anyone because you never know what might happen. I was asked to interview for this position at a club where the board felt it was time for a change. “

Change is exactly what Wetering brought with her.

“I’m all about a challenge. I’m a fixer. I’m type A. Over my career I would go into a kitchen, and whatever it was the kitchen may or may not have been functioning as best as it could. I would fix it and then I would need something else to challenge me. We’re still a work in progress, but in nearly two years, we now have a waiting list for members, which has never happened before. We have tripled profit and now this is where everyone wants to be. I still have a way to go and still so much I want to do with it. I’m not trying to make it fancy or high end, but a great family-friendly yacht club.”

While the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a change from Atlanta and New York, Cheffy is happy to call Pascagoula her home.

“We have no plans to go anywhere. We’re even buying a house. You just can’t beat where we leave.”

 

 

 

 

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Community votes for ‘Best of Pascagoula’

The City of Pascagoula called for votes, and the people answered. 

In February, the city launched the “Best of Pascagoula” program asking for nominations in 30 categories of things to see and do in Pascagoula. 

The goal of the program is to bring awareness to the city’s community assets.

The voting closed on March 24, and the winners have been announced.

  • Best Art Gallery: River Art Gallery
  • Best Community Event or Festival: Zonta
  • Best Landmark or Local Attraction: Bozo’s Seafood Market & Deli
  • Best Free Kid’s Activity: Movie Night Under the Stars
  • Best Park: Beach Park
  • Best Place to Fish/Crab/Flounder: Beach Park Fishing Pier
  • Best Place to Take Out of Town Guests: Bozo’s Seafood Market & Deli
  • Best Project you’d like to see happen in Pascagoula: More Restaurants
  • Best Reason to Live in Pascagoula: Coast Life
  • Best Thing Pascagoula Needs: Movie Theater
  • Best Trail: Beach Boulevard
  • Best View: Beach
  • Best Volunteer Opportunity: Coastal Cleanup
  • Best Breakfast: Sarah Sue’s
  • Best Family Dinner: Cornerstone
  • Best Lunch Place: Bozo’s Seafood Market & Deli
  • Best Buffet: Jerry Lee’s Grocery & Deli
  • Best Burger: Edd’s Drive In
  • Best Po-Boy: Bozo’s Seafood Market & Deli
  • Best Sweet Treat: Anderson’s Bakery
  • Best Seafood Place: Bozo’s Seafood Market & Deli
  • Best Pizza: New York Pizza
  • Best Tamales: La Fiesta Brava
  • Best Sandwich Shop: Lenny’s Sub Shop
  • Best Healthy Option: Nura Juice
  • Best Place to Hear Live Music: Jack’s By the Tracks
  • Best Cocktail or Drink: Jack’s By the Tracks
  • Best Beer Selection: Jack’s By the Tracks
  • Best Liquor Store: Liquors Unlimited
  • Best Place to Meet After Work: Jack’s By the Tracks

Awards will be presented to the winners at the City Council Meeting held April 4.

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Pascagoula offers summer swimming lessons

Screen-Shot-2017-03-30-at-10.19.23-AM Pascagoula offers summer swimming lessons

The City of Pascagoula Parks and Recreation department is offering swimming lessons  in the months of June and July.

Anyone ages 3 and up are open to register for classes offered in three different sessions from June 13-23, July 5-14 and July 18-28.

Classes are 45 minutes long and will be held at the Andrew Johnson Pool. Times for children’s classes are at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.. Adult classes will be at 5 p.m. only during the first and third sessions.

Cost for the classes is $35 for residents and $45 for non-residents, but scholarships are available. To register, visit the city’s website.

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Bozo’s honored as Family-Owned Business of the Year

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A Jackson County landmark has been honored by the Small Business Administration as the 2017 Generational Family-Owned Business of the Year Award.

Boasting some of the finest fresh seafood and signature seasonings, Bozo’s Seafood Market and Deli has been a staple of Pascagoula for over 60 years. 

Many reviews rave the restaurant’s seafood selection, so check out the place to judge for yourself.

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Pascagoula lawyer inducted into Ole Miss Hall of Fame

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A Jackson County lawyer was honored on March 25 by being inducted into the University of Mississippi School of Law Alumni Hall of Fame.

Raymond Brown has been practicing law in Pascagoula since the 1960s after he graduated from Ole Miss and the University of Maryland in 1962. Upon graduation, Brown was able to serve as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, a rare occurrence for graduates fresh out of law school.

“I believe my induction has to do with a number of things, including my clerkship, but also serving as president of the Mississippi Bar and other positions I’ve held in my professional career,” Brown said.

Brown’s time in law school was an unusual one. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree from Ole Miss in 1958, Brown played professional football for the Baltimore Colts for three years as safety and punter helping lead the team to two NFL World Championships in 1958 and 1959. During his football career, Brown attended the University of Maryland in the fall semester and Ole Miss in the spring until 1962.

Brown’s other achievements include being inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2006, the Ole Miss Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 2000, the M-Club Hall of Fame in 1988 and served as president of the Ole Miss Alumni Association from 1991-92.

“You spend your career in a profession trying to be professional, be ethical, treat people right, do the right and things, and then when something like this comes along, you think ‘Gee, I did it right,'” Brown added. “They gave me this honor based upon what I’ve done, so I must have done it right.”

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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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MGCCC announces summer camps for Jackson Co. campus

Parents looking summer camps for their children have more options thanks to the Jackson County campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

The Outdoor Adventure Camp will be held through June 5-9 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day.

The camp is for children ages 13-15, and all participants must be comfortable in and on the water, including being competent swimmers.

Activities will include kayaking, swimming, canoeing, hiking, nature walks and a ropes challenge course.

The Robotics Camp will hold two session for varying skill levels.

Those with basic robotics skills from ages 10-15 will have a session on June 19-23, and those with intermediate skills ages 12-17 will have a session June 26-30. Each session will be held  from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day

This interactive camp will include building robots and stomp rockets as well as a competition among the campers using their robotic creations.

The Chemistry Camp will offer two sessions, one from July 10-14 and the second from July 17-21. Both sessions will last from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day.

Campers ages 11-14 will be able to create slime, glue, plexiglass crystals and much more. They will compete in a quiz bowl style competition and experience a trip to First Chemical.

Campers interested in Learning to Swim will have three opportunities with three sessions from June 5-16, June 19-30 and July 1-21. Classes will be at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. or 11 a.m. for each session.

Children ages 3 to 12 will experience a fun and instructive course overseen by lifeguards and certified instructors. Classes will meet for 50 minutes each day and are limited to 30 students each.

Visit the website for details about prices and registration, or contact Terri Sasser at terri.sasser@mgccc.edu or at 228-497-7633.

 

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Downtown sees Ocean Springs art festival

Sunshine peaked through the leaves of the live oak trees along Washington Avenue as vendors lifted their tents and organized their merchandise. The spring wind blew the smell of kettle corn and sounds of Caution Swing Bridge through Robinson Street. It was the weekend of the Spring Arts Festival.

In its 24th year, the festival is all about celebrating spring by offering an array of paintings, pottery, jewelry, plants, clothing and much more.  This free event also featured live music, artist demonstrations and educational sessions.

People of all ages stopped by tents to browse the works of regional artists, unique clothing pieces and handmade jewelry. 

Of course spring means flowers blooming, so there were plenty of vendors also offering an array of seedlings such as fruits, herbs and other plants.

While the rain did cut the first day of the festival short, the weather stayed sunny long enough for plenty of people to enjoy the event and browse the vendors.

The sunshine even made the perfect environment for some homemade ice cream, one of the numerous food options available at the festival. 

Everyone coming out on the last weekend of March made for the perfect departure for the cold days of winter and warm welcome to the beautiful days of a Mississippi spring.

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