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Greenhouse offers biscuits, beer and brew

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Just a few blocks away from Front Beach is a quiet little coffee house called The Greenhouse on Porter.

“We operate out of an old greenhouse we turned into a coffee shop,” said Kait Sukiennik, co-owner with Jessie Zenor. “We hold different events like a trivia night, when we donate the proceeds to a different charity every time. We have a poetry night, yard sales, we offer local music, and a lawn outside for kids. We’re not just a coffee shop but a place you can hang out with family and friends while you enjoy a beer or coffee.”

Another unique feature of the Greenhouse on Porter is their biscuit tournament. 

“This will be the third year we’re doing it,” Sukiennik said. “We call for submissions for biscuit recipes, then around September we narrow them down and let our customers try them and vote on which biscuits advance to the next round in the tournament. It usually lasts through December.”

The Greenhouse on Porter is a true gem of Jackson County, allowing people from all over to come together in one place.

“People come together from all walks of life, providing a place that allows us to get to know each other better.”

For more information about The Greenhouse on Porter, visit their website or like their Facebook page.

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Chevron dad on fatherhood: ‘Maybe single best thing there is’

Father’s Day has been nationally celebrated for nearly a century as a way to honor men who have stepped up to one of life’s greatest challenges: raising children.

One man, an operator at Chevron, has truly stepped up to the challenge, being a father to four children.

Ronald L. Hackney Jr. has a 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter from a previous marriage as well as a set of twins he adopted with his current wife.


IMG_0157 Chevron dad on fatherhood: 'Maybe single best thing there is'

“It can be pretty tough some times,” Hackney said. “It’s balancing act. I only see my two oldest on my off weekends, so I’m trying to balance doing stuff with the big ones and the little ones, but it’s getting easier now during the summer. The babies are great. They don’t fuss and are extremely content. Having them has added a whole other level of difficulty into normal life, going from not having kids in the house to having two infants. It definitely has its challenges.”

Of course, another challenge gets thrown into the mix with Hackney’s unusual work schedule.

“I do rotating shift work,” he said. “I worked Wednesday and Thursday nights then I have a couple days off and go back to day shift on Monday. My wife also works as a teacher, but it works out because when I get home in the morning I help her get the babies up and ready for the day.”

Anyone who has one newborn knows it can throw life into a state of chaos, so having two infants at home has been an experience for Hackney and his family.

“We made the decision to adopt and it was taking awhile to get everything going and finding that match,” he said. “We were actually getting ready to head out on vacation to the mountains when our social worker called us about this set of twins. They were born weighing four pounds each, so they did have to stay in the NICU for the first week of their lives, but on Black Friday we picked up two babies.

“Life has a way of working out. My wife is good at scheduling, and I’m good at following directions. Working at Chevron also affords us to take some good vacations to spend time together. It’s definitely a balancing act, and the two oldest kids are great at helping with the babies.”

IMG_0157 Chevron dad on fatherhood: 'Maybe single best thing there is'

For Hackney, fatherhood is like nothing else.

“Probably the most rewarding thing in life is knowing you got these little people that you are responsible for, how they grow and change,” Hackney said. “Especially with oldest and watching how they interact with two babies, it’s rewarding. You start to see their personalities and how they develop and grow and mature. It gives you a little sense of joy and fulfillment. It’s maybe the single best thing there is.”

IMG_0157 Chevron dad on fatherhood: 'Maybe single best thing there is'
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Charnley-Norwood House holds national significance

A little piece of history is nestled along the beach in Ocean Springs in the form of the Charnley-Norwood House

Historic-3 Charnley-Norwood House holds national significance

“This house, a Louis Sullivan/Frank Lloyd Wright original design, is of national significance,” said Jeff Rosenberg, Preservation Coordinator at the Office of Restoration & Resiliency in the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. “What makes the Charnley-Norwood House significant architecturally is its place at the forefront of modern architecture. It exhibits a degree of functionality and austerity not witnessed before in residential architecture of the 1890s. 

“The design of the Charnley-Norwood House embodies the nexus of ideas that powerfully reshaped not only American, but international residential architecture in the 20th century. It is quite possibly one of the first modernist houses ever.”

The Charnley-Norwood House can be traced back to the late 19th century, when architect Louis Sullivan took a liking to Ocean Springs during a 1890 vacation. Sullivan decided to invest in a parcel of waterfront property and designed two neighboring retreats, one for himself and one for his friends James and Helen Charnley.

“Although best known for his high-rise urban buildings in Chicago, Sullivan designed these rural vacation retreats with a long, low orientation that blended into the natural surroundings of the coastal plain and was apparently assisted in that design by his young draftsman Frank Lloyd Wright,” Rosenberg said. “The Charnleys would sell their vacation house in 1896 to Frederick and Elizabeth Norwood, also of Chicago.  The long leaf pine industry had brought the Norwoods to Mississippi.”

Only in the next year would a fire destroy the house, but rebuilding began almost immediately, with the Norwoods following the original design of the house. The property once again sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Katrina, a storm that destroyed the Sullivan house. 

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) conducted emergency stabilization efforts,” Rosenberg said. “Despite the damage caused by Katrina, the structure was amazingly intact.  John G. Waite Associates Architects of Albany, New York prepared a Historic Structure Report. This report, combined with the detailed Analysis of the Historic Finishes conducted by architectural conservator, George Fore, produced a detailed description of the original design and construction of the Charnley-Norwood House.

Historic-3 Charnley-Norwood House holds national significance

“After the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources acquired the property in 2011, a multiyear award winning restoration of the house was overseen by Larry Albert Associates Architects of Hattiesburg.  Under the guidance of MDAH the house was remarkably restored to its circa 1900 appearance.”

Today, the Charnley-Norwood house is open for tours.

Historic-3 Charnley-Norwood House holds national significance

“Upon entering the building, visitors often note the thoughtfulness of the design,” Rosenberg said. “Large expanses of glass doors are found throughout the house, and spacious porches provide views of the surrounding grounds and water.  Standing on these porches, looking across at the water, it is easy to imagine what initially inspired Louis Sullivan to choose the location for these houses.  The plethora of windows showers natural light into each of its rooms.  The T-shaped floor plan of the house affords views of the water from every room.  Inviting window seats offer anyone wishing to sit an opportunity to bask in the midst of sunlit pine walls.”

Anyone wishing to tour the Charnley-Norwood House can contact the Mississippi Gulf Coast National Heritage Area at heritage@dmr.ms.gov.

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Director dedicates life to service

image001 Director dedicates life to service

Life isn’t always easy. Everyone could end up falling on hard times at some point, and people might not always know where to go for help. At least for residents of Jackson County, there is the Jackson County Civic Action Committee, working under the direction of Diann Payne.

“We serve 637 people in Jackson County, with centers in Vancleave, Moss Point, Gautier and Taconi,” said Executive Director Payne. “Our main focus is to help people become self sufficient. Our motto is ‘Helping people, Changing lives.’ We deal with a lot of low to moderate income people who, for various reasons, can’t be self sufficient. For whatever reason, a 40-hour work week is not enough to take care of their living expenses. We assist them thorough case management to assess the household and everyone in it. We see if any non-contributors can become contributors.

“If anyone needs a GED or any specialized training, we’ll arrange that through the community college or GED program. We have our Head Start program as well. I think education is so critical to what we do here. I think if children get a quality education, they will be better citizens. They will be contributing members of our community, our state, and ultimately our country, so I really believe in education.”

Other services the center offers are income tax preparation, a senior center and summer day care.

The path that led Payne to the position of executive director was not a direct one, even commenting that she didn’t expect to be here with her educational background.

“I have a background in accounting, a masters in business, so I was the finance person here,” she said. “My husband and I moved from Memphis 32 years ago, so now I consider Jackson County home. So I was the fiscal officer, then when this job became open, I applied. I think it fits well for my passion for service. That’s probably more aligned with my natural inclination. I was raised by my grandparents, and my grandmother was always helping someone. I think you get that early on; you can build an ethnic of service in children when you teach them to help others. I worked in banking, so I probably thought I’d end up in banking, but this path i think it has suited me well.”

While Payne is in charge of everything under the JCCAC, she also stays heavily involved by volunteering in her local community.

“This job lends itself well to volunteerism because we rely a lot on volunteers, but even as fiscal officer I was a board member of local Red Cross and did family support with local Habitat for Humanity,” Payne said. “I worked with families in the process of receiving home. I track equity and help them with a budget and continued to work with them a year after getting home. I served on the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service. I served on the Governor’s Commission for Recovery and Renewal and worked in both the health and human services subcommittee and the education subcommittee. I’m the treasurer for the Pascagoula Rotary Club, and they believe Service above Self. If I didn’t know better I would say they created it for people like me. I do wear many different hats, but it’s easy to wear them when you enjoy what you’re doing.”

While the JCCAC and Payne are dedicated to helping residents of Jackson County, the goal is for people to be self sufficient. 

“Some people are in a situation where they are a flat tire away from missing a day’s work, so we try to remove barriers for them; they don’t want a hand out, but a hand up,” she said. ” It is a basic human responsibility, barring a disability or illness, to be self sufficient. I think most people want to. I don’t think anybody would choose not to be. Hard work does pay. Honest work is good. With hard work, determination and initiative you can be self sufficient. Some people do get discouraged, but that’s why we’re here to encourage them, they don’t have any type of safety net or social support so we do that.”

After living in Jackson County for over three decades with her husband, Payne is happy to live in such a supportive community.

“Jackson County is unique in that while you have four municipalities, I think the county is so cohesive, and to some extent it’s all for one and for all, and you don’t see that a lot of places,” she said. “It’s not 100 percent true, but it’s more evident than in some other places. I think they really support and really help each other, the leadership does. While it’s a large county, I can see if you engage in the community you get what you give. I’ve been so blessed to be able to serve, and feel very comfortable in that no matter where I am, I’m going to know a lot of people there. We all have that opportunity here.”

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 4-Her’s Win State Awards

52208c8e-5c84-40d8-b707-a7a84e25cfba-300x200 Jackson County 4-Her's Win State AwardsOn May 31 through June 2, the Jackson County 4-H Club participated in State 4-H Congress at Mississippi State University in Starkville.  The team was made up of:  Jackson Callahan, Patriona Cannon, Ny’Kqwria Crear, Kia Dickerson, Ayana Dread, Jerrick Dubose, Sabrina Gonzalez, Danielle Hunn, Bionca Johnson, J’Lexus Johnson, Sydney Kendrick, Todd Kendrick, Aaron Lett, Shannon Lewis, Garrett Madison, Nicholas Paro, Kaylee Ramsey, Alysia Rester, Thomas Salter, Emilee Smith, and Calisto Wells.  The team was accompanied by Volunteer Leaders Billy J. Carroll and Robin Pate and Jackson County Extension Agents Caitlyn McLeod and Terri Thompson.

State 4–H Congress is an annual state event designed to supplement county 4–H programs. This event provides positive leadership and educational opportunities for senior 4–H members from across the state in an effort to develop these young people to their full potential to become productive citizens and catalysts for positive change to meet the needs of a diverse and changing society.  During State 4-H Congress, club members participate in social events, recreational activities, workshops, and competitions. 

During the competitive events: 

  • Jackson County 4-H Club won first place in the male volleyball tournament.
  • Jackson Callahan won 1st place in the Computer Contest. The Computer Contest was hosted by Dr. Mariah Morgan.  Jackson was tasked with creating an app for the android phone.  Jackson created a game called Super Deadpool.
  • Ny’Kqwria Crear won 1st place in the Personal Development Contest. Ny’Kqwria created 3 virtual and balsa wood bridge models to determine “Which Balsa Wood Bridge is the Most Efficient”.
  • Shannon Lewis, Jerrick Dubose, Ny’Kqwria Crear, and Alysia Rester won 3rd place in the Robotics Contest. The Robotics Contest was hosted by Dr. Mariah Morgan. The robotics team was tasked with building and programming a robot to achieve specific tasks. 


In addition to competing, the Jackson County 4-H Club enjoyed an athletics tour of Mississippi State University.  The team also enjoyed taking part in workshops and recreational activities at the Sanderson Center and Union Hall.

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Vogue highlights Ocean Springs

The beauty of the Mississippi Gulf Coast is gaining national attention thanks to a recent article in Vogue.

Titled “A Summer Road Trip Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast,” author Anne Roderique-Jones describes the wonderful things about select Gulf Coast cities, including Ocean Springs. 

“Decimated by Hurricane Katrina, this area is coming back to life with a burgeoning food scene and a new batch of coastal artists who’ve followed in the footsteps of visionaries such as Richmond Barthé and Dusti Bongé.”

The article highlighted Ocean Springs destinations such as the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Shearwater Pottery, The Greenhouse on Porter, The Roost, and Vestige

“Dripping with charm, the colorful cottages are shaded by live oak trees, and residents bike through the bustling downtown, filling cloth bags with produce from the farmers’ market.”

Read the full article here.

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JCC offers help during Small Business Summer

Small-Business-Summer- JCC offers help during Small Business Summer

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce is using the season to offer help to growing businesses during Small Business Summer.
As part of Small Business Summer, the chamber is offering a free Summer Learning Series. Held the third Thursday of June, July, and August at 720 Krebs Avenue, the series will cover different topics, such as accounting, employment law, and website development. The sessions are from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Attendees should bring their own lunch. 
 The chamber is also offering an application for a $2,500 Small Business Grant for all Jackson County Chamber of Commerce members with 50 or less employees. Applications are due Sept. 15 at 5.p.m.
For more information about the Summer Learning Series or the Small Business Grant, contact the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. 

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Sip and Shop in downtown Ocean Springs

Ocean Springs is home to many unique, local boutiques, but it can be difficult to check them out when they are only open while you’re at work. Well, your chance is coming up thanks to Third Thursdays Sip & Shop.

Sip & Shop is a monthly event in downtown Ocean Springs when various downtown establishments stay open “after hours,” usually 5-8 p.m.

Many offer refreshments and specials, encouraging you to make a night of things. It’s a fun way to explore downtown Ocean Springs while getting to unwind after a long day of work. 

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