Annual fish fry to benefit local soup kitchen

feed-the-need-2017 Annual fish fry to benefit local soup kitchen

The Lord is My Help is hosting its 4th annual Feed the Need Fish Fry on Sunday in downtown Ocean Springs. 

The Lord is My Help is a soup kitchen in Ocean Springs that feeds over 200 people a day and over 5,300 meals a month.

According to the organization’s website, Feed the Need began in the fall of 2013 when a group of concerned Ocean Springs citizens decided to band together and do a little something extra for the soup kitchen. The fundraising group decided to host a booth at the Peter Anderson Festival to sell T-shirts designed by local artist Chris Stebly and to raise awareness about the work done by The Lord Is My Help soup kitchen. The booth was so successful that the group decided to carry on and host a full fundraiser in the summer of 2014 titled Feed the Need.

This year’s Feed the Need will again be held at the Government Street Grocery on June 4 from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.  Each ticket includes entry to the event and one fish plate.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Paul Kirkland & Friends, Blackwater Brass, Cary Hudson, and Grayson Capps, Hadley & the Hillfire, Skoobie, & Bambi & the $2 Beers. In addition to the music, food, and fun we will also have T-shirts for sale, a silent auction, and a cornhole tournament. The winner of the tournament will receive a cornhole built and designed by Guice Woodworks.  

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and can be purchased at a number of local businesses including The Greenhouse on Porter, Hillyer House, The Government Street Grocery, The Office Bar and Lounge, Kwitzky’s Dugout, Paddles Up, The Office Bar and Lounge, Triple Threat Academy, and Eat Drink Love Catering.

For more information about The Lord is My Help, visit their website

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LaPointe-Krebs house sees renovations

Click the gallery above to view larger.

One of Jackson County’s hidden gems is undergoing renovations so that it will stay around for generations to come.

Located in Pascagoula, the LaPointe-Krebs house is the oldest structure in Mississippi and the oldest confirmed building in the entire Mississippi Valley.

“We did a dendrochronological study through experts at the University of Southern Mississippi, and the center room dates back to 1757,” said Mack Wixon, Executive Director at the La-Pointe-Krebs Foundation. “Additions to the house were built in 1762 and more in the 1790s. This is also the only surviving tabby structure on the Gulf Coast.” Tabby structures are made with a unique type of concrete that used oyster shells.

“It’s a direct tie to colonial times and a focal point in Pascagoula and Jackson County,” Wixon added. “It’s also one of the most important archeological sites on the Gulf Coast. Evidence on the property has been found of Native Americans, which dates back roughly ten thousand years. The area is virtually unchanged since then, except for the more modern museum that was built in 1986 or so.”

All of these reasons mean that keeping the LaPointe-Krebs house standing is extremely important to the community.

“The house needed attention even before Hurricane Katrina in 2005,” Wixon said. “Restorations have been performed beginning in the 1950s, but now we are trying to address any and all problems the house might have. We finally got a concrete base on it. The west room had sunk down a foot and half, so we raised the entire left side of the house back to level. We’re trying to make sure another storm won’t take the house anytime soon.”

Now that structural improvements are complete, the next phase involves restoring the aesthetic aspects of the house.

“Next we want to address the room, walls, and aspects of the interior,” Wixon said.

While it took roughly a year for the structural renovations to be completed, further renovations are expected to take longer.

“We don’t really have a set date for completion because restoration projects like these can be very expensive,” Wixon explained. “We want to make sure we are doing everything to the best of our ability and using the latest technology, so money is a factor for this restoration. However, if I had to give a ballpark estimate, I would say we hope to have everything finished in two and a half years.”

Even during renovations, the museum is still open to visitors.

“People can visit Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.,” Wixon said.”The house has a real cultural significance that can’t be matched. It features amazing architectural techniques that haven’t been seen in hundreds of years. It’s a colonial gem.

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Free Summer Library Programs for children at area libraries start June 5

Registration for the “Build a Better World” summer library program begins Tuesday, May 30, at all Jackson-George Regional Library System locations.

The summer program for children is designed to help kids discover the pleasure of reading and things their community has to offer. Programs this year will help children enjoy community projects, activities, and the fun of reading.

A full schedule of events will encourage children to be active and interested in reading all summer long. All programs are free and bring amazing topics right to the library; special projects, special guests, puppets, story-times, and so much more.

Weekly programs for each of three age groups will include pre-school story-time, elementary school programs, and teen programs.

“Every year more and more children are reached by our programs,” said JGRLS Youth Services Coordinator Bethany Carlisle. “We always have families moving to our area and we encourage them to get a library card and enjoy the fun and learning activities. We hope children and their parents will come and enjoy great programs for all ages.”

A registration card is filled out for each child who registers. Each time the child visits the library, their program activities will be recorded. Certificates of completion will be presented to those who complete an activity card along with a prize bag.

For more information and downloadable schedules, visit the library website or visit a JGRLS library.

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Kiwanis Club to hold golf ball drop

The Kiwanis Club of Pascagoula is holding a golf ball drop to help rid the world of Maternal/Neonatal Tetanus.

Those interested in entering the contest can contact a Kiwanis member to buy a ticket for $10 or three tickets for $25. Tickets come with a chance to win $75, $150, or $300.

Ticket numbers match numbers on the golf balls, which will be dropped on June 16 at 7:30 p.m. in downtown Pascagoula during the city’s Third Fridays: Let’s Play Ball. Balls landing closest to the target will win. 

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Jackson County celebrates Memorial Day weekend

Every year, we observe Memorial Day in honor of those who have lost their lives serving this country. 

Several events across Jackson County were held over the weekend to honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Saturday, the families of those who lost someone in service were honored at the dedication for the new Gold Star Marker in front of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs.

Gold Star families are the survivors of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. They are the ones who will never see their spouse, sibling, or child ever again.


IMG_3750 Jackson County celebrates Memorial Day weekend

The Ocean Springs Garden Club, who previously secured the Blue Star Marker by the Civic Center, also helped secure the new Gold Star Marker.

The Ocean Springs Garden Club chose the Mary C. as the location for the Gold Star Marker because the center was already home to two other memorials, which allowed the event to be held in conjunction with the God and Country Memorial Concert inside the Mary C. 

Gold Star families who attended the event were able place a flower with the name of their lost loved one at the base of the marker. 

Sunday night, dozens of people gathered in Beach Park in Pascagoula for Sounds of the Sea.

The Singing River Chorale opened the free concert, and the then the Gulf Coast Symphony, directed by Peter Rubardt, performed songs honoring loccal military men and women, with performances of “God Bless America,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “1812 Overture.”

Frank Emond served as the evening’s guest conductor, and he shared his experiences in service with the crowd during the evening. 

At 99 years old, Emond was stationed on the USS Pennsylvania during the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

“I joined the Navy in 1938 as a musician,” Emond recalled. “I remember that day hearing over the speakers, ‘General quarters, no drill. General quarters no drill.’ So we immediately had to go to our battle stations. At the end of the day, one of my jobs was to retrieve the dead and the wounded. We were given rifles and ammunition that night in case of an invasion. On Memorial Day, I remember everyone that was lost on that day.”

After hearing his story, the crowd gave Emond a standing ovation.

“I think it is extremely important to recognize our veterans, those that have served and those that are serving currently,” said Thomas Browning, who served with the Marine Corps and works with the Moss Point Honor Flight. “Being a Vietnam era veteran and never getting any kind of welcome home or thank you for your service to our great nation ,I feel that letting our veterans who have served know how much we appreciate them and the sacrifices that they have made. And to the families of the veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice, I say thank you, and I am extremely sorry for your loss. And I must tell you that the World War II veterans, I never really understood why they call them the greatest generation until I got involved with Honor Flight and met these wonderful men that sacrificed so much that you and I may have the freedom that we enjoy today. God bless them and God bless America.”

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PGSD offers free summer meals

In an effort to reduce childhood hunger in the community, the Pascagoula-Gautier School District Child Nutrition Department is offering free summer meals at three select locations in the district.

Through June and July, breakfast and lunch will be served to anyone under the age of 18 years at cost with no registration required.

Breakfast will be served from 7:30 until 8:30 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. until noon. 

The following locations will offer free summer meals through select dates:

  • Gautier Elementary
    • May 30- July 27 (Tuesday through Thursday only)
  • Jackson Elementary
    • May 30- July 27 (Tuesday through Thursday only)
  • Pascagoula Opportunity Center
    • June 1- June 30 (Monday through Friday )

For more information about summer feeding, click here.

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Teacher lays foundation for academic career

Mrs.-Young Teacher lays foundation for academic career

It seems like kindergarten used to just be nap time, the alphabet and chocolate milk. However, times have changed, and children are expected to know so much more, from computer skills to narrative writing. Considering for some children it is their first time in a classroom, it is a lot to learn in a year. This is where teachers like Margaret Young come in.

“I have been teaching kindergarten at Gautier Elementary School for 10 years now,” Young said. “Before that I taught 2nd grade for two years.”

As a kindergarten teacher, Margaret works to make her classroom a fun learning environment.

“I have tried to foster a family relationship in my classroom,” she explained. “We do a lot of talking and sharing of feelings and emotions and ideas. We do learning through music, movements and gestures to help the students remember the lessons. I have learning centers to incorporate art and games to make them want to learn.”

Making learning engaging for the students can make it easier for them to learn the more challenging coursework.

“The work is very rigorous now, so that’s why I try to make it fun,” Young said. “Now they are writing narratives and informational text by the end of the year. They know how to read data because they have to do that on the computer every day. It is more challenging now than in previous years. We in Mississippi were falling behind in education in the nation, but now we have some of the most rigorous standards so we can catch up. It’s a lot of work, and there are tears from the kids, but they are excited to learn.”

Margaret was inspired to be a teacher by one of life’s first role models: her mother.

Mrs.-Young Teacher lays foundation for academic career
Mrs.-Young Teacher lays foundation for academic career

“My mom was as assistant teacher who worked in kindergarten and special education, so I’ve always been in that environment,” she recalled. “I’ve always loved little kids, even when I was a little kid. I’ve always sort of had this parental instinct and used to pretend to play teacher. I’ve also had some really great teachers, especially one of my math teachers at Colmer Middle School. I was having trouble in math, and she would always work with me and stay with me after school without getting paid anything extra to help me.”

As a kindergarten teacher, Margaret is often working with students who have never been in a classroom environment before.

“I would say my class is about half and half,” she said. “Some kids how been in a pre-k class or Head Start program, but it is an even split between those children and the children who are coming straight from home. They do cry the first few weeks because they miss being at home, but we use that time to teach them the rules and routines to make them more comfortable in the classroom. At that age, children really want to please you and do the right thing. The only challenge comes in that there’s 24 students to teach everything to between just my assistant and myself. But they see the reward, so they want to learn.”

As the school year comes to an end, it is once again time for the students to say good bye to Ms. Young as they move to the 1st grade.

Mrs.-Young Teacher lays foundation for academic career

“In these last few weeks, I’m trying to make sure they are excited to move on and prepare them for the 1st grade,” Young explained. “I know all of the teachers they are moving to, so I’m not worried about them having a good experience next year. I’m happy to see how they’ve grown.”

Mrs.-Young Teacher lays foundation for academic career


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 celebrates high school graduates

The month of May means Mother’s Day, Memorial Day weekend, and graduations.

High schools across Jackson County are celebrating their graduating seniors and their achievements.

Resurrection Catholic School had 33 students graduate this May.

Gautier High School has 197 students graduating, with Gabrielle Humber selected as class valedictorian and Elizabeth Holliday as salutatorian.

Pascagoula High School’s class of 265 students has Amelia Lawrence as valedictorian and Caroline Ko as salutatorian.

Moss Point High School has 129 students graduating, with Kennadi Johnson selected as class valedictorian and Niya Cooper as salutatorian.

St. Martin High School’s class of 279 students has Alyssa Britton as valedictorian and Katlyn Scott as salutatorian. 

East Central High School has 180 students graduating, with Sarah Eyre as valedictorian and Jenna Broadus as salutatorian.

Vancleave High School’s class of 173 students has Brandon Jerrod Scott as valedictorian and Emily Chappell as salutatorian.

Ocean Springs High School has a class of 399 students, with Leah Dudte as valedictorian and Molly Harback as salutatorian.

Congratulations to all of the Jackson County high school graduates!

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Singing River Health System Auxiliary Volunteers award over $10,000 in scholarships

Hospital Auxiliary Volunteers at both Ocean Springs Hospital and Singing River Hospital have announced the winners of their annual scholarship awards for students pursuing a health-related field of study.

15 recipients were selected based upon their academic achievements, leadership and potential as future medical professionals, including a number of health system employees who are returning to school for advanced degrees.

Scholarships awarded by Ocean Springs Hospital Auxiliary

  • Melisa Goff
  • Katherine Schroeder
  • Cynthia Nhung Thi Le
  • Amy Crump
  • Elizabeth King
  • Morgan Ladner
  • Tammy Conner

Scholarships awarded by Singing River Hospital Auxiliary

  • Madison Poiroux
  • Marissa Anderson
  • Drew Sumrall
  • Bailey Clemens
  • Joshua Cao
  • Heather Herbst
  • Anna Grace Meeks
  • Virginia Mosley for Sharon Moody

“We congratulate these outstanding students on their awards, and are so very grateful to our hospital auxiliary volunteers for their generosity and support of our future health care professionals,” said system CEO Kevin Holland. “We wish these winners all the best as they pursue their studies and hope to welcome them back to Singing River to help care for our community.

OSH-2017-Scholarship-winners Singing River Health System Auxiliary Volunteers award over $10,000 in scholarships
OSH-2017-Scholarship-winners Singing River Health System Auxiliary Volunteers award over $10,000 in scholarships
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Mississippi Export Railroad taps youngest female CEO in railroad industry

kate_draft_export-c Mississippi Export Railroad taps youngest female CEO in railroad industry

Mississippi Export Railroad (MSE) announces Kate C. Luce as President and CEO. At age 29, Luce is the youngest female CEO in the railroad industry.

MSE is a freight railroad and transportation services company facilitating the flow of goods between the Gulf Coast and broader North American rail infrastructure.

Luce began her tenure at MSE in customer service, working her way through the ranks of the transportation department; training as Conductor, serving as Trainmaster, and ultimately managing the department. When asked about the new, young CEO, board member Jim Bridges talks of a dynamic and energetic Luce.

“Kate has been key to the long-term succession plan of MSE for several years,” Bridges said. “She has a strong history of achievement in all her endeavors and I have complete confidence that she will be equally as capable as CEO. Her leadership skills combined with a drive to create and recognize new opportunities will assuredly increase our shareholders’ value.”

After cutting her teeth at MSE, Luce left the company to broaden her business and industry perspective. Her outside experience includes working in General Electric’s Transportation division under the Experienced Commercial Leadership Program and as a consultant with Bain & Company in Atlanta. Luce returned to MSE as Chief Operating Officer in 2016.

Luce’s education, experience and integration in the MSE business provide her with a refreshingly comprehensive perspective on the rail industry and a vision for taking MSE into this next era.

“We are at a turning point in the rail industry,” Luce said. “I’m most excited about the focus on determining the product and service mix of the future in rail and finding new ways to better serve the customer.”

Her energy is matched by an innovative spirit and a strong desire to see the rail industry fully realize its potential in today’s transportation climate.

“I love the problem-solving nature in what we do and I truly believe in rail as the safest transportation option for our citizens. Additionally, rail is far more environmentally friendly,” Luce said. “I’m lucky to be surrounded by a talented team of people who share my desire to serve a larger customer base by converting more long haul traffic from truck to rail.”

The young CEO speaks of her vision with a focus on MSE’s core values and an eye toward the bigger industry picture.

“I look forward to playing an even greater role in helping our customers find meaningful solutions to their problems and growing in our success together,” Luce said.

Luce holds a BSBA in Supply Chain Management from Auburn University and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, with emphasizes in both Financial Analysis and Leadership and Ethics. During her time at Duke, Luce served as SGA President and a Fellow at the Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics. She is a recipient of the Keohane Leadership Award for exceptional leadership and currently serves on the Board of Advisors at the University of South Alabama’s Mitchell College of Business.

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