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Beach Pier to close for renovations

The City of Pascagoula’s Beach Pier Plaza is scheduled for renovations beginning the week of May 29 and will be closed until the end of July.

Crews will be removing the current access to the pier to construct ADA compliant ramp to the pier. Residents should proceed with caution in this area.

The new Beach Pier will have a large plaza style boardwalk, at the same height as the existing promenade, with composite decking. The plaza will include low-level lighting, picnic areas, landscaping, pedestals for public art and an ADA access ramp to the water. There will also be a new entrance on the south side of Beach Park for ADA access to the promenade path and sand for people of all abilities.

JE Borries Construction was awarded the contract for this project. The total project cost is approximately a little over $300,000 with HUD Economic Development Initiative monies funding this specific construction of the beach promenade project.

Due to the grant being utilized for this project, the city is required to complete this project by the end of July.

beach-pier-ada Beach Pier to close for renovations

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Summer camps offered sure to please all

School is out for the summer. What are you going to do with your kids until August? If you don’t want them staring at a screen all summer, various campus are being offered across Jackson County for children of all ages. Check out some of the campus listed below.

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Jackson County Campus

Summer camps offered at the Jackson County campus of MGCCC in Gautier cover topics such as robotics, chemistry, swimming, and outdoor adventures. 

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

Pascagoula River Audubon Center

The Pascagoula River Audubon Center is offering fun, nature-based summer camp programming for a variety of age groups.

Elementary, middle school, and mini-camps run from 9 a.m. until noon at the center. The high school junior naturalist program runs 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. each day, and is field-trip based.

Visit the Audubon Center’s website for more details and to download the registration forms.

Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center

The center is all about the arts, whether performing, visual or culinary. This mission is reflected in the selection for their 2017 summer camps. 

Weeklong summer camps for all ages at the Mary C. run from the first full week of June all the way until the end of July, so there is plenty opportunity to for the kids to get their hands dirty learning how to cook, write, paint, craft and so much more. 

Visit the website for camp dates, details and pricing.

University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab

The GCRL’s three summer camp programs focus on the beauty of the ocean and all that inhabit it. 

Sea Camp: This summer Sea Camp is 30 years old. It has been the Coast’s most popular marine science day camp for children in grades 1 through 6.Activities include live animal encounters with coastal wildlife and opportunities to fish, crab, seine and sieve. 

Shark Camp: Why watch shark week on TV when you can live it? Visit the top shark fishing hotspots around the Barrier Islands aboard a research vessel. Catch and tag sharks to contribute to ongoing scientific research.

Shaggy’s Angler Camp: Fish everyday. This program introduces young people in grades 7 through 12 to fishing in the diverse waters of coastal Mississippi. The five-day camp includes sessions on the water, in the lab, and in the kitchen, as students learn everything from tying a hook on a line to finding and catching fish to cleaning and cooking their catch.

If you know of any other summer camps happening in Jackson County, sign up to become a contributor and write something up to let everyone know. Summer is fast approaching!

 

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Taste of Ocean Springs winners announced

The Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce has announced the winners for the 9th annual Taste of Ocean Springs.

Every year, attendees to Taste of Ocean Springs vote for their favorite entry from the participating restaurants and wine brokers in the categories of Best Drink, Best Entree, and Best Dessert.

This year, Vestige on Best Entree for their Grilled Pork Loin topped with Chicken Cracklin.

French Kiss Pastries won Best Dessert for their Tuxedo Cake.

Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits won Best Drink as well.

Congratulations again to this year’s winners.

18527466_1294689970644141_2042134344502733991_o Taste of Ocean Springs winners announced
18527466_1294689970644141_2042134344502733991_o Taste of Ocean Springs winners announced
18527466_1294689970644141_2042134344502733991_o Taste of Ocean Springs winners announced
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Pascagoula gets rolling during Third Fridays

The second year of Third Fridays in Pascagoula began on May 19, and this event’s theme was wheels.

Visitors were able to enjoy face painting, a bounce house, a prize wheel and sweet tea from Raising Cane’s, cool cars from Magnolia Classic Cruisers and the Gulf Coast Corvette Club, and even pottery made on the spinning wheel was featured at the Singing River Art Association and Main Street Pascagoula.  

Children were able to get up close and personal with a tractor, garbage truck and fire truck. The event also featured a bike rodeo course, where riders were able to earn basic rules of the road and practice bike-handling skills.

Music for the event was provided by Oh Jeremiah, a duo who can trace their origins to Hattiesburg.

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Administrator serves her school, soap box derby

ski-2_549x768 Administrator serves her school, soap box derby

Education is a true time commitment. As educator is responsible for numerous children for a large portion of the day, not only in teaching them, but also for their well being. Being a teacher responsible for up to 30 students is daunting enough, so one can only imagine the stresses of being a principal for an entire campus.

“I supervise the 460 children and 50 adults every day,” said Susan Stachowski, principal of Magnolia Middle School in Moss Point. “I am responsible for monitoring grades, instruction, attendance, behavior, everything.

There are moments I think “Oh goodness, I’m responsible for that building and everything in it.’ However, Dr. Vincent believed in me, and I won’t let her down.” 

Stachowski is completing her second year as principal of Magnolia Middle School. She was previously a teacher at Magnolia Middle School from 1994-2000 teaching English and Career Discovery, and has returned after 16 years at Colmer Middle School in Pascagoula.

“It’s exciting to be back home and back where I feel like i’m making a difference,” she mentioned.

Spending so many years in education, Stachowski has opportunities to see her students evolve and grow outside of the classroom.

“I enjoyed teaching Career Discovery because it was fun helping children prepare for the future,” Stachowski said. “I remember one student I taught my first year loved science, and now he actually works as my Science Department chair.”

Even though it is only her second year back in the district, Stachowski was named this year’s Administrator of the Year for Moss Point schools, showing that is she is making strides early on. 

Even with her work in administration, meaning she does not get to enjoy the upcoming summer break, Stachowski still makes time to be part of the committee that organizes the annual Deborah Washington Memorial Soap Box Derby

“It all started when my son was 10, and as a reference his is now 23,” Stachowski recalled. “Years ago some friends that were doing the derby said come do it with them, and that’s how we got involved. My children haven’t raced in 8 years, but we’ve always been part of the race. It’s become our family community service.”

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 Chevron Refinery employee known for her active community involvement.

“I love what the derby does for the city and for the children,” Stachowski said. “I believe in it and want it to continue. My children had a great experience with it, and the friendships I’ve created with the people on that committee mean the world to me. I love the people I work with. We all have a real passion for what we do because none of us on the committee still have children who race. We also enjoy keeping Deborah’s memory alive with the race, and we on the committee consider ourselves ‘Deb’s Angles.'”

Stachowski stays involved in the derby race because of all the unique experiences it offers children in the community.

“You get lots of experiences because winners of the race get to go to Akron, Ohio to compete in the soap box derby there against racers from all over the world,” Stachowski said. 

Another aspect of the races that helps to keep Stachowski involved is her family.

“This is our family community service,” Stachowski explained. “Both of my kids raced but now they are too old for it, but we still stay involved and help with the races each year. In 2006 we were actually honored as the National Soap Box Derby family for that year. It’s truly a family affair.”

With all that Stachowski does in her professional and volunteer life, it is clear she works hard to make Moss Point a gem of Jackson County.

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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Brady’s brings new dining option to Pascagoula

Pascagoula has a new downtown dining option in Brady’s Steaks and Seafood. 

 

IMG_1409 Brady's brings new dining option to Pascagoula

“It’s a family concept that my brother Chad and I developed so we could keep people in Pascagoula, give people another option here in Pascagoula, and give Jackson County and the Gulf Coast another eatery close to home.” co-owner Steven Brady said. “It’s all family oriented. My brother Chad and I, our wives, our sister, and even our kids are all involved in the restaurant.”

One of the most instantly attractive aspects of Brady’s is the location.

 

 

“We knew we had an unbelievable opportunity for some waterfront dining, and we don’t have a whole lot of options here in Pascagoula for something on the water,” Brady said. We started working with the city a couple of years back, and this particular property had been for sale for several years, so we started sizing up our endeavor and the size of the property and it all worked out.”

IMG_1409 Brady's brings new dining option to Pascagoula

Brady’s location brings something new and unique to downtown Pascagoula.

“We wanted to keep this place close to downtown to keep downtown as thriving as possible,” Steven explained. “The more options we have, the better we’ll do.”

People are coming from all over the area to try this new eatery.

“We’ve definitely seen activity from our neighbors in Ocean Springs and Grand Bay in Alabama,” Steven said. “We’ve seen people come from Bay St. Louis, St. Martin, D’iberville, Vancleave, Lucedale, Mobile and just all over the area.”

So far, feedback on the restaurant has been outstanding and business has been phenomenal.

“We wish we had built bigger, but hindsight is 20/20.”

With the overwhelming response, it gets the Bradys excited for all of the plans they have to expand the restaurant.

“We will be starting lunches soon in the next couple weeks,” Steven explained. “Right now we are just doing dinner from 5-9 p.m. When we add lunch we will also do a happy hour special around the middle of the afternoon, so we’re excited about that. We also have some plans for our downstairs area like outdoor activities and some seasonal boils.”

Ultimately, the family would just wants everyone to give them a try.

“We’re not fine dining, so we don’t want people to be put off thinking we’re too upscale,” Steven said. “We’re a family restaurant. We’re the place you can go after the baseball game or after church or have an anniversary dinner. We want to serve everybody. We’re excited to help the businesses here by bringing people from all over. We want everyone to just come try us out and make their way around the menu. We hope everyone can come and enjoy the view and to bring their family and friends.”

Brady’s Steaks and Seafood is located at 3801 Magnolia Street in Pascagoula.

IMG_1409 Brady's brings new dining option to Pascagoula
IMG_1409 Brady's brings new dining option to Pascagoula
IMG_1409 Brady's brings new dining option to Pascagoula
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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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Gautier holds first farmer’s market

market-1 Gautier holds first farmer's market
market-1 Gautier holds first farmer's market

Gautier residents have a new place to shop for their summer produce. May 13 saw Gautier’s first farmer’s market of the season.

Located in George Martin City Park from 8 a.m. until noon, visitors were offered selections from numerous local vendors. 

“We had Havens Down Home Creamery selling milk, eggs, cheese, and grass-fed beef,” said April Havens, Grants and Projects Administrator for the City of Gautier. “We had Gautier Gold Honey, Butts’ Bees Honey, and Island Sweets by Kay and Tay selling cakes, pies, pretzels, and popcorn. There we also local growers of vegetables of fruits selling things like snap beans, tomatoes, potatoes, squash, cucumbers, okra, fruit trees, shrubs, flowering plants and so many more.”

Farmer’s market are such a valuable resource due to the unique products they offer.

“It’s important for residents to support their local growers, who provide healthy and wholesome items at a good price,’ Havens explained. “It supports our local economy, encourages our entrepreneurs, and provides delicious options for our dinner tables. Markets such as these make fresh good easily accessible to our community.”

While this is the city’s first farmer’s market, Havens hopes it becomes a staple in the community.

“We plan to hold one the second Saturday of every month from May through October, though additional weekends may be added based on the overwhelming response from the first event,” Havens said.

The next market will be held June 10.

 

market-1 Gautier holds first farmer's market
market-1 Gautier holds first farmer's market
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Third Fridays returns to Pascagoula

After the success of last year, Third Fridays is returning to downtown Pascagoula beginning this Friday.

“Third Fridays is a monthly event on the third Friday of each month in downtown Pascagoula with the long-term goal of spurring night-time business throughout the week,” said Ravin Flood, Public Relations Specialist for the city of Pascagoula. 

Third Fridays will feature live music, local artists, activities, and and community partner boots with downtown stores and restaurants open with sales and specials.

“May’s theme is wheels, so everything that uses wheels,” Floyd explained. “Friday’s event will have a bike rodeo, the Mississippi Rollergirls, Corvette Classic Car Club, pottery wheel demonstration, and so much more. Also, Scranton’s, Downtown Jazz Club, Whimsy, Jack’s by the Tracks, and Off the Hook will have specials that involve wheels.”

The event will take place from 5-8 p.m. in downtown Pascagoula. 

 

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Bacot McCarty experiences ‘Jolly’ weekend

It’s that “Jolly” time of year again. This weekend saw the return of the Bacot McCarty Foundation‘s annual two-day fundraising event, which consisted of a Gala held at the IP Casino & Golf Classic at Shell Landing.

The Jolly is the foundation’s largest fundraiser, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to help improve the lives of young people through educational and cultural programs across south Mississippi.

This year’s Gala had an “Austin Powers” theme, filled with costumes, bright lights and even a go-go dancer or four. Music was provided by Doctor Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster. Various items were donated from community members and organizations for a silent auction to benefit numerous Gulf Coast charities, such as the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center and the American Heart Association.

Appearances through the night were made by the Ocean Springs, Gautier, and Pascagoula high school’s cheerleaders, the Pascagoula High School drum line and even Miss Mississippi Laura Lee Lewis.

Saturday, participants gathered at the Shell Landing Golf Club in Gautier for the golf tournament, which has become one of the largest golf classics in Jackson County history. Executive Director Todd Trenchard started the morning by once again thanking all who participated in the weekend’s events to raise money for youth education and all of their continued support of the foundation.

This year’s event was a great success, with $30,000 more raised at the beginning of the gala than previous years. While participants had fun, everyone remembered that they were all there for one reason: the children.

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