Bacot McCarty Makes an Impact for Family Fun

IMG_2371-300x225 Bacot McCarty Makes an Impact for Family FunThe new H20 and Beyond Aquatic Center in Pascagoula is focused on pool-time fun while also thinking about the safety of all who swim there and being able to grow what they offer the local community. According to Tyler Sexton, local physician and owner of the H20 and Beyond Aquatic Center, many of the pool’s guests identified the need of having life vests for both children and adults who want to visit the pool while learning how to swim. After renovating and remodeling the aquatic center, Sexton wasn’t sure how this was going to happen financially, but said that the Bacot McCarty Foundation stepped in to donate more than 20 new life vests of all sizes.

“It really makes a statement that Bacot McCarty cares, that we care and this community cares about family fun,” he said, adding that the donation was a huge blessing for their company and the community members who swim there.

Sexton said that they want everyone in the community to feel comfortable coming to the aquatic center and to feel safe, so they wanted to do what they could to provide this extra level of safety that had been requested. He said they also have an ADA compliant pool lifts installed as well as certified lifeguards

“We want kids to have fun and we want parents to have fun no matter the circumstances,” he said. “We at H20 and Beyond Aquatic Center really strive to be something of a community, family area for Pascagoula.”

Beyond adding the life vests, Sexton has other plans for the future of the aquatic center, including opening an arcade in the lot next door, having motor boat races and off-season events, allowing swim teams to practice there and possibly even hosting swim meets and swim lessons. Eventually, he hopes the place can stay open year-round.

“The more people come and swim the more things we can provide,” he said. “I know what this used to be. It was an epicenter for families and the community. I want to bring that back.”

H20 offers birthday parties and other types of event booking. They offer a membership for $35 a month, but the membership is not required and anyone can swim for $5 a day.

Learn more about H20 at h2oandbeyond.com or find them on Facebook.

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Salvation Army Welcomes Majors, Opens Store in Pascagoula

With the new Family Store in Pascagoula and the new MS Gulf Coast Area Commanders arriving, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Salvation Army is solidifying its efforts to serve the community and make the area a better place for all.

The Salvation Army Family Store is located on Denny Ave in Pascagoula and proceeds will go to their social service efforts, such as running the local shelter, the pantry, emergency services and so on, according to Morgan Shiyou, Director of Public Relations for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Salvation Army. She added that this is important to their work as the local shelter is full every night and they don’t turn anyone away.

People can now donate to and purchase items from the store, and Shiyou said there have already been a lot of donations. They’ll have typical thrift store items such as clothing, furniture, household goods and knick knacks. They’ll also have a boutique section for name brand items, and Shiyou said it’s a great place for both back to school and holiday shopping.  

Along with the new store, the lower six counties of Southern Mississippi are now being served by Majors Bradley & Anita Caldwell, the new MS Gulf Coast Area Commanders. The husband and wife team arrived from Waco, Texas, a few weeks ago.

Since arriving, Bradley said they have already started on some repairs at the Pascagoula shelter, and they want to talk with Mayor Dane Maxwell to discuss some other ideas. Their future goals include focusing on changing people’s lives and not just the emergency services that the Salvation Army provides.

“We want to try to invest more in those programs and referrals that help people move on to their own situation and stability,” he said.

The Salvation Army in Pascagoula has church services every Sunday as well as other programs throughout the week.

Anita said that homeless prevention is a key goal of the Salvation Army’s efforts, and they provide assistance to help keep people from losing their homes.

“If we can keep you in your home, we have now prevented homelessness and that is huge,” she said, adding that they are thankful for the support of the local community in these efforts. She also emphasized the residential rehabilitation programs in New Orleans and Mobile.

For Shiyou, the success of the Salvation Army comes down to the generosity of those living in Jackson County: “We couldn’t do what we do without the people in the community helping us. It all really relies on our volunteers and the donations that we get.”

For more information, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast Salvation Army, visit their website

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Leadership Announced for the American Heart Association Jackson County Heart Walk

(Pascagoula, MS) – Recently, the Chairs and Executive Leadership Team were announced for the Jackson County Healthy For Good Heart Walk, an event to benefit the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association. The walk will take place on March 30, 2019 beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Beach Park (located at 600 Park Street) in Pascagoula, MS. Approximately 500 guests are expected to attend the walk. Co-chairing the Jackson County Heart Walk this year is Eric Washington, M.D. and Jeff Noblin, M.D. of Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists.

The Executive Leadership Committee includes Alan Sudduth (Chevron), Amy Brandenstein (Chevron), Doug Bates (Encore Rehabilitation), Jennifer Garlich (First Federal), Karen Cole (Bancorp South), Rick Spaulding (Ingalls Shipbuilding), Richard Lucas, Caroline Bishop (City of Pascagoula), Cedrick Hurd (Mississippi Power), Robert Johnson, M.D. (Singing River Health System), Myrtle Delgado, Susan Russell (Singing River Health System), David McCormick (Cumbest, Cumbest, Hunter & McCormick), and Mayor Jim Blevins. The event is sponsored by Ingalls Shipbuilding; Chevron; International Marine & Industrial Applicators; Singing River Health System; Craft and Technical Solutions; Compton Engineering Inc.; Absolute Protection; BancorpSouth; Bienville Orthopaedic Specialists; Brock Services; Cornerstone Group; Cumbest, Cumbest, Hunter & McCormick; Encore Rehabilitation Center; First Federal; Gulf Coast Pediatric Center; Gulf Sales and Supply; Lockard and Williams Insurance Services; MEITEC; MS Export RR; Navigator Credit Union; Southern Mississippi Heart Center, P.A.; Willis of Mississippi; and Zachry.

Combining fitness and philanthropy, this annual walk brings together walk teams, individual walkers, survivors of heart disease and stroke, and lifestyle change heroes who are all taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle while raising funds to combat heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 leading killers of American men and women. Proceeds go toward funding research, education and community programs targeting these issues. Kylar’s heart is why we walk… Kylar is the 2-year-old son of Tiffany and Keenan Woods. Keenan is a 1st Class Welder at Ingalls. Kylar has a rare congenital heart disease consisting of multiple left heart obstructive defects known as Shone’s Complex. During his second week of life he endured his first open heart surgery to repair a coarctation. His second surgery was at five months to repair his mitral valve. A few days before his 2nd birthday, his mitral valve was replaced. He began wearing oxygen at 3-months-old, but thankfully, he is now oxygen-free. Aside from a few obstacles he’s endured, Kylar’s parents report he has lived an amazing life. They attribute his current health to their “faith in God and to the advancements in medical procedures made possible by the American Heart Association.” You can help make a difference for people like Kylar by sponsoring the event, forming a Heart Walk team, or by joining us at the walk next spring. For more information on the event, please call (228) 604-5306 or visit www.jacksoncountyheartwalk.org.

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Red Cross to Hold Sound the Alarm Event in Pascagoula To Help Reduce Home Fire Deaths, Injuries

american-red-cross-logo Red Cross to Hold Sound the Alarm Event in Pascagoula To Help Reduce Home Fire Deaths, Injuries

The American Red Cross will be holding a Sound the Alarm event in Pascagoula, part of the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires.

WHAT: The American Red Cross of Southeast Mississippi, is holding a Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event. Red Cross, Chevron volunteers and the firefighters with the Pascagoula Fire Department will be canvassing the neighborhood, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms and helping families create escape plans.

WHERE: Bayou Casotte Fire Station located at 3616 Scovel Ave. Pascagoula, MS

WHEN: July 27, 2018 from 8:00 am – 11:00 am

WHO: Volunteers from Chevron/ARC/Pascagoula fire department and the Public are welcome  

Red Cross representatives will be joined by Sound the Alarm participants to provide details about the home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event in the Bayou Casotte community.. Details will also be provided on the progress of the nationwide Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.

Following this event, free smoke alarm installations will take place until all identified needs have been met by the American Red Cross volunteer teams installing 10-year lithium battery powered smoke alarms.         

MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Brandenstein, Chevron bamy@chevron.com, or John McFarland American Red Cross john.mcfarland@redcross.org.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, that’s why we launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

Across the country, the Campaign is making a difference. As of July 2018, the Red Cross and our partners across the country have saved at least 444; reached 1,146,176 through youth preparedness programs, and installed 1,367,300 free smoke alarms.

About the American Red Cross:       

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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2nd Annual Uniform Closet Distribution Event

image001 2nd Annual Uniform Closet Distribution Event

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Pascagoula, MS—The Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point is having its 2nd Annual Uniform Closet on Thursday, July 26th, from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.  It will be held at the Family Interactive Center (1415 Skip Avenue, Pascagoula).  Through generous community donations and the assistance of Brass Hanger Cleaners, the ladies of Junior Auxiliary would like to invite the communities of Gautier, Pascagoula and Moss Point to the second annual, school-approved uniform distribution.  All items will be distributed free of charge, sizes available depending on donations received.  For more information please call 228-209-0971. 

“This event is a direct response to a community need to provide assistance to families in need of school uniforms.  Through community donations, the help of Brass Hanger Cleaners and the Pascagoula-Gautier School District, we are excited to hold the 2018 Uniform Closet distribution event. 

In 2017, Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point distributed 1,000 individual uniform pieces which benefitted 200 students, at no expense to the families!  We have had a great response this year, and we look forward to the event on July 26th,” said Erin Marks, RN, QuadMed, and Junior Auxiliary Uniform Closet Chairman & Board Member.

Junior Auxiliary is a national non-profit organization that encourages its members to render charitable services which are beneficial to the general public with particular emphasis on children.  Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point was chartered by a group of caring, enthusiastic women in 1966, and continues to grow and thrive throughout Jackson County.  Volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year on a variety of projects that focus on local children and families in need of assistance.  Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point is a part of the National Association of Junior Auxiliaries (NAJA), a non-profit organization founded in 1941 with Headquarters in Greenville, MS. NAJA has 15,320 active, associate, and life members in 97 chapters in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.  Junior Auxiliary chapters are working more than ever before to increase awareness of children and the benefits of caring today to create character tomorrow. 

For more information on Junior Auxiliary of Pascagoula-Moss Point visit www.japmp.org or call 228-334-1320.  For more information on NAJA, visit www.najanet.org.

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Pascagoula Man Shares Insights and Encouragement in New Book

IMG_0230 Pascagoula Man Shares Insights and Encouragement in New Book

Captain Greg Johnston has learned a lot about flying and life over the past 32 years in the aviation business. And now, he has written a 30-day devotional book to share these insights and spiritual encouragement with the world.

“I want the book to get into as many hands as possible to encourage as many people as possible,” he said. “I’m really convinced that a word of encouragement can change people’s lives, so that’s the whole intent behind the book.”

“Encouragement from 30,000 Feet: Encouraging Stories from a Pilot’s View” is a 30-day devotional book that takes scripture and Johnston’s experiences from flying and puts them together into an encouraging message.

He started out posting to Facebook and received good response, so he decided to turn it into something more. Johnston said the book will appeal to anyone interested in what goes on behind the scenes of an airline as well as scriptural aspects and encouragement.

“Everyone could use a word of encouragement,” he said. “It just nails home really what God intends for us to understand about ourselves: who we are in Christ and the fact that he wants us to live above our circumstances and be overcomers.”

IMG_0230 Pascagoula Man Shares Insights and Encouragement in New Book

Johnston, pilot with American Airlines, started flying in 1973. He lives in Pascagoula and is available to speak about his work at local groups.

“If you’re interested in what goes on behind the scenes of the airline or experiences I’ve had over the past 32 years, I think you’ll find them interesting and applicable to anyone’s life,” Johnston said.

The book is available at Highencouragement.com and online retailers like Amazon.

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Put Old School Learning Depot On Your Back-to-School List

IMG_1833 Put Old School Learning Depot On Your Back-to-School List

PASCAGOULA–Parents, are you ready to send your kids back to school but dreading the nightly struggle over their homework?

If you answered “Yes,” you may want to look at Pascagoula’s Old School Learning Depot on Market Street to take some of the load off your shoulders.

Their slogan is “We Build Confidence,” and the staff do it through one-on-one tutoring, group Homework  Help sessions and fun, yet educational, activities  for school-age students of all age groups.

They don’t take a summer break, either. July’s schedule has been jam-packed with events like “Meteorologist Monday” and “Pizza Party Fractions.”

After a two-month break from school, it’s not uncommon for students to lose some of their previous achievement gains, a phenomenon educators know as the “summer slide,” said owner Christina Bates.

“We’re just trying to close that gap and let them have that confidence when they go in that first day of school,” said Bates, a former teacher in the Pascagoula-Gautier School District.

When the school year starts back up, Old School Learning Depot will continue with regular Homework Help sessions and individual tutoring sessions. Bates said ACT prep will kick off soon, and she wants to start study groups for high school students.

Bates offers tutoring for all subjects, and promises that if she can’t tutor the subject herself, she will find someone who can. Services are available for students who are struggling and for advanced students, too.

One of the main benefits is simply that your child receives a little extra help from someone who understands the curriculum used in the classroom, Bates said. It takes the pressure off of parents, many of whom may feel overwhelmed trying to understand material that is taught differently than it was when they were in school.

Bates has success stories:  The student who boosted his grades from F’s to A’s and B’s when he regularly attended sessions. The relieved moms and dads who post their success stories on her company’s Facebook page. The boy who returned from an educational summer session and called it the “best three hours” of his life.

“Just hearing that confirmation and hearing that students actually enjoy being here and they want to come back, that’s something that just warms my heart,” Bates said. “That’s what education is all about.”

For more information about services offered and pricing, visit https://oldschoollearningdepot.com/. Old School Learning Depot also sells boutique-style school gear, school supplies and classroom materials for teachers.

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Merchants & Marine Bank Announces Promotions, Executive Leadership Team

mm-bank Merchants & Marine Bank Announces Promotions, Executive Leadership Team

Pascagoula, Mississippi:  Royce Cumbest, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Merchants & Marine Bank (“M&M Bank”) (OTC QX: “MNMB”), proudly announces several key promotions, including the promotion of Clayton Legear to Bank President.  Legear succeeds Cumbest as Bank President.

Legear will be joined in leading M&M Bank by a seasoned executive leadership team.  Members of the executive leadership team include: Jimmy Conyers, promoted to Executive Vice President and President of the Bank’s Alabama Market; Mack Rushing, promoted to Executive Vice President / Chief Lending Officer; Kristi Burge, promoted to Executive Vice President / Chief Retail Banking Officer; and Elise Bourgeois, who serves as Executive Vice President / Chief Financial Officer.  

Cumbest remarked, “These promotions reflect the extraordinary talent of our executive leadership team.  Clayton’s experience, community involvement and leadership qualities ideally qualify him to lead this strong team.”

Legear has served as a member of M&M Bank’s senior management team for 7 years, and as Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer for the last 2 years.  In this role, he oversaw a significant majority of the Bank’s operations, business lines and strategic initiatives.  Legear is a native of Webb, Alabama, and is a graduate of Troy University.  He is also a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at LSU, Leadership Jackson County, and Leadership Mississippi.  Legear is actively involved in numerous charitable, civic and professional organizations, including:  United Way of Jackson and George County, the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, the Pascagoula Rotary Club, and the Mississippi Bankers Association. 

Conyers, has over 15 years of banking experience, and has worked with M&M Bank for 7 years.  He has extensive experience in commercial lending, relationship management and business development.  Conyers most recently served as Senior Vice President / Senior Banking Officer of the Bank’s Baldwin County Market.  He is a graduate of Auburn University and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU.  Conyers currently serves on the City Council in Fairhope, Alabama, and is actively involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations in Baldwin County, Alabama. 

Rushing has worked in numerous roles within M&M Bank since being hired as a management trainee in 1988. He has extensive experience in commercial lending, credit analysis and portfolio management, and most recently served as the bank’s Senior Vice President / Senior Lending Officer. Rushing is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. 

Burge has over 25 years of banking experience, with over 12 years of service at M&M Bank.  She has extensive experience in all facets of retail banking, bank operations and talent development.  She most recently served as Senior Vice President / Senior Administrative Officer.  Burge is a graduate of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. 

Bourgeois has over 30 years of broad ranging experience in public accounting, auditing and financial management.  She has worked with M&M Bank for 12 years, and has served as the bank’s Chief Financial Officer since 2010.  Bourgeois is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University, and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

About Merchants & Marine Bank

Merchants & Marine Bank (M&M Bank) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merchants & Marine Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQX: MNMB), a Mississippi based bank holding company.  Unlike most banks, M & M Bank was established in the middle of the worst economic disaster in the history of the United States. In 1932 a small group of Pascagoula citizens saw the potential of the local area, considered the risk of probable failure, and then made the bold commitment to provide dependable financial services to the people and businesses in the area. More than eight decades later, M&M Bank’s assets have grown from $25,000 to over $600 million and from 2 offices to 12 locations in Jackson and George Counties in Mississippi and Baldwin County in Alabama. Along the way M&M Bank has earned numerous awards, including a listing in the U.S. Banker Magazine as a Top 200 Community Bank and multiple 5-Star Superior Ratings from Bauer Financial, Inc. Most banks can quote growth figures and at M&M we’re proud to cite those numbers. But we’re most pleased with the way we’ve helped our communities to grow. We know that our success as a bank depends on how we help our customers achieve financial success.

For further information, please contact:
Jackie Skelton

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Resurrection Cheerleaders Join Pet Pack Challenge

The Resurrection Varsity and Middle School cheerleaders have joined the JaxCoHome Pet Pack Challenge. RCS cheerleaders are calling on Pascagoula, Gautier, Moss Point, Vancleave, Ocean Springs, East Central and St. Martin high school cheer squads to join the Pet Pack Challenge today!

Coach Alice Lachaussee says, “Our cheerleaders are excited to help out the Jackson County Animal Shelter. We hope our challenge to other high school cheer squads will result in a huge amount of supplies being brought in for the animals.”

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Pascagoula-Gautier School District Registration for 2018-19 School Year is Thursday and Friday, July 19-20

gautier Pascagoula-Gautier School District Registration for 2018-19 School Year is Thursday and Friday, July 19-20

The Pascagoula-Gautier School District will hold district-wide registration 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, July 19, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, July 20, for all returning and new students to the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. Mandatory residency and online registration verification at each school campus will also take place during these registration dates. All returning 5th-6th grade academy, middle and high school students may register at their respective schools. All returning kindergarten through fourth grade students may also register at their respective schools if residency has not changed since the previous school year. Parents of returning students need only to bring a photo identification and two proofs of residency. All new students to the district or any returning students who have changed residency during the summer, kindergarten through fourth grade, must register at the Pascagoula-Gautier School District’s central office located at 1006 Communy Ave., Pascagoula.

Parents of new students to the district should bring their photo identification, the student’s birth certificate, social security number and Mississippi Immunization Form (121 Form) to registration as well as two proofs of residency. Proofs of residency must be: driver’s license, automobile registration, complete lease for all apartment/Section 8 housing listing the parent’s name, or utility bills dated in the last 30 days. Parents must all bring a withdrawal form from the last school attended and an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) if applicable. All living-with forms must be accompanied by the person whom the family is living with, photo identification and one proof of residency. Guardians must present court documents before registration. For more information on registration, call the Department of Student Services at 228-938-6500.

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