Huntington Ingalls Industries Announces Opening of New HII Family Vision Centers

vision_center21jun18 Huntington Ingalls Industries Announces Opening of New HII Family Vision Centers

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PASCAGOULA, Miss., June 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) announced that it has opened two HII Family Vision Centers for its employees and their families. The vision centers are an expansion of the services available at the HII Family Health Centers in Gautier and Newport News, Virginia.

“The addition of vision services to our health centers is another step toward ensuring the overall well-being of our workforce and their families,” Bill Ermatinger, HII’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer, said. “We are committed to the belief that a healthy employee is an engaged employee, and this expansion highlights that commitment.”

The vision center in Mississippi opened on Tuesday, and the vision center in Virginia opened on May 1.

A photo accompanying this release is available at: http://newsroom.huntingtoningalls.com/file?fid=5b2be69d2cfac24fa71b0f35.

The new vision centers, operated by Vision Services Plan (VSP), offer comprehensive eye care with an optometrist and opticians on-staff. The centers also house retail sections, complete with adult and children’s eyeglasses, safety glasses, sunglasses, contact lenses and more.

Other vision center services include:

  • Adult and pediatric annual eye exams
  • Correction exams
  • Diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism
  • Vision therapy
  • Lens prescriptions
  • Frame selection and fitting

The vision centers offer preventive and acute eye care to all HII employees and their dependents. In-network rates and discounts are available to employees enrolled in an HII or union vision plan. Employees are encouraged to contact their vision insurance provider for details and pricing.

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Pascagoula Run Paddle Battle this Saturday

Pascagoula-Paddle-Battle-2 Pascagoula Run Paddle Battle this Saturday
Pascagoula-Paddle-Battle-2 Pascagoula Run Paddle Battle this Saturday

Dip into one of the Mississippi’s Gulf Coast’s officially designated water trails and enjoy a uniquely adventurous perspective of the region’s abundant natural beauty and native wildlife with the Pascagoula Run Paddle Battle this Saturday, June 23. Online registration closes Thursday, June 21. Last minute registrations will be allowed at the meet and greet event at Brady’s Steak and Seafood on Friday, June 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. The second annual Pascagoula Run Paddle Battle is a 12.5 mile race down the Pascagoula River for all types of human powered paddle craft. The race will begin at Little River Marina in Moss Point and end at Lighthouse Park in Pascagoula. The paddle battle is for both competitive and leisure paddlers in the area as it is a race as well as a pleasure ride. “Paddle sports are extremely popular, especially where there are beautiful, accessible waterways like in Pascagoula,” said Lauri-Ellen Smith, the city’s director of community relations. Prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place finishers in 17 categories. There are various categories for kayaks, canoes, and standup paddleboards. An awards ceremony will be held once all racers are off the course. “Paddling is a great way to get active and stay in shape but also allows you to slow down and take in all the natural beauty the Mississippi Gulf Coast has to offer,” Smith said. “We are becoming more widely known as a destination city for ecotourism. So, we are committed to providing sporting and recreational programming that accentuates the natural resources and beauty of our city while getting people outdoors and active.” The registration fee is $50 for American Canoe Association members and $55 for non-members. Register online at www.cityofpascagoula.com until close of business this Thursday. Kayak rentals are available through Nelson Outdoors and must be reserved in advance by contacting 228-769-6699. Shuttles from Lighthouse Park will be provided for race participants park. There are two pull out points along the course, and numerous safety boats will be on the water to assist in case of emergencies. The American Canoe Association is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling. They also provide support to help protect paddling environments and they sanction programming and events that promote paddle sport competition and recreation, and provide insurance for events such as this. This event was originally scheduled for April 14 but was rescheduled due to the weather.

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Business of the Week: Edd’s Drive-In

If you live in the Pascagoula-Moss Point area, you have likely enjoyed a meal (or 200) at Edd’s Drive-In. Since 1953, Edd’s has been serving up its famous chili cheeseburgers and handmade milkshakes to loyal patrons and newbies alike. The consistently good food and nostalgic atmosphere keeps people coming back for more.

The original location at 3834 Market Street has kept its retro vibe with the green-striped awning and neon ice cream cone signage. Customers place orders at the walk-up window and usually chat with one another while waiting for pickup.

In 2001, the Foster-Martin family purchased Edd’s and have maintained the quality that customers have come to expect for over 60 years. In 2012, a new location was opened at 19400 Highway 63 in Hurley offering the same menu favorites; plus a few new items, like chicken nuggets and catfish plates.

The next time you are in Pascagoula or Hurley, stop in at Edd’s Drive-In and enjoy a chili dog or chocolate malt.  You know you won’t be disappointed!

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Singing River Health System receives AHA Quality Achievement Award for Stroke Treatment

AHA-award Singing River Health System receives AHA Quality Achievement Award for Stroke Treatment

PASCAGOULA, MS  ― Singing River Health System has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and Stroke Honor Roll status for their treatment of stroke patients. The award recognizes the system’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.

Singing River Health System’s two hospitals at Ocean Springs and Pascagoula earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke.  These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients also receive education on managing their health, help with scheduling a follow-up visit with their physician, as well as other care transition interventions.

“Singing River Health System is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our stroke patients by implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke initiative, and this award is a testament to our team’s commitment and skill,” said Dr. Randy Roth, Chief Medical Officer for the system.  “The tools and resources provided help us track and measure our success in meeting evidenced-based clinical guidelines developed to improve patient outcomes for stroke patients.”

The system also received the association’s Target: StrokeSM Honor Roll/Target: StrokeSM award. To qualify for this recognition, hospitals must meet quality measures developed to reduce the time between the patient’s arrival at the hospital and treatment with the clot-buster tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke.

“We are pleased to recognize Singing River Health System for their commitment to stroke care,” said Eric E. Smith, M.D., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and an associate professor of neurology at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. “Research has shown that hospitals adhering to clinical measures through the Get With The Guidelines quality improvement initiative can often see fewer readmissions and lower mortality rates.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of adult disability in the United States. On average, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke every 40 seconds and nearly 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

For more information on stroke and the AHA Target:  Stroke quality award, see their website at http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/About-Stroke_UCM_308529_SubHomePage.jsp.

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Local Guitar Player is Staple at Pascagoula Establishment

Bozos-Musician-Harold-Dees Local Guitar Player is Staple at Pascagoula Establishment

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Harold Dees and Keith Delcambre believe there aren’t too many places in the world where you can find live local music outside of a seafood market and restaurant.

As owner of Bozo’s Seafood Market and Deli in Pascagoula, Delcambre provides the seafood while Dees provides the tunes as the guitar player out front. Dees has been performing at Bozo’s for almost three years now. He plays for tips and said he has enjoyed every minute of his time there.

Dees used to play at the BP station on Chico Street but decided to look for a busier venue for his music. Dees said that Delcambre showed up at the right time, and Dees asked him if he could play for him. To which, according to Dees, Delcambre replied, “Why haven’t you asked sooner?” The rest is history.  

Now, Dees is sort of a staple at Bozo’s, and Delcambre said people ask about him when he’s not there. He said you’ll see people singing with him and dancing to the music, and the kids seem to really the music too – they’ll come out and just sit in front of him and not want to leave. To Dees, seeing the kids have a good time is one of the best parts.

“I had no idea that I sounded that great to get them to act like that,” he said. “It’s wonderful.”

Dees said his music makes the people happy as they go in and out of the store, and he looks forward to playing there each day.

“They love me,” he said. “I’m crazy about them also.”

By playing at Bozo’s, Dees has met people from all over the country, but that’s not the only place that he plays his music. Dees also plays weddings, barbecues, ceremonies and other events and occasionally travels to Atlanta to play.

“I enjoy playing in front of people,” he said. “I enjoy playing music period.”

Delcambre said Dees fits right in at Bozo’s because “characters are welcome.” He said that things are not quite the same when Dees is not there and that the music helps bring more people to the store.  

“He’s the first person you see when you come to Bozo’s,” Delcambre said. “I love having him out there.”

When asked if he’ll move to the new Bozo’s location, Dees said he would let Delcambre make the call but that he’ll be happy to make the move if he’s asked.

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Pascagoula High Seniors to Graduate May 24

Mary-Boulton-valedictorian-2018 Pascagoula High Seniors to Graduate May 24

The Pascagoula High School Class of 2018 will graduate at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 24, 2018 at War Memorial Stadium in Pascagoula. 

Leading the Class is Mary Boulton, Valedictorian. The daughter of Nicole Cannady Huyett and the late Thomas Andrew Boulton, Mary will major in pre-med and is planning a career as a pediatrician.

Mary-Boulton-valedictorian-2018 Pascagoula High Seniors to Graduate May 24

Jack Colmer is Salutatorian of the class. The son of Jimmy and Jennifer Colmer, Jack has received an appointment to the United States Merchant Marine Academy where he will major in marine engineering with plans to become an officer in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

Mary-Boulton-valedictorian-2018 Pascagoula High Seniors to Graduate May 24

Graduating third is Emma Alexander, daughter of Ricky and Elizabeth Alexander. She will attend the University of South Alabama where she will major in biological sciences with plans to become a nurse.

Mary-Boulton-valedictorian-2018 Pascagoula High Seniors to Graduate May 24

Graduating fourth is Hunter Blades, son of Matt and Amanda Blonde. He will attend Mississippi State University where he will major in mechanical engineering with plans to become a systems engineer.

Mary-Boulton-valedictorian-2018 Pascagoula High Seniors to Graduate May 24

Graduating fifth is Meha Patel, daughter of Sanjay and Darshana Patel. She will attend the University of Mississippi where she is taking a pre-med track with plans to become a pediatrician.

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PHS Salutatorian on his way to elite military academy

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PASCAGOULA – Pascagoula High School senior Jack Colmer is the kind of student with an impressive high school resume. Salutatorian of the class of 2018. President of the National Honor Society. Offensive co-captain of the football team.
Now, just weeks away from graduation, Colmer has earned a rare accomplishment that might just beat everything else on the list. Colmer is one of only three students in Mississippi to earn an appointment this fall to one of the five elite U.S. service academies that act as a training ground for future commissioned officers in the military.

Colmer‘s appointment to the Merchant Marine Academy in New York comes with free tuition and room and board, making the package worth an estimated $262,000 to $400,000, Colmer said.

“This just seemed like an awesome opportunity I had to take,” Colmer said.
In four years at the academy, students earn a bachelor’s degree in the classroom and spend a “Sea Year” aboard working commercial vessels sailing to ports around the world. Students in their Sea Year will visit an average of 18 countries in that time. Graduates have a post-graduation service obligation with the option to serve in any branch of the armed forces or as a civilian in the maritime industry.

Appointment to a Service Academy starts with a nomination from a U.S. senator or representative. Colmer secured his required nomination from Rep. Steven Palazzo.

Closer to home, Colmer received continual encouragement from his family and from the Pascagoula-Gautier School District as he worked toward his goals.

They‘re very supportive, and it‘s what they‘ve wanted me to do ever since I started looking into it,” Colmer said of his parents, James and Jennifer Colmer.They‘ve helped me a lot. I wouldn’t be able to do it if it weren’t for my mom and dad always pushing me to fill out everything and always trying to get information for me.

Pascagoula-Gautier schools Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich praised Colmer as an intelligent, hardworking student who has spent his years in school preparing for a bright future.

“All of the components you want in the future leaders of our country are all embodied in Jack Colmer,” Rodolfich said.
Earning a spot at a school with an acceptance rate of only 15% was never a sure thing, but Colmer says his Christian faith has given him the courage to pursue his dreams, no matter the outcome.

“My mindset has always been, ‘Wherever I end up, that’s where God wants me to be.’ Colmer said. “I really believe that this is the path I‘m supposed to take and this is where God is sending me.

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Pascagoula High School will be home to new $14.7 million Performing Arts Center

Pascagoula-Arts-Center-Rendering Pascagoula High School will be home to new $14.7 million Performing Arts Center

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Pascagoula-Gautier School District recently began construction on the new Performing Arts Center on the Pascagoula High School grounds. When completed, it will be the most high-tech performing arts center on the Gulf Coast besides the Hancock Performing Arts Center in Hancock County. The center will cost $14.7 million and will be owned by the school district.

Construction has already begun and is set to be completed around Christmas 2019, according to Wayne Rodolfich, superintendent of the Pascagoula-Gautier School District. 

The center will have a surround sound movie projection system, a rear projection system with the ability to digitally project a backdrop, space for a 160-piece band on the stage as well as proper floor capacity for dance performances. It will have more than 700 seats with wider seating than traditional performing arts centers, three classrooms, a catering kitchen, warm up rooms and a beautifully designed foyer area. The entire building will be able to be operated by an iPad.

All of these add up to many uses for the center including youth and children’s groups showing movies, orchestra and band performances, dance shows, church groups, banquets, large-scale meetings, and many more. Rodolfich said the goal is to make the space available to anyone in the community that wants to use it.

“It’s just going to be a game changer for this community,” Rodolfich said. “We saw this as an opportunity not only to improve the quality of life for the children of our district but also to improve the quality of life for the people of Pascagoula, Mississippi.”

It was important to have the center on the school’s campus so that the students can walk to it from the school and that certain classes can have class in there during the day.

“We’re trying to build venues around our children,” Rodolfich said, adding that having the center on the school’s property will make it easier for them to secure the facility and maintain it.

The Performing Arts Center is part of the PGSD’s Strategic Plan. It has been discussed for years and now the school is moving forward. In fall 2017, the school district asked for a 4-mill tax hike to pay for the facility. This was put on hold in September but reinstated in March 2018.

“It’s a time where Pascagoula needs to put as many amenities in place as possible. It’s a great investment,” Rodolfich said. “That facility will be here for years to come for children and adults, and it will really be an asset to this community.”

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Bishop Kihneman Presents RCS with $500,000 for Debt Retirement

IMG_0325 Bishop Kihneman Presents RCS with $500,000 for Debt Retirement

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Since first opening their doors in 1882, Resurrection Catholic School’s (RCS) mission has been to provide the youth of Jackson County with a nurturing and motivational atmosphere. One in which each student receives the opportunity to reach his full potential as a well-educated, caring, responsible Christian; one equipped to meet and overcome adversity in a challenging society.

Throughout its more than one hundred years, community service has been one of the basic building blocks RCS has utilized in helping to maintain and reach their primary goal. Today, the community decided to give back.

During an assembly at RCS, Bishop Louis Kihneman took center stage to make an announcement and present the school with a gift from members of the community. With all stakeholders, students, faculty and foundation members in attendance, the Bishop presented the school with a $500,000 check to assist in paying off some of the debt the school has accumulated since rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The money was donated by anonymous contributors in Jackson County.

“The bishop categorized debt as an anchor… we’re trying to help the school grow in all aspects, but then we’ve got this debt holding on to us, like an anchor pulling us down,” said RCS principal Noah Hamilton. Hamilton says once the debt is retired, it will free up cash flow to go back into the general fund and be used directly for educational purposes. “I say it’s time to cut this anchor. Let’s get it out of the way so we can get back to what are mission really is – preparing our students academically, spiritually and socially to take the next step of their lives.”

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