Pascagoula Pastor on a Mission to Empower the Community

Hawkins17-223x300 Pascagoula Pastor on a Mission to Empower the CommunityThe JaxCoHome “Pay it Forward Friday” recipient is Pastor Larry Hawkins of Union Baptist Church in Pascagoula. Pastor Hawkins has served at Union Baptist Church for the past 28 years. He is married to the former Ms. Carol Hammock, with two children, Larry II (Trenay) and Nicole.

“My passion is to empower others to maximize their potential to fulfill their God given purpose,” says Pastor Hawkins when asked about his mission in Pascagoula.

Larry Hawkins is also serving as 2nd Assistant Recording Secretary to the General Secretary of the National Baptist Convention, USA, INC; Former 3rd Vice-President to the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of MS Inc; Immediate Past Moderator of the Gulf Coast District Missionary Baptist Association, presently serving as Special Assistant to the Moderator.

He is also the founder of Operation Excellence Tutorial Program targeted for grades K – 12.

Pastor Larry has many civic affiliations as well to include, Board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Jackson County, Former member of Advisory Board of the Salvation Army of Jackson County, former member Board of Directors Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director of Total Man Ministries and, former Board Member Excel By 5.

To say that Pastor Hawkins has done a lot for the community of Pascagula is an understatement as he explains, “We just one the Flagship award for a recreational ministry which is designed to emphasize the importance of living healthily, it is an exercise class that meets three times weekly Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings. In conjunction with the recreational ministry, we offer a nutrition ministry. It is designed to teach individuals how to make better food choices and eat more healthy. This class meets on Tuesday evening weekly. We have an academic excellence program every 9 weeks during school, geared toward encouraging our children to excel academically. The program offers monetary incentives for all “A’s” “A&B’s” and a honorable mention category, as well as recognizes the individual awards of the students. We have seen the academic efforts of our children increase due to this programmatic effort. We partner with Central Elementary School in the Pascagoula Gautier School District to help assist in mentoring, teacher appreciation week, and wherever else the Central family need.”

“The future of our community is bright. I feel that as long as we see the path forward as an inclusive one and not allow selfishness or personal agendas to cloud our making the best decisions for all, we will definite move into a brighter future.” JaxCoHome is honored to make Pastor Larry Hawkins our “Pay It Forward Friday” recipient.

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Chevron partners with Audubon to measure water quality

Chevron’s environmental department teamed up with staff members at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center to conduct testings of the water quality in Bayou Chicot. Waterways near urban areas, such as the Pascagoula River and its tributaries, are often adversely affected by urban storm water runoff. Urban storm water runoff affects water quality, water quantity, habitat and biological resources, public health, and the aesthetic appearance of urban waterways. 

With so many different species relying on the water quality of the Pascagoula River, measuring and maintaining that quality is of great importance.  Chevron volunteers collected samples from the Bayou Chicot water stream and partnered with staff members at the Audubon Center in Moss Point. There, the scientists measured the samples and tracked the data. 
With the data, staff members at the Audubon Center will better understand changes made to the Pascagoula River system, the impact the local community has on the river system and how to conserve the existing habitats. 
Chevron volunteers who participated in this project include Amy Brandenstein, Trudi Dixon, Desiree Howell, LaDale Neese, Julie Gallego, Shannon Crane and Jeff Gephart from Chevron; and local volunteers David Blackledge and Orlando Gallego.


original article posted: May 22, 2017 refineryreports.com

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Pascagoula: Meet Mayor Dane Maxwell

Pascagoula’s newest mayor, Dane Maxwell, is a Pascagoula native who is well-versed in politics, business and positivity. Maxwell is a 53-year-old businessman who has experience in the Marin Corps and law enforcement.

“I had wanted to join to Marine Corps and I actually wanted to make a career out of it until I got in it and I quickly realized that wasn’t for me so I did my 4 years and got out. I like to do all the crazy things you get to do in special operations but after doing them for a while, the “new” wears off and you realize that when you do get out, you’re not going to have a career in some of the things you had to do. My second passion was law enforcement because my dad had retired from the Pascagoula Police Department, so it was a natural transition coming out of the Marine Corps and into law enforcement,“ explains Maxwell.

Maxwell started a successful company with his brother in 1998 called Mississippi Security Police and went on to create many successful businesses before selling his last one in February of 2015 and retiring. Before long, Maxwell was offered a great opportunity to be part of President Trump’s campaign.

“I was on the senior staff level; I ran the state of Mississippi and then later ran what they called the SEC Strike Team which is after the Iowa Caucus. I ran the ground operations as the SEC Strike Team Leader and we began winning state after state after state. They made me the South East Political Director after we won the primary,” says Maxwell.

His time with President Trump ended in January of this year and that’s when Maxwell decided he wanted to be the change he wanted see in Pascagoula.

“We decided late last year that the timing was right and I felt real confident about my relationship with state government and my relationship with the president that it would benefit all of Pascagoula by having access to the resources that they could provide, so I decided to run for mayor,” explains Maxwell.

After 30 different campaigns, Maxwell never wanted to run for political office because of the scrutiny he and his family would have to go through.

“After I thought about it and talked with my wife about it, I felt that I was led to do that. God had put me on that path to do that and I knew it was going to be brutal and it was. You’re never going to make everybody happy and as much as I try to make everybody happy, it’s just not going to happen. For the most part, people are excited about change and they’re wanting new direction and we’re being very aggressive in it,” says Maxwell.

If there is one thing Mayor Maxwell is most passionate about, it’s positivity.

“I would describe myself as an easy-going, laid back, level-headed guy who handles stress. I hate negative anything so I don’t surround myself with negative people. I try to keep myself surrounded by positive, upbeat people and that’s one of the many reasons I wanted to run, because I wanted to challenge a change in the mindset over there,” says Maxwell

After his swearing in on July 3rd, Mayor Maxwell has hit the ground running by conducting a successful council meeting and appointing a new city manager on July 5th.

“It’s important to me to communicate well and be very transparent and change the attitudes of those people on the coast towards Pascagoula.”

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Old School Learning Depot Equips Educators & Students

17636995_232403870562388_7502716450457121223_o-e1499301394373 Old School Learning Depot Equips Educators & StudentsOld School Learning Depot in Pascagoula is essentially a tutoring boutique for students, a classroom inspiration for teachers, and a lifesaver for parents. This summer they are offering workshops focused in math and language to help build foundational skills for students. To prepare for this upcoming school year Old School Learning Depot has stylish classroom decorations and resources for teachers. They also offer prepackaged school supply bags that will help parents save time, eliminate fighting the crowds, and cut down on the headaches.

In addition to the prepackaged school supply bags, they offer FREE summer homework help, during the month of July. To encourage parents to sign up for tutoring services for the 2017-2018 school year Old School Learning Depot is offering bundled tutoring services to ensure that their students starts the school year off with a success. The 9 Weeks Ultimate Package includes 4 scheduled sessions (2 Individual & 2 Group), Unlimited Homework Help Tuesday – Thursday, 15 % off additional services, and 10 % off merchandise. This package is currently priced at $235 until August 1st.

“My advice for parents is to find the opportunities to turn a “normal” event into an educational experience. Don’t wait until August to get your student thinking critically,” says Christina Bates from Old School Learning Depot. Bates goes on to say, “Old School Learning Depot offers a supplemental learning environment for students to help enhance what our local schools are doing. We want to support our local schools and help students be the best they can be.”

To check out more about Old School Learning Depot, visit them at the Anchor Square shopping village or give them a call at (228) 202-9691.

Also check them out on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oldschoollearningdepot/

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Anchor Square offers help to burgeoning businesses

Starting a new business can be a daunting task. It may seem like all it takes is an idea and some capital, but there is a lot of planning and resources that go into such an endeavor. One of the most surprising expenses can be just how much it costs to rent a space. Well, there is help in downtown Pascagoula thanks to Anchor Square.

“Anchor Square is a small business incubator for the city of Pascagoula,” said LaLinda Grace, Economic Development Specialist for the city. “It is a group of 15 MEMA cottages that have been repurposed for retail and restaurant use. The goal is to offer low overhead for new, or new to Pascagoula, businesses. Anchor Square allows them to come in, establish their business, grow, and then move out to vacant properties in town.”

To date, Anchor Square has seen the transition of several businesses, including Zeal Boutique, Alan Hinklel Photography, Gourmet Gurl, and Whimsy Books & Toys.  

“It gives an opportunity for someone who wants to open a business and a place to start off with low cost, so that they’re not having to put in a lot of their own personal money,” Grace said. “It’s easier to start a business here than somewhere that maybe has a higher rent or things like that.”

The main purpose of Anchor Square is to serve as a starting-off point for small businesses. There are plans in place to make sure the businesses eventually move out of that location.

“Rent on our cottages increases by 10 percent each year for our tenants,” Grace explained. “We have two different cottage options: a single with a $235 per month rent and a double with a $291 per month rent, with tenants signing a one-year lease. We also have a transition policy in place where we do an evaluation of each business each year to help them move out. Businesses are usually able to stay for three years before they need to transition out.” 

For more information about Anchor Square, including a list of current businesses, visit their website or call Grace at (228) 938-2352. Anyone interested in getting advice on opening a small business can also visit the Anchor Square office or talk to the present tenants. 


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Pascagoula announces Flagship Award winner, honorees

The City of Pascagoula has announced its June 2017 Flagship Award Winner and Honorees.

The City of Pascagoula established the Flagship Award citizen recognition program to acknowledge and honor those citizens whose efforts and achievements help make Pascagoula a great place to live, work and play. The Pascagoula City Council believes it is important to express gratitude and appreciation for those citizens who demonstrate commitment and leadership through extraordinary accomplishments to the betterment of our community.

The June 2017 Honorees were Melanie Caver, Sherry Wells Wycoff, and Steve Jordan.

19441794_10154614405338199_7246767843476784366_o Pascagoula announces Flagship Award winner, honorees
19441794_10154614405338199_7246767843476784366_o Pascagoula announces Flagship Award winner, honorees
19441794_10154614405338199_7246767843476784366_o Pascagoula announces Flagship Award winner, honorees

The June 2017 Flagship Award Winner was Rev. Larry Hawkins.

19441794_10154614405338199_7246767843476784366_o Pascagoula announces Flagship Award winner, honorees
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A piece of shrimping history in Scranton Museum

Scranton-Museum A piece of shrimping history in Scranton Museum

Shrimp season is in full swing on the Gulf Coast, and one of Jackson County’s homages to shrimping comes in the form of the Scranton Museum. 
“The Scranton Museum is a 70’ shrimp boat that was operational in the 1960s and ’70s,” said Kristi Ducote, Outdoor Recreation Specialist with the City of Pascagoula. “In the early 80’s, Charles Graham down sized his fleet and donated the boat to the city.”

Now, visitors are able to explore this authentic boat, its net system and turtle excluder device (TED).
“Visitors can explore the deck fully equipped with outriggers, shrimp nets and a turtle excluder device,” Ducote said. “Inside the boat they will see the wheelhouse house with navigational equipment that would have been used at the time the boat was operational, the galley, bunkroom, and wetlands diorama. It allows people to learn about the local shrimping industry and see firsthand a once operational shrimping boat.”
Between 500-1,000 people visit the museum annually, with late spring and early summer being the busiest times of year.
For anyone hoping to visit, the Scranton Museum is located at River Park in Pascagoula. Hours are Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children
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Black History Awareness Celebration

BHAC-speaker-2 Black History Awareness Celebration
BHAC-speaker-2 Black History Awareness Celebration

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The Pascagoula Refinery Black Employee Network hosted its annual Black History Awareness Celebration on February 21.

The celebration featured local Moss Point historian, Franzetta Sanders, and Chevron’s Fredrick Walker (Americas Regional Manager – Manufacturing and Supply). Both speakers addressed education from their perspectives. Sanders described her instrumental role in desegregating Moss Point’s school system. Walker discussed how race and education influenced his career and offered insight on how to approach the education of current youth.

The celebration also honored three scholarship winners from Moss Point High School who were selected based on their demonstration of leadership, ability to forge positive relationships with others and academic achievement.

This year’s celebration included a new interactive activity, The Hidden Figures Game. This activity was designed to highlight the contributions of various employees at the Pascagoula Refinery – our “Hidden Figures.” Similar to the characters in the feature film, these Chevron employees likely encountered different barriers throughout their careers, and their accomplishments may have otherwise gone unrecognized. The Hidden Figures Game was a fun way to showcase these accomplishments and to show all employees the benefits the Pascagoula refinery has received from employing a diverse group.

Overall, the 2017 Pascagoula BHAC was a huge success. Thank you to the the BHAC planning committee, BEN Leadership team, and all the BHAC participants.

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Chevron, Red Cross Partner for Fire Safety

ARC-group Chevron, Red Cross Partner for Fire Safety
ARC-group Chevron, Red Cross Partner for Fire Safety

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Chevron Pascagoula Refinery recently partnered with the American Red Cross, Pascagoula Fire Department and U.S. Navy volunteers to educate local residents about fire safety. More than 50 volunteers gathered on Feb. 3 to go door-to-door in east Pascagoula to pass out educational material and install free smoke alarms in homes where there were no working smoke alarms, not enough smoke alarms, or alarms that were not installed correctly.

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Battle at Buffet Beach returns to Pascagoula

Battle-on-Buffett-Beach-Flyer-2017-061317-662x1024 Battle at Buffet Beach returns to PascagoulaBattle on Buffet Beach will return to Pascagoula this fall, with even more fun and more obstacles than last year.
“Battle on Buffett Beach is a 5k obstacle race in the sand at Beach Park,” said Parks & Recreation Director Darcie Crew. “There will be at least 15 obstacles including a vertical wall, hurdles, over/under trench, balance over water, rope climb, tire run, culvert crawl, rings, sand hill challenges, and much more. There will be a youth obstacle course for kids ages 6-13 years, and the main race course is available for youths ages 14-17 and adults ages 18 and up.  There will be an elite race division, individual and team registration available.”
Last year’s run had 364 participants, but Crews is expecting the number to nearly double this year. 
“[This event] draws people from all over the southeastern region to participate in the event, stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, and most importantly show off our beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast for future visits.”

There is no set number of teams that can participate in the event, and individuals can register to race in any heat of 100 people throughout the day, which will leave every 15 minutes starting at 9 a.m.

Once registered, race organizers will send bi-weekly emails to race participants starting Oct. 1 with more information, such as website address for event, info about food, after party, activities, and more. 

Registration begins July 1 through the city’s website. For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 228-938-2356.

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