TONIGHT: Songs and Stories at the Mary C. O’ Keefe Cultural Center

The Mississippi Songwriters Alliance and the Mary C. O’ Keefe Cultural Center of Arts and Education bring you ‘Songs and Stories: Live Show’.

This week’s performance will be featuring Chris and Camille Wallin. This country duet couple has made a big name for themselves in the music industry and have worked or collaborated with many artists and bands.

Chris Wallin has established himself as one of Nashville’s most sought-after songwriters. Some of Wallin’s biggest hits include, “Love Me If You Can” by Toby Keith; “Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney; “I’m Tryin” by Trace Adkins; “You’re in My Head” by Brian McComas, “Something to Be Proud Of”; “Speed” by Montgomery Gentry and “People Loving People” by Garth Brooks.

In the various road groups she has played, Camille, otherwise known as ‘Hericane’, has opened for The Georgia Satellites, Dr. Hook, Johnny Paycheck, Mel McDaniel, Montgomery Gentry, George Jones, Mark Chestnut, Darryl Singletary and many others. Her song, “All You Gotta Do”, is the theme song for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Dakota.

Chris and Camille will be performing tonight at 7:00 pm and the admission is free. Donations will be accepted. For more information, please contact the Mary C. O’ Keefe Cultural Center at 228-818-2878.

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Sidewalk Sale: Great deals at local businesses

Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce is hosting its annual July Sidewalk Sale this Friday and Saturday (July 21-22) throughout the city of Ocean Springs.

This event is coming just in time for back-to-school shopping so parents can catch great deals at local businesses. Participating businesses will have a red balloon on the outside of their establishment and will also have special sales going on for the event. Some stores may stay open later than normal but the standard hours for the Sidewalk Sale will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce will also be open during the Sidewalk Sale with snacks, drinks and chances to win prizes.

Come out and support local businesses and take advantage of the great deals happening this weekend!

For more information, contact the Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce at 228-875-4424.

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Catch more fish with science

Learn tips, techniques, and facts about Speckled Trout at this month’s Catch More Fish with Science at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs.

Catch More Fish with Science seminars are held on the third Thursday of every month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and teach locals and visitors how to have a successful fishing trip, focusing on a specific game fish each seminar. Attendees learn things from habits and habitats of the fish to how to prepare them in the kitchen.

This week’s featured scientist if Trevor Moncrief who will give tips about the speckled trout’s lifestyle and where you can find them throughout the year.

One session is $30 a person, which goes toward scholarships for kids to attend the GCRL’s summer camp and boat tours.

To register for a session or get more information, visit their website at

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Moss Point: Meet your new Mayor Mario King

Moss Point, meet your new mayor Mario King

Mayor King is the youngest mayor in Moss Point history. His roots with the city extend beyond his political affiliations, as King has been a long-time resident of Moss Point, while also going to school in the area. King and his wife are both graduates of The University of Southern Mississippi. King is also involved in the Human Capital Development Program with the university. The Mayor’s ‘Eagle Pride’ is evident with the memorabilia in his office.  Mayor King also has two young daughters who enjoy swimming and playing in the local waters.

Mayor King’s passion for the city’s riverfronts has inspired him to make Moss Point the “waterfront venue for the coast” as part of his goal over the next four years. King says he envisions Moss Point as “the place to kayak, take boat tours, enjoy the riverfront and water as a tourist attraction.” He plans to feature Moss Point a nature-like attraction for the community where people of all ages can call home.

Although Mayor King has only been in office a short time, he is already moving fast and moving forward with new plans for advancing in economic development. Since taking his reign in office, King has already sold two empty buildings in the area to bring in new, local and successful businesses. He’s currently visiting small businesses in Moss Point once a week to show them he’s involved and on their side. “We want to grant opportunities that come available for small businesses- we want to be able to utilize resources and be in touch with the community”, says King.

King also envisions attracting companies in the paper mill industry that will not only bring revenue to the community, but also create new jobs for Jackson County citizens.

The Mayor also plans to host the first meeting between mayors of Jackson County to partner with to “bridge the gap to be better”.

Mayor King stated that he is here to rejuvenate Moss Point and is solely focusing on working with the community to move forward. “Believe in Moss Point and watch us grow”, says King. He plans on promoting the community by announcing the niche he feels Moss Point has by August.

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What is Crooked Feather?

Have you ever noticed the Indian head sculpture on the side of Highway 90 between Ocean Springs and Biloxi? Ever wondered its story? Well, did some extensive research so we could inform the community of this gem found in Ocean Springs.

The sculpture, named Crooked Feather, was originally built in 1976 by Peter Wolf Toth and portrays the face and neck of an Indian man with a feather sticking out of his headband. Toth is a Hungarian sculptor who created a series of sculptures throughout the U.S. and Canada called the Trail of the Whispering Giants, which honors Native Americans. There are over 74 sculptures within the series and Jackson County’s very own Ocean Springs is home to the 17th sculpture he made. Each sculpture is 20 to 40 feet tall and are all made of wood.

The Crooked Feather Sculpture was made from 2000 year old cypress log and painted red. This particular log was one of the last remaining cypress logs from the Cumbest Mill in Wade, MS. The Ocean Spring Chamber of Commerce sponsored the sculpture and locals donated materials and aided Toth.

Unfortunately, the sculpture you see today is a replacement that exactly resembles the original. Due to rotting and termites, the City of Ocean Springs hired local sculptor Thomas King to make the replacement because the city thought Toth had already passed.

Many people throughout the U.S. come to Ocean Springs to see this sculpture while on vacation or during the quest to see every Trail of Whispering Giants sculpture. Nonetheless, the Crooked Feather is a must-see for visitor and locals.

More information for the Crooked Feather Sculpture can be found in Ocean Springs Archives at


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Mississippi’s Summer Ranger Programs are educational and fun for the family

Ranger programs are informative, yet interactive talks or tours that enlighten visitors on the resources, stories and history of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The National Seashore offers a variety of environmentally-based programs to guests of all ages and is highly recommended for your next family outing.

“Our ranger programs give visitors a chance to connect with the park. Some of our ranger programs take visitors out on a boat or kayak and immerse them in the natural world and stories of the park. Other programs allow visitors to look through a spotting scope into the nest of an Osprey family or learn more about the Alligators that call bayous home”, says Park Ranger Chris Bramblett.

For no charge, kids can become Junior Rangers by completing activity books throughout the tour. The activity books can be picked up at the visitor center and are also age-specific. Once completed, they are sworn in and are given their official Junior Ranger badge.

Most of the programs are between thirty minutes to an hour, with the kayak program being an hour and a half. Additionally, Ranger Programs are free of charge and ADA accessible.

Visitors can find out more about all of the Ranger Programs through their website: or by calling 228-230-4100.

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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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15 Tips for a Summer Wedding in Jackson County

Wedding bells ring throughout Jackson County during the summer time. From early June to early September countless bride- to-be’s are scurrying around to get all the intricate details of the big day organized. sat down with Leighann Roush, photographer and owner of Bluewaters Photograhy ( for some helpful tips and trends when it comes to pulling off a successful summer wedding, and how to capture the moments for a lifetime of memories.

  1.  Save the Date Cards! “One thing to remember about summer weddings is that everyone takes family vacations, so save the date cards are super important!” says Leighann.
  2. Choose a time closer to sunset. (Golden Hour is one hour before sunset)
  3. Serve Lighter Food and make sure the bride and groom snack throughout the day.
  4. Choose an indoor AND outdoor spot for pictures.
  5. Have a timeline! Leighann suggests, “Set a time for family to arrive for their group photos.”
  6. Appoint a go-to person. Should questions or concerns arise, pick an organized person or wedding planner.
  7. CREATE A LIST OF MUST HAVE PHOTOS! (Use the guests’ actual names on the list)
  8. Choose comfortable shoes and a lighter dress. Remember this is south Mississippi and even if you are only standing outside for 10 minutes, you will start sweating. Don’t forget the grooms attire too!
  9. Have an “unplugged” wedding. Make signs and announce for everyone to turn off their mobile devices.
  10. Meet one more time with all of your vendors.
  11. Pack a white sheet. Leighann explains, “Just in case the ground is wet and you want a particular shot in a particular place.”
  12. Ice down plenty of water for both guests and wedding party. Monitor the guests alcohol intake if that is provided.
  13. Do a separate photo session just for your bridals. “If you are doing an outdoor wedding and the weather is not favorable, have another date set.”
  14. Remind your wedding party to smile when they walk down the aisle. If it’s hot, this maybe overlooked.
  15. Sun and bug protection is a MUST!

A couple of more suggestions Leighann talked about is to go to your venue at the desired wedding time a week or so before and do a temp check and locate the shade areas. You could also think about portable AC units.

Finally the biggest tip of all from Leighann is to RELAX, it’s your wedding day! The last thing you want is for your guests and pictures to look like you’re miserable.

Leighann also shared some trends and locations with us. If any brides to be are looking to give your wedding a more unique feel, here are some things that seem to be in style currently:

  • Organic or “Green” weddings – using recyclable decor’ and real plants for greenery, also driftwood, moss, and succulents.
  • Boudoir portraits.
  • Greens and Pinks in the color palette.
  • Metallic Dresses.
  • Unique getaway cars.
  • Incorporating engagement pictures into the decor’.
  • “Naked” cakes or specialty flavored cakes.
  • Social Media hashtags for guests and wedding party.

Jackson County is home to may picturesque locations and wedding spots that are sure to create the perfect backdrop for your special day. Some of these popular spots for weddings and pictures are:

  • The Olde Place in Gautier.
  • Pelican Landing in Moss Point.
  • There are several barns in the Hurley area that work great in photos.
  • Pascagoula, Ocean Springs Beach

If you would like more information about Bluewaters Photography, visit them on the web at or call Leighann Roush at 228-355-9643.

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The United Way has 22,000 reasons to be thankful

IMG_5827-300x225 The United Way has 22,000 reasons to be thankfulThe Bobby Ehrlich foundation presented board members with a check for more than $22,000 at the board meeting for the United Way of Jackson and George County.

“About a year ago, they told us that they were going to use United way for the charity of choice and our board approved for them to do this fundraising event,” explains Carolyn Moore, the CEO of the United Way of Jackson and George County.

The fundraiser event was held at the Grand Magnolia on May 6th and included a silent auction. Over 200 tickets were sold and many donations were also made that night.

“This was a way to honor their father Buddy Ehrlich, who passed with cancer and it was a wonderful event and we had a wonderful time,” says Moore.

The United Way of Jackson and George County funds 19 agencies as well as gives out community impact grants. They also have a community research center that helps the community with basic needs.

“It’s going to help fund the 19 agencies that we partner with as well as community impact grants. It basically goes into our general fund to help the people of Jackson and George County.”

On behalf of the United Way of Jackson and George County, Carolyn Moore would like the Ehrlich family to know how appreciative they are of their contribution.

“It was a pleasure meeting his kids, their father raised them right,” says Moore.

For more information about the United Way of Jackson and George County, call 228-762-7662 or visit their

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