Greyhounds Give Helping Hand to Hungry

Over 200 Ocean Springs High School students volunteered to pack over 44,000 meals last week at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum & Convention Center in Biloxi. 

The meals were packed during the Southern Legislative Conference in support of the Mark Norris Campaign Against Hunger. The campaign against hunger is spearheaded by Tennessee Senate Majority leader Mark Norris and the Southern Legislative Conference. The meals were sent to the Mississippi Food Network to feed those who go hungry within the state. 

Attendees at the conference helped pack meals between 10 and 11:30 a.m., but the student volunteers arrived earlier at 8:45 to get a jump start on helping with the job. Students were encouraged to wear their class shirts and football uniforms to spark Greyhound school spirit.

Ocean Springs School District athletic director, Mark Hubbard, and his coaches recruited over 150 student athletes to work alongside student club representatives and parents. 

The Greyhound Nation volunteers were honored to donate their time and efforts to service those in need. 


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Paddleboard Kayak Race for The Cure Starts Now Foundation

The 3rd Annual Face Off at the Fort SUP Race will be held at the historical landmark, Fort Maurepas Park, located in Ocean Springs, Mississippi on August 5, 2017 at 9:00 AM. The race is being hosted by Ocean Springs’ own paddleboard store, Paddles Up. The event will start at 9 am. and is rain or shine. 

Registration is $40, and if you haven’t already signed up, then you may do so from 7:30-8:30 AM. 

The race divisions are as follows:

1 Mile Rec (men, women)
3 Mile (Men’s Surfstyle, Women’s Surfstyle, Men’s 12’6″, Women’s 12’6″)
6 mile (men’s surfstlye, women’s surfstyle, men’s 12’6″, women’s 12’6″, men’s 14′, women’s 14′)

All of the proceeds from the race will benefit The Cure Starts Now Foundation. The Cure Starts Now Foundation fights for the cure for children with DIPG, brainstem glioma and cancer survivors everywhere. This year’s race will be dedicated to Sophia Myers, recently diagnosed with DIPG. 

There will also be raffles and giveaways, including gift certificates from local shops and businesses, a fishing trip with American Spirit and a three day getaway to Destin, Florida.

For more information about the race, please contact Paddles Up at (228)-334-5574. 

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Prayer Leads to Local Churches’ Property Swaps

IMG_2878 Prayer Leads to Local Churches' Property Swaps

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In recent years, three local churches have been struggling with decisions to make on whether to expand their buildings or face relocation due to their overwhelming congregational growth. However, with the help of the community and a lot of prayer, location plans for all three churches could not have aligned more perfectly.

Three important changes happened that made this property swap possible. Firstly, Fuentes Da Vida Iglesia Bautista (the first Spanish speaking church to be added to the Jackson County Baptist Association) needed a permanent home. They originally met in the fellowship hall at Calvary Baptist (2101 Market St.) and then moved to a building in Orange Grove (formerly First Baptist Orange Grove). The church had been praying for a building in Pascagoula that had enough space to meet their needs. They had been growing steadily and needed more room, especially for the children of the church.

Second, Arlington Heights Baptist was also experiencing similar growth and were at a crossroads regarding their facilities. Pastor Michael Wilkinson of Arlington Heights Baptist said, “Adding on to our buildings would have been expensive and our ridiculous building codes would have made us elevate anything built outside of the existing footprint. So, our church was praying for an answer to our facilities problem.”

Third, Calvary Baptist church was praying about their facilities problem. For decades, Calvary Baptist Church had been a vibrant, growing church that animated their large and beautiful building. In recent years, the building had come to exceed their needs and they were praying that God would bring new life to 2101 Market Street.

“What happened next was pretty amazing”, says Pastor Wilkinson. Casual conversations with Derrick Tapper, the Pastor of Calvary Baptist, and Ricardo Fuentes, Pastor at Fuentes Da Vida, turned into serious conversations and spread to the members of Arlington Baptist church. The idea was that Arlington would move to the Calvary facilities and invite the membership of Calvary and Fuentes Da Vida to move to the Arlington facilities. Wilkinson says, “Since we all believe that everything we have belongs to God and is to be used for His purposes, none of us saw a reason for money to change hands.”

In January of 2017, each church had to overcome internal challenges in order to make peace with the decision. Nonetheless, their prayers were answered and everyone came together with one mind and heart and voted “yes” to the decision to make the move.

The goal of the change in location was that the churches would be better positioned to glorify God by making disciples of Jesus Christ in Pascagoula. “We believe that God is living and active and that He intervenes and guides us to His will. After praying for a season, we were sure that this move was His will for each of our churches and our community”, says Pastor Wilkinson.

After the property swap, the church began to realize that they could help flourish the community in other ways. Pastor Wilkinson noted an additional benefit from this change: “We believe that God locates congregations like ours throughout communities in order to be a blessing in those communities. Our first priority is making known the good news of Jesus Christ, but we are also seeking to help our community to flourish in every way. In light of Pascagoula’s diverse population, we all saw a great opportunity to help Fuentes Da Vida, a church with a shared vision and mission, to reach out to our Spanish-speaking neighbors.”

The churches made the move and reopened in their respective locations in April of this year and have continued to receive blessings with new members thus far.

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TOMORROW: Pink Paddle Kayak Race

12002811_10153626590164837_2931218287788795006_n TOMORROW: Pink Paddle Kayak RaceThe Ocean Springs Yacht Club has donated not only their building, but also volunteers to support the Biloxi Yacht Club’s Ladies Auxilliary for their sixth annual Pink Paddle Kayak Race and Benefit, Saturday, July 29. The race starts from Ocean Springs Yacht Club and ends at the Biloxi Yacht Club.

The race is put on each year to raise money for Pink Heart Funds. The non-profit organization provides wigs for patients receiving cancer treatments and people who have other hair loss disorders. Pink Heart Funds was founded over ten years ago by JoAn Niceley. Niceley has battled cancer herself and noticed the need to improve issues people faced while receiving cancer treatments, especially young moms.

The pubic is invited to join the festivities at both Ocean Springs and Biloxi Yacht Club locations. Additionally, if you would like to sign up for the race, you may bring your own paddle board and something to propel with. Registration is $40 on-line at before the race or $50 if you register at the race. Registration ends at 9 a.m., so be sure to arrive early. The race is a rain or shine event, but is expected to bring in about 100 participants.

There will also be an after-party at the Biloxi Yacht Club, including a pool party, raffles, food and live music. Local businesses in Ocean Springs, Biloxi and Gulfport will be supplying gift cards and merchandise and prizes for the first and second place winners in several categories.

For more information, please contact Colby Cantrell at (251)-610-2267, Karen Byrd at (228)-806-5129 or by email at

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Chevron Honored For Diversity Practices

MS-Honors Chevron Honored For Diversity PracticesRefinery employee Allison Cook (right) accepts Chevron’s award from ourMississippi publisher Wesley Wells.

For the second year in a row, Chevron was honored for the company’s diversity efforts at the annual ourMississippi Honors Gala in Tupelo, Miss. Over 300 people attended the fourth annual event, which was hosted by ourMississippi Magazine to recognize Mississippi corporations for their efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion. Famed actor John Amos was the keynote speaker for the evening. “We should certainly take pride in the Pascagoula Refinery’s culture of inclusion and diversity,” said Anne Marie Hensley, CIS manager and management sponsor of the refinery’s Inclusion and Diversity Council. “This award is recognition of years of focused effort to build a culture where every individual is valued, empowered and engaged. “We should also view this honor as a reminder that we still have work to do,” Hensley continued. “Clearly, we are on the right track.” For more information about the event, visit

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Look out, downtown Pascagoula. A new bar, The Jury Room, is coming soon.

18198980_1907950516149362_2709481092288564062_n-225x300 Look out, downtown Pascagoula. A new bar, The Jury Room, is coming soon.The Jury Room, Deliberations and Libations, is taking on the nightlife crowd of downtown Pascagoula and intends to also make a developmental impact in the area.

It will be open after hours as a distinctive bar — unique to Pascagoula — offering more than 100 bourbons and whiskies, along with reasonably priced beer, wine, and craft beers, owners say. Additionally, the Jury Room will have competitively priced drinks and happy hour specials, but will also offer high-end liquors.

Owners Ramsay Taylor of Moss Point and Parker Pugh of Pascagoula both have experience in the industry. Taylor has three ‘Tay’s Barbeque’ stores based in Pascagoula and ‘Drinx Wine and Liquor Warehouse’ in D’Iberville. Pugh owns the Dairy Queen in Pascagoula, along with three other locations in Mobile.

The two owners plan to advocate for the revitalization of downtown Pascagoula with the new bar, in hopes that it will bring business to local shops and eateries.  “It will not only offer somewhere else where people can go after work or meet up for a sports game, but it will also help keep people here in Pascagoula to shop and dine at the nearby stores and restaurants”, says Pugh.

The Jury Room plans to offer some unique features in the former Fretz building. It will have a fenced-in outdoor patio, along with available leasing space. The owners took the building, put a wall up down the center and gutted the kitchen-making it three separate spaces for lease.  The former kitchen will be a small apartment, the east side will serve as The Jury Room, and the west side will be available for an office/retail location.

Owners state the building “had more potential than the other locations”. “Many folks, including us, want to see the downtown area thrive and offer something different and all in a central area. Our plan just happens to fit perfectly”, says Pugh.

The name and logo have yet to go up on the building, but The Jury Room’s Facebook page already has more than 500 likes.

Plan to spend your football game days and after business hours at The Jury Room, opening mid-to late August.


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New Veterans’ Blue Plate Special

Singing River Health System in partnership with Morrison Healthcare has announced a new Veterans’ Blue Plate Special to be served daily at the hospital cafeterias for a discounted rate of just $5 per meal.

The Veterans’ Special will be offered at lunch and dinner seven days a week, and is available with any valid military identification.

“We are honored to serve our veterans with great health care when they need it and also with great dining offerings prepared by our outstanding Morrison’s Chefs,” said Chief Operating Officer Lee Bond. “It is our honor to invite veterans to be our guests.”

The cafeterias at both Ocean Springs Hospital and Singing River Hospital are participating in the program, and open for lunch at 11:00 am and dinner at 4:00 pm.

For more information: contact Singing River Health System at (228)-818-1111

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Honoring Small Businesses

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce’s 9th Annual ANCHOR Awards will be held on August 9th, 2017.  The ANCHOR Awards was created to honor, reward and celebrate the achievements of outstanding small businesses and non-profit organizations in the community. The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber’s Small Business Issue Manager Group recognize that small businesses and non-profit organizations are the “anchors” that make the community successful.  Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are still available.

This year’s nominees are the following:

Small Business Category 1

Audiowave Car Stereo

Aztecas Restaurant & Cantina

Belk of Gautier

Cable One, Inc.

Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty, Inc. – Pascagoula “CBAR”

Compton Engineering, Inc.

Floor Trader

Gibson Electric Motor Sales & Service, Inc.

Gulf Coast Marine Supply

Island Winds Title Company, LLC

Perkins Tire & Polaris, Inc.

Southern Belles Like Big Bows


Small Business Category 2

Community Bank

Hancock Bank

Keesler Federal Credit Union

Team Waste Gulf Coast


Rookie Category

Nura Juice

QuadMed, Ingalls Family Health Center

State Farm Insurance – Brenda Thompson

Whimsy Books & Toys, LLC


Non-Profit Category

Dream Program, Inc.

Feeding the Gulf Coast

Jackson County Civic Action Committee

Jackson County Literacy Council, Inc.

Jackson-George Regional Library System

Kiwanis Club of Pascagoula

Mississippi Power Community Connection Jackson/George Chapter

Pascagoula River Audubon Center

Second Baptist Christian Academy


The ANCHOR Awards program will be held on Wednesday, August 9th, at 7:30 a.m. at Pelican Landing Conference Center in Moss Point.  Tickets are $30 each, and Gold Sponsorships ($700, includes a table of eight) and Silver Sponsorships ($300, two tickets) are available.  Contact Linda Johnson at or 228-762-3391 about sponsorship.

The Chamber is here to support community and business development within Jackson County.  Opportunities such as this are available exclusively to members of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce.  Small businesses make up nearly 85 percent of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce membership. The Chamber is always here to support community and small business development within Jackson County.

Anyone interested in learning more about the ANCHOR Awards and Small Business Summer (free Summer Learning Series seminars and $2,500 Small Business Grants) or joining the Chamber should contact the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce at 228-762-3391 or  More information is available on and the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce business page on Facebook.


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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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