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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Grand Bay NERR to offer Boater Education Classes this Summer

Do you own a boat or WANT to own a boat?  Do you have a child over age 10 who rides with you on a boat?  If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you need to take advantage of one of two boater education classes being offered this summer.

The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) in cooperation with the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) will be offering a class on June 20th and July 25th to promote boater education to local citizens. Everyone knows that safety on our waters is an important issue, given the access to water and large number of boaters in our area.

The classes are free of charge and open to the public. A DMR Marine Patrol Officer will be instructing each class. These folks are your friends on and off the water.

You must be at least 10 years of age to receive a certificate of course completion.

Follow this link for more information on these classes and others across the region:
https://education.mdwfp.com/Web/Event/EventsByCounty

This is all classroom instruction at one of the Jewels of Jackson County: the Grand Bay NERR facility.  See below for address and class dates and times.   Get Salty Safely, Y’all!

Location:
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
6005 Bayou Heron Road
Moss Point, MS 39562

Class Date and Time:
June 20, 2018 from 9:00AM to 4:00PM
July 25, 2018 From 9:00AM to 4:00PM

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Who are the Pascagoula Paradise Paddlers?

Surrounded by a couple of Pascagoula locals, Kristi Ducote and Eric Richards along with some Hurricane Shrimp Tacos from Brady’s, I found myself enchanted by the stories and opportunities a SaltLife person is looking for.  Pascagoula Paradise Paddlers (PPP) consists of a core group of about 7 members give or take a few. It all started a little over 6 years ago with the Gulf Coast Summerfest. GCS needed a kayak event or two and Paradise Paddlers was born when a few enthusiasts found each other at the Choctaw Marina launch and voila!  They all said, “Let’s do this again!” Since then they have been meeting nearly every month to explore another blueway beauty in Jackson County. Eric Richards, a founding member, says, “it allows newcomers to the sport to meet other enthusiasts, but also shows the great paradise we have here… all the attributes of our natural resources.” 

When I asked what some of the “standout” virtues and ventures are, he replied, “…camaraderie and the Cumbest Bayou Fish Fry Paddle” (my personal favorite).  Each Fall, one of the paddles is along the beautiful banks of Cumbest Bayou. Once the group arrives at an old Indian shell midden island, fresh speckled trout from the bayou are fried up and served with plenty of sides and snacks, by Fletcher Songe and Charlie McVea (more PPP founding members). All of the ventures are very family friendly and safety is always a number one priority. Most all floats utilize the services of local marine law enforcement escorts and/or a lead/follow safety kayaker. There are: Blood Moon, Super Moon, Sunset/Moon-rise, Fall/Spring, Day/Night, and event paddles year round.  You’ll enjoy some of the night paddles which employ some “MacGyver-like” decorated boats with lights and more. I asked Eric which venture is the most scenic. He replied, “the Franklin Creek paddle out of Presley’s Outing… the trees and canopy are incredible in both summer and winter… they have very different looks with and without foliage.”

The City of Pascagoula’s outdoor recreation specialist and PPP member, Kristi Ducote, shares about some of the partnering events that bring the Paradise Paddlers and city recreation together.  On June 23rd, the rescheduled Pascagoula Run Paddle Battle, which stretches 12.5 miles from Little River Marina to Lighthouse Park, will bring in some serious kayak talent from across the south; but it’s not a race for all.  For some, it’s a great chance to see a long stretch of bayou and river blueway along the Pascagoula River delta. “Even if you’re not up to the 12.5 mile paddle, we have two pullout points downstream for those who want less of a challenge,” said Ducote.  Online registration will last through Thursday, June 22nd, but you can still attend and register at the meetup on Friday June 23rd at Brady’s Steak and Seafood, 3801 Magnolia St. from 5:00-8:00PM. Go to the City of Pascagoula link (https://cityofpascagoula.com/467/Pascagoula-Run-Paddle-Battle) for more info on this event and others like the June 29th PaddlePalooza from River Park to Huck’s Cove, which is a Sunset/Moonrise adventure.  Also, Nelson Outdoors of Pascagoula is always happy to provide you with a rental, complete with all safety gear. And I’ll bet they’ll hook you up with your own rig, if you’re in the market!

So, if you are a beginner, an explorer, enthusiast, or just plain ole Salty Dog; come enjoy the paradise Jackson County has to offer.  You’ll meet some really cool folks and see some breathtaking beauty. The PPP doesn’t have an official website, but if you go the Mississippi Kayaking Meetup Group page, you can stay tuned for upcoming adventures: (https://www.meetup.com/Mississippi-Kayak-Meetup-Group/).  Also, the City of Pascagoula updates their recreation website with the latest on kayaking events in the area: (https://cityofpascagoula.com/327/Outdoor-Recreation)

Get SALTY Y’all!

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New Whispering Pines Clubhouse Scores Points with Customers

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The new clubhouse at Whispering Pines golf course has been bringing some new faces to the golf course since it opened four months ago, according to management.

Richie Diamond, facilities manager, said many of the newer faces are there to eat a good meal instead of swing a golf club.
The 3,400-square-foot clubhouse opened in February with an expanded menu at the grill, indoor and covered outdoor dining areas, lockers in each bathroom, and an updated pro shop.

“We see a lot of new faces these days. Surprisingly, as many at the grill as there is to play a round of golf,” Diamond said.

Diamond said that Jackson County Supervisors, along with state Sen. Manly Barton, were instrumental in budgeting funds for the $1.2 million project. The 18-hole, 72-par course is operated by the county and is managed by the county’s Recreation Department, and the funds for the project came from the county’s General Fund.

“It shows how committed the Supervisors are to providing quality recreational facilities to the residents of Jackson County. Our golf course is available to all High Schools and Community Colleges in Jackson County, at no cost and is considered the home course of some,” Diamond said.

Aside from this project, Jackson County has put more than $800,000 since 2013 into improving the course. This most recent project also included improvements to the parking lot. Diamond said the next big improvement likely will be a new pavilion to replace the one that was removed from the property when the new clubhouse was built.

The clubhouse and course open at 7 a.m. Sunday – Tuesday and Thursday – Saturday, and at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

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Iconic Restaurant in Gautier Changes Ownership

tiki-2 Iconic Restaurant in Gautier Changes Ownership
tiki-2 Iconic Restaurant in Gautier Changes Ownership

GAUTIER–Changes are coming to the iconic Tiki Restaurant in Gautier, but locals have nothing to be worried about. 
The seafood menu that made the restaurant on the Mary Walker Bayou a staple for decades isn’t going anywhere. It’s just that now barbeque is joining the crab legs and shrimp on the menu. 
“If there’s any change at all, what we want people to understand is that Tiki’s will always be a seafood restaurant,” said Darryl Jackson, a consultant for the Tiki’s new owners.
Those new owners, David and Deborah Lindsey, are just adding barbeque recipes they have perfected from working at their son’s restaurant, Hog Heaven BBQ in Laurel, Jackson said.
The Lindseys bought the restaurant after years of living near the restaurant and being customers, Jackson said, and they are working to improve the quality of the seafood fare that locals have come to expect from the Tiki.
Regulars will notice a few other changes designed to bring in more customers. 
The restaurant will expand its hours to be open all day on Sundays and Mondays, and the owners are trying to book new musicians and plan more weekend events, particularly ones that take advantage of the outdoor patio and deck. 
The Tiki has already started a weekly Thursday night karaoke contest. The year’s weekly winners will compete against each other in December for a chance to win $2,500.
“We’re just trying to get the crowd back over here like the old days,” Jackson said. 
Edward Thornton’s family bought the Tiki in May of 1969, and ownership eventually passed to Thornton. Selling the family’s iconic restaurant has been emotional at times, Thornton said, but he has no regrets about handing it over to the Lindseys.
“They’re wanting to keep things as they are,” Thornton said. “They realize that a place like this that has been around as long as it has, it’s created some deep roots.”
Not only that, but Thornton also gives his stamp of approval on the barbeque.
“I’ve eaten everything they got, and it’s well worth it,” Thornton said.

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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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Burger Barn Serves as Vancleave Staple for Burgers and Ice Cream

Burger-Barn-1 Burger Barn Serves as Vancleave Staple for Burgers and Ice Cream

Have you been to the Burger Barn in Vancleave yet? If so, you’ve joined people that come from around the region to take part in this Vancleave tradition. If not, it might be time to give the Vancleave staple a try.

Approximately four years ago, Lisa and Larry Green took ownership of the burger joint, which has always been “the place to go” in Vancleave. In that time, the Greens have seen the Burger Barn continue to be a regular meeting place for many Vancleave residents and visitors coming through the town on Highway 57.

People come to the Burger Barn, sit down inside, visit, and talk, according to Lisa Green. “We serve the community. We have good food, family oriented,” she said, adding that they get a lot of work and school traffic there as well. She’s confident that once people visit they “always come back when they’re in the area.”

The Burger Barn is also located close to the high school, so it’s a regular hangout spot for students after school and after big school events like football games.

Burger-Barn-1 Burger Barn Serves as Vancleave Staple for Burgers and Ice Cream

The family-oriented Burger Barn is one of the only places in Vancleave for a burger, but it’s more than that too. Visitors can get po boys, shrimp, catfish, ice cream, chicken tenders, chili dogs, and more. They also have monthly burger specials.

Moving forward, the Greens hope to keep the business growing and have discussed putting in a drive through. They’ve also discussed the possibility of expanding to a second location in Hurley, which is where the Greens are from.

You can visit this Vancleave staple at 12316 Highway 57 in Vancleave. See their specials and more on their Facebook page.

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Gautier to host art show, reception June 14 at City Hall for plein air competition

plein-air Gautier to host art show, reception June 14 at City Hall for plein air competition

The City of Gautier is inviting the public to witness the beauty of nature’s playground through an art show and reception June 14 at Gautier City Hall. 

“Gautier through the Eyes of an Artist” will run 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the City Council meeting chambers and feature drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and art showcasing the City of Gautier.  

The event will display the entries from last month’s Paint the Town Plein Air Art Competition, a three-day event that drew artists from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Mobile, Diamondhead, Ocean Springs, Pascagoula, and other locations. 

City officials will award prizes to winning artists, and the public can visit with artists about their special creations. 

“A lot of times when you live in a place and see it every day, you can take it for granted,” City Manager Paula Yancey said. 

“It’s fascinating to see what these artists can paint and the quality they produce within just a few hours,” she said. “This event really shows you the beauty of your city through their eyes.”

“Plein Air” is a term used for artists who paint outdoors in the elements. The second-annual Paint the Town Plein Air hosted by Gautier was expanded into a three-day event this year. 

It began with an opening reception May 3, and it included optional Plein Air and nature photography workshops on May 4. The main event was May 5, as artists headed outdoors to locations such as Huck’s Cove, the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge, and Pitalo’s Marine to paint Gautier. 

They started with stamped blank canvases and returned several hours with one or two complete pieces. After framing the art, the art was judged and curated. 

“This is an exciting event that we hope will grow each year and shine a light on just how beautiful our city, nature’s playground, is,” Mayor Phil Torjusen said. “We appreciate all of those  who have attended and who are helping us to grow.” 

Thursday’s event is free and open to all ages.

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