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:

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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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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National Dairy Goat Awareness Week… No Kidding!

Goats seem to be everywhere these days.  From funny commercials on TV to goat yoga (look it up, you’ll thank me later); goats have gone viral. In addition to the cuteness factor, goats have gained popularity for the milk they provide. Seven years ago, Ken and Brenda Goff of Vancleave embarked on a journey to raise and breed quality milk goats.

The Goffs wanted a self-sustainable lifestyle and spent six months researching what type of goats would be productive for Briarcrest Farm. There are two types of goats: dairy or meat. The Goffs chose to raise purebred Nubian dairy goats because they, “fell in love with the way they look,” according to Brenda. Nubians are a popular goat because of the high butter fat content of the milk. The milk is used not only for drinking, but in products like soap and hand lotion.

During the first year of raising goats, the Goffs found themselves with an abundance of goat milk. After drinking the milk and making cheese and yogurt, Brenda says, “we still had milk coming out of our ears.” Soon, Brenda began researching how to make soap from goat’s milk and was surprised by what she found.

 “It’s so good for your skin.  Soap from a store is like rubbing detergent on skin,” remarks Brenda.  “People come several times a week, by appointment, to buy soap. People with psoriasis and acne swear by it.” Briarcrest Farm soap is made from 100% goat’s milk and highest quality food grade ingredients. The soap is handmade through a cold process which maintains the quality of each ingredient. 

The Goffs are diligent about the care given to each of the 20 goats currently on the farm. The goats are milked twice daily, and once a month, a sample of the milk is sent to Langston University in Oklahoma for analysis. The results of the testing will be included in the goat’s permanent record, which is then sent to the Dairy Records Management System. The DRMS keeps track of a goat’s heritable traits for future breeding information.

Additionally, Briarcrest Farm goats have earned numerous awards throughout show competitions in the Southeast. With the rise in goat ownership, the Goffs and other owners have started a new dairy association called Southern Browsers. The purpose of the association is to give new or potential goat owners the information needed to properly raise goats.

You may visit Briarcrest Farm at 10401 Cherokee Rose Road in Vancleave to purchase soaps. Appointments are available during weekdays by calling 228. 366.0254 or email:  The soaps are also available at the Second Saturday Farmer’s Market in Gautier City Park from 8am-12pm. You can also learn more at and follow their farm happenings on our Facebook page at

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Mississippi Export Railroad Investing in Rail Improvements

mer-shoot Mississippi Export Railroad Investing in Rail Improvements

Upgrades Will Yield New Growth, Increase Productivity in Region

PASCAGOULA, Miss. – June 13, 2018 – The Jackson County Board of Supervisors has approved a Freight Rail Service Revolving Loan provided by the Mississippi Development Authority to support new investment in rail upgrades by the Mississippi Export Railroad, a short line railroad with much of its service in Jackson County. Funds will be used to construct 3.2 miles of rail car storage, passing and field repair space, representing a total investment of approximately $4.7 million.

Randy Bosarge, President of the Board of Supervisors, stated, “We are proud to be able to assist in the growth of this important Jackson County-based industry and salute the Mississippi Export Railroad for investing to better serve its current and future customers.”

This project will allow existing businesses to expand their production capacity in the future and enable the railroad to better meet the needs of the numerous businesses served by the rail line. Construction should begin in July and be completed within 12 months.

“We are excited to kick off this project with our partners at the Jackson County Board of Supervisors, the Jackson County Economic Development Foundation and the Mississippi Development Authority,” said Kate Luce, chief executive officer of the Export Railroad. “Mississippi Export’s unit train storage and interchange capabilities, combined with its full service car repair shop, make it a one-stop solution for car owners and rail shippers.”

The Mississippi Export Railroad is a short line Class III railroad with the primary mission of serving local industries. With connections to four Class I railroads, it links the Gulf of Mexico and foreign ports to all of North America. The railroad is a diversified company with a full-service maintenance and repair railcar and locomotive shop with AAR M-1003 & AAR M-1002 (C6) certifications, railcar storage facilities, track maintenance and repair and transloading terminals. It also partners with Aaron Oil Company to provide tank car cleaning and waste disposal services. Please visit for more information.

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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

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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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Bozo’s Set to Open New Restaurant

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You know how some celebrities are instantly recognizable by a single name? Icons like Oprah or Bono; you hear the name and you automatically know who they are and what they’re famous for. Well, down in Pascagoula, they have their very own celebrity spot with the same type of name recognition- Bozo’s. Much like other one name celebrities, Bozo’s needs no introduction.  The name is synonymous with fresh seafood, perfectly seasoned crawfish and mouth-watering po’boys.  And soon, the local staple will be transformed into a full-service restaurant located adjacent, to the west of the existing Bozo’s market on Ingalls Avenue.


Third generation proprietor, Keith Delcambre, has devoted his life to Bozo’s.  He began working at the restaurant for his grandfather at age 10 and knew then that he wanted to be a part of Bozo’s future. After graduating high school, Keith went to work full time running the business with his parents.

In 1985, Keith added the grill, offering food baskets, burgers and po’boys. “That was really the only thing I brought to Bozo’s, the grill. So, I take this one (restaurant) very personally.”

The restaurant, being built by Alexander Construction, was originally an open-air concept offering crawfish and po’boys. But as the project progressed, it became apparent that it should be enclosed; ultimately becoming a table-service restaurant, complete with a full bar, a stage for weekend performers and 15 tons of air conditioning. The menu will retain most of the current items with additional offerings of grilled oysters, steaks and tacos. “We’re just going to kick it up a notch,” says Delcambre.

The support shown by local residents is what has pushed the project to expand. According to Delcambre, “Jackson County, Pascagoula, and Moss Point have proven they like Bozo’s, because of the business that we have. And that’s humbling, very humbling.”

As a lifelong resident of Pascagoula, he’s seen first hand the customer loyalty that has helped support Bozo’s for over 60 years and looks forward to the public’s opinion on the expansion. “I think everybody’s going to appreciate it (restaurant). I know we’ve put our heart and soul into it and we will continue to do a good job for our customers.”

And there’s no need for concern about any changes being made to the original Bozo’s store. “Nothing will change up front.” The restaurant will be ideal for spillover traffic during busy hours, as well as a place for customers to come and enjoy a relaxing dinner and good music on the weekends. Bozo’s isn’t trying to change what’s been working for so many years; just adding more options for its customers. As Delcambre jokingly says, “I just want to go from no class, to low class.”




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Johnson Bros. Jewelry Co., a historic business success story for Jackson County.

A tangible piece of history continues to thrive in Pascagoula, Miss., one of the oldest businesses in Jackson County: Johnson Brothers Jewelry Company. A fine jewelry boutique featuring estate jewelry, wedding registries, gifts, and custom wrapping, the elegant, well-appointed shop has operated since 1946, serving second and third generations of Pascagoula’s families.

“We’ve been told that stepping into our store is in some ways like going back in time, with our quality merchandise, attention to detail, and focus on personal relationships,” says owner Debbie Willis. “But what we really love is when people come in and are wowed by all the new jewelry lines, high-fashion designer pieces, and popular brands we carry.”

Hardy Johnson and his wife Earline created a piece of history when they opened their doors almost 75 years ago. The store was more than just a place to buy jewelry; it was a gathering place for locals, a family tradition, and a community landmark. The Johnsons insisted on providing their customers with a special experience each time they walked in and Earline was a stickler when it came to presentation.

Earline was meticulous about how the store looked and how the jewelry was wrapped. Early on Earline insisted on wrapping gifts in the most exquisite way with a large hand-made bow on top. She wanted the fine gifts from her store to have a ‘personal’ touch and no gift left the store without a Johnson Brothers’ bow on top.

 “Today our bows are as famous as our merchandise,” cites Laura Burrow, daughter of Debbie and manager of Johnson Brothers. “We will not let a gift leave our store without the Johnson Brothers’ bow on top. Sometimes during the busy Christmas season we’ll have a little back-up at the bow machines, but the customers don’t mind. The extra time it takes gives us a chance to visit and connect with our customers even more.”

Hardy passed away in 1987 but Earline continued running the store on her own. She had added to their product line, carrying china, silver, baby gifts and even stationery.

Today, the family tradition continues with Debbie and Laura at the helm, committed to maintaining the same attention to detail on which Earline would have insisted. They cultivate personal relationships with both customers and vendors, and carefully hand-select all merchandise. The mother-daughter team is joined by sisters Cynthia Walker Zubic and Kaye Walker Doyle, Debbie’s other daughters Rachael Willis Ashbaker and Katherine Willis Swetman, as well as Dylan Kirksey Demouey and Di Faccini – all Jackson County natives.

The store is located at 511 Delmas Avenue in Pascagoula, and is open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 5 pm.

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Business of the Week: The HannaBerry Workshop

hannaberry Business of the Week: The HannaBerry Workshop

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Ocean Springs – The HannaBerry Workshop is a multi-disciplinary design and fabrication studio, founded in Jackson, MS by collaborative artisan team – Sarah Qarqish and Morgan Welch. Since first opening their doors in 2013, the two artists have focused on creating fine art and furniture by blending fresh new ideas and technology with traditional design and fabrication practices. The Workshop also dabbles in graphic design, architecture, cabinetry, interiors and signage; all of which can be customized to suit your need or preferences.

Recently adding “husband and wife” to their list of partnerships, the design duo says the success of their business is a direct result of teamwork and good communication. “Everything that comes out of our studio has been created by the both of us,” says Morgan. “Usually our best work is a result of Sarah having a crazy idea that I have to engineer; and then we work together to make it a reality.” Depending on the scale of the project, the team will spend anywhere from several days to several weeks in the shop; researching, sketching, and gathering the materials needed in order to begin fabrication. Any number of techniques may be used during the production of a HannaBerry design – utilizing new, cutting-edge technology, as well as century-old techniques in order to perfect their heirloom quality works of art. As with most artists – and married couples – Sarah and Morgan approach their work and design processes from very different perspectives.

Not always see eye-to-eye, the pair says they have had to learn to embrace each other’s passions when collaborating on a new piece together. “We both know utilizing each other’s strengths and being aware of each other’s weaknesses is essential in keeping things running smoothly,” said Sarah. “Where we end up when we meet in the middle; that’s when we know we’ve created something special.”

As frequent visitors of Ocean Springs, Sarah and Morgan have always felt a pull to the area; a “calling from the coast” one may say. When it could no longer be ignored, they finally decided to answer that call and relocated to the Mississippi Gulf Coast to expand their studio/workshop. The couple has been beyond grateful for the wonderful reception they’ve received from both the creative community and the public. It didn’t take long for the pair to connect with other local artists and designers, providing them the opportunity to collaborate on several projects designed for the public here on the coast.

“The organic designs and patterns we create within our art and furniture seem to really fit the coastal atmosphere here. Our work has often been described as having a shell-like design, so we have had fun exploring the idea of our furniture being out in public places here in town,” said Sarah. “We’re excited about the impact living on the coast could have on our life and work… we’re just getting started here!”

Learn more about The HannaBerry Workshop here!

Remember to support your local artists and businesses! We are proud they call Jackson County Home!

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