Shelter Animals Need Your Help!

jc-pet2 Shelter Animals Need Your Help!

Consider this statistic:  In June, the Jackson County Animal Shelter in Gautier took in 550 animals.

That staggering number represents about 18 dogs and cats a day that need shelter, food, water, bathing, and plenty of potty breaks.

“Animals are just pouring in,” said Maridee Mallette, the shelter’s adoption coordinator.
The reasons for the near-constant stream of animals vary.  Many pet owners are not spaying or neutering their animals, while others are using the shelter as a way to re-home unwanted pets, Mallette said.

The problem can seem overwhelming, but playing a part in saving an animal’s life doesn’t require you to adopt a hundred animals. It can be as small as buying some cat food or paying for Fluffy’s rabies shot.


Mallette said the greatest need is for monetary donations. The “free” adoption days, where the usual $50 adoption fee is waived for adoptees, are funded by sponsors. The adoption fee pays for spaying or neutering your new best friend, initial vaccinations and health exams.

In addition to money, the shelter currently needs Purina Dog, Puppy, or Kitten Chow, canned dog or cat food, dog treats, dishwashing and laundry soaps, and bleach.

jc-pet2 Shelter Animals Need Your Help!


Mallette said the shelter is always looking for people who are willing to help bathe animals, clean kennels and give the animals a little bit of that human socialization necessary to prepare them for their forever families.  Those interested in volunteering are asked to visit the shelter to fill out an application and discuss available opportunities.

The shelter also needs foster homes for animals that are not adoptable when they first arrive to the shelter. These animals may be too young, sick, injured, or otherwise require special care that’s better provided in a home.


Last, but not least, the shelter needs people who are looking to adopt their family’s newest best friend—as long as you’re ready for the commitment.

Considering that cats and dogs routinely live up to 15 years old, adopting an animal is a major decision, Mallette emphasized.

“They’re going to chew things up. They’re going to mess up your house sometimes. They’re going to potty in your house,” Mallette said. “They’re going to bark, but you can’t get rid of your kids, so why would you get rid of your animal?”

Once you know you’re ready, the process itself is easy, Mallette said. You’re asked to bring a photo ID and $50 for the adoption fee to the shelter when you’re ready to adopt. 

The shelter maintains a Facebook group called “Jackson County Animal Shelter Gautier, MS Adoptable Pets,” complete with information about available animals and a picture (or video!) for each one that is guaranteed to melt your heart.

Learn more about the animal shelter and the animals available for adoption at

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Resurrection Cheerleaders Join Pet Pack Challenge

The Resurrection Varsity and Middle School cheerleaders have joined the JaxCoHome Pet Pack Challenge. RCS cheerleaders are calling on Pascagoula, Gautier, Moss Point, Vancleave, Ocean Springs, East Central and St. Martin high school cheer squads to join the Pet Pack Challenge today!

Coach Alice Lachaussee says, “Our cheerleaders are excited to help out the Jackson County Animal Shelter. We hope our challenge to other high school cheer squads will result in a huge amount of supplies being brought in for the animals.”

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Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

Music-on-the-Lawn-2017-Audience Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

Gautier, Mississippi; July 11, 2018 – The City of Gautier will host its second annual Music on the Lawn, featuring award-winning Mississippi songwriters, at Gautier City Hall on July 21.

The City is teaming up once again with the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance for the free event, which will feature artists Derek Norsworthy, Wayward Jones, Flatt Capps, Double Dee and Sean Gasaway.  

Music lovers are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to set up on the grounds of City Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Vendors will be on site to provide food, drink and treats.

There’s a sound for every musical taste, as the featured artists cover genres including country, folk, Americana, and more.

“We’re excited about working with the Mississippi Songwriters Alliance again for this wonderful afternoon of music and fun,” Gautier City Manager Paula Yancey said.

Music-on-the-Lawn-2017-Audience Gautier hosts second annual Music on the Lawn with Mississippi Songwriters

“We had a great time last year, and we hope to see a big crowd supporting our local songwriters and performers,” she said. “These are some very talented songwriters.”

In June, Derek Norsworthy was named the winner of the 2018 Boswell Media’s Songwriter of the Year contest. Norsworthy, an Escatawpa native, won the competition with the song “Raised by the Radio.”

Lucedale’s Wayward Jones won third place in the same competition with “You Ain’t Johnny.”

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Artist’s Reception for the 2018 Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Winners.

Audubon Center Welcomes Junior Duck Stamp Art Exhibit


MOSS POINT, MISS. – The Pascagoula River Audubon Center will be hosting an Artist’s Reception to welcome the student winners of the 2018 Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest and showcase their artwork in the Moss Point Fine Art Gallery. The Artist’s Reception is free and open to the public and will take place Thursday, July 12th from 5-7pm. The winning artwork will be on display from July 12th through August 4th.


This art exhibit will be the culmination of the Junior Duck Stamp Educational Program that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. After studying waterfowl anatomy and habitat, students expressed their newfound knowledge by drawing or painting a picture of an eligible North American waterfowl species. Students then submitted their artwork to their state art competition. The winners of Mississippi’s 2018 Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest will be on display in this exhibit.


The Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge plays a large role in the Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp Program and coordinates Art contest by sponsoring it, receiving, and judging the artwork, as well as providing prizes. Submitted artwork was grouped into four categories based on the age of the student. Student winners submitted artwork from varied parts of Mississippi, including Natchez, Vidalia, Biloxi, Gulfport, Clinton, Ocean Springs, Jackson, Flowood, Brandon, Ridgeland, and Perkinston.

The Center, located in historic downtown Moss Point, Miss., is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Learn more about the Pascagoula River Audubon Center at


We invite you to join us on Thursday July 12th from 5-7pm for the Artist’s reception to welcome the students and their winning artwork.

Untitled-1-1 Artist’s Reception for the 2018 Mississippi Junior Duck Stamp Art Contest Winners.




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Singing River Health System has again been named #1 on the MS Gulf Coast for Overall Hospital and Surgical Care.


Contact: Georgia Storey, 228-382-7045

July 5, 2018     

Sarah Duffey, 228-326-0824




Singing River Health System Ranked Best on MS Coast for Medical Excellence  

1st in Medical Excellence in Overall Medical Care and Surgical Care

Pascagoula, MS –Singing River Health System has been recognized by an independent quality ratings firm as the Number One Provider on the MS Gulf Coast for Medical Excellence in Overall Medical and Surgical Care for 2018 based on key clinical performance measures.  


This distinction along with dozens of others was announced by CareChex®, an information service of Quantros, Inc.   CareChex is an innovative medical quality rating system designed to assist hospitals and health systems in improving the quality of inpatient care and promoting medical excellence to consumers, payers and employers across the US.   Unlike other publicly available quality ratings, CareChex provides a composite evaluation of all components of medical quality including process of care, clinical outcomes and patient experiences.  


Besides the #1 ranking for Medical Excellence on the Gulf Coast, Singing River also garnered top rankings in the region for an additional 36 categories, including Overall Hospital Care, Surgical Care, Cancer Care, Major Cardiac Surgery, Heart Attack Treatment and others.   The system was also named #1 in Mississippi for Patient Safety in Interventional Coronary and Neurological Careand among the top ten percent nationally for Patient Safety in Overall Medical Care.   A complete list of the system’s awards are available on their website at .


“This is a testament to the compassion, skill and commitment that our team of caregivers delivers” said Lee Bond, Chief Executive Officer for Singing River Health System.  “CareChex provides the most statistically accurate quality ratings available in the industry, using publicly reported data to look at all aspects of care.   It is an important quality of life measure for all who live and work here on the coast.”  


Andy Weissberg, SVP Marketing Communications at Quantros noted, “Singing River Health System has demonstrated its ability to provide high quality care to the community it serves.  To receive this many awards for medical excellence and patient safety is an outstanding accomplishment for both the physicians and hospital staff.  We congratulate them on their commitment to delivering high quality, patient‐centered care.”


Additional information about the ratings and those of other providers across the nation can be found online at

Singing River Health System is pleased to announce some of its latest clinical achievements.  Recently, SRHS was awarded the American Stroke Association’s “Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award,” and now it has received another set of quality awards for outstanding healthcare.

The full list of awards received may be found below.


#1 on the MS Gulf Coast for:

Overall Hospital Care

Overall Surgical Care

Cancer Care

Major Cardiac Surgery

General Surgery

Heart Attack Treatment

Spinal Surgery and Hip Fracture Repair


# 1 in Mississippi for:

Interventional Coronary Care Patient Safety

Neurological Patient Safety

Vascular Surgery Patient Safety

Top 10% in the US for:

Overall Medical Care Patient Safety

Cancer Care Patient Safety

Interventional Coronary Care Patient Safety

COPD Medical Excellence



Singing River Health System strives to provide the community with top-notch healthcare and are here to serve you. For more information on these achievements, call 228-382-7045.







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Stay Safe on the Water this Summer

boat-safety-JUly-4 Stay Safe on the Water this Summer

As we prepare for the Fourth of July holiday, those who will be boating are encouraged to exercise extra special caution to protect those in their boats and in others.

According to Kell Robbins, manager at Furlan’s Marine in Gautier, Fourth of July is one of the holidays where they see the most damaged boats come into their shop for repair. He said, this time of year, people can get hurt, or worse, in boating related accidents – people fall out of boats or the driver hits something that then throws passengers from the boat.

When it comes to enjoying the boating holiday in a safe manner, Robbins gave a few safety tips that are important to keep in mind for new and experienced boaters alike.

The main tip is to make sure you have safety gear on your boat in case an emergency does arise. This includes proper life jackets, fire extinguishers, flares, and a good cell phone battery. It can be a good idea to inspect these from time to time and make sure everything works properly and is in good condition.

Robbins also encourages boaters to run their boats before the holiday weekend to make sure there is nothing wrong and that they are up to proper boating standards. One simple way to prevent damage is to make sure the drain plug on the boat is plugged in before it is launched.

Furlan’s Marine can also check your boat and safety gear if you’re unsure.

Robbins also said that it’s important to check the radar and keep an eye on storms because they can – and do – pop up quickly. He said that if you see a storm while on the island, it can be a good idea to wait it out and let the storm pass rather than trying to beat it back to shore in the boat.

Many boating accidents are alcohol related, and Robbins said each boat should have a sober driver to ensure that everyone gets home safely. There will be a lot of marine patrols about during the holiday checking boaters and enforcing the laws. Also, Mississippi requires that boaters born after June 30, 1980, must have a Boater Education Card.

To get your boat checked for any boating holiday or for repairs, contact Furlan’s Marine at 228-497-7444 or visit their website.

For more information on boating safety, visit the official website of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division.

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3rd Annual SNO Days Camp

11665542_741260222648958_234697806314332480_n-320x320 3rd Annual SNO Days Camp

The 3rd Annual SNO Days Camp at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center in Ocean Springs will take place on June 19-21, 2018. On the evening of June 21, there will be a fundraising family picnic for the benefit of South Mississippi Special Needs Organization from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. At 7:00 pm inside the theater of the Mary C. the Songs & Stories Show will begin, with musicians Double Dee (Darwin & Dana) and the SNO Camp Participants.

The purpose of the this minicamp is to provide a two hour, three day class for those with intellectual and/or physical disabilities whose ages vary between 6 and 60. The show is free. The picnic will consist of hamburger or hot dog plates being sold for $6.00 each. All proceeds of the picnic goes to help SNO continue to offer their quarterly events for the benefit of the special needs community and their families here in the coastal counties area of South Mississippi.

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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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Bringing Blueberry Heaven to Earth

Blueberry-Heaven-2 Bringing Blueberry Heaven to Earth
Blueberry-Heaven-2 Bringing Blueberry Heaven to Earth

Blueberry Heaven is once again available for blueberry picking and now – the second and third weeks of June – is the best time to do so.

Sissy Inabinette, who works on the farm, says that blueberry season really runs from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July, so now is the time to come to their farm in Vancleave for the best crop. She said the first week of June is also an ideal time to pick their berries, so those interested can go ahead and plan for next year.

According to Inabinette, this year’s weather has been more conducive for the blueberries than last year’s, and they have a great crop. “We’ve absolutely been getting the proper amount of rain and the proper amount of sunshine now,” she said.

This year, they’ve also welcomed many new customers. Inabinette said that, out of the 400 people who have come through so far, 300 of them have been new. She said that word of mouth has been the best way to spread the news of their U-pick blueberry farm.

“It’s amazing to me the amount of people that are coming that didn’t know this existed,” Inabinette said.

The Vancleave farm, which has become a local hot spot, has approximately 6,300 blueberry bushes showcasing four different blueberry varieties. Picking blueberries seems to be a favorite for the kids that visit the farm as well. According to Inabinette, many of the kids think they don’t like blueberries, but they find that the ones at Blueberry Heaven taste different than the ones from the grocery store.

Visitors can pick their blueberries directly for $10 a gallon. Visitors can also get pre-picked ones that are fresh or frozen for $20 a gallon.

Weather permitting, the season may run a little past July 4. After that, the farm is on an honor system for those who want to brave the heat and the grass. You can get more details about Blueberry Heaven here.

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Children and Families Find Hope in Jackson County Through Pilot Program

sigalas Children and Families Find Hope in Jackson County Through Pilot Program

Judge Sharon Sigalas

Foster Children in Jackson County are finding hope in being reunited with their parents and families through a pilot Re-Unification Program hosted by the Jackson County Youth Court  (JCYC). For the first time Wednesday, May 9th 2018, children, parents, and foster parents came together to celebrate children being reunited with their parents at a banquet hosted by Judge Sharon Sigalas and the Jackson County Youth Court.  Other leaders were also present including local D.A., Tony Lawrence and State Senator Brice Wiggins.

There are many reasons why this program is important as fostered children numbers continue to rise.  Senator Brice Wiggins and other coastal legislators worked to see legislation passed in 2016 that would stimulate this process.  The Senator reports that in the state of Mississippi, 2/3 of all foster children reside in the lower 3 counties of Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson.  Although the legislation passed, funding such a program is always an issue.

sigalas Children and Families Find Hope in Jackson County Through Pilot Program

Senator Brice Wiggins

While much of the details surrounding these cases are confidential, a judicial study group worked to find a way to enhance the law to encourage reunification and celebrate the success stories of reunification.  Consequently, the idea of a Reunification Banquet was born and Judge Sigalas stepped up to make it happen.

Thanks to funding from the Annie E. Casey foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and an additional 100 million from the Mississippi State Legislature 2017 budget, the reunification program is gaining strength.  The first inaugural Reunification Banquet by JCYC highlights an intensive and comprehensive rehabilitation approach to helping children in foster care reunite with their parents toward permanency. Through the aid of a trained, credentialed, Parent Representative appointee, parents are coached through court dates, rehabilitation, counseling, legal help, and more while the children receive the care and attention they need through foster care.

sigalas Children and Families Find Hope in Jackson County Through Pilot Program

Commissioner, Jess Dickinson

sigalas Children and Families Find Hope in Jackson County Through Pilot Program

Jurist in Residence, John Hudson

According to Judge Sigalas, “since this is a pilot program, there is a lot of data that needs to be collected and compared across the state in order to determine the strengths and weakness in the program”.  She credits Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services (MDCPS) commissioner, Jess Dickinson, and John Hudson, Jurist in Residence (Youth Courts) Mississippi Supreme Court with making the reunification program a  priority within the Mississippi Youth Court system. Both were in attendance at the banquet and Commissioner Dickinson was the keynote speaker at the banquet. He emphasized the importance of why this program is vital to the lives of children and families.  Judge Sigalas said, “The fact that the (MDCPS) Commissioner would drive here to be a part of this event speaks to the importance of it”. Senator Wiggins added, “the new law encourages reunification… no one wants a child to remain in the system. This event highlights the success stories and they need to be told.  JCYC and CASA of Jackson County are on the forefront to making this program successful”.

As the first Reunification Banquet is now in the books for Judge Sigalas and the JCYC staff, she and her colleagues look forward to the program expanding across the state and here in Jackson County, thus putting children and parents back together in healthy, productive, caring homes.  The success stories do need to be told and celebrated because the reunification program is important to the success of many children and families in our community and across our state.

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