Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Observance

Not surprisingly, many locales claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.  Mississippi, itself, stakes its claim, as identified below from the Veteran's Affairs website:

Local Observances Claim To Be First. Local springtime tributes to the Civil War dead already had been held in various places. One of the first occurred in Columbus, Miss., April 25, 1866, when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers who had fallen in battle at Shiloh. Nearby were the graves of Union soldiers, neglected because they were the enemy. Disturbed at the sight of the bare graves, the women placed some of their flowers on those graves, as well.

From Memorial Day website:

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.
On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.
The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).
It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971 (P.L. 90 – 363). This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.
The Presidential Memorandum decreed in May of 2000 asks that Americans "voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence, or listening to Taps."

Thursday, May 21, 2015

PRVWSD Press Release Concerning Usage Fee Vote

Below is the press release from the PRVWSD concerning the rescission of the proposed lake usage fee.

Boater Usage Fee Rescinded

The PRVWSD Board of Directors accepted the recommendation of the Parks Policy Committee and rescinded the boater usage fee by vote in today's meeting.

Sue Townsend Fundraiser

Below is a fundraiser invitation for Sue Townsend, PhD., who is running for Superintendent of the Rankin County School District.  I know Sue and Butch and have since my wife taught with/for her at Brandon HS. I encourage you to come out and meet her if you can.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Non-Rez Jet Ski Fatality

Yesterday, John Simpson of Florence, Mississippi, apparently intoxicated, was involved in a jet ski collision with Bryan James Bessonette of Pearl, killing Bessonette.  This occurred at Robinhood Lake south of Brandon, not at the Rez.  Simpson was arrested shortly thereafter and charged with negligent manslaughter and other crimes.

WAPT story here (with video).
WLBT story here (with video).
WJTV story here.
Clarion Ledger story here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Parks Policy Committee Recommends Usage Fee Be Rescinded

See the below press release from the PRVWSD.  Bear in mind this simply means the Parks Policy Committee recommends the user fee be rescinded. It still must be voted on by the Board.

Memorial Day Sale at the Outlets

Make plans to restore order and peace to the state's economy by spending all your money this Memorial Day.  The Outlets of Mississippi will help you out with enticing deals throughout the campus.

Alligator Season Approaches

Planning on harvesting a new pair of boots?  Make sure you are up-to-date on all the changes to the alligator hunting season.  From the MDWFP website:

On March 18, 2015, the Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries, & Parks approved the 2015 Alligator Hunting Season Administrative Rules including the associated changes for the permitting process for public water hunting.
The changes for the 2015 Public Waters Alligator Season include:
  • Elimination of the application/drawing process
  • Permits will be offered for sale on a First-Come-First-Serve basis beginning on July 14, at 9:00am. 
  • Payment for the Possession Permit and the Alligator Hunting License must be submitted immediately and is not refundable or transferable. 
  • Permits may only be purchased electronically via the MDWFP Website. 
  • Permits are limited to residents only. 
  • Each person is limited to only one permit in one hunting zone of their choice, if available. 
  • Possession Permit cost increased to $150 and the Alligator Hunting License is $25. 
  • A valid All Game type hunting license, Lifetime License, or Exempt License is required to purchase an alligator permit or license. 
  • Elimination of mandatory attendance to a MS Alligator Hunting Training Course for permitted hunters. 
  • A voluntary Alligator Hunting Training Course will be offered in Central Mississippi and registration will be required. 
  • Hunting Zones and permit allocation in each zone remains unchanged from 2014.

  • THERE ARE NO CHANGES TO THE PRIVATE LANDS SEASON or the private lands permitting process for 2015.

Monday, May 18, 2015

MS Wildlife Federation

Since 1946, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation has been dedicated to conserving our state's natural resources and protecting our wildlife legacy.  The MWF's 2015 Calendar of Events is full of popular events, many that focus on the Ross Barnett Reservoir.  Coming up:

   -- Gator Bait Hatchling Race (May 30)
   -- Katfishin' Kids at Turcotte Lab (June 6)
   -- Camp Fish at Turcotte Lab (June 24-25)
   -- MS Wildlife Extravaganza (July 3-Aug. 2)
   -- Gator Bait Race (Sept. 19)
   -- Outdoorama on the Rez (Sept. 26)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Parks Policy Committee Agenda

The Parks Policy Committee of the PRVWSD Board of Directors meets at 2 p.m. on Monday, May 18.  They, too, have much to discuss.


Monday, May 18, 2015 2:00 p.m.

1. Approval to advertise for construction contract for Timberlake Campground - pads and street. (Greg Burgess)

2. Discussion of limitation of number of fishing poles per person when using public piers. (Craig Hunt)

3. Approval of Barnett Reservoir Foundation request for special alcohol permits for Independence Celebration on June 27th and Smokin’ on The REZ on October 23rd and 24th. (John Sigman)

4. Approval of proposed draw hunt policy changes. (Craig Hunt)

5. Final approval of proposed regulation changes Part 203, Chapter 4: Fishing, Rule 4.2 Restriction of Trotlines, Throw Lines, Set Hooks or Jugs, subparagraphs (b) and (c). (Craig Hunt)

6. Final approval of proposed regulation changes Part 203, Chapter 5: Firearms and Hunting, Rule 5.1 General, subparagraphs (b), (h) and (i). (Craig Hunt)

7. Final approval of proposed regulation change Part 203, Chapter 2: Boats and Boating, Rule 2.4 Lake Usage Fee (John Sigman)

Shoreline Committee Agenda

The Shoreline Committee of the PRVWSD Board of Directors meets Monday, May 18, at 3:30 p.m. There appears to be a full slate of topics on their agenda.


Monday, May 18, 2015 3:30 p.m.

1. Property Maintenance Report – Robbie Graves.

2. Approval of HarborWalk Development, LLC for extension of construction of hotel. (John Sigman)

3. Approval of proposal for geotechnical investigation on seawalls within Pelahatchie Bay by Burns Cooley Dennis, Inc. (John Sigman)

4. Approval of change for speed limit on bridge over spillway gates to 25MPH during cold weather/icy conditions. (Greg Burgess)

5. Project closeout of Phase I USACE 592 Project with Utility Constructors, Inc. and approval of final change order (Greg Burgess)

6. Approval of contract modification for Pickering Engineers for USACE 592 Project (Greg Burgess)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Digital Billboard Variance Request denied.

I just received word that the Rankin County Board of Supervisors voted down the zoning variance request by Capturion Network, LLC for a digital billboard on Old Fannin Road.

See earlier post for details concerning the request.

Scam re Murdered Officers

Humanity never ceases to amaze, sometimes in awful ways. Following reports from concerned citizens, the Better Business Bureau circulated the below informational brochure concerning a scam related to the deaths of two Hattiesburg police officers.

Hidden Hills Gator

Here are photos of the 10-foot alligator the Rankin County Animal Shelter drug out of Mill Creek yesterday.  He was captured in the Hidden Hills Subdivision.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

This Week at the Rez

·      From the PRVWSD:

        Dragon Boat Regatta – May 16th Old Trace Park
The Dragon Boats return to the REZ on Saturday, May 16th.  Make plans to come out and enjoy a day in the park and on the water.  For more information visit:

·     Mark your Calendars – June 27th Independence Celebration at The REZ
The REZ will celebrate both our nation’s independence and the REZ’s 50th Anniversary on Saturday, June 27th from 4p.m. until Fireworks.  The event will be held at both Old Trace and Lakeshore Parks and is free to the public. Bring your blankets and chairs and plan to spend the evening at the REZ.  Old Trace Park will host WaterFest, Standfords Battery, static military displays, kids zones, food & beer vendors, with live music by Stogdaddy & The Good Time Band and Hairicane.  Lakeshore Park will host a Classic Car Show, the YMCA cardboard boat race, static military displays, kids zones, food & beer vendors, with live music by AM/FM, Joseph LaSalle, and the Dylan Moss Band.   The Lighted Boat Parade participants will entertain both parks in their decorated boats as they go by after dusk and the fireworks, shot from both sides of the lake, will begin at approximately 9:30.   Tune into MISS103 as they provide the countdown to the fireworks launch and will simulcast accompanying patriotic music for the display.  No coolers will be allowed in the park.   For more information on the event visit:

The PRVWSD Board of Directors will hold the regular monthly meeting on May 21st at 9:30 a.m. at the main office of the PRVWSD.