Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Tax Man Cometh


















Actually, it's the tax woman.  Ms. Judy Fortenberry is the Tax Collector for Rankin County and she operates a satellite office at 5412 Highway 25 N. (by Cerami's).

The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm and offers the following services:
  • Purchase car and truck tags (up to B-10 truck)
  • Pay land and personal property taxes.
  • Pay Mobile Home taxes.
  • Obtain County Privilege License.
  • Apply for Handicap Parking Permit
The location is a real convenience for Rez area residents so stop by to see them.

The Rez News

Friday, July 30, 2010

Denbury Is Back

Those people that like to make noise are back but this time they are on dry land.  Denbury will be conducting tests in the Fannin Landing Circle area beginning Monday August 2, 2010. 

Activities will be restricted to weekdays and conducted during daylight hours only.   The work will last approximately 3 weeks.

This work is not taking place on Pearl River Valley Water Supply District property, so if things get loud and you want to complain then contact the people listed at the bottom of the following letter. 

The details.   


























The Rez News

Fred's Update

Friday morning the Rankin County Planning Commission will be reviewing plans for two new businesses proposed for the area next to Regions Bank on Spillway Road, Fred's Dollar Store and a MEA Medical Clinic.

The plan for Fred's is one of their more "upscale" style stores and nicer than what was originally planned.  The photos below show a similar building that is located in Bartlett, TN.

Also note the small sign that will used.
MMM (Mayor Mary of Madison) would be proud!

What do you think?


























The Rez News

Dog Attacks

WLBT posted a story and video on their web site about a new Brandon city ordinance regulating ownership of Pit Bulls.  Breed specific ordinances have been passed by many communities throughout the U.S including Rankin County.
I you missed the WLBT story you can see it HERE.

WLBT cited data from the Center for Disease Control and included the following sentence:

"There is currently no accurate way to identify the number of dogs of a particular breed, and, consequently, no measure to determine which breeds are more likely to bite or kill. "

Interesting, but, here is what they didn't tell you. 

There is an article entitled "Dog Bite: Fact Sheet" on the CDC website that seems to offer contradictory information.  You can see it HERE.

That page says:

A CDC study on fatal dog bites lists the breeds involved in fatal attacks over 20 years.  It does not identify specific breeds that are most likely to bite or kill, and thus is not appropriate for policy-making decisions related to the topic.

Wouldn't that make you think the data was inconclusive as to whether some breeds are more likely to kill than others?  Probably, unless you look at the data.

According to the CDC's own study 50% of the fatalities were caused by Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and mixes of those two breeds.

A few other quotes from the article. 
Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Finally, this:
Studies indicate that pit bull-type dogs were involved in approximately a third of human DBRF (dog bite reported fatalities) reported during the 12-year period from 1981 through1992, and Rottweilers were responsible for about half of human DBRF reported during the 4 years from 1993through 1996. 

The debate will rage on about Pit Bulls so we encourage you to read the report cited on the CDC web site and make up your own mind.  The report is HERE.

The Rez News

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Business News

We managed to connect with the developer of the property next to Regions Bank on Spillway, here is what is going on.

A cul-de-sac is currently under construction that will divide the 15 acre tract and run from Spillway Road to the back side of the property, the new street will be called Lake Vista Place.  The entire area will be used for commercial establishments and/or office space.  The lot next to the Regions Bank has been sold and a MEA Clinic is going up there.  The lot across the new street and fronting  Spillway Road is being considered for a Fred's Dollar Store.  We reported earlier that the Fred's would be bricked on all four sides and have a low "monument" style sign in front. 

Both of these businesses will be discussed at the Rankin County Planning Commission meeting on Friday.   

Sites are available in this new development, for more information contact Joe Parker at 601-664-2422.

The Rez News

Buying and Selling Stuff

So you cleaned out the garage and found some stuff that you want to sell.  Great, pick up the phone, call the newspaper and place a classified ad,  WAIT, that's so yesterday! 

There are alternatives that you should consider.

For some time Craigs List has been the place to go when buying, selling, or even looking for a job.  And it is free.  Now there is a new player in the game with huge name recognition, eBay.

That's right, eBay now offers free classified ads.   

If you want to sell something, and a free ad appeals to you, then check out these two sites.  

Craigs List for the Jackson area, click HERE

Or the new eBay site for the Jackson area click HERE

The Rez News

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Good Carp Bad Carp

There is a major problem swimming around in some U. S. waters, Asian Carp.  They pose a major threat to our waterways and much is being done to study the problem.  

There are different kinds of carp and some have coexisted peacefully with native fish for generations.  However, their Asian cousins, the Bighead and Silver Carp,  are not being so nice.  They compete for food and because of their appetite and size can starve out a population of native fish.   They also pose a threat to people since they leap out of the water when startled.  That danger can seen in the video below.

If you would like to read more about Asian Carp then check out this FAQ article  HERE.

We called a biologist with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Fisheries and asked if any of the carp had been spotted in The Rez.  The answer was no.   But, they have been detected in the waters of the Yazoo River Basin that extends well into the Mississippi Delta.

You thought Canadian Geese were bad?  Watch this.



The Rez News

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Go Ahead, Make My Day

I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
Inspector Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in the 1971 movie "Dirty Harry". 

Your trigger finger been itching?  Then oil up the old 6 shooter, or the new Glock,  and head to the Turcotte Labs shooting range on the north end of The Rez. The facility belongs to The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and is open to the public.

Separate ranges are available for handguns and rifles and there is a great sporting clay trail for those who like shotguns.     Golf carts can be rented for use on the trail.    
The prices are very reasonable so go have some fun.

The range hours during the summer are:
Mon  -  Wed        closed
Thur -  Fri           12:00pm to 5:00pm
Saturday              10:00am to 5:00pm
Sunday                 1:00pm   to 5:00pm

The range is located on Highway 43 just east of the intersection of the Natchez Trace and 43.

You can get more information by calling Turcotte at  601-859-3421
or reading an informational document  HERE

The MDWFP web site has an online photo gallery that you can visit  HERE

The Rez News

Monday, July 26, 2010

CCPR

Got two minutes and twenty seconds?

Then watch a video demonstration of an improved version of CPR called Continuous Chest Compression CPR.
The American Heart Association says over 300,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest.  By learning the technique you may prevent someone from becoming part of that statistic.
The new technique is considered superior to the old version of CPR and easier to learn.

Be a life saver, watch and learn.   



The Rez News

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Car Vs. Deer

We are very lucky to live near scenic places like The Rez and Natchez Trace.  However, there is danger lurking in the bushes and it has a name, Bambi.

Below is a Ridgeland emergency dispatch that occurred Saturday afternoon shortly after a car struck a deer.  Fortunately, there were no serious injuries.

Before you listen to the call check out a few statistics from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
  • Most auto collisions with deer occur in November
  • The "Comprehensive Coverage" of an auto policy covers damage sustained from a collision with an animal. 
  • The average damage claim for a car/animal claim is $2743
  • State Farm Insurance Co. estimated there were 2.4 million animal/vehicle crashes between July 2007 and  July 2008.
  • The top 3 states for deer crashes are Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia.
To hear the 25 second MP3 click HERE

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Businesses

Several days ago we told you that a MEA clinic was planned for the property next to Regions Bank on Spillway.  The Building Department for Rankin County confirmed that they received two site plans for work in that area.  One is the MEA clinic and the other is a Fred's Dollar Store.

We placed a call to one of the developers of the property but have not yet received a response.

Here is what appears to be the plan.
Slightly over 1 acre of land (next to Regions) out of the approximate 14 acre tract has been sold and will be the site for the MEA Clinic.

East of that site, and fronting Spillway Road, is the proposed area for the Fred's Dollar Store.  Those plans call for a brick building with a monument type sign in front.  Pictures of the proposed building were included in the site plan and we should have copies for you to see next week.

Rankin County officials would not approve the original zoning variances that Fred's requested so they came back with a new plan.  The county officials also asked for a brick building and that no large signs be erected, those requests appear to have been met with the new plan.

The Rankin County Planning Commission has scheduled a hearing on the projects at their next meeting on  July 30th.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Reservoir Gators

Our recent  "High Tech Gators" article prompted some debate as to whether or not alligators are native to the waters of the Pearl River and the Ross Barnett Reservoir.

An expert on the subject left a comment and we wanted to make sure that no one missed it.

Ricky Flynt, with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks,  was our source for the article and part of the team that captured and tagged the gators.  The article contained a group photo with Ricky and one of the "volunteers".  If he speaks about alligators we listen.

If you missed the article you can read it and the comments HERE.

Thanks again Ricky for the information and this follow-up.


I must interject here. Alligators are certainly native to the Pearl River,and the consequent Ross Barnett Reservoir, as well as nearly 2/3rds of the state. Alligators were recorded in the area when the earliest European settlers came to North America. Of more modern times Ms. Fannye Cook (founder of the original MS Game & Fish Commission) documented them there in the late 30's and 40's. However, when the RBRez was constructed in the 60's the habitat available to alligators and other animals who use shallow wetlands was expanded.  Alligator populations began to spread and increase due to the increased acreage of new abundant suitable habitat in the area. Alligator populations take many years to make substantial increases in overall numbers due to their length of time that it takes for young to grow to sexual maturity (7-15 years). And yes, alligators were re-introduced to areas all over the state in the late 70's to try to conserve the then "Endangered Species Status" of the American alligator in the southeastern U.S..

R. Flynt
MDWFP

Cars Across The Dam

It's obvious to anyone who drives across the dam that the upper and lower roads are very heavily traveled.  But how busy are they?

We checked with the Mississippi Department of Transportation to see if they kept track of statistics such as that and, as expected, they do.  They also publish traffic counts on their web site (link provided below). 

Beneath the pavement of the upper and lower roads are sensors that detect each passing car and store the count into a computer.  Each day computers at MDOT call the computers on the dam and retrieve the totals which are stored for later use.  At the end of the year calculations are made to arrive at an annual average daily total.

For 2009 MDOT figured an average of 29,000 cars cross the dam each day.
That is the total from both roads combined.    

The MDOT web site explains the numbers and collection techniques and allows you to zoom into an area for more detailed counts.   The totals shown are for 2008 but we were told that 2009 totals will be added soon.

When you arrive at the MDOT web site you will be presented with a map of Mississippi.  You can either key in an address in the lower left portion of the map or use the zoom bar to zero in on an area.

Below is a look at the map when zoomed into the spillway area.  Remember, the totals shown are through 2008.



To get to the MDOT Traffic Volume Maps click HERE

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Wake Zone Changes


Today we begin with a test.
The sign above is common around the Rez.
What does "No Wake Zone" mean?

A:  If you're asleep you must go someplace else to wake up.
B:  Funerals and/or Mourning not allowed in the area.  
C:  The geese are napping, be quiet and don't disturb them.
D:  None of the above.

If you answered A, B, or C, then please enroll in a boater safety course immediately.

Rez officials are in the process of updating ordinances that deal with No Wake Zones.  But what is a wake, you ask?  The legal definition that the Rez will use looks like this: 

A "Wake" shall be defined as any changes in the vertical height of the water's surface
caused by the passage of a vessel including, but not limited to, such craft's bow wave,   stern wake, and propeller wash.  A "No Wake Area" shall mean an area in which a vessel must travel at idle speed as not to produce a wake.  

Translation:   Don't make big bumps in the water.

Numerous areas have "No Wake" signs posted but the changes add more locations and a couple of new rules.

The area known as "The Cove" near Overlook Park will be getting No Wake signs, the new ordinance provides the option to place signs up to 1000 feet east of the shoreline along the Natchez Trace Parkway.  

Signs will be placed 100 feet from the shorelines around Old Trace Park, Pelahatchie Shore Park, and Lakeshore Park.  These are popular swimming and wading areas and the restrictions will provide a safety buffer.

Two new rules dealing with emergencies will be added.
The first gives Law Enforcement the ability to declare a Temporary Emergency No Wake Zone.  This will be used where accident investigations or rescue operations are taking place. Patrol vessels will carry inflatable buoys that can be deployed at the scene and removed when they are no longer needed. 

The other declares a "No Wake Zone"  within 100 feet of any official vessel with emergency beacons activated.  This would include law enforcement boats with blue lights flashing or emergency/rescue vessels with red lights flashing.   

Boating regulations are enforced by the Reservoir Patrol and agents of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  Ignoring a No Wake Zone can cost you up to $250 and/or up to 15 days in the county jail.

The new proposals are not currently in force but going through the process to become  "The Law of the Water".
We will let you know when that happens.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Work Started on Dam Leak

WLBT carried a story about repair work that has begun on the dam.
Work will continue through Friday.  

You can read the story and see video at their web site.

Click HERE  and we will take you there

More Docs?

You may have noticed some dirt work going on next to the Regions Bank on Spillway Road.  We made a few calls and were able to get some information about what is going on.

A MEA Medical Clinic is planned for the spot and some preliminary site work has begun. However, Rankin County will have to approve the construction plans before serious building can begin.   

MEA clinics are owned by St. Dominic Health Systems Inc. and managed by Mississippi Medical Systems.  The person we spoke with said they would be providing more information about the project once they are given the green light by the county.

Rankin County Video

Here is a video that does a great job of selling Rankin County, it appears to have been produced by the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce.
We thought you might find it interesting.

The video is about 9 minutes long.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Traffic Alert

The officials at the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District want to alert all motorist of construction that will be occuring on the upper and lower roads of the dam.    

Here are the details.   

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 21, 2010 through 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 23, 2010, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District will be closing the RIGHT hand lanes of both the eastbound and westbound roadways of the Bob Anthony Parkway, (formally Spillway Road) for construction work. Please adhere to local traffic control devices and be prepared for delays. Alternate traffic routes should be considered.

Fat Cat



Looking for a gift idea?  Maybe something to entertain the kiddies during summer?  A different kind of birthday party perhaps? 

Well, we found it for you.

Fat Cat Ceramics is located in the Old Fannin Market Center a few doors down from Fernando's, they cater to those who want to do it themselves.     
Owner Bethany Pepper spoke with us and explained how it works.  

Walk in and pick out the items you want to paint, the possibilities are many such as coffee cups, pendants, plates, figurines, and even chess sets.  And,  they even have some Fat Cats!  Then make your color choices and start painting. If you make a mistake you can wipe it away with a wet cloth and start again.

The creative juices not flowing?  No problem, you can browse through photo albums of completed items to get ideas.  Stencils are also available. 
 
Once your masterpiece is painted Bethany will take it and complete the process.

After the paint dries a coat of clear glaze is applied and allowed to dry.  Then it is on to the kiln.   A kiln is a big oven that "cooks" the ceramics for 4 to 7 hours at 1835 degrees.  It can take several days to complete all of this but the finished product is worth the wait.

Want something different?  Try a new technique that uses glass to create some beautiful items.  Pick your favorite ceramic and lay pieces of colored glass on top, the kiln heats the glass to the melting point and fuses the pieces together to create some remarkable results.

The cost to do this is very reasonable, in fact it is plain cheap!   All you pay is the cost of the ceramic, there are no other fees tacked on so this is an incredible deal.

Blank ceramics range from $1 up to $75 so there is something for every budget.

We were fortunate to catch a few local artists at work.
From left to right, Will Reilly, Laura Reilly, and Sara Luke.


Plates done by kindergarten students.  Any grandparent that got one of those as a gift would have a treasure. 

 

Bethany caters to all ages but kids will especially find this experience rewarding.
Stop in to meet her, then grab a brush.



You can learn more about Fat Cat at their web site. 
Click HERE for a free ride.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Rez History Part 2

Back in June we did Part 1 of The Rez History which included a section of the 1958 law that stated the legislatures intention when they created the Ross Barnett Reservoir.  If you missed it or would like to re-read it you can see it HERE.

Today we will tell you a bit more. 

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District is an agency of the State of Mississippi.  It was created by the legislature in 1958 to build and maintain the Rez.  Here are a few of the responsibilities that were placed on it.  

  • Acquire the land that would become the Ross Barnett Reservoir
  • Issue bonds to raise money for the construction of the project.
  • Establish a Board of Directors that would draft policies and procedures for the use of the lands owned by the district.
  • Be the "landlord" for the approximately 50,000 acres of land owned by the District.
  • Maintain the property and facilities.
  • Promote the economic and recreational potential of the area.
  • To fix and collect charges and rates for any services offered.

Five counties are part of the District, Hinds, Leake, Madison, Rankin, and Scott.

The PRVWSD has a Board of Directors that oversees the agency, it is made up in the following manner.

Each member of the Pearl River Industrial Commission whose county becomes a part of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District shall be a member of the Board of Directors of the PRVWSD and serve on that board during their term of office on the Pearl River Industrial Commission. In addition the board of supervisors of each county which becomes a part of the district shall appoint one (1) additional member.

The Mississippi Commission on Environmental Quality, the Mississippi Commission on Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Forestry Commission and the State Board of Health of the State of Mississippi shall each appoint one (1) director from that department to serve on the Board of Directors of the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District to serve at the pleasure of the respective board appointing him.

The legislature set a boundary that was used by the PRVWSD to acquire the land for the reservoir.  The line was set at an elevation of 300 feet above sea level on each side of the Pearl River and extend outwards to a line not to exceed one quarter of a mile. 

To help you visualize that line keep this in mind.  When the Rez if full (during the summer months) the level is 297.5 feet above sea level.

Next time we will talk about money, that is when things get interesting.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Football Miracle

It's a slow news day at The Rez, so a sports moment is in order.

Many folks love to spend Sunday afternoon watching football.  Unfortunately there are no games in July but thanks to YouTube there is always an interesting clip to watch.

This game was played Oct. 27. 2007 and has come to be known as the "Miracle in Mississippi."  The video received national attention and won numerous awards including Time Magazines "Number 1 Top Sports Moment of 2007."

The game was played in Jackson and matched Trinity University and Millsaps College. The video picks up the action on the last play of the game, the score is Millsaps 24, Trinity 22.  The ball is on the Trinity 39 with 2 seconds left on the clock and Trinity is about to take their last snap.   Watch what happens.






There is a "Mississippi Miracle" web site that has more information about the play, you can visit it by clicking HERE.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dangerous Computer Virus

We just received a POOP (Publication Of Official Problem) from the Global Office for Operating System Emergencies, (GOOSE) about a potentially dangerous computer virus.

GOOSE engineers believe the virus may be spread by Canadian Geese and advise that computers in the Rez area are at risk.  The virus attaches itself to the backside of a computer monitor and, if left untreated, will eventually cause your screen to go dim.

Fortunately,  there is a fix for this potentially harmful situation and involves cleaning the inside of your computer screen.

GOOSE has released a fix that makes the process fast and simple, all you have to do is click the link below and the virus will be licked.
 
Please do not ignore this GOOSE POOP!  

To begin the internal screen cleaning process click HERE

If the link doesn't work for you then you may need to install the Adobe Flash player,  you can download it HERE

Friday, July 16, 2010

Boating Under The Influence

A new law went into effect July 1, 2010 that lowers the maximum blood alcohol levels for boaters and jet skiers.  Prior to July 1 the amount was .10 but Senate Bill 2383 lowered it to .08 which makes it consistent with vehicular D.U.I laws.

Is that law enforced, you ask?
Yes.

Law enforcement on the Rez is the responsibility of the Reservoir Patrol.  They are currently understaffed but get help from officers with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.   

On weekends and holidays they increase their presence on the lake and pay special attention to boaters and jet skiers operating in a dangerous manner. If you see a Rez Patrol or an MDWF officer behind you with the blue lights on don't assume they are just checking for life preservers, they both have full arrest powers and will enforce all applicable laws including B.U.I.

The Reservoir Patrol has two breath analyzers available for use,  one at the Reservoir Patrol office and the other is usually mobile.  On busy weekends it is likely to be near the Ratliff's Ferry area.   

The number of fatalities on the Rez is above average for the year so the law enforcement teams will be out in force and have no tolerance for violators.      
  
Here are some facts about Mississippi's boating laws that every boater or jet skier should be familiar with.

  • "Watercraft" means a motorized vessel with a motor of twenty-five (25) horsepower or greater used for transportation on public waters and personal watercraft (jet skis).
  • A person who operates a watercraft in waters over which this state has jurisdiction shall be deemed to have given consent to submit to a chemical test or test of his breath for the purpose of determining the alcohol content of his blood, as a condition of operating the watercraft in this state.
  •  If a person refuses to submit to a chemical test, the person shall be informed by the law enforcement officer that the refusal to submit to the test shall subject him to arrest and punishment consistent with the penalties prescribed in the law for persons submitting to the test, and that the court shall order the person not to operate a watercraft for at least one (1) year.
  • Prima facie evidence of intoxication includes evidence that at the time of an alleged violation there was eight one-hundredths percent (.08%) or more by weight of alcohol in the person's blood.
  • Conviction of a first offense is a fine of not less than $250 and not more than $1000, and/or up to 24 hours in jail.  A boater safety education course must also be completed.
  • Fines get harsher up to a fourth conviction which is considered a felony.  That fine will be not less than $2000 and not more than $5000 and/or jail time between 90 days and 5  years in the custody of the Department of Corrections.  The person is also forbidden to operate a watercraft for 3 years. 
  • Any person who is considered "Intoxicated" and who in a negligent manner causes the death of another or mutilates, disfigures, permanently disables or destroys the tongue, eye, lip, nose or any other member or limb of another shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony and shall be committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for a period of time not to exceed ten (10) years.
Mississippi Senate Bill 2383 provides more detail, read it  HERE

Thursday, July 15, 2010

For Sale

Look what we found on Craig's List.

Stop in and buy a burger, or the whole place!




Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dam Leak

There was a post on the Barnett Reservoir Facebook page today that raised a question about the leak on the Dam.  

We checked with the Rez officials and here is their response.

The PRV has hired an engineering company to inspect the dam and analyze the area where the leak is occurring.   The inspection will be on-going and should be completed by the end of the year.  Once the source of the leak is identified a plan will be put in place to make the necessary repairs. 

Mr. John Sigman, the Executive Director of the PRV, said that the leak is not an urgent situation and there is no immediate danger to the integrity of the dam. 

If you would like to go to the Facebook entry then click HERE 

The Control Tower

You have probably driven by that boxy little structure on top of the spillway a zillion times.  It's known as the Control Tower and the place where the Rez is monitored and controlled. Today we are going to tell you about it.

Inside the tower you are likely to find Dick Gilbert who has been watching over the spillway for 24 years. Dick and a team of 4 others keep a 24x7 watch on computer systems and security cameras to make sure that everything about the spillway and dam is running smooth.

The Control Tower also serves as the dispatch center for the Reservoir Patrol, all the operators are 911 trained and have communication links to neighboring police, fire, and other emergency services.  For any emergency you should dial 911 but for after hours water or sewer problems (on  PRV property) the tower should be notified at 601-992-9703. 

A critical function of the tower is to control the massive gates that allow water to pass through the spillway. There are 10 steel gates that are 40 feet wide and 20 ft tall. The two center gates are used for normal discharges and the others are used during times of heavy rains. Below is a shot of the monitor that controls the gates, notice the row of boxes along the top of the screen, each box represents a gate.  If you enlarge the picture by clicking on it, you can see that all the gates are closed except the center one which has been raised 3 inches.  This picture was taken Tuesday afternoon when the discharge rate was 256 cubic feet per second.  One cubic foot per second translates to 7.48 gallons per second.



The engineers at the PRV use a computer model to assist them in determining the discharge rate.  The software, developed by the Vicksburg Corps of Engineers, considers water inflow, rainfall amounts, and rainfall predictions to calculate how much water should be released. Output from the computer combined with human experience determines the gate settings.

Regardless of inflow, the PRV never drops below a discharge rate of 240 cubic feet per second. During summer dry spells the discharge may exceed the inflow, that situation combined with natural evaporation can cause the lake to drop about a tenth of a foot every 3 days.

Here are a few other facts about the spillway.
  • The gates can be moved mechanically if no electrical service is available.
  • The tower can be powered by an on-site generator that can operate for 1 week without refueling.  The backup generator is tested weekly.
  • The maximum output of the spillway is approximately 170,000 cubic feet per second.
  • The maximum discharge during the 1979 flood was 140,000 cfs.
  • The reservoir supplies Jackson's O. B. Curtis water treatment plant through pipes that run under the dam.
  • The Nissan Plant receives all of its water from the reservoir after being processed by the O. B Curtis water treatment plant.
  • The control tower has computer systems that monitor the residential water and sewer systems owned by the PRV.
  • There are 9 security cameras along the dam and boat launches, all monitored in the tower. 
  • The target elevation of the lake in the summer is 297.5 feet above sea level and 296 in the winter. 
  • If a discharge gate ever fails a barrier can be installed in front of it that would block the water flow so that repairs could be made.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Meet Wood Brown

If you live on the Rankin County side of the Rez, and that includes Millcreek and Castlewoods, you are a resident of Supervisor Beat 2.   The tan colored portion of the map represents the area, the dense black splotches are the streets in the many subdivisions.  The gray area is The Rez.























Mr. Wood Brown is your Supervisor and we thought you might like to learn a bit about him. 

He has been a great friend and supporter of the Rez and we want to thank him for the many things he has done. A few examples are our enlarged and renovated library/fire station and a new community center that is nearing completion.

So, meet Mr. Wood Brown.

Wood was born in Lena, Ms. He graduated from Lena High School and then joined the U.S. Navy. After the Navy he graduated from Hinds Community College and the Universtiy of Southern Mississippi.

Wood and his wife Cheryl have 4 sons: Eric and his wife Tanza, Shane and his wife April, Ryan, and Kyle. He also has 3 grandchildren: Clayton, Joshua, and Caleb.

Wood worked for over twenty years with the Jackson Police Department and rose from the patrol division to become Superintendent of the Personnel Division. He went on to work for the Mississippi Public Service Commission before being elected to the Hinds County Board of Supervisors.

In 1992 Wood moved his family to Rankin County. Mr. Brown then worked for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and later the Mississippi Department of Corrections before being elected to the Rankin County Board of Supervisors.

Mr. Brown is a former Pinelake Deacon, a current member of the Retired Police and Fireman's Association, a member of Gideon's International, a board member for The ARC of Mississippi, and a member of the Executive Board for the Mississippi Association of Supervisor's.

You can find out more at the Rankin County Board of Supervisors page on the Rankin County Web Site.   Or click  HERE

Monday, July 12, 2010

Rez Board Committee Meeting

Monday afternoon the Shoreline Committee of the Rez Board met and received an update on the International Property Maintenance Code and the Rental Property Ordinance.

The Rental Property Ordinance.

The PRV is reviewing tax records for all leases in Rankin and Madison County to identify property with no Homestead Exemption.  If a parcel meets that test then a letter is sent to the leaseholder advising them of the terms of the Rental Property Ordinance.  Property that is a second home would not need a license but all rental property must purchase the annual license which is $100 a year.  As of today the PRV has mailed out 358 letters.   In addition to the license all property that comes up for rental must pass an inspection before water service will be turned on.  If you would like to read the rental ordinance click HERE

International Property Maintenance Code.

The IPMC applies to owner occupied and rental homes.  The PRV has opened files on 51 properties with possible violations.  Sixteen are in Madison County and 35 in Rankin County.  Letters to 34 of those leaseholders will go out on July 20, 2010.   You can expect this number to grow as the PRV staff continues their review of every subdivision.   The PRV does not have a copy of the IPMC published but it is readily available on the web.  Here is one such link but keep it mind there are a few minor differences in this link and the PRV code.  This link downloads a 3.5 mb PDF file, to see it click HERE


For too long there was no effort by the PRV Board to pass and enforce reasonable ordinances that protected property values in the area.  Hopefully, those days are gone forever.

Dollar Store Update

Back in May we told you that a Fred's Dollar Store might be built next to Regions Bank on Spillway Road (across from Fresh Market Cafe).  There had been a sign posted at the site advertising a zoning hearing as the developers were seeking variances from existing requirements.  The county would not agree to all of the variances so the developers must submit a new site plan in order to move forward.  

As of last week no new plans have been submitted.     

So, Fred and his store are not eminent at this time.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday Morning On The Bayou

If you were in South Louisiana right now this is what you might see and hear.



Saturday, July 10, 2010

High Tech Gators

Today we are going to play "What Is It"
The rules are simple, just pick the best answer from the choices below.

The alligator below is wearing an orange box.  
The box is:

A.  The new 160GB iPod in Hunters Orange.

B.  A SCRAMx Alcohol Monitoring device like Lindsay Lohan had to wear.

C.  The Irridium 9555 Satellite Phone with planet wide coverage.

D.  None of the above.



If you answered A, B, or C you should avoid sharp objects and seek professional help immediately.

That alligator is an 11 foot male that was recently fitted with a radio tracking device by a team from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and Mississippi State University.

Ricky Flynt is the alligator/furbearer program coordinator for MDWF and spoke with us about this unique program.  In April the team began placing tracking gadgets on 30 adult alligators in the river area between Highway 43 and Ratliff's Ferry.  Twelve of those 30 were over 10 ft. long and a few, such as the ones pictured here, are 11 feet or longer.

The purpose of this exercise is to study the movements of the gators in order to understand their ranges and habits.  In May of this year the team began collecting data and makes weekly trips up the river to "tune in" on the volunteers. 

We will try to bring you more info as the project moves forward as we all want to know what those gators are up to.

Ricky also does a periodic head count of the gators from Highway 43 up to Low Head Dam, the count helps him understand population trends.  On an average night the counters will spot about 200 gators but they only count the ones they can see from the river channel.  It is  safe to assume that there are many more lurking in the back waters.  Ricky estimates that the 3 county area (Hinds, Rankin, Madison) containing the Pearl and Big Black River has about 8000 alligators.

Below is a picture of the team.   From left to right, Ricky Flynt -  MDWF, Corey Hunt – Agent Alligator Trapper, and Eddie Parham – MSU Research Graduate Student.



A few more shots of what the "Well Dressed" gator is wearing on The Rez this year.



Note:  You can enlarge any picture by clicking on it, then use the back button on your browser to return.

The Rez News

Friday, July 9, 2010

Natchez Trace Trail

If you have been on the Natchez Trace lately you have probably noticed that construction of the mult-use trails is proceeding nicely.
We spoke with a Parkway official and were told that the section between Old Canton Road and Overlook Park will be completed this summer.  

The segment between Highland Colony Parkway and Livingston Road (going toward Clinton) is under construction with a completion date set for early 2011.

Contracts have not yet been awarded for a section that will extend the trail over Livingston Road an additional 2000 feet but, hopefully, that won't be much longer.

The master plan calls for the trail to go from Overlook Park to Clinton but the final phase that would complete the trail to Clinton has not yet been funded. 

So, by early next year we should have a beautiful stretch of 10 foot wide paved and accessible trail to enjoy along the Natchez Trace.
   
Cool!

Letters to The Rez News

Occasionally we get emails from readers with questions or concerns about issues at the Rez.  For those on PRV leased property it can be confusing since some services are provided by the PRV and others from the county or possibly a city, like Ridgeland. 

If you have a problem of some sort and don't know who to call then drop us an email and we will try to see that your question/comment lands on the right desk.  

It's probably safe to assume that the answers to some questions will be of interest to many so starting today we are going to publish selected emails from time to time to let others know what is going on.   We won't print your name without your permission  so have no fear, ask away.

Here is an email and response from today. 


We love the new biking trail on Spillway Rd.  However, when will the grass be cut? It's growing trees!
After the trail was completed, the black material with wire has been left up.  Any chance of it being removed ?
and last....signs left up after resurfacing of Spillway Road.  They are in each subdivision and on the main road also.  The work is complete so why not remove the signs.
Thanks,  M. Barrett


Here was a response from the PRV

Mrs. Barrett,

We thank you for your email denoting your concerns with the grass adjacent to the new bike trail, the adjacent silt fencing, and the Spillway Road resurfacing signage and offer the following response:

The grass maintenance of the bike trail is the responsibility of the contractor at this time; we understand that they have this area scheduled to be cut by next week.  The contractor is also scheduled to remove the silt fencing in the near future.  In regards to the resurfacing signage, those signs are done by Rankin County; therefore, we do not have the authority to remove them. 

I hope that this addresses your concerns.

Sincerely,

Greg Burgess
Pearl River Valley Water Supply District

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cool Water Cafe

We stopped at the Cool Water Cafe today for a look.  Wow, what a salad bar!
Judy and Lanny Gaddy are the managers of the new enterprise and welcome everyone at the Rez to stop by and dine.
The building formerly housed a Western Sizzlin but has been transformed into an open area dining facility with 3 private meeting rooms.  They also cater and can do on-sight cooking.

The restaurant is part of Jackies International which is a local company with over 70 properties.  They have also partnered with Chef Grant Nooe at Pan-Asia.

We have added their menu to our list so give it a read then stop in and order something. 
Hours are Sunday thru Thursday 11:00am to 9:00pm and Friday & Saturday 11:00am to 10:00pm.

You can read about Jackies International HERE

View their menu by clicking HERE

County Stats

Ever wonder how many American Indians and Alaska Natives might be living in Rankin County in the year 2013?
Neither have we.

But, if that sort of thing keeps you up at night then there is a place you can go to get relief.  The Central Mississippi Planning & Development District has a page on their website with links to all sorts of statistical information about the central Mississippi counties.
You can get there by clicking HERE  

Check out the stats on Rankin County HERE

The Madison County stats are HERE

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Collecting for Charity

On a recent drive down Spillway Road we were caught by the traffic light at Spillway and Hugh Ward. Swarms of people waded into the parked traffic to solicit donations for a worthy cause.

It is potentially a dangerous situation to have people mingling among cars on a busy road so we decided to ask the Rankin County Sheriff's Department if there were any rules about such things. Come to find out there is.

Rankin County has an ordinance that requires any charity to get a permit to collect money on a roadway. We have attached the ordinance below for you to read but here are a few of the highlights.

  • Permit application and forms must be submitted to the Rankin S.O. 30 days in advance of the event. 
  • Collection of money can only occur on Friday and Saturday between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm.
  • No one under the age of 16 is allowed on the road and those between the age of 16 and 21 must submit a document signed by their parents or guardians allowing them to participate. 
  • Charities must provide an indemnification form that releases the county and its employees/agents from liability. 
  • Only charitable non-profit organizations that are exempt by the IRS can apply for a permit.  
  • An organization is restricted to two fund raiser roadblocks a year.
  • Any roadblock should provide some form of economic, cultural, or social benefit to the citizens of Rankin County. 
  • No roadblock collections can be done at the intersection of Spillway and Northshore/Old Fannin Road.
So, if you want to collect money to save the whales then you are out of luck.
But, if you want to collect money to buy Imodium for the Rez geese then go for it, please.

To read the ordinance click HERE

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rankin Supervisor Meeting


The Rankin County Board of Supervisors met this morning and dealt with a few issues that may be of interest to residents of the Rez area.

The first order of business was to elect new officers, Mr. Wood Brown of District 2 (the Rez area) is now President and Mr. Jared Morrison of District 2 is Vice President. Mr. Brown takes the gavel from outgoing President Mr. Greg Wilcox.

In other business the board passed a 6 month extension to the ban that prohibits opening one of the following business:

tattoo parlors
pawn shops
title loan establishments
check cashing establishments
businesses whose primary purpose is to purchase gold or other precious metals.

It seems that the board wants to wait until the county wide land use master plan is adopted before making a final determination on where those type businesses will be allowed.

The board also denied a variance request to allow a child care facility to open in an area near the back side of the Avalon and Regatta subdivisions. Several residents spoke in opposition to the planned center and cited traffic concerns as one of their objections. Mr. Scott Reinhardt, the current president, and Mr. Sammy Barmer, the past president of the Avalon Homeowners Association said they had received many emails opposing the day care center and none in support. A representative of the Regatta Subdivision also spoke in opposition.

Lost Rabbit Update

The Jackson Jambalaya site had an update on the Lost Rabbit Development last week and it was not encouraging.  Also, the July PRV Board meeting saw the developers of both the Harbor Walk and Arbor Landing projects requesting modifications to their leases with the PRV.

Winds seem to be building for the perfect storm.

Read the article about Lost Rabbit HERE

Monday, July 5, 2010

Some Rez Facts

The Rez is a big operation.
It is easy to think of it as just a big body of water with a few boat launches and parks but it is much more than that.

The information below was provided to us earlier in the year and serves as a reminder of the many things that make The Rez such a great place.


ROSS BARNETT RESERVOIR

Summary of Recreational Facilities & Events


More than 2.5 million visitors enjoy the 33,000-acre Reservoir and its growing number of facilities each year. The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District develops and maintains those facilities, giving a boost to local economies.
To date, you can visit five campgrounds (each with a live-in, on site Reservoir Patrol manager), 16 parks, 33 boat launches, 28 sandbars scattered along 22 miles of the Pearl River, and 23 miles of extensive paved and non-paved multi-purpose trail systems.
The District operates 24/7 and must have employees on staff for the tower, reservoir patrol, and emergency water situations. 

Leases/Water
The PRV has over 5,900 parcels of property leased.
The District operates 4 water systems with approximately 5400 water accounts. 

Campgrounds (5)*
Timberlake Campground (289 Campsites)
Goshen Springs Campground (169 Campsites)
Coal Bluff Campground (63 Campsites)
Leake County Water Park (42 Campsites)
Low Head Dam Campground (13 Campsites)

Large Day-Use Parks (4)
Lake Shore Park
Pelahatchie Shore Park*
Old Trace Park
Brown’s Landing*

Neighborhood Parks / Mini-Parks (9)
Audubon Point Park One and Two
Bay Park
Forest Point Park One and Two
Glenn Cove
Harbor View
South Jetty
North Jetty

Boat Ramps (33)
Madison Landing
Timberlake Campground
Ranking Landing
Goshen Springs Campground
Fannin Landing
Coal Bluff Campground
Brown’s Landing
Leake County Water Park
Audubon Point (2)
Low Head Dam
Forest Point
Ratliff’s Ferry (2)
Glenn Cove
Pipeline Road (3)
Harbor View
Safe Harbor
Bay Park
Lake Harbor (2)
HWY 43
Pelahatchie Shore Park
HWY 471
Below Spillway Madison
HWY 13
Below Spillway Rankin
Twin Harbors (2)
Waterwood
Turtle Creek

Comfort Stations (16)
Old Trace Park
Ratliff’s Ferry
Pelahatchie Shore Park (2)
Brown’s Landing
Lake Shore Park (2)
Hwy 43
Madison Landing
Leake County Water Park
Rankin Landing
Coal Bluff
Fannin Landing
Low Head
Below Spillway Rankin
Below Spillway Madison

Bathhouses (7)
Timberlake (3)
Goshen Springs
Coal Bluff (2)
Leake County Water Park

Trails (23 Miles)
North Shore Multipurpose Trail (4.0 Miles)
South Shore Multipurpose Trail (4.1 Miles)
Spillway Multipurpose Trail (3.7 Miles)
Causeway Multipurpose Trail (2.2 Miles)
Harborwalk Multipurpose Trail (2.1 Miles) proposed
Pelahatchie Multipurpose Trail (2.6 Miles) proposed
Mule Jail Multipurpose Trail (3.5 Miles)
Botanical Garden Trail (.75 Miles)

Sandbars
Approx. 22 miles of river with 25-30 sandbars available for picnicking and
camping

Pavilions (8)
Lake Shore Park (2)
Pelahatchie Shore Park (2)*
Old Trace Brown’s Landing*
Leake County Water Park*
Coal Bluff*

Picnic Shelters (27)
Old Trace (10)
Pelahatchie Shore Park (5)
Lake Shore Park (6)
Coal Bluff (6)
Low Head

Open Picnic Table and Grill (31)
Lake Shore Park (24)
Coal Bluff
Leake County Water Park (5)
Low Head (2)

Disc Golf
Pelahatchie Shore Park (18-hole)
Timberlake (3-hole)

Fishing Piers and Jetties
Rankin Ramp
HWY 43
HWY 471
Red Dot Road
South Jetty

Public Marinas*
Harbor Walk
Safe Harbor
Sportsman’s Marina

Other Statistics
204 House Boats
50+ Fishing Tournaments
20 Special Events
36,586 registered boats in the District
Est. 50,000 boats using the lake each year
Est. 12,000 bank anglers each year
Est. 2,500 pier anglers each year

* Areas in which fees are charged

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America

Today is the 234th birthday of the United States of America.  On this day in 1776 Congress adopted The Declaration of Independence and created the greatest country in the world.

If you haven't read the document in a while then it might be worth a few minutes of your time to review it.  The words are eloquent and powerful, they established a new nation and invited a war with Great Britain.
We are very lucky to have had the right people at the right place at the right time.

You can read the Declaration of Independence HERE

In 1931 congress adopted a resolution declaring The Star Spangled Banner as our National Anthem.  The song was a combination of a poem by Frances Scott Key entitled Defence of Fort McHenry and a popular song of the day called The Anacreontic Song.

It has been sung by everyone but there are very few performances as moving as the one below. This video is one of those internet phenomenons that has been seen by close to 7 million viewers.

If this doesn't give you goose bumps then you need to see a doctor. 

We present you "The Cactus Cuties"

Friday, July 2, 2010

911 Call

Here at The Rez News we are armed with all sorts of technical marvels.   A favorite is our Uniden BCD996T Digital Trunking Scanner. With this toy you can listen to police and fire calls and tons of other things.

A short time ago we picked up a call to the Ridgeland Fire Department and thought you might find it interesting. 

We certainly hope that no one was hurt but had a good laugh at the way the call was dispatched.
The apartment number was edited out so we wouldn't "inflame" anyone.

The file is an MP3 so turn your speakers on.


Click HERE

Harbor Walk Leases

The Harbor Walk project is more than meets the eye.  The developers have a large portion of the harbor area leased with options to lease more.  In fact, almost all of the PRV property from the west end of the dam around to the fishing jetty is either leased by Harbor Walk or they have an option to lease it.

We thought you might be interested in seeing the parcels that are contained in the project and have a link to the plat below. 

The information on what is leased and what is not may be a bit out of date but we will get you an accurate list next week.  

All tracks are leased to Harbor Walk except A2, B1, B2, and H. The status of track K, the fishing jetty, is not know to us right now but we will include that in our update next week. 

It pains us to see that the PRV has leased the fishing area at the west end of the dam and plans to lease the fishing jetty.  The public is being slowly, but surely, denied access to areas where they can fish from the shore.  We would hope that the PRV reconsiders leasing the fishing jetty and leaves it open to the public.

To see the plat click HERE

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Truck Rescue

No one was injured in a mishap at the Madison County Landing on Thursday afternoon.  An unlucky jet skier was attempting to load his watercraft onto a trailer when something went wrong and the truck began rolling down the ramp and into the water.  It floated past the end of the piers and sank.  
The Ridgeland Fire Department dispatched divers to hook chains to the truck and after almost 4 hours a Hall's wrecker pulled the truck and trailer out of the water. 

The only injury to the driver was a severely bruised ego.  

Preliminary investigations will focus on whether the truck lost traction due to a build up of goose droppings on the ramp. 

We will let you know their findings.



































Animal Control Ordinance

Yesterday we posted a video of Bert Case being welcomed into a neighborhood by a Pit Bull.

"THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW!"  You say?  Well, there is.

The Rankin County Animal Control Ordinance imposes restrictions on the ownership of Pit Bulls under the Wild Animal section.  Section 3 states that one cannot own a pit bull without first obtaining a variance from the Rankin County Board of Supervisors.

In order to obtain the variance the following conditions must be met.

  • The owner must have a pen or enclosure with a concrete floor covering the entire enclosed area.
  • A chain link fence must surround the enclosure with a minimum height of 6 feet.
  • Pen must have a roof that can prevent the animal from escaping.
  • Owner must carry a minimum of $100,000 liability on their homeowners policy. 
  • Owner must provide a letter from their insurance company stating that the insurance company is aware of the presence of the animal. 
 Once the above requirements are met then the supervisors vote on the variance.

In addition to Pit Bulls the ordinance covers other animals such as Wolf-Dogs, other fighting breeds, skunks, raccoons, and opossums.  (Possums for us natives)

Other rules are spelled out in the ordinance such as vaccination requirements, nuisance pets, and procedures for dealing with an animal that has bitten someone.

If you are a pet owner, or thinking of becoming one, then you should take a few minutes and read the ordinance to see if you and Fido are legal.  Read it HERE

The supervisors recently amended the ordinance to increase the fines for violators.  Fines can range up to $1000 and/or 90 days in jail.  Second offenses are tough, read the penalty section HERE

If you are thinking about getting a Pit Bull, or a possum, then you will need to complete this form and obtain the variance from the supervisors before acquiring the animal.   Get the form  HERE

If you have questions about the ordinance call the Rankin County Animal Control Office at  601-824-2024

The Rez on Facebook

Did you know there is a Facebook site for the Rez?  We recently discovered it (sorry, we are slow) and hope you will check it out.

There are some great sunsets posted and a way cool time lapse photo sequence of a Rez sunset. You can see it below.

Go join the facebook fun at www.facebook.com/rossbarnettreservoir
Or click HERE  and we will take you there.

This time lapse photo sequence was posted by myselfman and contained the following text:

Sunset time lapse video on the reservoir in Mississippi. Photos taken with a G11 with CHDK installed. 850 Photos used to produce this video. Photos taken about every 3 seconds. First effort at time lapse. More to come in the future