Thursday, February 28, 2013

Complimentary Table 100 Event

Above, I post a complimentary Table 100 event, to be enjoyed responsibly, of course.  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MWF Note Cards

Still haven't written "Thank You" notes for all your Christmas presents?  The Mississippi Wildlife Federation sells great cards for general correspondence, featuring photography from local talent, including some in the Reservoir area.  Proceeds from these cards go to fund many wonderful programs at the Reservoir, including Outdoorama at the Rez and Katfishin Kids.  Order form below.

The Flea Market of Flowood, Mississippi

With all the rain lately, I want to remind my readers of one of my favorite places to spend a few indoor hours.  If you have not been to the Flea Market on Flowood Drive, you need to try it out.  It is one of those places you could spend hours and hours simply wandering through.  A cavernous building filed with booth upon booth of just about anything you can imagine.  The last time I was there, an old Coca-Cola delivery uniform caught my eye, as did an old vending machine, a gun cabinet, and a secretary.  

The web page is, but you will have better luck getting information from their Facebook page.  The FB page is updated regularly with photos and new information.  My wife and I have had luck bringing our children; there are plenty of fun items to capture their attention.  There is always something new and interesting to see.  For $1 admission, it's hard to find a better value on entertainment.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Old Fannin Road Farmer's Market Reopens

The Old Fannin Road Farmer's Market opens back up for business on Thursday, February 28, at 8 a.m.  More information on their Facebook page.

Historical Water Levels of the Pearl River

The rain has me thinking of the consistently high water levels of the Pearl River in Jackson.  

The present water level is minor flood stage, and has been since February 21.  Pursuant to forecast levels, it will stay that way for at least the next four days.  

A friend of mine pointed me to a web page containing the historical high water marks for the Pearl in Jackson.  Interesting stuff.  According to these figures, on January 22, 2013, the River reached it's highest level in nine years.  

Reservoir YMCA Spring Break Camp

Here are the nuts and bolts: The spring break camp (called a Holiday Camp) is Monday through Friday, March 11-15.  The camp is for children ages 5-12, and is open to both YMCA members and non-members.  Drop off is 7 a.m., and pick up is 6 p.m.  Cost is $120 per member's child; $140 per non member's child.  

Field trips are:

March 11 - Fannin Lanes and Friendship Park
March 12 - Pump it Up and Winner's Circle Park
March 13 - Natural Science Museum and LeFleur's Bluff Park
March 14 - Funtime Skateland
March 15 - Mac N Bones Putt Putt and Liberty Park

Sounds like a lot of fun, and is a great service provided to our community.  Registration Form after the jump.  This is only the information concerning the Reservoir YMCA's camp.  Flowood YMCA has their own camp.  Information on Flowood's camp can be obtained by calling 601.664.1955.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Crystal Lake Clean Up March 2

I received the following information from the Mississippi Wildlife Federation concerning a bird watching outing combined with an effort to clean up Crystal Lake in Flowood.  

Volunteers Needed!

Are you interested in making a difference in your community?  If so, we need you!

We've been notified of two upcoming events and we can use your help.  They are:

MARCH 2, 2013
Luke Bert is hosting the second Crystal lake clean-up project on March 2nd, 2013. There will be a bird watching paddle at 7 am followed by the clean up project at 8 am. If you are interested in helping please contact:
Luke B. Bert

Along with the Great American Clean Up on March 9, there are no shortage of ways to improve your community in the coming days.

Spring Break Camp at Jackson Zoo

If your children are hanging around the metro area this Spring Break (March 11-15), the Jackson Zoo would love to keep them busy.  The Zoo is hosting a Spring Break Camp.  Here is how the official website describes it:

The birds are chirping and the temperature is getting warmer which must mean it is time for the Jackson Zoo's first ever Spring Break Camp! This year our wildlife enthusiasts will discover all the changes that occur in the spring time. From mammals, to birds and even those insects, we will unearth them all.
Each day will be full of exciting games, zoo hikes, crafts, and of course ANIMALS!
Dates: March 11-15
Time: 9:00am - 4:00pm
Ages: 6 - 12 years
Cost: Members: $165.00 for the week
Non-Members: $175.00 for the week
Before Care is available beginning at 8:00 am. $7.00 per day
Pack a lunch or purchase lunch for $7.00 a day. Snack will be provided.

I'm getting information on the Reservoir and Flowood YMCA's Spring Break camps and will post that later. If any working parents out there know of other local Spring Break camps, put it in the comments, and I'll research it.    

Friday, February 22, 2013

Editorial on the Overlay

The boundaries of the proposed Reservoir Community District ("RCD") include the majority of residential areas commonly referred to as "the Reservoir".  What happens within the RCD affects what lies without.  Therefore, the RCD is an important issue, deserving of thoughtful, civil discourse.  My home lies within the proposed boundaries, and since I have this platform, I offer my humble opinion.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Great American Cleanup; March 9 (there is free food involved)

A note from Keep the Rez Beautiful:

Join us next month for our Great American Cleanup, our annual litter sweep in which volunteers like you help us clean up trash.  This year's cleanup is a bit different.  Volunteers are invited to clean up litter on land and in the water.  If you have a kayak or canoe, bring it (don't forget your life jacket and paddle).  We will be combing Reservoir streets and streams for litter.  Following the cleanup, we will be cooking out!

The cleanup is on Saturday, March 9 and runs from 9-11:30 a.m.; the cookout begins at 11:30 a.m.  We're meeting at the Scenic Park site located on Scenic Drive between the Forest Point and Turtle Creek subdivisions.

This year's cleanup is sponsored by Waste Management, Duncan Marine and Troy-Bilt.  Our partners include the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, St. Mark's United Methodist Church, Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Rezonate!, Earth Team, People's Garden Initiative, Gator Bait Paddling Association and Adopt-a-Stream Mississippi.  We are grateful to our sponsors, partners and volunteers for helping us make this day possible!

If you have any questions, contact Justin Fritscher at

An aside:  Many of the organizations linked above may be unfamiliar to you, if not Keep the Rez Beautiful itself.  I encourage you to explore all the webpages, but in particular those of Keep the Rez Beautiful, Rezonate!, and Adopt-a-Stream Mississippi, for just a sample of local initiatives taking tangible steps to improve our community.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Charity Softball Games Coming Up!

The Reigning State Champion Northwest Rankin Softball Team is teaming up with the Brandon Bulldogs to play two charity Breast Cancer Awareness softball games.  Money raised by these two events will go to offset expenses incurred by a local resident suffering with Breast Cancer.  The first game will be played March 7 at NW Rankin's home field.  The second game will be played March 21 at Brandon High.  There will be a silent auction and t-shirts for sale, as well as concessions, etc.  I'll get the t-shirt design and order information up on once finalized.  

Head Coach Mike Armstrong puts it succinctly:  "Cancer is a tough and expensive battle."  My hat is off to these girls, their coaches and parents, for doing something to better their community.  Now it's up to us to go support this effort.  Stay tuned for further info.  

Flowood Featured on "Today in America"

The City of Flowood was featured on an episode of Today in America.  If you can't get enough of the video below, you can catch it on Fox WDBD-TV on Saturday, February 23, at 2 p.m.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Latest on the Reservoir Community District

Dear Reservoir Residents,
Thank you for your patience.  The past four years have been a journey that
included countless meetings where everyone has been given an opportunity to
provide input.

Don't Go West, Young Man

The Mississippi Department of Transportation issued the following traffic advisory:

JACKSON, MISS. Thursday, February 14, 2013--- The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) would like to inform motorists of a traffic advisory beginning Monday in Brandon, MS.

Beginning Monday, February 18 through Friday, May 17, the westbound I-20 on-ramp off Highway 80 [Exit 56] in Brandon will be closed. In addition, the right traffic lane of I-20 westbound on the bridge over the Kansas City Southern Railroad and Marquette Road in Brandon will be closed.

The traveling public is advised to be aware of reduced speeds adjacent to the construction work zone and to take alternative routes as required.  These closures are needed for I-20 westbound bridge repairs.

“We would like to urge motorists to take extra precaution while driving through this temporary work zone,” said Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. “We look forward to completing this project safely while causing minimal traffic delays throughout the area.”

For the most up-to-date information in your area, please visit and sign up for your traffic alerts.  Also, visit to get the latest traffic information from on your mobile device. MDOT advises the public to pull off the road to a safe location if you need to check the website while driving. MDOT’s number one concern is the safety of the traveling public.

If you find yourself in Downtown Brandon, seeking to go West on the Interstate, re-think your route.  That harrowing on-ramp with minimal merge lane (where you must pray 18 wheelers are obeying the law and traveling in the left-hand lane) in Downtown Brandon is closed until May 17 at the earliest.  You'll just have to get on the Interstate at Crossgates.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Northwest Rankin Baseball Starts Today

High school and college baseball season usher in happy times.  The Reservoir area is blessed to have a consistently good team in Northwest Rankin (787-242 all time record).  Check out their website here; there are a lot of good names in the Team Records section going back a long way (eight Metro Players of the Year since 1993!).  It's a good venue to go out and enjoy America's pastime.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

AJ's Seafood Out. Georgia Blue In.

AJ's has shuttered its doors (and it's website).  Hope you weren't holding on to that gift card.  This makes, what, the third restaurant at that location to go under?  Oby's Deli, Creole (something), and now AJ's.  Am I missing one?  Has there been a fourth restaurant there?  

Jackson Jambalaya is reporting Georgia Blue is the next to take a stab at the location.  Here is a copy of Georgia Blue's Menu.  Wow.  Looks pretty good.  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pearl River Rising, Flooding

The above graphs demonstrate the present high level of the Pearl River at Jackson.  The first graph shows a dramatic increase in water levels on the 9th.  The second graph shows present levels (as of February 13, 2013, at 1:25 p.m.), along with forecast levels.    

Below is a copy and paste of the National Weather Service Flood Warning affecting our area.


Note Your Calendar for the Taste of Flowood

Thursday, March 28th
Taste of Flowood
The Refuge Golf Course
$10.00 for Chamber Members
$15.00 for Non-Chamber Members
Children under 12 FREE
Entertainment: The Dirty Laundry Band
Families Welcome!
Please contact 601-932-8007 to purchase tickets

Listen.  I went to this last year.  It was a beautiful Spring evening.  There were plenty of vendors with good food, live band, drinks, icees for the kids.  It was a pleasant event and I received my money's worth in food and entertainment.  The only thing missing were more people.  The City of Flowood makes strong attempts to bring a sense of community to its residents; this is just one of those events.  I encourage you to attend.  With these kind of events, the City of Flowood/Chamber makes it worthwhile. 

Spring is Coming. Golf Tournaments are Happening.

Dust off your clubs and get ready to play a charitable golf tournament every week.  There is always something going on in and around the Reservoir area.  I post registration forms for just a few tournaments below; Hartfield, Rankin Chamber, and City of Flowood.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Update from Southern Miss

Here is an emailed update I just received from campus.

Golden Eagle Friends – Tough day/night across Hattiesburg and Oak Grove…No reported loss of life and we are thankful at the start of another day.  Moderate damage to numerous on-campus buildings (Marsh Hall and Performing Arts Center roof damage; Southern Hall, McLemore Hall, McCain Library and Administration Buildings varying degrees of damage).  The  Jazz Building and Ogletree House severely damaged.  On-Campus Resident Halls appear to be in good shape and assessments continue.  Hardy Street across campus from Elam Arms to the University main entrance in bad shape.  No electrical power issues across campus. 

We completed an Athletics Facility assessment last night and will follow-up this morning…no damages identified to date.  Our baseball, football and basketball coaches are making contact with their counterparts at Oak Grove High School to see where we can be of assistance (significant Athletics Facility damages at Oak Grove HS).    

We successfully accounted for our coaches, staff and Student-Athletes and I appreciate the work of our Athletics Department leaders in accomplishing this difficult task last night.  Two of our employees experienced serious damage to their homes and we are working closely to take care of their respective needs. 

Dr. Denis Wisenburg (University Provost), Chief Hopkins (Campus Police) and Chris Crenshaw (Physical Plant) are to be commended for their leadership and organizational skills immediately following the tornado and throughout the night…and as we initiate repair/clean-up.  Governor Bryant to conduct a press conference (on-campus) this morning and Dr Bennett (recently appointed USM President) is scheduled to be on-campus this morning along with Dr. Lucas.

We appreciate your prayers and willingness to roll up your sleeves and help.  Damage assessment teams are hard at work along with clean-up teams and folks from all walks of life caring for others.  Hattiesburg and USM are strong as one and will repair the damage. 

Southern Miss and Oak Grove High School are getting much of the media attention; however, the storm rocked through Marion and Jones Counties as well.  Hattiesburg High took a beating.  Plus, the City of Petal is heavily damaged.  So much to do.  

Jackson Prep Garage Sale

Mark your calendar.  March 2, 2013 is also the Jackson Prep Garage Sale.  Early bird entry (5 a.m. to 7 a.m.) is $5.

Sweet Charity Ball, March 2

The community-minded ladies of the Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County invite you to the 2013 Sweet Charity Ball.  This is an organization doing a lot of good for Rankin County.  Plus, I can tell you from experience, this is always a good time.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Here is How Your Weekend is Shaping Up

Tonight, you are heading to Black Jacket Symphony's presentation of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Thalia Mara Hall, 8 pm.  

Or, gentlemen, you are taking your kindergarten to 4th grade daughter to the Father/Daughter Ball at the City of Brandon Civic Center.  Tomorrow night is the dance for 5th through 12th graders.  

Tomorrow morning, you will buy all your fresh produce at the Mississippi Farmer's Market (opens at 8 a.m.)  before you attend the Dixie National Rodeo Parade at 10:30.

Not into dust, pigs, and wide-brimmed hats?  Then go to the Prepare to Qualify Workshop at the Mississippi Craftmen's Guild from 10 to 11:30.  The free preparation workshop will cover the application and review process, including a discussion of the mediums and categories for membership, artist statements, slides and photo submissions, and what the Standards Committee will be looking for in the work samples.

Either way, you'll still have enough time to head over to Market Street at the Dogwood Festival Mall for lunch where you will enjoy the Chili Cook Off, benefiting the Rankin County Volunteer Fire Departments.

There will be just enough time to for a nap before you attend the Ignite the Night Fundraiser at the Mississippi Children's Museum (tickets will be available at the door), from 6:30 until.  

Sunday, after Church of course (2-4 p.m.), you will attend the Mississippi Museum of Art's Open Studio.  Explore the creative process related to an exhibition or a particular artist represented in the Museum’s collection. You’ll leave with an original work of art, created by you!  Open Studio is for all ages. Children ten and under must be supervised by an adult. Cost: Free for members/$5 for non-members.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lakeside Pres Mercy Medical Clinic

A few articles have run in the local papers about this, but I wanted to remind my readers due to the importance of the message.  

Lakeside Presbyterian Church, EPC, 2070 Spillway Road, has opened a medical clinic for uninsured Rankin County residents.  A nominal $5 patient fee will provide basic screening and medical care.  The clinic will open every second Tuesday of each month at Lakeside's Fellowship Hall, beginning at 4 p.m.  Church member Dan Fairly (who is also a Rankin County Chancery Judge) stated: "The primary purpose of [the Clinic] is to serve as a mission of Lakeside Presbyterian Church in accordance to the church's objectives.  While we have opened the clinic to meet medical needs of those less fortunate in our community, we also hope to address spiritual needs at the same time."  

The contact information for Lakeside is below if you have further questions.

Lakeside Presbyterian Church 
2070 Spillway Rd.
Brandon, MS 39047
Phone: 601-992-2835
Fax: 601-992-5018

Battle of the Bartenders Fundraiser

The Mississippi Burn Foundation is having a fundraiser tonight at Table 100.  I'm sure all of you are familiar with the work Amanda Fontaine does raising funds for the Mississippi Memorial Firefighter's Burn Association.  Details on the event can be gleaned from the above flyer, or found here.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Body Recovered from Pearl River Near Spillway Dam (Update Again)

Update:  The man has been identified as Benjamin Wells of Pearl.  See link.

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District's Facebook page (which is the best updated source of information from the District), just issued this press release concerning a body recovered from the Pearl River.

Authorities state they pulled a white, 49 year-old, male Rankin County resident from the water at approximately 7:15 this morning.  No foul play is suspected.  Officials are not releasing the name until family members are alerted.  Witnesses state the man climbed up on the rocks, onto a concrete pillar, then jumped.  

WAPT coverage.

WLBT coverage.

Ryan Seawright's Eagle Scout Project

The Rankin Ledger recently ran a great story about a local Eagle Scout's project to help clean up the Reservoir, and to keep it safer for wildlife.  Ryan Seawright wanted to do something to help the Reservoir, so he rolled up his sleeves and did something.  

Eagle Scout project focuses on recycling

Brandon youth helping wildlife

Abandoned fishing line can harm birds, fish and other wildlife, and a new program makes it easy for fishermen at the Ross Barnett Reservoir to dispose of unwanted line.
The program consists of collection bins set up at key points around the Reservoir. They’re located at the Spillway (on both sides of the Pearl River), Pelahatchie Shore Park, Goshen Springs (at boat launch and fishing pier), Pelahatchie Trading Post, Rankin Landing and Madison Landing.
Follow link for complete article.  

Legal Beagle 5K

This one is special to me insofar as it was the first race I participated in.  Also, my Reservoir firm has sponsored the Legal Beagle 5K since I started working there.  At 26, I noticed the weight would not stay off like it did at 21.  I trained for a few months and finished the race in just over 24 minutes.  Today, I'd be lucky to finish under 30, but I'm going to try.  The race has grown steadily since I first ran it in 2003.  The course is flat and fast.  Mississippi Volunteer Lawyer's Project, the beneficiary charity, does many good things throughout the State of Mississippi.  Kudos to the Jackson Young Lawyers for building a great charity event.  


On March 9, 2013, Jackson Young Lawyers Athletics Committee will host the Jackson Young Lawyers annual Legal Beagle 5k Run/Walk in northeast Jackson.  Registration begins at 7:00 a.m., and the 5k starts at 8:15 a.m. Proceeds raised from the event will benefit the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project.  To register for the event, to sign up as a volunteer, or for more information, please contact John Dollarhide at  or go to our home page at and click on the Legal Beagle logo.

Entry form after the jump.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Public Hearing Set for Reservoir Community District

Monday, March 4, 2013, 9:00 a.m. at the Board of Supervisor's Boardroom in Brandon.  Be looking in the legal advertisements in the Rankin County News for pertinent information.  I'm not precisely sure what action is expected to be taken at this meeting.  However, whether you are for or against the Overlay, this is the time for your voice to be heard.

Rankin County Animal Control Ordinance

Many years ago, our backyard neighbors (who have since moved) owned multiple dogs.  These dogs would bark incessantly at all hours, but especially any time my family used (or tried to use) our backyard.  My wife and I are easy-going; we almost got used to it.  At any rate, we never raised a stink about it until a stink began rising from our neighbor's back yard.  An incredibly strong odor of dog waste and general filth.  Upon inspection, we discovered our neighbors had erected a chain-link kennel in their backyard, and had six or more medium sized dogs either in the kennel or roaming around the back yard.  That was too much and we began to worry about, among other things, the general welfare of the dogs.

We live in a subdivision in the unincorporated part of the County, so I knew the law would be lax.  However, we did learn our neighbors were in violation of the County's animal ordinance.  An animal control officer came out, took a look, and put an end to the nonsense.  Apparently, our neighbors were running some type of for-profit breeding operation in their back yard.  

A little over a year ago, our neighbor was attacked by a pit bull while riding his bike.  The dog escaped  through a hole it dug under its fence.  

Often, my front yard will be littered with the feces of dogs, collared, yet roaming the neighborhood at leisure without owner or leash attached.  

These experiences are likely not uncommon to many at the Reservoir.  Here is the applicable law in the event you are interested.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Weekend Calendar of Events

Start the day off with a jog in the Rush to Brush 5K, organized by the University of Mississippi Dental Students.  I've run in this race several times.  The dental students put on a great race, and they usually have door prizes worth waiting for.