Monday, March 31, 2014

PRVWSD Statement on Dredging Boat Houses

The PRVWSD's position iit does not dredge boathouses.  According to PRVWSD Executive Director, John Signman, the boathouses are on leased land and as such are considered private property.  The State cannot expend funds on private property. 

Below is information from a vendor, not-affiliated with the PRVWSD, who has been cleaning out boathouses lately if you are interested in hiring out for this service.

  CONTACT SCOTT SANDERS (318) 413-0332

Zeke's House of Gyros Coming Soon

Get ready for Zeke's House of Gyros, next to Salsa's off Highway 25 in Flowood (in the old Sicily's spot). Visit their website here.  Look's legit.  I, too, am looking forward to this addition.

From Craigslist:  Zeke's House of Gyros is hiring all positions now! Zeke's is opening soon, it is located off Lakeland dr. next to Walmart in the old Sicily's spot. All positions are needed: servers, cooks, preps, cashiers, and busers. Please apply within the store. Hours for applying are Monday-Friday 2-4. Pay will be from $7.50-$10.50 depending on experience and positions applying for. If you have any further questions please contact the General Manager Ben McKeithen at 601-540-4807 or stop by.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Bridgetown Subdivision Being Evacuated

I received word residents of Bridgetown subdivision (and perhaps others) are being evacuated due to a natural gas leak.  Spillway is closed to traffic between Bridgetown and Grant's Ferry.  Natural gas whistling loudly out of a puncture in the gas line.  Getting reports the smell will knock you down.  Sheriff's Deputies going door to door evacuating all.

Gator Tales - Spring 2014

The electronic version of Gator Tales Spring 2014 Newsletter is out. Information on upcoming events at the Rez, the Rez license plate, dredging update, new camping regulations, and more.  

Help Find This Dog

Beau escaped, without collar, from his home in Mill Creek Subdivision last Saturday.  He is a 10 month old white Maltipoo with tan ears.  He is still on the loose.  Please keep your eyes peeled.

Turtle Point Park

I can't find an online version of the latest edition of Gator Tales (Spring 2014), or I'd post it.  In addition to topics we've discussed before (the Rez Tags, the 2014 Independence Day Celebration, the new Rankin County office of the PRVWSD, ect.), there was the following article of interest:

New Turtle Point Park Under Design

     PRVWSD's new Turtle Point Nature Area Trail and Kayak Launch has entered the design phase and construction should begin later this year.  The project, to be built on the current Scenic Park location off Scenic Drive between the Turtle Creek and Forest Point subdivisions, was made possible by a federal recreational trails grant through the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.  The grant will reimburse PRVWSD with federal funds equal to 80 percent of the cost of the park.

Here is an article from back in 2011 when the issue of turning this spit of land into a park first arose.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Big Blue

Props to Ross Barnett Reservoir Facebook Page for directing me to this gem.  Huge catfish pulled out of the Rez, documented by the Clarion Ledger.

As most people who fish know, some anglers have more luck than others. Stephen Larson, of Flowood, certainly seemed to be among the lucky ones when he recently landed a whopper of a blue catfish on Barnett Reservoir. 

“Me and my dad had been fishing a little lake earlier that day and I was using the ribcages for bait,” Larson said. After cleaning his earlier catch, Larson tossed the bait into the reservoir from his parents' dock using a medium action bass rod and 10-pound test line.

Read the rest via the link above.

Flowood Rotary Scholarship

Below, you find the application for the Flowood Rotary Club's 2014 Scholarship. Check the eligibility requirements below and forward to any graduating Seniors you feel would benefit.

Project Rezway

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boat Usage Fees

Here is a link to the story on WLBT about proposed boat usage fees for PRVWSD property. Here is WAPT (I love how they refer to the PRVWSD as "one group").  Undoubtedly, this will generate much interest.  

Boat usage fees have been kicked around by the PRVWSD for a long time now.  Today, members of the PRVWSD staff met with marina owners to gather their input on a more concrete proposal to implement the fees. The proposal presently on the table includes an annual fee of $35 for boats 26 feet in length or under; $50 for boats over 26 feet in length.  There is no distinction between human powered watercraft, like kayaks, and motorized boats.  

It is estimated the usage fee will generate $200,000.00 in additional revenue.  Under the proposal, the PRVWSD would set monies generated by the user fee aside into a separate account for lake usage needs. Top priority will be improvements to boat ramps, piers, and other glaring deficiencies.  Other projects the usage fees would go towards include dredging, channel markers, boat launch facilities improvements, and break waters.  

If implemented, the usage permit fee would take effect January 1, 2015.  The PRVWSD anticipates first sale of the permit at the end of this Summer.  Between now and then, the PRVWSD plans to hold public meetings to discuss the usage fee.  Members of the general public are always free to submit their comments to the PRVWSD at any time.  Traditional contact info below, or go here for email addresses:

 Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 2180
 Ridgeland, MS  39158
Main Office
(601) 856-6574
(601) 354-3448
After Office Hours
(601) 992-9703

Area Garage Sales for April 5 weekend

Saturday, April 5 is a big day for garage sales.  In the Reservoir area, Mill Creek and Hidden Hills will hold neighborhood garage sales.  St. Mark's Methodist off Grant's Ferry-Rez holds their big Youth garage sale. They all begin at 7 a.m. 

Bethany Christian Services also holds a huge garage sale at High's Heaters off Grant's Ferry Road on Friday and Saturday.

And as one of the commentor's pointed out, be on the lookout for Castlewoods' Neighborhood Garage Sale on Saturday, May 3.

PRVWSD February 2014 Board Minutes

Here are the Minutes from the PRVWSD's February 20, 2014, Board Meeting.  Of note:

  -- Long time Board attorney, Jim Tohill, was commended on his service to the Board.  38 years!
  -- Latin American Business Association approved for a one-time permit to sell beer for Latin Fest at Old Trace Park.  That will be September 20, 2014.  Motion approved upon payment of $1,000.00 permit fee.
  -- Executive Director John Sigman explained the changes to the Special Event Fee in order to encourage better planning and execution of park events.
  -- The new camping regulations we previously discussed were adopted.
  -- The Board commissioned CMPDD "to assist with determining the need to adjust the District's campground rates."
  -- The District adopted the updated flood ordinances proposed by FEMA/MEMA.

Fenders & Fireworks

Mark your calender.

Cajun Crawlers' Menu and Contact Number

That phone number is 601.278.1145. The proprietor's name is Chuck.  

Yes, I see it; potatoes and crab legs.  The good thing is, you don't need to know how to spell to cook good crawfish.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Voting Precincts

The voting precincts have been moved around by those with the power to do so.  Rankin County Circuit Clerk, Becky Boyd, will shortly mail out new voting cards to all registered voters.  Don't just throw these cards away.  Look at them carefully because your voting precinct (i.e., the place you vote) may have changed.  If you used to vote at High's Heaters, beware; you are now at New Vision Fellowship.  Below is a list of the voting precincts.  Also attached to that document is a list of those precincts which will be voting for constable.

Keith Shelton Wins Local Fishing Tournament

Below is the press release regarding the recent Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division Tournament, held this past weekend on the Rez.  Local boy, Keith Shelton took home the top prize:  $4,359 for fishing.  Not a bad day's work.

BRANDON, Miss. (March 24, 2014) – Keith Shelton of Brandon, Miss., weighed a five-bass limit totaling 18 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Shelton earned $4,359.

      “I’ve lived here for 8 and a half years,” said Shelton, who notched the first win of his career in FLW competition. “I’ve fished BFLs since 2006 and most of them have been here. It felt great to win. I thought I’d be in the top-10 or something. It didn’t really hit me until I got home.

       “I’d say I caught around 35 fish throughout the entire day” explained Shelton. “I had caught 21 pounds while I was just goofing off in practice, so I really didn’t expect to win.”

Rez YMCA Golf Tournament

The Reservoir YMCA's Inclusive Camp Golf Tournament is May 1, 2014, at Bay Pointe Golf Course.  This is not your father's golf tournament; it's always ten times more fun.  Sign your team up today

Front Page:

Back Page:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Rankin County Board of Supervisors' Meetings on Video

Here is the link for the video of the Rankin County Board of Supervisors' meetings.  I can't get the audio to work. Yes, my computer's volume is all the way up.  And, yes, the volume bar on the actual video is all the way up. If anyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong, let me know.

Photos from the PRVWSD March Meeting

Board Members, PRVWSD Executive Director, John Sigman, and Executive Assistant, Cindy Ford, line the desks in the Reservoir Community Room, Thursday, March 20, 2014.  Members of the general public look on.

 Board President, Jack Winstead, welcomes all to the meeting.

Executive Director Sigman explains the ongoing dredging project.

Political Signs (Get Ready)

The rules concerning posting of political campaign signs are now changed for many with the passage of the Overlay District.  You may recall, the Overlay incorporated the sign regulations already in place by the PRVWSD.  Those regulations are far more restrictive than the prior regulations in force and effect for County property.

Below are the applicable regulations:

  1. In single family residential districts, one (1) Sign per street frontage for each candidate or measure not
exceeding eight (8) square feet in area and six (6) feet in Sign Height.

  2. Signs shall not be displayed earlier than forty-five (45) days prior to an election and shall be removed
within five (5) days, following said election. Signs for successful primary election candidates, eligible for the general election, may remain after the primary election but shall be removed within five (5) days after the general election.

  3. Signs shall not be placed in any portion of the public right-of-way located between a street or sidewalk or on any public properties.

  4. The person, party or parties responsible for the distribution and display of such Signs shall be individually and jointly responsible for their removal.

  5. Signs painted, printed, or otherwise affixed or placed on boats or other floating device in waters of the District are prohibited.

Forty-five days prior to the June 3 primary would put the legal sign posting day at April 20.  Which means, there should not be any signs for political candidates anywhere in the Overlay District prior to that date. That being said, I notice these pesky rules and regulations haven't stopped one certain candidate from already planting signs in the ground.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Articles in the Rankin County News

This week's articles involving the Reservoir area of note include:

  - Bond set at $100,000 for teacher charged with statutory rape.  60 year old Jackson public school teacher brings 14 year old to Lakeshore Park for capital crime offense.  Can't get away with that in Rankin County.

  - Taste of Flowood April 10.  5th Annual event at the Refuge golf course is coming up.  The City hopes to have 30 restaurants participate this year.  Space jump, face painting, live music.  $10 for Flowood Chamber members; $15 for non-Chamber members; free for kids under 12.  See prior post.

  - Legislation would allow school districts to set starting dates for school year.  It appears the legislature repealed a law they passed just last year that would not have allowed schools to begin earlier than August 18, 2014.  RCSD Superintendent Richard Morrison pointed out that would have required students to take first semester's final exams after Christmas Break.  

  - 'Racin' For the Seed' benefits Mustard Seed.  See prior posts.

  - Trustmark Park to host Florida Georgia Line concert May 31.  See prior post.

  - FLW Bass tournament set for Sat. March 22.

  - Outback restaurant to open in Flowood.  See prior post.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Yesterday's PRVWSD Board Meeting (Timberlake Expansion)

There is no question Timberlake Campground is a money maker for the PRVWSD.  That fact was made evident last year when the District hinted at an expansion into Lakeshore Park.  After a vociferous reaction from the Reservoir YMCA and area residents, sweeping expansion was halted.  This year, the PRVWSD introduced a more bourgeois plan; this time to add approximately 25 new pads in an undeveloped portion of Timberlake Campground behind BankPlus.  Per the Scope of Services estimate from Neel-Schaffer, Inc.:

The expansion will be constructed in an area adjacent to the southeast corner of the existing camp ground . . . .  [T]he project will include grading, drainage, paved areas, extension of water, sanitary sewer and electrical utility lines and erosion control to support an expansion that will add between 20 -- 30 new RV camp spaces to the existing campground.  A new sanitary sewer lift station may be required.  We further understand that no new buildings or structures other than those required for drainage and lighting are to be included in the project.  Landscaping will be limited to grassing and sodding.

At the meeting, I believe the PRVWSD representative stated it was estimated the new pads would bring in an additional $100,000.00 in revenue per year.  At $300 per pad, per month, that's $3,600.00 a year per pad.  Multiply that by 25 pads and you get $90,000.00.  So, that sounds about right.

Yesterday's PRVWSD Board Meeting (Draw Hunt Update)

It was nice to be able to attend a PRVWSD Board Meeting.  I appreciate the Board and staff agreeing to hold an "after-hours" meeting at the Reservoir Community Center.  It went well.  There are a couple of items I want to report on, the first being changes made to the paid-hunt system.

Bobby Cleveland reported a grand total of 7 deer had been harvested (or at least checked in by hunters) through the draw permit system (3 bucks and 4 does).  This number was too low to satisfy the PRVWSD; as a result they are making changes to the system to encourage usage.  I agree with these changes and believe they will increase the popularity of the hunts.

The most significant change is that the permit fee ($300 below Spillway Dam; $200 at Pelahatchie Bay) can now be shared by two hunters, rather than just one.  This effectively cuts the permit cost in half.

Another significant change is the permit will be good from Thursday through Sunday.  That provides four days of continuous hunting.  The permit areas will be closed to all activity save scouting by drawn hunters on Tuesdays and Wednesday.  This includes closure of Mule Jail Trail to the general public from September 29 through January 31.

Once I get back into the office, I'll attach a copy of the changes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nature Fest 2014

NatureFEST! is Saturday, April 5, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.  From the Museum's website (prepare yourself for plenty of exclamation points):


Get ready for a wild adventure at NatureFEST! 2014!  It's a festival, a nature outing, and a fascinating Museum trip all wrapped into one exciting day!

Join us as we celebrate recently reaching our 2 millionth visitor and our 14th year in our new museum building!  Register to win door prizes and one Grand Prize: lunch and a behind-the-scenes tour with the Museum Director in May!  Plus, have fun with your family in our interactive photo booth with animal props! Each family receives a free commemorative photo!

History of Fannin

Came across this gem the other day researching the history of Fannin, Mississippi.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pearl River Valley Water Supply District January 2014 Board Minutes

Here they are.  Items of note:

  -  Safe Harbors wants to lease an additional 5.8 acres for RV's, cabins, and a restaurant.
  -  Reservoir Patrol received a $12,000.00 grant from Homeland Security to update the equipment in the patrol cars.
  -  Changes were made to the Special Event Fees for usage of PRVWSD parks to 1) encourage quicker set up and break down, and 2) recoup monies lost due to electricity usage.
  -  All activity at the former Rapids site was simply clean up, and no assignment or development had been approved.
  -  A grand total of six deer had been harvested from PRVWSD permitted lands.  Turkey hunts were on the way.

Two Additional Lanes for Lakeland Drive

Rumors of a fifth and sixth lane for Lakeland Drive (from Airport Road to Highway 471) have long floated about. Fortunately, the Mississippi Senate is trying to appropriate additional money to the Mississippi Department of Transportation's 2014 budget to do just that.  "It's the worst traffic congestion problem we have," said Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Willie Simmons. The good news is, MDOT has started the process of purchasing the land and right-of-ways necessary to widen Lakeland Drive.  

According to the Clarion Ledger article from Thursday, the work will be done in two phases; Phase I being the addition of an eastbound and westbound lane between Highway 471 and Grant's Ferry, and Phase II being the addition of those lanes between Grant's Ferry and Airport Road.  However, the article then confuses these by quoting an MDOT spokesman who said the "primary goal" is to add an eastbound and westbound lane between Airport and Grant's Ferry.  

So, which is it?  It would make sense to me to first widen Lakeland Drive between Airport Road and Grant's Ferry.  The next question is, when does the work start?  Hopefully not until after Old Fannin Road construction is done.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

Photography Class Offered By Mississippi Wildlife Federation

The Mississippi Wildlife Federation sent the following announcement:

Take Control - Own Your Photographs
If you would like to permanently control your camera and get the correct exposure on your photos then this class is for you. Jason Taylor and Alex North take you through a systematic approach of teaching the ins and outs of ISO, shutter speed, aperture and Depth of Field. We then teach you how to properly meter a photo scene and use your camera to tell you if you nailed the photo.This is your chance to “Take control and own your photos.”
Date: April 5, 2014
Fee: $99 per person
Location: Mississippi Museum of Natural Science – Lower Classroom
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Coffee and snacks will be served. Bring your own sack lunch or pizza, hamburgers and ice cream are available for purchase at the Museum for a nominal fee.
You can register for the class here.

Florida Georgia Line Coming To Rankin County

And they are bringing Nelly with them.

State of the County Address

Articles in the Rankin County News

The following articles from this week's Rankin County News are of interest to Reservoir Residents:

- Garbage fees rising for county residents.  There is quite a bit more in this article regarding the increase then my earlier post.  
- Races set for Federal, Rankin constable position.  Filing deadlines came and went for the Federal and constable positions.  Non-partisan judicial candidates still have time to file.  My earlier post.
- NWR Baseball stadium forges ahead.  On again, off again.  Apparently back on.  My earlier post.
- Flowood Crafters Fair, booths going quickly. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Announcement from the Barnett Reservoir Foundation

From the Barnett Reservoir Foundation's Facebook Page:

"To help the PRVWSD meet its pre-sale minimum of 300 tags, the Barnett Reservoir Foundation has announced it will include the $31 tag fee in its 2014 membership dues.  Join us, or if you are already a member, you can rejoin now through December 31 at our annual membership fee of $50, and if you desire, we will forward $31 to the PRVWSD for the tags."

St. Mark's Youth Garage Sale

St. Mark's Methodist Church Youth are hosting their annual garage sale Saturday, April 5, from 7 am to noon.  They are collecting items the entire month of March.  Pods will be open on Sundays, Wednesdays, and other times during the week by appointment.  Please start cleaning your closets, garages, etc., and donate your items!  Items can be scheduled for pick up by contacting the Church.

On the Friday night before, from 6 to 9 pm, they are having a sneak peak and live auction (auction starts at 7 p.m.

St. Paddy's Day Washout?

Bring your umbrella to the parade Saturday; the weather looks ominous.  The Weather Channel reports 50% chance of rain on Saturday.  The National Weather Service confirms this forecast, stating "A few strong to severe storms are possible Saturday afternoon and evening."

Here is the schedule of events.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Photo ID Information

There is a big election coming up in June.  Reservoir voters will go to the polls to vote on races from Constable to U.S. Senator.  There is a lot on the line, for our community and our country.  Remember, there is a new voter ID requirement.  Below, is information circulated by the Mississippi Secretary of State concerning these requirements:

Help These Seedsters Out

Racin' for the Seed is a Duathlon and 5K benefiting the fine residents of The Mustard Seed.  It will take place April 5 out at Fannin Landing Park.  The way it works is this:  if you participate in the Duathlon, you (or your team) will run a 5K, bike 15 miles, then run another 5K.  You may also opt to run just the first 5K.

Flowood Ward Map

Yesterday was the zoning map, today it's one more simple: Flowood's Ward Map.  The aldermen for those wards are:

Ward 1:  Deron R. Harmon
Ward 2:  Kathy Smith
Ward 3:  Kirk B. McDaniel
Ward 4:  Dusty L. Rhoads
At Large:  Donald H. Flynt

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Flowood Zoning Map

It looks like the City of Flowood is updating their webpage.  Either I've never noticed it, or they recently put up a zoning map.  This is a wealth of information concerning the various zones within the city.  The map is below.  A link to the page is here (better quality map).

Flo Wood Zoning

Hawk Life Family Fun Day 5K

It's a Hawk Life.

Enhanced Concealed Carry Class Coming Up

Pasted from an email I received:

Enhanced Concealed Carry Class
Saturday, March 22, 8am-5pm $100
Class will begin at Berry's Seafood, 1616 Simpson Hwy, Magee, MS promptly at 8:00 a.m.  Range Exercise will be conducted 6 miles away at 1593 Athens Road, Mendenhall, MS.  Cost is $100.  Please arrive about 7:45 a.m.
What to bring: 
  • Handgun & 100 Rounds of Ammunition
  • Driver's License
  • Eye & Ear Protection
  • Pen and Highlighter
  • Drinks/Snacks
 Berry's Seafood has a seafood buffet w/tea which cost $13.89
This course will meet the Mississippi Department of Public Safety requirements for the Instructor Certified (IC) sticker for Enhanced Concealed Carry Permit. You do NOT have to have a concealed carry permit to take this class.  A student may take this class and then apply for their Concealed Carry permit with DPS.
Please call or text Scott Womack at 601 573 2006 or 
                    Sharon Womack at 601 624 3603                                                                                
You must call or text to reserve a slot by Wednesday, 3/19.

Scott and Sharon are both NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructors, Mississippi Enhanced Conceal Carry Instructors, National Range Officers Institute (NROI) Range Officers, and competition shooters in United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA), Steel Challenge, and the International Confederation of Revolver Enthusiasts (ICORE). Scott is also a NRA Certified Law Enforcement Firearm Instructor in Handgun, Shotgun, and Precision Rifle and has competed in 19 different styles of shooting competition since 1986. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Clarion Ledger Picks Up the PRVWSD Liquor Story

Here is the link to the Clarion Ledger's story on the passage of H.B. 836, which would allow liquor to be sold by the glass on that portion of the PRVWSD lands located in Rankin County.  Excerpts below:

A bill on its way to the governor could pave the way for liquor to be sold by the glass at restaurants on the Rankin County side of the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
     *     *     *
[Senator Josh] Harkins, who handled the legislation on the Senate floor, said Friday that the goal is to create development on the Rankin County side of the reservoir. . . .  Harkins said the legislation would apply only to alcoholic drinks by the glass at restaurants, similar to what is allowed in Flowood and Pearl.
     *     *     *
John Sigman, general manager of PRVWSD, said the legislation would benefit both the district and its residents.  “It will allow us to lease additional property, and residents in the area want more good restaurants,” Sigman said.

Coal Bluff Water Park

The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District operates three campgrounds upriver, Coal Bluff, Leake County Water Park, and Low Head Dam.  Yesterday, the family took the drive up Highway 25 to Coal Bluff to see how things were going.  

This is not a transient campground.  The website makes it clear the PRVWSD offers permanent camping options for its patrons.  A drive through demonstrates many of the campers have been there for a long time. Nightly rates are available, too.  $22 for premium spots; $15 for a primitive camp. Monthly rentals range from $310 to $225.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

St. Paddy's Day 5K This Weekend

The St. Paddy's Day 5K race, organized in conjunction with Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade, is this weekend at 8 a.m.  Registration information here or here.  Proceeds go to Blair E. Batson.  The shirt design is above.  Cost to run is $30 now, but it goes to a good cause.  As of now, it's predicted to be a high of 68 degrees with no chance of rain.  Another beautiful weekend.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Presentation on the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail stretches 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine.  Jennifer Pharr Davis hiked it in a record 46 days.  That's just under 48 miles a day.  On Monday, March 17, 2014, at 6 p.m. at the Brandon Library, she will speak about her achievement.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Update of the One Lake Project

Apparently most of the right parties are on board with the One Lake Plan advocated by the Pearl River Vision Foundation; this includes the Levee Board (chaired by Mayor Rhoads), the City of Jackson, Greater Jackson Chamber, and (unofficially) the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Northside Sun reports a feasibility study paid for by the PRVF, and conducted by Mendrop Engineering Consultants, is to be completed by this Summer.  Before it's finished, the feasibility study will cost $1.8 million.   The Army Corps will then review all prior feasibility studies and plans before moving forward with some type of action.  It is estimated the One Lake Project itself will cost $130 million and create 1,500 acres of waterfront property.  It is not expected to interfere with the proposed Federal National Wildlife Refuge under consideration north of Lakeland Drive.

The Rez News Twitter Feed

The Rez News joined the twenty-first century by acquiring a Twitter Account.  I set it up to tweet all posts from this blog.  In addition, it will tweet additional information gleaned from the twitter sphere related to the Rez.  Follow it here, or just search for @TheRezNewsBlog.  

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Festivities on Saturday, March 22

The Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Parade (and Sweet Potato Queen Convention) is coming the weekend of March 20-23 to Fondren.  This year, the Sweet Potato Queens are honoring Vietnam Veterans.  

Ton of things going on that weekend.  Here is the schedule of events.  A great event for families is the Sal & Mookies Street Carnival.  

The Carnival begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 22 (right after the Color Me Rad 5K).  It takes place on the State Street green space behind Sal & Mookies.  There are fun games, jump zones, prizes, ice cream eating contest, dunking booths, and more activities.  Its a great time for all the family.

The ZDD Arts Market is ongoing at the same time on the Fondren Corner parking deck, in case the parents want something to do.  

The Sweet Potato Queen Parade starts at dusk that evening.  

If you go, park in the Memorial Stadium parking lot.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Pork Chop" Womack Joins NWR Football Staff

Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack joined the NWR High School Football coaching staff as Offensive Line Coach.  Last year, Womack served as a Graduate Assistant Offensive Line Coach at Mississippi State University.  See an article from The Dispatch about the hire here.  Before that, he spent ten years in the NFL, playing for the Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals.  In 2000, he was a first team All-SEC player for MSU.  

At 6 foot 4 inches and 328 pound playing weight, and ten years of playing experience at the highest level, I imagine he'll capture the players' attention.  

The Cherokee Word For Water

Just received an email containing the below information.  Sounds like an interesting cultural option for the Jackson Metro Area.  

The Cherokee Word For Water.

Hope Enterprise Corporation/Hope Credit Union (HOPE) and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation are proud to host a viewing and discussion of the feature-length motion picture, "The Cherokee Word for Water" at 6 p.m. on March 18 in Jackson at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium,  201 E. Pascagoula Street.

The Cherokee Word for Water (CW4W) is inspired by the true story of the struggle for, opposition to, and ultimate success of a rural Cherokee community to bring running water to their families by using the traditional concept of "gadugi" - working together to solve a problem.

After the viewing, the film’s producer Kristina Kiehl and co-director Charlie Soap will discuss the film and answer questions.

A trailer for the film can be viewed at

This event is free and open to the public.

Free Day Pass to the Rez YMCA

Have You Seen This Man?

So, here is the guy Flowood PD is looking for in connection with the high-speed chase Tuesday, a chase that included a young child in the back seat.  His name is Gary M. Stiff.  From WJTV:

RANKIN COUNTY - FLOWOOD -Flowood Police are searching for a man who led officers on a chase.
Tuesday afternoon, an officer stopped a tan Hyundai Elantra with no tag. The officer smelled marijuana in the car. There were two adult passengers and one small child passenger in the car. The officer asked the driver, who's been identified as Gary M. Stiff, to step out of the vehicle. That's when Stiff drove away.

See the full article here.  See the earlier post about the chase here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blood Drive Tomorrow

The Flowood Young Professionals are hosting a blood drive at the Flowood Chamber office tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  This blood drive is sponsored by TempStaff and Renasant Bank.  Each donor will be entered to win a prize of sorts from the sponsors.
Blood Drive Flyer FYP

HB 836 Passed Both Houses

Now it's on to the Governor for either his signature or his veto.  Forgot what HB 836 was about?  Refresh your glass memory here.

Gator Bait Hatchling Race

From the Mississippi Wildlife Federation:

Join us for the 1st Annual Gator Bait Hatchling kayak race just for kids ages 5-17. The course length is tailored to each age group and ranges from 250 yards to 1 mile. Our goal is to introduce kids to the sport of kayaking, foster a love for the outdoors, and instill a desire to protect their environment for generations to come. There are 3 races per age group; Rental Kayaks (provided to all), Individual Kayaks (for those that own their own kayak), and Any Kayak (combination of rental and individual). Kids are encouraged to participate in as many races as they wish.

When:    May 31, 2014
Where:   Lakeshore Park Brandon, MS
Cost:      $20 per racer ($15 for ACA members)
Price Includes:
  • Kayak rental
  • T-shirt
  • Awards & Prizes
  • Swag Bag
Classes are broken down into the following age groups. 5-7, 8-10, 11-12, 13-14, and 15-17.   Class sizes are limited so register today!

Register here.  The Hatchling Race is part of the bigger picture that is the Gator Bait Race.  

Rankin County News Articles Regarding the Rez

Be on the lookout for the following articles in the Weekly Leader/Rankin County News this week that touch on the Reservoir side of things:

- Bill Would Give Authority for Radar Use, by Tom Hill
- Flowood Police Investigate Stolen Vehicles in February, by Charles Bailey
- Lakeshore Park to Get Electrical Update, by Linda Horton
- Sheriff Deputy Charges Man Test Driving Corvette With Felony Fleeing, Felony Malicious Mischief

Along the same lines as the last article, the Clarion Ledger had a blurb about another high-speed chase on Lakeland Drive, part of which is below.  See the rest of the article via the link above:

The Flowood Police Department is searching for the driver who led them on a chase after a traffic stop Tuesday.

Chief Johnny Dewitt says a vehicle was pulled over for a traffic violation.  The driver handed over his license then fled.

Two people jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot but were captured.

The driver was identified as Gary Michael Stiff, 25.

RCSD Again Seeking Ability to Use Radar


The Bill, in its infancy, is written simply enough.  It would allow the Sheriff's Department the right to use radar on any "public road, street or highway" outside of city limits within Rankin County.  The Rankin County News points out that the Sheriff has sought this legislation for more than ten years; every year it is shot down in committee.  Said Bill has been referred to the Local and Private Legislation Committee.

In other news, House Bill 836, to allow alcohol sales on PRVWSD property, remains alive since being transmitted to the Senate.  

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March Meeting of the PRVWSD

Rez History: Oakdale Baptist Church

There is one thread that is woven into the fabric of Rankin County's history . . . :  the close cooperation that existed between schools and churches.  Oakdale is no exception.  There was a log school house situated on the Mala Bethune property, where the Bourgeois Estate entrance is now.

     "The first church services at Oakdale were held in the school building.  They were started by Jake Derrick, who took his ox wagon on Sunday afternoons, picked up as many children as he could, and had Sunday School in the log school house.  When it was possible to get a preacher, worship services were scheduled.

     *     *     *

     "The first tract of land for a church at Oakdale was donated by C.C. Russell on July 28, 1885, according to courthouse records.  A log school house was built on this one-acre plot.

     "School was held there during the week, and church services on Sunday.  It was not until August 12, 1888, that 19 members of the Fannin Baptist Church withdrew their membership to establish a fellowship called Oakdale, so named because of the lovely old oak trees that surrounded the building."

A History of Rankin County, Mississippi, Vol. II, Published by the Rankin County Historical Society, Inc. (1988), at pp. 137-38) (quoting at length History of Oakdale Baptist Church, an unpublished account of Oakdale Baptist's past).

Buffalo Peak's Guide to Metro Area Paddling

Buffalo Peak Outfitters maintains a page highlighting a few of the canoe/kayak day trips in the Jackson Metro Area.  Pearl River Kayaks also maintains information on its website, including videos and maps, focusing on paddling the local waterways.

I keep on my desk, among the semi-important reference items, the book Canoeing Mississippi by Ernest Herndon.  I recommend this book to any canoe/kayaker interested in exploring the waters of Mississippi.  The book is a detailed trove of information on just about every possible waterway in the State of Mississippi, from take-out spots to outfitters.

Monday, March 3, 2014

El Sombrero Moving Into Up the Creek Fish Camp?

Update:  No longer a rumor.  It has been confirmed by El Sombrero itself; they are moving their base of operations across the street.  This leads to the next question: What Mexican restaurant will open in the old El Sombrero location?  

Previous postThat's the rumor.  I actually have no evidence of this.  We are placing a call to them now to find out.  If anyone actually knows, pass that on.  All conjecture does point to another Mexican restaurant, though.

Evidence of the High Winds

Reels and Heels

Last year, this event was geared toward boys and their mothers.  There were door prizes, fish feedings, crafts, food, face painting/tattoo, shooting range, and grabuone outfitters.  This year, information is less available.  It must have been successful last year, because the price and number of available tickets increased.  Contact Ashlee at, or call 601.825.2268, for tickets.

High Winds Last Night

Driving my children to school this morning, I spotted one of our neighbor's large trampolines in the ditch running through Mill Creek Subdivision.  You can see it driving down Grant's Ferry Road.  It must have jumped the fence before coming to rest in the ditch.  That was a mighty wind.  Then, I see where the City of Brandon tweeted this photo out:

The text of the tweet was: "Trees have fallen across Highway 80 at Paige McDill.  It should take 30 more minutes to clear."  There was no accompanying information about injuries, so I'm hoping no one was hurt.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Goat Island Article from 1986

That's 28 years ago.  This is a follow up to the goat story, below.  Back in December of 2010, Jim posted an old article from the Jackson Daily News about the need to control proliferating goats on Reservoir islands.  Fun stuff.  Here is the link.

Tidbit: "If no one claims the animals, [General Manager Charlie] Moak said the district could sell them, barbecue them, or ask the Mississippi Animal Rescue League to take them."

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The City of Brandon Breaks Out the Paddles

Rez History: Goshen Springs Post Office

A couple of weeks ago, a reader posed the question: what is the origin of the name "Grant's Ferry".  Curious myself, I've set out to find the answer.  I haven't come across it yet; when I do, I'll pass that along.  In the meantime, I will share various passages with significance to our neck of the woods from my research.  

There were a few small post offices located in separate buildings, not in connection with a store.  An example of this situation occurs in the case of the Goshen Springs Post Office Building, now a part of the Rankin County Museum.  Available information indicates that the little post office was opened April 27, 1885 and closed June 30, 1961.  Postmasters through this more than three-quarters of a century era were all members of the same family, the Barksdales.  They included Eugene S. Barksdale, the first postmaster, James D. Barksdale, Mrs. Lillian P. Barksdale, Mrs. Flournoy B. Speer, and Mrs. Mary E. Massey, who was postmaster when the office was closed June 30, 1961.  More than one building was the home of this post office, but the one in use when it closed was moved from its site in Goshen Springs , (north Rankin County) to become a part of the Rankin County Museum.  

A History of Rankin County, Mississippi, Vol. II, Published by the Rankin County Historical Society, Inc. (1988), at pp. 110-111).

I have a feeling if I dig around long enough on the Rankin County Historical Society webpage long enough, I will find the answer to any and all questions.  Check it out if you are similarly curious.