Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rankin County Gets New Voting System

Below is the press release from the maker of the voting system.  Expect it to be in place in time for the school bond issue vote in March.

After a thorough evaluation process, the selection committee's decision to choose Verity was unanimous. Hart stood out in the bidding process; versatile Verity technology allows counties to choose between electronic and paper ballot configurations.

In 2017, Rankin County voters will cast their votes by scanning their marked paper ballots in the polling place. This marks a shift from the electronic voting method the county has used for more than 10 years. Hart's 100+ years of election experience and its expertise in the change management methods needed to transition to new voting technology were factors in the county's decision.
"We look forward to working with Rankin County not as just a vendor, but as a partner," said Phillip Braithwaite, President and CEO of Hart InterCivic. "We see growing interest in Mississippi in the efficiency and transparency Verity brings to the election process. We are committed to the success of elections in Rankin County and across the state."
With Rankin's selection of Verity, Mississippi becomes the sixth state in the U.S. to adopt this forward-looking technology. The system includes ADA-compliant features that enable all voters to vote privately and independently. Other features that caught decision-makers' eyes include:
  • Easy-to-use scanning and ballot marking for voters
  • Powerful new election management software for increased efficiency and security
  • Compact, lightweight briefcase-style machines, saving storage space
  • Efficient transport, set-up and take-down at precincts
  • First-class training and support
Another Verity advantage may not be as visible, but is critical to Rankin County. Verity enables straightforward import of data from the state election management system, making the process of building ballots much easier for election workers. It also automates the transmission of election results for state reporting.
Based in Austin, Texas, Hart currently provides election solutions to more than 560 jurisdictions nationwide, including the State of Oklahoma, the State of Hawaii and two of the five largest counties in the nation - Harris County, Texas, and Orange County, California.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services

St. Marks UMC -- Christmas Eve at 4:30 and 6 p.m.; Christmas Day at 10 a.m.

St. Paul Catholic Church -- Christmas Eve Vigil at 5:30 p.m.; Midnight Mass begins at 11:30 p.m.; Christmas Day at 10:30 a.m.

St. Peter's By The Lake -- Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist and Children's Pageant at 5:30 p.m. and Christmas Carols at 10:15 p.m.; Christmas Day at 9:30 a.m.

Lakeside Pres -- Christmas Eve at 5 p.m.; Christmas Day at 11 a.m.

Pinelake Church -- Christmas Eve at 3 and 4:30 p.m.; Christmas Day at 10:30 a.m.

Lakeland Pres -- Christmas Eve Communion Service at 6 p.m.; Christmas Day Worship Service at 10 a.m.

Word of Life Church -- Christmas Eve at 4:30 and 6 p.m.; No service on Christmas Day.

Vineyard Church -- Christmas Eve at 6 p.m.; Christmas Day at 10 a.m.

Christway Church -- Family Christmas Candlelight Communion at 10:30 a.m.

Oakdale Baptist Church -- Christmas Eve at 6 p.m.; Christmas Day at 8:30 and 10 a.m.

Fannin Methodist Church -- Christmas Eve at 6 p.m.; Christmas Day at 10 a.m.

Fannin Baptist Church -- Christmas Day at 9:30 a.m.

There are many other churches in the area; some of which do not update their webpages or Facebook pages. If you have information concerning their Christmas Eve or Christmas Day services, please let me know and I will post it here.  Like Mother's Day, the church body swells during Christmas; let's make it as easy as possible for everyone to find their way into church.

Santa Soon Departs for the North Pole

FYI, tonight and Thursday night are your last opportunities to catch the lights, Santa, the train, and hot cocoa at Winner's Circle Park in Flowood.

Canton, the City of Lights, has their Victorian Christmas spectacular running through December 23.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Area Church Christmas Services

Let's start a list of the area church Christmas Services.  Post in the comments when your church is having a special service.

Lakeside Presbyterian Church -- Lakeside Pres Worship Ministries will present I Hear the Prophet Callin’ by Pepper Choplin at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, December 18. This musical draws its Biblical inspiration from the prophecies of Isaiah and its musical inspiration from the folk and ethnic musical traditions of Appalachia (with a bit of cajun fun thrown in!). The evening will also include musical offerings from the iPraise children’s choir and various soloists. 

St. Mark's UMC -- Christmas in His Presence: the Timeless Story of His Coming, tonight! (Dec. 14) at 6:30 p.m.  Pammy says this will be a full production.

Covenant Presbyterian Church -- 4000 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS, their Christmas Eve Service, Lessons and Carols, is at 5 p.m.  Their Christmas morning service is at 10:25 a.m.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Vault Venue Coming to Brandon

Tahya Dobbs, Brandon City Councilwoman and owner of Hometown Magazines, will open an event venue in downtown Brandon in the Spring of 2017 called the Vault.  From Tahya's Facebook page:

After lots of prayer, patience, and hard work, I am excited to announce a dream of mine that has finally come true. The Vault Venue will be opening in Brandon Spring 2017 and will be available to host your receptions, parties, events, and special occasions. The Vault Venue is located in the old Merchants & Farmers building next to Brandon Discount Drugs and is in the beginning stages of remodeling as we take an old, abandoned building and bring life to it once again. Like/Share The Vault Venue to stay up-to-date and get more information on how you can book your next event.

Sounds like a win-win. That building has been vacant for a long time, and Brandon could use the development downtown.  I'm looking forward to seeing the changes occur.

Weekly Leader Articles

Here are the Rez-centric articles in this week's Weekly Leader/Rankin County News:

  -- All reservoir ramps reopen.  Alliteration is strong with this edition.
  -- Flowood bike trail nears completion.  "We're doing the final punch list items (now) and getting ready to close it out," Flowood Public Works Director, Garry Miller said.
  -- 4th Annual Christmas Cookie Contest and Swap. It will be Saturday, December 17, at 1 p.m. at the Flowood Library.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Rankin County Red Carpet Gala

The actual Gala, put on by Hometown Magazine and the Rankin Chamber is January 12, 2017

The leaders in each category have been pared down to finalists.  Vote for your favorites at this link. You have until December 15 to cast your vote.  Winners will be notified then.

Come On, Folks!

Even the Grinch says that's not enough toys. Come by my office and drop off a donated toy or four. The children of Gatlinburg deserve better.  Blair & Bondurant, P.A., is located at 1368 Old Fannin Road, Suite 300, Brandon, Mississippi 39047 -- right across from Farmington Station subdivision.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Live Nativity This Weekend!

From the webpage:

Please join us for a Journey to Bethlehem and Beyond. This is a drive-through event so you can stay warm and cozy in the convenience of your vehicle. The event will be held on December 19 and 11, 2016 (beginning at 5:00 PM – Until).
We will transform our campus into the Streets of Bethlehem so that visitors can experience the sights and sounds as they were thousands of years ago to the time of Jesus birth.
Leave the holiday “to do” lists behind — travel back in time and visualize yourself in the midst of the scenes. Open your heart to feeling what young Mary and Joseph felt that lonely night or the inn keeper’s feelings as he made his decisions. It might be the shepherds that harness your thoughts or the kings as they joyously travel to celebrate the Savior’s birth.
You will see Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. You will witness the shepherds keeping watch over their flock as an angel of the Lord appeared to them. You will pass the Magi and their caravans following the star to the place where the child had been born. There will be a great host of angels praising God. Roman Soldiers will summon you to the city gates where you will be greeted by the Census Takers. You will witness carpenters and blacksmiths at work, along with pottery makers, basket weavers, bakers, and others working at their trade.
You will have the opportunity to see sights such as the Newborn Baby Jesus, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Last Supper, the crucifixion, and the empty tomb. Let your mind take in and think about the sacrifice that Jesus made in order that we might ALL have eternal salvation!

Home Burglary in Hidden Hills Subdivision

Home burglary and car theft yesterday afternoon (a little before 3 p.m.) on Eastside Cove in Hidden Hills.  Perp on the loose.  Folks, be aware and stay safe.  Thankfully, the home was unoccupied at the time of the crime, but entry into the house was forced.  Crooks are getting more brazen.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Toys for Gatlinburg

The children of Gatlinburg deserve a Christmas. Play Santa for those kids by donating toys.  There are several drop-off areas in the Reservoir area.  My law firm is one of them.  Please stop by, say hello, and bring toys for these children.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Rankin County Burn Ban Lifted

Per the Gov.

Christmas By Candlelight Tour at State Capitol

JACKSON – The State Capitol will rejoin the annual Christmas by Candlelight Tour on Friday with music and a visit from Santa Claus, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said.
The Capitol was recently named as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior. Portions of the Capitol were under renovation last year during the event.

Music performances include “Christmas Jazz at Sunset” under the direction of Bob Davidson, director of Senate Legislative Services. The group features a rhythm section with horns and will perform in the Rotunda throughout the evening. Punch and cookies will be served.

The Capitol joins the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Old Capitol Museum, Manship House Museum, Eudora Welty House and Garden, and William F. Winter Building for the Christmas by Candlelight Tour. The sites will be decorated for the holiday season. Free transportation will take visitors from site to site, with parking available at the Old Capitol and the State Capitol. The tour begins at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 8:30 p.m.

For more information about the 21st Annual Christmas by Candlelight Tour call 601-576-6800 or email info@mdah.ms.gov.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Lost Pizza Coming to Castlewoods

Mazzio's has shut its doors at the Castlewoods location.  No more half-cooked cookie dough pizza.  Lost Pizza is moving in.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Criminal Activity in Mill Creek IV and Hidden Hills*UPDATED*


The River Catching Angel forwarded to me a link to a WJTV story on the attempting car-jacking and assault.

Clarion Ledger article.

Hidden Hills and Mill Creek IV experienced a bit of excitement yesterday.

According to reports, an individual broke into a house in Mill Creek IV and stole guns during the morning.  That evening, a female had a gun thrust in her face while unloading groceries from her car on Eastside Drive.  The attacker took off on foot.

The incidents are thought to be related.

The Sheriff's Department caught a suspect in the Cambridge Apartments shortly thereafter matching the description of the assailant. The Sheriff is not 100% the suspect in custody is the culprit; they are awaiting the results of DNA evidence to confirm.

I'm scouring the interwebs for information about this incident.  I can't find anything yet, but will update if I do.

On another note, apparently a car was broken into on Eastside Drive on Wednesday of last week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The *Tin* Shed in Flowood-Updated

** NOTE:  I got it all wrong.  Thanks to the commenters who pointed out this establishment is not some franchise of The Shed in Ocean Springs, but is rather called The Tin Shed.  Ignore everything below.

I do see where there is a Tin Shed Barbecue joint in Clinton, MS.  Does anyone know if there is a connection?  They also have a Facebook page.

While attending "Taco Monday" at El Torero the other day, I noticed construction a couple of suites down. It looked to be a barbecue joint.  A few days later, up pops the sign: The Shed.

The Shed BBQ and Blues Joint has become an institution in Ocean Springs of late.  Very popular down there.  Its popularity can likely be attributed to its eclectic atmosphere and location as much as its food.  Now, shoved into a strip mall, it must rely almost entirely on the quality of its food.

Here is their menu from Ocean Springs.  I've never eaten there. Anybody who has care to comment?

Latest Update on Closed Boat Ramps

1 A Boat by usmjacksonalum on Scribd

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Harbor Drive Lane Closures

Electronic Speed Control at the Rez Survey

Reservoir Police Department is gearing up for the legislative session and its annual request for electronic speed control devices.  Part of their lobbying arsenal will be results from a survey of

Here is a post from Reservoir Police Chief Perry Waggener:

I have been with the Reservoir Patrol/Police for 13 years and during that time and in my 27 years with Metro area Law Enforcement I have seen far to many automobile crashes in which the speed of the vehicle either caused directly or contributed significantly to the injuries and sometimes death. This agency has requested the authority to use electronic speed control devices for at least the past thirteen years with no success.
We once again will seek that traffic control tool this year. One might ask, why continue the effort. The answer is easy for me and has only strengthened my resolve. I was at the scene in May when Taylor Hartwell was removed from his car seat, strapped to a backboard for his ride to Blair E. Batson. I have followed his progress as he has had to learn to walk again after a traumatic head injury. The speed of the vehicle that struck the Hartwell's vehicle was a major contributing factor to the severity of his injuries. That is my motivation, the health and safety of the people of the Reservoir.
One final note for your consideration, a popular argument in fighting against electronic speed control is it will be used as a revenue tool. Please know the Reservoir Police Department is a state agency and as such, we derive no fine money revenue. All citations written by state agencies go through the Justice Court in which the violation occurred and any revenue goes into that county's general fund.
Your time in a response is greatly appreciated.

That came from the Rez Patrol Facebook Page.

Here is a link to the survey.

Friday, November 11, 2016

More on the Fannye Cook Natural Park

Here is a story from the Jackson Free Press on the Fannye Cook Natural Park purchase. It provides more details.

PRVWSD Directors and Committee Meetings

The next regular meeting of the PRVWSD Board of Directors is Thursday, November 17, 2016.  Thin agendas. I've posted the Shoreline and Parks Committee Agendas below.

Monday, November 14, 2016 3:30 p.m.

1. Approval of minutes of October 17, 2016 meeting.

2. Property Maintenance Report for October/November 2016

3. Bid results and award of purchase of trackhoe and vacuum sewer machine.

4. Executive Session: Discussion of current litigation and potential future litigation.

Thursday, November 17, 2016 9:00 a.m.

1. Approval of minutes of October 17, 2016 meeting.

2. Approval of permission to advertise for construction bids for Lakeshore Park Multi-Purpose Trail Improvement Project.

3. Approval of MOU with MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks concerning the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Boat Ramp Closures

Jaco's Tacos at the Rez (again)

I speak kind words about Jaco's Tacos and the next thing you know . . . .

Coming to the gas station being built across Lakeland from Mill Creek Subdivision.  This is truly a Numbers 6:24-26 moment.  

S/O to the River Catching Angel.

Sombra in Flowood is Now Open

There is a ribbon cutting for Sombra Mexican Kitchen today at 10:45.  Sombra took over the old Cheddar's location at 111 Market Street in the Dogwood Shopping Center.  If you haven't eaten at the Sombra in Madison/Ridgeland, give it a try with an open mind.  Like Jaco's Taco's, it's not your run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurant (caveat: in my opinion).

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Election Results

The long and short is Rankin County turned out for the Republican ticket again.  61,983 total votes were cast in Rankin County on November 8, 2016. That includes absentee votes, but not affidavit votes.

Surprisingly, that number is down from 2012 general election numbers.  In 2012, 64,433 total votes were cast. That includes 563 affidavit votes. In 2016, 1,267 more absentee ballots were cast.

2016 total votes for GOP nominee = 46,168
2012 total votes for GOP nominee = 48,444

2016 total votes for DEM nominee = 13,741
2012 total votes for DEM nominee = 14,988

6,041 more people cast a vote for Congressman Harper in 2012 than they did in 2016. Note: There was no Democratic nominee for congress in 2012.

Eric Baldwin remains Election Commissioner for District 4.  He survived a tough battle with Patty Hodges.  Eric pulled 52% of the vote.  He survived a similar battle 4 years ago against Shelton McKay. Eric got 56% of the vote in 2012.

Dean Scott is likely the new Election Commissioner for District 1.  In the closest battle in the County, he pulled 4,834 votes to Brian Baughman's 4,682 votes.

John McLaurin remains Chancellor, pulling 76% of the vote.

In the Mississippi Supreme Court race, Kenny Griffis won Rankin County, but lost the District-wide race to incumbent Justice Jim Kitchens. Kitchens pulled 27,857 votes (47.55% of the vote) to Griffis' 30,620 votes (52.26% of the vote).

It appears Ed Hannan will enter a run-off with Jack Wilson for the Court of Appeals.  Wilson won Rankin County with 27,246 votes, while Hannan garnered 20,879 votes. If there is a run-off in this race, it will be the only run-off in Rankin County.  That vote will take place on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

The individual precinct with the most votes = East Crossgates, narrowly beating out Castlewoods West 2,462 to 2,428 votes.

The individual precinct with the least votes = Mayton with 171 total votes.

2012 Precinct level results
2016 Precinct level results
2012 General results
2016 General results

Friday, November 4, 2016

Corporate Election Prayer

From Lakeside Pres:

Lakeside Church invites the community to a time or prayer from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. on Sunday, November 6, in the Lakeside sanctuary.  Elders and community leaders will lead us as we pray for voters, for candidates, for local government, for families, for civil servants, for disaster victims, for educators and for repentance.  Come join us for a time of prayer and worship leading up to this historic election.  We will provide child care and pizza for the children.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Fannye Cook Natural Area

The Fannye Cook Natural Area is slated to open in the Spring of 2017.  Wednesday, Wildlife Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Transportation held a dedication ceremony at the site. It looks like a large portion of that area along the Pearl River between Spillway and Lakeland Drive.

From the Wildlife Mississippi Facebook page:

Wildlife Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration unveiled plans today for Mississippi’s largest urban natural area. The 2,700-acre site along the Pearl River in Flowood was named for Fannye Cook, a pioneer conservationist and scientist in Mississippi. She was the driving force behind the creation of the Mississippi Game and Fish Commission (now called the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks) and the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.

"We greatly appreciate the confidence that the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration have placed in Wildlife Mississippi to not only be the stewards of this wonderful property but to provide outdoor recreation opportunities to generations of Mississippians to come," said George Walker III, president of Wildlife Mississippi. "And it is especially fitting that this area be named after Ms. Fannye Cook, the pioneer of wildlife conservation in Mississippi.”

“We believe that the best way to honor Fannye Cook is by following her example,” said Libby Hartfield, Wildlife Mississippi’s Fannye Cook Natural Area Coordinator. “She believed that Mississippians needed access to natural habitats and the wildlife they support so they would come to respect and cherish nature’s gifts that we all inherit. This property has the incredible advantage of being accessible to more than 800,000 people within an hour’s drive.”

MSNewsNow story (including video).

Want to know more about Ms. Fannye Cook, click here.

Arts and Crafts Show Approaches

Not this weekend, but next.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Job Opening at Lakeside Pres

Job Title:  Church Administrator.  It's full-time and comes with medical.

This job requires someone with excellent computer and organizational skills, preferably someone who has familiarity with desktop publishing and design. Lakeside already employs an administrator tasked with financial responsibilities, so finances will not be part of this job. Applicants should have the ability to manage multiple social media accounts as part of the overall communication efforts of Lakeside. This position will require someone who is very organized and can juggle multiple projects. This person will be responsible for keeping membership records, maintaining church calendars, and managing church communications, such as weekly emails, monthly news letters and managing website content. A more robust list of administrative duties is listed below. This position will require 29 hours a week. We will consider full time employment for the right candidate.

This is the Good Stuff

Walt Grayson tells us the story of Becca Blair:

RANKIN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - They come in all ages. This one happens to be nine-years-old. And she’s done something all out of proportion to her age. She has started a recycling program in her neighborhood and it has not only caught on, but is spreading to other areas.
Becca Blair is making her usual Monday rounds through the Saddle Wood neighborhood near the Reservoir, picking up full bags of recyclables and leaving empty bags to be picked up next week. Keep the Reservoir Beautiful gladly supplies the bags.
  *  *  *
Being an industrious youngster, Becca made up a flier telling neighbors that if they wanted to recycle, she would come around and pick up every week and keep them supplied with fresh bags.
So now she’s up to about 30 or so neighbors on her recycle bandwagon; so many that she graduated from collecting on a four-wheeler to her grandmother helping out with her pickup truck.
They take their collection to the recycling bin at the Reservoir Fire Station. And by the way, this bin is open to the public, not just Becca and her grandmother.
I encourage you to read the entire story at WLBT.  Here is a link .

Timberlake Campground Expansion

Below is the picture taken at the ribbon cutting for the Timberlake Campground expansion.  The pads are nice. I encourage you to head out there and see it for yourself.

Chairman of the Board, Jack Winstead wields the big scissors.

Picnic in the Park

Another outstanding event in Flowood!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Electronic Recycling Day Coming Up

Sample Ballot

Below is the sample ballot for next Tuesday's election.

Rankin County is poised to play an important role in the appellate court elections. On a personal note, I can recommend a vote for Judge Ed Hannan for Mississippi Court of Appeals.  Experience should be an important consideration when determining appellate judges; especially so for those of us who practice law for a living. Judge Hannan's experience -- from trial, to judicial, to life -- overshadows his opponents. We have the opportunity to elect someone imminently qualified in all respects to the Court of Appeals. If you have no dog in the hunt, please consider casting your ballot for Judge Ed Hannan.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

No Shortage of Things to Do This Weekend

It begins tonight with the Rankin County Glow Run, or the Purple Dress Run at Hal and Mal's, or Nobel Prize winner, Bob Dylan, or candy at Trunk or Treat in Ridgeland.

Tomorrow you can watch a professional golf tournament at the Country Club of Jackson, or Boo at the Zoo, or Park After Dark (at the Natural Science Museum and Children's Museum), or the Pumpkin Adventure at the Ag Museum.

Saturday is Homecoming at JSU and Southern Miss. The Sanderson Farm's Championship continues. Treat Street and Movie at the Township in Ridgeland.  Boo at the Zoo is back for round two.  The City of Brandon hosts their Trunk or Treat.  There is still time to make Mitchell Farms.

Trick or Treat Monday

A few readers have asked whether the County will move door-to-door trick or treating to the evening of Saturday, October 29, rather than Monday, October 31, 2016.  Short answer is "no".

The County and its various municipalities do not set alternate dates for trick-or-treating. Your respective neighborhood associations wield a different power in that regard, and they may recommend an alternate date.  This has occurred in the past, but not this year.

My neighborhood (Mill Creek) is trick-or-treating on Monday evening. Avalon, Hidden Hills, Farmington Station, Castlewoods, etc., all Monday night. I've heard of no neighborhood that is changing that line up.

Don't forget about your Rez area alternative: the City of Flowood hosts it's big Kids Night Out on Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Liberty Park (behind the Flowood YMCA).

If your church will also have an alternative that night, let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Big Deal Color Run in Flowood

The Youth at St. Paul's Catholic Church host the Big Deal Color Run in Flowood on Thursday, November 3, 2016. It's only $25 if you register before race day. The money raised goes to a great charity (Palmer Home for Kids).  Local superstar, Rob Oates and his company, Sisu, is providing the race timing.

Go to this website to register.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Another Update on the Rez Dog Park

Six days ago, I gave you an update on the Rez Dog Park.  I have another.  Since October 19, Beneful has donated an additional $3190 in matching funds related to recent donations.  This is through their Dream Dog Park Effect.  Momentum continues.

Veterans Day Ceremony

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Mustard Seed Needs Your Help

Here is another way to do a bunch of good in your community:

The Mustard Seed is about to build a residence home for the boys, and performing other enhancements to their campus.  As part of that, they are having sod being delivered sometime this evening.  Without going into too many details, the sod is being delivered all at once, rather than on different days.  This is where the urgency lies.  They will have nineteen pallets of sod to put out on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 7:00 am until dark.  They could use your help and muscles!

If you or anyone you know might be interested in helping out (even if for just 30 minutes) please contact Erin at erin@mustardseedinc.org.

Most of us have visited the campus at least once over the years, and understand how special of a ministry this organization services.  Please forward this on to any person or group you feel might wish to contribute.  If you have no experience laying sod, don’t fret.  It is an unskilled labor task that even I can do.  The Seedsters will be there providing drinks for us.  So, all a volunteer needs to bring is a pair of gloves.

Press Release from Keep The Rez Beautiful

Friday, October 21, 2016

Smokin on the Rez This Weekend!

Below is info from the Barnett Reservoir Foundation website:
The 4th annual Smokin’ on The Rez BBQ and Music Festival will be held Oct. 21-22 at Old Trace Park overlooking Barnett Reservoir in Ridgeland.
Visitors will enjoy the aroma of pork cooking over burning hardwood as pit-masters compete in the Memphis BBQ Network-sanctioned culinary contest.
On Friday night, admission is FREE.
On Saturday, the $10 admission to the event will include a BBQ plate of pulled pork and sides.  The BBQ plates will be served beginning at 12:00 p.m. Saturday until the supply is exhausted.   Saturday’s music begins at noon with Traveling Jane, followed by Chris Gill and the Soul Shakers.
The annual cornhole tournament will be held on Saturday afternoon. Registration begins at noon, with play beginning at 1pm. Entry is $40 per team. 1st place cash prize is 60% of the total tourney entry fees, plus a set of custom-built “Smokin’ on The Rez” cornhole boards. 2nd place prize is 40% of total entry fees.
A children’s area will be located in the grass area near the stage.
Beer, water and other beverages will be sold on site. No outside coolers will be allowed.Smokin’ on The Rez is made possible by the Foundation sponsors, including Southern Beverage, Academy Sports, IHeart Radio, plus a grant from Mississippi Tourism’s Visit Mississippi program.

Get Ready

Thursday, October 20, 2016

School Bus Accident on Lakeland Drive

There is an accident involving a short Rankin County School District bus at the intersection of Lakeland Drive and Luckney.  It appears a yellow mustang ran up under the rear of the bus. Traffic is backed up to Castlewoods as a result.  Consider using alternate routes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Update on the Rez Dog Park

Below is an update provided to me from a supporter of the proposed dog park at Old Trace Park.  The long as short of it is, every dollar you donate between now and November 15 will be doubled by Beneful:

With only three dog parks in the entire state and none anywhere near Jackson, your dogs are long overdue. The Ridgeland community has been hard at work to raise the funds needed to bring the first-ever dog park in Central Mississippi and Beneful, a Purina dog food company, took notice!
 To help bring the Dog Park At The Rez in Ridgeland, MS to life, the Beneful Dream Dog Park Project team has kicked off their GoFundMe campaign with $5,000 and will continue to match donations, dollar-for-dollar, up to an additional $5,000 now through 11/15. The dog-loving community has already secured the initial funding needed, and these are the final dollars they need to make their dog park dream a reality!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Treat Street and Glow Run

Last year, the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce combined a "trick-or-treat" type event for kids with their annual glow run. They called it "Treat Street and the Annual Glow Run".  The results were wildly positive. This year, they are expanding for the anticipated increase in crowds. It will be the place to be on the evening of Thursday, October 27, 2016.

It takes place at the Clyde Muse Center on Hinds County Community College-Rankin Campus in Pearl. It starts at 5 p.m. Arm bands are $5. Your children will get that much in candy, guaranteed.

At 6:30 p.m., the Glow Run starts in the parking lot. The course meanders through the Hinds CC campus until it reaches Highway 80, then goes through Pearl High School before coming back to the parking lot of the Muse Center.  The weather should be good for the race. There is a 5K race and a 1 miler for kids 12 and under.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

No Tomb of Doom

According to its website, there will be no Tomb of Doom this year.  This Madison County favorite fell victim to the elements.

Also, I can't find any info on the Lake Harbor Volunteer Fire Department Haunted House.  If anyone knows info, good or ill, let me know and I will post it.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fall Neighborhood Garage Sales

There are some Rez area neighborhood yard/garage sales tomorrow morning:  Hidden Hills, Farmington Station, to name a few. There is also a "Huge 3 Family Garage Sale" in Mill Creek.  If you know of

Thursday, October 13, 2016

RCSD Responds to Threat Against Brandon High

Rankin Countians in Most Influential Top 50

The Mississippi Top 50 is a new thing. It's brought to you by the Y'all Politics Blog and Supertalk Mississippi.  Capitol Resources and Tower Loan have a hand in sponsoring the event.  It was
created to recognize those that help, by virtue of their position and talent, move the conversation in Mississippi forward. Mississippi is graced with tremendous talent in government, the political sphere, business, media and culture.
This is an annual list of the people judged to be the most influential leaders in the state. This bipartisan selection of leaders comes from the ranks of local, state and federal elected and appointed officials; political leaders; government affairs professionals; public policy advocates; economic development professionals; business leaders; media professionals and other leaders. 
Thirty of the Top 50 are within the category of "Elected or Appointed Government Officials.  That list was released yesterday.  Of those thirty, four have Rankin County ties:  Governor Phil Bryant, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves, Congressman Gregg Harper, and State Rep. Andy Gipson.  

It's nice to have that kind of influence in Rankin County.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

PRVWSD Budget & Finance Committee Agenda


Monday, October 17, 2016 3:00 p.m.

1. Approval of minutes of June 13, 2016 meeting.

2. Approval of Pickering Engineering proposal for design engineering for the Lake Access Project for Boat Ramp South of Hwy 43 at Goshen Springs.

3. Approval of purchase of Police Records Management Software.

4. Approval of award of sewer system evaluation services contract to Suncoast Infrastructure in the amount of $166,514.00.

5. Approval of proposal by Headwaters, Inc. for monitoring eagle at Arbor Landing. (Greg Burgess)
6. Award of construction contract for Timberlake Lighting Improvements Project to Southern Electric Corporation of Mississippi.

7. Approval of Neel Schaffer’s proposal for construction engineering services for Timberlake Campground Lighting Project.

8. Discussion of water meter improvements program and approval of Southern Consultant’s proposal of engineering services related to purchase of water meter registers and permission to advertise for that purchase.

9. Approval to advertise for bids for a Trackhoe and Vacuum Sewer Machine.

PRVWSD Law Enforcement Committee Agenda


Monday, October 17, 2016 4:30 p.m.

1. Approval of minutes of February 16, 2016 meeting and record of September 8, 2016 email and telephone polling.

2. Consideration and discussion of Police Records Management Software.

3. Memorandum of Understanding between Reservoir Police, Ridgeland Police, Madison Police, Madison County Sherriff’s Office, and Flowood Police to create and maintain a network of license plate recognition cameras throughout the collective jurisdictions, to share data collected, and apply for grant funding as a unit to achieve this goal.

PRVWSD Parks Policy Committee Agenda


Monday, October 17, 2016 4:00 p.m.

1. Approval of minutes of September 12, 2016 meeting.

2. Approval of project closeout and Final Change Order for construction project with Southern Rock for the Timberlake Campground Expansion Project.

3. Request award of construction contract for Timberlake Lighting Improvements Project to the low bidder Southern Electric Corporation of Mississippi.

4. Approval of Neel Schaffer’s proposal for construction engineering services for the Timberlake Campground Lighting Improvements Project.

5. Approval of Pickering Engineering proposal for design engineering for the Lake Access Project for Boat Ramp South of Hwy 43 at Goshen Springs.

6. Approval of MOU with MS Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks concerning the Pearl River Wildlife Management Area.

Two Gun Tactical Groundbreaking

My earlier post on Two Gun Tactical's indoor firing range garnered much interest.  The Flowood Chamber is hosting a ground breaking for Two Gun Tactical this Friday at 667 Casey's Lane, Flowood, MS 39232 at 10:30 a.m. If you are curious, check it out.

PRVWSD Shoreline Development Committee Meeting Agenda


Monday, October 17, 2016 3:30 p.m.

1. Approval of minutes of September 12, 2016 meeting.

2. Property Maintenance Report for September/October 2016.

3. Approval of request to advertise for bids for:

    a. Trackhoe
    b. Vacuum sewer machine

4. Request award of sewer system evaluation services to Suncoast Infrastructure, Inc. in the amount of total base bid and additive alternate no. 1 in the amount of $166,514.00.

5. Resolution for grant application for resurfacing the upper lanes of the Bob Anthony Parkway/Spillway Road.

6. Approval of proposal of Headwaters, Inc. for monitoring eagle at Arbor Landing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sample Ballot

Below is the sample ballot for the November 8, 2016, election.  

Monday, October 10, 2016

House of the Haunted Fields

House of the Haunted Fields is up and running for Halloween.  The metro-area favorite at 2744 Fairchild Road, in Raymond, Mississippi, opened this past weekend.  From their Facebook page:

Horror in the woods of Raymond. This is a unique haunt like no other .You will be touring an antique haunted house followed by a dark , winding trail of terror on over two wooded acres. PG-13 is our suggested rating but we will leave the decision making up to parents.We will be posting Victim Cam photos as well as IR video so that you can tag your friends if you survive . Join us if you dare . Info on certain event nights will be listed under the "Events" tab. Tickets are $10 and include the house tour as well as the trail of terror.
Krad is here and he is waiting. Come to House of the Haunted Fields, 2744 Fairchilds Rd. in Raymond. This is a unique haunt you do not want to miss. The ticket booth opens Friday & Saturday at 7pm. We will be open Halloween night as well. Over two acres of terror await you if you first survive the house. We are waiting for you. Bring your friends and wear depends. See you there.

Here is the blog.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Assisted Living Facility Coming to Lake Vista Way

Remember the battles over the proposed construction of a storage facility off of Lake Vista Way behind Regatta?  Refresh here, here, here, here, and here.

Word on the street is the developer is seeking to build an assisted living home for the elderly, which may be in line with present zoning.  That would fit more in line with the existing neighborhoods (i.e., the Villas, Fred's, MEA).

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Door-to-Door Trick-or-Treating Alternatives

Clown sightings have you creeped out?  Still need that sugar fix?  You have alternatives. Here are a few:

 - St, Peter's By The Lake on Spillway Road is having a Jack O Lantern Jam on the evening of Sunday, October 30, 2016.  Food, games, music, hayride, dancing, storytelling, costume contest, indoor treating, etc.  It's from 4 to 8 p.m.

 - St. Mark’s UMC hosts their Fall Fest on Sunday, October 30, 3-5 p.m., in the Christian Life Center. Inflatables, games, cake walk, snacks, trunk-or-treat, costume parade, Toddler Town. Admission is a bag of candy.

 - Lakeland Presbyterian Church celebrates the Reformation on Sunday, October 30, 2016, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the family life center.  Candy, inflatables, cake walks, games, medieval costumes, etc. 

 - City of Flowood's Kid's Night Out is the evening of October 31, 2016, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.  The City of Flowood’s Parks & Recreation Department hosts this FREE family event every year, drawing kids of every age to Liberty Park on Halloween night.  This event brings the best of the holiday to a well-lighted, well- organized venue.
Everyone at The City plays a part; The Chamber of Flowood, the Fire and Police Departments and many others give time and material to make this event a lot of fun every fall.
Lots of food and drink vendors will be on site.  Regular attractions at Kids Night Out will be Space Jumps, Kid’s Petting Zoo, Kid’s Karaoke, Games and more!
So get the whole family in costume and come on out!

Treat Street, put on by the Rankin County Chamber of Commerce, is Thursday, October 27, 2016, at the Muse Center on Hinds Community College Rankin Campus.  Rankin Businesses sponsor treat stations for all the kids to visit.  Widely popular last year.  Arm bands for the kids are $5.  Get there early.

The City of Brandon hosts their Trunk or Treat on Saturday, October 29, 2016, at Shiloh Park, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Calling all gobblins, witches, superheros and more! Join the Brandon Police Department for their 3rd annual Trunk or Treat! They will have space jumps, face painting, games and more! Backyard Burgers and Kona Ice will be onsite. There will also be a trunk prize for the most creative trunk! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Announcements from St. Marks UMC

From St. Mark's United Methodist Church:

St. Mark’s, at 400 Grant’s Ferry Road in Brandon, is offering 2 special seminars to give hope to those who are approaching the holidays with a sense of loss and loneliness.  Griefshare: Surviving the Holidays, for those grieving the death of a loved one, will meet Sunday, November 6th from 1:45-3:45, and DivorceCare: Surviving the Holidays, for those going through separation or divorce, will meet Sunday, November 6th from 4:00-6:00.  Participants will view a video and take part in small group discussion. There is a $5 fee which covers the cost of the workbook. For more information or to register, go to saintmarksum.org or call 601-992-2131.

Indoor Shooting Range Coming to Flowood

Two Gun Tactical is bringing a 25 yard indoor shooting range into the city limits of Flowood.  The "Coming Soon" sign is on Flowood Drive near Crystal Lake.  The address for the range will be 667 Casey's Lane. It looks like it will be right on the east corner of Flowood Drive and Casey's Lane.

An architectural rendering (replete with Star Trek models) is on the Facebook page link below.

Annual memberships are estimated to cost $300.

Facebook Page for updates.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Burn Ban in Effect

Rankin County Board of Supervisors issued a Burn Ban for all unincorporated parts of the County effective immediately.  The Ban will run for 30 days unless sooner terminated by the Board.

Mississippi State Fair

The Mississippi State Fair begins October 5 and ends October 16.  Trustmark Bank sells discounted tickets, but only until this Wednesday.  You can purchase 6 admission tickets for $18 (normally, they are $5 a piece). Parking is $5 a car within the fairgrounds. Children 5 and under are free.

The $25 all-you-can-rides are Friday, October 7 and 14, from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The $27 all-you-can-rides are October 10, 11, 12 and 16th.  Those last until about 10 p.m.

"Family Days" are designated as October 11 and 12th.

Look out for Tone Tone the Clown.

Travis Tritt plays opening night (Wendesday the 5th at 7:30 p.m.) (his best song is a Waylon Jennings cover).

The Rez's own Luckenbach plays Friday at 8 p.m. on the Budweiser Stage.

Jesse Robinson plays Saturday night at 8 p.m. on the Bud Stage.

Boyz II Men on Tuesday the 11th at 7:30 p.m. on the Bud Stage.

American Authors are Thursday, October 13th at 7:30 p.m. on the Bud Stage (who can't get this song out of your head).

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Articles in the Weekly Reader

Here are the Rez-centric stories from the latest Weekly Reader (Rankin County News):

 - Voter registration deadline nears for November 8 general election.  The deadline is noon on October 8!  Absentee voting is going on now.

 - Groups lining up for Flowood Kids Night Out.  It's the Halloween alternative put on by the City of Flowood at Liberty Park.  Seventeen years strong.

 - Fourth annual Smokin' on The Rez set Oct. 21-22.

 - Cougars lose 29-21 to Warren Central.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Update on Recycling and Church Road

Supervisor Cross just told me that the new recycling bins at the Northshore Fire Station are up and running.  Now, the residents on the Northshore don't have to travel all the way to the Spillway Fire Station to drop off their recyclable goods.

He also gave me an update on the roadwork on Church Road. The County has or will soon replace all the culverts on Church Road. The County will also widen the shoulders of the road and remove some trees.  Eventually, the road will be milled and repaved.

More Convenience Stores on Old Fannin Road

A conditional use variance was granted to a developer for a convenience store on Old Fannin Road near Jack's Crossing.

The Board of Supervisors is not done. Another request for a conditional use permit for a convenience store has been requested for the empty lot on Old Fannin Road where fireworks are sold (across from Spann Road).  The public hearing on this request is October 3, 2016, at 9 a.m. at the Board of Supervisors.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rankin County Red Carpet Gala

The Rankin County Chamber of Commerce and Hometown Mississippi Magazines will team up for the Best of the Best Red Carpet Gala.  Go to this link, take a survey and rank your favorites in Rankin County.  Categories include best steak, best chiropractor, and best children's boutique.  So, where is the category for best attorney?  Seriously though.  ;-)

Woofstock Music Festival

From the Barnett Reservoir Foundation webpage:

It is almost time for WoofStock Music Festival at the Old Trace Park on the REZ -10/15. October is a great month to get out with your friends and dogs to enjoy the best of local talent that our area offers! We will be supporting Animal Shelters/Rescues and the first Public Dog Park which will be in this location very soon with your help!
WOOFSTOCK Pit Crew Grill will be open all day. Park opens at 9:30 for set up. Gates open to public 10:00
Vendor info is available. Retail Vendors welcome and Donation Reserves Preferred Site.
***Entry Donations go to Completing the first Public Dog Park @ the REZ.***
Walk ins: $2.00 Adult- $1.00 Child - VIP Parking- $10.00 (Unlimited Entry Fee) Lakeside Parking; $10.00 Cooler Donation Charge
11:30 Chris Gill
12.30 The Hustlers
1:30 Hunter Gibson Trio
2:30 The Earth Angels
3:30 Shadz of Grey
4:30 The Alley Katz JAM SESSION
Family friendly event with pets on leashes. No Alcohol allowed in Old Trace Park.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Whataburger is Coming Up

The Flowood Whataburger is under construction directly across Old Fannin Road from the Kroger at Dogwood.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Health & Wellness Expo Today!


Here is the Facebook page for the new Taste Bistro and Desserts that opened where Cassata's Market and BBQ used to be (next to Fannin Mart). Here is the message from the owner:

To all of my loyal customers over the years with Lit'l Gourmet, my restaurant and catering business in downtown Jackson and Candy's Confections, I hope to continue to earn your business and that of your friends and families with this new venture! Thank you!!

Apparently, Taste is already winning awards:

I'm VERY excited to say that my soon to be open establishment, TASTE Bistro and Desserts won the Best Of Dessert category at the Fire & Ice, A Hot Night Out For a Cool Cause event! Such a great cause and I'm so thankful for all of the positive comments and votes!!! I couldn't have done it without my sister, the Baker Extraordinaire, Kim Schoeber Niskala, and my Mamma, Mae Wigley Schoeber the hawker and sales phenom! You don't try our dessert, she'll hunt you down!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SWAT Raid in Farmington Station

Monday morning, Farmington Station residents woke up to a police raid on two houses near or on the corner of Ashton Drive and Huntington Drive.  The raid, involving ATF and Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics officers, occurred at 5:45 a.m.  According to pictures on WAPT's website, it looked brutal.

WAPT story, with pictures, including the damage to 126 Ashton Drive, here.

According to this Clarion Ledger article, the raid was part of a larger operation. Another house in Gluckstadt was raided, as were properties in Hinds County.  It appears to be a large scale drug ring.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Something Is For Sale

Sorry, bad picture, but if you squint, you can see the auction sign.  The auction sign is on Castlewoods Boulevard near the Blockbuster Video parking lot.  I assumed it was advertising for sale the strip mall; however, an astute commentor pointed out it's actually the property behind Donut Palace that is for auction.  According to the Tax Assessor's records, that parcel is owned by Winn-Dixie Properties, LLC. 

The sign reads:

Hilco Real Estate 855-755-2300

PRVWSD Board Minutes from August 2016

Below are the PRVWSD minutes from the August 2016 Board of Directors Meeting.  Highlights include:

 - The District now uses new "campground operational software" for its five campgrounds.

 - Changes were made to the recreational facilities rules to separate out the campgrounds.  I'll see if I can get a copy of those changes.

 - Timberlake Campground will be getting new lighting soon.

 - The plat for Lost Rabbit Phase B1 was approved.

 - John Burwell of the Main Harbor Development met with the Board and updated them on the progress.  Per the minutes, "the development had experienced some significant interest recently from some impressive parties, but nothing he could divulge at this time."

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Outdoorama on the Rez

Outdoorama on the Rez

September 24, 2016

Where: Turcotte Education Center
            Canton, MS
When:  September 24, 2016
Time:   8:00 am - 1:00 pm

In celebration of national hunting and fishing day, join us for a FREE day of fishing, clay and skeet shooting, kayaking, archery, and live animals. While you're there you can watch an electrofishing demonstration, learn how to reload shells, tie flies, and learn fly fishing techniques. Our goal is to get kids and anyone else interested in the outdoors to step outside for a hands-on experience with the tools and concepts of hunting and fishing.