Friday, January 29, 2016

Saturday Nite Sessions

Tomorrow evening is another episode of Community Calendar on EZ FM 87.7, featuring Yours Truly. If you are not listening to EZ 87.7 FM on a daily basis, go to their website and click the "Listen Now" icon.  I come on at 7:30 p.m. during the Saturday Nite Sessions with Gearshift Gary radio program.  Riveting, though informative.

Update on Crafts Fest in Flowood

From Greg Wilcox, Director of the Parks and Recreation at the City of Flowood:

Attention Arts & Crafters, the City of Flowood "Parks and Recreation Department" is shaking things up this year. We are moving the annual Arts & Crafts Fair to Liberty Park (behind Flowood YMCA), to be held during the Flowood Family Festival on May 21st!!! This Major event draws thousands of spectators each year for a "Free" Concert and children's activities. If you have handmade items to sell, you will want to get in line to enter this event at an (early bird) special price of $50.00 booth space. If interested, please contact us soon at 601-992-4440 or email at either or

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Rez Icon, Bert Case Passes Away

His employer, WAPT reports. Sad, sad news. Please lift his family up in prayer.

Basic Differences Between Dying With a Will and Dying Without

One of the principal features of my law practice is estate law, particularly probating the estate of a decedent.  Odd as it may sound, death is an aspect of life, and dealing with the entanglements of our loved one’s property following their death is something we will all likely experience.  Questions – good questions – arise from my clients in probate proceedings more often than any other aspect of my practice.  I believe that is the result of the probate laws being so specialized, which creates confusion and uncertainty for those unfamiliar with the idiosyncrasies of the law.

Because probate is so common, and because I have specialized knowledge in the subject, I’ve decided to supplement The Rez News with short – but hopefully helpful – posts explaining certain aspects of the probate procedure.

I begin with a primer on the differences between dying with a Will and dying without.

Zoning and Planning Survey

One more time. If you haven't taken the (short) time to complete this survey, please do now. Central Mississippi Planning and Development District is an agency independent from the County. They will give your comments fair treatment and consideration. There is a section of the survey that will allow you to have your say.

Attn Rankin County Residents:Rankin County Seeks Public InputThe Rankin County Board of Supervisors is working with the Central Mississippi Planning and Development District (CMPDD) on an update of the county’s Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance. In order to assist CMPDD planners and county leaders in developing this plan, we are asking citizens to complete a brief online survey. Your input and comments will be a valuable part of this process. Please visit: to take the survey. You may also access the survey from the County’s website,

Fashion Designers! Project Rezway Approaches!

Project Rezway is approaching! Below is information for potential designers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Flowood Retail/Entertainment Center Info

MS Business Journal has an interesting article about a tax-incentive extension given to a Louisiana developer who plans to develop a retail center on Jackson Airport land in Flowood.

         Flowood retail center gets extra time to qualify for sales tax rebates
A Louisiana real estate developer has received a four-year extension to qualify for $48.7 million in Mississippi sales tax rebates by completing a retail center on Lakeland Drive in Flowood.
The rebate for the $165 million Pinelands Lifestyle Center would come from a defunct state incentives program for new retail centers that offered Mississippi-themed amenities. Legislators declined to renew the retail incentives in the 2014 session and let them expire on June 30 of that year. Pinelands Center developer Freedom Real Estate Investors, however, received a certificate earlier that month for the $48.7 million in rebates administered by the Mississippi Development Authority.
The catch was that Freedom Real Estate would have 24 months to complete the Pinelands Center planned for 130 acres owned by Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. Freedom principal Ron Harvey Jr. of Slidell, La., did not gain a lease approval from the Airport Authority until mid December 2015.
With a tentative lease agreement in hand, Harvey persuaded MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough Jr.  to give him four more years to complete the retail project. “This project did receive an extension for 48 months from the original expiration date on the certificate. That extends the project to June 2020,” MDA spokesman Jeff Rent said. “The extension was granted on Jan. 11, 2016.”
Read the entire article here. This Pinelands Lifestyle Center was supposed to go at the corner of Lakeland and Hugh Ward, I thought.

2016 Elections

In 2016, the voters of Rankin County will elect a Congressman, Chancery Judge, Supreme Court Judge, Court of Appeals Judge, County Election Commissioners, certain Rankin County School Board Members, and President of the United States.

Qualification for Congressman already terminated. Congressman Harper has nominal opposition. The qualifying deadline for judicial positions is ongoing. Incumbent Chancery Judge John McLaurin already has a challenger, Jim Nix, who ran unsuccessfully for the open seat last year.  Court of Appeals Judge Kenny Griffis will challenge Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens.

The qualifying deadline for Election Commissioners won't take place until June 6.  School Board qualifying is September 9. School Districts 1 and 2 will be voted on this year.  That is David Dyess and Kym Jamison.

Continue Praying for Bert

Here is a screen shot of Barbie Bassett's Facebook post on Bert Case. Bert is a Rezident, and frequent champion of all things Rez, Lift him, and his family, up in prayer.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Clarion Ledger Article on the Lakeland Lane Shift

Anna Wolfe with the Clarion Ledger wrote an article about the lane shift on Lakeland Drive.

Mississippi Department of Transportation’s latest detour for their Lakeland Drive expansion project is putting locals on edge.
Be careful when taking the detour. The speed limit is 35 mph.
Flowood Public Works Director Gary Miller said. “I know it definitely doesn’t look that safe, but I’m not going to question MDOT’s decision on the way this is designed.”

According to MDOT, it will be temporary as work is being done to the bridge.

Flowood Mayor Gary Rhoads said that if this were the city’s project, they would likely look into alternative methods, like adding a cement Jersey barrier to the shoulder. The area surrounding the road itself, just a few feet of dirt, presents limitations, though.
“The problem is you don’t have much shoulder, and then it’s kind of like looking off the Grand Canyon,” Rhoads said.

Rankin County GOP Social Club

The Rankin County Republican Social Club will meet for an after-hours social on Thursday, January 28, 2016, at Soulshine Pizza in Flowood. All are invited. Annual dues are $25, which pays for the food at its various gatherings.

Rezzy Award Nominations Accepted

From the Keep the Rez Beautiful Facebook Page:
Nominations for Keep the Rez Beautiful Rezzy Awards are now open. You have until March 15, 2016 to nominate someone in one of the categories whose achievements you feel deserve recognition. An awards committee will then select the winners in each of the categories. These awards are given out at KRB’s Project Rezway gala on April 14th. You may submit your nominations to The information needed for submission is; Nominator’s name, e-mail and contact phone number, Nominee’s name, e-mail and contact phone number, and a short bio (300-400) words on why you feel your nominee deserves recognition. Help us recognize deserving individuals or organizations in each of the categories.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Painting Lessons

If you can't read the below post, Mike Levanway, a local artist, will be offering painting lessons in February. Contact him at 601.951.7749, or, for more info.

Lane Shift on Lakeland Drive

MDOT releases the following statement concerning the roadwork on Lakeland Drive:

The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) began shifting traffic in the northbound lanes of Mississippi 25 (Lakeland Drive) from Airport Road to Old Fannin Road approximately seven feet to the right for lane expansion.
Traffic will also be detoured for the demolition of the bridge just north of Flowood Drive. Drivers are asked to use caution as MDOT crews and contractors will be on site during the traffic shift.

Update On Dog Park - Donations Needed

We have a Facebook update from the group spearheading the dog park at Old Trace Park in Ridgeland:

Dog Park Update:
There have been some great things happening for the Dog Park at the Rez. First of all I met with a very interested donator on Thursday. They wanted to tour the dog park area. They are talking about donating a substantial amount toward the construction of the dog park. They are still talking to their corporate office. Hopefully we will know soon and I can tell you about them and you can go to their stores and support them. I have always supported businesses that have supported causes that I have loved and I know you all will do the same thing. That I believe is the American way.
We are also preparing to roll out the engraved/memorial brick fundraising opportunity. We will have a special low price until June 30 for anyone wanting to buy a brick to memorialize the loss of a beloved pet or to commemorate an occasion. The first bricks sold will be laid in the unleash area of the dog park which will be called "Founders Square".
Below is an example of the brick.
Please invite your friends and family to donate either at the Gofundme, through the purchase of these engraved bricks.
Currently we have 10% of what is needed to build the Old Trace Dog Park and we need to show the corporate donators that there really is community support for this project. The Barnett Reservoir Foundation and the core organizers of The Dog Park at the Rez Group are working diligently to raise the funds for construction for this dog park to be built in 2016. There are 753 members in this Facebook page and if each person donated $40 this dog park would be a reality within months.

The GoFundMe page can be found here. As of this writing, the folks putting their hard work into making this happen have raised $1,627 of the $10,000.00 goal.

Friday, January 22, 2016

New Baseball Stadium at NWR Coming Along

(Photo from the NWR Twitter Page).

Ground work began for the new baseball stadium at Northwest Rankin.  From the NWR Baseball Facebook Page:

January 20, 2016, at 7:58 p.m.The foundation has started for the stadium project. No turning back. Should have this work done in a month, then the bleacher co. will come in.‪#‎RELENTLESSINOURPURSUIT‬

To see the architectural renderings of the future stadium, go to NWR Baseball Webpage.

You can still contribute.

Random January Happenings

Plenty of things coming up to round out the last 10 days of the month:

Monster X Truck Jam begins tonight at the Coliseum in Jackson.
Magnolia Classic Dodgeball Tournament, January 23, benefiting Joni and Friends Retreat.
The Mississippi Farmer's Market will be open on January 23 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for all your Winter veggies.
The new exhibit at the Musuem of Natural Science, Tiny Titans: Dinosaur Eggs and Babies, opens Saturday.
Flowood Chamber presents their Top of the Community Awards/Winter Gathering on January 26.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf opens at New Stage on January 26.
The Mississippi Press Association is roasting our Congressman, Gregg Harper, on January 28.
Deer Season ends in our neck of the wood on January 31.
$25 Spay and Neutering for your cat is ongoing at The Big Fix Clinic in Pearl.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

2014 Article about the Pinelands.

The City of Jackson Medger Evers Airport-Harkins Senate Bill hullabaloo on Jackson Jambalaya brought up this oldie but goodie. Remember when the Pinelands was going to be a shopping/ entertainment mecca?

A second phase of Renaissance has always been planned, but Pinelands would be an entirely new shopping center, spearheaded by Ron Harvey, who leads Freedom Real Estate of Slidell, Louisiana. He told MDA he plans to buy property facing busy Lakeland Boulevard in Flowood from property owners who developed the Pinelands residential subdivisions and construct 750,000 square feet of space, including stores, theaters and a hotel.
It's unclear if Flowood, which hosts four large shopping centers flanking the corners of Lakeland Boulevard and Old Fannin Road, could support so much additional development. The application approved by MDA shows a $162.5 million investment, which would be eligible for up to $48.8 million in sales tax breaks.
AP article from July 14, 2014.

Prior Jackson Jambalaya post, with comments, about said article.

Local Man Convicted of Gratification of Lust

Castlewoods resident somehow thinks he'd have a better chance by skipping his trial.

Here is the press release from the District Attorney:
Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Marcus Ethan Garrett was convicted by a jury of gratification of lust involving a twelve year old child. Garrett failed to appear for his trial and was tried in his absence. Garrett is currently set to be sentenced on Monday in front of Judge Ratcliff, but sentencing may be continued if Garrett has not been arrested and returned to custody. Any sentence imposed will be served in its entirety without the possibility of probation, parole, or early release and upon release from custody Garrett must register as sexual offender. 

Benches at Turtle Point Nature Area and Walking Trail

Community work continues at the Turtle Point Nature Area thanks in large part to the efforts of Keep the Rez Beautiful. Recently, five benches were installed at the walking trail. A portion of the money to purchase and install these benches came from a donation from a team of county leaders through the Rankin Leadership Program. Peruse the KRB Facebook page for photos of the benches in action.

That little spit of land has come a long way.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Museum to Market Trail Moving Forward

The proposed Museum to Market Trail is expected to connect the MS Ag Museum on Lakeland Drive to the Farmer's Market at the State Fairgrounds, Along the way, the trail will connect to the Sports Hall of Fame, LeFleur's Bluff State Park, Children's Museum and Natural Science Museums. It follows, in part, the old GM & O Railroad line through Jackson, thus making it the first "rails to trails" project in the metro area.

Find out more info at the Jackson Trailblazer's website, or Team JXN website, or Museum to Market Facebook Page, or this old post from the Jackson Obscura Blog.

JARC Charity Ball Coming Up

The Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County will hold their annual Charity Ball Saturday, February 27, 2016, at McClain Lodge. This organization does a lot of good for Rankin County. Consider attending!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Road Manager Wanted

Dale Westbrook is stepping down as Road Manager for Rankin County.  Job's open if you have an interest.  As posted on the County's website:

COUNTY ROAD MANAGER                                                    Entry Salary: $90K


The Rankin County Road Manager leads and manages the activities, projects and operations of the Road & Bridge Department including construction, maintenance and repair of gravel and paved roads, and of bridges, structures, culverts and other drainage facilities.  The Manager is an at-will, exempt Department Head appointed by the Board of Supervisors and reporting to the Board of Supervisors.

Examples of Duties:

Amerigo Flowood is Now Open

Enjoy!  Take a look at the menu. Best early bird around (4 pm to 6 pm).  If you bring your children for the early bird, it's cheaper, healthier, and tastier than a happy meal.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Flowood Chamber Winter Gathering

Information on nominating award winners and purchasing tickets below the jump:

Amerigo is Close

Market Street Flowood posted the below picture on their Facebook and Twitter accounts:

BTW, Amerigo is hiring all positions.  If interested, go apply in person between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Justice Court Program

The Rankin County Justice Court implemented a new program to allow those in contempt for failure to pay fines to avoid jail time.  Details below:

Dr. Townsend Era Begins

New Superintendent of Education for the Rankin County School District, Sue Townsend, made new hires on her first week. Brandon High Principal Buddy Bailey joins her staff in the newly created position of Assistant Superintendent in charge of high school curriculum. Tanya Crain will be the Assistant Superintendent in charge of elementary curriculum. Kristen Windham was brought in as Director of Public Relations.  Dr. Townsend was also named to the Hinds Community College Board of Trustees, replacing Dr. Lynn Weathersby.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

House Fire Victims Could Use a Little Help

It's reasons like this you should never lose faith in humanity.

From Facebook:
Requesting help friends-We had a family in our NWR school zone lose their home this morning to a house fire. The two sisters live together and have 8 children collectively. Very sad situation. We are helping to clothe them. Please check your closets and help this family. We all have excess! Please bring donations to either City Hall (see Kay Shelton) or to the Flowood Chamber office. Thank you in advance.

Kudos to the Rez FD

The Reservoir Fire Department has an active Facebook account, with plenty of interesting content. You may want to give them a follow. Today, they posted pics from a Castlewoods house fire from last night. Tragic and sad, but it's good to know we have these guys working for us.

I also note, District 2 Supervisors, Daniel Cross, assisted at the scene, along with Langford VFD.

Blue Bird Houses

If you notice one of the twelve new blue bird houses installed along the walking trail around Pelahatchie Bay, thank Eagle Scout Taylor Bowlin, Keep the Rez Beautiful and Lowe's.

From the KRB Facebook Page:
Thanks to Taylor Bowlin, and his father James for providing new habitat houses for bluebirds. Taylor's Eagle Scout project is finished and KRB is excited to announce that 12 new bluebird habitat houses have been installed around the 12 mile walking/jogging loop on the Rankin County side of the Reservoir. . The trail begins and ends at the KRB/PRVWSD Turtle Point Nature Area on Scenic Drive. As you walk, jog or bike, check out the new bluebird boxes. Special thanks to Taylor and James for all their hard work! Special funding was provided by Keep America Beautiful and Lowe's. Keep The Rez Beautiful welcomes other volunteer projects. Please contact us for more information.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Random Musings

Amerigo pushed back it's anticipated opening until "the end of January."

The MS Craft Center received the funding for the much needed walkway from the Center to the Natchez Trace pulloff.  Now, travelers on the Trace will be able to park on the Trace and take a short walk to the Craft Center.  An excellent method to showcase the Center and open it up to a new audience.

Girl Scout cookies go on sale shortly.

Jimmy Johns Opens Flowood Franchise

I somehow let Jimmy Johns Sandwiches slip up on me. They recently opened in the Lakeport Center, at the corner of Airport and Lakeland.  They are in there with Britches n Boots, Kelly Staffing, the UPS Store, H&R Block, etc. They are now open for business, and will have a ribbon cutting on January 21 at 10:30 a.m. through the Rankin Chamber of Commerce.

Menu here.

And they are hiring.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

M Braves Looking for Host Families

From the Mississippi Braves' email listserv:

Dear Mississippi Braves Fan, 
As you know, baseball season is right around the corner and our boys of summer will be here in the coming weeks. We are extremely excited about the upcoming Spring/Summer schedule and look forward to enjoying the time with you. Your support of the Mississippi Braves is both valued and appreciated, and we cannot say "thank you" enough. We are hoping to recruit new/additional host homes for our players for the upcoming season. Stopping in Mississippi on their path of aspiring to reach their ultimate goal requires hard work, dedication--and making ends meet on a very small paycheck. For those that have participated in the past, we thank you for all that you have done and continue to do. For those that have not participated but would like to in 2016, we would love to hear from you. We ask anyone that is interested in possibly opening up their home to a M-Braves player for the upcoming season, to call or e-mail Jim Bishop. Jim can be reached at 601-932-8788, or you can e-mail Jim at Jim will be happy to discuss, provide any information needed, answer any questions about the program, etc. If camp ended today, we currently have enough host homes for approximately 20 players. We will break camp with a roster of at least 25 guys, so we are definitely looking to secure a few more host homes for our players.  Click here to view the 2016 schedule. The team will report to Mississippi on April 3, and the boys will remain in town until early September. Again, please feel free to call or e-mail Jim Bishop if you are interested in hearing more.   Thank you and we look forward to hearing back from anyone that might possibly have an interest in participating this season.  Regards,  Jim Bishop  If interested in hearing more, please contact:Jim Bishop, Assistant GMMississippi  

Brandon's Princess Ball Upcoming

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Election Notes

I note the election season for 2016 started.  Pearl resident, Jim Nix, qualified to run against Chancellor John McLaurin.  Also, Court of Appeals Judge Kenny Griffis qualified to run for the Mississippi Supreme Court against incumbent Judge Jim Kitchens.

Congressman Gregg Harper pulled a primary opponent in Jimmy Giles.

Jennifer Hall Appointed to PRVWSD Board

Governor Bryant has appointed leaseholder and Rankin Countian, Jennifer Hall, to the PRVWSD Board of Directors. Jennifer is the Executive Director of the MS Manufactured Housing Association.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Senator Harkins Selected for Rules Committee

Below is the Press Release from Lt. Governor Tate Reeves' office concerning Reservoir Senator, Josh Harkins.  Josh was selected to the Senate Rules Committee.

Dog Waste Station at Turtle Point

Keep the Rez Beautiful keeps doing great things in the Rez area.  Below is a photo of their new Dog Waste Station at the Turtle Point Nature Area.

The first dog waste station to be installed around the Ross Barnett Reservoir area is located at the Turtle Point Nature Area on Spillway Rd. between Northshore Parkway and Highway 471. Visit the nature area soon... KRB has been working on the nature area since 2012 to plant trees, a pollinator garden and more! Thanks to other grant funding, PRVWSD added a new kayak launch and walking trail. New benches are being added soon and are being furnished by a Leadership Rankin Team! Thanks to the PRVWSD and the Miss. Dept. of Environmental Quality, more stations are being installed along the 12 mile walking/jogging trail and in other locations. Please help KRB and others to keep the Reservoir clean by utilizing these new stations! It's a best management practice supporting water quality.
I'll go a step further and request you help keep the Rez clean by supporting KRB and the work it does.

Berry Appointed to PRVWSD Board

Yesterday, the Rankin County Board of Supervisors appointed Doug Berry to the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District Board of Directors.  Doug is a founding member of the Barnett Reservoir Foundation and, up to his appointment, served as the charity's President.  In a prior life, Doug owned and operated John Deere franchises throughout Mississippi.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Family Science Fun at Museum of Natural Science

M Braves are Hiring

The M-Braves are hiring for the upcoming season. Great employment for the young and young at heart.

It's time for the Mississippi Braves to gear up for another spectacular season. We're looking for energetic, hardworking people with outgoing personalities--who know how to SMILE--to add to our seasonal game day staff. Stop by the M-Braves Front Office located at Trustmark Park to fill out an application today.  
All applicants must be at least 16 years of age and able to work nights, weekends and some holidays. Online applications/resumes are not accepted. We accept applications from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday - Friday. Below is a list of positions for the 2016 season. For more info, call 888-BRAVES4 or 601-932-8788.  
Positions Available