Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Day Trips 3 -- Grand Gulf Military Park

The Vicksburg National Military Park steals much of the civil war spotlight in Central Mississippi, and rightfully so.  The battle for Vicksburg was an important one for the Union and solidified their ultimate victory. That park is a glorious reminder of our past; it should be visited, often. Federal oversight and Federal money make that park, along with the Natchez Trace, the jewel of the National Park System in Mississippi.  But that is a day trip for another post.  

Today, I want to remind you of the State run Civil War battlefield just south of Vicksburg, and just north of Port Gibson, the Grand Gulf Military Monument Park.

According to its website:
In May of 1962, the Grand Gulf Military Monument Park was officially opened, dedicated to preserving the memory of both the town and the battle in which occurred there. Located eight miles northwest of Port Gibson, Mississippi off Highway 61, this 400 acre landmark is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes Fort Cobun and Fort Wade, the Grand Gulf Cemetery, a museum, campgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, an observation tower, and several restored buildings dating back to Grand Gulf's heyday.
Park guests can step back in time and relive history as it was made. Beginning at the museum, you can trace the development of Grand Gulf through early photographs, maps, scale models, and authentic artifacts found in the area. Coaches and carriages bear silent witness to the days when Grand Gulf was bustling with people; while Union and Confederate uniforms, cannon balls, and muskets remain to tell of the fierce fighting that took place during the latter stage of the Civil War.
The old town of Grand Gulf has an interesting history and the museum displays items from the early days of the booming town. Also in the museum are items such as a Mastodon bone, Civil War artifacts, items used and paper artifacts from the early 1800's up to the 1950's. Day visitors & campers are surprised at this wonderful park and museum. In the near future come and visit the past, at Grand Gulf.

PRVWSD July Board Minutes

Below are the minutes from the PRVWSD's July meeting.  Highlights include:

 - The appraiser used by PRVWSD recently retired. The Board advertised for replacements and hired two -- Jean McCartyu from Madison County and Ryan Nunley from Rankin County.

 - Repair to the seawall in Sunrise and Paradise Pointe subdivisions continues.

 - The plans and design for the three comfort stations at Coal Bluff Campground, Old Trace Park and Lakeshore Park were approved.

 - The Board approved advertising for three new kayak launches, one for Pelahatchie Shore, one for Brown's Landing, and one for Ratliff Ferry.  The one at Turtle Creek Nature Area cost $20,000! That is a bit higher than I expected.

 - The District's budget submission to the legislative budget committee for fiscal year 2018 is the same as fiscal year 2017.

PRVWSD Board Minutes - July 2016 - Scanned Executed

Friday, August 26, 2016

Project First Responder -- Back the Badge Event

611 Tactical and the Lee Garland/Rita Jensen Team of Re/Max Alliance present the Project First Responder -- Back the Badge Event.  Friday, September 9, 2016, at the Lake House on the Rez.  It starts at 6:30 p.m. and features live music (the RedHots), a live auction, and a chance to win a Honda CR-Z.  The event honors the men and women of law enforcement who place their lives on the line for us every day.  The best part about it is the money raised supports area law enforcement.  The next best part about it is it's free to get in the door.  RSVP's are necessary though; you can do that here.

Go to the event's Facebook page to see some of the great items for auction.  They have Loge Level Saints v. Panthers Tickets, Dixie Deer Blind, High Heaven Flights, and more.

I have in my possession raffle tickets for the Honda CR-Z.  $50 a ticket, and only 1500 are being sold.  Let me know if you want one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

St. Mark's UMC Outreach Ministries

From St. Mark's UMC:

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church at 400 Grant’s Ferry Road in Brandon is offering the following resources: GriefShare: A Grief Workshop—Journey to Healing is for those who are grieving the death of a family member or friend, and it will take place on Sundays from 2:00-4:00 starting September 11th.  Also, we will offer DivorceCare, a support group for those going through separation or divorce, from 4:00-6:00 on Sundays, starting September 25th.  Both groups will last for 13 weeks and include helpful videos and small-group discussion.  Both have a registration fee of $20 for all the sessions. Partial Scholarships are available. For more information or to register, go to saintmarksum.org or call 601-992-2131.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Foundation for RC Public Schools Golf Tournament

The registration form for the 8th Annual Foundation for the Rankin County Public Schools Golf Tournament (this year, played at Castlewoods Country Club) is below.

RCSD Bond Info

The Listening Tours start tonight, and will be in Pisgah Monday the 29th.

Red Eagle 67 5K

Sixty-seven Mississippians died on the field of battle in Iraq and Afghanistan. No memorial here pays tribute to their sacrifice. Dr. Mike Lorence, USMC Veteran and board member of Stinky Feet Athletics has plans to change that.

Saturday, September 3, 2016, at Flowood's Nature Park, Dr. Lorence and Stinky Feet will host the inaugural Red Eagle 67 5K race.  100% of the net proceeds from the race will go to Team Red White and Blue.

Let Dr. Lorence explain it to you:

Register here.  Sisu Race Timing is facilitating the race, so you know it will be done right.  Another great service to the community brought to you by Stinky Feet Athletics.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Damaged Trees Along Hugh Ward

An astute reader sent in these photos of the trees in the meridian of Hugh Ward Boulevard. Anyone have information on what, or who, damaged these trees?

Little Cougarette Dance Clinic

Portion of Flowood Drive Closed

MDOT advises that the portion of Flowood Drive between Airport Road and Liberty Road (as it runs underneath Lakeland Drive) will be closed in both directions beginning this evening at 7 p.m.  It will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, the purpose is not to widen that portion of Flowood Drive, but rather to perform work on the Lakeland Drive bridge.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Freshii in Dogwood

Dustin Cardon of the Jackson Free Press wrote about the new restaurant in Dogwood, Freshii:
Freshii is a restaurant franchise dedicated to using entirely fresh ingredients with nothing fried or frozen.
"We don't even have a freezer here in the restaurant," Newcomb said. "We get all of our ingredients from local farms and ranches every day. I've worked as a farmer outside of Yazoo City for 30 years, so I know the value of fresh food."

Freshii's menu includes items such as wraps, yogurt, salads, smoothies, burritos, and vegetable and fruit juices. Customers can create their own custom orders from any ingredient, even with dishes such as soup. In addition to using all fresh food, Freshii also uses biodegradable bowls and utensils for the sake of the environment and donates part of all sales toward setting up gardens and food centers in Africa.
  *   *   *

Freshii is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day. For more information, visit freshii.com. Freshii also has an app available for iPhone and Android that displays a menu and allows customers to place their orders through the app.

For the full article, click here.

Day Trips 2 -- Sky Lake

The Delta is a world unto its own, provincial and proud. Though I have no roots in the Delta, I enjoy being there, and Sky Lake Wildlife Management Area -- just north of Belzoni in Humphreys County -- is one of my favorite places.

The Wildlife Management Area, by itself, is tedious to non-hunters, I'm sure; instead, it is the Boardwalk and Paddling Trail that hold the interest.

Take a couple of left turns off of Highway 7 between Belzoni and Itta Bena and you will eventually come to the Boardwalk. It is out in the middle of nowhere. Even if you are looking for it, it can be tricky. When you get to it, you will find a gravel parking lot, a classroom building, an open area picnic pavilion with bathrooms and water fountains, a small amphitheater, a short walking trail, and  . . . something else.  You will also find a gaping hole leading from the bright, sunlit day-use area, into a dark, shadowed, nether-region, leading into the cypress swamp. This is the boardwalk.

From the Wildlife Mississippi webpage for Sky Lake, a little history:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How to Help Flooding Victims

There are numerous ways in Rankin County to help the folks of La. and South Mississippi, here is just one of them:

         The City of Brandon is collecting non-perishable items for flood victims in South MS and LA. There is a tremendous need. They ask for hygiene products, cleaning supplies, canned goods, bottled water, etc (no clothing). Drop off point is at the Brandon Municipal Complex (39042). They are collecting through Sunday. The flyer gives the times and further info.

Brandon Amphitheater Video

From the City of Brandon:
This morning Brandon announced the groundbreaking of the New Amphitheater and Park. Representatives from Brandon, Red Mountain EntertainmentWier Boerner Allin ArchitectureNeel-Schaffer, Inc. spoke about the many positive aspects of the Brandon Amphitheater at The Quarry.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

PRVWSD Board Meeting Agenda

PRVWSD Board Proposed Agenda August2016

New Meat Market in the Neighborhood

Remington-Lott Farms opened a Meat Market in the strip mall in front of the Flowood Wal-Mart (where Papa Johns, Hobby Town and Anytime Fitness are). According to their website:
      Remington-Lott Farms is a family owned business located in Canton, Mississippi. . . . Our beef are grass fed and grain finished, with no hormones. That means they graze and eat hay grown locally, being finished on grain while still living on the pasture.
       Our beef is dry-aged for a minimum of 14 days to maximize flavor and the tenderness of our beef.  Dry aging changes beef by allowing moisture to evaporate from the muscle, making it more tender and resulting in a more flavorful taste.  Due to the expensive nature of this process, this type of beef is normally only served in high-end steakhouses and restaurants.  Most beef found in the grocery store has been wet-aged which is a much quicker and cheaper process.  Wet-aged is normally completed within the first few days, there is little to no moisture loss, which leads to a higher weight and higher value at the market, at the expense of less flavor.
     . . . Unlike the grocery who buys third-party and is focused on buying cheaply and moving large quantities at big margins, WE ARE THE PRODUCER - our focus is on one product: beef, and producing it in a healthy, quality manner.  What does that mean?  It means we have control over the entire process "from conception to consumption" and can provide the highest quality to you without making it cost-prohibitive.
They sell at the City of Madison's Farmer's Market, the Mississippi Farmer's Market, and they have another storefront in Gluckstadt. You can find them on Facebook, too.

Monday, August 15, 2016

RCSD Bond Issue Listening Tour

In my humble opinion, the Rankin County School District bond will be the most important issue facing the County in 2017. Four years ago, the District handled the bond miserably (comically, really).  It appears new Superintendent, Dr. Sue Townsend, is making sure to cover all her bases, especially when it comes to opening the lines of communication between the parents/public and the District.

Don't want an obscene amount of bond money directed toward athletic facilities?  Attend the listening tour in our local area and let your voice be heard.

Overcrowding and portable classroom usage an issue for you in the Northwest Attendance Zone? Attend the listening tour in our local area and let your voice be heard.

Not a big fan of public education and don't want your tax money going toward improving our future? Hey, even you have an opportunity to be heard.

Mark your calendar for the September 6, 2016, listening tour stop at Northwest Rankin.  Also, circle March 7, 2017, as the tentative date set for the vote.

C.A.R.A.'s 9th Annual Dog Days of Summer

Friday, August 12, 2016

Whataburger is Indeed Coming

The rumor floated in June about a Whataburger coming to the Dogwood area proves true (in all honesty, it appears golferinmississippi had the jump on me back in April).

Tip of the hat to David Hinton for confirming that Whataburger will build in the wooded area on the corner of Flowood Drive and Old Fannin Road (across from the Bank of Forest). Expected to open in December.

Rough Road Conditions

Parts of Highway 49 in Rankin County closed due to floating debris. Interstate 55 closed in Pike County. Folks having to be rescued from their cars due to flash flooding in Amite County. Flash flooding in Hancock County.

Please be careful out there!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Audit Committee Agenda

Monday, August 15, 2016 4:30 p.m.

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

2. Review of water billing analysis in response to Donald Barney request for discussion of fees assessed on overdue water bills.

3. Review of delinquent lease collections report.

4. Approval of Per Diem and Travel Report August 2016.

5. Approval of Cash Balance Report.

6. Approval of August 2016 Docket.

Shoreline Development Committee Agenda

Monday, August 15, 2016 3:30 p.m.

1. Approval of minutes of May 16, 2016 and July 18, 2016 meeting.

2. Property Maintenance Report for July/August 2016.

3. Sunset Marina at 43 update.

4. Approval of Lost Rabbit Phase B1 South, plat. (Covenants to be submitted for approval at a later date)

5. Consideration of easement to Jessie McRight, Jr. to cross Northshore Blvd.

Parks Policy Committee Agenda

I will be posting the agendas for the various PRVWSD committee meetings coming up.

Monday, August 15, 2016 4:00 p.m.

1. Approval of minutes of July 18, 2016 meeting.

2. Approval of purchase of campground operational software.

3. Discussion and approval of changes to campground rules and guidelines.

4. Approval to advertise Timberlake Lighting Improvement project.

Camping Rules Refresher

The PRVWSD manages quite a bit of quality forest land around the Pearl River and Rez. For outdoor enthusiasts, this land is prime for exploring, hiking, and camping.  There are rules and regulations in place for the safety of the users. If you intend to primitive camp on any portion of the PRVWSD, here are the Cliffnotes version of the regulations:

 - You may not camp within 1/2 mile of a platted subdivision.

 - You must get a permit from the PRVWSD before you will be permitted to camp.  You obtain a permit by calling the Goshen Springs Campground at 601.829.2751 (if during normal working hours), or the Control Tower at 601.992.9703 (if after hours).  During the call, you must give the PRVWSD your full name, address and telephone number, your camping location, your planned duration, and the number in your party.  The PRVWSD will then give you a permit number, which you must write down on a piece of paper and display on your tent flap.

 - You are limited to ten days per permit, but, if you are behaving yourself, it doesn't sound like it's difficult to get a subsequent permit.

 - If you are camping North of Highway 43, you must camp within sight of the Pearl River or Rez.  Don't ask me why.  That cuts out a lot of good camping locations.

 - Violations of these regulations result in a misdemeanor, and you could face up to a $500 fine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Day Trips -- Strong River

[I will present a series of posts on local day trips. My family enjoys exploring our state on weekends, especially when the temperatures drop in the Fall. The kids, though they may at first grumble, always have fun and, if nothing else, learn something. The goal is to present experiences they share with their children.

You may have done some or all of these things I will blog about. If not, I encourage you to take your family for a drive, take plenty of pictures, and make some memories.]

(taken at the Highway 28 Bridge near Strong River Camp)

The Okatoma Creek is popular, but there is a quality float much closer to home. The Strong River, in neighboring Simpson County, provides beautiful sandbars, cool water, and an outfitter.

D'Lo Water Park is a part of the Pearl River Basin Development District and is located in the heart of D'Lo, Mississippi. There are a number of different float trips you can take, all detailed here. I encourage you to check the water gauge on the float trip page before heading to the water.  If the water is too low on the Strong River, you will not have fun.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bicyclist Hurt on Spillway/Northshore

From the Clarion Ledger:

A bicyclist was taken to the hospital Monday after a collision with a Rankin County Sheriff's vehicle.
The accident happened hear N. Shore Parkway and Spillway Road, Rankin County Undersheriff Raymond Duke said. The cyclist was taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries.
Reservoir Police Chief Perry Waggener said the call came in around 11:32 a.m. Units responded and found a deputy and a bicyclist had collided.

Full story here.

Fun Weekend at the Craftsmen's Guild

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I'm Just Going to Drop This Here

Zoe's Kitchen.  Any readers ever eaten at one?

Sombra is Coming to Dogwood Marketplace

From a Mississippi Business Journal article:

Nashville-based 4-Top Hospitality will open a Sombra Mexican Kitchen in Flowood in November, its second in metro Jackson.
. . . At 111 Market Street off Lakeland Drive, it will seat 225 and have a patio. A Cheddar’s was located there till it closed early this year. . . . 
. . . 4-Top Hospitality own and operate 11 restaurants in Mississippi and Tennessee including sister Italian eatery Amerigo, which opened its second Jackson-area location in January at 155 Market Street next to where the newest Sombra will be. . . . 
Sombra will offer its take on traditional Mexican and Southwest cuisine in a rustic, colorful environment for lunch and dinner seven days a week. . . .
If you haven't eaten at the Ridgeland Sombra, I assure you, Sombra is not like other Mexican restaurants, in price and in quality.  Here is their menu.

911 Memorial Run Info

From the Rez Fire Department Facebook Page:

Please come join us this year for the Annual 9/11 Run to Remember! Walk, run, ride a bike, or just come out to offer support to our local Heros! The run will be on Sunday 9/11/16 at 4pm, we will be starting at Lakeshore park again and running the 11 mile loop around Pelahatchie Bay. Hope to see you there!!

Draw Hunts on PRVWSD

From the PRVWSD:

Media Release
For Immediate Release
4 August 2016

Process for draw hunts at the Rez starts Friday
Archery-only hunts held below dam and in Pelahatchie Bay

The application process for archery draw hunts for deer both below the Barnett Reservoir Dam and the north shore of Pelahatchie Bay will begin Friday, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District announced.

In its fourth year of the program, PRVWSD will have 17 six-day hunts on each of five different areas - two in the coveted woods below the dam, one on each side of the spillway, and three in Pelahatchie Bay.

“That’s a total of 85 hunts, and on each, the hunter’s will get six days of solitude on a minimum of 240 acres,” said Craig Hunt, the PRVWSD’s director of parks and recreation. “That’s a lot of land to have to one’s self for six days.

“We will be taking applications beginning Friday (Aug. 5) at the Wildlife Extravaganza in Jackson, as well as by mail or at the PRVWSD office. The application period ends Aug. 20 (mail entries must be postmarked by that date) and the drawing will be held Aug. 26.”

Each hunt begins on Tuesday morning and ends on Sunday evening. Each permit is valid for one legal buck and two legal does, and the permit holder is allowed to take a guest, although the permit holder must be present as guest hunts.

There is no application fee, but, once selected, hunters must purchase the permit. The Spillway permits are $300 each and the Pelahatchie Bay permits are $200. Only one permit holder will be assigned to each zone each week.

“The money we receive for the permits is being put back into the hunting program,” Hunt added. “We have established food plots and planted fruit trees and oaks in each area, and all five zones will have at least one high-quality food plot.”

For applications or more information, visit www.TheRez.ms

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Castlewoods Country Club Reopening Celebration

Castlewoods is throwing a party to celebrate its reopening, Saturday, August 27, 2016, from 3 to 7 p.m.  From the Castlewoods Country Club Reopening Celebration Facebook Page:
Bring your friends, family and neighbors because we are celebrating our new ownership and everyone is invited. We will have something for all ages to enjoy. For the kids we will have Inflatables, Face Painting, Jr. Golf Clinic, Snow Cones & more all at no charge. We will also have $1 Hotdogs, $2 Hamburgers, $1 Draft Beer, Live Entertainment, a Putting Contest & complimentary use of Driving Range. Come check out all of the renovations that have occurred since April 1st.
In the meantime, check out the Club's new website.  In my opinion, this is only good news for our community.  A strong country club is positive for the Rez area.

Kids Guide to the Wildlife Extravaganza

Mistletoe for Men is this weekend.  All the information you need for the Extravaganza can be obtained by clicking here, including the schedule.

If you are thinking about bringing your kids, here are tips:

 - Friday is Kid's Day.  That's when children aged 6 through 12 get in free (kids 5 and under are free throughout the weekend).  The doors open on Friday at 2 p.m.  That's a few hours earlier this year. The doors close on Friday at 8 p.m.

 - The HAAI Shark Encounter is new this year. This looks to be a big attraction for kids.  They will exhibit twice on Friday afternoon.  The exhibit will be outside.

 - Jason Reynolds and the High Flyin' Retrievers are back.  Check the schedule for show times.  They will perform twice on Friday afternoon.

 - Plenty of kid-centric events will take place all weekend.  "Hands on" is the theme.  Children will enjoy the BB Gun Shoot, the Catfish Handgrabbin Free For All, the Youth Archery Range, and the Kids Casting Area.  Plus, you have Live Animal Encounters at Booths 1126 & 1128, Percy King, the Snake Man Terry Vandeventer, and Talkin' Turkey with Preston Pittman.

 - A bunch of free giveaways for kids.  Free rod and reels, grunt calls, doe calls, youth fishing grips, jewelry, t-shirts, picture books at various booths.  Pick up a Ganza Program when you walk in the door to find out more.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

"Food Truck Friday" at Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed hosts a Food Truck Friday on August 19, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Make plans to eat lunch there.  From the an article about the event in the Jackson Free Press:
The Mustard Seed (1085 Luckney Road, Flowood), a community for adults with developmental disabilities, is hosting its own Food Truck Friday event on Aug. 19, with the goal of bringing people to the campus to see what the organization does and meet its clients.
     *     *     *
The food trucks taking part in the event are 2 for 7 Kitchen, Capitol Coney Island, Deep South Pops and One Guy Steak and Chicken. The Mustard Seed's clients will be selling bottled water and other drinks during the event, and the staff will also conduct tours of the campus and introduce visitors to the Seedsters.
Read the full article here.

Blood Drive for Local Boys

Royce Swayze of the Clarion Ledger wrote an article on today's blood drive.  You still have time to make it.

When a recent traffic accident interrupted the lives of four close friends, Madison-Ridgeland Academy responded by organizing a special blood drive to be held on campus Tuesday.
The blood drive comes after two of the school’s students, MRA seniors Cole Kirby and Peyton Horton, were involved in a July 4 accident with their friends Parker Madeo, a senior at Northwest Rankin High School, and Tyler Price, a Pisgah High School graduate. Kirby did not survive the accident and the other three were left in critical condition following the crash.
Rankin County Sheriff Bryan Bailey said it appeared the driver overcorrected and the Jeep they were driving left the road. Witnesses of the accident told police the Jeep flipped at least three times, ejecting all four men over a distance of about 50 to 75 yards. All three of the accident’s survivors needed blood transfusions.
     *     *     *
Where: Madison Ridgeland Academy's gym. 7601 Old Canton Road, Madison.
When: Tuesday. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
What you need: Valid ID, weigh at least 110 pounds and must be at least 17. (Donors who are 16 can donate if they have a signed form of parental consent.)

Full article here.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Coming Storm

High school football season approaches.  Get involved in your community, whether you have kids in school or not, and have some fun while doing it.  Here are some great ways to get involved.

Northwest Rankin Cougar Club.  It's the booster club for NWR HS athletics.  Membership form. Cougar apparel.  The first meeting is tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the NWR Performing Arts Building. Here are the minutes from the May meeting.

Hartfield Academy Booster Club.  Membership form.  Business sponsorship form.  Meet the Hawks night is Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

Pokemon Go at the Jackson Zoo

Properly supervised, this Pokemon Go thing can be fun for kids.  The Jackson Zoo is putting together a Pokemon Go Safari later this month.

The Jackson Zoo has teamed up with Off Beat Comic Book Store to bring you Pokémon Go Safari! Join us for a special after hours Pokémon Go event from 5:00-7:00pm on Thursday, August 25th. 
Come dressed in your team colors and enjoy 2 hours of non-stop lures at the Zoo’s 16 Pokéstops, and 2 gyms. You can also take part in a contest while your chasing Pokemon through the zoo. Prizes will be given for the "Best Pic with a Pokemon" and for "Catching a Rare Pokemon"#JacksonZooGO on social media during event for your chance to win. Winners will be announced at 7pm at the Gertrude C. Ford Wildlife Theater and stick around for a group photo! 
A special Poké Shuttle train ride will be offered for $2 a person – hop on board and hatch your eggs while you ride! Concessions will be available for purchase. All Zoo pathways will be open except those in construction areas and animals will not be on exhibit.
Guests are encouraged to share their favorite photos of Pokémon at the Zoo for an opportunity to have their photo included in an online gallery. #JacksonZooGO
Cost: $5 General Admission$3 Jackson Zoo Members$2 Train Rides
This is an ALL ages event. Memberships available for purchase online and at the gate.