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.