Thursday, March 31, 2016

Flowood Euro Summit at Table 100






CoCo Fighting For Her Life



Here is the Clarion Ledger story on CoCo, the pup rescued from the Turtle Creek Subdivision fire. She suffered significant injuries to her upper respiratory system, but is fighting for her life. The family's other dog, Oreo, a dachshund, is still missing.

Rez Stories From Rankin County News

Check out these stories in this week's Rankin County News:

  -- Pet survives Reservoir home fire. The incredible story of the Turtle Creek pet rescue. "The family may lose everything, [but] seeing their pet survive makes a big difference". ---> my favorite quote from Assistant Fire Chief Josh Swales.  See earlier blog post here.

  -- Report of burglary leads to attorney's arrest.  So, it turns out the drive-by shooting in Pinebrook Subdivision was no random act.  Meet Drew Hassin: Pinebrook resident, star Jackson Free Press advertiser, and fellow member of the Bar. Mr. Hassin apparently had some issues with counterfeit bills being passed through his house, shootings, drug paraphernalia and disappearing "small plastic baggies". He was charged with misdemeanor possession of counterfeit bank notes with intent to utter.

  -- Water taxi on the Reservoir? Linda Horton writes a good article on the grant to fund the proposed water taxi.

  -- Alligator hunting seasons for 2016 proposed.  A total of 920 permits will be up for grabs this season.

  -- Mustard Seed plans benefit marathon.  Actually a duathlon, not a marathon, and it's this weekend.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Traffic Delays on Northshore Causeway Saturday Morning

Racin' for the Seed is this Saturday morning. The PRVWSD sent out a notice to local residents to expect traffic delays along the Causeway during the morning hours. The course cuts across the Causeway at the intersection of Lakeshore Park, so Reservoir Patrol will be halting traffic to allow racers to cross. Also, the bike race leaves Lakeshore Park and crosses the Causeway all the way to Fannin Landing Circle.  Expect these delays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.

Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival This Weekend

From the Festival's Facebook Page:

Like free outdoor festivals with fine art, fine wine, live music, and other fun activities? Then the annual Ridgeland Fine Arts Festival is for you!

Come enjoy a sampling of Ridgeland’s elevated art forms – from visual to cultural and culinary to musical! This event has been named a TOP TWENTY EVENT for 2016 by the Southeast Tourism Society.

FESTIVAL HOURS | Renaissance at Colony Park:
Saturday, April 2, 2016: 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday, April 3, 2016: 11 am – 5 pm
Enjoy a weekend of events that showcases over 90 visual artists from more than 25 states selling their original, handmade works of art. 
You can also enjoy wine tasting stations from Sante South Wine Festival, live music from over 13 local and regional artists, activities for the kids, and more! Admission is free.

Musical Line-Up: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/musical-line-up/

Festival Activities: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/childrens-activities/

Festival Map: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/map/

Special Hotes Rates: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/special-hotel-rates/

Volunteers: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/volunteers/

Musical Line-Up: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/musical-line-up/
Festival Activities: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/childrens-activities/
Festival Map: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/map/
Special Hotes Rates: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/special-hotel-rates/
Volunteers: http://www.ridgelandartsfest.com/volunteers/

Wife of Rankin County Legislator Arrested


Amanda Vance Miles, the wife of Rankin/Scott County legislator, Rep. Tom Miles (D-Morton), was arrested at Northpark Mall in Ridgeland yesterday and charged with misdemeanor shoplifting after being found with $200 + worth of jewelry allegedly stolen from Belk.  She was apprehended with the assistance of the Flowood Belk, which had allegedly been her victim earlier in the day.  Other items missing from the Flowood Belk were found in Miles' car.  Ms. Miles was arrested along with Sheri Comfort Prestage, the wife of a Scott County constable. Ms. Prestage will have a tougher time of it; she was found with nearly $2000 worth of jewelry (felony level), plus hydrocodone hidden in her undergarments.

Representative Miles represents an enormous chunk of Rankin County (House District 75), which includes Pelahatchie, and the unincorporated portions in the Northeast parts of the County, including Leesburg, Sandhill, and Pisgah.



Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Nature Fest This Weekend

If you haven't been to the Natural Science Museum in a while, there is no better time to go than during Nature Fest. 


Mass Neighborhood-Wide Garage Sales

There are a passel of neighborhood garage sales in the Rez area this upcoming Saturday, April 2, including:

  -- Deer Park
  -- Farmington Station
  -- Huntington Lakes
  -- Turtle Creek
  -- Avalon
  -- Pinebrook
  -- Regatta

If there are any others, let me know and I will post.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Rep. Powell's Weekly Update

From Rez Rep. Brent Powell, his weekly update of the "goings on" at the State Capitol:

Week of March 21, 2016
The majority of House committees met and worked diligently toward the end of last week and up until Tuesday of this week. By Tuesday, deadline day to move all general bills received from the Senate out of committee and onto the House Calendar, 91 general bills passed out of committees and onto the House Calendar. Members have until Wednesday, March 30, to address those bills.

In the Appropriations Committee, several agency consolidation bills were proposed and passed.

--Senate Bill 2361 suggests combining the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environmental Quality. The Strike All directs MS Soil and Water Conservation Commission and Pearl River Basin Development District to put together a plan for consolidation of those two agencies and report back to the Legislature by December 31, 2016. Under Senate plan in original version, the efficiencies were not there to sacrifice the loss of services of the original mergers of more agencies. 

Rankin County Clean Up

Below is an announcement on this years' Clean Up Week.

RANKIN COUNTY SPRING CLEAN-UP WEEK
April 18-23rd


This Spring Cleaning event sponsored by Rankin County. It's a good opportunity to get rid of hazardous waste (old paint, oil, toxic cleaners), white goods such as old mattresses, tires, and more. Drop off locations will be announced as time draws near. Mark the dates on your calendar and watch the local newspapers for a list of accepted debris, times, and drop off locations.

Rez FD Saves Pooch From Blaze



The Reservoir Fire Department doing some work this past weekend.  They managed to save a dog from this intense house fire.  These guys are incredible. More pics at their Facebook Page.

Therese Apel with the Clarion Ledger has a great article about it.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Project Rezway!

The Project Rezway fashion show is April 14 at the Mississippi Craft Center in Ridgeland.  Below is a ton of information on Keep the Rez Beautiful's gala, beginning with an email from President, Jeannine May:
Project Rezway April 14 (see flyer, press release and designer information flyer..)...Our deadline for designers has been extended to April 4.......our 5th year...it's a hard event to plan, but worthwhile in the end!  On the designer's form, there is a deadline of April 4...but that is to register and send us a description for the write up...they could still be working on the outfit up to the, 14th....There is no fee to enter and we will be giving cash awards this year., divided among number of entries...to 1st,  2nd and 3rd...we will also be inviting those from past years to re-enter their outfits if they didn't win before.   ..Blast from the Past...
Rezway Press Release 2016-2


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Local Easter Services

If I have any of the following info wrong, please let me know!!!

Pinelake Church (Rez Campus) -- Good Friday Communion between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.  Easter Sunday Services at 6:30 a.m., 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

St. Mark's Methodist Church -- Services at 8:20 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., and also 11 a.m.

Lakeland Presbyterian Church -- Services at 8:30 a.m., Easter Brunch at 9:30 a.m. and late morning service at 10:45 a.m.

Lakeside Presbyterian Church -- Traditional service at 8:30 and a contemporary service at 11 a.m.

River of Life Assembly of God Church -- 10:30 a.m.

Word of Life Church -- Easter Services on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., and Sunday at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Flowood Baptist Church -- 10 a.m. service.

Liberty Baptist Church -- 10:30 a.m. service.

Northshore Baptist -- 6:30 a.m. Sunrise Service at the Eden's House at 804 Hunter's Bay, Fox Bay Subdivision; Worship Service at 10, with lunch thereafter.

Fannin Methodist Church -- Maundy Thursday Service 6:00 PM; Good Friday Service 6:00 PM; Community Sunrise Service 6:30 AM (Prince Home); Easter Worship Service 10:30 AM

First Baptist Church of Fannin -- 9 a.m. and noon.

St. Peters By the Lake Episcopal -- 8 a.m. is the Holy Eucharist; 10 a.m. Easter Egg Hunt, and 10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist.

St. Steven's Episcopal -- 700pm - Maundy Thursday; 12:00 noon and 7:00pm - Good Friday: Stations of the Cross; Easter Sunday, March 27th 10:30am Worship Service Holy Communion & Easter Egg Hunt. (note: no Sunday School)

Vineyard Church -- 10 a.m. service

Christ Way -- 8:30    ChristWay Holy Groundz Cafe
9:40    REAL LIFE Bible Study classes
10:30  Worship Service
5:00    Prayer Servic

Rez Boat Show Update

From the PRVWSD:

There will be a Preview for the event Friday evening.  Folks can come out and see the vendors for a sneak peek of vendors goods.   We will be having Egg Hunts on Saturday too – at  10, 12, 2, & 4.   Sunday’s event will be determined by weather, but we are hoping for a clear day!

Get Your Sweat On

Spring is the time for 5Ks. They are fun, they are not long enough to induce panic -- no matter your fitness level (at worst, you can walk 5 kilometers in an hour) --, and you can say you accomplished something before 9 a.m.  Plus, you get a t-shirt.  Look for these area races coming up:

4/1 -- Run Now Wine Later, Ridgeland (kicks off the Sante South Wine Festival; benefiting Alzheimer's research).

4/2 -- Rush to Brush, Flowood (great door prizes; benefiting pediatric dentistry offered through UMC Dental School).

4/2 -- Racin' for the Seed Duathlon (run and bike), Rez (it's for the Seedsters!)

4/9 -- MS 811, Flowood (actually has a reasonable registration fee; benefits MS Damage Prevention Council)

4/9 -- Running for Jason, Brandon (in memory of Marine SSgt Jason Rogers, a Brandon native killed while fighting in Afghanistan).

4/16 -- Race for Shelby, Flowood (Shelby Neese is a former music minister for Pine Lake church in need of financial assistance due to injuries).

4/16 -- A Race to Remember, Ridgeland (Celebrating life and benefiting Hospice Ministries).

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Boat Show This Weekend

Weekly Leader Articles

Here are a list of articles affecting the Rez in the Weekly Leader:

  --  RCSD sues property insurance providers. The School District is suing a couple of their insurance providers for allegedly failing to pay certain claims related to the 2013 hailstorm.

  --  Stand off ends with arrests of two drive-by shooting suspects.  Further info on that Sunday evening shooting in the Pinebrook subdivision.

  -- Reservoir Fire district petitions supervisor to enlarge district.  Public hearing set for Friday, April 15, at 9 a.m., on whether to increase the size of the Rez fire district to include parts of Old Fannin Road (to Bridlewood and Barnett Bend), Holly Bush Road, and Reservoir East. Rez Fire Chief Scott Berry says, "If these areas were brought into the Reservoir Fire District, it would have a drastic effect on their insurance rates [in a good way]."

  -- PRV sells timber due to beetles. Approximately 100 trees sold along Spillway Road as the result of pine bark beetle infestation. PRVWSD nets $451.

  -- PRVWSD dump truck collides with tractor-trailer.  It happened last Thursday at the intersection of Mt. Helm Road and Highway 25; three injured, but, thankfully, none life threatening.

  -- Josh Turner to headline Flowood Fest.

  -- MDWFP studies black bass on Ross Barnett Reservoir.  The Department tagged approximately 500 tournament released bass.  Fishermen who catch them are encouraged to call 601.432.2212 and provide the tag number, location, etc.

For complete articles, check your driveway.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Update on Senate Bill 2362

Catch up by reading my prior post, here.  As previously noted, Senator Buck Clarke's Senate Bill 2362, entitled Budget Transparency and Simplification Act, passed the Senate and, on March 4, was referred to the House Appropriations Committee.  This morning, the House passed an amended version of the Bill that removed the PRVWSD from its purview. As a result, said Bill does not (as of now) affect the PRVWSD. I will keep you updated in the event further tinkering is conducted. Keep up with Senate Bill 2362 by checking in here.

Free Hill Workout Through Stinky Feet

Local business extraordinaire, @stinkyfeetath, (Stinky Feet Athletics) continues to impress. They are hosting a free hill workout tonight at 6 pm on East Metro Parkway. All levels of experience/fitness are welcome. The workout should last about 45 minutes. Park in J.C. Penney's lot to meet up with instructor.

Stinky Feet goes above and beyond to provide a great customer service experience, plus they give back to our community in a major way. The weather should be impeccable. Go out and join them!

Drive By Shooting in Rez Area

The Reservoir area experienced a drive-by shooting Sunday night. It occurred at 9:15 p.m. in the Pinebrook subdivision off Hugh Ward Boulevard.  Below is Sheriff Bailey's press release:

A standoff in south Rankin County ends in the arrest of James Morris Hebert and Victoria Kristin Moore for drive by shooting.  The Rankin County Sheriff's Officer responded to a call at 409 Pinebrook Circle off of Hugh Ward Boulevard around 9:15 PM on Sunday March 20, 2016 for an individual being shot in the back. It is believed at this time the shooting may have stemmed from a possible narcotics exchange.
The victim had left the scene prior to deputies' arrival and was transported by private vehicle to a local hospital where he was treated and released.  The victim and a witness were able to assist investigators in identifying the shooter as HEBERT.
Investigators were then successful in locating the vehicle involved in the shooting at 172 Valley Cove in Florence.  Surveillance was setup on the residence until additional manpower was available.  Sheriff Bailey activated that county's SRT (Special Response Team) to assist in the search and arrest.
Once on scene negotiators were able to talk two females from the residence.  One of the females was identified as MOORE.  It was then determined that HEBERT was left in the residence alone.  Repeated commands from law enforcement were ignored.  The county's robot were then deployed to search the residence but were unable to locate HEBERT.
The decision to deploy gas into the residence was then made.  Four different gas canisters were eventually deployed and the suspect still refused to come one.  Eventually members of the SRT were sent into the residence and located HEBERT cowering under a bed. 
A search of the residence was then conducted and a weapon matching that described in the shooting was recovered from the bedroom where HEBERT was found hiding. Both HEBERT and MOORE will be charged with drive by shooting and will be held in the Rankin County Jail without bond pending their initial appearance before County Court Judge Kent McDaniel.
My question is, what benefit did the suspect think he would gain by hiding under the bed? Isn't that the first place you learn to look playing hide and go seek as a three year old? 

WLBT story.
Clarion Ledger story.
Jackson Jambalaya story.

School Districts on Facebook

I praised the Rankin County School District last week for stepping up their social media presence on Twitter. I noted that an upgrade on Facebook as well was likely coming soon. That day has come. I encourage all Rankin County citizens (who do the Facebook thing) to "like" the RCSD page. It is a great way to stay up to date on information. The page, which lay dormant since 2012, came back on-line March 18, chock full of information on scholarship opportunities, teacher recruitment events, kindergarten registration, meetings, open houses, athletic information, and more.

Madison County Schools' Facebook page has long been a "go to" place for information, photos, and school news.

Pearl Public School District also has its Facebook page.

Check them all out and stay informed.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Area Easter Egg Hunts



The Richland Egg Hunt will be Thursday, March 24, beginning at 6 p.m. at the soccer fields next to the Richland Community Center. Open for kids 8 and under.

Florence hosts its Egg Hunt on Thursday, March 24.  These festivities begin at 5:45 p.m., and are designed for 5th graders on down. The hunt takes place just south of the Florence Post Office on Highway 469.

The City of Brandon also holds its Easter Egg Hunt on Thursday evening, at 6 p.m. at Shiloh Park. Children 0 to 9 are encouraged to enjoy the fun. Jumpies, face painting, train rides and more!

The City of Ridgeland's Egg Hunt is Thursday, March 24. It begins at 5:30 p.m. at Freedom Ridge Park. Free of charge and open for children 10 and under.

Yogi on the Lake Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday, March 26, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $6 a person. Actual egg hunt is at 11 a.m., but they will have their splash pad and pool open, hay rides, pictures with the Easter Bunny, carnival games, putt-putt, space jumps, fishing, food, and more!

Flowood's Easter Egg Hunt is on Saturday, March 26, at Liberty Park behind the Flowood YMCA. This hunt is for toddlers through 10 year-olds, and will begin at 10 a.m. Inflatables, petting zoo, karaoke, and face painting. Free!

Pearl's Easter Egg Hunt is Saturday, March 26, at the Pearl City Park beginning at 10 a.m.  Free food, inflatables, carnival games, face painting, and more.

The Barnett Reservoir Foundation will host hourly Easter Egg Hunts during the Boat Show on March 26 and 27.

The Mississippi Ag Museum holds its big Easter Egg Hunt at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 26. Egg dying, carousel rides, wagon rides, fun, fun, fun!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Rankin County News Articles

This week's edition includes the following Rez-centric articles:

   -- Reservoir increasing discharge.  Regurgitation of PRVWSD Media Release. The PRVWSD has since decreased the discharge.

   -- East Metro road work resumes April 14.  East Metro will now connect to Old Brandon Road at the Metroplex Boulevard intersection. Look for completion in 1.5 to 2 years.

   -- Flowood Bike trail extension underway.  1.4 miles of mile trails are being constructed from the Nature Trail on Flowood Drive, along Wirtz Road, and connect to Manship Road. It is estimated to cost $1.4 million.

   --  Blood Drive to benefit officer's son.  The City of Flowood and the Flowood Chamber are hosting a blood drive to benefit ReShawd Ellison, son of Flowood PD officer, Dimitri Ellison.  Friday, March 25 from 9 to 4 p.m. at the Chamber of Flowood at 115 Laurel Park Cove.

RCSD Kindergarten Pre-Registration Info

The Rankin County School District has upped their game on getting information out to parents and other citizens.  If you are not following the RCSD on Twitter, you may want to start doing so. They have plans to increase their social media footprint in the future, so stay tuned.

The RCSD just released the following information on Kindergarten pre-registration.

Rep. Powell's Weekly Update

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Boat Slip Rentals

I saw this on the Barnett Reservoir Foundation Twitterfeed:

Boat Slip Rentals
Arbor Landing Marina
Marina slips are now available at annual or semi-annual rates.
6 month—$750.00 12 month—$1320.00
For more information on slip rental visit the PRVWSD Permit Office located at 1864 Spillway Road, Brandon MS 39047 (next to McDonalds) between the hours of 8am-5pm Monday thru Friday or contact the office at 769-243-7014.

Rankin County GOP Vote Totals

Below are the precinct by precinct vote totals in the Republican Primary in Rankin County, recently certified, and including all absentee and affidavit ballots.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Today's Rez Discharge Update

From the PRVWSD:

Media Release
For Immediate Release
16 March 2016
Barnett Reservoir decreases release

Barnett Reservoir officials said Wednesday that the discharge at the dam is being lowered to 40,000 cubic feet per second to hold today’s peak inflow into the 33,000-acre lake north of Jackson.

The National Weather Service forecasting a peak inflow into the reservoir of 45,900 cubic feet per second, but backed off its forecasted crest of 34 feet at Jackson. The NWS said the river crested early Wednesday.

In a morning conference call with the NWS, the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Geological Survey, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District said its plan includes another reduction overnight and more over the next few days as the inflow decreases. The NWS is forecasting a steady decrease in inflows through the weekend.

By lowering the lake ahead of the peak inflow, the PRVWSD succeeded in its plan to create storage needed to reduce ultimate crests downriver.

Barnett Reservoir stood at 297.87 feet above sea level at 8:15 a.m. Wednesday. Officials expect the lake to rise to 298.3 as it holds the floodwaters.

River levels can be tracked online at these websites:

For Barnett Reservoir:  http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jsnm6

For Jackson: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jacm6

Taste of Flowood


PRVWSD Meeting Agenda

Updated agenda for tomorrow's meeting.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Senate Bill 2362

Senate Bill 2362 is 330 pages of double-spaced, interlineated and underlined legi-speak, too voluminous to post here (however, here is a link).  It is titled: "Mississippi Budget Transparency and Simplification Act of 2016", and was authored by Senator Buck Clarke, a Republican from the Delta (and parts of Yazoo and Madison Counties). It would make dramatic changes to the PRVWSD, the way it's funded, and the way it spends.  Let me try to explain it this way:

Right now, the PRVWSD is (for the most part) a financially autonomous agency of the State of Mississippi. The PRVWSD states on its website that:
The District carries out its multi-purpose mission without any state or local tax dollars. 
The PRVWSD self-generates funds for its purpose through lease fees, timber sales, operation of campgrounds, hunting permits, etc. In the normal course of business, no funds are allocated to the PRVWSD from the general budget.  Senate Bill 2362 would change that.

If you take a look at page 225 of said Senate Bill, it succinctly provides that the language of Miss. Code Ann. 51-9-149, the funding statute for the PRVWSD, shall be changed to:
(5) From and after July 1, 2016, the expenses of this agency shall be defrayed by appropriation from the State General Fund and all user charges and fees authorized under this section shall be deposited into the State General Fund as authorized by law.
What this means is that all leasehold fees, user fees, timber sales, etc., shall be remitted by the PRVWSD to the general fund of the State of Mississippi.  In return, the PRVWSD must then annually request its operating money from the Mississippi Legislature like other state agencies. In a sense, the PRVWSD will be at the mercy of the legislature when determining what its budget will be, rather than the master of its own destiny.

I haven't thought this through yet. What are some of the effects this could have on the way the PRVWSD operates? Would it give the PRVWSD less incentive to develop property, or be less accountable to the leaseholders?

Said bill passed the Senate on a party-line vote on March 2, 2016, which included Senator Josh Harkins' supporting vote.  It now sits in the House Appropriation Committee for further discussion.





Today's Info on Rez Discharge

Here is today's briefing:

Media Release
For Immediate Release
15 March 2016

Barnett Reservoir maintains discharge

Barnett Reservoir officials said Tuesday they will maintain a discharge of 43,500 cubic feet per second at the dam after the lake began to level out and show a slow fall overnight on Monday.

National Weather Service forecasts still project a peak inflow into the reservoir to occur on Wednesday, with an estimated 45,500 cubic feet per second entering the lake, a result of last week’s significant rain event throughout the Pearl River basin.

A Tuesday morning conference call with the NWS, the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District produced a consensus plan to hold the current discharge rate to monitor the response on the 33,000-acre lake north of Jackson.

The NWS said the river was at 33.2 feet at Jackson Tuesday morning, and it is still predicting a crest of 34 feet on Wednesday.

If the reservoir’s fall continues, PRVWSD said it could reduce the rate of discharge Tuesday. Lowering the lake ahead of the peak inflow is part of a plan to create storage needed to reduce ultimate crests downriver.

Barnett Reservoir stood at 297.86 feet above sea level at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday, with the inflow into the lake estimated at 43,000 cubic feet per second.

River levels can be tracked online at these websites:

For Barnett Reservoir: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jsnm6

For Jackson: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jacm6

Monday, March 14, 2016

Last Info on Rez Discharge

From the PRVWSD:

Media Release
For Immediate Release
14 March 2016
Barnett Reservoir increases discharge

Barnett Reservoir officials increased discharge at the dam Monday morning to 42,000 cubic feet per second, preparing for Wednesday’s crest of inflows from the Pearl River as forecast by the National Weather Service.

The consensus of a morning conference call with the National Weather Service, the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District was that the increased discharge was needed to stop a rise on the 33,000-acre lake north of Jackson.

It was agreed that the added discharge would not increase the crest at Jackson beyond the 34 feet forecast by the National Weather Service, which did move Jackson’s crest from Monday to Tuesday.
Lowering the lake ahead of the peak inflow is part of a plan to create storage needed to reduce ultimate crests at downriver locations.

Barnett Reservoir stood at 298.0 feet above sea level at 8:15 a.m. Monday, with the inflow into the lake estimated at 39,000 cubic feet per second. The National Weather Service is forecasting a peak inflow of 44,900 cubic feet per second on Wednesday.

River levels can be tracked online at these websites:

For Barnett Reservoir: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jsnm6

For Jackson: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jacm6

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Today's Media Release from PRVWSD on Discharge

13 March 2016
Barnett Reservoir maintains discharge

Barnett Reservoir officials said Sunday morning they would maintain the current discharge rate of 40,000 cubic feet per second at the dam, preparing for a Wednesday crest of the Pearl River forecasted by the National Weather Service.

In a conference call Sunday morning that included the National Weather Service, the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Jackson, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District it was agreed to maintain the discharge until the reservoir starts falling. The lake was at 298.03 feet above sea level Sunday morning.

Current inflow into the reservoir is 38,000 cubic feet per second and the National Weather Service said a peak of 44,200 cubic feet per second is expected on Wednesday.

Once it confirms the lake level is dropping, the PRVWSD said some adjustments in discharge could be made. The plan is to lower the lake before the peak inflow to create storage capacity and reduce the ultimate river crests at downriver locations.

The National Weather Service is still predicting the Pearl River to crest at 34 feet in Jackson on Monday, which will cause some street flooding. The forecast is based on inflows, past rainfall and rainfall predictions for the next 48 hours. River levels can be tracked online at these websites:

For Barnett Reservoir: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jsnm6

For Jackson: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jacm6

Friday, March 11, 2016

Pinebrook Subdivision Flooding in News

Pinebrook residents, you are in the news.  From a WLBT report:


MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS
The heavy rain pounded several Rankin County neighborhoods especially in the Pinebrook Subdivision where some streets were impassable at one point and the residents were not happy about it.
“If you have a car don’t come through this,” said a Rankin County Resident.
The relentless rain had people paddling home. Others couldn't get out their yards.

Full article here. (hat tip to anonymous commentor for link).

News of Rez Discharge

From the PRVWSD:

Media Release
For Immediate Release
11 March 2016
Barnett Reservoir increasing discharge

Barnett Reservoir officials began increasing the discharge at the dam Friday morning in advance of water coming down the Pearl River from heavy rainfall that has fallen in the basin over the past 24 hours.

After a 10 a.m. conference call with the National Weather Service Jackson, the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District opened its gates to allow a discharge of 30,000 cubic feet per second.
“Over the next 12 hours, that will cause the river to rise to 31.5 feet at Jackson,” PRVWSD general manager John Sigman said.

This action is taken to create storage in the reservoir to allow some reduction in the ultimate peak at locations downriver.

According to forecast models, which include rainfall predictions 48 hours ahead, the inflow at Barnett Reservoir should peak at around 45,000 cubic feet per second on Wednesday.

At 10 a.m. Friday, the inflow was 24,000 feet.

The Pearl River is expected to crest at different locations above the reservoir on Monday and Tuesday.

The public can track river forecasts online:

For Barnett Reservoir: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jsnm6
For Jackson: http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=jan&gage=jacm6

Rep. Powell's Weekly House Update

With hyperlinks.  Nice!

Week of March 7, 2016
This week, members of the House turned their focus toward budget matters, with both the Appropriations and Ways and Means committees very active. The Appropriations committee deals with spending the state’s money and is charged with designing the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 State Budget, which begins July 1. The Ways and Means Committee focuses on sources of state revenue. This committee crafts bills used as vehicles to fund the government. Early projections suggest the budget for FY2017 will be approximately $6.2 billion.
On the House floor Tuesday and Wednesday, House members first addressed Special Funds Appropriations bills and then moved to focus on General Funds Appropriations bills. Special Funds are amounts set aside in separate accounts in the State Treasury for specific spending purposes. This money is typically generated from fees and licensing expenses collected by agencies and also includes federal funds available to agencies. General Funds are state revenues that are not restricted to specific spending purposes. General fund money is, for the most part, collected through taxation of individuals and businesses.

We Need Info on Road Closures

I wish I had information for you specific to Rankin County road closures, but I cannot find anything on line.  This is the only website I can find for Rankin County Emergency Management Operations, but it is not updated.  The separate website they direct you to is under construction.  There is no Facebook or Twitter page for Rankin County Emergency Management Operations.

Mississippi Emergency Management has a website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter handle, but none of their information is Rankin County specific.

I drove from the Reservoir to the Rankin County Chancery Courthouse yesterday afternoon, using Luckney Road.  On the way down, the waters had not yet covered the road.  By the return trip 30 minutes later, the flood waters had covered the asphalt near Mary Myles Drive.

I need to go to the Courthouse again today and would like to know what my best access route would be. I wish Rankin Countians had a way to know about road closures.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Castlewoods Sold

Unconfirmed, but from reliable sources: Castlewoods Golf Course has been sold effective April 1, 2016, to group of local investors.  Less reliable rumor: said investors plan to overhaul the entire clubhouse area.  Do they plan to bring back the swimming pool?

Here is the Facebook account for the course, last updated May 22, 2015.

Here's a link to the blog, it is more regularly updated.

Here is the official website.

Weekly Leader Articles

Interesting articles from the Weekly Leader (the advance publication from the Rankin County News):

  -- RCSD holding kindergarten pre-registration March 22-24.  All the information you need to know on registering your children for kindergarten in RCSD schools.

  -- Body of missing elderly woman found in Reservoir. Contains the same information as this earlier post.

  -- Arrest warrant telephone scam.  See earlier post.

  -- Flowood charges burglary suspect. This criminal, James SCott Taylor, was actually a county resident.  He broke into Lakeland Glass and Tint. A review of the surveillance tape demonstrated the perp was a former employee.  He (allegedly) stole a computer, tools, a 2009 Lexus, and a 2006 Ford van.

  -- Visiting artist inspires NWR student art exhibit.  The exhibit, themed "Mississippi Landscapes" can be currently viewed at the Flowood Library, and was inspired by Albert Smathers of Miss. College.

  -- Prayer Breakfast set in Flowood.  Scheduled for May 13, at 7:30 a.m., in the Performing Arts Building at NWR HS.

  -- Flowood ready for Egg Hunt.  Saturday, March 26 at 10 a.m. in Liberty Park.

Interesting #'s from Tuesday's Election

The Rankin County election results can be viewed here.  Statewide election results can be viewed here.

Rankin County has an estimated population of 146,767, according to Google, making it the 4th most populous county in the State. The counties with a higher population are Hinds, Harrison and DeSoto. With that in mind, here are some interesting numbers from Tuesday's voting:

Over 3,000 more Republicans voted in Rankin County than DeSoto,
Over 4,500 more Republicans voted in Rankin County than Harrison County.
Over 11,500 more Republicans voted in Rankin County than Hinds County.
11,381 more Republican votes were cast in Rankin over Madison, in case anyone wondered.

That means, Rankin County had more GOP votes cast than any other county in the State. Does that surprise anyone?

A total of 29,323 GOP votes were cast in the Presidential primary. A total of 6,224 Democratic votes were cast in the Presidential Primary.

Of the 50 precincts in the county, which had the highest turnout?  East Crossgates with 1,583 total votes, and it wasn't even close.  Castlewoods West was the next highest with 1,296.  Grants Ferry pulled in a respectable 1,265.

Of the 50 precincts in the county, which had the lowest turnout? That prize goes to Mayton, with a total of 111 votes cast.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Josh Turner to Headline Flowood Family Fest

Country Music star, Josh Turner, headlines the music slate at Flowood Family Fest, May 21, 2016, at Liberty Park. Apparently he's had a few number one hits. Another big name for Flowood.


Full PRVWSD Board Agenda

Below is the proposed full Board agenda, subject to change at any time prior to the meeting at 9:30 a.m. on March 17, 2016. By the way, the public is invited to participate in these meetings. Unless otherwise noted, they take place at the PRVWSD headquarters at 115 Madison Landing Circle, Ridgeland, MS, near Cock of the Walk.

AGENDA FOR MEETING OF THE BOARD OF
DIRECTORS OF THE PEARL RIVER VALLEY WATER
SUPPLY DISTRICT HELD IN THE DISTRICT’S
MAIN OFFICE, RIDGELAND, MS
AT 9:30 A.M. ON THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2016

1. Opening prayer

2. Pledge of Allegiance – W. C. Gorden

3. Request for acceptance of Minutes from the regular meeting held on February 18, 2016

4. Committee Recommendations:

Parks Policy Agenda

Cinco de Mayo is coming to Lakeshore Park according to the Park Policy Committee Agenda.

AGENDA
PARKS POLICY COMMITTEE
Monday, March 14, 2016 3:00 p.m.

1. Approval of contract bid for upgrades to Goshen Springs boat ramp pier.

2. Acceptance of contract award for stormwater improvement project at Old Trace Park.

3. Approval of Barnett Reservoir Foundation request for special alcohol permit for the Gogo’s Breast Cancer Foundation’s Glow Run event scheduled for July 23rd at Old Trace Park.

4. Approval of Pete Castorena’s request for special alcohol permit for the Cinco De Mayo Brandon Festival on May 5th at Lakeshore Park.

Shoreline Development Committee Agenda

The next PRVWSD Board meeting is Thursday, March 17, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. at PRVWSD headquarters. The various committees of the PRVWSD Board meet earlier during the week.  Below is the substantial agenda for the Shoreline Development Committee.


AGENDA
SHORELINE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Monday, March 14, 2016 3:30 p.m.

1. Discussion of Old Rice Road property proposed lease.

2. Adoption of 2015 International Building, International Mechanical, International Plumbing, International Property Maintenance, International Energy Conservation, International Swimming Pool & Spa, International Fuel & Gas Codes and the 2014 National Electrical Code (as amended).

3. Adoption of 2015 International Residential Code, with the exception of section p2904 of Chapter 29, Dwelling Unit Fire Sprinkler System as it relates to single family dwellings (as amended).

4. Approval of change to District Regulation Part 206, Chapter 1 Property Maintenance Regulation to reflect adoption of revised Code.

5. Approval of change to District Regulation Part 205, Chapter 1, Rule 1.1 pertaining to Electrical and Standard Codes/Construction and Occupancy Permits/Use of Architects and Engineers.

6. Approval of construction bid contract for Phase 2 of Pelahatchie Bay Dredging Project.

7. Report on Sunrise/Paradise Pointe seawall construction Project.

8. Consideration of approval of revised MOU with MDOT concerning the water taxi.

9. Approval of Project Closeout and Final Change Order for construction contract with Delta Constructors for 18” sewer line replacement at Spann Drive.

10. Discussion of purchase of board/conference tables and seating.

11. Discussion of Leigh Anne Leech’s marketing agreement for the District’s real estate parcels less than two acres.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SCAM ALERT!

Below is a Facebook post from Justice Court Judge John Shirley:

***** ALERT *****
I just voted and a voter told me about a scam. He said he received a phone call from someone claiming to be a Rankin County deputy and was told "Judge John Shirley with Rankin County Justice Court issued a warrant for your arrest because you failed to appear for jury duty in February and you can avoid being arrested if you pay the fine right now with a credit card."
FACTS: Rankin County Justice Court does NOT issue a warrant when a juror fails to appear for jury duty. Do not become a victim to this scam!
Please SHARE this with your friends.

And then Madison County Justice Court Judge, Marsha Weems Stacey posted this:

This is happening in Madison County as well, and I know they have used Judge Hannan's name in a call. Same scam.

This scam has been run before; however, previous iterations have not been so specific that I remember. The use of actual judge names is particularly concerning.  Hopefully, that means the crooks will be easier to catch.

It's a Great Day to Cast a Vote

Get out and vote! Thanks to the Rankin County Election Commissioners for providing the "I Voted" stickers.


Folks on the Madison County side of the Rez get to vote for their State Senator in addition to Presidential and Congressional nominees.

Sad News

You never like to hear news like this.

BRANDON, Miss. (AP) - Rankin County authorities say the body of a missing woman has been found in the Ross Barnett Reservoir.
Sheriff Bryan Bailey says 78-year-old Hattie L. Moore was reported missing about 8 p.m. Sunday from her daughter's house in the Bridgepoint subdivision. Bailey says Moore was last seen walking across the causeway on Northshore Parkway toward Spillway Road.
WAPT-TV reports a search led to the recovery of Moore's purse on the rocks off the parkway, and her body was found in the water later Sunday evening.
Bailey says Moore's death appears to be an accidental drowning, but an autopsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Goofy Golf Returns to Flowood

The putt-putt golf course next to High Heaven and Seasons will re-open.  WLBT ran a good story on its www.msnewsnow.com website discussing current renovations.  From the article:

[Owner John] Wood said he's supervising the remodel himself, which includes replacing the greens, painting rocks that line a man-made stream and, perhaps the largest undertaking: repairing the pumps for the water system that includes multiple waterfalls and fountains.
Because of the steady flow of traffic from High Heaven -- an indoor trampoline park that opened last year -- Wood said he's had people asking him about the golf course often.
   *     *     *
[The go-kart track will not return.]  Still, [Woods] wants to use the property for children's parties and other events they plan to provide.
"I'm gonna remove all the tires and the metal from the go-kart track, put a trampoline, swing set and some basketball goals out there in a big mulch pit, and we'll have some outdoor play for children," Wood said.

Read the entire article here.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Rankin County News Articles

The Weekly Leader/Rankin County News is full of Rez-worthy articles this week. Among them:

   -- Board approves funds for BHS stadium, NWR stadium improvements.  Brandon High School will finally get an on-campus stadium, and Northwest Rankin gets new home-side bleachers and a new press box.

   -- Flowood's Easter Egg Hunt set for March 26.  Self explanatory. Starts at 10 a.m. at Liberty Park.

   -- Police apprehend auto burglary suspect within three minutes.  It's not rocket science, folks. If you are so depraved of heart that you would commit a crime, Flowood is not the place you want to practice your trade.  Even something as benign as breaking into unoccupied cars at 2 a.m.  You will get caught, and it will only take three minutes to do so.

   --  Barnett Reservoir boat show set March 26-27.  You can see earlier posts for more info on this.

  -- Time running out to vote absentee in March 8 primaries.  Presidential and Congressional election Tuesday, March 8.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rep. Powell's Weekly Summary from MS House

Rez House Representative Brent Powell submitted this weekly summary.  Many thanks to him for keeping us informed.


The House was a different place this week. By Friday of last week, 218 bills remained on the calendar as the March 3 deadline loomed. But on Monday, business resumed as usual, and House members addressed 90 bills on its calendar. Debates occurred, and no one made requests to read the bills. Several pieces of legislation discussed below were held on a Motion to Reconsider. At the time of this report, they have until Friday to be reconsidered for debate or until Monday to table the motion.

Some of the pieces of legislation discussed this week include:

Rankin/Madison Judge Named to Commission

Congratulations to Rankin/Madison Circuit Judge John Emfinger for being appointed to the Commission on Judicial Performance.  From the Supreme Court:

Commission on Judicial Performance has new leaders, new member 

     Rick J. Coulter of Columbia is the new chairman of the Commission on Judicial Performance, and Circuit Judge James L. Roberts Jr. of Pontotoc is vice-chair. The judicial watchdog agency elected officers on Feb. 12. 

    Circuit Judge Lee J. Howard of Starkville left the commission after 12 years of service – six years as an alternate and six years as a member. He was chairman in 2015, and previously served as vice-chair. 

   Circuit Judge John Emfinger of Brandon was appointed as a new alternate member. 

   TheCommission on Judicial Performance investigates allegations of judicial misconduct and makes recommendations for discipline to the Mississippi Supreme Court. The Commission includes seven members and seven alternates. An alternate takes the place of a member who is not able to participate in a particular judicial discipline case. 

    Coulter previously served for a year as Commission vice-chair. The Farm Bureau Insurance agency manager is a lay member of the Commission. He has served on the Commission since January 2006, starting as an alternate member. He became a member in January 2012. 

    Judge Roberts has served at every level of the state judiciary. He has been Circuit Judge of the seven-county First Circuit District since January 2007. The district includes Alcorn, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Tishomingo, Pontotoc and Prentiss counties. He previously served on the Supreme Court for seven years, resigning to run for governor. He then served as Municipal Judge in his hometown, Pontotoc. His early career included 12 years as a county prosecutor and four years as Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. He served as a chancellor of the First Chancery District for four years before he was elected to the Supreme Court. 

    Judge Emfinger has served as a circuit judge of the Twentieth Circuit District of Rankin and Madison counties since January 2011. He served for 14 years as an assistant district attorney for the Twentieth Circuit District. He worked for nearly 10 years as a special assistant attorney general, including as director of the attorney general's Public Integrity Division. He worked for a year as a staff attorney in the office of the Mississippi Secretary of State.

Presidential Hopefuls Flocking to the 'Sipp

Super Tuesday failed to demark a nominee, so Mississippi is actually getting a bit of attention.  John Kasich came to the Capital City Tuesday of this week.  Front-runner Donald Trump will be in Madison, Mississippi, on Monday, March 7 at 7 p.m.  Ted Cruz, currently in second place in delegates, will visit Jones County Junior College at noon on Monday.  Kingfish reports former President Bill Clinton is coming to town. In fact, Clinton will be at JSU today at 2:45 in the Student Center.  And rumor is, Rubio may be coming to either Millsaps or Germantown High School.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament at the Rez

Brian Broom with the Clarion Ledger ran a blurb about the upcoming Kayak Bass Series fishing event to be held at the Reservoir.  KBS holds four tournaments in the South division each year, with Ross Barnett being one of them. If you want more information, go here.  Lots of info.

The Kayak Bass Series is scheduled to hold its South Open tournament at Ross Barnett Reservoir on March 12.
Early registration for the event is $125 with an additional $20 for biggest bass competition. Early registration ends at midnight on March 4 and the late registration fee is $150. The Captain's meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 11 at Cock of the Walk restaurant, 141 Madison Landing Circle. Social hour will begin around 6 p.m.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Rankin DA Guest's 2015 Report

Provided to you as it was provided to me:

District Attorney Michael Guest
2015 Report


Eight years ago, I was humbled to be elected as your District Attorney. I made several promises during my campaign and I want you to know that those promises are being kept. With that in mind, we compile a list of some of our significant accomplishments for you to review each year.

I believe that one of the first duties of government is to keep its citizens safe and that has been job number one during my administration. Counties, such as Madison and Rankin, stay safe for a number of reasons. First, we have outstanding and dedicated law enforcement. Second, when my office receives a case we work diligently to move it quickly through the criminal justice system. I believe in swift justice with strong and appropriate sentences.

Randy Stonehill at Fannin UMC

Christian Music Hall of Fame recording artist Randy Stonehill is performing at Fannin United Methodist Church on Friday, March 4, at 7 p.m.