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Published by Hattiesburg Publishing, Inc.

City of Petal Brief History • Demographics


david gustafson editor

Inside Look Ready to serve City Departments

beth bunch reporter

dana gower advertising manager

kim rayborn advertising representatives

lauren caldwell missy pickering production manager

bill benge

Medical The Pine Belt offers an array of medical care options

Education Highlighting Petal Public Schools and institutions of higher learning

Recreation Outlets for sports, physical activities and outdoor recreation

production assistant

jean prine office manager

sonya james © 2010 Hattiesburg Publishing. Inc. 126 Westover Drive, Hattiesburg, MS 39402 (our office is located adjacent to Gander Mountain) Phone: 601-268-2331 • Fax: 601268-2965

Petal Newcomers Guide 2010 is a product of Hattiesburg Publishing, Inc., publishers of The Petal News, The Lamar Times, Signature News, Camp Shelby Reveille and Signature Magazine. For all subscription information contact us at 601-268-2331, including change of address or other related services.

Religion House of worship in the Petal area

Community Clubs and organizations Civic events

FYI City Map • Index of Advertisers

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Petal Newcomers Guide • 2010

Welcome to Petal


On behalf of the Board of Aldermen and the City of Petal, I want to welcome you to the Pine Belt of South Mississippi. Specifically, I want to tell you why the City of Petal is a great place to live. Our community is committed to education and a familyfriendly environment. Petal is a city built around one of the best school districts in the state of Mississippi. Petal High School is a nationally-recognized Blue Ribbon School, and our city recreation program offers a variety of activities for children of all ages. Petal’s motto is “The Friendly City” and we take pride in our low crime rate and abundance of churches. In Petal, you will find a variety of restaurants, retail stores, and services for you and your family. Yet, as we grow in size, the citizens of Petal maintain the small-town tradition of looking after our neighbors and treating friends like family. There are many housing options in the City of Petal. We have several new subdivisions under construction, along with more established neighborhoods where you can find a quality home at an affordable price. Whatever housing choice you are looking for, you can find it in Petal! If you are new to this area, come see us in Petal. We will put out the welcome mat and show you why we are proud to call it home. We think you will be, too. Sincerely, Hal Marx Mayor, City of Petal

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Petal officials had much to be pleased with – from increased sales tax revenues to a number of new and soon-to-be-announced businesses – as the new year got underway. About nine businesses either opened or moved to new locations since the fall of last year, Deborah Reynolds, president of the Petal Area Chamber of Commerce, said in January, while noting that a number of others were on the horizon. One factor that has contributed to the area's growth is the completion of the Evelyn Gandy Parkway, which connects Highway 42 in Petal to Interstate 59. Reynolds pointed out that the continuing trend of sales taxes coming in above the prior year's totals is a positive sign, especially at a time when many cities are struggling. In January, the city was notified it would be receiving $174,423.12 in sales tax reimbursements for November's sales, which is about $12,000 higher than the city received the same month a year earlier. "I think people are seeing how important those sales taxes are to the city," she said. "That's the bulk

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of the city's budget." Reynolds sees a number of reasons for the increase in sales, ranging from new businesses that provide more variety to a positive shopping atmosphere. "Families come from other communities to shop here," she said, noting that shoppers appreciate the city's easy flow of traffic and safe, friendly environment. The city's friendly atmosphere is one of the selling tools Reynolds has to offer businesses that are considering locating in Petal. Separated from Hattiesburg by the Leaf River, Petal functions as a trading, educational and medical center for south Mississippi. Its retail trade area is separated from Hattiesburg by the Leaf River on the west and south, and extends north in Jones County and east into Perry County. A recent survey showed that 85 percent of shoppers were from Forrest, Jones and Perry counties. The city also is centrally positioned between Jackson (89 miles), Mobile (95 miles), New Orleans (98 miles) and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (70 miles). Dallas, Atlanta, Memphis, St. Louis and Charlotte are all within a day's drive.


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City Departments RECREATION DEPARTMENT Phone: 601-554-5440 Office hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday Weekends hours are dictated by Programs offered The Petal Parks & Recreation Department is responsible for implementing and conducting activities for the growing population of Petal, as well as the maintenance of facilities within our parks' jurisdiction. Our mission is to provide the guidance and focus to fulfill the recreational needs of the citizens by identifying both physical and administrative goals. Our administrative goals are directed toward communication in increasing public awareness of existing facilities and programs offered by our department. We have eight full-time and two part-time employees available at all times to provide the citizens of Petal with the best recreational activities available. SANITATION DEPARTMENT Phone: 601-544-1522 Office hours: 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday The Sanitation Department is the newest addition to the inner working structure for the city. The responsibility of the Sanitation Department is to pick up all residential garbage and household trash. Our equipment consists of the addition of two new garbage trucks and two knuckle booms that will assist with larger limb pick up. We also deliver serialized green garbage cans for citizens use. These cans are registered to the address where delivered and should be left at that address if residency changes. The department consists of 10 highly-qualified personnel including a director to handle all routes within the city limits. Leaves and pinestraw should be bagged and set out by the curb for pick up. All limbs should be stacked by the curb for the knuckle booms to pick up. All trash needs to be separated from the limbs and yard trash for timely pick up. The Sanitation Department has completed its job of furnishing all residents with new garbage cans throughout the City of Petal. Should you have any questions regarding these matters please contact Sanitation Director at 601-544-1522. PETAL MUNICIPAL COURT 127 West 8th Avenue Phone: 601-582-5351 The Municipal Courtroom is located on the back of the Petal Police Dept. at 127 West 8th Ave. Municipal Court is held every Tuesday beginning at 9:30 on a first come, first serve basis. If you are scheduled to appear, you must appear as no continuances are granted. Trials are held every Tuesday afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m. BUILDING DEPARTMENT 101 W. Eighth Avenue Phone: 601-544-6048 The primary objective of the City of Petal Building Department is to protect the public's life, health, safety and welfare. We endeavor to provide responsive and efficient services

to the public by becoming more professional in our inspections through the continued education and training of our personnel. The City of Petal Building Department services the public in several areas, including: • Building Inspections & Permits • Code Enforcement • Planning Commission • Electrical & Plumbing Boards • Building Inspections & Permits The city building official performs all building, electrical, plumbing and heating and air inspections to ensure that development is in accordance with the City’s building codes. Inspections are scheduled through the Building Department office, as well as consultations on particular projects. The building official also issues building permits, approves all building site plans (commercial and residential), signs permits, tree permits, dumpster permits and other miscellaneous permits. Permit applications may be obtained and submitted at the Building Depart-ment office. POLICE DEPARTMENT 127 West 8th Avenue Phone: 601-544-5331 CODE ENFORCEMENT Phone: 601-544-5062 Community appearance is a vitally important aspect of civic pride, as is health and safety, which contributes to the preservation and en-hancement of the environmental quality of our city, as well as stimulation of our economy. City of Petal residents have expressed their desire, through the Board of Aldermen, that the city assign a high priority to beautifying the community through vigorous code enforcement measures. The Code Enforcement Officers continuously inspect properties for a range of violations including abandoned vehicles and buildings, dilapidated buildings, overgrown lots and trash, litter and debris. PLANNING COMMISSION The Planning Commission provides consultation to citizens on zoning matters, as well as makes recommendations to the Board of Aldermen with regard to land use and development. The Commis-sion is comprised of nine members who are appointed by the mayor. The Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

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CIVIC CENTER 712 South Main Street Phone: 601-582-2672 The Petal Civic Center was built in 1994 and serves as a building for citizens to utilize. While the building is used in many ways, it also serves as a community club and organization-friendly facility. The facility is available for rent 7 days a week. A few of the types of events held are, weddings, receptions, proms, concerts, balls, Christmas parties, meetings, health screening events, theater productions and pageants, as well as many others. The Civic Center also has an intercom system with microphones and a CD player. We have an LCD projector, an overhead projector and a TV with VHS player and a DVD player. We offer for rental, tablecloths and place settings. You may check the fee schedule for prices. The Civic Center is home to senior activities for Petal residents. Low impact chair aerobics are M-W-F at 9 a.m. and Thursday mornings is dedicated to Senior Breakfast and Bingo. We open at 8 a.m. with coffee and socializing with breakfast served at 9 a.m. followed by Bingo at 10 a.m. The Petal Chapter of AARP meets at the Civic Center on a regular monthly basis as well as offering other activities throughout the year aimed at seniors. The Petal Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors two Senior Health Fairs per year which offers free screenings and flu shots. There are three different sized rooms available for renting. The Auditorium will seat 300-350 people for banquets, up to 650 people capacity for other events. The Magnolia Room will seat 60 for meals and up to 80 for other events and the Common Room has a capacity of 35 people. We also offer a full commercial kitchen which is available for rent. We offer complete setup or you may set up yourself. The Civic Center is “tobacco free” and no alcoholic beverages are allowed. For answers to all your questions concerning the Petal Civic Center, call 601-582-2672 or come by for a visit at 712 South Main Street in Petal.

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FIRE DEPARTMENT Phone: 601-582-7270 The Petal Fire Department provides both emergency and non-emergency services to the public from three fire stations, utilizing four pumper trucks, a rescue truck, command trailer and three support vehicles. There are a total of 27 employees. There is a Class 6 rating. WATER DEPARTMENT 119 West 8th Avenue Phone: 601-544-6981 After Hours Emergencey: 601-325-4832 The City of Petal Water Department is located at 119 W. 8th Avenue on the back of City Hall. The Water Dept issues billing for Water, Sewer and Sanitation services within the city limits. Office hours are Mon - Fri, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., closing for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A drop box is located at the drive-thru for after-hours payments. Pay-ments can also be made through automatic draft. Go to the printable forms section of our Web site, print the draft authorization and return to the Water Department along with a voided check.If you have any questions for the Water Department, call 601-544-6981. The Water & Sewer Maintenance Department is located at 144 West Central Avenue. After-hour emergency number: 601-325-4832. If no answer, please call the Police Department at 601-5445331. If you need assistance paying your water or sewer bill, or would like to donate to those who need assistance, please access the required forms from the Web site. Forms are also available at the front desk of City Hall. If you have questions regarding the Petal Water & Sewer Assistance Program, call 601-466-3065. STREET DEPARTMENT Phone: 601-544-1522

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Hattiesburg Clinic In 1963, Hattiesburg Clinic was founded by ten physicians who were passionate about providing quality health care to the residents of the Pine Belt. Since then, the clinic has grown to be the largest multi-specialty clinic in Mississippi and one of the largest in the Southeastern portion of the United States. Today the clinic's nearly 220 physicians and 2,000 staff members provide family medicine, pediatric and specialty services in 46 locations throughout Covington, Forrest, George, Jasper, Jefferson Davis, Jones, Marion, Lamar, Pearl River, Perry, Simpson, Stone, Walthall and Wayne counties. In late 2008, Hattiesburg Clinic broke ground on a twostory, 20,000 square foot imaging expansion, which is slated to be completed in March 2010. The expansion is expected to improve imaging efficiency and provide a more comfortable experience for patients. The Breast Center at Hattiesburg Clinic has been designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology, a recognition that is awarded to facilities accredited in mammography, breast ultrasound and stereotactic biopsy. In addition, The Breast Center was the first facility in Mississippi to be considered a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, and is currently one of three in the state with this designation. The Breast Center offers digital mammography, breast ultrasounds, bone density testing, breast MRI,

ultrasound and MRI guided breast biopsies, stereotactic biopsies and houses Mississippi's only accredited dedicated Breast MRI equipment. Hattiesburg Clinic's cardiology services have recently been expanded to serve residents in Richton and Waynesboro. Clinic cardiologists are available to see patients at Perry County Hospital in Richton and Wayne General Hospital in Waynesboro. In addition to those locations, Hattiesburg Clinic cardiologists are available to treat patients in Collins, Hattiesburg, Laurel, Magee, Picayune, Seminary and Wiggins. For more information about a location near you, call 601-268-5800.

SE Mississippi Rural Health Initiative Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, Inc. was organized for the purpose of improving the health status of the residents of a predominantly rural area of southeast Mississippi. A rural healthcare delivery system was established to help alleviate the lack of healthcare resources in the Pine Belt area. The organization began delivering primary care services in 1980 at its first clinic in Sumrall. Later that year, a second clinic was opened in New Augusta, followed by a third clinic the next year in Seminary. In 1994, SeMRHI received approval for a major expansion of services to Hattiesburg. Services began in 1995 and new clinic sites were added in 1997 and 1998 in the Brooklyn and Lumberton. The Hattiesburg Community Dental Center opened for business in 2000. A permanent facility became a reality in 2007 when SeMRHI announced the opening of a cuttingedge facility. The enhanced commitment to women’s health services began in 1997 with the assumption of full perinatal services. The Women’s Health Center opened in 2000. Hattiesburg Family Health Center/Downtown was opened during the summer of 2001. The center services the PACE Head Start Program and the general public. Beaumont Family Health Center was opened in 2002. In 2003, SeMRHI began negotiations with the Hattiesburg Public Schools to implement a healthcare program geared toward well-student assessments. In 2004, the Hattiesburg Public School and Community Clinic was opened. In late 2004, SeMRHI was able to implement the same programs with the Forrest County and Perry County school

systems. The Pharmacy Assistance Center opened an in-house 340b pharmacy in 2004. The Hattiesburg High School and Community Clinic opened in 2005 on the campus at Hattiesburg High. The assistance of USDA and local financial institutions has proven to be a great asset for SeMRHI, making possible the construction of permanent buildings for Brooklyn and New Augusta Family Health Centers. SeMRHI was also able to construct permanent, up-to-date, state-of-the-art facilities for Seminary in 2005 and Sumrall in 2006. In 2007, SeMRHI was awarded $600,000 to add staff, renovation and additional space to the Hattiesburg Family Health Center. A Minor Care Clinic opened in 2007 in an effort to accommodate patients needing primary care services. SeMRHI now boasts 14 community health centers that serve the Pine Belt area and the surrounding communities, providing access to much-needed healthcare. An additional 19 part-time school clinics are also listed in SeMRHI’s scope of services. Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative, Inc. has provided healthcare services to more than 40,000 individuals in the past few years. Sixty-four percent of SeMRHI patients are made up by the female patient population. More than 100,000 health visits have been recorded during each of the past few years for the patient population served by SeMRHI. Full prenatal care is being provided to more than 500 women annually.

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Forrest General Hospital Forrest General understands that a patient's experience begins from the moment they know they are coming to the campus. Forrest General has embraced a philosophy and commitment to C.A.R.E., by every employee, for every patient, every time. The “We C.A.R.E.” philosophy is designed to create positive patient experiences, equipping each employee to focus on moments in their daily work. Forrest General and its staff is committed to putting each of these concepts into action every day, in order to continue providing the best possible care for patients and their families and foster the sense of loyalty that exists between Forrest General and the communities it has served for decades. In response to this commitment to C.A.R.E., Forrest General has also developed new Vision and Mission statements that embody the concepts found within the “We C.A.R.E.” philosophy. This commitment to creating positive patient experiences through is the very heartbeat of the character and culture of Forrest General. We C.A.R.E. stands for: C: Communicate with Compassion and Courtesy A: Acknowledge and take Action R: Respect and Reassure the patient E: Empathize and Explain what is taking place Forrest General is a 512-bed facility providing regional health services to a 17-county area. Generations of Pine

Belt residents have counted on Forrest General, and today's generations continue to rely on the comprehensive care offered through the hospital's constantly expanding range of health care services. Forrest General provides excellence in healthcare through a wide range of services including:  Emergency and Trauma Services  Heart and Vascular Services  Surgical Services  Family Birthplace & Women and Children's Services  Forrest General's Spirit of Women  Pine Grove Behavioral Health  Neuroscience and Orthopedic Services For more information about Forrest General, call FGH OnCall at 1-800-844-4445 between the hours of 2 - 10 p.m., 7 days a week, or visit

Wesley Medical Center It's one thing to say, “We're the best..” but when you can back it up with data collected from, and rated by, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) it's just that much sweeter. Wesley Medical Center achieved top status for providing the recommended care known to get the best results in four areas: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and prevention of surgical infection. While the hospital is excited about its statistical accomplishments and its standing as a leader in the state, what really makes their staff proud is the outstanding care they offer the people of the Pine Belt every day. The medical professionals at Wesley Medical Center know you have a choice when it comes to your healthcare, which is why they work tirelessly everyday to provide their patients with the utmost in quality care and compassion. At Wesley, a commitment to excellence in advanced technology, cutting edge medical services, compassionate nursing care, a beautiful campus environment, countless wellness opportunities and health education is the standard. In addition to acute and intensive care services, Wesley Medical Center offers diagnostic cardiac catheterization, 24-hour emergency services, pediatric and neonatal intensive care, the Institute for Wellness and Sports Medicine, rehabilitation services, the Hip and Knee Surgery Center, Work Well (occupational health services), 24-bed sub-acute Transitional Care Unit, obstetrics, general surgery, ear, nose and throat surgery, endoscopic surgery, lithotripsy,

gynecological surgery, Women's Services, The Birth Center, Urological Services, Forever Young Senior Services, Home Health Services, neurosurgery, gastroenterology services, radiology, outpatient surgery and VA Clinic. Wesley Medical Center is already planning for the future by anticipating the growing needs of Hattiesburg and the surrounding areas. The hospital is planning for a 100-bed addition, which will allow for expanded services while maintaining its quality of care for patients and their families. As one of the fastest-growing regional medical facilities in Mississippi with more than 300 physicians on staff, Wesley offers state-of-the-art technologies, dedicated employees and specialized services while always employing its mission of Loving God, Serving Others, Excelling in Healthcare.


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Petal Schools The Petal School District has a longstanding reputation for high quality schools in Mississippi and throughout the nation. Because of the cooperation and support of the Petal community and the team spirit that exists among students, staff and parents, the school district is able to achieve academic and extra-curricular success. The district is committed to achieving their mission: To empower all students with the attitudes, knowledge and lifelong learning skills essential to thrive as responsible citizens in an ever-changing global society. The Petal School District officially began in 1976 after community members decided they wanted to create a school district separate from the county school system. The city of Petal was incorporated specifically to form the new school district - a step signifying how important excellent education opportunities were to the citizens of this community. Since that time school employees have worked hand in hand with the community to ensure the schools reflect the local values and quality of life inherent in the citizens of the Petal School District. While retaining its positive small-town atmosphere, Petal has become state and nationally known for its quality schools and award-winning athletic and performing arts programs. Five schools make up the Petal School District: Petal Primary School (K-2), Petal Elementary (3,4), Petal Upper Elementary (5,6), Petal Middle School (7,8) and Petal High School (9-12). Each school offers superior academic instruction as well as enrichment classes. Students at Petal Middle School and Petal High School have numerous academic courses and electives available to enhance their educational experience. In addition to the five schools, the Petal School District also operates the Petal Education

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Center which functions as the alternative school and the Petal Center for Families and Children which offers educational resources and support services in coordination with other area agencies for the families of the Petal community. Superior academic success has become a long standing expectation in the Petal School District. The Level 5 ratings that our schools continually achieved in the previous state accountability model were an indication that we are one of the best school districts in the state. That tradition of academic success continues on the new accountability rating system. Petal High School achieved the highest status possible, “Star School”. Only 29 schools in Mississippi achieved this prestigious title. This rating indicates that this school compares to top performing schools nationwide. The rating of “High Performing” indicates that Petal Middle School and Petal Upper Elementary that students are performing above the national average. Some specific recent accomplishments of the school district include:  In 2009, 104 PHS seniors met the rigorous academic criteria to graduate as Mississippi Scholars  Petal High School was named a bronze-level school by U.S. News and World Report in its America's Best High Schools list  Five additional employees became nationally board certified in 2009. The district is proud to have a total of 41 nationally board certified employees  New facilities have been added in recent years: in 2008 a new primary school, softball complex, performing arts building and access road were added. In 2009, a new baseball complex and a new football stadium were begun with construction expected to be complete in 2010.  The 2009 graduating class had an ACT composite score class average of 21and was awarded over $1.5 million in scholarships


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Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. John Buchanan who began his tenure in July 2009, work is progressing to further advance the instructional process by revising curriculum, conducting meaningful professional development and recruiting and retaining the best qualified teachers. These efforts along with the support of parents and the community will enable staff to meet the challenges of the advanced standards necessary for our students to remain competitive on a state and national level. Recognizing the importance of longrange planning, school district personnel, with the involvement of community members, designed and implemented two cycles of strategic planning to guide the district through the past 11 years. Community members, school district personnel and students meet annually to revise and update the plan to keep it current and applicable. Because of their vision and the combined efforts of the entire Petal community, the Petal School District has been able to achieve remarkable results in recent years. More information about the Petal School District can be accessed at or by calling 601-5453002.

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University of Southern Mississippi At The University of Southern Mississippi the college experience is about top-flight educational opportunities where ambitious students, outstanding scholars, world-class researchers and creative artists thrive in an environment of exploration and discovery. For 100 years, The University of Southern Mississippi has been educating students to become successful and productive citizens. Built upon a foundation of perseverance, loyalty and the inspired dreams of its founders, Southern Miss begins its second century emerging as the premier research university of the Gulf South. Across the university, faculty and students are engaged in scholarly pursuits and relevant research which impacts the community and addresses challenges affecting education, the environment, health and security. Southern Miss prepares students for leadership roles in an interdependent global society. Armed with a vision to transform its world in service to the greater good, Southern Miss is preparing graduates to make a difference wherever they are. Centennial Celebration Throughout 2010, The University of Southern Mississippi will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of its legislative founding. In just 100 short years, Southern Miss has grown from a local teaching college into a comprehensive research institution of higher learning that educates thousands of students at multiple locations. With the theme of “A treasured past, A golden future,” the university has organized a number of events during the year commemorating this milestone. From concerts to lectures, a full slate of Centennial events is scheduled throughout the year with a highlight to come on Founder’s Day March 30. For a full schedule and more information, go to the Centennial Web site at Academics The only dual campus university in Mississippi, Southern Miss provides educational opportunities in Hattiesburg, Long Beach and six teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It is enriched by the diverse perspectives of more than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 70 countries. Southern Miss offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs to students through the Colleges of Arts and

Letters, Business, Education and Psychology, Health, and Science and Technology. In addition, the Honors College offers high-achieving students special academic opportunities, regardless of their field of study. Southern Miss also operates study-abroad programs in nearly 20 countries worldwide, and the British Studies program is one of the largest summer programs for Americans in London. International Education at Southern Miss is extending its outreach by forging new partnerships with universities in Panama to support student exchanges and research collaborations in conjunction with the new Center for Logistics, Trade and Transportation. The expansion of the university’s mission of training teachers has not diminished the vision of its founders, as today more than half of all the state’s public schoolteachers hold Southern Miss degrees. In addition, other innovative programs provide education and training in a variety of unique areas.  Sports and High Performance Materials major educates students to create the next generation of sporting equipment.  The Entertainment Industry program prepares students for careers in the production and promotional aspects of the music and entertainment industry.  The Health Care Marketing program, the only one of its kind in the region, trains students for careers in the health care industry. Research Founded simply to train Mississippi’s teachers, Southern Miss has evolved into a comprehensive research university, reaching far beyond the Magnolia state. Recognized as a Carnegie RU/H: Research University (high research activity), Southern Miss generates annual research funding of more than $90 million that supports a variety of projects from homeland security to aquaculture. Southern Miss has taken a leadership role in safety and security awareness at major sporting events with ongoing work at the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security. The first of its kind nationwide, the center has received more than $7.8 million in funding for security management processes, risk management curriculum, Webbased sports venue training curriculum and evacuation simulation systems.

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Jones County Junior College The nearly one-hundred year old campus at Jones County Junior College is thriving like never before with more services, classes and students. However, as with every state agency, JCJC will be doing more with less money in the budget. JCJC administrators and faculty have renewed their efforts to better meet the needs of students as more people are looking to community colleges to provide a better future. “The search for jobs or different training and education continues as the economy continues to lag,” said JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith. “At Jones, we are providing students with more opportunities to meet their goals and overcome their challenges during this time.” As the college enrollment numbers continue to shatter records, faculty and staff are trying to meet the demands of the more than 5000 students taking classes. Some of the new services and opportunities, as well as new facilities, include the new Student Success Center (SSC). The success center houses the counseling center and is located on the first floor of the Terrell Tisdale Library. The SSC offers specialized services for students including career counseling and workshops to assist students in transitioning to college life. It also provides a place for students to relax between classes. The two-year college enjoyed an enrollment surge of 11 percent with 5,573 in the fall 2009 semester. Spring enrollment figures show 4,974 students registered for traditional

and online classes, which is an 11.4 percent increase from spring 2009. JCJC is a vibrant and growing institution with more students of all ages discovering the endless opportunities offered through traditional and on-line classes. The college enjoys unequaled support from the community, state, region, and generations of proud alumni, who, along with the JCJC Foundation, award more than $265,000 in scholarships annually. For more information about Jones County Junior College, call 601-477-4000 or visit the college's website at

Pearl River Community College Soaring enrollment and shrinking state funding present challenges as officials at Pearl River Community College continue meeting the educational needs of students at three campuses. Fall 2009 enrollment hit a record 5,137 students, a 13.6 percent increase over fall 2008, and the trend continues with spring 2010 enrollment at 4,800, a 12.7 percent increase over last spring. As more and more students were enrolling at PRCC, the state’s lagging revenues forced Gov. Haley Barbour to order all state agencies to cut budgets. Community college budgets have been cut by 8 percent this fiscal year, a $1.3 million cut at PRCC. "Rising enrollments and diminishing appropriations don’t paint a pretty picture," said Dr. William Lewis, PRCC president. Through careful management of reserve funds and increases in tuition revenue generated by more students, PRCC has not laid off personnel. Officials believe much of the increase in enrollment can be attributed to the poor economy. The Forrest County Center continues to attract so many students that parking is a permanent challenge and classroom space is at a premium. Spring enrollment there is 1,853, up almost 300 from last spring. "In the daytime, we’re utilizing every bit of space we have," said Dr. Cecil Burt, dean of the Forrest County Center.

PRCC’s growth was noted in the Nov. 30 issue of Community College Week, which ranked PRCC’s the 25th fastest-growing institution among 50 colleges of comparable size. Additional developments at PRCC include:  A new athletic field house opens this spring at the south end of Dobie Holden Stadium. The building includes a weight room, coaches’ offices, training room, dressing room and meeting room.  A federal grant of $200,000 will upgrade instructional technology and the required infrastructure to support it. The grant will also fund installation of a portal to give students a single sign-on point.

Parks and Recreation Relay Park, located behind the Civic Center on S. Main Street, offers a playground, walking track, four covered picnic tables, a pavilion and restroom facilities. The picnic areas and pavilion are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, unless previously reserved. To reserve the pavilion, call Tom in the Recreation Dept. Pets are not allowed at the park or on the walking track. Robert E. Russell Sports Complex (City Park) located on Hillcrest Loop is currently undergoing major construction. This complex currently offers 3 ballfields with concession stand and restroom facilities, a walking track and 2 tennis courts. Improvements being made include the addition of 4 new ballfields, new concession stand and press box, new playground with covered picnic tables, and a skate park. Pets are not allowed at the park or on the walking track. The Petal Dog Park, located off Three-Mile Cutoff behind A&B Cycles, offers a place for dog owners and their dogs to play outside in a spacious and scenic, but fenced area. Features separate pens for small and large dogs, benches, picnic tables and water fountains for both. Petal's Recreation Dept. hosts many events throughout the year. MARCH - JUNE • Adult Softball Spring League • Kids Spring Break Camp • Easter Egg Hunt • Women's USSSA Tournaments • Hershey Track and Field Competition • Adult Basketball • Girls Fast Pitch Softball League • Adult Dodgeball Tournament • Memorial Day Baseball Tournament • Youth Tennis Clinics • Youth Flag Football League • Boys 13 & 14 yr Old Baseball League JULY - DECEMBER • Girls Sports Clinic • Soccer Clinic • Adult Softball • Kids Night Out Against Crime • Lil Trackster (K-3rd) Track & Field Event • Dodgeball Tournament • Youth & Adult Volleyball League/Tourneys • Adult Flag Football • Pizza with Santa Other recreational events in Petal include: • Dixie Youth Baseball sponsored by the Optimist Club; Optimist Park • Girls' Slowpitch Softball sponsored by the Petal Girls Softball Association; Sunrise Community Center Fields • Youth Basketball - Petal Youth Sports Association; Middle School Gym • PeeWee Football and Cheerleading • Youth Sports Association; Barrontown Community Center Field • Petal Select Baseball • Petal Youth Sports Association; Robert E. Russell Sports Complex • Youth 8 and under Soccer - Petal Family YMCA

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Area Golf Courses Year-round golf is one of the reasons retirees move south. Low fees and available tee times are the norm at the area golf courses Other top-rated courses are located within 30 miles of Hattiesburg in Laurel, Wiggins, Collins, Prentiss, and Columbia. Hattiesburg Country Club ......................18 holes Private course - For more info, call(602) 264-5078 Timberton Golf Club ..............................27 holes Semi-Private - For more info, call (601) 584-4653 Twin Pines County Club ..........................9 holes Semi-Private - For more info, call (601) 544-8318 Dixie Golf Club ...................................... 18 holes Private - For more info, call (601) 649-3384 Canebrake Golf Club ..............................18 holes Semi-Private - For more info, call (601) 271-2010 Hillsdale Golf Course ............................18 holes Public course - For more info, call (601) 796-9005 Pine Belt National Golf Club ................18 holes Semi-Private- For more info, call (601) 584-6531 Pine Burr Country Club ..........................18 holes Public course - For more info, call (601) 928-4911 Pine Creek Golf Club ..............................18 holes Public course - For more info, call (601) 794-6427 Shadow Ridge Golf Club ........................18 holes Semi-Private - For more info, call (601) 296-0286 Tennis is also a favorite sport of area citizens. Matches and tournaments are held year-round on over 50 public/private tennis courts around the Pine Belt.

Forrest County Multipurpose Center The old saying, "time flies when you're having fun," rings true for the J. L. Cartlidge Forrest County Multipurpose Center (FCMPC). This year, the event center celebrates its tenth anniversary. In the 11 short years the facility has been in operation, it has proven to be one of the best entertainment and recreational facilities in the Southeast. The 160acre complex is responsible for bringing a significant amount of new faces and new dollars to Hattiesburg, Forrest

County and the surrounding Pine Belt area. Since the FCMPC opened in 1999, the facility has hosted more than 2,000 events and has seen more than 1.5 million visitors walk through its gates. The facility has also added a 147-site RV Park and now boasts a total of 11 buildings. The FCMPC truly does have something for everyone. From horse and livestock shows to gun shows, carnivals and

fairs, the entire family can enjoy an event at the center. One of the biggest events at the Forrest County center is the annual MayFest, which draws an average of 12,000 people to the complex. Live music concerts, mixed martial arts, an outdoor rock band contest with thousands in cash and prizes, rides, games and various fundraising efforts are some of the attractions scheduled for the annual celebration.

Petal Newcomers Guide • 2010

Playing in the Pine Belt Several opportunities await the outdoors enthusiast in the Pine Belt – from waterparks to canoeing expeditions to hiking trails and more.  Pep’s Point is a spring-fed lake facility and includes a waterslide, swimming and picnic areas and waterfront camping sites. Miniature golf, basketball, volleyball courts, paddleboats, a game room with video games, ping pong and pool tables are just a few of the things you might enjoy. 382 Pep’s Point Road, Hattiesburg, 601-582-8461.  Grand Paradise Waterpark in Collins, is a 7-acre blast of water excitement. An 850-foot lazy river winds along and there are four major slides. Food court. 50 Grandview Drive in Collins. Grand Paradise is located approx. 30 minutes north of Hattiesburg and 60 min. south of Jackson, on Hwy. 49 at the intersection of Hwy 84. Grand Paradise is located behind the Best Western Collins Inns & Suites For the RV’er, sites and tent sites, laundry facilities, a fishing point, propane and pool pavilion welcome those who like to travel the open roads at the Shady Cove RV Park. Many of the opportunities below also offer sites for campers.  Longleaf Trace – A rails-to-trails conservancy project spanning three counties with 42 miles of paved trailway for biking, walking, outdoor photography, bird watching and many other outdoor recreational activities. A 23-mile equestrian trail parallels the paved trail. Hattiesburg to Prentiss, 800- 638-6877,  Paul B. Johnson State Park – This 744-acre park provides fishing and water sports in the 296-acre spring-fed Geiger Lake, a visitors' center with game room, 16 cabin units, 108 RV sites, 25 tent sites, and a self-guided nature trail. 319 Geiger Lake Road, Hattiesburg, MS 39401, 601582-7721  Soggy Bottom Canoe & Kayak – Located in the Black Creek Wilderness Area of the Desoto National Forest, Soggy Bottom offers canoe and kayak rentals, cabins, RV sites, camping, hiking, and river trips. 1651 Hwy 29, Brooklyn, 601-598-2745, www.soggybottomcanoe. com  South Mississippi Canoe Rental – The Floating Canoe Rental offers a variety of trips on the Leaf River, Bowie River and Red Creek. There is something to suit the experienced, as well as novice paddlers. Day trips or overnight trips are available and all are within 50 miles of Hattiesburg, 23 Old Hwy 49 West, Brooklyn 39425, 601544-4207,  Black Creek Canoe Rental – Designated a National Wild and Scenic River, adventure lovers can enjoy hiking and day and overnight canoe trips on the Black Creek, Off Highway 49 Brooklyn, 601-582-8817 ,  Okatoma Outdoor Post – Okatoma Outdoor Post offers canoe and kayak rentals for day and overnight trips on Mississippi's only Class 1 whitewater river. If you love the outdoors, don't miss the primitive camping and cabins offered along the Okatoma, off Highway 49, Sanford, 601722-4297 or 888-Okatoma,  Seminary Canoe Rental – Day and overnight canoe

trips along Mississippi's only whitewater river are available at this popular spot, also offering a Trading Post and picnic areas. Hwy 49 North Seminary, 601-722-4301  Little Black Creek Water Park, Pat Harrison Waterway District Waterparks. This water park offers 600 acres for swimming, fishing, hiking and boating. Scenic campsites, cabins, bungalows, a convenience store and picnic areas are available to make the most of your trip to Little Black Creek. Located between Purvis and Lumberton, 601-794-2957,  Flint Creek Water Park, Pat Harrison Waterway District Waterparks. This waterpark features four giant waterslides, as well as 600 additional acres for fishing, swimming, water skiing, hiking and boating. Primitive camping, RV camping and cabins are also available. Highway 29, Wiggins, 601-928-3051,  Kamper Park – Home of the Hattiesburg Zoo, David Anthony Tennis Complex, Exchange Club baseball fields and a walking and exercise area, this park features a covered pavilion, playgrounds and picnic areas. Open dawn to dusk. Free admission. Corner of Hardy Street and 17th Ave, 601-545-4576.


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Hattiesburg Publishing

Petal Newcomers Guide • 2010


Area churches ASSEMBLY OF GOD Bethel Assembly of God 213 McKinnon Street (601) 544-2249 BAPTIST Bible Baptist 728 South Main Street (601) 582-5653 Calvary Baptist 1123 Hwy. 42 (601) 583-8309 Carterville Baptist 1115 Carterville Road (601) 584-9457 Crestview Baptist 479 Old Corinth Road (601) 582-1559 Crossroad Baptist 1053 Old River Road (601) 582-9880 Eastabuchie Baptist Hwy. 11 North of Petal (601) 582-7030 East Petal Baptist 1522 Hwy. 42 (601) 583-6792 First Baptist Church 992 Hwy 42 (601) 545-3198 Green’s Creek Baptist 711 Old Richton Road (601) 582-2450

Indian Springs Baptist 185 Walter Myers Road (601) 584-8970

Runnelstown First Baptist 9211 Hwy. 42 (601) 583-3733

Lynn Ray Road Baptist 197 Lynn Ray Road (601) 545-7635

Sunrise Baptist 299 Sunrise Road Petal, (601) 583-1850

Macedonia Baptist 609 Macedonia Road (601) 545-3110

Temple Baptist 119 Jackson Avenue (601) 582-1417

Main St. Baptist 296 Leeville Road (601) 584-6888

Trinity Baptist 53 Corinth Road (601) 584-7432

Mars Hill Baptist 66 Mars Hill Road (601) 544-7111

Turning Pointe Baptist 1145 Hwy 42 East (601) 270-1899

Mt. Bethel Baptist 402 McInnis Street (601) 545-1226

Vision Baptist 1056 Morriston Road (601) 584-8222

Mt. Olive Baptist 39 Eastabuchie Road (601) 544-0540 Mt. Vernon Baptist 883 Hwy. 42 (601) 545-3361 Petal Independent Baptist 7 Pop Runnels Road (601) 583-4225 Petal-Harvey Baptist 600 S. Main Street (601) 583-1743 Piney Grove Missionary 153 Sheeplo Loop

CHURCH OF CHRIST Church of Christ 1530 Hwy. 42 (601) 583-2525 CHURCH OF GOD Petal Church of God 319 Old Richton Road (601) 583-0943 JEHOVAH’S WITNESS Jehovah’s Witness 27 Barrontown Road (601) 582-4952

METHODIST Asbury United Methodist 1331 Hwy. 42 (601) 545-3006 East Pine African Methodist 923 Hwy. 42 (601) 544-9709 Moselle United Methodist Moselle Rd. (601) 325-1098 Petal United Methodist 418 S. Main St. (601) 582-0440 PENTACOSTAL First United Pentacostal 714 Old Richton Road, (601) 545-3407 PRESBYTERIAN Petal Presbyterian 305 S. Main St. (601) 582-4772 OTHER Abundant Grace of Petal 518 Hillcrest Loop (601) 765-2410 Rivers of Life 1425 Carterville Road (601) 582-2505 Love Joy Peace Ministries 210 Hwy 42 Friends in Christ Ministry 115 West 9th Avenue (601) 582-7609

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Petal Newcomers Guide • 2010


Our community When a small group of people first got together in 1999 to discuss organizing a Relay For Life event in Petal, "Most people in Petal didn't even know what Relay For Life was," Allen Hutto said. But it didn't take long for everyone to find out. "We raised $76,000 that first year," she said. Hutto was team recruitment chairman that year. In 2001, she took over as overall chairman for the annual event, and has served in that capacity ever since. "I think we started in January of '99," planning the first Relay, Hutto said. About 15 teams were recruited that first year. Shannon Decker, who is from Petal, was serving at that time as an income development manager with the American Cancer Society. "My first Relay to attend was in Hattiesburg, and in general there were no people from Petal," she said. "Petal is my hometown and I wanted to get it involved." Although Petal's first Relay for Life was held at what is now Relay Park, it was just a field at that time. Before the second year, Forrest General Hospital

had paved a track, and the park continued to grow into what it is today. Because she was in charge of overseeing seven Relays her first year, Decker said she had to turn most of the work over to others to get the city's first Relay organized. "It was the easiest Relay I'd ever put together," she said. "It was really amazing. We won all kinds of awards." That first year, Petal was second in fundraising only to Hattiesburg in her district, Decker said, adding, "The second year was even bigger." After two years, Decker moved away, but has since returned to Petal and is now working with Relay as a volunteer. "Last year, I was a team captain. It was strange to be on the other side of it, but it was really fun," she said. "We had 40 teams," Decker said. "It was incredible. Everybody was involved. You walked around the track and there was no available space." Decker said she believes there are a number of reasons that Petal's Relay has been so successful, but one is that it was a way for the community to come together. "I think Petal needed a community event," she said. Hutto agreed, saying, "To me, it real-

ly united the community. We found so many people in Petal that were cancer survivors that we never knew." Another thing that has made Petal's Relay so successful, and which helps give the city's event a special character all its own, is that all of the schools are actively involved, Hutto said. "Our schools have won all kinds of awards. Just the schools by themselves raise $40,000 every year," she said, adding that the most important thing about getting children to participate early is that they tend to be actively involved with Relay from then on. Like so many others, Roberts has a personal reason for supporting Relay. "My grandfather died of lung cancer, and I've seen so many times how cancer has affected others," she said. "It's almost like you don't realize how important it is until you know somebody who has been affected by cancer." For her own family, the annual Relay For Life event is something they look forward to participating in each year, Roberts said, noting, "Every year when they do the luminaries, that's a special time for my family." Already, volunteers are getting ready for this year's Relay for Life, which will be here before you know it.

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Petal Newcomers Guide • 2010

Clubs & Organizations Boy Scouts of America 1318 Hardy St Hattiesburg, MS 39401 601.582.9464

Petal Children's Task Force 201 W. Central Avenue Petal, MS 39465 601.584.4704

Petal Moose Lodge #2472 1133 S. Main Street Petal, MS 39465 601.583.4490

Gulf Pines Girl Scouts 500 Hutchinson Avenue Hattiesburg, MS 39403 601.582.1455

Petal Civic Center 712 S Main Street Petal, MS 39465 601.582.2672

Petal Optimist Club 100 Radke Drive Petal, MS 39465 601.583.1245

Lebonte Club P O Box 204 Petal, MS 39465 601.583.3965

Petal Euphuia Club 7 Red Maple Trail Petal, MS 39465 601.582.9377

Petal Rotary Club P.O. Box 815 Petal, MS 39465 601.584.7601

Petal AARP 137 W. 4th Ave Petal, MS 39465 601.582.4825

Petal Family YMCA 547 Hillcrest Loop Petal, MS 39465 601.583.9399

Petal American Legion 791 S. Main Street Petal, MS 39465 601.582.4306

American Cancer Society 1.800.227.2345 Petal Kiwanis Club P.O. Box 642 Petal, MS 39465 601.545.5000

Petal Cosmopolitan Club 601.545.1142 Petal Association for Families 787 S Main Street Petal, MS 39465 601.582.0909

Petal Masonic Lodge #516 120 Campbell Street Petal, MS 39465 601.582.3993


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Hattiesburg Publishing

Excel by 5 In 2007, Petal became the first Excel By Five community in the state. Nadine Coleman, Petal's Excel By Five community director, said that representatives from the state Excel By Five organization came to town in 2007 to make the final evaluation. "It was the official review to see that we had everything we needed to become certified. They came and checked off all the criteria we had to meet," Coleman said. "It was really exciting because this is what we have been working on for the past two years." Petal was one of four pilot programs in the state to participate in the Chevron-sponsored Excel By Five initiative, which is designed to emphasize the important role that parents and early childhood educators play in educating children during the most formative years – from birth to five years old. The program encourages and assists communities to become actively involved in supporting their young children by creating a network of useful community assets. Coleman said that she and the Excel By Five committee have been lucky in that the Petal community already had plenty of established community assets with which to work. "We've had a focus on early childhood development in Petal for a long time, so we were in a little better shape than some other places," Coleman said. The experience thus far has been rewarding, Coleman said, but also pointed out that Excel By Five certification does not mean that the work of making Petal a premier community in which to raise a family will end.

"It has been great to mobilize the community and get people on board," Coleman said. "It has allowed us to bring community leaders to-gether and help them see how important early childhood development really is." Excel by Five was started more than five years ago by Chevron as part of an effort to implement an early childhood education program. The company donated $650,000 to get Excel By Five off the ground. Steve Renfroe, a media official with Chevron, said that when the company first approached state officials about the program, Mississippi First Lady Marsha Barbour was skeptical. "That's when we got in the car and drove down to Petal so (Barbour) could see the work that's been done there," Renfroe said. After a few hours of talking with Nadine Coleman about the work of what is now called the Center for Families and Children, Renfroe said, Barbour was on board. "Chevron recognizes the economic, quality of life and educational benefits related to early childhood development and education," Barbour said. "Our children – and ultimately the entire state – will reap these benefits as a result of the company's further financial investment in Mississippi with this generous grant." Once Excel By Five was given the green light, Petal and three other Mississippi communities – Cleveland, West Point and Pascagoula – were selected to serve as pilot locations for the program under the auspices of grants from both Chevron and the Phil Hardin Foundation of Meridian.

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All-State Insurance ..............................................24 Alpha Insurance ..................................................26 Anytime Fitness ..................................................26 At Home Massage ..............................................15 Baggett AC/Heat ................................................15 Bancorp South ......................................................2 Barding Alternators ............................................24 Carter’s Jewelry ..................................................15 Carterville Baptist ................................................24 CFS Equipment ..................................................24 Excel by 5............................................................29 Fairly Construction ................................Back Cover Family Dentistry ..................................................35 Farm Bureau ........................................................2 First Southern Bank ............................................29 Fox’s Pizza Den ..................................................17 Furniture World......................................................7 Hancock Bank ....................................................15 Hattiesburg Publishing ........................................32 Holland’s Tax Service ..........................................15 Hubfest ..................................................................7 Dr. Barbara Mauldin ..............................................7 King Freeman Properties ....................................17 Liberty Mail Center ..............................................12 Magnolia State Bank ..........................................26 Missy-Anna’s ......................................................22

Hattiesburg Publishing

Money Now............................................................7 Petal Animal Clinic ................................................9 Petal Auto Parts ....................................................9 Petal Chamber ......................................Inside Back Petal Family Practice ............................................2 Petal Family YMCA..............................................12 Petal Florists........................................................22 Petal Physical Therapy ..........................................2 Reynolds Family Dental ......................................12 Rodgers’ Family Pharmacy ................................29 Salon Associates ..................................................9 Servicemaster ....................................................35 Shelter Insurance ................................................17 Smokey’s Discount Tobacco................................35 Southern Bowling Lanes ....................................35 State Farm Insurance............................................7 Studio 7 ................................................................2 The Hearing Center ............................................26 The Lamar Times ................................................32 The Petal News ..................................................32 The Yarn Basket ..................................................12 Thomas Tax ..........................................Inside Front T.L. Curry Accountant..........................................26 Tropical Glamour ................................................17 Wagon Wheel ......................................................15

2010 Petal Newcomer's Guide  
2010 Petal Newcomer's Guide  

Everything you ever wanted to know about Petal, Mississippi - and even more...