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News for members of Singing River Electric Power Association

Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

JULY 2014








New books with Mississippi themes

12 Cool recipes for

hot summer days

13 Biloxi’s maritime museum

readies for reopening




Today in Mississippi


July 2014


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You’ve read Tony Kinton’s Mississippi Outdoors column for years. Now enjoy Kinton’s musings in his newest book, “Rambling Through Pleasant Memories.” Order a copy and read excerpts at


‘Rambling Through Pleasant Memories ’

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July 2014

Hope fueled Americans’ greatest achievements mericans may be the most hopeful people on earth. It was hope, after all, that brought the colonists to these shores in the first place. Hope for freedom and selfdetermination created this nation, when the colonists revolted against (and prevailed over) the most powerful empire on earth. Hope for a better life motivated early Americans to pack their bare necessities into wagons and roll westward to claim land, despite the hardships and uncertainty. Hope brought Americans through the Great Depression, two world wars, assassinations, the threat of nuclear conflict and terrorist attacks. Hope powered the leaders of the civil rights movement, and we are a better society today for their perseverance and vision in the face of violent resistance. You may not realize it, but hope led to the formation of your electric power association. Back in the early 1900s, rural Mississippians literally lived in the dark while the city folk enjoyed electric lights and appliances. Lacking


Pontotoc Countians watch setting of first utility pole in 1934.

electric power, the rural lifestyle was essentially unchanged from the century before. Hoping for a more prosperous, more comfortable life, rural Mississippians took it upon

On the cover Alyvia Brumfield, 3, plays in a flag display at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where her dad, Sgt. Joey Brumfield of Jackson, was stationed at the time. She was photographed by her mother, Lauren Brumfield. Mississippi-style patriotism is the theme of this month’s “Picture This” reader photo feature. See more photos on pages 14-15.

themselves to obtain electricity by forming their own local electric power association. Using funds borrowed from the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), they built distribution systems and wired their homes to receive electric power. Each person who joined the electric power association, a consumerowned cooperative, became an owner of the association. On a winter morning My Opinion in January 1934, hope Michael Callahan was symbolized by the Executive Vice President/CEO setting of a single utility EPAs of Mississippi pole into Pontotoc County soil. The mayor of Pontotoc proclaimed a holiday to mark the occasion. Schools released students and everyone gathered to watch the linemen erect the pole— the first one set in Mississippi to bring TVA electricity to rural residents in northeastern counties. As the utility pole rose higher, so did the hopes of those who watched. Less than 1 percent of Mississippi’s rural homes and farms had electric service at that time. Rural Mississippians knew affordable, reliable electric service was their key to a better life and farm productivity. They dared to hope even during the Great Depression. The rural electrification movement quickly swept the state, culminating in the formation of 26 electric power associations. True to their founders’ vision, each one is still a memberowned cooperative whose sole mission is service. For me, Independence Day is a reminder of what “we the people” can accomplish when shared hope is our motivation. JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI


Today in Mississippi OFFICERS Brad Robison - President Randy Wallace - First Vice President Keith Hurt - Second Vice President Tim Smith - Secretary/Treasurer

EDITORIAL STAFF Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO Ron Stewart - Sr. Vice President, Communications Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services Debbie H. Stringer - Editor Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist Trey Piel - Digital Media Manager Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Linda Hutcherson - Administrative Assistant

Vol. 67 No. 7

EDITORIAL OFFICE & ADVERTISING 601-605-8600 Acceptance of advertising by Today in Mississippi does not imply endorsement of the advertised product or services by the publisher or Mississippi’s Electric Power Associations. Product satisfaction and delivery responsibility lie solely with the advertiser. • National advertising representative: National Country Market, 800-626-1181 Circulation of this issue: 450,069 Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year

The Official Publication of the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published eleven times a year (Jan.Nov.) by Electric Power Associations of Mississippi, Inc., P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300, or 665 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157. Phone 601-605-8600. Periodical postage paid at Ridgeland, MS, and additional office. The publisher (and/or its agent) reserves the right to refuse or edit all advertising. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Today, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300

Visit us online at


Today in Mississippi

Our Homeplace

A place to rest and watch the garden grow, in Washington County.

Mississippi is a cool summer breeze on a front porch swing. A fresh, ripe tomato from my grandpa’s garden and homemade ice cream on a Saturday evening. Fishing from dawn until dark. And loving God with all your heart! Oh, Mississippi, you’ve had me from the very start! — Lauryn Bailey, Conehatta Mississippi is a bed of angry bream in my farm pond, Flowers in bloom: black-eyed Susan, dogwoods, redbuds, and magnolias, Fresh vegetables from my garden, ribs on the grill. Talking to my dog, Listening to the songbirds at dawn as they welcome another new day, The reflection of a full moon on the lake, A whippoorwill whipping up a song at dusk. Camping with my grandkids by the lake, A four-wheeler ride late at night, The soothing sounds of nature in the back woods And my recliner after a busy day on the farm. This is my Mississippi; there is no other place I want to be. — Johnny Belk, Ethel My Mississippi is my country lane with morning mist hanging in the trees and dew sparkling on the grass. The soft warmth of the early morning sun. Spring wildflowers blooming in fields and on roadsides. Neighbors stopping by for morning coffee or just a chat. The clear night sky that blazes with the crust of thousands of stars in the Milky Way. Late evenings and nights when you hear dogs’ warning of the night critters foraging under the bright moon. What a wondrous place we call home down south in Mississippi. — Frances Loeske, Carriere

What’s Mississippi to you? What makes you proud to be a Mississippian? What do you treasure most about life in our state? Send your thoughts to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158, or email them to Please keep your comments brief. Submissions are subject to editing.




Today in Mississippi

July 2014

by the book By Debbie Stringer New books with Mississippi themes document folk life, nature, business, history and even crime, making them irresistible summertime reading. But plan to spend more than a season with most of these volumes; they likely will entertain and inform readers again and again for years to come. We chose a few to introduce to you here. Unless otherwise noted, all are widely available in bookstores and online.  From Midnight to Guntown: True Crime Stories From a Federal Prosecutor in Mississippi By John Hailman; $35, hardcover, 399 pages; University Press of Mississippi; Retired federal prosecutor John Hailman relished his duty to “remove the bullies from the playground,” as he once described it to a reporter. Hailman's bullies were corrupt officials, incompetent bank robbers, hatefilled racists, dumb murderers (and wannabes), hit men, terrorists and other assorted bad guys and gals. Hailman recounts memories of crimes, criminals and courtroom drama from his 33 years as an Oxford-based federal prosecutor battling north Mississippi’s criminal underworld. Readers will recognize some of the victims and defendants—e.g. Emmett Till and Dickie Scruggs—but some may not know the “Honey Bun Bandit” and the “Natchez Trace Sniper.” The individual stories may be funny, moving or tragic, but always readable, interesting and related without embellishment. The author offers a backstage view of criminal prosecution, and his insight and enthusiasm for the work enliven each account. (He confesses to having a penchant for “quirky” bank robbery cases.)

The book is an entertaining, informative read that illuminates the darker side of Mississippi history— often through humorous characters.  Legends and Lore of the Mississippi Golden Gulf Coast By Edmond Boudreaux Jr.; $19.99, softcover, 157 pages; The History Press, Hurricanes Camille and Katrina may have erased some historic structures from the Mississippi Coast, but no storm can wipe away its rich store of folklore and legends. It’s difficult to separate fact from fiction in these stories, but still they offer a fascinating window into local culture, the author contends. The book opens with a descriptive portrait of Mississippi Coast communities the year after Camille’s destruction in 1969. From there Boudreaux’s essays weave throughout history, relating tales of pirates, treasure, an island hermit, a mad potter, root beer, lighthouses, gaming, carnivals, battles, forts and cannons, Indians, Jefferson Davis, the Dixie White House and a Miracle Man. Most stories are accompanied by illustrations and historical black-and-white photographs. This volume should top the list of every Mississippian’s beach reads.  Mississippi Entrepreneurs By Polly Dement; $37, hardcover, 288 pages; University Press of Mississippi/Cat Island Books; You recognize their names— McRae, Peavey, Bryan and Primos, among others—but do you know the personal stories behind 80 of Mississippi’s most successful entrepreneurs? Author Polly Dement collected their stories to cre-

ate a book whose lessons in enterprise are timeless. At the root of each success story is a personal passion. No surprise there, but Dement digs deeper to reveal how these entrepreneurs started, the risks they took and the growth they powered through hard work and ingenuity. They build electrical products, process poultry, make turkey calls, craft musical equipment, pour steel, publish books and run grocery stores. They have created innovative software, department stores and restaurants. They help farmers produce and artists succeed. Most every Mississippi has benefitted from the efforts of at least one of these “Mississippi Entrepreneurs.”  My Southern Wild: Wildlife and Nature Photography by Joe Mac Hudspeth Jr. Foreword by Justice Antonin Scalia; $40, hardcover, 144 pages; Southern Focus; Joe Mac Hudspeth Jr.’s third coffee table book delivers more of the jaw-dropping photographs of Mississippi wildlife for which he is best known. Hudspeth is a past winner of the Grand Prize for Wildlife from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute for Natural History, and since 1997 his photographs have appeared on Mississippi duck stamps and sportsman’s licenses. A Brandon resident, Hudspeth is skilled at photographing animals and birds going about their business in the most beautiful of lighting conditions: dawn, dusk, foggy mornings and late afternoon sunshine. The photographs’ focus is razor sharp, the colors brilliant, the timing impeccable. His images reveal the variety of life in Mississippi’s varied natural habitat, from a wobbly killdeer chick to

July 2014

a majestic buck. The book’s “Mississippi Scenics” chapter showcases intimate landscapes familiar yet inaccessible to most of us, including the cypress-filled lakes and swamps inhabited by alligators, ducks, great egrets and tree frogs. Hudspeth includes photos of his field photography set-up in a blind and in a kayak. The lesson to budding nature photographers is clear: Success in wildlife photography demands hard work, a willingness to endure discomfort, an artist’s eye, patience and perfect timing.  Rambling Through Pleasant Memories By Tony Kinton; $9.95, softcover, 194 pages; order from Outdoors writer Tony Kinton, of Carthage, is well known to Today in Mississippi readers as the author of its popular Mississippi Outdoors column, and other books including two works of fiction. This book is a collection of essays whose themes of tradition, nostalgia, adventure, reflection and family are connected by Kinton’s deep love and appreciation for nature. Kinton writes of hunting in the squirrel woods with his father, his passion for canvas tents and handmade longbows, a dream buffalo hunt, country wisdom, good dogs and African safari adventures, among many other topics. Entries include “Waiting for Ducks in the Flooded Timber,” “In Search of Myself,” “Love Affair With Rural Living” and “Autumn’s Magic Through the Hunter’s Eyes.” Regardless of subject matter, Kinton’s eloquent writings express his life-long reverence for the natural world and wonder at the beauty of it all. His book is appropriate (and instructive) for all ages.  Mississippi Folk and the Tales They Tell: Myths, Legends and Bald-Faced Lies By Diane Williams; photography by Susan Allen Liles; $19.99, softcover, 159 pages; The History Press, If there’s one thing Mississippians of all ages and backgrounds share, it’s a love for telling (and hearing) stories. Whether the tale is true matters not, as long as the teller entertains, instructs or simply wows her listeners. Diane Williams has been a professional storyteller since 1992 and serves on the board of the National Association of Black Storytellers. She has the expressive, melodic voice of an effective storyteller, but more important, she has the ear for

stories “that identify us by place and tradition.” For this book, Williams, a self-described “road hog,” spent a year traveling throughout Mississippi and talking with rural and city residents to collect their stories. “I wanted to capture those stories that have been so well documented in the minds, in the hearts, in the ears and on the lips of Mississippians,” she wrote. The collection of 36 stories includes “Frog Gigging in Rolling Fork,” “The Two-Dollar Mule in Aberdeen,” “The Belzoni Lady Who Kept the Hog Hooves,” “Outhouses in Rural Mississippi” and “The Tale of the Talking Frog and the Little Slave Boy Who Sat by the Pond.” History is a prevalent theme. Williams’ descriptions of scenes and folkways from Mississippi’s past enrich each story, including “Natchez: Back in the Day,” “The Wiggins Pickle Factory” and “The Corinth Railroad Story.” These stories are too good to keep to yourself. Read them yourself and then share them—aloud.  Greenwood: Mississippi Memories, Volume II By Allan Hammons, Mary Carol Miller, Donny Whitehead; $44.95; West Washington Books; available only at Turnrow Books, Greenwood historians Allan Hammons, Mary Carol Miller and Donny Whitehead continue to lead readers on a visual tour of their hometown’s history with their compilations of historic photographs. They began the three-volume series last year with “Greenwood: Mississippi Memories Volume I,” which covers the Delta city’s first century of history, up to its bustling cotton market. The book was Greenwood retailer Turnrow Books’ best-selling title of 2013. The newly released second volume showcases more than 300 photos covering primarily the Great Depression years in Greenwood, including a huge collection of recently acquired photos made from 1937 to 1943 by Greenwood Commonwealth photographer Calvin Cox. Through selective use of photography and commentary, the authors present a portrait of a southern city most Mississippians will recognize, whether they have been there or not. The third volume in the series is expected to be released in October.  A New History of Mississippi By Dennis J. Mitchell; $40, hardback, 593 pages; University Press of Mississippi; Dennis Mitchell’s comprehensive story of Mississippi begins with the rise of Indian culture some 10,000 years ago and ends with racial reconciliation and the planning of a new state museum dedicated to the memory of the civil rights movement. In between are stories

Today in Mississippi


of the struggles and achievements of people from all walks of life, as well as the natural environment that sustains them. This is an easy-to-read, absorbing narrative that strives to present an inclusive portrait of a state coming to terms with past racial conflict and working hard to rise above it. Race is central to Mississippi’s story, Mitchell asserts, and he delivers unvarnished accounts of slavery, segregation, violence, integration and white defiance. In the final chapter, “Mississippi and the Modern World,” the author notes changes in Mississippi society and politics, including the growth and contributions of ethnic minorities, the first female state Supreme Court justice and the rise of black political power.  The Crosby Arboretum: A Sustainable Regional Landscape By Robert F. Brzuszek; forward by Neil G. Odenwald; $23.95, hardcover, 137 pages; Louisiana State University Press; The Crosby Arboretum is the first fully realized ecologically designed arboretum in the nation and the premier native plant conservatory in the Southeast. How all this came about, on some 800 acres of woods, water and grassland near Picayune, is explained in this illustrated coffee table book by former Crosby director Robert Brzuszek. He begins with an examination of the area’s ecological past and the settlers who depended on its resources to survive. The arboretum began as a family memorial to successful timber man L.O. Crosby Jr., who died in 1978. Developed on the site of an old pine plantation with assistance from staff from Mississippi State University and other consultants, the Crosby Arboretum became an awarding-winning native garden showcase for the public, as well as a center for education, history and community arts. In 1997 the arboretum merged with MSU, which had provided major guidance in its development. Brzuszek takes readers on an intimate tour of the site, where they come face to face with the native creatures and plants that inhabit the grasslands, bogs, bottomland forests and pine ridges. Each is an important component of the overall ecosystem Crosby seeks to preserve and share with visitors. The book presents a valuable documentation of south Mississippi’s natural heritage, as well as an instructive Mississippi success story in celebrating that heritage.


Today in Mississippi

July 2014

Fairs & Festivals


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July 18-19 601-733-2221 or 601-733-5647 Until 2pm July 19, $5 adults & $3 children under 10 After 2pm, $7 adults & $5 children under 10 (Arm bands are good all day, day of purchase)

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Car & Truck show “Hosted by the Smith County Cruisers Club”


• 5K MS Watermelon Festival Run • Food • Arts and Crafts • Bungee jump • Waterwalk • Largest Watermelon contest • Watermelon eating contest • Seed spitting contest Hosted by the Town of Mize Volunteer Fire Department Sponsored in part by PriorityOne Bank


Tuesday, July 29 - 8:00pm


Wednesday, July 30 - 8:00pm



Choctaw Indian Fair

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July 9-12

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July 2014


Today in Mississippi



It can be the little things that make you crazy e were sitting on the back but I could still see the tip of the youporch just “a swanging” in know-what. I bought a beautiful tall, fat our swing, drinking our vase and filled it with exotic mystery 5:00 coffee in deep confoliage and placed it against the wall. versation about the day. Wham bam! When I first enter the bathMr. Roy remarked, “That dogwood tree room I can no longer see the unsightly next to the fig tree looks bad. I’ll cut it thingamajig. down this week.” I’m writing to you. You I zeroed in on the domesknow if you fit in the category tic dogwood that friends of a nitpicker. gave us when we built our Mr. Roy is also meticulous house years ago. “No!” I was about a number of projects on mortified. “Give it a few our homestead. He is compulmore days and it will bud sive about how our paintings out.” are hung. We often purchase “You’re kidding,” he was artwork during our travels. He quick to answer. “That tree usually chooses the painting, Grin ‘n’ has been dead three years.” only because he is an art Bare It I stood up and walked enthusiast and I trust his judgby Kay Grafe out in the backyard to get a ment. My only comment is better look at the tree. that he “hangs by the book.” When I began to snap off He also spots a crooked paintbranches without a struggle, it was obviing and makes a big deal out of it. “Well, ous he was right. He gave me a lopsided mister,” I say, “you can dust them next look and said, “It amazes me how a big time.” I don’t worry about my persnickeyesore like that slides by you, yet you go ety ideas; he has a few of his own. nuts when you can see an electrical cord Mr. Roy and I lived in a furnished plugged in an outlet.” army barrack apartment when we first Mr. Roy has never seen anything married. We owned nothing but a small wrong with cords or extension cords tabletop TV. I said, “I’m glad we don’t hanging down a wall or around a basehave all the knickknacks that Mother and board for the whole world to view. It’s me Big Mamma collected. Their houses look it disturbs, not the world. If you walk too cluttered.” through my house today you’d be hard We can’t stay married 50 years without pressed to see an electrical wall outlet. collecting a few items that appeal to us. When we built our house I wouldn’t let Therefore, my collection of wooden the electrician install as many as he bowls, Indian baskets, rocks, elephants thought we needed. I have regretted that, and travel memorabilia aren’t hidden since we don’t have an outlet in our foyer from view. Some folks call that clutter. or upstairs landing, and they are limited Back in the early years I never noticed in all other rooms. My bad decision the location of electrical cords or toilets or requires extension cords. Today the a dozen other little things that I magnify numerous extension cords and outlets are out of proportion. And Mr. Roy couldn’t hidden by flower arrangements, family care less about where a picture hung on photos, baskets, bowls and stuffed anithe wall. Probably because we didn’t have mals. I’ve had to get creative to the point pictures to hang on the wall. of absurdity to hide an indispensable need I’m desperately trying to think of a in every home. moral to this story. Maybe it’s that we all That’s just the tip of the iceberg. When just have too much stuff. Or, maybe it’s we built our house 40 years ago I didn’t that popular song from the fifties, “Little think much about the bathrooms. I’ve Things Mean a Lot.” become so picky over the years that I disKay Grafe is the author of “Oh My like looking at a toilet. My patient partner Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, built a full wall between the toilet and address, phone number and $16.95, plus lavatory countertop so I can’t see it from $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm the door. He recently had a new bathroom built downstairs off the guest room, Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.


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Today in Mississippi


July 2014

Thoughts drift to kayaking Mississippi waters

he cypress trees are young, but they grow so close together there can’t be more than a quarter-mile visibility as you look through them across the swamp. The late-day sun filters between them and sifts down to the surface of the water; the steam picks up the light and scatters it, and everything glows gold and red. Each time you skim across it in a kayak, it’s like the first time you’ve ever seen it. That could describe any number of swamps in Mississippi. The particular swamp I had in mind is one I visited for the first time the other day, Chakchiuma Swamp Natural Area, just a stone’s throw from downtown Grenada in the Yalobusha River backwater. Truth in writing: I’ve never been in a kayak. But the popularity of the sport is growing to the point I could see myself doing it. Robin Whitfield is a Grenada artist who frequents the swamp a lot. She describes her trips to the point I feel as if I have been in there myself. Now, if you are a kayaker and an outdoors person, you could put in at Grenada and about four days later, give or take, reach Greenwood where the Yalobusha and the Tallahatchie flow


together to form the Yazoo River. And I suppose one could float and paddle from Greenwood to Vicksburg on down the Yazoo. Another good float trip is in east Mississippi on the Chunky River. They have just revived the Chunky River Raft Race after a 15-year recess. The course for the float makes a great lazy afternoon adventure. Put Mississippi in at the boat Seen ramp on old by Walt Grayson Highway 80 at Chunky and drift the seven-mile loop. After a while you come back to Highway 80 less than a mile from where you put in. Black Creek, south of Hattiesburg, is the only Mississippi stream that has a National Wild and Scenic River designation. I have been on Black Creek in a motorboat shooting a “Mississippi Roads” story. It is a place I could easily spend a few days just to get away from everything. Red Creek, farther south at Wiggins, is another waterway I wanted to feature on “Mississippi Roads.” Our local guides pulled out fishing gear and

Chakchiuma Swamp in downtown Grenada is a quick getaway from the every day. When the water is still like this, it's like getting two swamps in one, with the reflection. Photo: Walt Grayson

introduced Miz Jo to fly fishing. I was busy shooting video of ancient tree trunks fallen into the creek and sandy washes where smaller side creeks entered. I never noticed all the casting and reeling I was getting in my shots until I tried to edit the story. Turns out, instead of a piece about a quiet time of reflection in the Mississippi backwoods, it had to become a story about fly fishing on Red Creek. Years ago I followed a couple of adventurers in canoes who set out to paddle the Pascagoula River. One started on the Chickasawhay in east Mississippi and the other on the Leaf around Collins somewhere. They planned to meet where the two flow together at Merrill and become the Pascagoula. After four days we met up with the

canonist on the Chickasawhay at the old iron bridge at Shubuta. Showing us his find of petrified sand dollars deposited when Mississippi was under the shallow Selma Sea, he told us we were the first people he had seen since he set out four days earlier. But whether a mile out of town or several days away from civilization, Mississippi has the kinds of accessible waterways to help you float away from it all for a while this summer. But take bug spray. Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television, and the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Contact Grayson at

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July 2014


Today in Mississippi



Things worth the effort to experience them s many others born in those days shortly after World War II and brought up in an area and era where finances and creature comforts were at a minimum, I was exposed to and operated under the dictates of basic practicality. For something to have value, it must be specifically practical to maintaining livelihood. No frills or fluffs, just practicality. That is not all bad. In fact, there are a great many aspects of practicality that are essential. For instance, we didn’t borrow money to spend on superfluous items or adventures. Or we didn’t give time Mississippi to the nonessenOutdoors tials when that by Tony Kinton time might mean a decrease of yield in crops. After all, we made our few dollars in poor hill-country cotton patches. And if a garden failed, we could go lacking in the food department come winter. No, practicality reigned of necessity. Still does, or at least it probably should. But then there is the question of beauty, of seeing and experiencing things apart from the mundane. Are not these practical in a unique way? Are not these essential to living? I have come to think that they are when they are done within the parameters of reason. Still no borrowing and still no neglect of the


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required. But when the extras fit into the practical, the answer is a resounding yes! I recall from perhaps 20 years back standing and admiring an exquisite custom-built recurve bow. The craftsman was a master of his trade, and the bow I was fondling was a pure work of art. Plus, it shot even better that it looked, sending an arrow true and fast to the target. It was delightful. But my reverie was disrupted when a gentleman who had acuteness for nothing other than that practicality mentioned above walked up and said, “At that price you would have to take a lot of deer for the freezer to make that thing worth it.” Goodness. My counter highlighting the bow’s beauty and feel and the craftsman’s expertise failed to garner understanding from the observer. I determined that he likely had very little concept of the finer things, of pure beauty, of the sense of satisfaction that simply toting such an exquisite tool in the fields and woods was all the return required to make the bow worth its price. It would have, for me at least, set my spirit soaring and put a blithe and near-permanent smile on my face that would be much needed when those more practical moments arouse, as they surely would. A few weeks back as this is written, we opted to make a trip to Petit Jean Mountain and State Park in Arkansas. This could have been to a great many other places, some certainly closer to home, but this spot was chosen because of its mystery and beauty. Getting there would demand a considerable drive, and seeing the sights would demand a significant outlay of physical strength. I won-

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dered in depth about the entire affair and almost elected to change venues. The effort required to see and do in this locale seemed too much. But the plans held, and the beauty encountered was worth some exaggerated effort. At the foot of Cedar Creek Falls, which extracted from the viewer an arduous descent into the creek’s valley and a half-mile hike upstream along a rock-strewn trail, resulted in renewal. The rumble of water and the colors of miniature rainbows refreshed the spirit, put the mundane in its proper and distant place. And the big cave, once used

Arts & Crafts market, garden & field crop exhibits, home arts & crafts exhibits, needlework and quilt displays. State dairy cattle show, beef cattle & sheep shows. Petting zoo. Harper, Morgan & Smith PRCA Rodeo. Harness and Running horse races, pony pull. Antique car show. Local & statewide political speaking. Nightly variety & Nashville Entertainment. 35th Annual Heart O’ Dixie Triathlon. Thacker Mountain Radio Show. Fireworks. Midway amusement & rides by Mitchell Bros. Amusements. 8 huge days of family fun and hospitality. For more information,

Fri., July 25 thru Fri., Aug. 1

visit or call 601-656-8480

The Falls on Cedar Creek are, like many other entities in nature, worth the effort required to experience them. Photo: Tony Kinton

as a gathering place of the natives who inhabited this area and still showing faint signs of pictographs, afforded the opportunity to not only see the past but to hear the echoes of antiquity. And each afternoon was spent watching those glorious sunsets over the valley from a quiet vantage point. In these could be seen the ghosts of wonderment and wispy spirits of the past. These reminded me that postponing today in tenuous hopes of tomorrow is time ill spent. The experience was a perfect occasion to make alive again the vow that I will not become desensitized to beauty by the intrusion of function. The two can be compatible. Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. His newest book, “Rambling Through Pleasant Memories,” is now available. Order from or Kinton’s website:

10 I Today in Mississippi I July 2014

New SmartHub app adds convenience and ease to payments

If you are like my family, you have much to accomplish in a day and seemingly not enough hours to get it all done. Singing River Electric employees had that in mind recently as they researched how to increase members’ ease and convenience. The results of this research and planning are the new SmartHub mobile and web applications. SmartHub puts the power of data in your hands. It delivers accurate, timely account information and allows you to make payments in a secure environment. With a touch of a screen, you can access

current and past billing history, review usage and pay the bill. It is also possible to link to information to report a power outage when using a mobile device. The SmartHub app was offered to all Singing River Electric members beginning in June of this year. It is easy to download the free app from the iPhone App Store or Google Play by searching “SmartHub.” Members can access the web application is accomplished by selecting the “Pay Bill” button on SRE’s website and entering a passphrase, username and password. We are also testing a payment kiosk at our George County office with the hope of offering this payment option at other locations in our service area in the future. Our goal is to make it easy for members to conduct business, manage their account and pay their bill. The office drop boxes, addressed envelopes enclosed with billing statements, online

bill pay, kiosk and now the SmartHub applications are some of the account management and bill pay options currently available for Singing River Electric members. We urge you to take a few moments and download the free SmartHub app to your phone or tablet today.

Water Heater Efficiency

Mike Smith, General Manager and CEO Singing River Electric

Member Services Rep. Jeff Gray

Electric water heating can contribute up to 20 percent of your monthly utility cost. Tank model units are still used in most homes today. There are several ways to reduce the operating cost with this type of unit. Most water heaters come from the factory set at 125 degrees. The thermostat should be reset to 120 degrees once installed. This slight temperature difference should not be noticeable, but will speed recovery run time and increase efficiency and satisfaction. A water heater blanket wrap can be purchased at your local home improvement store. This will add an extra two inches of insulation to the tank. And lastly, water pipe insulation can be purchased and installed on the hot and cold sides of the water pipes. This will reduce heat loss from the pipes. Consumers may also want to consider an Energy Star heat pump water heater. According to Energy Star, heat pump water heaters can save the average household approximately $250 per year on its electric bills compared to a standard electric water heater. For more energy-efficient tips, visit

July 2014  Today in Mississippi  10a

The power of data is in your hands. SmartHub, a mobile and Web app, delivers accurate, timely account information and allows you to make payments in a secure environment with the tap of a screen.

With SmartHub you can: – Check your energy use – Review current and past billing history – Pay bill – Contact SRE office – Report an outage

It’s easy to sign up! To sign up through website: 1. Go to and select “Pay Bill.” 2. Enter passphrase, email and password or click “New User” if you do not already have a password.

To sign up through app: 1. Download the app from the iPhone App Store or Android marketplace by searching “SmartHub.” If duplicate apps appear with same name, National Information Solutions Cooperative provides the correct app. 2. Find Singing River Electric by location or name and confirm. 3. Enter your email and password or select “New User” if you do not already have a password.

10b I Today in Mississippi I July 2014

SRE sends crews to assist Dixie Electric after tornadoes Singing River Electric servicemen, linemen and dispatchers kept a handle on scattered outages caused by thunderstorms on April 28-29, 2014. Unfortunately, other parts of the state didn’t fare as well with tornadoes ripping through many Mississippi towns. A seven-man SRE crew responded to a nearby call for help and traveled to Laurel-based Dixie Electric. The co-op had been warned on Friday by the National Weather Service to expect unstable air that Monday, April 28, and Tuesday, April 29. Dixie Electric took the warning to heart and began planning for the bad weather. Twenty-one tornadoes were later confirmed by the National Weather Service across Mississippi. An EF-3 tornado carrying 145 mile per hour winds ripped through 8.9 miles of Jones and Wayne counties. The tornado and severe thunderstorms caused more than 5,600 Dixie Electric members to lose electric service. Singing River Electric’s crew arrived on April 29th and began working in Waynesboro and Eucutta in Wayne County. SRE crews assisted Dixie Electric in their restoration which took three full days.

“The tornado put many trees on the lines, so we picked up line, changed out single-phase and 3-phase poles and changed out several cross arms,” said Singing River Electric project engineer and crew supervisor Drew Mills. The work was difficult as some of the areas served were devastated, and Dixie Electric staking technicians had to redesign the layout of the power lines because they could not locate where the poles had been previously. “I’m very thankful to the line crews who came to our aid in the aftermath of the April tornado,” said Dixie Electric General Manager Randy Smith.

July 2014 I Today in Mississippi I 10c

Be Alert to Avoid Lightning Did you know lightning can strike even if it’s not raining? Lightning strikes kill 55 to 60 people every year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). More than 400 people are hit by a bolt each year. But if you prepare before an outdoor event and know how to protect yourself, you can keep your family safe from lightning.

Follow these tips from NOAA to protect yourself from lightning: • Plan ahead. Just as you have an emergency plan for fires and weather events like tornadoes and hurricanes, form an action plan for lightning. Choose a safe shelter and time how long it takes to get there. • Check the weather. A simple forecast can tell you whether you should delay outdoor activities, such as golfing or fishing, to avoid a dangerous situation. • Look to the sky. Dark skies, whipping winds and lightning flashes are all signs that you should seek shelter. • Seek shelter. As soon as you hear a rumble of thunder, head for a safe place—an

enclosed structure, one with plumbing and wiring is best, or a car. Open-air shelters, sheds and covered porches are often not safe places. Avoid tall trees that stand alone, towers and poles, as well as metal fences and other conductors of electricity. And keep out of open areas, so that you’re not the tallest object in a field. • Wait it out. Leaving safe shelter too quickly makes you vulnerable to lightning strikes. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before you head back outdoors. • Avoid corded phones and appliances. If you’re indoors when a storm hits, do not use

corded phones or appliances. Lightning can travel through your home’s wiring. Also, water is a great conductor of electricity, so don’t take a bath or shower. If someone near you has been struck by lightning, call 911 immediately. A certified person should begin CPR right away if necessary— the victim will not have an electric charge and is safe to touch. For more information on how to stay safe in a lightning storm, visit Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration



Today in Mississippi


July 2014

EPA regulations threaten reliability and increase costs The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a 1,100 pounds of CO2 per MWh limit for new fossil fuel generation in 2013. On June 2, 2014, the EPA released its long-awaited carbon rule for existing power plants pursuant to Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, called the Clean Power Plan. Unlike other environmental plans, which apply specific emission limits on a plant-by-plant basis or source-by-source basis, this rule dictates carbon reduction targets on a state-by-state basis. The initial target begins in 2020 and continues to a final target in 2030 of a national 30 percent reduction in power plant releases of carbon dioxide (CO2). According to Jim Compton, General Manager and CEO of South Mississippi Electric (SME), Singing River Electric’s generation and transmission cooperative, the new rule did not treat all states equally and Mississippi did not fare well. Records indicate that Mississippi’s fossil fuel plants emitted 1,093 pounds of CO2 per MWh in 2012. Emissions from SME’s units were slightly less at 1,070 pounds per MWh.

“Tell the EPA you are concerned about the issue of reliability by visiting” “We were expecting the limit for existing plants to be in that (1,100 pounds per MWh) range, but certainly no lower than 900 pounds per MWH, which is what a new, efficient, natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant would produce. So imagine our shock when the EPA announced that Mississippi’s 2020 target for existing plants is 732 pounds per MWH, and the 2030 target is 692 pounds per MWh,” said Compton. This effectively eliminates coal and limits natural gas, since the newest natural gas plant with the latest and most efficient measures still comes in 168 MWh above the new EPA emission limit for 2020. What does this mean for Singing River Electric members? The EPA’s rulings for new and existing power plants seriously jeopardize the ability for Mississippi utilities to provide reliable power to its consumers, at a reasonable cost. ACES, a nationwide energy management company, stated coal and natural gas made up over 75 percent of the generation mix earlier this year when the polar vortex was felt across our nation. Even before the EPA’s new ruling on existing power plants, ACES was expecting an 8,359 MW net reduction in available power for the 2015-16 time

frame due to plant retirements based on current EPA regulations. If coal plants are being retired and even the newest natural gas plants do not meet new EPA emission standards, what will be left to generate power and keep the lights on in Mississippi? South Mississippi Electric does have some nuclear and hydroelectric power resources in their generation mix, but there are no new nuclear plants or dams being built to make up the reduction in supply of generation resources without coal and natural gas. What can you do? Stay abreast of changes in EPA regulations

regarding emissions and be aware of how these new rulings can affect reliability and cost of power for Mississippi utilities including Singing River Electric. Singing River Electric and South Mississippi Electric are supportive of taking measures to protect our environment. As Mississippians, we know better than most the value of conserving our beautiful natural resources. However, we also realize we have to find a balanced solution. Tell the EPA you are concerned about the issue of reliability and higher power costs associated with the new rulings by visiting

RELIABILITY... SECURITY... AFFORDABILITY... FROM ADEQUATE CAPACITY AND FUEL DIVERSITY Because of federal regulations up to 85 Gigawatts of generation capacity are projected to be lost by 2023, potentially jeopardizing reliability across the nation.

Co-ops keep electricity flowing when demand surges, thanks to diverse power supply and adequate capacity. During the polar vortex , co-ops and many other utilities produced record amounts of electricity just to keep lights on and houses warm. If new regulations force more generation to be shut down, will we be able to meet the demands of tomorrow?

We can’t afford new regulations that hurt the reliability of America’s power supply.


July 2014  Today in Mississippi  11

Include home energy savings in summer vacation plans For members going on vacation this summer, the nation's electric utilities advise them to make sure their home's energy use takes a vacation as well. Simple tips can save members money while they are away.

and their home's security, by using timers to operate lights each night. And by installing compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, in those lamps, members will be saving more energy, up to 66 percent less in each lamp, and the bulb will last approximately 10 times longer than a regular incandescent bulb.

 Water heating

 Air conditioning Set the thermostat to 85 degrees. If it is a programmable thermostat, use the “hold” or the “vacation” setting to keep it at that temperature.


Computers, CD/DVD players, TVs, and VCRs – these and other electronic appliances use electricity, even when they are not turned on. Unplug them before leaving.


Members can improve their energy savings,

Turn the water heater's temperature down to the lowest setting. Many water heaters have a “vacation” setting for this purpose. Leave a reminder to turn it back up upon returning home.

 Refrigerator Adjust the refrigerator control to a warmer setting. If going on an extended trip, consider emptying the fridge and turning it off. Remember to leave the door open to prevent mildew. For more information on how to use your energy more efficiently this summer, and all year round, members are urged to visit

Ceiling Fan Energy Tip

During summer months, our homes can be extremely hot, making living conditions uncomfortable. Before you lower the thermostat, try cooling off with a ceiling fan first. When using ceiling fans, you can actually raise your thermostat setting by 4 degrees and still feel comfortable. Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Get home ready with summer A/C check Even if your air conditioning system ran perfectly last summer, it’s a good idea to call an HVAC professional to give it a once-over before it gets hot outside. Like any machine with moving parts, your air conditioning system needs regular maintenance. Before the weather heats up, find out if yours will survive another summer. A pre-season tune-up won’t guarantee that your unit will run perfectly once the temperatures start to soar, but it will reveal any obvious problems, normal wear and tear, or the need for maintenance and replacement parts. Don’t let your A/C surprise you by conking out on the hottest day of the summer. Make that phone call.



Today in Mississippi


July 2014



Strawberry Refrigerator Cake 1 pkg. Duncan Hines Strawberry Supreme Cake mix 10 oz. sweetened, frozen sliced strawberries, thawed 1 (3.4-oz.) pkg. vanilla instant pudding and pie filling

1 cup milk 3 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed Fresh strawberries, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Prepare and bake cake according to package directions. Let cool. Poke holes 1 inch apart in top of cake with a wooden spoon handle. Puree thawed strawberries and their juice in a blender. Spoon evenly over top of cake, allowing mixture to soak into holes. To make topping, prepare pudding mix according to package directions using the milk. Fold whipped topping into pudding mixture, and spread over cake. Garnish with fresh strawberries. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Artichoke Chicken Salad Members of Hopewell and Mt. Olive Presbyterian churches often come together for special events that often involve good food. Each October, they gather together for a homecoming celebration at the 183-year-old Hopewell Presbyterian Church, and again for Thanksgiving at Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church. So it’s only natural they would collaborate on a cookbook, “Something Out of Nothing Cookbook,” and spice it with the writings of Dora Gardner, the wife of their shared pastor, Joe Gardner. Her inspirational stories reflect real-life situations and musings, making this a cookbook as suitable for the soul as the palate. For hot-weather meals that won’t burn out the cook, we chose the sample recipes at right. Proceeds from sale of the cookbook will help fund mission trips for members of both churches. To order, send check payable to Hopewell Presbyterian Church for $20 plus $3 S&H per book. Note “Missions” on the check and include phone number. Send order to “Something Out of Nothing Cookbook,” c/o Mt. Olive Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 148, Mt. Olive, MS 39119. For more information, call 601-421-9722.

Eat your veggies! Use Mississippi-grown vegetables to make this healthy Southwest-inspired side dish or filling for tacos. Serves 4.

Calabacitas 4 Tbsp. chicken broth, divided 1 medium onion, sliced thin 3 to 4 medium cloves garlic, minced 2 cups diced zucchini 2 cups diced yellow squash 1 (4-oz.) can diced green chiles

1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained, or diced fresh tomatoes ¼ cup chopped cilantro 1 tsp. dried oregano Salt, pepper to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of the broth in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion in broth for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add zucchini, squash, remaining broth, green chiles. Cook about 3 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring often. Add drained tomatoes and cook about 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro, oregano, salt and pepper.

1 box Rice-A-Roni long-grain and wild rice mix 1 jar marinated artichokes, chopped; reserve liquid 4 green onions, chopped ½ bell pepper, chopped

4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped 2 small cans black olives, drained and chopped 1 cup mayonnaise ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted

Prepare rice mix according to package directions. Stir in artichokes, reserved liquid, onions, bell pepper, chicken, olives and mayonnaise. Top with toasted almonds.

Lite Lemon Fluff Pie 16 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt 8 to 10 oz. frozen whipped topping

2 tsp. lemonade powder 2 graham cracker pie crusts

Mix yogurt, thawed whipped topping and lemonade powder. Pour into pie crusts and cover. Refrigerate. May serve with fresh strawberries on top.

Mediterranean Rice Salad 1 ½ tsp. salt, divided 1 ½ cup long-grain rice ¼ cup fresh lemon juice 1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tsp. fresh oregano, minced ¼ tsp. ground black pepper 1⁄8 to ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

½ cup chopped kalamata olives 2 cups chopped spinach leaves 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped ½ cup chopped green onion 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Bring 2 ½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add rice and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. In a large bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, pepper flakes and remaining teaspoon of salt. Add rice to dressing and toss to combine. Add spinach, toss and let sit until no longer steaming, about 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature or cold.

Spiced Cabbage and Apple Slaw 1/2 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt 1/4 cup apple juice 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar 1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper 1 (16-oz.) pkg. shredded cabbage 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions 2 Granny Smith apples, finely chopped

Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl, stirring well. Add cabbage, onions and apple, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Browse our recipe archive online at

June 2014


Today in Mississippi



Come to the sea and see

The Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum By Nancy Jo Maples Almost anything and everything related to earning a living from the sea can be seen at the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum, which reopens this August in Biloxi. “The museum is a testament to the hard work of our grandparents, aunts and uncles who worked in the factories, or dredged for oysters on the Biloxi schooners, or seined for shrimp,” museum executive director Robin Krohn David said. “We are proud to tell the story of these ancestors whose journey contributed to the melting-pot culture of the Gulf Coast.” The museum, which showcases skills and equipment associated with maritime livelihoods, first opened in 1986 with a goal to preserve, display and interpret the history and heritage of the Gulf Coast

The 1898 sloop Nydia hangs in the museum’s Grand Hall.

and its seafood and maritime industries. The original facility was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, but some of the exhibits were salvaged and others have been added. It had a temporary location from 2010 until the opening of the new structure. The new facility can accommodate up to 750 visitors. The project cost $8 million and received assistance from MEMA, FEMA and BP for part of the funding. The new 20,000-square-foot museum has three floors and features the 30-foot gaff-rigged cabin sloop Nydia, built in 1898 at the Johnson Shipyard in Biloxi. The Nydia hangs in the Grand Hall and is visible from the front window, which creates a striking view upon entrance. The museum also features the 19th century Ship Island lighthouse lens, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Katrina but was salvaged and repaired. Also featured are a hanging pirogue, an old skiff, seines, masts, booms and sails. Cooking classes on seafood and related dishes will be conducted at the facility’s Seafood Cooking Kitchen. Net casting and net repair demonstrations are among the many exhibits and hands-on activities. Visitors also get a taste of marine blacksmithing, boat building, shrimping and oyster dredging, as well

The museum offers excursions on two replicate 65-foot Biloxi schooners, top. The new building, rendered above, reopens in August, nine years after its destruction by Katrina. Exhibits include the 19th century Ship Island lighthouse lens, above left. Photos courtesy of Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum

as a view about the role of wetlands. Excursions on two replicate 65-foot Biloxi schooners are a highlight associated with the museum. The schooners are called the Glenn L. Swetman and the Mike Sekul. In the late 1800s and early 1900s majestic white-winged queens were common on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. A fleet of almost 400 existed prior to World War I, when sailors began to convert their schooners to motorized boats. The Swetman and the Sekul were built in 1989 and 1994, respectively, to serve as educational tools, goodwill ambassadors and to revive the once nationally famous Biloxi schooner races. They are available for private charter seven days a week and offer walk-on sail dates several days a month. The schooners depart at the Schooner Pier Complex at 367 Biloxi Beach Boulevard. Also associated with the museum are summer day camps that provide maritime education. Children ages 6-13 can participate in a weeklong Sea and Sail Camp. Campers learn about wooden

boat building, fishing and crabbing, and get a chance to sail on the schooners. For dates and prices about camps, schooner sailing or for general museum information check out the museum’s website at or call 228-435-6320. The Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sunday noon until 4 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens ages 60 and up, and $6 for students ages 515. AAA and military personnel can get in for $8. Narrated group tours can be reserved in advance and cost $1 extra per person. The museum is located at 115 First Street in Biloxi, at the foot of the Biloxi/Ocean Springs bridge on the north side of U.S. Highway 90. Its opening celebration is set for the first weekend in August. Writer Nancy Jo Maples can be reached at 188 Ernest Pipkins Road, Lucedale, MS 39452 and



Today in Mississippi


July 2014

Patriotism Picture this...

Mississippi Style


Celebrations of our nation’s freedom and those who sacrificed to protect it fire up Mississippians any time of year, including Independence Day. 1. Ashton, whose father is in the Navy, seems to practice his salute as he naps before posing for the Gulf Coast Down Syndrome Society’s 2013 calendar. Brandi Albritton-Berkhimer, of Diamondhead, submitted her son’s photo as a July 4th tribute to military men and women. 2. Vietnam veteran Terry Liddell, shown, and nephew Tim Liddell built this T-bucket. By Linda Liddell, Weir; 4-County Electric. 3. Kailyn and Kam Smith show their American pride. By Donna Pugh, Louin; Southern Pine Electric. 4. Elliot Arcement, 7, helps Shelton Russell and other Hattiesburg firemen place flags on Memorial Drive on Memorial Day. By George Arcement, Hattiesburg; Pearl River Valley Electric. 5. Flag-painted swings are part of Columbia resident Cathy Alexander’s exuberant holiday decorations. She started painting the swings when her son-in-law left in 2003 to serve in Kuwait. 6. Todd Cottrell, a Northcentral Electric member in Olive Branch, captured a beautiful scene while visiting his father’s grave on Memorial Day.






July 2014


Today in Mississippi




10 7. A flag waving freely completes this country scene at the home of Carla Smith, Sontag; Southern Pine Electric. 8. National Guard troops being deployed from Carthage get a flag-waving salute from David Matthews, Linda Bounds (right) and Lisa Ramage, in Walnut Grove. By Michael Bounds, Walnut Grove; Central Electric. 9. Gussied-up pier awaits the July 4th boat parade at Eagle Lake, near Vicksburg. By Cynde Clark, Sumrall; Twin County Electric. 10. Remembrance in a cemetery of unknown Confederate soldiers. By Diane Luke, Louisville; East Mississippi Electric. 11. This “free bird” seemed a perfect symbol of independence for Dawn Brady, Jayess; Magnolia Electric. 12. Flags placed by volunteers honor the memory of veterans buried at the Veterans Administration National Cemetery, in Biloxi. By Valerie Mabry, Biloxi; Coast Electric. 13. Austin Hylander, 6 months, enjoys riding in a Fourth of July parade in Barton. By Kelly Hylander, Byhalia; Northcentral Electric. 14. Cousins Patty and Lisalyn show off their float reflecting the 2014 Zippity Doo Dah Parade’s “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” theme, in Jackson. By Patricia Broome, Wiggins; Pearl River Valley Electric.




Our next photo theme: Fishing Send photos of anglers wetting a line. Selected photos will appear in our October issue. For submission guidelines, visit, email or call Debbie Stringer, editor, at 601-605-8600.







Today in Mississippi


July 2014


Type or print your ad clearly. Be sure to include your telephone number. Deadline is the 10th of each month for the next month’s issue. Rate is $2.50 per word, 10-word minimum. Mail payment with your ad to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Have any questions? Phone 601-605-8600 or email

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July 2014


Today in Mississippi


Help keep them safe while they keep your service reliable Our crews work every day to keep miles of power lines energized. When you see them working along roadsides, please slow down and pass with care. We want our line workers to return home safely at the end of their work day!

’x 12’ 40’x 60 rn Pole Ba ith dw Enclose Rollup 10’ ’x 0 1 ) (2 ’ Walk (1) 3’x 7

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Today in Mississippi


July 2014

admission. The Crosby Arboretum, greenhouse area. Details: 601-799-2311; Watermelon Festival, July 18-19, Mize. Arts/crafts, 5K run/walk, car/truck show, contests, Aaron Tippin concert July 19, more. Details: 601-743-5647, 601-733-2221; Dizzy Dean Baseball World Series, July 1831, Southaven. Details: 662-890-3371; Magnolia State Bluegrass Association Summer Show, July 19, Ackerman. Featuring Southern Flair, Tyler Carroll & The Pine Ridge Bluegrass, Red Hill Strings, Alan Sibley & The Magnolia Ramblers; 1 p.m. Admission. Choctaw County Community Center. Details: 662-258-2334. Keith Russell Memorial Chili Cook-off, July 19, Horn Lake. Water slides, games, entertainment, food; 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free admission. Benefits cancer research. Jellystone Park Camp Resort. Details: 662-526-5722, 901-268-7593. July Jam 4, July 19, Summit. Music by Myk, Scaulded Dawg, Hwy 51, The Jeff Carrier Show. The Roadside Rendezvous. Details: 662-5903273; facebook: July Jam 4;


Want more than 400,000 readers to know about your event? Submit it at least two months prior to the event date. Submissions must include a phone number with area code for publication. Mail to Mississippi Events, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300; fax to 601-605-8601; or email to Events of statewide interest will be published free of charge as space allows. Since events are subject to change, we strongly recommend confirming dates and times before traveling. For more events, go to

Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Exhibits, Jackson. “Icons of Freedom,” through Aug. 3; “This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement,” through Aug. 17; “Norman Rockwell: Murder in Mississippi,” through Aug. 31. Mississippi Museum of Art. Details: 601-960-1515; “And the Children Shall Lead Them,” through Sept. 30, Jackson. Photographs of children who stood up against racism. Admission. Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center. Details: 601-960-1457.

“Stand Up! Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964,” through Oct. 31, Jackson. Photographs, artifacts, documents, film footage. Free. Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Details: 601-576-6850; 65th Annual Choctaw Indian Fair, July 912, Choctaw. Princess pageant, World Series Stickball, Choctaw dancing, more. Admission. Details: 601-650-7450; Aquatic Plant Sale, July 12, Picayune. Noninvasive aquatic plants; 9 a.m. - noon. Free









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Natchez Food and Wine Festival, July 2527, Natchez. Tastings, presentations, demonstrations, dining, jazz brunch; featuring more than 30 chefs. Various venues. Details: Tuxedo Reunion, July 26, Meridian. Church of the Mediator; 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Details: 601483-6802, 601-485-4741. “Understanding Ruby-throated Hummingbirds,” July 26, Picayune. James Bell, hummingbird bander, to talk on all aspects of hummingbirds; 10-11 a.m. Admission. The Crosby Arboretum. Details: 601-799-2311; Hillside Bog Wildflower Walk, Aug. 2, Picayune. Dr. Wayne Morris to lead field trip; 10 a.m. - noon. The Crosby Arboretum. Details: 601-799-2311; Meridian Area Coin Club 50th Annual Coin and Currency Show, Aug. 2-3, Meridian. Free appraisals. Buy, sell, trade money, gold, collectibles, stamps, more. Admission. Best Western. Details: 601-527-9340; Surfin’ Singles, Aug. 9, Meridian. Speaker Joseph Harris, music by Virginia Smith, food, door prizes, games, more; 6 p.m. Offering;

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July 2014

registration. Northcrest Baptist Church Multipurpose Building. Details: 601-4823498; Twice As Nice Kids Consignment Sale, Aug. 13-16, D’Iberville. Gently used items for children, infant and maternity. D’Iberville Civic Center. Details: 850-341-1676; Memphis Tri-State Blues Festival, Aug. 16, Southaven. With Bobby Rush, Mille Jackson, Shirley Brown, Denise LaSalle and more; 6:30 p.m. Admission. Landers Center. Details: 662-470-2131.

Coming up Third Annual Greenfield Cemetery Candlelight Tour, Oct. 17-18, Glen Allan. Storytellers in period dress portray selected individuals buried at historic cemetery; 7-9 p.m. Advance tickets only; available Aug. 1. Details: greenfieldcemeterycandlelighttour;

Faulker literary contest deadline is July 15 Dust off those manuscripts for novels, short stories and one-act plays and enter them today in the annual William Faulkner Literary Competition 2014. Winner of the novel competition will earn $2,000; winners of the short story and one-act play competition will win $600 for first place, $300 second place and $200 third place. Deadlines are July 15 for novel entries, July 31 for short story and oneact play entries. Digital entries are accepted. Cost is $50 for each novel entry and $10 per short story or play entry. For rules and additional information, contact Jill Smith, Union County Heritage Museum, at or call 662-538-0014.


Today in Mississippi



Flowers explode for July 4th displays


ost people I know like to celebrate our nation’s birthday with fireworks, and gardening and fireworks have something in

common. When the Chinese invented fireworks, they gave the individual shells the names of the showy flowers they resembled after exploding in the sky. One of the most common fireworks is an expanding circle of stars and is called a peony. Others have much larger expanding rings of stars and are called dahlia. When long trailing streaks are added, the firework becomes a chrysanthemum. Southern As beautiful as Gardening fireworks are in by Dr. Gary Bachman the sky, we still need colorful flowers in our summer gardens and landscapes. Consider growing a couple with names reminiscent of Fourth of July pyrotechnics. Fireworks gomphrena is a two-time Mississippi Medallion winner. This is a large plant that can reach 4 feet tall. The iridescent pink bracts feature yellow stamens resembling tiny firecrackers exploding. Known botanically as Gomphrena globosa, Fireworks will bloom from spring until frost. These plants also have relatively few pest problems and perform well in the garden. All Around Purple gomphrena was chosen as a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2008. This plant BAKED FRESH DAILY Amish White & Wheat Bread, Jalapeno Bread, Cinnamon Rolls, Pies & Cakes.


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A two-time Mississippi Medallion winner, Fireworks gomphrena, left, bursts into color with pink bracts featuring yellow stamens resembling tiny firecrackers exploding. The spidery pistils and stamens of the Sparkler cleome, right, resemble long streamers bursting across the night sky. Photos: MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman

reaches 2 feet tall, and its purple flowers attract loads of butterflies all summer long. Be sure to plant in the full sun, as high light produces the best flowering show. The other requirement is a planting soil that is well drained. Once established, it is a good choice for the periods of hot and dry weather we are sure to have every summer. If we get into an extended dry period, apply some supplemental irrigation. Another plant that reminds me of the fireworks season is Sparkler cleome. The spidery pistils and stamens resemble bright, long streamers bursting across the night sky. Sparkler cleome is available in white, pink and lavender. Sparkler Blush cleome was selected as an All-America Selections winner in 2002. These plants also have a bushy growth habit and will grow to about 36 inches tall. Sparkler has the potential to reseed, but subsequent generations will likely resemble one of the breeding parents. Cleome plants are great choices for our Mississippi summer gardens, as they are strictly warm-weather flowers. It’s not too late to plant them if you find nice-looking transplants in your local garden center.

The planting site should be in full sun at least part of the day. Be sure the landscape soil is well amended and has good drainage. As with any summer planting bed, don’t forget to mulch after transplanting. Cleomes are tolerant of droughty weather once the root system gets established, but they will need supplemental watering during extended dry periods. Fertilize at planting and again about mid-summer using a slow-release fertilizer. Cleomes make great combination partners in the sunny mixed landscape. Plant towards the back and don’t crowd the plants together. Once the cleome start to grow out, the flower heads can cause the branches to arch, but resist the urge to stake the taller varieties. The gentlest breeze can cause the arching branches to sway, adding movement to landscape. While you are oohing and aahing this Fourth of July, look for the sky flowers. Happy birthday, America! Dr. Gary Bachman is an associate Extension and research professor of horticulture at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. He is also host of “Southern Gardening” radio and TV programs.

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Today in Mississippi July 2014 Singing River  

Today in Mississippi July 2014 Singing River

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