Today in Mississippi June 2013

Page 1

Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

Electric Power Associations of Mississippi

4 Modern homesteading

in Oktibbeha County 14 Cooking with blueberries 15 Lawn mower racing catching on

2 I Today in Mississippi I June 2013

June 2013 I Today in Mississippi

Oklahoma tornado latest proof that preparedness saves lives nowing ahead of time how to respond to an approaching monster tornado undoubtably saved countless lives recently in Oklahoma. Residents of that tornado-prone region take disaster preparedness seriously—including the small children who demonstrated their tornado crouch before media cameras after the May 20 storm in Moore. Hurricane season in Mississippi opens this month. Are you as prepared as those Oklahoma students? Do you have a plan of action when a hurricane starts to spiral toward our coastline? Your electric power association certainly does. Representatives from all 26 electric power associations in the state are gathering in Jackson this month for the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi Emergency Work Plan meeting. The purpose is to review, discuss and improve our collective emergency response to widespread power outages due to natural disasters. Even the smallest details will be scrutinized to see how we can make our power restoration faster, safer and more efficient. Electric power associations have the unique ability to call on a national network comprising more than 500 electric cooperatives ready to provide an emergency work force and equipment in a very timely manner. When you have the ability to pull in hundreds, possibly thousands, of additional line workers to help restore power, you better have your ducks in a row beforehand. They will need meals and a place to sleep in the outage area, or as close as possible. That can be a difficult task in some of the more rural areas of our state. Our Emergency Work Plan meetings are designed to leave no stone unturned in hurricane preparedness. We discuss: • securing line materials, tools and equipment • employee briefings before and during the disaster



Our Homeplace

My Opinion Michael Callahan Executive Vice President/CEO EPAs of Mississippi

• assessing damage to lines quickly to determine manpower and material needs • sleeping arrangements, meals and laundry for visiting emergency crews. In a natural disaster situation, an electric power association anywhere in the state can make one call to the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi office in Ridgeland to request help in power restoration. That one call activates a process to round up additional crews, sends them to the needy areas and tracks their progress, calling in more if necessary. This carefully planned procedure frees the local electric power association personnel to concentrate on storm damage assessment, power restoration coordination and crew support tasks. By the end of our Emergency Work Plan meeting this month, participants will have discussed, dissected, reviewed and revised every facet of our disaster response procedures. They will return to their local electric power association confident of their cooperative’s ability to keep the lights on for members—and restore them as quickly and safely as possible when a storm knocks them out. I hope you already have an emergency plan for your family. And please make sure everyone knows to stay away from downed power lines. JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI


On the cover

Today in Mississippi

Mike and Alison Buehler, the parents of three young children, have chosen to become modern homesteaders by incorporating fading rural traditions into their 21st century lifestyle. The 4-County Electric Power Association members also founded the Mississippi Modern Homestead Center. Their story begins on page 4.

OFFICERS Kevin Doddridge - President Brad Robison - First Vice President Wayne Henson - Second Vice President Randy Wallace - Secretary/Treasurer

EDITORIAL STAFF Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO Ron Stewart - Sr. Vice President, Communications Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services Jay Swindle - Manager, Advertising Debbie H. Stringer - Editor Abby Berry - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Linda Hutcherson - Administrative Assistant

Vol. 66 No. 6

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: 433,242 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

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Larger-than-life steel sculptures of native plants and wildlife (the heron weighs more than a ton) adorn “Nature’s Playground,” an impressive new 42-foot-high public art project and lighted fountain in Gautier’s Town Center. Topping the piece is a lighted sphere covered with stained glass. Designed by Fairhope artist Dean Mosher with decoration by local artists, the work reflects Gautier’s plan to become a destination for eco-tourists.

Mississippi is ... ... remembering Mamaw making butter rolls and Christmas in an old unpainted farmhouse. It is watching our citizens learn to appreciate each other without regard to skin color, and the evolvement of a two-party legislature. It is the never-changing delight of redbud and dogwood trees in full springtime bloom, and the reds and yellows of autumm splendor. It is fried chicken, from an iron skillet in the kitchen or the fast-food drivethrough line. With all its changes and all its sameness, Mississippi is where my heart is. Mississippi is home! — Jo Robbins, Pelahatchie I’m originally from Louisiana but I’ve lived in Mississippi for nearly four years now, and I call it home. The people are the best, there are plenty of churches, the landscape is beautiful and it’s peaceful. The lifestyle is slow, it’s very safe and very welcoming. I love Mississippi and I intend to live in this great state for the rest of my life. Thank you, Mississippi! — Joseph E. Colna Jr., Houlka Mississippi is a sojourner’s rest from relentlessly long winters, a revival of new beginnings and the harvest of fond memories. — R.D. Glover, Collinsville

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


June 2013

a better life

Starkville family’s hobby farm revives rural traditions

By Debbie Stringer If her college friends knew what she was up to, Alison Buehler says they wouldn’t stop laughing. Hosting a workshop on home chicken processing is not what they would expect from this former special-education teacher. Yet Alison and her husband, Mike, a radiologist at a regional medical center in Starkville, have developed a deep respect for and interest in such old-time rural ways. Their own grandparents fed their families by producing their own vegetables, fruits, meats and eggs. If they needed something, they made it; if it broke, they fixed it. The Buehlers are reclaiming this sort of knowledge and making it a part of daily life. They grow organic vegetables and herbs, flowers, fruit trees and berry bushes. They keep laying hens and honeybees, raise pigs and make compost. They’ve built a henhouse, a greenhouse, deer fences, raised garden beds and berms. And they’ve learned how to cook and preserve the food they produce. In addition to developing a hobby farm from a small garden plot, they created an educational center to share information with like-minded people of all ages. The couple are part of a growing “modern homesteading” movement, which generally translates into the revival of traditional rural life skills to enrich modern living. “The things everybody used to know and now nobody knows,” as Alison put it. The Buehlers’ goal for themselves and their three children—ages 8, 7 and 4—is better health and a more meaningful

An organic strawberry, top, nears plump, ripe perfection in Mike and Alison Buehler’s organic garden. Seven-year-old Ben Buehler, left, examines a rye grass seed head while his mom looks over the herbs. Ben and his brother, Max, 8, enjoy eating fresh vegetables; their 4-year-old sister, Cecelia, will need more convincing. Laying hens, right, patrol the fenced garden for bugs, grubs and edible plants.

lifestyle based on sustainability, frugality and creative solutions. “For me, it’s something that brings together a lot of different passions or ideas, things like fitness,” Mike said. “This is how I get my exercise, out here building fences and digging ditches. And of course the food we’re growing is healthy. And then trying to re-learn some of these traditions and crafts and passing them on to your kids is a good thing.” He is quick to say his family has no desire to return to the 1900s; they like air conditioning as much as anyone. “It’s just learning how to do things that make sense, that aren’t quite so wasteful,” he said. “I don’t belong to a gym anymore because I’m out in the garden, or chas-

ing animals or children,” Alison said with a laugh. The Buehlers’ baby steps in homesteading started seven years ago when they bought a large home on an overgrown six-acre lot in Oktibbeha County. “When we were fixing this house up, we realized we didn’t know how to do just basic things, like fixing a toilet,” Alison said. Rather than hire the work done, the couple decided to become more self-sufficient by learning some fundamental skills. “We had an awakening: If we know this little, what are they going to know?” Alison said, nodding toward her 3-yearold daughter, Cecelia. Learning to grow food organically topped their list, but their first attempt

was a disaster. Gardening without chemicals in bug- and weed-infested Mississippi is no easy task. Undeterred, they visited organic farms and gardens in other states, read books, attended conferences and experimented fearlessly with different methods. Early on they discovered raised garden beds are the way to go when dealing with heavy clay soil. “I tried to till for two or three years and the tines just turned into a huge block of clay,” Mike said. After experimenting with several kinds of retaining structures for the raised beds, he settled on untreated pine 2-by-8 (or 10) lumber. The untreated lumber will last several years as long as termites don’t find it, he said. The more the Buehlers learned, the

June 2013

Alison Buehler and son Ben pet their Kunekune pigs, a small breed from New Zealand. The Buehlers chose the breed because of their docile nature. The pigs feed on pasture grasses and they especially relish clover growing among the raised garden beds.

more they wanted to know. “It was a slow realization but [it became] a real yearning for knowing how to take care of ourselves,” Alison said. Six years ago these 4-County Electric Power Association members had a 2400watt solar energy system installed to provide a supplemental source of electricity. “This house uses far in excess of what this system produces, but it’s sort of a demonstration of something that can be done,” Mike said. “I think moving toward solar and alternative energy is an important thing for the country. You’re not going to replace coal or

natural gas completely [as fuel sources for generating electricity] because you have to have always-on power. This is only going to be daytime, sunny-day power. It’s a complementary situation.” The Buehlers’ homesteading journey took an unexpected turn last year. After moving into another house nearby, they were considering the fate of the hobby farm they had nurtured through the years. Inspired by friends’ constant howto questions about gardening and keeping livestock, the couple decided to transform the property into the Mississippi Modern Homestead Center. Its function is to provide a public forum for sharing homestead experiences, information and hands-on demonstrations. “We had the idea to make this a teaching model of what anybody can do on whatever scale they want to do it,” Mike said. The center opened in January to host beginner-level workshops in topics such as chicken and goat keeping, home cheese making, cooking, food preservation, first aid, sewing, vegetable fermentation, fishing and homemade natural cleaners.

“This is cottage knowledge. People who have a knack for something come here and show somebody else how to do it,” Alison said. The center offers space for meetings, retreats, workshops and special events, plus overnight accommodations for up to 25. So far the center has hosted a women’s wellness retreat, a crafts festival, numerous workshops led by various instructors, as well as Farmstay events where families can try out hobby farming for a weekend. Events set for this summer include youth camps that emphasize learning and creativity. Judging from the center’s success in attracting people from Mississippi and several other states, it seems many crave basic knowledge in hobby farming and homesteading. “I think one of the reasons people are

Mike Buehler

Today in Mississippi



coming is they are curious about practical know-how that our generation has lost,” Alison said. “We’re recognizing that [these skills] are going to be gone if we don’t reclaim them.” The Buehlers also welcome requests for workshop topics. Alison has plans to cluster themed workshops to attract families who want to learn together. The Buehlers hope the center will help keep alive the rural traditions that sustained previous generations of Mississippians but have faded from modern life. “To me, this is a place to celebrate some of the best of Mississippi—food, practical know-how, people and rural living. It’s what Mississippians are good at,” Alison said. The Mississippi Modern Homestead Center is located at 402 Lake Valley Drive, just west of Starkville. For more information, call 662-694-0124 or go to

Alison and Mike Buehler look over the last of their cool weather garden and make plans for the next planting. Founders of the Mississippi Modern Homestead Center, the Buehlers teach raised bed construction as part of their Farmstay weekends, where families can try out hobby farming to see if it will fit into their own lifestyle.

“We had the idea to make this a teaching model of what anybody can do on whatever scale they want to do it.”




Today in Mississippi I June 2013

Young gardeners ditch tractor for a mule

ayne Rogers, who has a farm south of Philadelphia, called me a while back and asked if I’d like to do a TV story about his boys, who use mules to plow their summer garden. I was thinking it had been several years since I had done a story about mule plowing. Going through my files, I discovered it was actually 20 years ago, in 1993, that Rev. Lewis McDonald invited me out to his place to watch him work his garden with his mules. He used a tracMississippi tor to break up Seen the ground to by Walt Grayson begin with, but then used a mule to do the intricate work in the garden. Wasn’t anything better than a mule, he said. I had no idea what to expect when I drove up to the Rogers place and saw 12-year-old Cody and 13-year-old Kalem hooking up their mules to get ready for me to video them plowing. Questions running through my mind were along the lines of why they use mules instead of a tractor or a tiller. Is it a throwback to old times? Is this garden something they want to do or is it something they have to do? Stuff like that, remembering my one summer when I


Cody and Kalem Rogers of Neshoba County work their summer garden the old-fashioned way, with mules, but for modern reasons. Photo: Walt Grayson

was about their age, working in the hay field on my uncle’s dairy farm and how that one summer of long, hot days cured me of ever being tempted to pursue an agricultural career. Wayne explained that the garden is the boys’ summer job and they make pretty good money at it. But it is theirs to do. All of it. Kalem told me the first thing they have to do is pay their dad back for the advance he gives them to buy the seed. And just like any other business, any

other expense comes directly off the bottom line. That is why the brothers like to use mules. “That diesel fuel for the tractor costs a lot,” Kalem says. Mules can have a little bit of a stubborn streak, but not as bad as a donkey. I was told that a mule is a cross between a donkey and a horse and hopefully retains the best of both lines. But a little of what you don’t want, like stubbornness, may slip through, too. Cody told me what to do if the mules

don’t do exactly what you want them to do: “Just put ‘em in a circle and go.” Meaning you lead them around in a circle and then head them back in the direction you wanted them to go to begin with. Mama and Daddy used to have to do something like that with us when we were kids, I told them. But old times has little to do with why these young entrepreneurs want to use mules. It is strictly economics and conservation for Kalem and Cody.

June 2013 I Today in Mississippi I 7

Kalem explained that one of the reasons he prefers a mule to a tractor is because it “doesn’t pollute the area around us.” Cody immediately snickered and added, “Well, not too much!” Which reminded Kalem that the mules also help fertilize the garden as they go. The boys’ mother, Tammy Rogers, says she’s pleased her sons have taken on

the garden as their summer job. She says she is delighted they are learning values a lot of other kids don’t learn anymore. I’d call them old-fashioned values. 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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Today in Mississippi I June 2013

Country wisdom and predicting the future ne distinct advantage to country living is the collection of small towns associated with the lifestyle. And I suppose I should add also the marvelous tales emanating from a great many of those so domiciled. Grand stories and small towns seem inseparable, for it is in these towns that folks gather. Enter any retail establishment and you are likely to find someone you know. And that someone will want to talk. So, please don’t rush; take time to visit. Hurrying away could cause you to miss matters of significant import. In just such a setting it was that I found myself on April 18. I had stopped in at a store that handles practically everything from plumbing and electrical supplies to pocket knives and baseball caps. I walked in wearing knee high lace-up boots, a sloppy hat, faded jeans, green chamois shirt and carrying a wooden longbow. No one thought anything of it.


I was there to buy a section of PVC, but fortunately not for plumbing. I was intent on fabricating a tube for the takedown Osage bow that would fit in my duffle for a trip to Africa. When I announced my purpose for being there, all ears turned in my direction. But soon my story grew dry and inconsequential, and the subject turned quickly to weather. A perfect topic, politics aside. “The weather forecast says it’s gonna be cold tomorrow,” one customer noted. Tomorrow Mississippi would be the Outdoors 19th, but it was by Tony Kinton the 22nd that immediately became the focus. “You know it will,” the lady at the register added. “It thundered February 22 and it is always cold in April around the same date it thunders in February. It

The prediction of a late cold snap didn’t thwart the propensity to bloom in these azaleas. Photo: Tony Kinton

will probably frost.” Two days off is not so bad when making a long-range prediction with nothing more than the past as a radar. “It won’t frost now.” Another customer entered the debate. “The bluebirds have already laid their eggs.” “Well, the eggs may freeze ‘cause it’s gonna be cold.” There was now another individual opining in reference to this long-held belief. I had to agree with the prognostication of cold weather, for as long as my mother was cognizant and capable, she recorded any day in February when there was thunder. Seldom did the pattern prove false. And if you are wondering, yes, there was a touch of frost during that cold snap. All this banter set me to thinking of the many “truths,” perceived or otherwise, I had heard during my life in the country. And since most were somehow affiliated with nature, I concluded that these would fit in an outdoor column such as this is purported to be. Here are a few: • It’s too cold to snow: I have heard this all my life in regards to Mississippi. But after I was the first time in snow with temperatures far below freezing, I began to question this. However, there is likely some element of truth when confined to the immediate area. We get our coldest weather when the sky is clear and heat is able to escape. Snow doesn’t fall from a clear sky.

• Stinging snakes bury up in the mud and wait for somebody like you boys to step on them: While likely believed by a scattering of folks, it was probably employed to keep errant barefoot boys from walking in the mud—and ultimately tracking assorted debris attached to the feet of those errant barefoot boys into the house. I close with a few more upon which I will not expound: • A dream told before breakfast will come true. • If the wind spreads a chicken’s tail feathers, it is going to rain. • If you see lightning in the south, it will be dry weather. • It will soon rain when smoke from the chimney falls to the ground. True or false, these old country sayings? I don’t know. But I do know that I will eat blackeyed peas and pork on New Year’s Day! And like the words to that old song as these relate to my life in the country, I shall not be moved. Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. “Uncertain Horizons,” book two in Kinton’s “Wagon Road Trilogy,” is now available. Order from your local bookstore, or Kinton’s website:

June 2013


Today in Mississippi



Plan now for later irrigation needs lthough many Mississippi gardeners are wondering if it will ever quit raining and let their landscapes dry out a bit, now is actually a good time to think ahead to the inevitable hot and dry weather of summer. Dry conditions create problems for our home gardens and landscapes, and gardeners water their lawns and landscape beds a lot more than usual during these times. We typically water garden plants based on soil moisture, and when the soil feels dry, we water thoroughly. A common recommendation is to apply 1 to 1.5 inches of water a week. This irrigation is usually done with overhead sprinklers, but they are an inefficient method of applying water. A much better approach is to maintain soil moisture by slow and steady watering. Homeowners actually have a variety of options that can provide water more effectively and efficiently. One option is to use microirrigation, also called drip or trickle irrigation, to apply water directly to the root zones. Maintaining a moist root zone reduces plant stress significantly. It also reduces water use by up to 70 percent


Microirrigation is an effective way to apply water directly to the root zones. Options include soaker hoses, drip tape and microsprinklers. Photo: MSU Ag Communications/Scott Corey

compared to overhead sprinklers. This can make a big difference in the monthly water bill. Soaker hoses are another effective method of microirrigation. These hoses work by “sweating” along their entire length and are good for vegetable garden rows or long flower beds. Drip tapes are somewhat similar to soaker hoses and are used for long and straight rows in vegetable gardens.


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Emitters create uniform and efficient water flow and come spaced from 1 to 3 inches apart to accommodate different plant spacing. Because water use can vary between plants, adjustable flow emitters can regulate irrigation volume accordingly. Microsprinklers are useful for wider areas. While these are overhead sprinklers, volume is limited to 10 gallons per hour. If you are interested in really controlling the amount of water you use in the garden, consider using pressure-compensated emitters. These emitters regulate the amount of water regardless of water pressure. Microirrigation is an effective method of watering plants grown in containers. Starter kits make systems easy to install and are available at home improvement stores and garden centers. You can easily add additional tubing and emitters to these systems to irrigate additional containers. If you are like me and have an existing irrigation system that uses pop-up sprinklers, you can buy a conversion kit to switch to microirrigation. I did this in my front landscape beds. The early-morning hours are the best time to water, as temperatures are cooler and the soil can absorb the water before the heat of the day. Watering during the middle of the day is not very efficient, as some of the water evaporates before it can do any good.

Plants, like people, have preferences and knowing when and how much to water plants is one skill all gardeners need to cultivate. Too much water encourages root rot problems; too little leaves plants wilted and lifeless. Careful observation and experience will keep your landscape plants Southern alive during a Gardening long, hot and by Dr. Gary Bachman dry summer. Soil conditions in the garden and landscape have a big impact on watering needs. Most gardens and beds can benefit from the addition of 3 to 4 inches of composted organic matter that will help improve drainage. Top that off with 2 to 3 inches of mulch to help the soil retain valuable moisture and keep temperatures down. Even though there has been plenty of water so far, spend some time in your landscape and garden planning on the best way to meet your plants’ later moisture needs. This way, you’ll be able to keep your landscape looking beautiful regardless of the weather. Dr. Gary Bachman is MSU horticulturist at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi.

10 ■ Today in Mississippi ■ June 2013

Let’s clear the air! Replace air filters regularly for efficient heating and cooling Clogged air filters could add $82 to your electric bill every year. Checking, changing or cleaning your filter once a month saves money and extends the life of your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. More than half of your monthly energy bill goes toward keeping your home comfortable. While air filters prevent pesky dust and annoying allergens from clogging your HVAC system, dirt, like aging arteries, builds up over time. If left unchecked, a dirty filter strains a home’s heart and forces the HVAC system to work harder to push conditioned air through tight spaces. This results in higher energy bills and—potentially— system failure.

Filter facts Air filters protect HVAC systems and perform double-duty by collecting some lose dirt from the air. These handy sieves live in duct system slots or in return grilles of central air conditioners, furnaces and heat pumps. Successful filters have a short lifespan—the better a filter catches dirt, the faster is gets clogged and must be cleaned or replaced. Leaving a dirty air filter in place cuts a home’s air quality and reduces HVAC system airflow. While removing a clogged filter altogether relieves pressure on the system, the system can’t perform well without one. Unfiltered dust and grime accumulate on critical parts like the evapo-

rator coil, causing unnecessary wear and tear.

Monthly check-up The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) advises checking an air filter once a month and replacing it at least every three months. It’s critical to inspect and replace filters before seasons of heavy use like summer and winter. If you have pets or smokers in the home, filters clog quickly. Remodeling projects or furniture sanding add more dirt than normal; a filter may need to be changed before the average three-month lifespan expires. Turn your heating and cooling system off before checking your filter. Slide the filter out of your duct work, and look for layers of hair and dirt. Run a finger across the filter. If the finger comes away dirty or there’s a line left on the filter, it’s time for a change. When replacing the filter, make sure the arrow on the filter indicating the direction of the airflow points toward the blower motor. To help schedule monthly check-ups, write the date on the side of the filter so you know when it needs to be checked again. Once you’ve made the change, turn your system back on.

Filtering choices Shopping for a new filter? Before you leave home, write down the size printed on the side of your current filter. If you get a filter that’s too small,

dirt will get around the barrier and invade your system. There are several different types of filters and levels of efficiency. Filters are either flat or pleated; pleated filters offer extra surface area to hold dirt, making them more efficient. The most common filters use layered fiberglass fibers reinforced with metal grating. Some filters boost efficiency by using polyester fibers. Electrostatic filters are made from positivelyand negativelycharged fibers and capture smaller debris—the charge actively pulls particles from the air like iron filings onto a magnet. No power connection is required, and the charge does not fade over time. The filters best able to capture small debris are high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters, but these deluxe filters are mainly used in hospitals and office buildings, not in homes. Air filters are rated by a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). Ranging from one to 20, this scale gauges a filter’s effectiveness at blocking debris. Low MERV-rated filters offer high airflow into a cooling or heating system, but only catch large air particles. A higher rating isn’t always better— those filters block more dirt but also reduce system airflow. Most experts recommend filters with a MERV 6 or higher. Manufacturers are not required to post MERV on filter packaging.

Brands like 3M’s Filtrete instead list levels of microparticle performance rating— higher numbers mean the filter catches more particles. Home Depot’s Air Filter Performance Rating system ranks filters by good, better, best and premium. No matter what system a store or manufacturer uses, better (and more expensive) filters mean higher MERV scores. If a family member suffers from allergies, a high MERV filter keeps out excess dander, smoke and other allergens. Ask a heating and cooling professional what type of filter works best for your home and family needs. Once you find a filter that works well in your home, it’s a good idea to keep spare filters on hand. Basic filters cost anywhere from $2 to $10; electrostatic filters may range from $18 to $25.

More efficiency boosters Before summer hits, clean cooling system coils inside and outside the home. Leaves, dirt, and other debris gather around a home’s air conditioner throughout fall and winter months. These intruders keep the coils from operating at top efficiency, both shortening the lifespan of the unit and ratcheting up summer cooling bills. Just as clogged air filters force your system to work harder, blocked vents strain your system. Clean air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators. Make sure air ducts are not blocked by furniture, rugs or window treatments.

June 2013 ■ Today in Mississippi ■ 11

Stop summer energy drains Energy Summer vacation can be a recipe for high electric bills if kids are home all day and your electric power association wants you to be aware of summer energy drains. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that 9 percent of Americans’ household energy costs are dedicated to air conditioning alone, so try these tips to keep costs down when the temperature rises.

Avoid ‘phantom’ load Get your family in the habit of turning electronics on and off via power strips as they move from one activity to the next. As electronics and appliances become more technologically savvy, they often draw power even while turned off. A good indicator of this— called the “phantom load—is to check the device for a light that stays on all the time. Phantom loads will add a few watt-hours to energy consumption, but a few watt-hours on each of your many electronic devices adds up. To avoid this silent power draw, unplug the device or invest in a “smart” power strip, which allows certain electronics—like a cable box, which takes time to reboot after

it’s been unplugged—to continue using electricity while others can be completely shut down.

Air-conditioning units More people in the house, plus doors hanging open from the last trip to play outside, plus high temperatures equals an air-conditioning unit that has to work harder to keep the house cool. Be sure to adjust settings to maximize efficiency, such as using the “auto” function instead of keeping the fan running all the time. Regular maintenance to keep your air conditioner or heat pump in good working order is a good idea, as is checking and changing the air filter every couple of months or if it’s dirty. Also, set your thermostat as high as you can while maintaining your comfort level—the smaller the difference between indoor air and the great outdoors, the lower your cooling costs will be. And make sure to rearrange your

furniture so that appliances that put out a lot of heat aren’t near the thermostat.

efficiency tip

Keep the pool covered About 70 percent of the heat lost from swimming pools results from evaporation, caused by both wind and water. That means tap water goes to refilling the pool, which translates into higher electric bills to reheat the water. To save energy, cover a pool when it’s not in use. Pool size and shape factor into choosing the right cover. The most expensive pool covers are incorporated into the pool structure and can come with an automatic retraction and storage system. Manual covers may be cheaper, but removing them can be a dirty job. You can also choose solar covers resembling bubble wrap.

Together we save As you work this summer to stop energy drains, an energy efficiency expert can help you determine the right steps for your home, including whether an energy audit will help find more savings. You can visit to find out how little measures around the house add up to big energy savings.

Your swimming pool doesn’t have to be a drain on your electric bill. Simply covering it will go a long way to reducing evaporation, which will cut back on refilling and reheating. Also, consider investing in a high-efficiency or multi-speed pool pump when it’s time for a replacement. They cost more but save a lot more energy than older models. Visit for more info. Source: ESFI

Was that thunder? Weather summer storms safely with these helpful tips dictability; it often strikes outside of All thunderstorms produce lightning heavy rainfall, up to 10 miles away. and all have the potential for danger. Those dangers can include tornadoes, Ready America, a national public servstrong winds, hail, wildfires and flash ice campaign from the Federal Emerflooding, which is responsible for more gency Management Agency (FEMA), champions the fatalities than any 30/30 Lightning other thunderIn the United States, lightning Safety Rule. Go storm-related indoors if, after hazard. kills 300 people and injures 80 on seeing lightning, In the United average, each year. you cannot count States, lightning to 30 before hearkills 300 people and injures 80 on average, each year. And ing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder. lightning's risk to individuals and propIt’s also important to be familiar with erty increases because of its unpre-

the terms used to identify thunderstorm hazards. For instance, a thunderstorm watch means there is a possibility of a thunderstorm in your area. A thunderstorm warning means a thunderstorm is occurring or will likely occur soon. If you are advised to take shelter, do so immediately. There are several things you can do to prepare your home for summer storms: • Remove dead or rotting trees and

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Today in Mississippi


June 2013

Our next ‘Picture This’ focuses on rural life What’s so great about living (or visiting) in rural Mississippi? The answer lies in your photographs. “Country Life” is the theme of our next “Picture This” reader photo feature. We publish a few of the most eye-catching photos that best illustrate the theme from among those submitted. Photographers whose photos are selected for publication are eligible for a $200 cash prize, to be awarded in a random drawing in December. Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by June 10. Selected photos will appear in the July 2013 issue of Today in Mississippi. I Submission requirements • Submit as many photos as you like, but select only your best work. • Photos must relate to the given theme. • Photos must be the original work of an amateur photographer (of any age). • Photos may be either color or black and white, print or digital, but they must be in sharp focus. • Digital photos should be high-resolution JPG files. • Please do not send a photo with the date appearing on the image. • Photos must be accompanied by identifying information: photographer’s name, address, phone and electric power association (if applicable). Include the name(s) of any recognizable people or places in the picture. • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail so please do not send irreplaceable prints. I How to submit Mail prints to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Email digital photos (as an attachment) to If submitting more than one photo, please attach all photos to only one e-mail message, if possible. Or, mail a photo CD to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300.

Southern hospitality meets its match


visit to our nearest allies across the Atlantic gave my travel companion and me another perspective of cultures that speak English. It makes life much easier than using sign language with strangers who don’t particularly like Americans. We knew we liked London enough to go back, but didn’t know about their close neighbors. Who would have thought that Mississippi and her southern sisters inherited their hospitality not only from the English, but Wales, Ireland and Scotland. These countries are good humored and also have innate friendli-

ness and kindness. The people we met have a genuine affection for Americans. That was our impression when we recently took a 12-day tour. Many of us claim ancestry from the four countries, especially emerald-green Ireland. Mr. Roy gave me one bit of advice before we joined our travel group in London: “Don’t invite anyone to come see us.” On a trip abroad five years ago, we invited Brian and Beryl, a couple from Australia, to come visit us. They took us at our word. Yes, they have been here three times. In the South, “come see us” flows smoothly off our tongues. But that’s OK. I’ve learned a lot

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June 2013

about Australia from them. When they left, Brian laughed and said, “Y’all come on down.” I think they learned a few things from us too. One big hitch: Australia is extremely down under for me. Gravity could fail momentarily and off we’d go to another galaxy. My companion and I were flabbergasted when we joined our group of travelers on the tour bus. Like a magnet we sat next to an Australian couple. I looked at Mr. Roy, raised and dropped my shoulders and grinned at him. During our tour of the countryside we hung out with the Aussies, a mother and her 21-year-old daughter from Canada, and a couple from California. In London my traveling companion and I enjoyed the British Museum. I Grin ‘n’ wanted to see Bare It the Rosetta by Kay Grafe Stone and ancient sculptures from Greece and Egypt. We loved Westminster Abbey. We left London the next day with our tour group on a fast-paced trip to Wales, Ireland, Scotland and then back to England. We saw many memorable sights, but I’ll just touch on a few. First was Stonehenge, which has baffled archeologists for years, then the Roman baths at Bath England and the Cardiff Castle at Cardiff Wales. In Ireland we visited the famous Waterford crystal factory at Waterford, Ireland, and then to beautiful Dublin and Belfast Ireland. Our tour crossed the North Channel to Scotland. Edinburgh, Scotland has so much history, but the centerpiece is the Edinburgh Castle and the crown jewels. Back in England our group traveled through the Northumberland National Park to the walled city of York and then to Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare, and finally back to London. As we sat in our seats on the airplane and were finally able to catch our breath, I asked my Mr. Roy what impressed him the most. He thought for a minute and then said, “I thought all of the cities were very clean and pretty, especially

Edinburgh and Dublin. The more I see of London the more I like it. “I had always wanted to see Stonehenge. But what impressed me the most in all four countries was the beautiful green countryside. I had no idea that England was that rural and had so many farms. And the same can be said for Ireland and Scotland. Another thing that impressed me was the friendliness of the people, even the taxi drivers.” Then he asked what I thought. “I agree with everything you said, but I will add the play ‘Jersey Boys’ that we saw our last night in London. I loved that.”

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Finally, I asked him a hard question. “Was it worth the expense?” Roy said, “Don’t you remember the little old lady that we met one afternoon on the famous street in York, England, named The Shambles?” “Of course I do. That was the afternoon we walked back to our hotel. An old English lady stopped us. She could tell that we were Americans and we could tell that she was lonely. She told us that she loved Americans and had visited the States several times. You asked her questions about growing up in England during World War ll.”


Today in Mississippi



When we started to part, she recited a phrase her mother used to tell her in old English. But we didn’t understand. With a smile she said, “You can’t take it with you.” And then she added, “Remember: Enjoy every day to the fullest.” Then she turned and walked away.

Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.” To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.



Today in Mississippi


June 2013

Blueberry-Banana Pie



1 cup sugar 4 Tbsp. flour 1 tsp. lemon juice 4 cups fresh blueberries, divided

1 (9-inch) baked graham cracker pie crust 1 ripe banana, sliced

In a saucepan, mix sugar, flour, lemon juice and 1 cup of the blueberries, and cook over medium heat until thickened. Cool. Stir in 3 cups of the blueberries. Line bottom of pie crust with banana slices. Spoon blueberry mixture into crust. Serve with whipped cream or topping.

Blueberry-Orange Nut Bread

‘Blueberry Recipes: Martha’s Blueberry Collection’

They are tasty, versatile and available fresh from farmers across Mississippi. Rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and nutrients, they are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. What’s not to love about blueberries? Martha Turner has produced a new cookbook bursting with fresh ideas for enjoying the blueberries grown at her family’s Spring Lake Berry Farm, in Vancleave, where her husband, Henry, planted 6,000 blueberry bushes. “I was inspired to write this cookbook because so many of our blueberry customers who came to our farm each year were requesting recipes,” Martha Turner said. The book contains 150 blueberry recipes and also gives a brief history of blueberries, nutritional benefits, plus hints on preserving and freezing blueberries. A member of Singing River Electric Power Association, Spring Lake Berry Farm invites the public to pick blueberries from June 1 through around July 4. For information or directions, call 228-826-4682. To order the spiralbound cookbook, send $10 plus $3 S&H to Martha Turner, 17100 Spring Lake Drive East, Vancleave, MS 39565.

3 eggs 1 Tbsp. orange rind, grated 2/3 cup orange juice 1/2 cup butter, melted 1/2 cup milk 3 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 cup fresh blueberries 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine first 5 ingredients and beat on medium speed 30 seconds. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and soda in a large bowl, making a well in the center. Add egg mixture; stir until well blended. Fold in blueberries and nuts. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.

Blueberry Pinwheel Muffins 2 cups biscuit mix 2 Tbsp. sugar 2/3 cup milk 1/4 cup margarine, melted

1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 cup chopped nuts 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed 2 cups blueberries

Combine biscuit mix and sugar. Stir in milk until ingredients are moistened. Knead on lightly floured board (or waxed paper) until dough is smooth. Roll out dough to a 10-by-18-inch oblong. Brush dough with melted margarine. Combine cinnamon, chopped nuts and brown sugar. Sprinkle over dough, then spread blueberries over dough. Roll up like a jelly roll, starting at the 18-inch side. Cut roll into 12 equal pieces. Put each piece, cut side up, into a well greased muffin pan. Bake at 425 F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown. Serve warm.

Creamy Blueberry Dip 1 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries 1/3 cup light cream cheese (from 8-oz. tub) 1 Tbsp. apricot preserves

In the container of a food processor or blender, place blueberries, cream cheese and apricot preserves; process until smooth. Serve with sliced fruit or use as a dessert sauce spooned over cut-up fruit, if desired. Makes about 2 cups.

Lemon-Blueberry Cream 3/4 cup whipping cream 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar 1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup sour cream 2 tsp. freshly grated lemon rind Garnishes: lemon zest, fresh blueberries

Beat whipping cream and powdered sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold in blueberries, sour cream and lemon rind. Serve with pound cake. Garnish, if desired. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Lemon-Blueberry Chicken Salad 2 cups blueberries 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise 3/4 cup lemon yogurt 1 tsp. salt 2 cups cooked, diced chicken breast

3/4 cup sliced celery 1/2 cup sliced green onions 1/2 cup diced sweet red bell pepper Lemon slices for garnish

Reserve a few blueberries for garnish. In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt and salt. Add remaining blueberries, chicken, celery, green onions and bell pepper. Stir gently. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors blend, at least 30 minutes. Serve over lettuce and garnish with reserved blueberries and lemon slices.

June 2013

Today in Mississippi


Who needs grass? Give my mower a race track By Nancy Jo Maples Grass isn’t the only thing sprouting. Lawn mower racing is a growing trend. Riding the motorized cutter used to be a weekend chore. Now, it’s a weekend sport. There are two national lawn mower racing associations. Drivers of all ages converge on tracks to go round and round for trophies, points and sometimes money. England is credited with the first organized effort of the sport with the formation of the British Lawn Mower Racing Association in 1973. However, lawn mower races reportedly occurred in the United States as early as 1963 in Twelve Mile, Ind. The first races used mowers with original factory parts and engines, but today’s mowers get an overhaul before the race. “They basically turn the lawn mower into a big gocart,” said Justin Miller, of Richland, spokesman for the Mississippi chapter of the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association. The first rule is that blades must be removed for safety reasons. However, Miller warned that motorsport enthusiasts should not assume they can remove the blades from their backyard mower and enter a competition. He said dedicated drivers put thousands of dollars into their machines. “This is a sport that should be left to the professionals. Anyone interested should look at the rules and disclaimers and talk to other drivers,” Miller said. Racing mowers can travel up to 65 miles per hour. Races occur on round dirt tracks one-fifth to onetenth mile long. Winning involves completing a specified number of laps first with motor size determining the categories of races. Races sanctioned by the United States Lawn Mower Racing Association require drivers to be at least 18 years old; however, drivers age 16 and 17 can

Don’t think you can simply remove your lawn mower’s blades to compete with these guys at the George County Motorsports Park. Photos courtesy of George County Motorsports Park

race with parental consent. The association also requires protective suits and helmets for drivers and their mowers must be able to achieve a minimum speed of 33 miles per hour. A complex opened in April in George County that races a variety of motorsports including lawn mowers. The George County Motorsports Park holds races every Saturday night April through October for lawn mowers, go-carts, dirt bikes, and four-wheelers. Races run from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. It is currently the only regularly operated lawn mower track in Mississippi. GCMSP is not a member of a national racing association and therefore can pay cash prizes from the entry fees. National associations have rules against

cash prizes. Also, the George County complex does not have age restrictions. Drivers as young as age four have raced with parental permission. “We have some as old as 80,” said T.W. Graves, promoter for the park. Graves said that the park carries a $1 million life insurance policy for drivers and spectators. The $15 pit pass paid by drivers to enter provides cash prizes to the top three winners of each race. Gate proceeds and concession proceeds pay insurance costs and maintenance on the track and grand stands. “Our largest head count has been 750, but of course that doesn’t include kids 12 and under because they get in free,” Graves said. The admittance fee is $8 for ages 13 to 65. Senior citizens and military personnel are charged $5. The complex is located in the Rocky Creek Community east of Lucedale at the corner of U.S. 98 and Donovan Road across from the Four-Mile Truck Stop. See the following websites for more information: George County Motorsports Park,; United States Lawn Mower Racing Association,; and The American Racing Mower Association, Writer Nancy Jo Maples can be reached at 188 Ernest Pipkins Road, Lucedale, MS 39452 or via email at



Today in Mississippi


June 2013

Mississippi Marketplace 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, ten word minimum. Mail payment with your ad to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Have any questions? Phone 601-605-8604 or email

FOR SALE JACK FOSTER HANDMADE SADDLES. Hazlehurst, MS 601-894-3809, West Monroe, LA 381-397-0086. 3 BR, 2 BATH ON BARNETT RESERVOIR with Boat house, lift and fishing pier. $165,000 Call 601-572-4902 or 601-940-0760.

VACATION RENTALS APPALACHIAN TRAIL Cabins by trail in Georgia mountains. 3000’ above sea level. Snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates. 800-284-6866. WWW.GULFSHORES4RENT.COM Beautiful west beach in Gulf Shores - 4 great condos, each sleeps 6. Call 404-219-3189 or 404-702-9824. LEAF RIVER CAMP, two bedrooms directly on river, sleeps 8, private pier, full kitchen, fishing, hunting, swimming and very relaxing. 228-860-8689. CABINS/PIGEON FORGE, TN sleeps 2-6, great location, 251-649-3344, 251-649-4049

MISCELLANEOUS FREE BOOKS/DVDS, Soon the “Mark of the Beast” will be enforced as Church and State unite! Let the Bible reveal. The Bible Says, P.O. Box 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771. 888-211-1715.

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Join Walt and many other Mississippians as they open their life albums and share their memories in words and photographs. This collection from the readers of Today in Mississippi prompted Walt to pull related tales from his vault of experience, collected while living in and traveling throughout his home state. “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories with Walt Grayson” is a valued gift, and the book is sure to become a collector’s item.

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vents E Want more than 400,000 readers to know about your event? Send it to us 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. Event details are subject to change, so we strongly recommend calling to confirm dates and times before traveling. For more events, go to

“A Pieceful Celebration,” weekdays through June 28, Jackson. Exhibit featuring works of mixed-media artist Diane Williams and mosaic artist Teresa Haygood. Opening reception June 6, 5-7 p.m. Free. Mississippi Library Commission. Details: Living History Presentations, June and July, Fridays-Tuesdays, Vicksburg. Vicksburg National Military Park. Details: “Old Masters to Monet: Three Centuries of French Painting From the Wadsworth Atheneum,” through Sept. 8, Jackson. Fifty masterpieces ranging from the 17th to 20th centuries, including works by Degas, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Monet. Admission. Mississippi Museum of Art. Details: 601-960-1515; “Bob the Builder—Project: Built It,” through Sept. 8, Jackson. Hands-on, multimedia traveling exhibit based on the children’s TV series. Admission. Mississippi Children’s Museum. Details: 877-793-5437; “This is Home”: Medgar Evers, Mississippi and the Movement, through Oct. 31, Jackson. Archival film footage, photographs, documents, artifacts to commemorate 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. William F. Winter Archives and History Building. Details: 601576-6850; Annual Medgar Evers Homecoming Events, June 10-12, Jackson. Tours of civil rights sites, film festival, re-dedication ceremony of Medgar Evers Home Museum, literacy fair, more. Various locations. Details: 800354-7695; Kids’ Summer Nature Camp, June 11-14, Picayune. Hands-on lessons, games, activities for ages 6-12; 9 a.m. - noon. Admission. Crosby Arboretum. Details: 601-799-2311. Thunder on Water, June 12-16, Grenada. Music, carnival, antique cars, fireworks, vendors. Grenada Lake. Details: 662-226-2060.

LawFit Challenge National Competition, June 13-15, Olive Branch. Olive Branch Police Dept. to host law officer test of fitness with competitive events. Spectators welcome. Olive Branch High School. Details: 662-892-9400; Prentiss Junior College School Reunion and Parade, June 14-15, Prentiss. Parade June 15, 9 a.m., Ole Time Restaurant. Details: 601-847-1984, 601-886-7930. Nesbit Blueberry Plantation Pick-YourOwn, June 15-30, Nesbit. Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. Details: 662-4492839; Tri-Lakes Productions Gun and Knife Show, June 15-16, Southaven. Admission. The Arena. Details: 662-934-9077; Summer Fun Art Camps, June 17-20 and July 15-18, Olive Branch. For ages 6-13; 9 a.m. - noon. Admission. The Painted Pigeon Art Gallery. Details: Lower Delta Talks: “The Blues, Muddy Waters, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones: The Mighty Mississippi River Connection,” June 18, Rolling Fork. Presentation by Willy Bearden; 6:30 p.m. Sharkey-Issaquena County Library. Details: 662-873-6261. Daylily Interactive Video Conference, June 20, Waynesboro. Explore growing daylilies with Dr. Wayne Porter; noon. Preregister. Wayne County Extension Service. Details: 601-735-2243. Civil War Relic Show, June 22-23, Brandon. Relics, antiques, books, currency, documents, weapons, reenactors, period music, much more; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free. Brandon City Hall. Details: 769-234-2966; Mid-South Swap Meet and Flea Market, June 22-23, Southaven. Held on fourth weekend of each month. The Arena. Details: 901831-9519, 901-412-6195. Stars and Stripes Festival, June 27, Greenwood. Family fun, fireworks and food. Details: 662-453-4152; Teachers’ Workshop: Flying WILD, June 27, Picayune. Project Wild workshop emphasizing art and math, conducted by Crystie Baker, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science Educational Outreach biologist. Open to teachers and homeschool educators; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Also, WILD About Black Bears and Endangered Species workshop, July 11. Crosby Arboretum. Details: 601-799-2311; Picnic and Parade Around the Square, June 28, Hernando. Children to parade in decorated, non-motorized vehicles; free movie under the stars; 6:30 p.m. Hernando Courthouse Square. Details: 662-429-9055; Juneteenth Family Fun Festival, June 29, Horn Lake. DeSoto County African American History Symposium event with games, food, live blues and gospel, dance troupes, arts, crafts, step show; 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Free. Latimer Lakes Park. Details: 901-481-3968. Bassmasters Weekend Series, June 29 and July 20, Grenada. Grenada Lake. Details: 662226-2060. The Landmarks Quartet in Concert, June 30, Mathiston. Victory Baptist Church; 1 p.m. Details: 662-617-2922. Aquatic Plant Sale, July 6, Picayune. Sale of non-invasive aqautic plants, including hardy water lilies, native iris, more; 9 a.m. - noon.

Free admission. Crosby Arboretum. Details: 601-799-2311. 10th Annual Mississippi Black Rodeo, July 6, Jackson. Coliseum, fairgrounds. Details: Dizzy Dean Tournament, July 7-13, Grenada. Regional tournament. Grenada Athletic Compound. Details: 662-229-9936. 64th Annual Choctaw Indian Fair, July 1013, Choctaw. World Series Stickball, Princess Pageant, entertainment, Rez Run, more. Details: 601-650-7450;; Bruce Sawmill Festival, July 12-13, Bruce. Golf tournament, entertainment by Lyrix and The Flames, car show, 5K run, arts, crafts. Bruce Square. Details: 662-983-2222; The Inspirations, July 12, Meridian. Temple Theatre; 7 p.m. Details: 601-416-1630. Mississippi Opry Summer Show, July 13, Pearl. Harmony & Grits with guest band Magnolia Drive; 6 p.m. Admission. Pearl Community Room. Details: 601-331-6672; Diamondhead SPCA 50/50 Poker Run, July 13, Diamondhead. Land and water routes for boats, motorcyles, trucks, cars. Silent auction, raffle. Admission. Details: 228-363-2030. Mississippi Coast Jazz Society Dance and Jam, July 14, Biloxi. Non-member and student musicians may sit in. Admission; 2-5 p.m. Hard Rock Casino. Details: 228-392-4177. Tougaloo Art Colony, July 14-19, Tougaloo. Visual art workshops in various media, exhibit, art talks. Admission. Tougaloo College. Details: 601-977-7839;

COMING UP: Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight VI to World War II Memorial, Oct. 1, Gulfport. One-day free trip for WWII veterans to WWII and other memorials in Washington, D.C. Applications now being accepted. Leaves from Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. Details: or MGC Honor Flight, PO Box 1912, Gautier, MS 39553.

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Mississippi’s Giant HouseParty

Fri., July 26 thru Fri., Aug. 2

Arts & crafts market, garden and field crop exhibits, home arts and crafts exhibits, needlework and quilt displays. State dairy cattle show, beef cattle and sheep shows. Petting zoo. Harper, Morgan and Smith PRCA Rodeo. Harness and running horse races, mule races & pony pull. Antique car show. Local and statewide political speaking. Nightly variety and Nashville entertainment. 34th Annual Heart O’Dixie Triathlon. Thacker Mountain Radio Show. Fireworks. Midway amusement and rides by Mitchell Bros. Amusements. For more information,

visit or call 601-656-8480

June 2013

Today in Mississippi