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News for members of Singing River Electric

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7 Brookhaven art school a Mississippi success story 12 Mississippi Cooks: Recipes to celebrate 13 The forgotten art of handwritten letters


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COU UNTRY LIVING MADE EASIER R WITH MUELLER STEEL BUILDINGS


March 2018

Electricity worked extra hard for your household this winter f you’ve ever received a jury summons in the mail, you might have responded with a big groan, especially if there are already a lot of demands on your time. But think of it this way: Be thankful you’re not the person on trial. If you’ve ever been delayed on a busy highway while waiting to maneuver around a traffic accident, be glad you were not involved in the wreck. Likewise, when you retrieve the power bill from your mailbox this month, think of all the things electricity did for you the past few weeks. Electricity lit up your home and did your laundry while powering your TVs, laptop or computer games. It kept your smartphone charged. It roasted meat, toasted bread, brewed coffee, chilled milk, froze leftovers and washed the dishes. Electricity dried your hair. It may have kept you warm and provided a hot bath on a cold winter day. Electricity is looking more and more like a bargain, don’t you think? Because we pay for electricity after we use it— unlike gasoline, which we purchase at the pump— we tend to forget everything it does for us over the course of a month. Then when the bill comes, we may be unpleasantly surprised. Here’s the real surprise: Electric cooperatives across the country reported that kilowatt-hour use per household dropped by 8 percent between 2010 and 2016. That means we’re doing more with less energy. But Mississippi really got slammed with frigid weather this winter, several times. Your kilowatthour use—which determines your bill amount— reflects the extra work electricity did to keep your household warm. Cold temperatures coupled with strong wind infiltrated every nook and cranny of your home, forcing your heating system to run longer, maybe even all night at times. Plus, your water heater and electric range probably put in overtime too. Temperatures will begin to moderate this month as spring approaches, and your kilowatt-hour use likely will as well. But electricity will be there when

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On the cover Meridian author Richelle Putman’s new book examines how Mississippians were affected by and coped with the Great Depression. She is pictured in an area of downtown Meridian noted for buildings that predate the Depression, some of which have been restored and revitalized in recent years. See story on page 4.

you need it, for power tools, lawn equipment, outdoor lighting, air conditioning, the pool pump.... ••• Springtime motivates many property owners to spruce up their landscape with outdoor projects. Maybe you’re thinking of building a new deck or workshop, erecting fencing or even adding a swimming pool. Whatever the project, stop to consider electrical safety first. If you are planning to dig deep holes or use mechanical equipment to excavate for any project, you must call Mississippi My Opinion 811 Inc. to have all underMichael Callahan ground utilities marked Executive Vice President/CEO before starting to dig. Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Depending on the circumstances, the call may be mandated by state law (Section 77-13-5). Even if you are only digging a few inches with a shovel, why not take advantage of this free service? When you call 811, a customer service representative will ask you for details about the location and type of work you’re planning. Then, all utilities serving the area will be notified so they can send someone to mark the location of any underground utility lines. The goal is to keep you, your family and your workers safe, and to avoid a disruption in utility service. Your electric power association is all about electrical safety. If you ever have any concerns or questions about electrical safety, or if you come across a hazard like a downed power line, please call your electric power association immediately. We have the trained personnel, equipment and expertise to tackle any kind of electrical safety issue that threatens the public.

Today in Mississippi OFFICERS Barry Rowland - President Randy Smith - First Vice President Keith Hayward - Second Vice President Kevin Bonds - Secretary/Treasurer EDITORIAL STAFF Michael Callahan - CEO Ron Stewart - Sr. VP, Communications Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services Debbie H. Stringer - Editor Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Chris Alexander - Administrative Assistant

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ON FACEBOOK Vol. 71 No. 3 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: 437,134 Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year

The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published 11 times a year (Jan.-Nov.) by Electric Cooperatives 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 in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300

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Today in Mississippi

Our Homeplace

A Mississippi state historical marker commemorates the unusual history of the first of Cleveland’s four railroad depots.

Mississippi is • the scent of pine trees all year long • crab nets pulled up with blue claws snapping • boiled shrimp and cold beer on the seawall along Beach Boulevard • sunset over the Gulf of Mexico • quaint roads that lead to nowhere and everywhere • coastal communities that share art, music and the bounties of the sea • a place of abundant grace, history and charm. – Donna Bradbrook, Diamondhead Mississippi is where my New Yorker son has chosen to study aerospace engineering, and now we shout “Hail State.” Mississippi is where the beauty of nature and the wrath of Mother Nature remind us we are not in charge. Mississippi is where I will retire, relax and stop to smell the magnolia blossom. Where I will give back to the community around me in any way I can. Please don’t change Mississippi ... I’m coming! – Sally Wiggins, Ocean Springs Mississippi is US. The place where I found happiness and fell in love. Mississippi is where we are raising a family. Having served in the military and traveled all over the U.S., this hidden gem is what we love best. Dixie is where our heart is. We are proud Americans. Mississippi is US. – Joseph R. Miller, Saucier

What’s Mississippi to you? 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 to news@ecm.coop. Please keep your comments brief. Submissions are subject to editing for length and clarity.

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How did rural Mississippians, America’s poorest in the 1920s, survive the worst economic crisis in our nation’s history? Author Richelle Putnam explores the Great Depression’s impact on Mississippi in her new book. By Debbie Stringer The U.S. stock market collapse of 1929 signaled the onset of the Great Depression, a worldwide economic calamity that would persist through the 1930s. The Depression hit rural Mississippians especially hard, forcing farm families deeper into poverty, debt, illness, hunger and despair. Foreclosures and tax forfeitures were common; on an April day in 1932, one-fourth of the land area in Mississippi was auctioned for unpaid taxes. But Mississippians were dirt poor even before the Depression struck. Six of every 10 lived on farms, and of those, 65 percent did not own their land. Their poverty stemmed from a system of sharecropping and tenant farming devoted to one-crop agriculture (cotton), which led to soil depletion. These workers struggled with declining cotton prices, boll weevil infestations, growing debt burdens, the catastrophic Great Flood of 1927, drought and a “cut and run” practice by some lumber companies that left ghost towns (and unemployment) in their wake. For African Americans, these problems were compounded by racism and Jim Crow laws. How the Great Depression changed life for all Mississippians, what they did to survive (or not) and how government responded—for better or worse—are themes Meridian author Richelle Putnam explores in her new book, “Mississippi and the Great Depression,” with foreword by Madison artist/author Diane Williams, of the Mississippi Arts Commission. “I knew it was hard—everybody knows the Great Depression was hard—but there was such contrasting elements in different regions of Mississippi and different races who had to face it in different ways,” Putnam said.

Richelle Putnam of Meridian, above, sought to present a balanced, inclusive account of Depression-era Mississippi in her new book, “Mississippi and the Great Depression.” Diane Williams, left, of Madison, inspired the book and wrote its foreword, citing the experiences of her great-grandfather and grandfather.

Putnam is the author of several books on Mississippi history topics and a freelance magazine writer. She is a Mississippi Arts Commission Teaching Artist/Roster and recipient of a 2014 MAC Literary Arts Fellowship. Her young-adult biography, “The Inspiring Life of Eudora Welty,” earned the 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards Silver Medal. Putnam took on the Great Depression topic at Williams’ urging. “I could really see how understanding that time period helps us in these economic times,” Williams said. The two women agreed to co-author the book,

although Williams later bowed out due to other commitments. G Blending facts with personal narratives, stories of notables and historical photographs, Putnam succeeds in presenting a truthful, inclusive portrait of Mississippi during the Great Depression. She considers the Depression’s impact on most every aspect of Mississippi life, from employment, housing and health to politics, religion and art. Stories of African Americans’ experiences during the Great Flood of 1927 are especially tragic, Putnam said.


A levee break north of Greenville sent up to 10 feet of water rushing over nearly one million acres of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, causing around 1,000 deaths. Some 13,000 African American flood refugees stranded on the levee in Greenville were prevented from evacuating; landowners insisted they would be needed to repair the levee when the floodwaters receded. Armed National Guard personnel patrolling the levees refused to allow black people to leave without a pass. They were powerless to protest. “When I did the research on the Depression book and saw such cruelty, it really affected me,” Putnam said. Yet such truths must be told, she believes. “I want to always search for the truth regardless of how ugly it may be. You have to know the truth to help solve a problem, bring people together or help change something,” she said. “As long as we close our eyes, nothing is going to change. And I think history should always open your eyes.”

 The stark contrast between country and city life during the Depression intrigued Putnam as she researched. In general, hardship was less apparent in larger towns, where stores promoted Christmas sales, parades and fairs carried on, and folks escaped their troubles in movie theaters. Not so for hungry farm families. That malnutrition was commonplace in an agricultural state like Mississippi took Putnam by surprise. Many sharecroppers and tenant farmers survived on a diet of the “three Ms”: meat, molasses and meal. On the plantations, King Cotton muscled out farm workers’ food plots and eventually degraded the soil. “I was blown away by that,” Putnam said. “If any state should not have starved, it should have been Mississippi. We can plant anything here, but not if you deplete the soil.” Putnam devotes a chapter of her book to letters from individuals pleading desperately to elected officials for relief. She also includes first-person accounts of aging African Americans, reprinted from the WPA (Works Progress Administration) Slave Narratives.  While farm families fretted about their next meal, government officials wondered how to get the nation back on its feet.

Top: A ceremony on Jan. 22, 1934, in Pontotoc County commemorates the raising of the first TVA utility pole to serve a rural area, marking TVA’s entry into rural electrification. Photo: Pontotoc Electric Power Association

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Enter President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, a smorgasbord of federal programs and agencies created to provide relief, jobs and economic stability. “This was the first time government had ever stepped in for anything. Our mail had been about the extent of government participation in our lives,” Putnam said. During the Depression, WPA became the nation’s largest employer by creating eight million jobs. Unemployed Americans were hired to carry out public works projects such as road and building construction. For many Mississippians, WPA employment meant the difference between starvation and survival. In her book Putnam describes construction projects throughout Mississippi that owe their existence to New Deal programs, including Roosevelt State Park, Sardis Lake and Dam, and Picayune City Hall. Other New Deal public works programs included the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Rural Electrification Administration (REA). At the onset of the Depression, less than 1 percent of Mississippi farms had electricity. Beginning in the mid-1930s, TVA extended electric service into northeast Mississippi. REA loans enabled farmers throughout the state to organize their own electric cooperatives. For the first time in their lives, with help from TVA and REA, rural Mississippians had electric lights in their homes.  The Depression reminds us that tough times foster creative expression. Gospel, blues and country music flourished in Mississippi during the Depression, eventually propelling artists like Son House and Jimmie Rodgers to international fame. Putnam devotes a chapter to the astonishing number of famous performing artists, musicians and writers who roots run deep in Depression-era Mississippi. “That’s when the blues singers really came out and were recorded,” Putnam said. “Jimmie Rodgers sold over a million records during the Great Depression. I guess people just needed something to make life better.” “Mississippi and the Great Depression” is available from booksellers at $21.99 for the 222-page softcover edition.

Above: Six of every 10 Mississippians lived on a farm during the Depression, and of those, 65 percent did not own their land. They got by on credit. Photo: Library of Congress

Left: A 1930s sharecropper’s house in the Mississippi Delta. A political sign hangs beneath the eaves. Photo: Library of Congress


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HISTORIC CAMPUS reinvented for art students

vidently, I used to have a The Rev. Milton J. Whitworth started lot more time to roam Whitworth College as a school for girls in around and discover 1859. It closed during the Civil War and things than I have now. was deeded to the Mississippi Methodist Maybe life is more hecwhen it reopened afterwards. Over the tic than it used to be. Or maybe I’m just next century or so the school evolved slower. Whichever, it has been a long through several phases and mergers until time since I ran up on something I had it had outlived its usefulness. It was shut never heard of before. down in 1984. But back in those wondrous days By the time I discovered it, Whitwhen I could find someworth had been closed for a thing new (to me at least) decade or so. And 10 years around every bend, I unexof neglect really shows on pectedly discovered Whitbuildings that are already worth College in old. Brookhaven. So I wondered what Oh, it had been there for would become of the old some time. I just had never campus. There were a lot of heard of it. While exploring old buildings there that the town I happened to needed a lot of restoration. Mississippi drive up to the campus of What could it be used for if Seen the closed school just west of it was restored? It was by Walt Grayson downtown. Seeing the obviready-made to be a school. ously old buildings scattered But that had already been out over the sprawling campus was as tried. As times changed it went out of exciting to me as if I had stumbled up on business. Stonehenge unawares. It was fascinating But, times were changing again. Some walking around looking at what was thought it should be repurposed once obviously a significant place in our state again as a school, but this time as a differthat I was totally unaware of. ent kind of school.

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Lampton Auditorium was the first building restored on the old Whitworth College Campus. It is a fixture in Brookhaven and an important part of the Mississippi School of the Arts. Photo: Walt Grayson

Fortunately, some of those who had grand visions for the old college also had the ability to do more than just do wishful thinking. One of those people was Former First Lady Pat Fordice. who commented that the old campus would make a marvelous school of the arts. Well, partly from her saying out loud what a lot of other people had been thinking, a lot of reality began to fill out the dreams. Local folks from Brookhaven and Lincoln County and lots of legislators in Jackson caught the vision. It took a while, but the first students to attend the new Mississippi School of the Arts walked onto the old Whitworth College campus in Brookhaven in 2003. The Mississippi School of the Arts is a

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two-year high school for juniors and seniors. Prospective students audition for the chance to attend. Once here, they not only get the academic basics but also intense study in dance, vocal music, visual art, literary art, media art and theatre. The school’s 150 students come from all over and live on campus. Their school day runs from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon with extra rehearsals and performances at night. These are motivated students who want to be here, and it shows. Their average ACT score is 23.1. And the 55 graduates in 2017 were offered over $10 million in scholarship opportunities. That’s more than the school’s annual budget! Talk about paying for itself! So many things I’ve “discovered” over the years seem to be deteriorating. The Mississippi School of the Arts has not only come back but is giving back. 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 walt@waltgrayson.com.


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wilight had begun its reign, asserting mastery by replacing daylight with dusk. Warmth of an aging day faded, and a fire now pirouetting above edges of a steel ring called. Two empty and strategically placed chairs would be filled directly, the occupants preparing for a congruent relationship with that flickering ballet produced by wood and heat and translucent curtain of smoke. Tranquility prevailed. And then bird call. There—in a tangle of vines embracing a by Tony Kinton small oak, just off water’s edge, on the near boundary of campfire illumination, a gilded sky serving as backdrop.

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Outdoors Today

Whether sunrise or sunset, a quiet camp is the perfect place to enjoy them. Photo: Tony Kinton

It was the voice of a blue jay. But not quite. The sound was lacking slightly in its rasp, its raucous bravado. No, not a blue jay. It was a mockingbird. An imposter of sorts as one might surmise, a mockingbird remains a magnificent beauty in its own right. This one, demanding judicious scrutiny to locate, was tucked tightly in the vines, its subdued coloration blending quietly with the surroundings. It generally sat motionless, breaking that posture only once to preen. Light was too insignificant for the bird to venture into dark environs, so it just sat. And sang and mocked and celebrated or mourned, the latter pair of possibilities perhaps too complex to discern. Whatever the bird was mourning or celebrating or mocking or singing, it did so with grandeur. This one was a true virtuoso. And then there was the reasonable impersonation of a crow. Brief and not fully up to speed, this attempt was still

admirable. There was not the volume produced by a being four times the size of this one, nor did the reproduction have that same intimidation factor found in the real deal, but any listener must appreciate such a gallant effort. There were also other calls from the mockingbird on that early evening in a manicured campground. Peeps and chirps that could only be specifically identified by those with thorough knowledge of what variety of bird makes which call. That, however, was of little import to the novice. What was important was that this bird was making the calls of other birds and gave the impression that every effort was a thing of great and entertaining pleasure. But oh, the cardinal. That mockingbird had each nuance perfected. Every inflection, every wobble, every expanded phrase or chirp or bobble was in its proper place and sequence. The bird must have practiced this one extensively. Mockingbirds encountered in Mississippi are the Northern. The scientific name is Mimus polyglotts, which means many-tongued mimic. These birds can mimic perhaps 20 other birds,

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and have also been heard replicating the barking of dogs and quite a long list of other sounds. In their rendition of calls belonging to other birds, mockingbirds generally repeat each phrase a minimum of three times. They also sing at night, the frequency of which may depend upon the personality of the bird itself. Unmated birds seem to be the most vocal, and weather conditions such a full moon may coax more nocturnal singing from all mockingbirds. This singing may be associated with territorial boundaries and perhaps even an inherent playful nature of an individual bird. Regardless of the reasons, this intriguing propensity of the mockingbird is quite the milestone. It is an event of nature that should not be missed. And somewhere in that concert of this particular mockingbird, which had demanded the attention of all who cared to notice and be captivated by the performance, the campground had become virtually silent. No children and bikes on the pathways; no coming and going of trucks towing boat trailers; no late-afternoon cookouts still in progress. Just quiet. Just the crackling of a campfire and the mockingbird. But before that mockingbird turned in for the night and as families moved inside RVs and tents and after grills had cooled, the bird proffered a most appropriate call—this one executed as if it were accomplished by the bird to which the call was native. It was that late-day chirp of the wood thrush. A haunting sound, a sound that prompts melancholy as it also prompts contentment. And the mockingbird sequestered as a tiny bundle among the vines and leaves and darkness hit the call dead center. It was spectacular, as had been the day. Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. His newest book is “Rambling Through Pleasant Memories.” Order from Amazon.com or Kinton’s website: www.tonykinton.com.

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CEO’s Message

This winter was unusual in many ways

We all know how unpredictable the weather can be in south Mississippi, and the past two months were no exception. Our area experienced recordsetting temperatures along with mixed precipitation. January of last year saw only four days of Brian Hughey General Manager and CEO temperatures below freezing, Singing River Electric whereas this January we experienced 17 days of freezing temperatures. For this reason our members used more electricity than in past winters, and our distribution system set an “all-time” peak for demand. January 17-18 were not only the coldest days of the month but were also the days when our power reliability coordinator, MISO, experienced an unexpected shortage of electricity. Singing River Electric purchases all of its power from Cooperative Energy, a Mississippi-based generation and

Ask about our Heat Pump Rebates

transmission cooperative. Cooperative Energy and other power companies across the nation are part of a regional power reliability coordinator, called Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO. On those two mornings in January, several major power plants in the region experienced problems and became unavailable. MISO asked Cooperative Energy and other power companies in Mississippi and across the southern U.S. to reduce use if possible. Cooperative Energy and its 11 member systems, which include Singing River Electric, issued requests for members to voluntarily reduce their electricity use. Regional generation resources were then able to provide the necessary power to balance the entire southeastern grid. This event was an unusual occurrence. Electricity is not a finite resource. Although Cooperative Energy’s power plants were producing more than enough energy at the time, as a member of MISO, they were required to help keep the grid balanced. We want to thank you, our members, for your efforts in assuring that the regional grid remained stable.

A new electric heat pump can help you stay comfortable year-round, while increasing your energy savings. Our heat pump rebates can add to the savings if replacing an electric or gas furnace. Visit www.singingriver.com for more information.

Now is the time for an AC checkup

Josh Havard Member Services Representative joshhavard@singingriver.com

We have finally seen a break from the cold temperatures. As we move toward spring, now is the time to have your HVAC system serviced, especially if it has been a while since it was inspected. Insufficient amounts of refrigerant, dirty coils, or obstructed drain lines can cause any number of issues for your air conditioning system. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases. Left unchecked, these issues could result in a significant increase in summer power bills or cause the unit to stop working completely. A quick way to determine if your air conditioning unit is functioning properly is to measure the air temperature at the supply duct (usually in the ceiling or on the floor, closest to your AC unit) and take a temperature reading at the air return air grill. (This is usually located beneath the indoor unit). On a typical spring day, you should have a 15-20 temperature difference between those two readings. If you do not, your unit is likely in need of attention. For more tips on this and other energy efficiency projects visit our website at singingriver.com or join our conversation on social media (SingingRiverElectric on Facebook and Instagram, SRECooperative on Twitter.)


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Take Control of Your Energy Use? How can an app help you

Singing River Electric provides free tools that are very helpful when studying your energy use. One tool is the free SmartHub app, which can be downloaded on any Apple or Android mobile device. Each month’s bill is shown as a bar graph displaying daily power use and the temperature. By studying the graphs, you can see which days were higher energy use days. Those days will often have the lowest temperatures, as energy use is significantly impacted by weather. Monitoring your daily use can help you detect issues with large appliances

like your heating unit or water pump. If large increases in energy use do not level back off on mild weather days, it could be a sign that you need to have one of these items checked by a technician. In addition to studying your energy use, the app allows you to report a power outage, view a live outage map, pay your bill, research billing history, and contact your cooperative. Visit singingriver.com to download the SmartHub app, or call any Singing River Electric office to speak to an energy expert directly.

Answers to your energy use questions at your fingertips. Download our FREE SmartHub app today. Did you know... • Our SmartHub app is the fastest and most accurate way to report a power outage. • The app can be downloaded to both Apple and Android devices. • Monitoring use with the app can help you take control of daily use.

How to download the 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.


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COLD WEATHER I haven’t touched the thermostat. Why is my bill higher? Power bills following periods of prolonged cold weather or extreme heat can be higher even when you have not changed the thermostat. Heating and cooling costs make up the largest percentage of a home’s energy use. When the temperature changes drastically or stays extremely hot or cold, your heating/cooling unit must run longer to keep your home at the programmed, comfortable setting. Even the most efficient heating system set to the recommended 68 degrees sees much more use in extreme cold weather. If you have extreme cold days, or prolonged periods of very low temperatures, your heating system works harder and for longer periods to make up the difference. • Imagine today’s temperature is a cool 50 degrees, and your unit is set to 68 degrees. The unit will run until it makes up the 18-degree difference in temperature and reaches the programmed setting. • Now imagine a morning with a 15-degree temperature. You didn’t change your thermostat, but your system must now run longer to make up a difference of 53 degrees. This causes your home to use more energy during this period and results in a higher power bill next month. Also, using space heaters can increase your energy consumption because they require additional electricity to run, and traditional wood-burning fireplaces can allow heated air to escape through the chimney. The same can happen in the summer due to extreme and prolonged heat, or other factors including pool pumps and other equipment that use more energy. What are other factors that can impact my power bill? Our representatives are always ready to assist you with any question you have about your Singing River Electric billing statement. Here are some things you may consider researching before calling. It could provide answers to questions or provide valuable information when you call. Know Your Billing and Energy Use History Study how much power you’ve used in the last 13 months. This history is provided on your billing statement

that is mailed (in the case of paperless billing, emailed) monthly. You can compare your most recent month with the last month’s energy use, and last year’s energy use. Singing River Electric members can also review energy use history and payment/billing history on the SmartHub app or on View Bill Use at singingriver.com. SmartHub is a free app that can be downloaded to any Android or Apple mobile device by visiting singingriver.com. Check the Days of Use Check the number of days that are billed for your electric use that month. This varies from bill to bill due to the number of days in a month and the days in a billing cycle.. Remember, Appliances Run Even When You're Gone If you leave your home for the day, or even an extended period of time, any appliances you leave plugged in will continue to use electricity. Water heaters, the second largest energy user in your home, join refrigerators, freezers, cable boxes, heating and cooling systems, well pumps and more that continue to run and use energy

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• Welcome a college student back home? • Adopt new hobbies that include the use of power tools, ovens or other appliances? All of these factors and more could increase your home’s energy use and result in higher power bills.

Consider Appliance Use, Placement, and Age Lighting, refrigeration, cooking and appliances account for a large percentage of your home’s total energy use. • Location of refrigerators and freezers can have an impact. Never place a refrigerator or freezer in direct sunlight or in an unconditioned space such as a garage. The unit will work much harder and use more energy to overcome the excessive outdoor heat during warmer months. • Ensure refrigerators and freezers have adequate ventilation to maintain peak efficiency. • If an appliance is more than 15 years old, the efficiency of that appliance may be decreasing significantly. This means it is requiring more energy to do the job. • It is important to maintain appliances to ensure they are working at peak efficiency and energy savings. Options for Bill Payment Here are some options for paying your bill.

while you are away. Check your thermostat setting before you leave; your heating and cooling system will work to stay at that temperature whether you are at home or away. Know That No Two Households Are Alike You do not use energy the same as your neighbor, and houses are not built exactly alike, so comparing your electric bill to your neighbor’s is like comparing apples to oranges. It is best to compare your current energy use to past energy use. Also, consider other factors: • Did you have extra guests stay over the past month? • Add a swimming pool?

Multiple Payments in One Billing Cycle Sometimes it helps to pay the amount in two payments within the same billing period. Pay one portion and then the remaining amount two weeks later, or prior to the due date. Budget Billing If your account is current and you meet the requirements, you can request to be placed on budget billing. Your monthly billing statements would then be averaged based on a 12-month average that is re-adjusted in January and July of each year. You pay the average bill and are able to budget that amount monthly to avoid sharp increases due to seasonal fluctuations in energy use. After studying your energy use, comparing it to last year and last month, and considering the above information, if you still feel there may be a problem, please call any of our three offices.


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Q: We have a cold snap every year. Why is my bill higher this winter? This winter has been very different from the previous two mild winter seasons. South Mississippi hasn’t experienced weather this cold since 2014, so while it may be tempting to compare this January or February’s bill to the ones you received in winter 2016/2017, that doesn’t really compare apples to apples. of your space heater. Listed in the graphic above is the true cost calculation of a typical space heater. Will using my wood–burning fireplace or oven to heat my home save money? The short answer is no. Let’s look at each one of these options to see how you could actually lose money as well as create a potential safety hazard for you, your family and home.

According to the National Weather Service, there were only 5 days where temperatures were at or below freezing in December 2016 and January 2017, but there were 17 days this winter in December 2017 and January 2018. Last winter there were no snow days; and there have been two snows days so far this winter. Power bills following periods of prolonged cold weather can be higher even if you have the same energy efficiency practices. Space heaters are small. How can they cause a big power bill? Electric space heaters drain energy savings from your home if used incorrectly. Some companies even make elaborate claims about the amount of money you can save, but unfortunately, this isn’t true most of the time, especially if the space heaters are used daily for long periods of time. Bottom line, electric space heaters should only be used to heat small spaces – not your entire home – for short periods of time. What is the true cost of a space heater? Most space heaters use 1,500 watts of electricity. You can check the manufacturer label to verify the wattage

Fireplaces: A wood-burning fireplace is an inefficient way to heat your home. If you use a central heating unit while using your fireplace, your unit will have to work harder because fireplaces draft the warm air up the chimney. Also, wood-burning fireplaces are energy hogs, only converting 15 percent of a wood’s energy into useful heat. One way to upgrade your fireplace and make it more energy efficient would be installing glass doors to limit the amount of air pulled up the chimney. Lastly, if you aren’t using the fireplace, close the damper to prevent a draft. Ovens: Kitchen ovens were never designed to heat the home, so in short, don’t even try it. Heating with an oven is a two-fold problem. It is not energy efficient, and it is dangerous. You could be exposed to harmful gases, like carbon monoxide, or potentially be burned by keeping the door open with the heating elements exposed.


What caused MISO’s critical energy shortage in January?

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Cooperative Energy Dispatch Center Cooperative Energy and other power companies across the United States are connected by the national electric grid. When the demand for electricity and the availability of electricity for one power company is out of balance, it impacts the balance of the electric system for other power companies. Cooperative Energy is a member of Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), a power reliability coordinator, which helps to balance the electric system for its members. On January 17, several major power plants in the MISO system experienced problems and became unavailable. The loss of these power plants, combined with the extreme weather conditions, threatened the balance of the electric system. As a result, MISO requested that Cooperative Energy and other power companies across Mississippi and the southern U.S. ask their members to voluntarily reduce their electricity use. When a power reliability coordinator, such as MISO, issues requests like this, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation requires

Cooperative Energy and other power companies to respond. Members of Singing River Electric and Cooperative Energy’s 10 other local electric cooperatives responded by conserving their use of electricity, and the situation was resolved by 1 p.m. Electricity is not an infinite resource. Although Cooperative Energy’s power plants were producing 450MW of electricity more than our members were using at the time, as a member of MISO, Cooperative Energy is required to help keep the electric grid balanced. In fact, Cooperative Energy’s generators performed well that day and its system operated reliably, which played a tremendous role in stabilizing the situation. So, it is not that Cooperative Energy or Singing River Electric was unprepared for this weather; rather, the weather combined with the loss of power plants in other parts of the country affected us. Each of our 11 local electric cooperatives worked with Cooperative Energy to resolve this issue as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Who is Cooperative Energy? Cooperative Energy is a not-for-profit electric cooperative that generates and transmits electricity for 11 local electric distribution cooperatives across Mississippi. These 11 local cooperatives together provide electricity for 423,000 homes and businesses across the southern and western portions of the state. These local electric cooperatives purchase electricity from Cooperative Energy then deliver it to their members.

https://cooperativeenergy.com/ www.beawareeverywhere.com http://www.myelectriccooperative.com/

How is Cooperative Energy related to Singing River Electric? Cooperative Energy generates the electricity required by Singing River Electric’s members and 10 other local electric distribution cooperatives across Mississippi. Singing River Electric purchases the electricity from Cooperative Energy and then delivers it to their members. Cooperative Energy serves these other local electric distribution cooperatives: Coahoma Electric Power Association, Coast Electric Power Association, Delta Electric Power Association, Dixie Electric Power Association, Magnolia Electric Power, Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association, Southern Pine Electric Cooperative, Southwest Electric Cooperative, Twin County Electric Power Association and Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association.

Grand Gulf Nuclear Plant


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Today in Mississippi

Nest Pilot Project helps members get smart rewards

Due to a great number of responses, our existing home openings have been filled, and we are now looking for new home participants only.

Manager of Member Services Nick DeAngelo and SRE Member Tori Brockway Nest thermostats learn behaviors of homeowners and work to lead them to increased efficiency and savings on power bills. “The Nest Pilot Program is studying the savings and benefits of the Nest thermostat with our members,” said Cooperative Energy Wholesale Service and Program Manager David Blackledge. By setting and adjusting your Nest, you teach it the temperatures you prefer. Your actions during the initial learning period teach the thermostat good habits to help save energy. Turn it down before you go to bed, before you leave for work, or any time you would turn down a regular thermostat to save energy. The Nest thermostat learns what temperatures you like and when you want them, and creates a temperature

schedule to help you save energy and stay comfortable.

“We absolutely love it! I love that it has an app that allows me to adjust it from my phone. I get a monthly email with my energy use for the month. It also tells me how many leaves I have earned and how I compare to other local users.” - Tori Brockway, SRE member Singing River Electric member and program participant Victoria Brockway commented, “We absolutely love it! I love that it has an app that it

allows me to adjust it from my phone. I get a monthly email with my energy use for the month. It also tells me how many leaves I have earned and how I compare to other local users.” Nest thermostat users earn ‘green leaves’ while home or away simply by switching to more efficient settings. The leaves are meant to guide users to better savings. Singing River Electric is currently taking member information on a first-come, first-served basis to participate in the free Nest Pilot. All participants must meet the program’s requirements, which include age of home, heating sources, access to WiFi and more. To see a full list of program criteria or to learn more, visit our website at singingriver.com and click on the quick link labeled Nest Pilot Project.

Home Builders Association of the Mississippi Coast presents

Home Show • 31th Annual

Saturday, March 24 – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. • Sunday, March 25 – Noon – 5 p.m. MS Coast Coliseum Convention Center in Biloxi

Visit SRE’s for efficiebnocoth #100 yt and prizes! ips Free admiss io n/pay to pa rk

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RECIPES FROM

Today in Mississippi I March 2018

Betty B’s Having a Party!

Cookbook author Betty Bryant grew up the daughter of an adventurous home cook. “Mother’s forte in the kitchen was all the wonderful desserts she prepared.... She was always trying new recipes and most were delicious,” Bryant writes in her new cookbook, “Betty B’s Having a Party! A Holiday Dinner Party Cookbook.” Lucky for us, Bryant’s cookbook shares many of the desserts she grew up eating— and many more kitchen-tested, company-pleasing (and easy to make) dishes and treats. Recipes are organized according to suitability for all the major holidays and seasonal special events. Among them you’ll find ideas for an Easter dinner, ladies’ spring luncheon, Mexican fiesta, Hawaiian pool party, seafood buffet and an authentic German Oktoberfest. Many of the recipes are pictured in color, and the book’s lively page layouts are characteristic of other offerings from Great American Publishers, of Brandon, a member of Central Electric Power Association.

“Betty B’s” is available in softcover from booksellers and at GreatAmericanPublishers.com. Price is $18.95. For details, call 888-854-5954.

Wild and Cheesy Chicken

Strawberry-Melon Salad Salad: 5 cups bite-size spinach 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries 1 cup honeydew melon balls 1⁄3 cup broken pecans, toasted 1⁄3 cup julienne strips Gouda cheese

Ginger-Honey Dressing: 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice 2 Tbsp. honey 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil ¼ tsp. ground ginger

Toss salad ingredients in a large bowl. Shake dressing ingredients in a tightly covered container. Yield: 6 servings. Serving note: Prepare individual salad plates and pass the dressing at the table.

Black and White Cream Pie Crumb Crust: ¾ cup chocolate wafer crumbs (about 12 finely crushed)

2 Tbsp. grated orange rind 3 Tbsp. butter, melted 4 whole chocolate wafers

Put aside about 1 tablespoon each of the wafer crumbs and grated orange rind to garnish the finished pie. Combine remaining crumbs, orange rind and butter. Press firmly and evenly into bottom of buttered 9-inch pie pan with back of a spoon. Cut the whole wafers in half and perch around side of pan, rounded side up. Chill until set, about 45 minutes. Cream Filling: 2 2⁄3 cups milk 1 ¾ cups sugar 1⁄3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. flour ¼ tsp. salt 3 small eggs, beaten

1 ½ Tbsp. butter 1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract 1 (1-oz.) square unsweetened chocolate 1 cup heavy cream or 8 oz. Cool Whip

Scald milk in top of double boiler over boiling water. Combine sugar, flour and salt. Gradually stir into milk and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Stir a small amount of the hot mixture into eggs, then quickly pour back in and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter and vanilla. To 1 cup of this mixture, add chocolate and stir until melted and well blended. Pour into chilled crumb crust and spread evenly. Carefully pour remaining white cream filling over top to make a second layer. Chill thoroughly for at least 4 hours. Whip the cream and spread over top. Make a border with reserved cookie crumbs and sprinkle top with reserved grated orange rind. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

1 medium whole chicken 1 (6-oz.) box Uncle Ben’s long grain and wild rice mix 3 Tbsp. butter 1 small onion, chopped ½ cup chopped celery

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 1 (10.75-oz.) can cream of chicken soup 1 ½ cups grated longhorn cheese 1 pkg. slivered almonds, toasted

Boil fryer in water to cover until done. Remove from broth, reserving broth. Debone when cool and dice. Cook rice according to package directions, using reserved broth for liquid. Melt butter in medium saucepan; add onion, celery and mushrooms. Sauté gently until tender. Mix with chicken, rice and soup, and pour into greased 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Top with grated cheese and toasted almonds. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Chet’s Potatoes 1 ½ lbs. potatoes 2 to 4 Tbsp. milk 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened ½ cup sour cream ½ cup chopped chives

¼ cup grated Romano cheese ½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. black pepper Paprika

Cook and mash potatoes. Combine milk, cream cheese, sour cream, chives, Romano cheese, salt and pepper. Add to mashed potatoes. Place in a 1 ½-quart casserole dish, and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Pasta with Clams 2 (6.5-oz.) cans minced clams 8 oz. spaghetti 1 Tbsp. butter 1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. minced garlic 2 tsp. Italian seasoning Fresh parsley for garnish

Add clam juice from the cans of clams to boiling, salted water. Place pasta into boiling water and cook according to package directions; drain. In a large skillet, melt butter; add olive oil and garlic. Stir until garlic is light brown in color. Add clams and Italian seasoning; sauté until heated. Add pasta to the clam mixture. Toss together and serve. Garnish with fresh parsley.


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Handwritten letters E

very year about this time I begin my early-spring cleaning and trash disposal task, one which I can never seem to finish. Yesterday, as I was going through file boxes, trying to determine what to keep and what to throw away, I came across a file with the notation: “Letters to answer.” I don’t know about you all, but I have to admit, I am a procrastinator. At the time I received each letter I had every intention of answering those from my dear readers. What is it they say about “Good Intentions?” (I don’t want to go down that paved road.) As I began reading some of the letters, tears began to well up. Over the years, you, my readers, have been so kind to read my columns and often write a letter, send an email or in some cases give me a call. One of the letters that I retrieved from the file was written in December 2016 by a gentleman named Charles and his wife, Emily. I won’t divulge their last names because they might not approve of that. Hopefully, they will read this column and know that I appreciated their letter. Charles wrote the letter, and it was well written and so complimentary. He even had a kind word for Mr. Roy. The envelope was missing, so I don’t know

their address, except that they are members of Northcentral Electric Cooperative. The letter was so kind. Thank you, Charles and Emily. All of the unanswered letters caused me to begin thinking about how society today has changed and personal letter writing is almost a lost art. My daughters and grandchildren and I stay in touch, but not by writing letters. It’s all by email or text. In most cases, both of these forms of correspondence do not Grin ‘n’ qualify as letters; Bare It they are messages. by Kay Grafe Therefore, misspelled words, improper grammar, missing punctuation and shortened words (“u” for you) are accepted as the norm. Come to think, I cannot remember the last time I wrote a personal letter to a family member. I use appropriate cards for the occasion and sign my name for birthdays and such. Although, I forgot to send my cousin Jo a birthday card last year. Sorry, Jo. I know that when Mr. Roy was away

in college or in Army basic training, we corresponded by personal letters. You ladies my age know what I am talking about. And during the first years of my married life I corresponded by letter with my mother, grandparents, other relatives and close friends. Most of these letters are packed away in boxes. I hope that when I am gone, my daughters will take time to read them as they are cleaning out the house. I believe it will give them a better insight into “who Mom really was” and what she was doing and thinking at that period in her life. There is an art to writing good letters, and I bet few young people today understand that. Throughout history letters have played a vital role in preserving history and in giving us insight into the lives of many important people. Without their letters we would know very little about George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and so many others. What would the New Testament be without the Apostle Paul’s letters.

Picking

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Saturday April 7, 7am - 7pm

Makeplansto visit VicksburgthisSpring!

March-April: Spring Pilgrimage April 6-7, 13-15, 20-21: Gold in the Hills April 20-21: RiverFest Music and Arts Festival April 21: Bluz Cruz Canoe and Kayak Race

FULM MER’S ME

Much of the material in history books and biographies is derived from letters. Thomas Jefferson and John Adams wrote numerous letters back and forth to each other during the last 10 years of their lives, and today these are preserved in a book. I always thought it ironic that these two great men and close friends both died on the same day, the Fourth of July. Both had signed the Declaration of Independence 50 years earlier. One of the last great letter writers was Ronald Reagan. His book of letters to Nancy, “I Love You, Ronnie,” gives readers a rare insight into the lives of these two special people. There was one kind of letter that most young people did not want to receive, yet many of us did. It was commonly called a “Dear John” letter.” For you young readers, this was a way of saying, “It’s over, sayonara, adios, goodbye.” Again, I want my readers to know how much I appreciate you, and please don’t stop the letters. Texts and emails are acceptable too; they mean so much to me. I’ll try much harder to make 2018 the year I begin, again, to answer my mail. 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.

HOMESTEADERS GA AT THERING & TRADE DA AY YS Friday & Saturdayy,, April 20 & 21, at Fulmer ’’ss Farmstead Richton, MS $25 before Workshops begin Friday at 9 a.m. T r a d e D a y s April 1 and continue Saturday morning. b o o t h s a v a i l a bl • CCaanniinng on tthhe ffaarrm m • Old-tiim me biisscuit makiinng •W Woorrkk horrsse cllaassss • Allppaccaa w weeaviinng prooj ojecttss Buyy,, sell or trade: $40 afftter • Blackkssmitthh - Lyl Lyyllee Wyynnn FFoorrgged In Fir Fire re particiippant antiques, collectibles, April 1

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Registration and fee are required ffoor the classes. Contact us at 601-964-8222 or ful fulm lmerrssgeennerraal@gmaill.l.ccoom for more information.

garage sale items, equipment, household items, chickens a d small livestockk,, and more

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Marketplace

Today in Mississippi

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March 2018

Mississippi

SOUTHEASTERN RED DEER FARMS

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 advertising@ecm.coop.

VACATION RENTALS SMOKIES. TOWNSEND, TN 2 BR, 2 BATH Log Home, Jacuzzi, Fireplace, wrap-around porch. 865-320-4216; For rental details and pictures E-mail: tncabin.lonnie@yahoo.com.

If you like deer hunting & the outdoors, then you will love raising Red Deer!

AWESOME NEW 2BR 2 BATH CABIN in the Smokies for Rent. Very Private but only minutes away from Dollywood. • 228-623-1948, • 601-530-9933 Email: Thegumbopot@hotmail.com

MISCELLANEOUS PLAY GOSPEL SONGS by Ear! $12.95. “Learn Gospel Music� - chording, runs, fills - $12.95. Both $24. Davidsons, 6727MS Metcalf, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66204. 913-262-4982.

A small amount of land needed. Raising red deer is fun & profitable. Red deer are ready to be delivered to your farm now.

Call: Willie Strickland, Southeastern Red Deer Farms, 601-736-5057.

FARM BARNS

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March 2018

Don’t forget to unplug

Extension Cords Extension cords are meant to be used temporarily, not as permanent plugs. They’re not sturdy enough for prolonged use.

THINK SAFETY!

A safety message from your local Electric Power Association

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OUR NEXT ‘PICTURE THIS’ THEME:

Funny Felines Send your funny cat photos to Today in Mississippi and one could become part of our next “Picture This” reader photo feature. Selected photos will appear in the April issue of Today in Mississippi. Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by March 14.

I SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

• Photos must be in sharp focus. • 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. • Digital photos must be high-resolution JPG files of at least 1 MB in size. (If emailing a phone photo, select “actual size” before sending.) • Please do not use photoediting software to adjust colors or tones. (We prefer to do it ourselves, if necessary, according to our printer’s standards.) • Photos with the date stamped on the image cannot be used. • Each entry must be

accompanied by the photographer’s name, address, phone number and electric power association (if applicable). Include the name(s) of any recognizable people or places in the picture. Feel free to add any other details you like. • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail.

I HOW TO SUBMIT PHOTOS

Attach digital photos to your email message and send to news@ecm.coop. If submitting more than one photo, please attach all photos to only one email message, if possible. Please be sure to include all information requested in the guidelines. Mail prints or a photo CD to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Photographers whose photos are published are entered in a random drawing for a $200 cash prize to be awarded in December 2018. Question? Contact Debbie Stringer, editor, at 601-605-8610 or news@ecm.coop.

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Events MISSISSIPPI

Want more than 437,000 readers to know about your special event? Events open to the public will be published free of charge as space allows. Submit details 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 news@ecm.coop. Events are subject to change. We recommend calling to confirm details before traveling.

“Gems of the River: An Exploration of Scientific Fish Photography,” through April 30, Jackson. Exhibit of photographs of 15 of Mississippi’s lesser known fishes. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Details: 601-576-6000; mdwfp.com/museum. Mississippi Community Symphonic Band Concert, March 3, Jackson. With The Laughing Trombone featuring soloist John Retherford; special appearance by Mississippi Swing; 3 p.m. Free admission. Christ UMC. Details: mcsb.us. Floral Design Demonstration, March 8, Biloxi. Dr. Jim DelPrince demos using Miss.made pottery and floral materials; 1-3 p.m. Admission; preregistration required. MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center. Details: Coastal.msstate.edu. Mississippi Anime Festival, March 10, Jackson. Guests, vendors, artists, fan groups; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Admission. Mississippi Trade Mart. Details: MSAnimeFest.com. Laurel Gun Show, March 17-18, Laurel. Fairgrounds. Details: 601-319-5248; BigPopGunShows.com. Shape Note Singing Workshop, March 22, Jackson. Learn to sing Early American hymns in four-part harmony; 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Free. Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum. Details: 601-953-1094. 12th Annual Charles Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Music Festival, March 22-24, Starkville. Featuring Jeff Barnhart, Kris Tokarski, Steve Cheseborough, Eddie Erickson, Ivory&Gold. Admission. Mitchell Memorial Library and McComas Hall Auditorium. Details: 662-325-6634; library.msstate.edu/templeton/festival. Sheep-to-Shawl Fiber Arts Demonstrations, March 24, Ridgeland. Live sheep, shearing, floor-loom weaving, spinning, hands-on activities for kids; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free admission. Mississippi Craft Center. Details: cvillewsg.com, CraftsmensGuildofMS.org. “Chalk at the Trace” Sidewalk Chalk

Festival, March 24, Ridgeland. Sidewalk chalk art contest and activities; chalk as an individual, team or family; 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Bring chalk or purchase at event. Free admission. Mississippi Craft Center. Details: 601-8567546; CraftsmensGuildofMS.org. Spring Fling Gift Show, March 24, Meridian. Jewelry, boutique clothes and shoes, pottery, monogramming, more; 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tommy Dulaney Center. Details: 601-480-1776. 12th Annual Polkville Day, March 24, Polkville. Antique tractor and car show, arts and crafts, live music, 5K run, 1-mile fun run, magic show, kids’ games, cake walk, political speeches. Details: 601-537-3115; Polkville.org. “Hoppin’ into Spring”: Union County Master Gardeners Ninth Annual New Albany Home and Garden Show, March 24, New Albany. Free admission; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Downtown. 25th Annual Spring Arts Festival, March 24-25, Ocean Springs. More than 100 artists, crafters and plant vendors. Downtown. Details: 228-875-4424; OceanSpringsChamber.com. Small Farmers Conference, March 26-28, Natchez. Educational workshops, networking events, learning sites, tours, exhibitors, vendors, more. Presented by Alcorn State University Extension, Miss. Association of Cooperatives’ Center for Cooperative Development. Natchez Convention Center. Details: 601-857-0250; Alcorn.edu/smallfarmersconference. Magee Chamber of Commerce Tea in the Gardens, March 30, Magee. Music, entertainment, lunch, vendors; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Admission. McAlpin House. Details: 601-8492517. Ernie Haase & Signature Sound “Give Me Jesus” Tour, April 6, Hattiesburg. Heritage UMC; 7 p.m. Admission. Details: 601-2613371; Heritage-UMC.org; iTickets.com or 800965-9324. “Whispers in the Cedars” Historic Cemetery Tours, April 6-7, Port Gibson.

Performers portray selected residents of Wintergreen Cemetery; begins 6 p.m. Admission; advance tickets. Details: 601-4375097, 601-529-4680. Shiloh Arts and Crafts Show, April 7, Pelahatchie. Handmade items by select Mississippi craftsmen, Shiloh Museum, food, antique car show; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free admission. Historic Shiloh United Methodist Church. Details: 601-213-7528. “The Gold Rush,” April 7, Laurel. 1920s costume party featuring Charlie Chaplin’s silent movie comedy; 7:30 p.m. Admission. Laurel Little Theatre’s Arabian Theatre, downtown. Details: 601-428-0140; LaurelLittleTheatre.com. NatureFEST, April 7, Jackson. Exotic animal show, citizen science explorations, nature games, food truck vendors, more; 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission. Mississippi Museum of Natural Science. Details: 601-576-6000; mdwfp.com/museum. Meridian Mini Maker Faire, April 7-8, Meridian. Show-and-tell event featuring inventors, entrepreneurs, techies, hobbyists, educators, crafts, authors, more. Free admission. Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum. Details: 601-693-9905; Meridian.MakerFaire.com.

Two Rivers Bluegrass Festival, April 11-14, Leakesville. Details: 601-408-5965. Most Holy Trinity Spring Fest, April 13-15, Pass Christian. Rides, bands, vendors, food, crawfish, car show and corn hole. Kiln-Delisle Road. Details: 228-669-7119; Facebook: Most Holy Trinity Spring Fest. Seventh Annual Smokin’ On The Tracks BBQ Cook-off, April 13-14, Summit. Barbecue contest, entertainment, 5K run, car/motorcycle show. Details: 601-248-2509; SmokinOnTheTracks.com.

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March 2018

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Today in Mississippi

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17

2018 Mississippi Medallion winner

Distylium brightens wintertime D

istylium Vintage Jade is an exciting new plant that brings pizazz to the traditional role of foundation planting. Across the Southeast, boxwood, dwarf yaupon holly, juniper and Indian hawthorn are frequently used as founda-

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tion plants, blocking from view the raised foundations that many homes have. These plants also line walkways and borders, enhancing the home landscape and helping to tie planting beds together. Southern Vintage Jade is a new distyliGardening um on the marby Dr. Gary Bachman ket that, despite being from a relatively unheard of group of plants, I think is a must-have for the landscape. It thrives in full sun or part shade, has excellent disease and insect resistance, and will tolerate drought, heat and wet

soil. And perhaps best of all, it is deer resistant. Distylium Vintage Jade is also a 2018 Mississippi Medallion winner. This is the healthy, adaptable and versatile plant you’ve been looking for! This plant has a compact but mounding growth habit that stays a dark and glossy green through all four seasons. This low-maintenance plant is perfect for small landscape spaces, as it typically grows just 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. I think it looks best when it’s left unpruned except for a few wild hairs that might pop out from time to time. Just like its witch hazel cousin, it produces small red flowers along its stem in late winter that grow into pretty red berries. Mississippi has the winter doldrums, and these flowers would be a welcome sight during this time. As with all shrubs, initial planting is important for the ultimate landscape success. One of the biggest problems I see with newly planted shrubs is planting them too deeply. My advice is if the shrub cost $5, then dig a $50 hole. I don’t mean dig it deep. The planting hole should not be deeper than the depth of the root system. In fact, I firmly believe shrubs should sit a little higher

than the surrounding soil. This placement greatly helps with the waterlogging condition we commonly see in Mississippi. Planting in raised beds is actually the best solution. When I suggest a $50 hole, I mean it should be much wider than the root ball, which gives the roots a better chance to grow into the surrounding landscape bed. I like to add a good controlled-release fertilizer into the hole before placing the shrub there and backfilling it in. Finish with 2 to 3 inches of the mulch of your choice. I think pine straw looks great with distylium. One final thought as you plan to use this plant in your landscape this year. Call your local nurseries and garden centers now to ask about distylium. It is a relatively new plant to the market, and not all outlets may have it yet. I know I’ll be looking this spring to add it to my landscape, and I expect you will want to, as well.

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.


18

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Today in Mississippi I March 2018

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18" x 12" MOVER'S DOLLY

• 1000 lb. capacity

99

$ 58

ITEM 62314 63066 66383 shown

SAVE 60%

SUPER COUPON

NOW

COMPARE TO

MODEL: 7068833

SUPER COUPON

SAVE $29

4999

SUPER COUPON

LIMIT 7 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

7 FT. 4" x 9 FT. 6" 40 VOLT LITHIUM CORDLESS ALL PURPOSE/WEATHER 14" BRUSHLESS CHAIN SAW RESISTANT TARP Customer Rating

$2

$

SAVE 60%

4999

LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

LIMIT 3 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

Customer Rating

$34 $3999

2999

COLEMAN MODEL: 2000020293

YOUR CHOICE OF COLOR

• 2 ton combined capacity

COMPARE TO $

$ $

COMPARE TO

TRIPLE BALL 30", 5 DRAWER •• CARTS • TRAILER HITCH TOOL Customer Rating

Customer Rating

99

$39

$1 9

LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

NOW

99

$9999

99

SUPER COUPON

Customer Rating

NOW

NOW

LIMIT 3 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

SUPER COUPON

42" OFF-ROAD/FARM JACK

Customer Rating

NOW

99

ITEM 60395 62325/62493 61523 shown

17999 SAVE $100

PRO LIFT MODEL: T-5350B

LIMIT 4 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

SUPER COUPON

$79

OW

99 N 9 9 189 $1 49 92 $ SUNFORCE 325 SAVE 175 $

LIMIT 5 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

89

NOW

99

KOBALT

$

4998 80%

MODEL: SGY-AIR88TZ

ITEM 67181/62300/47016 shown

LIMIT 9 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

I

SUPER COUPON

10 FT. x 20 FT. PORTABLE CAR CANOPY

Customer Rating Customer Rating

$ ITEM 64335 63585 shown

SUPER COUPON

ATV/LAWN MOWER LIFT HEAVY DUTY FOLDABLE • 300 lb. capacity ALUMINUM • Weighs 72.5 lbs. SPORTS CHAIR

RENEWABLE ENERGY, ANYWHERE

$9 99 9 COMPARE TO

SUPER COUPON

SUPER COUPON

6.5 HP (212 CC) OHV 100 WATT SOLAR PANEL KIT HORIZONTAL SHAFT Customer Rating GAS ENGINE

Customer Rating

Today in Mississippi

NOW

COMPARE TO

$

1999

BLACKHAWK MODEL: 970032 ITEM 63750/63181 shown

$1299 SAVE 35%

$

1599

LIMIT 6 - Coupon valid through 7/7/18*

At Harbor Freight Tools, the “Compare to” price means that the specified comparison, which is an item with the same or similar function, was advertised for sale at or above the “Compare to” price by another national retailer in the U.S. within the past 90 days. Prices advertised by others may vary by location. No other meaning of “Compare to” should be implied. For more information, go to HarborFreight.com or see store associate.

19


Today in Mississippi March 2018 Singing River  

Today in Mississippi March 2018 Singing River

Today in Mississippi March 2018 Singing River  

Today in Mississippi March 2018 Singing River