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News for members of Coahoma Electric Power Association

Traveling back in time to BOLER’S INN in Union

Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

pages 4-5

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Broadband... what’s next

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We just had an EARTHQUAKE!

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Sweetie Pie blackberries


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Today in Mississippi

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March 2019

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March 2019

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Today in Mississippi

OUR HOMEPLACE

Permission, now patience

Broadband...what’s next

the past 18 months, there has been average only eight members per mile of line in much discussion across the state Mississippi. Each cooperative will have to take a about access to quality, high-speed close, detailed look at its own demographics and broadband service in rural areas of density and determine whether it’s feasible for Mississippi. This conversation has them to consider offering broadband service. centered on the role electric cooperaMississippi’s electric cooperatives tives play in quality-of-life issues and are led by and belong to the people and economic development, and we have communities we serve. These electric certainly been involved in the diacooperatives are very diverse and serve logue. The conversation intensified a range from 7,900 to 82,000 electric last summer with elected officials meters. These decisions will have to be focused on changing state law to made by local boards of directors and allow electric cooperatives to enter will not be made until careful considerthis business. ation is given to all aspects of providing In January, both the Senate and broadband service and determine what My Opinion House joined in the discussion and is in the best interest of you, our Michael Callahan passed legislation allowing your elecmembers. Executive Vice President/CEO tric cooperative to offer broadband The new legislation, while offering Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi service. We offer our thanks to Gov. protection for our electric consumers, Phil Bryant, who signed the legislaallows our associations the flexibility to tion, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip explore different business models which include, Gunn and the legislators who supported the bill. but are not limited to, partnerships with other For more than a year, electric cooperatives in telecommunication providers. Mississippi have been doing their homework In the very beginning we were very open and with extensive studies and research. Once it honest with our elected officials and we will conbecame apparent to our board of directors that tinue to communicate with our members as we legislation was going to be introduced, we felt it go through the process. Throughout the process was important to openly discuss and address our we have reiterated that electric cooperatives areas of concern. A work group was developed to cannot solve the problem of broadband access review what it would take, based on what other in Mississippi. However, we can work with each states had done, to legally allow our electric other, as well as other partners, to help make cooperatives various opportunities to provide life in Mississippi better and that was the goal or assist in delivering broadband service. of the bill. Last November, we invited all legislators and It is important to note that while we have elected state officials to a broadband summit. At received permission, we now stress the importhis meeting, we discussed the issues and provid- tance of patience. There are many legal and ed details on what legislative changes lawmakers financial challenges ahead of us. These challenges needed to consider when drafting new legislacannot and will not be solved quickly, but the tion. One message was clear: we could not allow first step has been taken. our entry into this business to have an adverse effect on our electric distribution service and JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI rates. ON FACEBOOK Our biggest challenge is our density as we

In

On the cover Designated as a historic Mississippi landmark, Boler’s Inn is steeped in a colorful past that spans decades of documented accounts and local legends since the 1830’s. Take a step back in time and discover more about this unique piece of history in Union.

Visit us online at www.todayinmississippi.com

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

Vol. 72 No. 3 EDITORIAL & 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. The publisher (and/or its agent) reserves the right to refuse or edit all advertising. • National advertising representative: American MainStreet Publications 800-626-1181 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300 Circulation of this issue: 439,380

The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Today in Mississippi is brought to you by your member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative to inform you about your cooperative and its various services, including wise energy use. If you are not a member of a subscribing cooperative, you can purchase a subscription for $9.50 per year. 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.

MISSISSIPPI IS THE MAGNOLIA STATE photo by Phyllis Smith

Mississippi is Where I was born and raised. Til’ this day, I’m still amazed. Hot summer days, Watching the cows graze. Winters are warm, Snow is not the norm. Spring brings the rain, Flowers blooming across the domain. Mississippi, born and raised. May our Lord be praised! Charlene Williams — Picayune

My dear, Mississippi For you are a place I cherish Mississippi, you hold my hand For your wild outdoors bring me peace Mississippi is: An anchor, in every sunrise. An anchor, in every sunset. My dear Mississippi For I will forever adore. Pat Johnson — Carriere

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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Today in Mississippi

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March 2019

Traveling back in time to

Boler’s Inn

General William Tecumseh Sherman seized Boler’s Inn in Union on the night of February 21, 1864, after burning the city of Meridian during one of his infamous, destructive Civil War campaigns.

By Nancy Jo Maples Across from the Piggly Wiggly in Union, Miss., sits a very old house that holds more than a few stories worth telling. The structure is referred to as Boler’s Inn because at one time it was a stagecoach inn for travelers on a wagon route known as Old Jackson Road that runs through the middle of this small central Mississippi town. The inn’s most famous occupant wasn’t a welcomed guest – it was Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman who seized the building on the night of February 21, 1864, after burning the city of Meridian during one of his infamous, destructive Civil War campaigns. He had destroyed Meridian, uprooting its railroads and leaving most of its people homeless and horrified. Sherman had been in Meridian since Valentine’s Day that year and was headed to Canton when he spent the night at Boler’s Inn. Sherman did not burn Union. Local legend asserts he spared it because he likened its name to the Union Army. Sherman’s personal memoirs mention his stay in Union and he marked the town’s name with quotations; however, the journal does not elaborate on why he didn’t bother to burn its buildings. Ironically, while Sherman slept in Boler’s Inn, members of the Boler family fought for the Confederate Army. Although he left the town standing, Sherman and his troops, which numbered as many as 28,000 according to local historian Ralph Gordon, camped in the surrounding area stealing meat, livestock and tools from folks living within several miles of Union. “If at all possible, the residents would hide their tools and the meat from their smoke houses,” Gordon said. “Sherman’s troops took anything and everything that they could, and if they couldn’t take it, they would destroy it.” Another pre-Civil War structure nearby is the Jack Vance descendants’ house at the New Ireland community three miles west of Union where some of Sherman’s men found shelter while he slept at Boler’s Inn. One anecdote associated with Sherman’s stay is that his payroll clerk buried money for safekeeping the night they were in Union. The tale goes that the clerk had been wounded and died before dawn. The money was never found. Treasure


March 2019 I Today in Mississippi

hunters have certainly searched for it; yet if it has been found, a discovery has not been reported. In addition to Sherman, other noteworthy Boler’s Inn guests supposedly include Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis. Definitive documentation of such is outstanding; yet, both would have more than likely traveled though that area. The Sydney P. Stribling family moved to Boler’s Inn in 1910 and established the Union Appeal newspaper, now known as the Newton County Appeal. Stribling also sold furs from the building. It was home to Dr. F.C. Bradley and his family for about four years. Bradley moved there in 1914 when the newspaper office located to the business district. In addition to being an optometrist, Bradley was a jeweler, radio builder and inventor. He is credited with the invention of a single-dial radio tuner and soft nose pads for eyeglasses. He also owned the first car in Union, which he reportedly took apart and rebuilt to learn how it worked as there was no mechanic in town. Other uses of Boler’s Inn according to accounts from old newspapers, WPA reports, family genealogy and various historical accumulations, show the building to have been the site of piano lessons, a saloon and Sunday School classes of the Presbyterian Church, which sat next door at one time.

The town of Union lies in the east central area of the state that was ceded by the Choctaws to the U.S. government in the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek. Neshoba County was formed in 1833 and its courthouse was a dirt-floored log cabin in the community of Union. Local historian Teresa Blount, who has extensively researched the town’s history, said that Union earned its name because of a church there named Union Church. “Or that is the story that goes around,” Blount said. “I don’t know for sure.” The name remained when it became a town in 1835. In 1836, Newton County was carved out of Neshoba County by a legislative act with most of Union falling in the new county and some of it remaining in Neshoba County. A portion of the town still sits in Neshoba County; however, it is not a county seat for either county. Neshoba County moved its courthouse to Philadelphia soon after the division, and Decatur was developed for the specific intent of being the Newton County seat as it is geographically centered in the county. It was during this time of Union’s early history that pioneer and wealthy landowner Wesley Boler acquired a federal land patent on a large tract that encompassed much of Union. A historical marker gracing the inn’s front lawn is thought to incorrectly

Norfleet Staton wrote to his father, “I am bilding (sic) a house for my old father law 46 by 38, 2 story high. I think I will make 150 or 200 dollars by crismas (sic) father.”

Wesley Boler, a pioneer and wealthy landowner in the 1830’s, commissioned his son-in-law to build Boler’s Inn as a boarding house for travelers.

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declare that the inn’s construction year was 1835. The Newton County Mississippi Pictorial History, published in 2000 by Rose Publishing Company, states Boler received the land patent in 1835 and built the inn in 1845. Several dates of the inn’s original construction have been floated in accounts throughout the years, but currently the most accepted date is 1856. The 1856 date surfaced when a letter was discovered from Norfleet Staton, who married Boler’s daughter, Elizabeth. According to Nancy Moore, president of the Foundation for the Restoration and Preservation of Boler’s Inn, Staton’s letter, dated August 10, 1856, to his father in North Carolina, includes a detailed description of a house he was building for his father-in-law fitting the dimensions of the original building. The inn has galleried upper and lower porches and originally featured a dogtrot with four rooms – one on each side of the dogtrot on each floor. “We don’t know for sure when it was built, but everything points to the year 1856 due to the letter,” Moore said. Norfleet wrote to his father, Ennis Staton, “I am bilding (sic) a house for my old father law 46 by 38, 2 story high. I think I will make 150 or 200 dollars by crismas (sic) father.” Continued on page 9


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deliver a short sermon, otherwise they would have still been in their pew and would have felt the jolt. Now, I did hear a story about one church that hadn’t let out yet when the quake hit. I never checked the validity of the story because if it isn’t true then I couldn’t tell it anymore, and I like the story. So if you know the real facts and it

Mississippi Seen

ever ascertain from that quake was the scratch the skipping needle put on the record I was playing on the air at the time. The Delta is at the tail end of the New Madrid Fault that runs through Arkansas into Missouri. Some of the strongest earthquakes in the nation happened in a series of events in 1811-1812

Back when I snapped this photo of the crack in the east wall of Springfield Plantation it was a tour home. Since then Springfield has been purchased, restored and is a private residence today. But this crack in the east wall supposedly was caused by the 1811 New Madrid series of earthquakes. This is another of those stories I can keep telling because no one has proved it isn’t true. But I like the story.

by Walt Grayson

We just had an

EARTHQUAKE! We’ve had another earthquake in the Delta. Something like a 4.0 on the Richter scale. That’s enough to feel unless you’re driving a tractor or riding in a car. The epicenter was near Hollandale, if I recall correctly. We had one of those same type quakes back in 1967. That one had about the same intensity and was centered about the same place. I was working at WJPR radio in Greenville at the time. It was Sunday morning and the services from First Baptist Church of Leland were just wrapping up and I had started a record playing on the air when all of a sudden I heard a “wham” like a switch engine connecting boxcars. There was a pecan tree just outside the control room window, and I think I actually saw it jerk. The needle skipped across the record that I had just started.

Never having been in an earthquake I didn’t know if maybe a truck had rammed the side of the building or a plane had crashed nearby. But one of the bosses called all excited and told me, “We just had an EARTHQUAKE!” He sounded kind of proud of it. Mama and Daddy missed it. They were driving home from church at the time. Of all the days for the preacher to

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doesn’t line up with what I heard, please don’t tell me. But the way it goes is, at tiny Bogue Baptist Church near Leland the pastor had just wrapped up an impassioned sermon and had offered the invitation but no one made a public decision. Feeling that the congregation was somewhat indifferent to the call of the Holy Spirit, the pastor was closing with an emotional prayer of intercession for his flock, asking God to “shake this church!” And the quake hit right at that moment. The pastor was elated that God validated his prayer so quickly. Some in the congregation marveled that having an earthquake right then was a heck of a coincidence, but never applied it as a sign from the Lord to them personally. One old fellow who did see the light from the incident later thanked the pastor for not asking God to “set this church on fire.” Actually, the only damage I could

on that fault. Church bells rang as far away as St. Louis. Arthur LaSalle, the long-time caretaker of Springfield Plantation near Fayette, Miss., told me the crack in the east wall at the old home was caused by the 1811 quake. Most notably, that series of quakes caused the Mississippi River to run backwards and created Reelfoot Lake in Tennessee. With the population boom since then, a similar quake would be disastrous today. But with this latest tremor, now that radio stations play music from computers, not even a record got scratched. 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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March 2019

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Today in Mississippi

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What’s in your refrigerator crisper? Like most of you, my refrigerator has two crisper drawers for storing fresh vegetables. Even though, like me, it's getting some age on it, the drawer still works well and normally keeps my vegetables fresh for a week or more. It's the “more” that's the subject of my column this month. I have always enjoyed salads and stir-fry dishes, especially when they include a number Grin ‘n’ of ingredients like Bare It broccoli, cauliby Kay Grafe flower, tomatoes, several varieties of lettuce, bell peppers, onions and anything else that catches my eye. As I select these beautiful fresh vegTaake a trip back to the age of steeam with a guided tour through America’s last intact steam enginne factory. THE HISTORIC SOULE STEAM WORKS IS NOW THE

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etables, I can visualize the healthy and tasty salads and stir-fry dishes I plan to prepare. I rush straight home and store them in my refrigerator crisper. And as I look through the glass front panel of their new home, I feel a sense of pride in

how delicious and healthy Mr. Roy and I will eat the next week or so. And in most cases, I prepare a fresh salad for our dinner on the day I return from my grocery shopping. Mr. Roy is not as much of a salad person as I am, but he brags on my creative talents and says he enjoys it even though I know he would rather have only meat and potatoes and a cooked vegetable. My problem is not with the one salad or stir-fry that I prepare, but with the remainder of the fresh goodies that are left in my crisper. I have tried to analyze this problem, but I am at a loss to explain why I ignore my crisper drawer for the next two weeks. In fact, I may ignore it until I again return home with a new batch of fresh vegetables. But when I open the crisper and try to figure out what that slimy-looking mess once was, I remember how beautiful it looked when I stored it two weeks before. I tell

myself that it's because I am getting older and more forgetful. But then I remember that I have been cleaning out rot drawers for most of my married life. Mr. Roy says I have a personality flaw related to my love of shopping being so much stronger than my love of cooking. He may have something there, but I have friends who also have crispers that turn into rot drawers. If any of my readers have any ideas that would help me solve this dilemma, I would appreciate you writing me. I have to admit that as I have gotten older, I certainly cook less. Our eating habits have changed, and also the phenomena of “Been there, done that” has its effect also. It used to be that I required at least two good meals each day and Mr. Roy needed three. Now,

most days if we eat breakfast, then we skip lunch and eat a large meal at night. We have some friends who cook very little and eat out most meals. In fact, I have one friend who closed her kitchen down and declared it “Out of Order.” She actually put that sign up on her kitchen door. Another change in our cooking regimen: Mr. Roy's new interest in cooking has surprised me. For years, he declared that he had no kitchen talents, but recently he has gotten more into cooking on the grill, using his gas-fired deep-fry cooker and a few other new devices he has purchased. This may have something to do with my change in cooking habits or he figures it's a case of survival. Anyway, it has been a welcome change for me. And ladies, regardless of what you might read, it's never too late to change your man. 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.

Buckley named editor

Sandra Buckley has been named editor of Today in Mississippi. Buckley has a wealth of journalism experience, including serving nearly 14 years as director of marketing and external affairs for InnovateMississippi. In this position, Sandra Buckley she was responsible editor@ecm.coop for editing and producing their quarterly magazine, Pointe Innovation. Since 2008, she has been a freelance writer for Mississippi Magazine and operated her own marketing and professional writing business. “Sandra is a talented journalist and has a proven track record in publications and writing about Mississippi,” said Ron Stewart, senior vice president of communications for Electric Cooper-

atives of Mississippi. “She has strong connections across our state and we look forward to her bringing fresh energy and a commitment to memorable stories about life in Mississippi and displaying the beauty of our state.” Stewart said he looks forward to Buckley continuing the long tradition of Today in Mississippi being an integral and enjoyable part of our readers’ lives. “And we will continue to be strong promoters of the value electric cooperatives bring to the quality of life for its members.” Buckley, a resident of Madison and a Greenville native, is a graduate of Mississippi College. She will assume her duties with the April issue. She replaces Debbie Stringer, who recently retired after serving 34 years as editor. As a reader, we value your input and we want you to keep us informed. Know of a special place or story idea? You can help her uncover and share with our readers by contacting her at editor@ecm.coop. We welcome her to our team.


8 I Today in Mississippi I March 2019

Outdoor variety at winter’s end Yogi Berra, that indubitable philosopher of professional baseball fame, is credited with a plethora of grand and generally humorous quotes. One that is often ascribed to him is, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” That quote takes various forms, the original of which is more likely a Danish proverb rather than a Yogi creation. Still, it fits the malapropisms common to this one-of-a-kind major leaguer, and it fits the intent of this column. Consequently, I will use it. But should we get a March snowstorm or an April bout with iced-over tree limbs and treacherous roads, I defer again to Yogi as my primary method of defense: “I really didn’t say everything I said.” My prediction? Winter has come to an end! This is March, a potentially glorious turning point that marks the close of cold and the opening of warm. Spring, if Outdoors not here, is cerToday tainly just down by Tony Kinton the path a short distance, and with it comes a morphing of great interest to the outdoors type. Consider the following. Grass will soon acquire a green tint. It has been drab and burdened by the chill for some time now, burrowed in hiding with little to show except its dormant repose. But now there is new life, in its infancy to be sure, but new life just the same. It will be on display directly. And trees as well as grass will show signs of rejuvenation, faint at first but flourishing in days to come. One characteristic of regal oaks that

has always fascinated me is that these for the longest time can appear void of life, skeletal fingers stretching upward as if seeking relief from above. Giving up would seem an easy thing to do. But they don’t give up. They persevere. They stand in anticipation. And they are eventually rewarded, their limbs producing buds which produce leaves which bring a form of resurrection. The oaks once again live, flourish. Squirrels and deer and turkeys and all manner of wildlife will feed from those same structures that only weeks earlier were languid. And oh the blooms that will soon be evident. Dogwoods early on. Redbuds. The tulip poplar. Blackberries will leaf out and blossom, giving rise to plump fruit that makes the most alluring dessert known to humanity, this in the form of blackberry dumplings. And be careful of those little briars on the blackberry vines. This protective device can be particularly nasty but not so nasty as to preclude the collection of the main ingredient for those blackberry dumplings! Also available this month to adventure seekers is the wild turkey. Whether that sojourner is hunting or just absorbing, he or she is in for a glorious experience. Male turkeys are gobbling, pirouetting, displaying and stiff-leg strutting in an effort to gain approval from reticent females. The males’ iridescence and splayed fan and dragging beard and gaudy head are pure marvels, the essence of wildness. From both an aural and visual perspective, these birds reign as champions. Grandiose, this encounter is. Crappie will also be stirring about this month. Somewhere in the shallows or holding near the first drop on the offside of those shallows, they will be making

the Crete myrtle. From that station they place the seed in a suitable spot and hammer away at the shell to reach the seed. They always succeed. The handsome House Finch is there as well. A fat Mourning Dove shuffles around beneath to retrieve kernels that have been bumped from the feeders by raucous behavior exemplified by those birds possessing fewer social graces. Then there is the Gold Finch. A prodigious collection gathers at my feeders each winter, and even in their most basic garb they are striking. I stand and watch them often, always in awe of their beauty and antics. They are spectacular in their cold-weather attire, but coloration is more chartreuse at such times. Let spring age a bit, however, and they leave on Winter has its own form of beauty and can be appreciated for their migration with markings such, but spring will interrupt this with color and new growth. that exemplify their name – Photo by Tony Kinton Gold Finch. preparations for the spawn. A jig or My favorite among all feathered minnow judiciously dangled in their guests is the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. midst could be the beginnings of the Only a few come and their stay is brief. sweetest fillets that can be had. Fried a But spring is complete when they do. light brown, they are superb. And keep an eye on the bird feeders. Multicolored, robust, alluring – these These should be extremely active. There capture my full attention. Watch closely will be the Cardinal, the male dressed in for them; they tend to move on quickly. Winter is gone; spring is here. My his finest red tuxedo. His female counhope is that this prediction is solid, terpart will be less obtrusive in appearimmediate. But if not, the changes ance but elegant just the same. The Black-Capped Chickadee will dart about spring brings will get here. Like those massive oaks, we must be patient, persist and flit from feeder to limb to feeder ent. again. This one has mastered the art of simple tools around my feeders. There is a Crete myrtle between the feeders. The diminutive Black Caps have taken to gathering a sunflower seed from the feeder and taking it to a resting place in

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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Traveling back in time to Boler’s Inn Sebastopol), Union, DeKalb and other points onward Although the letter refers to the structure as to Alabama. It was a thoroughfare with the same a house, all accounts are that it was not used as importance of a modern-day interstate highway. a dwelling until after the Civil War when Staton and Boler’s daughter made it their home. Wesley Boler never lived there. It was built as a boarding house on the Jackson Postal Road, now known as Old Jackson Road, which was a mail and stagecoach route from Jackson to Montgomery, Ala. According to historian Dr. Harold Graham of the Newton County Historical and Genealogical Society, the road was built in approximately 1842. Much of the route was first a Native American trail. At that time, mail was carried either by young, small men on horses who could deliver with speed, or it Boler’s Inn is designated as a Mississippi Historic Landmark and is steeped in a colorful was taken via a stagecoach, which might also past that spans decades of documented accounts and local legends since the 1830’s. have transported passengers. “It was built as a stopover for any passengers that might be along on “Jackson Road ran west of Union on what is now the coach. They would have needed a room to rest Highway 492 toward the community of Prospect and and the horses would have needed a livery for food then turned toward Sulphur Springs and then and stable,” Graham said. “It would have been the Hillsboro, which was the Scott County seat at one equivalent of today’s travelers needing a ‘quick’ stop time,” Graham said. “In the town of Union, some and a motel.” of the road is still labeled Old Jackson Road.” The postal route from Jackson included stops The point where Old Jackson Road leaves the at Morton, Hillsboro, Sulphur Springs (south of pavement of Highway 492 West and heads south on Continued from page 5

a dirt path called Andrew Fredrick Road is located between Evans Chapel Tabernacle and New Prospect Baptist Church. On the east side of Union, the point where it leaves Highway 492 is near the Greenland Community. Located at 205 East Jackson Road, Boler’s Inn was designated as a Mississippi Landmark on December 21, 2000. After many years of deterioration, several citizens banded together in 1995 to form the Foundation for the Restoration and Preservation of Boler’s Inn. Insurance agent Marcus Herrington purchased the property and donated it to the foundation. Funds were raised by locals and assisted with government grants for making significant repairs. However, like most old places, it continues to need maintenance attention and upkeep. Boler’s Inn tours are available by appointment only. Due to weight on the structure, entry is limited to group sizes of 20 children or 10 adults at a time. To schedule a visit, call 601-635-3160. Award winning journalist Nancy Jo Maples is a native of Union and lives in Lucedale. She is the author of Staying Power: The Story of South Mississippi Electric Power Association. Reach her via email at nancyjomaples@aol.com.


10  Today in Mississippi



March 2019

Look for Coahoma Electric’s Bylaws in your mailbox in March! Our Board of Directors recently updated the Association’s Bylaws to correct grammar and reflect modern language standards. Though the Bylaws are published on our website and are always available, we realize that our membership has not received a hardcopy in several years. There have been no major changes in the Bylaws, with the exception of modernizing the language. Please look for your copy of the Association’s Bylaws in your mailbox later this month.

Programmable lighting options In the past, the ability to easily control a home security system or dimmed to enhance lights within the home has been fairly rudientertaining. mentary. You flipped a switch on or off. Connected LEDs require a central conPerhaps you had a dimmer switch. To turn troller or hub, like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple lights on when you were on vacation, you HomeKit. The hub can control other smart plugged a lamp into a gadget with a dial and it devices and become the center of a smart turned the lamp on and off. But today, conhome system. sumers have more options than ever before. Consumers can choose from a variety of The growing use of LED bulbs and the manufacturers when purchasing connected proliferation of LEDs. Some bulbs smartphones are compatible and Wi-Fi with different have brought hubs or systems, lighting but if you’re options to a planning a major new level. In overhaul to your addition to home lighting, using less it’s best to buy energy, many one brand and LEDs can be stick with it. Consumers have many options for smart lighting systems. controlled from Smart lightShown above is the Phillips Hue White Ambiance Starter Kit. a smartphone ing options Photo Source: Signify.com app, making aren’t necessarily the LED more about saving of a consumer electronic than a light bulb. energy, but if they can help you remember to turn the light off when you are not in a room, When shopping for new LEDs, you essenthen a small amount of energy savings can be tially have two options. A less expensive LED still offers longer life, achieved. As technology continues to advance, more lower energy use and will work for most fixtures. However, consumers with older dimmer smart home products will become available. Many of these products will include features switches often find that they must replace that focus on home security and quality of life. switches to work with newer LEDs. If you’re interested in smart technologies The second and more expensive option is a for your home, the key will be to research “connected” LED. These LEDs offer features your options and understand how the system like controlling lights remotely from a smartphone app or via voice control through an in- works with the other devices within your home. home speaker. They can also be connected to

Spring is nearly here!

TIP of the

Month

Now is the perfect time to test your A/C and ensure it’s ready for summer. Remember to check the evaporator coil, which should be cleaned annually for optimal efficiency. Source: energy.gov


March 2019



Today in Mississippi



11

A Mississippi Electric Cooperative

Three Easy DIY Projects to Save Energy By Abby Berry Winter weather can have a big impact on your energy bills, hitting your pockets a little harder than you would have liked. Now that spring is just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to tackle a few DIY efficiency projects for your home. The good news: You don’t have to be an energy expert to do this! There are several easy ways to save energy, but if you’re willing to take a hands-on approach, here are three projects you can do now to start saving.

 Make the Most of Your Water Heater.

brush or solvent. The area should be dry before you apply the new caulk. Apply the caulk in one continuous stream, and make sure it sticks to both sides of the crack or seam. Afterwards, use a putty knife to smooth out the caulk, then wipe the surface with a dry cloth.

 Weather Strip Exterior Doors.

One of the best ways to seal air leaks is to weather strip exterior doors, which can keep out drafts and help you control energy costs.

Let’s start with one of the easiest projects: insulating your water heater. Insulating a water heater that’s warm to the touch can save 7 to 16 percent annually on your water heating bills. It should also be noted that if your water heater is new, it is likely already insulated. But if your water heater is warm to the touch, it needs additional insulation. You can purchase a pre-cut jacket or blanket for about $20. You’ll also need two people for this project. Before you start, turn off the water heater. Wrap the blanket around the water heater and tape it to temporarily keep it in place. If necessary, use a marker to note the areas where the controls are so you can cut them out. Once the blanket is positioned correctly tape it permanently in The average American family spends $2,000 annually on energy bills, but unfortunately, much of that money is wasted through air leaks in the home. place, then turn the water heater Applying caulk around windows, doors, electrical wiring and plumbing can back on. If you have an electric save energy and money. Photo Credit: Rare Form Properties water heater, do not set the thermostat above 130 degrees, which can cause Weather stripping materials vary, but overheating. you can ask your local hardware or home store for assistance if you’re unsure about  Seal Air Leaks with Caulk. the supplies you need. The average American family spends $2,000 When choosing weather stripping annually on energy bills, but unfortunately, much of materials, make sure it can withstand that money is wasted through air leaks in the home. temperature changes, friction and the Applying caulk around windows, doors, electrical general “wear and tear” for the location wiring and plumbing can save energy and money. of the door. Keep in mind, you will need There are many different types of caulking comseparate materials for the door sweep (at pounds available, but the most popular choice is silithe bottom of the door) and the top and cone. Silicone caulk is waterproof, flexible and won’t sides. shrink or crack. Before applying the new weather Before applying new caulk, clean and remove any stripping, clean the moulding with water old caulk or paint with a putty knife, screwdriver,

and soap, then let the area dry completely. Measure each side of the door, then cut the weather stripping to fit each section. Make sure the weather stripping fits snugly against both surfaces so it compresses when the door is closed. By completing these simple efficiency projects, you can save energy (and money!) while increasing the comfort level of your home. And you can impress your family and friends with your savvy energy-saving skills. Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative affairs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape.

2019

National Ag Day: March 14, 2019

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BLAST FROM THE PAST! Crawfish Bread 3 green onions, finely chopped 2 Tbsp. low-fat margarine 1 lb. cooked crawfish tails, roughly chopped

Pizza Casserole 1 cup low-fat Mozzarella cheese ½ cup low-fat mayonnaise 1 loaf French bread

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet over medium heat, saute green onions in margarine; add crawfish tails. When onions are soft and crawfish is heated through, remove from heat. In a medium bowl, blend cheese and mayonnaise with a spatula. Add sauteed crawfish and onions. Cut the bread into 1-inch slices; spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the crawfish mixture onto each slice. Alternatively, cut the bread lengthwise and spread half the crawfish mixture onto each side. Bake 15 minutes, or until bread is lightly toasted.

1 jar mushrooms, drained 1 (26-oz.) jar marinara or pizza sauce, divided 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Cook and drain pasta. Combine onion and bell pepper with 1 teaspoon of water and microwave for 2 minutes. Dice pepperoni slices. Combine pasta, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, pepperoni and 2 cups sauce. Transfer to baking dish. Top with remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until hot and cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. From “Southern Blend II” by Patsy Conquest, Gail Ward

From “Eat Smart Gulf Coast” by Gulf Coast Health Educators

Pineapple Fluff 2 (20-oz.) cans crushed pineapple 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind

12 oz. pasta ½ onion, chopped ¼ cup bell pepper, chopped ½ cup pepperoni slices

Cauliflower Salad 2 Tbsp. lime juice 1⁄3 cup stevia* 1 (8-oz.) carton non-dairy whipped topping, thawed

Drain pineapple, reserving 2 tablespoons of juice. Combine pineapple, reserved pineapple juice, lemon juice, lemon rind, lime juice and stevia in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour into 2 (1-quart) plastic freezer bags. Storing bags flat, freeze 2 hours, or until slushy. In a large bowl, stir pineapple slush gently into whipped topping until slightly blended. Return to freezer until completely frozen, about 2 hours, and serve. * Stevia is a no-calorie sweetener made from an herb.

½ head cauliflower 1 bunch fresh broccoli 1 large purple onion 1 bell pepper

1 cup mayonnaise ¼ cup sugar 1 cup shredded cheese 1 pkg. real bacon pieces

Cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cut broccoli flowerets into small pieces. Chop onion and bell pepper. Combine vegetables. Mix mayonnaise and sugar; stir into vegetables with cheese and bacon. Chill. From “Southern Blend II” by Patsy Conquest, Gail Ward

From “Eat Smart Gulf Coast” by Gulf Coast Health Educators

Barbecue Beef Sandwiches 3-lb. chuck roast 1 cup water 2 beef bouillon cubes 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce ¼ cup catsup

Dash Worcestershire sauce 1 Tbsp. minced onion ¼ cup brown sugar ¼ cup mustard

Put roast, water and bouillon cubes into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, until tender. Reserve 1 cup of the broth from cooking. Shred meat with two forks. Add reserved broth and remaining ingredients to shredded meat; return to slow cooker and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours (or on high for 1 ½ to 2 hours). From “Southern Blend II” by Patsy Conquest, Gail Ward

Strawberry Salad 2 bunches romaine lettuce 1 purple onion, chopped fine ½ cup toasted slivered almonds 1 pint (or more) fresh strawberries, sliced Dressing: 2 cups mayonnaise

½ cup raspberry vinaigrette ½ cup half-and-half 3 Tbsp. raspberry jam 2 Tbsp. poppy seed 2⁄3 cup sugar

Chop lettuce and toss with remaining salad ingredients. Mix dressing ingredients with a mixer and pour over salad. From “Dinner with Friends” by The Friends of Wister Gardens, Belzoni, Miss.


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CHOOSE EXCELLENT

Sweetie Pie blackberry for Mississippi This month, I want to spend our time considering the last of the 2019 Mississippi Medallion selections, Sweetie Pie blackberry. When I first moved to the South in the late 1970s, we lived in a rural area of upstate South Carolina. I remember how one of my favorite things to do in the summer was pick the wild blackberries that seemed to grow everywhere. You see, I grew up agriculture-deficient in the suburbs of Detroit, and picking wild blackberries Southern was just not Gardening an option there. by Dr. Gary Bachman Besides enjoying the fresh-picked fruit, I also learned more than I wanted to about thorns, poison ivy, ticks, chiggers and the occasional snake that would scare the heebie-jeebies out of me.

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So, I’ve come to appreciate homeowners who want to grow this delicious fruit — especially the thornless selections — in the relative safety and convenience of their own gardens. Sweetie Pie blackberry was bred by the USDA in Poplarville, Mississippi, so it tolerates heat very well. This thornless plant has a vigorous growth habit, which is reflected in its copious production of large, very sweet fruit. Sweetie Pie is an excellent choice for homeowners who wish to grow their own fruit and for you-pick operations and farmer’s markets. Like most blackberry plants, Sweetie Pie has a perennial root system but biennial canes, meaning they fruit only on the second year’s growth. Peak fruit production starts to occur in year three. Sweetie Pie has its ripening season in the middle of or late in the blackberrygrowing period, which for most of Mississippi is mid- to late June. In addition to its excellent fruit quality, Sweetie Pie is resistant to double blossom. Also called rosette, this is a condition caused by fungus that is problematic of some blackberry cultivars.

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Blackberries are among the easier fruiting plants to grow. Here are some tips for success with all blackberry selections grown in Mississippi. Remember, good management reduces overall plant stress and keeps the plants productive. Set blackberry plants in the ground 3 to 5 feet apart in an area that receives full sunlight. February and March are good planting times, so if you’ve ever wanted a blackberry, plant one or two now. Raised beds with consistent irrigation produce the best results. Another option is to grow them in large containers. Blackberries are self-fertile, so there is no need to plant multiple cultivars unless desired. Bees are the primary pollinators, so encourage their activity as much as possible. Supply fertilizer and irrigation to substantially enhance the amount and quality of fruit. Be sure to soil test at least every three years. Make sure you

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The Sweetie Pie blackberry produces massive quantities of large, very sweet fruit in late June. (Photo by USDA-ARS/Steve Stringer)

follow fertilization recommendations, and keep soil nutrients in the optimal ranges. Usually, a cultivar bears fruit for 2 to 4 weeks. Blackberries need to be harvested when fully ripe, since they do not ripen after harvest. Refrigerate berries as soon as possible after harvest, and do not let harvested fruit sit in the sun. The fruit is best when consumed immediately or frozen, as it will not store fresh for long periods. Sweetie Pie’s availability will be limited, but don’t let that stop you from growing blackberries this year. Other good thornless selections for Mississippi include Arapaho, Navaho, Ouachita and Natchez. Dr. Gary Bachman is an associate Extension and research professor of horticulture at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. He is also host of “Southern Gardening” radio and TV programs.


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March 2019 PAID ADVERTISEMENT

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PAID ADVERTISEMENT (Continued from previous page)

Vault Bricks is also getting free shipping and free handling. That’s a real steal because all other state residents must pay over six hundred dollars for each State Vault Brick. Not long ago, nobody knew that the only U.S. State Silver Bars locked away in the private vaults of the Federated Mint would be allocated for a limited release to residents in 5 states. Every single one of the 50 U.S. State Silver Bars are date numbered in the order they ratified the Constitution and were admitted into the Union beginning in the late 1700s. “As Executive Advisor to the Federated Mint I get paid to deliver breaking news. So, for anyone who hasn’t heard yet, highly collectable U.S. State Silver Bars are now being handed over at just the state minimum set by the Federated Mint to residents in 5 states who beat the offer deadline, which is why I pushed for this announcement to be widely advertised,” said Mary Ellen Withrow, the emeritus 40th Treasurer of the United States of America. “These bars are solid .999 pure fine silver and will always be a valuable precious metal which is why everyone is snapping up as many as they can before they’re all gone,” Withrow said. T h e r e ’s on e t h i n g Withrow wants to make very clear. State residents only have seven days to call the Toll Free Order Hot-

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Marketplace

Today in Mississippi

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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.

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March 2019

I

Today in Mississippi

everyday life!

Helping you to enjoy

Mississippi’s electric power associations have a long-standing tradition of promoting electrical safety and energy efficiency — a natural fit with our initial mission of extending affordable electric service to everyone who wanted it. We have helped generations of electric power association members make informed choices every time they flip a switch. We are member-owned electric cooperatives whose viability reflects our commitment to providing valuable, money-saving services to our members. So it’s only natural for electric power associations to work in the interests of members. Our broad mission of service also encompasses a range of community service activities. With a work force exceeding 2,900, electric power association employees are respected business leaders and civic-minded volunteers in small towns and rural communities throughout Mississippi. We help grow communities through economic development, leadership and volunteerism. We are more than an electric utility service. We are part of the family of electric cooperative members, and we work every day to make life better in our great state.

a quality of life partner

I

17


18



Today in Mississippi  March 2019

Events MISSISSIPPI

Want more than 438,900 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. Send 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.

Mississippi Bluegrass Reunion, Mar. 7-9, Purvis. Lamar County Community Shelter Building, Lamar County Fairgrounds. Details: 601-408-5965. Tomcatz Event Center, Mar. 8-10, (formerly Mudslangers), 1202 Tomcat Road, West Point, largest bounty hole ever, $25,000; $100 Kid mud run; $100 female mud run and $100 male mud run; Nashville Recording Star and DJ on stage, plus other events, follow us on FB or call 662-316-7246. Sixth Annual “Whispers in the Cedars” Cemetery Tour, Mar. 8-9, Port Gibson. Sponsored by Port Gibson Heritage Trust; 6 - 8:30 p.m. nightly. Admission; advance tickets only. City Hall. Details: 601-529-4680; pinnixdesignsinc@gmail.com. Capital Gun Show, Mar. 9-10, Jackson. Wahabi Shriners Building. Details: 601-3195248; BigPopGunShows.com. Cedar Lake UMC Craft/Yard Sale, Mar. 9, Biloxi. 12332 Cedar Lake Rd; 8 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Po-boys and baked goods available for purchase. Details: 228-388-1275. Gospel Singing Jubilee, Mar. 9, Pearl Community Center, Pearl. Featuring the Down East Boys, Jason Runnels, Revelations, Tim Frith and the Gospel Echoes. Details: 601-7208870; 601-906-0677.

BBQ & Music Festival, Mar. 9-10, Biloxi. John Schneider (Bo Duke from Dukes of Hazzard) and Judge Cryer from The Have and Have Nots and recently from Dancing with the Stars. Admission. Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis Home & Library/ Museum. Details: 228-3884400; www.visitbeauvoir.org. Oxford Sacred Harp Singing Sunday, Mar. 10, Oxford. Learn to sing. Free. Powerhouse Community Arts Center. 9:45 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. Pot-luck at noon. Details: 662-2365356; mudws@olemiss.edu. Shape Note Singing Workshop, Mar. 21, Jackson. Learn to sing Early American hymns in four-part harmony. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. Free. Mississippi Ag and Forestry Museum. Details: 601-953-1094. 13th Annual Polkville Day - "Happy Trails 2019", Mar. 23, Polkville. Antique tractor, truck, and car show, arts/crafts vendors, children's carnival games, petting zoo, cake walks, cowboy costume contest, food, live music, political speeches, raffles, magic show, western movie in the park, and more. Details: 601-537-3115; www.Polkville.org. Gospel Music Hymn Sing, Mar. 23, Lucedale. An evening of singing great hymns of faith. Featuring Lucedale's own BIG BLESSIN' and several others. Sponsored by Ronnie

Next in “Picture This”  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. We cannot use compressed photo files. • Please do not use photo-editing software to adjust colors or tones. We prefer to do it ourselves, if necessary, according to our production 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.

Cottingham of Jus' Jesus Ministries. Love offering. Details: 601-947-7167. The Old School Bluegrass Bash, Mar. 30, Carthage. Featured Bluegrass bands include The Pilgrim Family, Robert Montgomery, Alan Sibley & The Magnolia Ramblers and Phillip Steinmetz "The Sunny Tennessean!" Admission is $10 at the door. Free admission for children 12 years and under. Concessions available. 2 - 9 p.m. Old Elementary School. Details: 601-562-0180. Native Plant Sale, Apr. 5-6, Moss Point. 1,500 plants on site with dozens of species to choose from, and experts onsite to give advice. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Pascagoula River Audubon Center; 5107 Arthur Street. Details: pascagoula.audubon.org. 4th Annual Shiloh Arts & Crafts Show, Apr. 6, Pelahatchie. Handmade items, antique car show and more. Free admission and parking; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Shiloh United Methodist Church Campground; 2394 Shiloh Road. Details: 601-213-7528. Choctaw County Flea Market, Apr. 6, Ackerman. Lots of vendors, activities for children, food and more. Free admission. Details: 662-285-6337. Meridian Maker Faire, Apr. 6-7, Meridian. Show-and-tell event with inventors, entrepreneurs, techies, hobbyists, educators, authors, environmentalists, more. Sat. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sun. 1 - 5 p.m. Free admission. Miss. Industrial Heritage Museum. Details: 601-6939905; Meridian.MakerFaire.com. 49th BiAnnual Spring Street Festival, Apr. 6-7, Picayune. Unique downtown shops and dining. 300 artisan and food vendors, special attractions and live entertainment. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Free admission. Historic Downtown Picayune. Details: 601-799-3070; www.picayunemainstreet.com.

Eighth Annual Smokin’ on the Tracks BBQ Cook-off, Apr. 12-13, Summit. Barbecue contest, car show and entertainment. Details: 601-248-2509; 601-248-0083; SmokinOnTheTracks.com. "The Road to Calvary", Apr. 14, Morton. Presented by Choir & the BSU Drama Ministry of East Central Community College; New Liberty Baptist Church, 191 Measels Road; 7 p.m. Free admission. Nursery provided. Details: 601-214-8499. Adams County Master Gardeners Plant Sale, Apr. 27, Natchez. Native, pollinator, herbs and vegetable plants available. Education workshops on herbs and crepe myrtle bark scale. Free admission. 8 a.m. to 12 noon; Co-Lin Community College; Natchez campus; 11 Co-Lin Circle. Details: 601-445-8201. 9th Annual Cruise for St. Jude, Apr. 27, Lucedale. Motorcycle Ride, Poker Run, Car/Truck/Motorcycle Show, Live Music, Food Vendors, LifeSouth Blood Mobile. 9 a.m. 2 p.m. L.C. Hatcher Elementary School. Details: 601-508-2202. French Camp Frontier Day, May 11, French Camp. Arts and crafts, food vendors, live music, car show, inflatables for the kids and much more. 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. Details: 601-278-5415; FrenchCampDowntown@gmail.com. 20th Annual Bridges “Bluegrass Picking on the Porch”, May 18, Crystal Springs. Featuring Woody Clark and The Bluegrass Cartel Band. 1 - 9 p.m. Admission. Details: 214-2882241; 251-463-1055. Brandon’s Eighth Interactive Civil War Relic Show, June 8-9, Brandon City Hall. Vendors, living history, antiques, reenactors, prints, weapons, WWI & II militaria, Native American artifacts, artists and musicians. Admission. Details: 769-234-2966; timcupit@comcast.net.

Something Old

• Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail.

 How to submit photos

Submit your most creative photo(s) of anything that has historical or nostalgic value for you or your community. Be sure to identify your subject and tell us why you chose it.

Selected photos will appear in the

Attach digital photos to your email message and send to April issue of Today in Mississippi. 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. Or, mail prints or a 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 Submissions must be be awarded in December 2019. emailed or postmarked by Questions? Contact Today in Mississippi March 18. at 601-605-8600 or news@ecm.coop.


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Profile for American MainStreet Publications

Today in Mississippi March 2019 Coahoma  

Today in Mississippi March 2019 Coahoma

Today in Mississippi March 2019 Coahoma  

Today in Mississippi March 2019 Coahoma