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News for members of Magnolia Electric Power

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Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

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Be exceptional

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Meet Miss Rodeo America

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Rising water and other thoughts


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Today in Mississippi

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April 2019 Advertisement

LETTERS

HEALTH

Vinegar Diet helps mother of the Bride

Vinegar, Better than Prescription Drugs?

Ask Emily By Emily Thacker

Dear Emily: I’m allergic to perfumes, chemical smells plus many other things. Cleaning has gotten to be a problem as manufactures seem to think everything has to have a fragrance in their product. Can you recommend a natural way to freshen air? – B.A., Newport, PA

by James Victor Thousands of years ago ancient healers trusted apple cider vinegar, and modern research shows Vinegar truly is a wonder cure! The Vinegar Anniversary Book by Emily Thacker reveals over 1000 new vinegar remedies that help: s Calm upset stomachs

Hello Emily: I have a natural limestone walled shower. I also have hard water stains. Any suggestions? – C. A., King of Prussia, PA

by James Victor Hydrogen peroxide is trusted by hospitals and emergency rooms because it kills deadly germs like E. coli and swine flu virus. Now The Magic of Hydrogen Peroxide by Emily Thacker reveal hundreds of home remedies

Send Questions to: Emily Thacker C/O James Direct, Inc., 500 S. Prospect Ave., Box 980, Hartville, Ohio 44632. If interested in Emily’s latest book and a FREE Special Bonus please read the articles on this page.

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Find Out How… by James Victor If you want to lose weight and keep it off -hate dieting and are tired of taking pills, Emily Thacker’s Vinegar Diet Book will help you lose

Emily Thacker is the author of over 17 books. Her best-selling books about common household products have appeared in USA Today, Parade Magazine, and The Saturday Evening Post.

Ease leg cramps Soothe sore muscles Ease Arthritis pain Improve memory Ease sore throats Relieve itchy skin Lower Blood Pressure and cholesterol s Treat bladder infections s Aid digestion s Soothe sore feet

Eliminate Belly Fat with Vinegar!

Dear B.A.: I will give you my natural Fresh Air freshener from page 108 of my latest book The Vinegar Anniversary Book. Put the following into a pump spray bottle: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 2 cups of water. After the foaming stops, put on the lid and shake well. Spray for instant freshness.

Dear C.A.: Yes, vinegar could eventually etch the limestone and slate. You might find that a quick rinse with vinegar, followed by a thorough rinse with lots of cool water will minimize the damage it could do. You may also want to look into the benefits of a water softener to minimize the problem.

s s s s s s s

weight and keep it off. You’ll never again have to count calories. Or go hungry. Or go to expensive diet salons. If you like food and

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his is kind of embarrassing, but here goes. My name is Sarah Pierce. I am 58 years old, and through the years (in my mind’s eye) I always thought I looked pretty decent. Especially so when our second daughter was married. I really considered myself a rather ‘smashing’ Mother of the Bride. That is, until the wedding pictures came back. I just couldn’t believe it. Here I am, definitely portly - not lean and svelte like I thought. Unfortunately the camera doesn’t lie. Since then, I heard about Emily Thacker’s Vinegar Diet and decided to give it a try. What surprised me most was how much I could eat yet I was losing weight and inches. It was like I was getting thin, thinner and thinner yet with the Vinegar Diet. I just thought you should know. - S. P. N. Canton, Oh.

Vinegar Heals Ear Ache in 2 days.

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have been plagued with an itchy ear for several months. It then developed into an earache. I was able to cure both the itch and earache in two days. - J. D. Jacksonville, Fl.

NEWS & RESEARCH Scarlett Johansson confesses her apple cider vinegar beauty secret

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hen celebrity beauty Scarlett Johansson needs to keep her skin looking beautiful and glowing one would think she would turn to high priced beauty creams. Not so, according to an article in the February 2013 issue of Elle UK. She uses simple apple cider vinegar and its natural pH balancing properties to keep her skin looking amazing. *Testimonials are atypical, your weight loss may be more or less. ©2019 JDI MPJ112S05


April 2019

Recently, I had the pleasure to attend the NRECA meeting? Central Electric Power NRECA Annual Meeting in Orlando, which Association selected Wallace to represent is always a productive time filled with industry their local service area in the statewide Youth peers and news. And this year presented an Leadership Program for 2018, and during the especially momentous occasion for Mississippi, program’s annual workshop in Jackson, he was as one of our Youth Leadership Program particselected by industry professionals to represent ipants holds the elite title of the Mississippi on the national Youth 2019 NRECA national spokesperson Leadership Council. From there, he – and he sure stole the show. went on to win the pinnacle award of That young man is Wallace the program, the speech competition “Bubba” Bass, a senior at Leake held last summer in Washington, D.C., County High School who will where he competed against 42 council graduate in May. And let me tell members from other states and earned you, this poised, 18-year-old student the title of NRECA national spokesperbrought an audience of nearly 6,000 son. In fact, in our 32-year history with people to its feet, applauding his the program, this was the third time a My Opinion outstanding presentation with an Mississippian had captured that title. Michael Callahan emphatic standing ovation. For me, being there backstage as Executive Vice President/CEO Electric Cooperatives If I could use only one word to Wallace made his speech that was of Mississippi describe Wallace’s presentation that met with a roar of applause was an day, it would be “exceptional.” Elooutstanding moment that I’ll never quent and confident, he strolled across the stage forget. I was so proud of him, our state and the as he shared a glimpse into his life, his family, hardworking people who make up our many his faith and his goals. He wove into his speech successful electric cooperatives. And, it was also a call to action for his young peers to aspire to a clear reminder of exactly why we participate become responsible leaders, which was centered in the annual Youth Leadership Program – to around a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, expose our high school students to a world of which states, “We cannot always build the opportunities and experiences. There is no future for our youth, but we can build our doubt that the impact this program is making youth for the future.” He also told of his within our state is, well, exceptional. great-grandfather who worked as a In closing, I’d like to offer a round of sharecropper to provide for his family of 14 congratulations. First, to Wallace for the children and how he thoughtfully displayed his preparation, delivery and message behind your worn-out, torn work shoes as a representation presentation; it was exceptional. Second, to our of the sacrifices made – a legacy that has left current 2019 class of 87 students from across Wallace and new generations of his family Mississippi; your drive to excel is exceptional. with the inspiration to work hard to “fill those Third, to our 20 electric cooperatives who big shoes.” participate in and support the Youth LeaderThrough his message, Wallace captured ship Program in their communities; your more than our attention. He captured our commitment is exceptional. And finally, hearts. to the ECM team for helping organize the So, how did Wallace, from Carthage, program on local and national levels; your Mississippi, end up center stage at the national work and dedication are exceptional.

“Our old oak trees” By Paula Lyle, Gautier Singing River Electric member JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI

ON FACEBOOK 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 Sandra Buckley - Editor Mark Bridges - Manager, Support Services Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphics Specialist Kevin Wood - Graphics Specialist Chris Alexander - Administrative Assistant

Today in Mississippi

OUR HOMEPLACE

Be exceptional

On the cover

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Mississippi is PORCH LIGHT Come and swing with me awhile we'll sit and talk Southern Style I'll charm, blush and even tease as we savor the lemonade breeze The mockingbird wails a sweet melody as I offer up a glass of iced tea magnolia blossoms scent the air swinging...slowly.....time melts there Watermelon wished and pecan dreams the porch is a magical place it seems a scarlet secret many won't tell it's here you win the heart of a Southern Belle

Vol. 72 No. 4 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: 473,017

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.

— Kathryn Picariello

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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The lady and the wood burning cook stove I have known Annie Ruth Thigpin for approximately forty years. She was a teacher at Rocky Creek Elementary School when I worked as a speech therapist and traveled to several county schools including Rocky Creek. Annie Ruth taught the fifth grade and was highly respected and well liked by her peers. A few weeks ago, Mr. Roy and I visited Annie Ruth in her home in rural George County to hear her story about the old wood cook stove. Annie Ruth has lived all of her life on the 80 acres her daddy purchased years ago. When she married, she and her husband, James Thigpin, built a house just a couple hundred feet from where she had lived all of her life. Annie Ruth’s father was Ernest Pipkins and her mother was Rhoda McLeod. Both had been raised a few miles north in a Scottish community called Vernal. This area became known as Little Scotland and Annie Ruth’s great great grandfather, Peter McLeod, had come to the area in the early 1800s. The McLeod’s encouraged their children to get an education and Annie Ruth and her mother both graduated from what is now the University of Southern Mississippi, and both were school teachers. After we visited and talked about old times, I said, “Annie Ruth, tell me about growing up as a country girl and especially about the old wood cook stove.” She smiled and said, “I was an only child, so I grew up as my mother’s little girl and my daddy’s big girl. I can remember helping

my mother do the cooking and housework in the mornings and then following my daddy in the afternoons. I had so much fun helping my daddy, and I especially liked to follow along as he broke ground with a mule and turning plow. I walked in the furrow as that rich George County dirt rolled over.” Annie Ruth said, “My mother taught e how to cook and that included learning Grin ‘n’ how to use the wood cook stove. Bare It You city girls by Kay Grafe just turned on the electric or gas burner, but I had to learn how to place the wood for different things we were cooking, and how to light it and get the right temperature. There really is an art to cooking on a wood stove.” Since my friend mentioned that all I had to do was turn on the oven or burner on our electric stove, that sparked a ton

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of other questions. “When did you get electricity in your house?” I asked. She thought a minute and said, “I believe it was in 1947.” “Well then,” I replied, “you could just turn your electric stove on and start cooking.” Annie Ruth laughed and said, “My mother and daddy did buy an electric iron, refrigerator and a few other appliances but they would not consider getting rid of that old wood stove.” I asked, “Annie Ruth, just how many more years did your parents continue to cook that way?” Annie Ruth got a big smile on her face and said, “All of their lives. It was my mother’s job to get up first and light the stove. So by the time my daddy got up, the kitchen was warm and breakfast was started. When she got too old and unable to get the fire going, I took over that task. I would go up to the old house every morning before school and get the stove ready for her to use.” Annie Ruth’s mother died in 1991. “I retired from teaching to take care of daddy and cook his meals on the wood stove,” she said. “By this time he was too old to cut and split the wood, so he taught

me how to split it. Daddy passed away in 1994 and my husband James and I closed up the old house and I began cooking again on the electric stove in our house. After a few days, James said, ‘Food doesn’t taste good anymore, I believe you need to go back to cooking on the old wood stove.’ So that’s what we did for over ten years after daddy died.” But when Annie Ruth’s husband died in 2004, she again closed up the old house and retired the old wood cook stove. I asked Annie Ruth if there was anything she would like to tell my readers, and she said, “I have had a wonderful life, wonderful parents, thirty great years teaching young minds and playing the piano in my church, and I’ve continued to live right here.” Then she grinned and said, “But I sure do miss that old wood stove and its wonderful food.” 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.


dinner table

Memories

around the

By Sandra M. Buckley Growing up in Oxford, Karen Kurr spent weekends with her parents and sister on the family farm in central Mississippi where they raised cattle and tended a grape vineyard and hearty vegetable garden. It was on the family farm that Karen learned about cooking off of the land and the joy of family time around the dinner table – values she still cherishes and puts front and center in her own family. “Friends and family cherished an invita- Karen Kurr is a member of the North East tion to Mama’s table, loaded down with Mississippi EPA. Visit her homegrown vegetables and Daddy’s www.notime2cook.com grain fed Angus beef,” Karen recalls. to learn more about No Time 2 Cook and “However, it was the conversation, for more recipes. fellowship and laughter that was enjoyed and remembered above all else. Mama and Daddy are gone now, but we as a family still gather around their old farm table enjoying some of the same foods and memories of days gone with our children, family and friends.” A few years ago, Karen found a way to honor and encourage such mealtime traditions by combining her passion for food with a mission to bring today’s busy families back to the dinner table – with No Time 2 Cook, her frozen meal business featuring wholesome ingredients and time-treasured recipes. Inspired by with fresh Mississippi ingredients, Karen selected a few of her favorite farm-to-table recipes (and memories) to share with Today in Mississippi … Enjoy!

Smothered Chicken over Wild Rice This recipe goes way back in my family to my Mama’s childhood in Copiah County. The original ingredients were simply one whole cut up chicken (usually a tough hen that was no longer laying), flour, salt, pepper and water. The onions, peppers, mushrooms and boneless chicken are my tweaks. Mama served this over white rice, but my family prefers wild rice. 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or chicken pieces of your choice) 1 green bell pepper 1 red bell pepper 1 medium onion 8 ounces sliced mushrooms

½ cup all purpose flour (1)15-ounce can chicken broth Dash of salt Dash of pepper 1 box Uncle Ben’s Wild Rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bell peppers, mushrooms and onion into a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Pour 1 cup chicken broth into a casserole dish (reserving remaining broth for the rice). Salt and pepper the chicken, dredge in flour and arrange pieces in broth. Sprinkle any remaining flour over chicken. Next, cover the chicken with sliced peppers, mushrooms and onions and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over and bake for an additional 30 minutes. While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice according to package instructions (using reserved broth as part of the water called for in the instructions). Serve chicken, vegetables and broth over wild rice.

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Aunt Ida Bell’s Sweet Potato Casserole My Aunt Ida Bell Davis of Pascagoula was a great cook and famous for her sweet potato casserole, which I especially love to make when Vardaman sweet potatoes are in season. Over the years, I’ve made only a few tweaks to her original recipe, such as backing off a bit on the sugar (which my family and customers seem to prefer). 1 ½ pounds whole sweet potatoes ¼ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 2 eggs, slightly beaten ½ tablespoon pure vanilla ½ stick butter, melted

Topping: ⅓ cup light brown sugar 1 tablespoon plain flour ½ cup pecans, chopped 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prick whole sweet potatoes with a fork, place on a cookie sheet and bake 45-50 minutes. Remove potatoes from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Split, scoop out and mash the potato, which should yield about 3 cups. Add and beat in sugar, cinnamon, eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Pour mixture into a 6 x 12-inch or 9 x 9-inch baking dish. For the topping, mix together brown sugar, flour and pecans. Drizzle melted butter slowly over pecan mixture, tossing as you drizzle. Crumble topping over sweet potato mixture. Bake approximately 45 minutes.

Mississippi Tomato Pie There’s nothing better than homegrown tomatoes. For my tomato pie recipe, Beef Steak tomatoes are the best because they have less juice and allow for a crispier pie crust. This recipe came from Linda MacNeil Barrett, my friend who was raised on a farm out from Sturgis in northwest Mississippi. 1 deep-dish pie shell 8 medium ripe tomatoes 1 ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 8 large fresh basil leaves 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

½ cup mayonnaise ½ cup sour cream Dash of onion powder Dash of garlic powder ½ teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prebake pie shell for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Slice or rough-chop the tomatoes, removing seeds with juice. Salt tomatoes and drain, removing as much juice as possible. Slice the basil, add pepper and mix into the chopped tomatoes. Arrange tomato mixture in the bottom of the prebaked pie shell and cover with cheese. Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder and hot sauce and spread over cheese. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Ms. Betty’s Southern Pecan Pie Pecan pie was our favorite dessert, and when pecans were ready to harvest, Mama would buy a year’s supply from a local farm. Mama’s south Jackson neighbor, Ms. Betty Robinson, had the best pecan pie around, so Ms. Betty’s recipe has always been my go-to. (2) 8-inch traditional pie shells 1 stick salted butter, browned 1 cup light Karo Syrup 1 cup granulated sugar 3 eggs, beaten

½ teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon pure vanilla ⅛ teaspoon salt 2 ½ cups broken pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brown butter to a nutty brown color and then cool slightly. Next, mix Karo, sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, salt and browned butter. Place pie shells on a cookie sheet and cover piecrust edges with a metal pie protector or crimp pieces of foil around the edges to keep the crust from getting too brown. Divide pecans and filling equally between shells. Push pecan pieces down into the filling so that all are well coated and evenly distributed in pies. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 325 degrees and continue baking 40-45 minutes. Pies are done when the middle barely shakes and an inserted knife comes out pretty clean. Yields two pies.


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Mississippi’s Electric Cooperatives host

Youth Leadership class of 2019 by Elissa Fulton A group of 87 high school juniors from across Mississippi gathered in Jackson for the annual Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Youth Leadership Workshop Feb. 27-Mar. 1. The hands-on workshop brings these students together from schools across the state to participate in team-building exercises, meet their legislators, tour the state Capitol and hear words of encouragement from government and business leaders and motivational speakers. “Our program focuses on developing leadership skills and encouraging young people to step up and assume leadership roles in their schools, communities and homes,” said Ron Stewart, senior vice president of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi. “We discuss issues facing students and challenge them to use their problem-solving skills to work with others to discover solutions.” The workshop offered the young people an opportunity to interact with other students likewise interested in fulfilling a leadership position and serving their community. Stewart emphasized the program is built around the cooperative business model with a focus on the

philosophy: working together to accomplish goals. “We challenge the young people to discover strategies for becoming effective leaders in their schools and communities,” Stewart said. “At the workshop, they learn from public servants and inspirational speakers. In the end, we encourage the students to be intentional in making a difference in the lives of others. They leave the workshop energized and ready to serve,” Stewart said. During a luncheon, Gov. Phil Bryant encouraged the students to stay in Mississippi and work together to maintain a quality place to live and work. After breakfast with their legislators, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves addressed the group. He spoke of the many opportunties available to our youth and encouraged the students to set goals and work hard to achieve them. The students earned the expense-paid trip to the workshop in a competitive selection process sponsored by their local electric cooperative. “The Class of 2019 is a dynamic group, and we are expecting great things from them,” Stewart said. “They speak honestly about their beliefs and will be a positive influence on others.”

Sleeper accepts the Youth Leadership Award from Ron Stewart, senior vice president of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi.

ALCORN COUNTY ELECTRIC Alana Hillard, Corinth Payne Sleeper, Corinth*

Congratulations Payne Sleeper, named to the 2019 Youth Leadership Council

CENTRAL ELECTRIC James Carpenter, Carthage John Carpenter, Carthage Savanna Greer, Carthage Callum Mann, Carthage Brooks McDill, Walnut Grove Kathryn Moss, Brandon Brack Rudolph, Carthage

Kevin Rico, Olive Branch Alex Sanderlin, Byhalia Danielle Smith, Olive Branch Morgan Vanderburg, Olive Branch

Payne Sleeper, representing Alcorn County Electric Power Association, was selected as the 2019 Youth Leadership Council (YLC) member. He is the son of Natalie and Ronnie Sleeper of Corinth and attends Corinth High School. He will serve a one-year term as Mississippi’s YLC and attend a conference in Washington, D.C., with YLC’s from across the United States. Sleeper is an exceptional student. He is a member of the student council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and drama club. Outside of school he is a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Junior Leadership Alcorn, Mayor’s Youth Council and the First Baptist Corinth youth group.

EAST MISS. ELECTRIC Khadijah Bell, Meridian Daneel Konnar, Meridian Judson Moore, Meridian Maggie Phillips, Louisville Shelbie Dean Reid, Meridian

NORTH EAST MISS. ELECTRIC Johnathyn Assad, Potts Camp Mason Bay, Oxford Jed Fitts, Thaxton Murphy Grace Smith, Oxford Tamyia Spencer, Potts Camp

4-COUNTY ELECTRIC Ben Brown, Starkville Carrington Davis, Columbus Ethan Sevier, West Point Zachary Taylor, Columbus

NORTHCENTRAL ELECTRIC Grady Brooks, Holly Springs Bobby Current, Olive Branch Anna Ruth Doddridge, Olive Branch Kennedi Evans, Olive Branch Xavier Harrell, Olive Branch Avery Hughes, Olive Branch Madelyn Jones, Olive Branch Dreana Leake, Redbanks Morgan Lee, Olive Branch Sammy Lee, Southaven Caroline McIntosh, Olive Branch Katie Payne, Olive Branch

COAST ELECTRIC Caleb Bergmann, Gulfport* Jordan Calomese, Waveland Alaina Olsen, Gulfport Mary Thames, Gulfport

MAGNOLIA ELECTRIC Baleigh Brumfield, Summit Abigail Burris, Smithdale* Carley Craig, Brookhaven Amia Miller, McComb

DIXIE ELECTRIC Lorin Brown, Petal* Courtney Lee, Laurel*

NATCHEZ TRACE ELECTRIC Seth Burkes, Vardaman Chris Mathieu, Calhoun City

PEARL RIVER VALLEY ELECTRIC Eli Johnson, Columbia Hannah Phipps, Hattiesburg PONTOTOC ELECTRIC Cheyenne Brown, Bruce Anna Beth Gandy, New Albany Nicole Staten, Pontotoc

SOUTHWEST ELECTRIC John Michael Chance III, Brookhaven Graci Malone, Brookhaven* Layna Myers, Brookhaven* Carleigh Sproulls, Natchez

TALLAHATCHIE VALLEY ELECTRIC Grant Burress, Water Valley Claye Childers, Senatobia Taylor Dean, Water Valley Mary Grace Dickerson, Batesville Nigel McGhee, Sardis J’Kayla Pomerlee, Water Valley Abbi Roark, Enid Ben Rowsey, Courtland

SINGING RIVER ELECTRIC Sarah Hults, Pascagoula Carly Jones, Moss Point* Madisyn Peterson, Ocean Springs TOMBIGBEE ELECTRIC Jeb Wells, Vancleave Sarah Taylor Baker, Tupelo SOUTHERN PINE ELECTRIC Alisha Boren, Baldwyn Hunter Lee, Taylorsville* Tara Beth Buse, Tupelo Ethan McNair, Seminary

Courtney Cochran, Tupelo Haley Dean, Saltillo Chloe Evans, Plantersville* Lakin Hamm, Fulton Cameron Mayes, Tupelo TWIN COUNTY ELECTRIC Ethan Blasingame, Avon Williette Kingdom, Greenville Mary Michael Mahaltic, Glen Allan YAZOO VALLEY ELECTRIC Hunter Barron, Yazoo City Peyton Jones, Yazoo City

°

* Leadership Finalists Spirit Award °• Friendship Award


Meet Miss Rodeo America April 2019

By Sandra M. Buckley Mississippi’s own Taylor McNair was named Miss Rodeo America 2019 this past December and has since been enthusiastically representing the Magnolia State as she makes appearances at rodeos, schools and other special events all across the country. The 23-year-old from Learned, who held the title of Miss Rodeo Mississippi in 2018, is using this opportunity to both promote and share Mississippi’s rich agriculture industry and lifestyle with others. Taylor, also regarded as the First Lady of Rodeo, was honored to share a few special thoughts with Today in Mississippi readers:

How did growing up on a rural Mississippi farm shape the person you are today? I grew up on my family’s row crop and cattle farm in the small town of Learned. My dad farms corn and soybeans and has over 100 head of cattle in the herd. Growing up in this environment helped to shape me into who I am today by learning the importance of responsibility, stewardship and how to work together. My sister and I put up and sold wheat straw for many years to have money to go towards our college fund as well as selling calves off of cows that we raised. These are the types of experiences that growing up on a farm

“I am a proud Mississippian through and through, and I do feel that with having this national title that I am able to share more about the agricultural roots that I come from as well as the great State of Mississippi.” —Taylor McNair, Miss Rodeo America 2019

afforded me to learn about the agriculture industry as well as myself.

When and how did you become interested in competing in rodeos? I began riding in Little Britches rodeos at the age of three. I participated in rodeos until my beloved horse, Patches, passed away, and I wanted to take a break for a little while. When I was 13,

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I started back riding and wanted to get back to competing. Over the years, I have competed in barrels, poles, stake race, goat tying and break away roping. Are there valuable life lessons you’ve learned from the sport of rodeo? One of the most valuable lessons that I have learned from rodeoing is to never give up and go after the goals you’ve set with all that you can. There were many times I would not have a good run at a rodeo and would be disappointed, but that made me want to try even harder next time and keep working until I reached the goals that I set. How would you describe the moment you were named and crowned Miss Rodeo America? When I was standing on the stage, and the moment that they announced I was the 2019 Miss Rodeo America, it was the most surreal and exciting moment of my life. I was nervous, excited, surprised and ecstatic all at the same time! There were so many amazing young women on that stage with me, and I am so grateful for this experience. Are you able to use your national platform to shine a spotlight on Mississippi’s rich agriculture industry? I am a proud Mississippian through and through, and I do feel that with having this national title that I am able to share more about the agricultural roots that I come from as well as the great State of Mississippi. Having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Business from Mississippi State University and with plans to attend the University of Mississippi School of Law and pursue a Master of Law in Agriculture and Food Law, what is your ultimate career goal? I thoroughly enjoy the policy side of agriculture. I feel like there are really exciting opportunities to help Mississippi famers and communities through lobbying for their best interest and what they need to produce the highest quality of food and fiber to feed and clothe the world.


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1. French Camp Alumni Museum. By Tiffany Sarah Smith, French Camp; Delta EPA member. 2. My arrowhead collection, all found locally in Petal. By Keith Ball, Petal; Dixie EPA member. 3. An old windmill in Neshoba County. By Karon Wilcher, Carthage; Central EPA member. 4. My father's typewriter he purchased shortly before he enlisted in the Army and used it while serving as Company Clerk in World War II during his duty in the Philippines. By Linda Hollingsworth, Quitman; East Mississippi EPA member. 5. A classic Ford Fairlane I saw in Ocean Springs at a Cruising the Coast event. 4 By Jerome Zoller, Vancleave; Singing River Electric member. 6. “All things pass.” By Laird Bagnall, Columbus; 4-County EPA member. 7. “Artifacts from the past.” By Norma Bowlin, Summit; Magnolia Electric Power member. 8. “Old records in a trunk.” I've been collecting vinyl records since I was a kid, when my grandmother gave me her collection. By Lindsey Bowen, Ackerman; 4-County EPA member. 9. A 1907 Weaver pump organ and stool. By Kate and Nelson Wilson, DeKalb; East Mississippi EPA members. 10. A War Ration Book with my mother-in-law's name on it. By Donna Stafford, Olive Branch; Northcentral EPA member. 11. These are two cameras that my father used to take hundreds of photographs. The photograph in the background is one my father took of my mother, sister and me on a camping trip in the early 1960s. By Sandy Warren, Benton; Yazoo Valley EPA member. 12. I spotted this truck in a shed while visiting a friend in Bogue Chitto. By Elizabeth W. Boyd, McComb; Magnolia Electric Power member. 13. The smokehouse my grandfather used for many years to smoke meats. I now live on their property and get to admire this piece of my family’s history on a daily basis. By Angela G Smith, Jayess; Magnolia Electric Power member. 14. Cotton boll clip-on earrings from the 1950s that belonged to my grandmother who lived in the Delta. By Madeline Cuevas, Wesson; Southwest Electric member. 15. “Bottles.” By Sandra Wadsworth, Hattiesburg; Pearl River Valley EPA member.

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16. A 1934 piggy bank that belonged to Grandma. By Blanche Walters, Picayune; Coast EPA member. 17. My late father’s old ‘75 Chevrolet. Believe it or not, it still runs! By Debra Pierce, Leakesville; Singing River Electric member. 18. This little wooden rocker is one of two made for my mother and her twin sister in 1936 in Winston County. By Charlene Bennett, Sumrall; Pearl River Valley EPA member. 19. A 1931 Lincoln Model K and a 1941 Stearman airplane at the Antique Auto and Engine Club of Mississippi and Vintage Airplane Show in Gulfport. By Andy Switzer, Gulfport; Coast EPA member.


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Where does MEP stand on broadband? In January 2019, Governor Phil Bryant signed the Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act into law. This bill came about because Mississippi Electric Cooperatives are interested in doing what we can to improve the lives of our members and the State of Mississippi. All 25 Mississippi Darrell Smith electric cooperatives were in General Manager favor of the bill and backed its passage. It was known from the start, and clearly stated that the bill is not a mandate and that only a few larger or more densely populated cooperatives would be able to make a business model that would be feasible for their particular system. Where does Magnolia Electric Power stand on the possibility of establishing broadband service? Magnolia is one of the lower consumer-density per mile co-ops in Mississippi with an average 6.6 consumers per mile of line. Magnolia has participated in a survey of the membership which revealed a very low interest when asked whether the member would subscribe to broadband if provided by their electric cooperative. Additionally, a

facility study conducted for Magnolia Electric revealed the cost of providing broadband fiber to the homes on Magnolia’s system would cost $100 million. The Mississippi Broadband Enabling Act signed into law, contains language prohibiting putting at risk the electric distribution company or using its reserves or revenue to subsidize or pay for a broadband program. Broadband programs and the electric distribution company are to be kept totally separate and independent of each other. However, the bill does allow the electric distribution company to loan money to the broadband subsidiary. If the broadband subsidiary should fail to generate enough revenue to pay its note, then the electric distributive membership would be responsible for paying off the loan for the broadband program. This is troubling for Magnolia Electric. We are below the threshold of being able to make a broadband financial model that would work and pay for itself due to low consumer density.

Account Management Made easier!

SmartHub lets you manage all aspects of your Magnolia Electric Power account. SmartHub allows you to view your daily use and manage your account right from your mobile device. With SmartHub, you have the tools you need to manage your accounts with mobile and Web apps fully integrated with Magnolia Electric Power. SmartHub delivers account information, mobile payments and more in a secure environment.

When temperatures vary, SmartHub is a convenient way to manage your daily power use.

MANAGE WEBSITE VERSION My Account Visit www.mepcoop.com Click on MANAGE my Account. This will direct you to our SmartHub site.

MOBILE APP VERSION A mobile version of SmartHub is available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Search for “smarthub” to install.

Magnolia Electric will continue to study and gain information on broadband for rural areas. We will perform additional surveys and studies in the time to come and continue to keep an open mind on the possibility of a future, successful broadband initiative. We are open to the prospect of grants and partnering with local communication companies to bring about broadband to the membership and have already been in discussion with one company. As always, Magnolia will remain focused on protecting our very successful electric distribution company and its members’ interests. One hundred million dollars is a lot of money. Any future decisions on Magnolia Electric Power going into the broadband business will be after much careful study, deliberate fact finding and the formulation of a business plan that would be financially successful and garner the support of the full membership.

Outage Reportin g a t your fin gertips!

With SmartHub you can: • View billing history • Check your use • View a bill comparsion • Pay your bill • Set up automatic notifications • Outage reporting


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What’s on that utility pole? Overhead gizmos keep you electrified. Have you ever wondered what’s on an electric utility pole? Let’s go over the basics. Utility poles are packed with electrical devices, so it’s best to stay away from them. You should never nail posters of political candidates or lost pets to utility poles. Nailing or attaching things to utility poles can tear a lineworker’s protective equipment, interfering with their safety while on the job. The equipment and devices up there vary from pole to pole, but think of a utility pole as a layer cake, with the electric equipment at the top. Most noticeable of course are the wires, supported by the crossarms and\or insulators. At the highest levels, they could be high-voltage transmission wires carrying power long distances. More often what you’re looking at are medium-voltage distribution lines carrying power into neighborhoods. Beneath those may be service wires with stepped-down power ready to be used in a home or business. It’s important to remember that those are bare wires, which is why you hear regular warnings to stay away if a storm knocks power lines to the ground. That’s also why the wires are attached to insulators that keep them from being in contact with the wood, steel or other supporting materials. Just below the electric lines hangs a variety of electric equipment. The big metal cans are transformers that convert high voltages to low voltages. Devices

Watch out for power poles!

Farm equipment’s a lot taller and wider than it used to be. That’s why you should use extreme caution when operating equipment near power poles and lines, leaving a clearance of at least 10 feet. Knocking over a power pole or getting tangled up in the lines can be dangerous — even deadly.

Think Safety around power poles!

that look like stacks of big gray donuts could be protective lightning arrestors (or “reclosers”) that act like a fuse or circuit breaker, shutting down the line when they detect a problem. Collections of what look like metal cereal boxes are “capacitors” that help improve the efficiency of power flow and regulate voltage. Other switches and regulators monitor and adjust the flow of electricity as energy use changes throughout the day. Some of the lines you see might be ground wires that carry static electricity (such as lightning) into the

earth or balance the flow of power and help ensure safe operation of the system, or they could be guy wires to keep the pole straight. The lowest layer carries non-electric lines: cable TV, telephone, internet and traffic light controllers. There’s one more layer—any of those lines might go under the ground to get to a house or meet up with other underground lines. These are the basic parts of an electric utility pole, and now you know how poles get power to the people!

This illustration shows basic equipment found on electric power distribution poles. Not all poles have all this equipment on them. They vary according to location and the service they provide.


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Where would WE be

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without YOU Magnolia Electric Power salutes our linemen and their families.

These are the families of Magnolia Electric Power’s linemen. Please remember, that when the power goes out, so does a lineman, no matter the time of day or night or the weather conditions. They leave their families to serve Magnolia Electric Power’s members. April 18 is National Lineman Appreciation Day; if you see them in your communities, remember to thank a lineman and their family.


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YOUTH LEADERSHIP

WORKSHO O navig ating the

way!

bright spot

“It’s our goal to encourage and challenge students to be active leaders at home, school and in their communities.” — Ron Stewart, Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi

Students from around the state creative thinking, encourages community once again assembled in Jackson, service and introduces students to the legisMiss., for a leadership conference lators who are today’s leaders in sponsored by 20 of Mississippi’s Mississippi. electric cooperatives. It is a beloved The conference was held at the Marriott time of year for many cooperative in downtown Jackson from Wednesday, youth advisors. For months prior Feb. 28, through Friday, Mar. 1. Baleigh to the conference, cooperative Brumfield from North Pike High School, employees work with many school Abby Burris from Parklane Academy, districts across the state and assist Carley Craig from Brookhaven High each other in interviewing and School and Amia Miller from South Pike selecting the students who will repreHigh School were selected among the sent each of the participating cooperaschools in Magnolia Electric Power’s servtives. Each year during the conference, ice area to represent the electric cooperative the students participate in leadership and at this event. networking activities over the course of When the students arrived on three days and leave with new friendships Wednesday, they instantly began networkand leadership skills that will last throughing with their peers through a “get out their lives. acquainted” session led by Eddie This year marks the 33rd Tanner of Madison year for the Youth County where they Leadership were asked to particiProgram, which has pate in a Town grown significantly Hall meeting. over the years from Divided into approximately 10 groups, the exerstudents to this cise encouraged year’s 87, making them to talk 2019’s class the about obstacles largest group to they face in their – Darrell Smith date. This esteemed everyday lives. General Manager program instills leaderThen, they were ship qualities, inspires challenged with developing solutions to these issues to take back to their schools and positively impact the lives of their peers and community members. Thursday morning, the students shared

“We are proud to have these four outstanding students representing Magnolia Electric Power.”

Sen. Bob Dearing, Baleigh, Abby, Amia, Carley, Sen. Tammy Witherspoon and Sen. Sally Doty at the Mississippi State Capitol.

Above: From left, Lucy Shell, MEP program coordinator, Baleigh, Ron Stewart, Carly, Amia, Abby, Mel and Skipper Anderson, MEP advisors. Right: Abby accepts a Youth Leadership finalist award from Ron Stewart, senior vice president, Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi.


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OP 2019 breakfast with senators and representatives from their districts, who are always very supportive of this program. This year, approximately 55 legislators were in attendance. After breakfast, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves spoke to the students and discussed a broad range of topics, such as taking charge when there is a need in the community or state as well as working together to reach common goals. “Through the years as lieutenant governor, my goals have evolved and have significantly increased,” Reeves said. “We have to work together in order to accomplish goals.” Next, and before visiting the Mississippi State Capitol, the students learned about the legislative process from Paul Purnell, vice president of government relations for Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi. After visiting the Senate and House galleries, many students were able to have group visits with their legislators, and some had the opportunity to sit in on committee meetings. The program coordinators continue to be grateful for the commitment and hands-on education from state legislators. Gov. Phil Bryant also continues to proudly support this program. This year, he spoke to the students during a luncheon program hosted at the Old Capitol Inn on leadership, the importance of being a servant in the community and the great opportunities for leadership in Mississippi. “Learn all you can about leadership skills and do that by helping in your communities,” he said. “Leaders must take a bold step, and then convince enough others to help in completing a vision.”

Thursday afternoon, the students participated in team-building exercises led by Elyon Outreach Ministries that were designed to encourage leadership and teamwork as necessary components to successfully completing a set of challenging activities. Afterwards, the students enjoyed an exciting evening with local magician and comedian Dorian LaChance, who thrilled them with his illusions. Concluding the event Friday morning, the students attended a recognition and awards ceremony, which was followed by a motivational speech from Bro. Terry Rhodes of Van Vleet, Miss., who shared with them his extraordinary story of courage and determination. Part of the Youth Leadership workshop is the opportunity to apply for scholarship opportunities. Abby Burris was selected in the Top 10 of the students that applied and was recognized at the awards ceremony. Magnolia Electric Power hopes to prepare these young people for a bright future through the Youth Leadership Program. The experience has proven over the years to encourage students to reach far and wide to realize their goals and dreams. Magnolia Electric Power is a proud sponsor of the program. “We are proud to have these four outstanding students represent Magnolia Electric,” said Darrell Smith, general manager. “They are our future leaders, and we look forward to seeing all that they accomplish.” In June, the students will travel to Washington, D.C. The seven-day trip will include visits to popular monuments and memorials, as well as meetings with Mississippi’s congressional delegation during a visit to Capitol Hill.

Amia, Abby, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, Carley and Baleigh.

Carley, Baleigh, Rep. Sam Mims, Amia and Abby.

Above: Students pose for fun photos in the photo booth. Left: Thanks to our senators and representatives for joining Magnolia Electric Power’s students at the legislative breakfast. Senator Angela Burks Hill, Rep. Becky Currie, Rep. Vince Mangold, Amia Miller, Sen. Sally Doty, Carly Craig, Rep. Bill Pigott, Baleigh Brumfield and Abby Burris.

“They are our future leaders, and we look forward to seeing all that they accomplish. – Darrell Smith General Manager


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Celebrating Mississippi’s

Grown, Raised, Crafted and Made Products

“What we like about this land most of all is the sense of togetherness it gives.” — Hodding Carter, II, 1907-1972, Mississippi Delta award-winning journalist and publisher By Sandra M. Buckley It is “this land” – or rather the dark, rich fertile soil packed deep throughout Mississippi – that does bind us all together, especially when it reaps a fresh and hearty bounty that, in turn, we are able to enjoy together and even share on a global level. Thanks to this fertile land, not only is agriculture a booming, billion-dollar industry in the state, it also is responsible for nearly 30 percent of Mississippi’s workforce, either directly or indirectly. Rooted deeply in our rural areas, it currently represents

more than 35,800 farms. “Agriculture is the heart of many of our small towns and rural communities,” said Andy Gipson, Mississippi’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, also a farmer himself. “My wife, Leslie, and I live on a working family farm with our four children, where we manage a cow/calf operation and tree farm.” As today’s lifestyle and food trends are increasingly centered around simplicity, people are more conscientious about the sustainability of their food as well as more intentional to buy from and support local businesses. “As Mississippians, we have Understanding the significance of this movement, the Mississippi a great deal to be proud of, Department of Agriculture and and the Genuine MS program Commerce recently launched Genuine MS, a branding profocuses on the many things gram that fosters the agriculture Mississippi has to offer.” industry in a variety of ways and includes four product classifica— Andy Gipson, Missississippi Commissioner tions: Grown (crops and proof Agriculture and Commerce

duce); Raised (livestock, dairy, apiary, seafood and aquaculture); Crafted (food and beverages; hand-crafted items made of agricultural or natural resources); and Made (manufactured items at least 51 percent manufactured in Mississippi). “When a farm or business becomes a member, they are allowed to use the Genuine MS brand as a stamp of authenticity to show that their products are Grown, Raised, Crafted or Made in Mississippi,” said Gipson, explaining that members are featured on the Genuine MS website, a marketing platform that also allows consumers from around the world to find, learn about and purchase these local products online as a one-stop-shop. “The vision of Genuine MS is to show the strength and importance of agriculture locally, nationally and globally by telling the story of the dedicated farmers, crafters, entrepreneurs and manufacturers that play a part in feeding and clothing, not just our nation, but the world.” Genuine MS products range from fruits, vegetables, honey, mushrooms, nuts and popcorn to seafood, beef, lamb and pork and even tap into


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Jason Price, MDAC

Honey-fried Catfish

Paige Manning, MDAC

Frank Ordonez, Mississippi Agriculture Magazine/Journal Communications

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Michael Tedesco, Mississippi Agriculture Jason Price, MDAC Magazine/Journal Communications Jason Price, MDAC

organic skincare products, bakery items, jewelry, farm equipment, timber and Christmas trees. “As Mississippians, we have a great deal to be proud of, and the Genuine MS program focuses on the many things Mississippi has to offer,” noted Gipson. “We also have some unique products that may not first come to mind, like flower farms that can be found near the Coast and in the Hills,” he stated. “South Mississippi is the home to a number of blueberry farms, and many don’t realize that we are ranked 9th nationally in blueberry production. Many also don’t realize that their next glass of tea could actually come from tea grown on a farm located in Poplarville or that Mississippi is one of the nation’s top rice producing states with farms that mill their rice to sell to local consumers. Genuine MS products can be found all over the state.” Additionally, retailers, such as restaurants, farmers markets and merchants, who sell Genuine MS products can join the program as Associate Members as a means to showcase their support. “By supporting Genuine MS, you are supporting your neighbors and

communities,” Gipson said. “Local farms and businesses not only provide great products; they provide communities with jobs and economic development opportunities.” As Hodding Carter so eloquently acknowledged, “this land” certainly does provide us a familiar and welcomed sense of togetherness, especially when that takes the shape of homegrown goodness filling our dinner tables and discoveries of other such agriculturally-inspired products and services that call Mississippi home. “Mississippians have a long history of being creative as well as talented – just look at the many famous writers, musicians and artists that have called Mississippi home,” added Gipson. “It is no different when you delve into those who are Growing, Raising, Crafting and Making products.”

Visit www.genuinems.com or call 601-359-1159 for more information.

4 U.S farm-raised catfish fillets 2 cups cornmeal 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup cornstarch 2 tablespoons salt 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup honey 1 teaspoon lime zest 1 tablespoon orange zest

Heat deep fryer to 350 degrees. Combine cornmeal, flour, cornstarch, salt, cayenne pepper and black pepper in a shallow bowl. Evenly coat catfish fillets with cornmeal mixture and shake off any extra. Cook fish for five minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Combine honey and zests in a small bowl and heat in microwave for 1 minute. Drizzle fillets with honey mixture and serve. Recipe shared by the Kitchen of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce.


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Marketplace

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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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Thank goodness After what seems to be an eternity, I finally had a chance to do some much-needed work in my landscape and garden. The pleasant weather we’ve had only adds to my enthusiasm. I’ve been wanting to expand the big container planting I have in my front yard, so I removed the last of the Indian hawthorns that were planted in the ground. I did this while they were beautifully blooming a snowy white. I put down a commercial weed barrier followed by a layer of red lava rock. This is the only instance where I would use a weed barrier. I’ve been fascinated by Distylium ever since it was named a Mississippi Medallion winner in 2018, so I planted a couple of these selections in 15-gallon, composite half-barrel planters. I’m pretty happy with these choices. But I was thinking about how I chose Distylium, and it was through information available to me through the Mississippi State University Extension. If Extension hadn’t written the Mississippi

spring has arrived!

Medallion publication and promoted this plant, I would have never known about it or chosen it. It occurs to me that if I’m still learning about how to be successful in my garden and landscape, what about home gardeners who don’t have access to all of the resources available to me? One of the best ways to gathSouthern er information Gardening about being by Dr. Gary Bachman successful in the garden is to know which experts to ask. This is not the time to follow that independent streak most humans have (to be honest, mostly men) and try to figure it out yourself. Guessing usually costs more than doing it right the first time. That’s advice we’ve all heard before, and it pertains to gardening and so many

other things in our daily lives. Your neighbors, newspapers, garden clubs, the local Extension office and Saturdays on the radio are some of the best resources for garden information. Gardeners like to share their experiences, so ask. There are also lots of garden talks, field days and other events in the spring and throughout the year featuring horticulture experts from Mississippi State University and across the Southeast. These are great venues to talk directly to these specialists. Many gardeners, young and old, rely on the Internet, and it can be a great and quick source of gardening information. Social media is another wonderful way to interact with garden and landscape experts and get answers to those growing questions. “Southern Gardening” has a social media presence on Facebook (SouthernGardening), Twitter (@SoGardening) and Instagram (southerngardening). There’s even a Facebook

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Live event most Fridays at 10 a.m. And you can always email your questions to me at southerngardening@msstate.edu. A tagline I use on my email is even, “Why google when you have me?” Take advantage of these resources. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and look up answers so you can have your best garden and landscape in 2019.

Gary Bachman, Ph.D., 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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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.

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. Vancleave Quilting Bees Quilt Show, Apr. 5-6, Vancleave. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Vancleave Public Library; Hwy. 57. Details: 228-219-5662. 44th Annual Southern Heritage Pilgrimage, Apr. 5-7, Aberdeen. Ten magnificent Antebellum and Victorian homes will be available for tour, plus cemetery tours, carriage rides and much more. Details: 662-369-9440; aberdeenpilgrimage.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 and more. Sat. 10 a.m. 5 p.m. and Sun. 1 - 5 p.m. Miss. Industrial Heritage Museum. Free admission. Details: 601-693-9905; 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. Hugh Bill McGuir Memorial Sacred Harp Singing, April 7, Bruce. 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Bethel Primitive Baptist Church; Hwy. 9. Free admission. Details: 601-940-1612. 8th 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. 39th Annual Alcorn State University Jazz Festival, Apr. 13, Vicksburg. Headline, university, college and high school jazz

ensembles from around the country will perform. Vicksburg Convention Center. Free admission. Details: 601-877-6602; alcorn.edu/jazzfest. Starlight Gala, Apr. 13, Pass Christian. Benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Gulf Coast. Live music, silent and live auctions, food and more. 7 - 10 p.m. Pass Christian Yacht Club. Admission. Details: 228-806-5946; bgcgulfcoast.org. Waynesboro Whistlestop Festival, Apr. 13, Ackerman. Arts and crafts, food vendors, classic car and motorcycle show, activities for children, food and more. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Free admission. Details: 601-735-2268. "The Road to Calvary", Apr. 14, Foxworth. Presented by New Hope Baptist Church; 508 New Hope Church Road. 7 p.m. Free admission. Details: 601-736-6511. "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. Lower Delta Talks Series, Apr. 16, Rolling Fork. Featuring poet Patricia Neely Dorsey. 6:30 p.m. Sharkey-Issaquena County Library; 116 Robert Morganfield Way. Free admission. Details: 662-873-6261; lowerdelta.org. Choctaw County Flea Market, Apr. 19, Ackerman. Lots of vendors, activities for children, food and more. Free admission. Details: 662-285-6337. 2nd Annual Meridian Little Theatre Golf Tournament, Apr. 20, Meridian. A 4-person scramble fundraiser for Meridian Little Theatre; includes cart, breakfast, lunch, prizes and more. Briarwood Golf & Swim Club. Details: 601-482-6371; meridianlittletheatre.com. Sacred Harp Singing, April 21, Houston. 1 3 p.m. Enon Primitive Baptist Church, south of Hwy. 8. Free admission. Details: 601-953-1094. 12th Annual Chocolate Tasting Event, Apr. 25, Vancleave. Presented by Friends of the Vancleave Library. Featuring an abundance of chocolate treats, doorprizes and raffles. 5 - 7:30 p.m. Vancleave Library; Hwy. 57. Admission. Details: 228-826-4143. 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. 8 a.m. - 12 noon; Co-Lin Community College, Natchez campus; 11 Co-Lin Circle. Free admission. 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 and LifeSouth Blood Mobile. 9 a.m. 2 p.m. L.C. Hatcher Elementary School. Details: 601-508-2202. A Night Under the Stars, Apr. 27, Dekalb. A fundraiser for Kemper Academy’s arts and music program with outdoor children’s activities, including field games, bouncy house, concessions and more. Admission. Details: 601-743-2232. Rankin County Master Gardeners Plant Sale, Apr. 27, Brandon. Hundreds of beautiful plants for sale. 8 a.m. - 12 noon. MSU Extention Building; 601 Marquette Road. Free admission. Details: 601-825-1426.

Barn Sale - Antiques & Collectibles, May 3-4, Purvis. More than 65 vendors with trailer loads of antiques and collectibles. 7 a.m. - 5 p.m. 4799 Old Hwy. 11. Free admission; $2 parking. Details: 601-818-5886. Springfest, May 4, Monticello. Presented by Divide Memorial Methodist Church. Lots of food, children’s activities, bake sale, vendor booths, door prizes, concert and more. 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free admission. Details: 601-431-9317. 2nd Annual Trinity Plant Sale and Quilt Show, May 4, Starkville. Numerous plants and gardening items plus art and quilt displays. All sales benefit charities. 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Trinity Presbyterian Church; 607 Hospital Road. Free admission. Details: 662-323-9340. Rummage and Bake Sale, May 4, Brandon. Featuring clothing, furniture, household goods, baked goods and more. All sales benefit charities. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Nativity Lutheran Church. Details: 601-825-5125.

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April 2019

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Today in Mississippi

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19

Rising water and other thoughts

Silver Street continues past the barricade and under the Mississippi River flood water in Natchez. Most of the side roads and some of the major highways in the South Delta look just like this small section of Silver Street. So I guess we can add 2019 to 2011 and 1973 as exceptional flood years in Mississippi.

hen you grow up along the Mississippi River as I did in Greenville, for the rest of your life anytime you get near it you hear your father gravely warning you, “That River will kill you.” When my dad told me that I’m pretty sure he was counting on me storing it in the “good advice” side of my brain and not in the youthful “let’smake-that-a-challenge” side. I obviously heeded it or I wouldn’t be writing this now. His words whispered to me again the other day as I parked my car at the barricade on Silver Street at Natchez Under The Hill and walked to where the flooding Mississippi was boiling over its banks into the low dip where the Lady Luck Casino used to dock. My path was only a few feet above water and just a few feet from the bank. The current was angry. And close. I remembered not to stray near it. Nearly a hundred yards of floodwater lay beyond the barricade over Silver Street. It had to have been at least three feet deep at the low spot. Another set of identical barricades blocked the far side of the flood. After that the dry pavement again emerged from its impromptu bath and continued its way on up the steep bluff.

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Natchez sits high enough up above the Mississippi that not much of it is affected by floodwater. Up at Vicksburg however, a whole neighborhood is in the backwater area frequently flooded by Chickasaw Bayou across from the National Cemetery in the Vicksburg National Park. The Cemetery and the Park are on that first bluff above the river. Chickasaw Bayou is at the bottom of the bluff on the very south end of the low, flat Delta. The lower Delta is really getting it again this year. It’s a double punch. There was a lot of rain over the entire Delta this winter. Mississippi And about the time that rainwater was to drain Seen from the lower Delta into by Walt Grayson the Yazoo and then the Mississippi Rivers, there came a flood down the Mississippi. So when the Mississippi, where the Delta back water is to empty into it, is as high or higher than the water that is to flow into it, there’s nowhere for all that Delta rainwater to go but to back up and flood inside the levees. So as the water in the Delta crept northward

and grew deeper the flood of 2011 began to be mentioned quite a bit, the last worst-flood in the Delta. As the water deepened further, the 1973 flood started creeping into the conversation, the worst flood since 1927 in the south Delta. I did a high water story for WJTV in the lower Delta in early March. Not grasping the magnitude of the flooding that had already taken place, I imagine mine was one of the last automobiles to actually make it from Holly Bluff to Satartia before the road became completely impassable. And I only had one lane out of the water in places. It never occurred to me the flooding was already that bad until I got into it. And yes, I heard Daddy’s voice again as my road seemed to sink closer and closer to the edge of the water until it was just a spit of asphalt before me, raised ever so slightly above the lapping floods on either side. Next time I look out and see that I’m in the middle of a cypress bayou I want to be in a boat, not my car, and preferably with a fishing pole and not a camera. Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television, and he is the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Contact him at walt@waltgrayson.com.


Profile for American MainStreet Publications

Today in Mississippi April 2019 Magnolia  

Today in Mississippi April 2019 Magnolia

Today in Mississippi April 2019 Magnolia  

Today in Mississippi April 2019 Magnolia