Page 1

Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

News for members of Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association

pages 12-13

Cuisine & a lifetime dream

page 5

Q&A on life, learning & leadership

page 9

Summer vacation page 19



Today in Mississippi


June 2019


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the world at your fingertips. From the moment you open the box, you’ll realize how different the WOW Computer is. The components are all connected; all you do is plug it into an outlet and your high-speed Internet connection. Then you’ll see the screen – it’s now 22 inches. This is a completely new touch screen system, without the cluttered look of the normal computer screen. The “buttons” on the screen are easy to see and easy to understand. All you do is touch one of them, from the Web, Email, Calendar to Games– you name it… and a new screen opens up. It’s so easy to use you won’t have to ask your children or grandchildren for help. Until now, the very people who could benefit most from E-mail and the Internet are the ones that have had the hardest time accessing it. Now, thanks to the WOW Computer, countless older Americans are discovering the wonderful world of the Internet every day. Isn’t it

June 2019

Summer is a great time to unplug to be more connected “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” This quote by author Anne Lamott cleverly captures the benefits of unplugging in today’s device-driven, multitasking world. Keeping up with work, family, friends and the latest trends and news on social media make most of us feel compelled to be connected – constantly – through our smartphones and tablets. The good news is, summer is a great time to unplug from our electronic devices and enjoy time relaxing and My Opinion having fun with family and Michael Callahan friends. In other words, it’s Executive Vice President/CEO an opportunity to take (or Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi make) the time to simply be “present.” Research has shown, in fact, that we all need downtime after a busy day to recharge – which is beneficial to our health and our relationships. Even though we may resist downtime (because we feel like there is so much to do!), it is important to be intentional in slowing down and embracing time away from technology. My family, probably like yours, likes to plan for downtime in the form of summer vacations, short

weekend getaways or easy daytrips that gets us out and about where we can enjoy each other and also our beautiful state! Especially during this time of year, there are so many things to do and see across Mississippi – from state parks, beaches, deep sea fishing and other outdoor adventures to museums, concerts and numerous festivals, like the region’s one-of-a-kind FestivalSouth event in Hattiesburg that you will read about in the following pages. In our connected world, it is so easy to forget to simply slow down. These days, it is practically second nature to multitask – texting, checking email, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, Googling – because the world is literally right at our fingertips. So this summer, do yourself and your family a favor. Put down the devices and distractions – and unplug to be more connected.

Survey Notice Today in Mississippi will be conducting statewide readership surveys in the next few weeks, so please be aware that you may receive a phone call or email requesting a few minutes of your time and your feedback on the publication. It is always our goal to deliver a quality publication filled with content that is timely, informative and – most of all – of interest to you!


Next in “Picture This” I Submission guidelines

• Photos must be in sharp focus. • Photos must be the original work of an amateur photographer. • Digital photos must be high-resolution JPG files of at least 1 MB in size. If emailing a phone photo, select “actual size” before sending. • Please do not use photo-editing software to adjust colors or tones. • Each entry must be accompanied by the photographer’s name, address, phone number and electric power association (if applicable). • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail.

I How to enter

• Attach digital photos to your email message and send to • 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 be awarded in December 2019.

On the cover FestivalSouth, Mississippi’s only multi-week, multi-genre arts festival, celebrates its 10th anniversary season this June.


ON FACEBOOK Visit us online at


Today in Mississippi

“Grandfather’s John Deere Tractor” Photo by Carson King, age 10, Mathiston, 4-County Electric Power Association member

Things we do in Mississippi It seems the main thing that mattered to me Was always trying to climb that big old front yard oak tree. When watermelon was always dessert Oh mom, surely just one more piece won’t hurt.

Hoe that grass … pick those beans That’s all we used to hear, it seems. But to this ole girl, there was only one thing that seemed to matter And that was driving her dad’s big old green and yellow John Deere tractor.

Photos must be emailed or postmarked by June 12.

True these things were long, long ago So why then do we still treasure them so?

Selected photos will appear in the

July issue of 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

Vol. 72 No. 6 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: 435,643

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...

And in the summer we all dreaded working in the garden I guess that’s why we all tried so hard to be granted a pardon.

Submit your most creative photo(s) of anything that represents American Pride for you or your community. Be sure to identify your subject and tell us why you chose it.

Today in Mississippi


—Debbie Touchstone, Jayess Magnolia Electric Power Association member

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 Please keep your comments brief. Submissions are subject to editing for length and clarity.



Today in Mississippi


June 2019

Photographs from the past Last week at one of our afternoon board meetings, Mr. Roy said, “I was looking at some old pictures in our honeymoon photograph album a few days ago.” I could feel one of his “profound statements” coming, so I asked, “What caused you to think of doing that?” “Because our wedding anniversary is this month,” he said. I knew there was more to this than our anniversary, so I said, “What is really on your mind?” Then he finally answered, “Those photos we made on our honeymoon are really important to us, and I love to occasionally look through them. But lately I have noticed that they are getting faded and it’s difficult to make out details. Photo albums are one of the most important items in the life of a family. It’s where we record our children growing up, special occasions and so many precious memories. In fact I read somewhere that other than to save a family member, saving a photo album is what causes a person to enter a burning house more than any other thing. And have you noticed when a disaster like a hurricane or tornado destroys a house, the one thing a family searches for is photo albums?” Grin ‘n’ I knew Mr. Roy was right, but this is one of those tasks that Bare It we have both been procrastinating over for years. We are probably like most of my readers, but maybe a little older and possibly by Kay Grafe procrastinate a little more. We started recording our activities together in 1956, using a Kodak camera that looked more like a little black box than a camera. When we snapped a picture we had no idea how good or bad it was until we sent the film off to be developed and got the photos back. And back then, all of the photographs were in black and white, no color. I can remember when we returned from a trip or recorded some special event, we

couldn’t wait to get our shiny new photographs developed. I don’t know why, but we always took the film to our local drug store to send off for developing. I was not sure when color photographs came about, so I looked it up. It seems that color photography began in 1947, but it didn’t make it to my part of the world until sometime in the 1960s. Mr. Roy got my attention, so I asked him, “You are the one in the family with a technical mind. What do you suggest we do?” He said, “We bought our first digital camera in the late 1990s, so everything after that we have on SD cards or discs. So it’s all the photos we made prior to then that are at risk of fading out or getting lost or damaged. And there are a lot of them. As you know, I am big on ‘How To’ books, and I found one on how to save your old photo albums and ordered it. I have no idea if it is any good. But I know that we need to locate all of our old hard copy photos, in albums or not, and digitally scan the ones we want to preserve.” I said, “Sounds good to me, let me know when you finish.” He said, “Not so fast, your job is to locate all those older photographs.” All of this caused Mr. Roy and me to stop and reminiscence about how home photography has changed during our lifetime. Many times in years past, I have said, “Oh I wish I had my camera so I could get a picture of this.” Now I just take my phone out of my purse and take a picture. I can then check and see if I like it and also send it to someone. My, how things have changed. If anyone has been through a similar project, I would appreciate any advice or recommendations. And I promise to keep my readers posted on our progress.

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.

Hidden opportunities for habitat on the line: managing rights-of-way for wildlife habitat Like the old dog sleeping on the porch, some things practically vanish … until you trip over them. For many Mississippians, habituation has hidden a great opportunity to develop wildlife habitat on their property: utility line rights-of-way. By John Gruchy, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

Corridors for power, flowers and birds In addition to powering our homes and communities, utility rights-of-way (ROWs) provide potential for corridors of open land in heavily forested landscapes. Though many species of wildlife survive and thrive in forests, a dense canopy of trees prevents sunlight from reaching the forest floor. Lower growing herbs, wildflowers, grasses and shrubs required by some wildlife, such as bobwhites and rabbits, cannot persist in the shade. Where ROWs run through forested areas, there is a great potential to interject a different plant community and add some habitat diversity to a property or a landscape. With financial assistance from the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service and technical guidance from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) Private Lands Program, Rodney Johnson was able to establish a patch of native wildflowers and grasses to provide habitat for pollinating insects on a newly constructed ROW on his tree farm in Clay County. “I am primarily interested in wild turkeys,” said Johnson, “so I picked

a planting with a lot of flowers to attract bugs for turkeys to pick up.” A recent collaborative study by Mississippi State University and the MDWFP demonstrated just how valuable ROWs can be for concentrating turkey movements on a property. At study sites in Attala,

Copiah, Lamar and Marshall Counties, researchers caught turkeys and attached GPS transmitters. In all four locations, utility ROWs were one of the landscape features that received the most usage by the birds.

Maintenance mowing, herbicides and habitat Traditionally, electric utilities maintained ROWs using mowing and side trimming to keep the ROW clear of vegetation. “Now we primarily use herbicides applied by low-volume, back-pack crews to control woody vegetation,” said Wesley Graham, field biologist with Cooperative Energy in Hattiesburg. In addition to improved maintenance capabilities, the cooperatives are seeing something that was perhaps unexpected. “We’re seeing an increase in use of ROWs by gopher tortoises, a protected reptile. In the end if we can help the ecosystem and meet the cooperative’s objectives, that’s a win-win.” By shifting the plant community from woody vegetation to more native grasses and wildflowers (herbaceous plants), ROWs offer better forages for gopher tortoise, while also benefitting game species such as white-tailed deer and turkey. The open areas in ROWs are often full of high-quality native forages hidden in plain sight. Managing ROWs on your property In many instances, ROWs present an opportunity to expand upon or provide connectivity among different plant communities. For questions about permitted activities on ROWs on your property, contact your local utility company. To discover more hidden potential for managing wildlife on your property, visit or call 601-432-2199 to schedule a no-cost site visit with a Private Lands Biologist.

June 2019

Cuisine & a lifetime dream By Sandra M. Buckley


s a little girl in Itawamba County in the 1930s, Juanita Caldwell loved to read. Her passion for books, and the adventure they inspired, sparked in her a dream to one day become a writer herself. However, her literary dream got put on the back burner, time after time, and year after year. From being a child during the economic downturn of the Great Depression to eventually marriage, children and the heartache of losing two husbands, the right time never seemed to avail itself for Miss Juanita. Over the years, Miss Juanita’s life’s story was impacted by several defining moments. One of those was when she was 13. It was November 18, 1934, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Tupelo to celebrate it being the “First TVA City,” a landmark day in the history of Mississippi and the nation for progressive rural electrification. She was in the crowd and recalled, “I made eye contact with the president … and he smile and waved.” During the 1930s, her father owned

Published by Sartoris Literary Group in Brandon. Visit or to order a copy.

Hot Tamale Pie 1 large onion, chopped 11⁄2 pounds ground beef 2 cans condensed tomato soup (plus 1 can of water) 1 teaspoon salt 1 ⁄4 teaspoon black pepper 3 heaping tablespoons chili powder 3 ⁄4 cup black olives, chopped 3 ⁄4 cup whole kernel corn Topping 1 cup self-rising cornmeal 1 ⁄2 stick margarine 1 egg 1 ⁄4 teaspoon baking soda 3 ⁄4 cup buttermilk or milk (enough to make batter soft) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Brown onion and beef in 1 tablespoon hot oil. Add remaining pie ingredients. Pour into a greased 8 x 8-inch deep baking dish. Cover and bake for 1½ hours. Remove from the oven; add topping mixture. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes.

Frozen French Pastry 11⁄3 sticks butter or margarine 4 eggs, beaten 1 pound box powdered sugar 1 box vanilla wafers 1 cup nuts, chopped 1 (10-ounce) container frozen strawberries, sliced 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple, crushed 2 half-pints whipping cream Step 1: Make praline syrup by combining 1 stick of butter, the eggs and powdered sugar in top of double boiler. Cook for 1½ hours, uncovered, stirring occasionally. Check often, making sure it does not overcook. Step 2: Crush vanilla wafers, reserving 1 cup for Step 3; add nuts and 1 ⁄3 stick melted butter. Mix together and spread along the bottom of a 9 x 12-inch baking dish. Pour syrup over crumbs, cover tightly and place in freezer to chill. Step 3: Fold strawberries and pineapple into whipping cream. Mix well and pour over syrup layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs and freeze. Slice into squares at least 30 minutes before serving.


Today in Mississippi



two local department stores; though later in that decade, one was burned down by arson and the other robbed of all its merchandise in the middle of the night. Her father, to take care of his family, accepted a job as warden at Parchman Farm in the Delta. So she, her parents and siblings moved to Sunflower County and lived in prison housing on the grounds of the Mississippi State Penitentiary. After she graduated from Drew High School, Miss Juanita’s journey eventually led her to Greenville, Greenwood and Hollandale. Miss Juanita treasures many memories her life in Mississippi has afforded her – especially those touched by the rich culture and cuisine of the Delta. As cooking and gathering family and friends for meals played a constant, special role over the years, she holds close to her heart the cherished recipes she has collected for more than 80 years. And finally, at age 98, her lifelong wish to become a published author is now a dream come true. Through “Miss Juanita’s Delta Cuisine,” the author shares precious memories and photographs and more than 100 of her most-loved recipes – all of which were a lifetime in the making.

Poulet d’ Artichoke 2 (14-ounce) cans artichoke hearts 22⁄3 cups cooked chicken breast, diced 2 cans cream of chicken soup 1 cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon curry powder 13⁄4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated 11⁄4 cups breadcrumbs Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain artichokes and spread in a 9 x 13inch baking dish. Spread chicken on top. Next, combine the soup, mayonnaise, lemon juice and curry powder; pour mixture over chicken. Top with cheese. Toss breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 25 minutes.

Sweet Potato Balls 2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes 1 ⁄3 cup brown sugar 1 ⁄2 teaspoon orange rind, grated 3 tablespoons orange juice 8 marshmallows (or more) 1 cup coconut, flaked Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Next, shape potato mixture around each marshmallow and roll in coconut. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.



Today in Mississippi



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

June 2019

Rewards of DIY True craftsmanship is a magical endeavor, something to be admired and emulated – if that latter is an option. And it comes in multiple forms, the end result of whichever form chosen commonly terminates in a product of manifest superiority. The norm is always surpassed when a craftsman is at work. Pure art it is. I admit to a pronounced lack of craftsmanship talent. Still, that doesn’t stop me from trying. I build and tinker and fabricate and visualize, but the final production never shares the same stage as that one set up for Outdoors displays nurtured Today into being by the elite. Most projects by Tony Kinton don’t reach the hoped-for outcome I had imagined. However, I’m seldom dissuaded. I enjoy the effort and more often than not come up with something that will work as intended, will fit my misplaced sensitivity and fill a need. Since my mind is near always focused on the out-of-doors and various activities found there, most creating is done for use in those outside settings.

Something to do with camping or hiking or shooting or hunting. Things like that. Oh, I could have possibly purchased a product that would have filled a perceived need, but it would not have held the reverence of a like product that I actually made. Additionally, I am left handed, and many things I need are made wrong! Then surfaces a craftsmanship experiment. Consider a little twoshell carrier I constructed for a rifle. The rifle in question is a Ruger No. 1, a single shot. It is grand and thoroughly modern though built precariously close to an action type that is now more than 100 years old. There were options for the little rig when contemplating a shell holder, but I couldn’t find one made of leather that specifically fit the left-hand persuasion. I would make one. Some 5-ounce veg-tanned scraps were called into service. A pattern cut from poster board was the first step. Following that was leather trimming to make those rough pieces match the pattern. Then came the loops and sewing and installation of grommets through which a leather thong would run. Few tools were required, but there was a great deal of stitching and sore fingers. Dyed in dark brown, it is most functional. It puts the rims of two cartridges at my left fingertips so that


Today in Mississippi



I can slip one from the a plethora of crafts holder and slide it into people. Leather, furnian open chamber two ture, taxidermy, paintinches from my hand. ings, photography. We Didn’t make me a stopped by as many as skilled craftsman, but time would allow, but it did work perfectly. one held us inextricably And there is an in its glorious grasp: oversized haversack leather goods. reminiscent of 18th The one item that century long hunters. teased us unmercifully Though it fits that was a take-down shottimeframe supremely, gun case made of bison its use is not limited hide. It was magnificent to reenactments of with a price to match – Kinton uses this haversack for 18th century gatherings but also uses it antiquity. I use it on $595! We passed; but practically every time he goes hunting, practically every outwe did, upon returning camping or hiking. Photo by Tony Kinton. door excursion to carry home, order two bison a rain jacket, water bottle, small camera, shoulders on sale for $40 or so. With cell phone, gloves, fire kit and whatever the details of that high-dollar rig stuck else I might poke in there. I made it in our minds, we shall soon be the from double layers of canvas, dyed in proud owners of a bison-hide case walnut hulls and waterproofed (fully each for our over/under shotguns. waterproofed I must say) with beeswax. So, if you find yourself as I do and A heavy leather strap runs over the without knowledge of a given project, shoulder cross body for transport. I never has there been a better time to definitely could have bought a nylon learn. That marvelous invention of the bag to facilitate the same chores, but internet has instructions for doing just this one is far more special than any I about anything, and you will likely find could have purchased. some information about any project Friend Brian Robinson and I attend- you choose to undertake. Even if you ed the annual meeting of the Dallas don’t aspire to progress to the state of Safari Club a month or so back. It was expert craftsperson, you will probably a grand gathering filled with outfitters enjoy the making and can take pride in from around the world, outdoor gear what you do. Taking on a DIY project in untold amounts and a host of magacan be rewarding. zine/TV personalities. There was also Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. His latest book is “Rambling Through Pleasant Memories.” Visit for more information. GUIDED TOURS / Tuesday - Saturday

HISTORIC SOULE SOULE’ STEAM WORKS W 1808 4th st - Downtown Meridian, eridian, MS Take a trip ba back to the age of steam w with a guided tour through America’s’s last la intact stteam engine factory.y. A belltt-driven machine shopp,, ir iron foundry,y, assembllyy shop and 1930’s 1930 office givess visitors a glimpse of how things were made in America.

guided tours i tues.-sat. i 9:300-11:00-1:30 GROUPS WELCOMED!


FRI. & SAT. - Novv. 1 & 2,, 2019



Today in Mississippi I June 2019 Advertisement



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June 2019



Today in Mississippi



with Wallace Bass on life, learning & leadership

By Sandra M. Buckley The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Orlando last March was an especially momentous occasion for Mississippi. The reason is Wallace “Bubba” Bass, an 18-year-old from Carthage, had the opportunity of a lifetime to speak to the event’s audience of nearly 9,000 industry leaders – and he brought every single one of them to their feet in an impassioned standing ovation for his extraordinary and moving presentation. Bass was on stage as the 2018-19 NRECA National Youth Spokesperson, and he stole the show that day. Poised and eloquent, he shared a personal glimpse into his life in Mississippi, his family, his faith and his life’s goals. One powerful message was the legacy left by his great-grandfather who worked as a sharecropper to provide for his family of 14 children and how he displayed his worn-out, ragged work shoes as a symbol of his hard work and sacrifice to remind and challenge Bass to always work hard because he had “big shoes to fill.” Bass is adamant about how grateful he is to Central Electric Power Association for having selected and sponsored him for the 2018 statewide Youth Leadership Program. It was during the youth workshop that year that he, a high school junior at the time, was chosen as Mississippi’s representative for the national Youth Leadership Council. From there, he went on to capture the top award of the program, the speech competition, last summer in Washington, D.C., where he competed against 42 council members from other states and was named the National Youth Spokesperson. Bass was the third Mississippian, in the state’s 32-year history with the program, to earn the esteemed national title. Through the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi, 20 local Mississippi electric coopera-

tives currently participate in the youth program each year, and the rewards for these students, schools, communities and state are invaluable. “We participate in the annual Youth Leadership Program to expose our high school students to a world of opportunities and experiences,” said Michael Callahan, executive vice president and CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi. “There is no doubt that the impact this program is making within our state is exceptional. And Wallace Bass is one outstanding example.” Bass, who graduated in May from Leake County High School, shared a few thoughts below with Today in Mississippi on how his experience with the Youth Leadership Program has made a lifelong impact.

__________________________ What does “leadership” mean to you now? After reflecting on my experiences within the Youth Leadership Program, it became clear that the duties of successful leadership are ongoing, requiring strict determination, commitment and loyalty. On a more personal level, the Youth Leadership Program has taught me the value of time management, organizational skills and professional development. As a youth of today, I believe the call to action is for policymakers and youth leaders to develop a successful educational system, promote business ownership, entrepreneurship, health and wellness, which will make a great impact locally and globally. Therefore, leadership is always expanding his or her horizons, strengthening skills and taking the elemental steps to solve problems.

In your presentation, you focused on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s quote, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” Why? The future of our country is undoubtedly in the hands of its youth. Therefore, organizations like the Youth Leadership Program present a tremendous part in ensuring an advancing step within the impactful progression of the youth. It allows students to build character and develop skills, such as goal-setting, problem-solving and sound decision-making. Hence, the selfless contributions of the Youth Leadership Program are exceedingly important in structuring our communities, our nation and the world.

The “Let there be light” theme in your speech creatively tied in electric cooperatives. You also stated, “Electricity is one of the greatest technological innovations of mankind.” What do these powerful words mean to you, in the context of this industry and to the future of our world? In the 1930s, rural families and landowners were literally left in the dark. From the perspective of someone that lives in rural Mississippi as of 2019, I am able to empathize with their frustrations. There have been countless times that I was unable to complete homework assignments, use the phone or even watch TV due to extremely poor internet connection and

Visit to watch the inspiring presentation delivered by Wallace Bass that received a standing ovation from 9,000 people.

slow return from satellite signals. As leaders, it is not only our job to listen to every voice, but to take action and “Let there be light” on everyone throughout the world. I am excited for the electric cooperative industry to become future-forward with new technologies coming down the line.

the opportunity to also have monuments created for my passion to make a bigger impact on the world around me.

How did receiving a standing ovation by an audience of 9,000 industry leaders feel?

As I quickly approach the beginning of my college venture, I will always remember the support and inspiration that I received from the Central Electric Power Association, Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi and NRECA. This experience has definitely been a pivotal moment that I will treasure for the rest of my life. It has afforded me countless opportunities, and I have met so many warm, loyal and enthusiastic people. In addition, the Youth Leadership Program has encouraged me to stay focused on my career goals, and to do my ultimate best. I am eternally grateful to the Central Electric Power Association and board members for choosing me to represent our fine community.

A million things were flowing through my mind as I received the applause. I became overfilled with an enormous wave of pride and joy. I naturally glanced at my mom throughout the speech, and the beautiful smile on her face assured me that she was extremely proud! In that instance, the enormous roar and standing ovation of 9,000 people was a priceless moment in my life that I will never forget.

As you shared on stage, your great-grandfather was a special influence in your life. Has his “you have big shoes to fill” challenge shaped your character and faith? My great-grandfather has always been a great representation of how a man of God should live. Even through adversity, he strived to give the best of himself to his family because he believed that every generation should improve. His knowledge constantly reinforced an atmosphere that prized devotion to family, love and education. His resilience created an environment for his descendants to be thinkers, doers and decision makers. Thanks to his sensitivity and emotional intelligence, I am confident in my ability to contribute to the world and continue to “fill his shoes.”

What are a few milestone experiences the program afforded you and how they impacted your future goals? Speaking in front of 9,000 people at the 2019 NRECA Annual Meeting was a pinnacle moment in my life. I hope to keep having noteworthy things to say, with even bigger audiences as God continues to mold me. The entire Washington, D.C., experience was phenomenal! As I walked the steps of Capitol Hill, observing the historical monuments honoring Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, I felt the significance of what our country represents and it engaged my attention to its wide political arena. I also dream to leave a legacy that would afford me

You described your Youth Leadership Program experience as “an opportunity of a lifetime.” Why?

Is your family a valued support system? My family keeps me grounded. The love, encouragement and sacrifices they have poured into my life have been incredible. I draw a lot of my strength from my mother because of her countless expressions of love. She has kept me grounded spiritually, by teaching me to always keep God first and always walk in faith. My siblings keep me motivated, energized and make me feel like I can conquer the world. I couldn’t ask for a better family!

What’s next for you? I will be returning to Washington, D.C. in June 2019, as the current YLC representative and to serve as NRECA Ambassador. In the fall, I will attend Tuskegee University, double majoring in mechanical engineering and political science. My future plans include the Air Force ROTC program, becoming an active member of the United States Air Force after college, starting my own engineering firm and eventually running for a political office.

For information on the Youth Leadership Program, visit or contact Elissa Fulton at or 601-605-8600.

10  Today in Mississippi

June 2019

PRVEPA Contact Information: Columbia: 601-736-2666 Hattiesburg: 601-264-2458

Purvis: 601-794-8051 Wiggins: 601-928-7277

To pay bills or report outages:

855-2PRVEPA (855-277-8372) Member owned. Locally operated. That’s the cooperative difference.

Visit us online at

TAKE CONTROL OF We expect summers to be hot, but most of us do all we can to keep our homes as comfortable as possible, even as outdoor temperatures edge thermometers upward. When it comes to electricity, each of us has the power to help control our costs–– we just have to make thoughtful choices to make energy savings pay off in dollars and cents.

 Shade the sunlight

Look toward the west. If you don’t have trees, a porch overhang or awnings shading windows exposed to afternoon sun, there’s a good chance radiant heat could be driving up indoor temperatures and adding to your overall cooling costs. Window coverings can help. Blinds or shades can deflect intense sunlight, and draperies lined with a thermal radiant barrier can block up to 95 percent of sunlight and 100 percent of ultraviolet rays.

 Increase airflow

Comfort and cooling are easier to maintain when we take advantage of air flow. A ceiling fan can pull warm air up above your living zone, making a difference during summer months. The evaporative effect of circulating air blowing across our skin makes us more comfortable, but that benefit completely disappears when we leave the room, so turning fans off in unoccupied rooms will save energy. HVAC filters have a lot to do with airflow through your heating and cooling systems. Dirty filters restrict circulation through your returns, requiring your cooling system to work harder. If you can see dirt in a filter, it’s likely 50 percent clogged. Follow the manufacturer’s

EASY! Reporting a power outage can be

recommendations on replacing disposable filters or cleaning permanent ones. If you’ve got pets, consider checking them more frequently.

 Shift activities

You can save money and electricity by time-shifting some of the most energy-intensive activities away from peak energy use periods that normally occur during the hottest hours of the day. Cooking, doing laundry and using power tools can increase both heat and humidity inside your home, making it harder to reach or maintain a comfortable temperature. Remember, controlling energy costs will always work better with buy-in from everyone in the household. • One open window anywhere can be like an uncapped chimney, pulling the conditioned air you pay to cool outside. • A gaming system, computer or big screen television left on but unwatched produces nearly as much heat as it does when it’s in use. • Lighting and ventilation fans add convenience and provide benefits when they are needed but when left on and unattended, they use energy. • A bag of ice poured into a cooler will chill summer beverages as effectively and less expensively than an aging refrigerator in a hot garage.

Visit for more

energy efficiency tips.

Pearl River Valley Electric wishes you and your family a safe and happy holiday! PEARL RIVER VALLEY

PRVEPA’s outage reporting system automatically recognizes your account if your phone number is correct.


Update your contact information today by going to and clicking on “Manage My Account.” You can also call us or write it on your next payment stub.


will be closed Thursday, July 4

Crews will be on call throughout the holiday. Call 855-2PRVEPA (855-277-8372) to report an outage.

June 2019  Today in Mississippi

Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30 Every summer, people in south Mississippi brace themselves for the potential threats brought on by hurricane season. The 2019 hurricane season begins June 1 and continues through November 30. “We are committed to providing our member-consumers with dependable and safe service in all kinds of weather,” said Randy Wallace, manager of Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association. “Once a hurricane reaches the Gulf of Mexico, we will be prepared and ready to work our plan in case a storm affects our service area.” PRVEPA members should also make plans to protect life and property if a hurricane threatens our region this season (see box to the right). Visit for more safety information.

2019 HURRICANE NAMES Andrea Barry Chantal Dorian

Erin Fernand Gabrielle Humberto

Imelda Jerry Karen Lorenzo

Melissa Nestor Olga Pablo

Rebekah Sebastien Tanya Van


Start thinking now about the supplies you will need to make it through an extended power outage. No doubt there are numerous other items necessary to meet the specific needs of your family. And don’t forget about pets. • Water – at least one gallon daily per person for 3-7 days • Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices – enough for each person for 3-7 days • Special food for infants or the elderly • Non-electric can opener • Toiletries • Cooking tools/fuel • Flashlight/batteries • Paper plates/plastic utensils • Blankets/pillows, etc. • Clothing – seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes • Full tanks of gas in vehicles • First aid kit complete with prescription drugs • Radio – battery operated NOAA weather radio • Cash – banks and ATMs may not be open after a storm • Important documents – include items such as insurance, medical records, bank account numbers and Social Security cards, and store all in a water proof container

Be sure to use emergency generators safely Read these tips before you connect Whenever a storm interrupts electric service, especially for an extended period of time, many south Mississippi residents and business owners use emergency generators to help keep food refrigerated and to operate lights and other appliances. Several million portable or standby generators are now in use around the country. However, it is critical that any auxiliary generator is hooked up properly and used correctly and safely. “Generators can help make life bearable after a natural disaster,” said Kurt Brautigam, manager of member services. “We cannot stress enough, however, how important it is that proper safety precautions be taken in order to prevent accidents that could affect consumers, their family members and neighbors, or our line workers.” A permanently-installed standby generator must be wired into a house by a qualified electrician using a transfer switch, which prevents electricity from backfeeding onto power lines whenever the generator is in use. Putting electric current out on lines that are thought to be de-energized can cause serious injury to utility restoration crews or anyone else coming into contact with those lines. Portable, temporary generators should never be attached to a home’s circuit breakers, fuses or outlets, and there are other important safety considerations whenever they are in use.

“The improper use of generators can lead to serious injuries or death, it’s that simple,” Brautigam noted. “That is why it’s so important to follow directions.” • Before you try to start a new generator, read and follow all manufacturer operating instructions. Make sure it is properly installed and grounded. Standby generators must have a transfer safety switch installed by a professional. • Portable generators should never be plugged directly into a home outlet or electrical system – use an extension cord to plug appliances into an outlet on the generator. • Never operate a generator in a confined space, such as a garage. Generators produce gases, including deadly carbon monoxide. They require proper ventilation. • Generators pose electrical risks, especially when operated in wet conditions. Operate a generator under an open, canopy-like structure on a dry surface. Always ensure that your hands are dry before touching a generator. • When you refuel a generator, make sure the engine is cool in order to prevent a fire, should the tank overflow. • Be sure to keep children and pets away from the generator, which could burn them. Visit or for more information on the safe use of portable and standby generators.

Standby generators need to be installed with safety in mind Standby generators provide emergency power for many businesses and critical need situations such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments. Standby generators are installed permanently and are hardwired into the building’s electrical system. Standby generators must be installed by a licensed electrician and meet the requirements of local ordinances and the National Electrical Code.

Contact Pearl River Valley Electric We’re here to serve you. If you have questions about portable or standby generators, please contact us. We can help you find a safe, reliable solution to your emergency power needs.




Today in Mississippi


June 2019

Mississippi’s only multi-genre, multi-week arts festival celebrates 10 years

By Sandra M. Buckley What’s in a name? The name “FestivalSouth” calls to mind a celebration of Southern culture. And, that’s exactly the goal of FestivalSouth, the premier cultural arts event that pays tribute to the rich artistic talent and heritage of Mississippi and the South. “FestivalSouth is the only multi-genre, multi-week arts festival in Mississippi,” said Mike Lopinto, Ph.D., FestivalSouth’s artistic director. “This year, in just over two weeks, nearly 70 events of all types aimed at multiple audiences are planned. There is literally something for everyone.” Held each summer throughout the Hattiesburg area, FestivalSouth is celebrating its 10th anniversary season this June 8-22. Tens of thousands of people will embrace the ultimate opportunity to experience vast genres of art that span across music, theater, film, dance, artwork, photography and much more. Created to provide unmatched access to an extraordinary caliber of performers and talent, FestivalSouth aims to entertain and spark wondrous curiosity in everyone, of every age, with a host of free and ticketed events. This one-of-kind festival sets Mississippi apart in the region, allowing the Pine Belt to continue to establish itself as a premier arts destination in the Gulf South. Each year, it attracts around 20,000 attendees, and it is ideal for a family summer vacation destination or a simple day trip. “FestivalSouth is one of the leading cultural tourist attractions, regularly drawing guests from every state and internationally,” Lopinto added. “If someone appreciates any genre of the arts, they will be able to find it at FestivalSouth,” said

Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker. “Hattiesburg has always possessed this acute awareness and appreciation for the arts, and I believe that is heavily influenced by our two universities, The University of Southern Mississippi and William Carey University. Both cultivate new talent ever year, and a major byproduct of their work is a stronger appreciation for the arts.” Echoing that sentiment, Lopinto added, “The rich arts culture nurtured in our two universities and fostered throughout the community makes the Pine Belt uniquely situated to produce the quantity and quality of events that we do year round. FestivalSouth is just the showcase of these rich cultural offerings.” Presented by the Hattiesburg Concert Association, and supported by the Mississippi Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, FestivalSouth takes place at venues across the Pine Belt. “From local coffee shops and churches to the

“FestivalSouth is one of the leading cultural tourist attractions, regularly drawing guests from every state and internationally.” —Mike Lopinto, Ph.D., FestivalSouth artistic director

Mannoni Performing Arts Center and the Saenger Theatre, we perform in venues in both Forrest and Lamar counties,” Lopinto said. On any given day during FestivalSouth, live music is on tap, ranging from string quartets and orchestral

chamber music masterpieces to blues, jazz and rock to traditional bagpipes, world-renowned pianists and almost everything in between. FestivalCoffee is a popular morning time series hosted in local cafes that entertains guests with numbers “from Broadway to Celtic music and beyond,” said Lopinto. “These have become quite popular and draw standing room only crowds to enjoy their morning coffee and great music.” Much more than music is in store, with an incredible lineup of other events, such as contemporary dance and choreography; art and photography exhibits; a 5K supporting the Hub City Service Dogs charity; and the inaugural 2019 FestivalSouth World Championship Golf Classic charity tournament. Additionally, theatrical performances are proven crowd favorites every year, from Shakespeare classics to grand productions. “Professional, large-scale musicals have been a part of FestivalSouth each year,” said Lopinto. “This year is no exception as the Hub City Players, the area’s professional theatre company, presents ‘Sister Act.’ Elaborate set, costumes, singing, dancing and a full orchestra make this a not-to-bemissed event.” The Hub City also transforms into a hub of film activity, complete with film screenings, competitions, directors, producers and actors. “The FestivalSouth Film Expo showcases independent film making, particularly those with Mississippi ties,” said Lopinto. Known as FSFX, its opening night is a spectacular rendition of a Hollywood-style red carpet event. This year’s FSFX theme is a tribute to Mississippi’s own, Elvis Presley. “We are particularly excited for the

June 2019

Linda Eder, world-renowned singing sensation, returns to perform a diverse repertoire of songs that spans a variety of music genres.

Music in the Movie series featuring homegrown artists like Elvis and B.B. King,” said Lopinto. “Elvis will be featured in two of his most notable films, ‘King Creole’ and ‘Viva Las Vegas,’ while B.B. King will be showcased in the much-lauded documentary about his career.” The series will also include showings of fanfavorite films such as “Purple Rain,” “The Dark

Crystal,” “All That Jazz” and “This is Spinal Tap,” and some with live orchestra accompaniment. FestivalSouth offers children’s activities with numerous fun, interactive opportunities, including exploring dance, acting and learning about music and instruments from around the world. And, FestivalZ engages teens with events such as acting and film


Today in Mississippi


school; the chance to dance and perform in a music video; and a live music talent showcase. The FestivalSouth grand finale will feature legendary singing sensation Linda Eder, who will once again join the FestivalOrchestra for an unforgettable evening. “Linda Eder is a Broadway legend that sold out the Saenger several seasons ago,” said Lopinto, adding that she draws tourists from across the country to Hattiesburg for the rare opportunity to hear her sing. FestivalSouth is truly a unique event in – and for – Mississippi. Now in its 10th year, it continues to grow and expand through showcasing world-class cultural arts to Mississippians and tourists – with a legacy that will live on in those who have been a part of the memorable experience. “It’s amazing that we blinked and it’s 10 years later!” added Lopinto. “Each year, FestivalSouth has gained momentum, reaching more and more people and involving more and more participants. The success lies in the generous populous of artists and arts lovers in the Pine Belt – they are what the festival celebrates and showcases to the world.” Visit for more information, including the full event schedule and how to get involved.

Make Your Mark: The Mississippi High School Drawing Competition “Like the host of wonderful events organized for FestivalSouth, this exhibition serves to enrich our community and celebrate the arts and artistic excellence of students from across the state.” —Mark Rigsby, The University of Southern Mississippi

In conjunction with FestivalSouth’s celebration of the arts, Hattiesburg’s University of Southern Mississippi hosts a statewide art contest and exhibit called “Make Your Mark: The Mississippi High School Drawing Competition.” “Our main goal is to recognize the creativity, artistic talent and drawing skills of high school students from across the state,” said Mark Rigsby, associate professor in art and design and museum director at the university. “This show gives them an opportunity to exhibit their work in a formal gallery setting and compete for cash awards. This show also pays tribute to arts education in Mississippi and the hard work and dedication of art teachers across the state.” The annual competition is open to all high school sophomores and juniors who will be juniors and sen-

iors the following year. Up to 70 original drawings are selected in mediums that include charcoal, graphite, ink wash, marker, pen and ink, pencil, mixed media and scratchboard. “There is such a wide range of talent and skill showcased by this exhibition, from beautifully detailed representational portraits and illustrations to highly expressive abstract works of art,” said Rigsby. The exhibit runs from June 3 through August 24 in the university’s Gallery of Art and Design. “All the drawings are hung on gallery walls and formally displayed with consideration for lighting and individual labels for each work,” Rigby said. “This is not your typical high school art exhibition.” These young, budding artists represent all areas of Mississippi, with past participants from Batesville,


Beaumont, Brookhaven, Clarksdale, Cleveland, Collinsville, Columbia, Crawford, Fulton, Gulfport, Grenada, Hattiesburg, Heidelberg, Jayess, Laurel, Leland, Liberty, Madison, Meridian, Natchez, Ocean Springs, Olive Branch, Oxford, Pascagoula, Richton, Taylorsville, Tupelo, Vicksburg, West Point and more. “Each year, I am truly amazed by all the works submitted for the show,” added Rigsby. “We have so many talented, creative and artistic students in Mississippi.” The exhibit and the gallery are free and open to the public, Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Call 601-266-6788 for more information.



Today in Mississippi



Mississippi zip codes turn up silver for residents Sealed Vault Bags full of heavy silver bars are actually being handed over to the first Mississippi residents who find their zip code listed in today’s publication and call before the 7 day order deadline ends to claim the bags full of valuable silver NATIONWIDE – Operators at the National Silver Hotline are struggling to keep up with all the calls. That’s because Silver Vault Bags loaded with a small fortune of .999 pure Silver Bars are now being handed over to everyone who beats the 7-day order deadline. “It’s like a modern day Gold Rush. Mississippi residents will be hoarding all the silver bars they can get their hands on for the next 7 days. This comes as no surprise after the standard State Minimum set by the Federated Mint dropped 42%, going from $50 per bar to just $29 making these Silver Vault Bags a real steal,” said Mary Ellen Withrow, the emeritus 40th Treasurer of the United States of America. “As executive advisor to the private Federated Mint, I get paid to deliver breaking news. And here’s the best part. This is great news for Mississippi residents because it’s the lowest ever State Minimum set by the Federated Mint,” said Withrow. The only thing residents need to do is find the first 3 digits of their zip code on the Distribution List printed in today’s publication. If their zip code is on the list, they need to immediately call the National Silver Hotline before the 7-day order deadline ends. Residents who do are cashing in on the record low State Minimum set by the Federated Mint. This is a real steal for residents because each Silver Vault Bag loaded with 10 Mississippi State Silver Bars is normally set at $500 which is the standard $50 per heavy half ounce bar State Minimum set by the Federated Mint. But here’s the good news. Residents who call today get the lowest ever State Minimum set by the Federated Mint of just $290 for each Mississippi Silver Vault Bag which is just $29 per bar as long as they call the National Silver Hotline at; 1-866-874-7770 EXT. FMM1694 before the deadline ends. Phone lines open at precisely (Continued on next page)

■ MISSISSIPPI RESIDENTS CASH IN: It’s like a modern day Gold Rush. Everyone’s scrambling to get their hands on the heavy, Jumbo Silver Ballistic Bags pictured above before they’re all gone. That’s because residents who find the first 3 digits of their zip code printed in today’s publication are cashing in on the lowest ever State Minimum price set for the next 7 days by the Federated Mint.

Who gets the Silver Vault Bags: Listed below are the U.S. zip codes that get the Silver Vault Bags. If you find the first 3 digits of your zip code immediately call: 1-866-874-7770 EXT. FMM1694 386 387 388

389 390 391

392 393 394

395 396 397

June 2019


Today in Mississippi




(Continued from previous page)

8:30 A.M. this morning and are expected to be flooded by Mississippi residents looking to cash in on the lowest ever State Minimum set by the Federated Mint to date. That’s why area residents who find their zip code on the distribution list today are being urged to call immediately. Since this special advertising announcement can’t stop dealers and collectors from hoarding all the new 2019 Edition Mississippi State Silver Bars they can get their hands on, the Federated Mint had to set a strict limit of three Jumbo Silver Ballistic Bags per resident – these are the bags everyone’s trying to get because they contain 10 individual Silver Vault Bags each. Everyone who gets these will feel like they just hit the jackpot. “Residents who want to cash in on the lowest ever State Minimum set by the private Federated Mint better hurry. That’s because in 7 days, the State Minimum for these heavy half ounce Mississippi State Silver Bars returns to the normal State Minimum set by the Federated Mint of $50 per bar,” Withrow said. “We’re bracing for all the calls and doing the best we can, but with just hours left before the deadline ends, residents lucky enough to find the first 3 digits of their zip code listed in today’s publication need to immediately call the National Silver Hotline," Withrow said. ■

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: If you find your zip code on the distribution list printed in today’s publication read below then immediately call: 1-866-874-7770 EXT. FMM1694 I keep calling and can’t get through: Keep trying. Right now everyone’s looking to cash in on the lowest State Minimum ever set by the Federated Mint. In fact, tens of thousands of residents are expected to order up as many Silver Vault Bags as they can get their hands on before the deadline ends. That’s because the State Minimum set by the Federated Mint has been slashed from $50 per heavy half ounce to just $29 for the next 7 days. And since each Silver Vault Bag contains 10 valuable State Silver Bars for just $290 nearly everyone is taking at least three bags before they’re all gone. But all those who really want to cash in are taking the Jumbo Silver Ballistic Bags containing 100 State Silver Bars before the State Minimum set by the Federated Mint goes back up to $500 per Vault Bag. So if lines are busy keep trying. How much are the Silver Vault Bags worth: It’s hard to tell how much these Silver Vault Bags could be worth since they are highly collectible, but those who get in on this now will be the really smart ones. That’s because the State Minimum set by the Federated Mint goes back up to $500 per bag after the deadline ends. So you better believe that at just $290 the Silver Vault bags are a real steal for everyone who beats the deadline. Can I buy one State Silver Bar: Yes. But, the lowest ever State Minimum set by the Federated Mint of just $29 per bar applies only to residents who purchase a Silver Vault Bag(s). That means only those residents who order a Silver Vault Bag(s) or the heavy, Jumbo Silver Ballistic Bag(s) get the $29 per bar State Minimum set by the Federated Mint. All single bar purchases, orders placed after the 7-day deadline and all non-state residents must pay the standard $50 per heavy half ounce Bar State Minimum set by the Federated Mint. Why is the State Minimum set by the Federated Mint so low now: Thousands of U.S. residents stand to miss the deadline to get the silver at the lowest ever State Minimum set by the private Federated Mint. Now all residents who find the first 3 digits of their zip code on the Distribution List printed in today’s publication are getting the Silver Vault Bags for themselves and all the solid .999 pure State Silver Bars found inside. The price for each Silver Vault Bag is normally set at $500 which is the standard $50 per bar State Minimum set by the Federated Mint, but residents who beat the 7-day deadline only cover the lowest ever State Minimum set by the Federated Mint of just $290 for each State Silver Vault Bag which is just $29 per bar as long as they call the National Silver Hotline before the deadline ends at: 1-866-874-7770 EXT. FMM1694. Hotlines open at 8:30 A.M.



INDEPENDENCE: 1776 signifies the year America declared independence proclaiming inalienable rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

SIGNIFICANT: Numbered in the order of which the state ratified the Constitution and was admitted into the Union.

HISTORIC 13 STARS: Each star represents one of the original 13 Colonies arranged in a circle to symbolize the perpetuity of the union as depicted in the “Betsy Ross” flag.

■ SILVER HITS ROCK BOTTOM: Everyone’s scrambling to get the Silver Vault Bags each loaded with 10 solid .999 pure Silver State Bars before they are all gone. That’s because the standard State Minimum set by the private Federated Mint dropped 42%, going from $50 per bar to just $29, which is a real steal.

ONLY EXISTING: Silver bars struck with the double forged state proclamation.

LOWEST EVER: State minimum set by the Federated Mint drops to just $29.

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Today in Mississippi


June 2019

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? Call 601-605-8600 or email


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Hibiscus varieties offer spectacular tropical color Hibiscus plants are great choices for our Mississippi gardens and landscapes. I don't know any home gardener who can resist the colorful flowers of Cajun hibiscus plants, with equally colorful names like Hoochie Papa, Peppermint Patty and Crawfish Pie. These flowers are some of the most dazzling in my garden each year. The color combinations can seem almost impossible, but there they are, beautiful and complex, like random combinations from a box of Pantone color chips. The various selections feature bright yellows, pinks, reds and whites. Blends and those with bright-red eyes are some of the more spectacular. The Cajun hibiscus selections with cool gray in the mix are a technicolor dream. The foliage is dark green and glossy and provides a nice background to display the colorful blooms. Additionally, the flowers are huge, having diameters easily over seven inches. There’s Southern one disappointing Gardening issue: these gorby Dr. Gary Bachman geous flowers last only a single day. Fortunately, Cajun hibiscus will almost continually produce flowers from late spring to the fall season. Nearly everything in my garden and landscape is in big planters, like 15- and

“For the best flowering, be sure to plant Cajun hibiscus where it will receive at least six hours of full sun every day. This will keep the plant more tightly branched and intensify the colors.”

This colorfully named Cajun hibiscus, Hoochie Papa, will bloom all summer long with proper care and sunny conditions. Photo by Gary Bachman.

25-gallon containers. There are a couple of reasons for this growing strategy. First, the big container will hold more water and help keep the root system consistently moist, even on the hottest summer days. Second, some plants, like Cajun hibiscus, will not tolerate our winter temperatures, not even along the coast. If your plants are growing in containers, you can move them into a garage or shed ahead of the arrival of cold winter temperatures. For the best flowering, be sure to plant Cajun hibiscus where it will receive at least six hours of full sun every day. This will keep the plant more tightly branched and intensify the colors. Good planting bed drainage is a must; this is another reason I grow in containers.

Another option is to grow in raised beds. Maintaining consistent root zone moisture is key for Cajun hibiscus to flower through the season. A period of droughty weather will quickly turn off the flowering and cause any developing flower buds to drop off, and it may be hard to get it started flowering again. The watering needs will vary with the season – more in hot weather and less in the cooler months. Overwatering can cause buds to drop before the flowers fully open. Take-home point: keep a close eye on your watering. Another key to maintaining the flowering of Cajun hibiscus is fertilization. Flowering requires a tremendous amount of energy. I always use a slowrelease fertilizer at planting and then

water-soluble fertilizers as I water through the summer season. Cajun hibiscus plants are perfect for adding a tropical flair on a porch or patio. Combination-plant with other tropicals, such as bananas and cannas, which require similar care and management.

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.

CORRECTION: Gay Austin was named president of the National Garden Clubs, Inc., not the Garden Clubs of America as printed in the May issue. We apologize for the error and congratulate her on this prestigious new role.

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Today in Mississippi

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Want more than 435,600 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 Events are subject to change. We recommend calling to confirm details before traveling.

Movie at the Magnolias, June 6, Aberdeen. Outdoor movie on the front lawn of The Magnolias Antebellum mansion. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy a family-friendly movie. Details: 662-369-9440. Sounds of Summer Festival, June 7-8, Byhalia. Food vendors, live music, children’s activities and more. 120 College St. Admission. Details: 662-544-1148; 18th Annual Noxubee County Juneteenth Festival, June 8, Macon. The North Street Flea Market. Lots of live music, DJ, parade, political rally, children’s activities, door prizes, vendors and concessions. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. 10 a.m. Details: 662-352-4738. Iron Horse Music & Heritage Festival, June 8, McComb. Children’s parade and activities, arts and crafts, food vendors, car show, live music, fireworks and more. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Details: Raleigh Ringers Concert, June 8, Meridian. Internationally acclaimed concert handbell choir based in Raleigh, NC. MSU Riley Center. Admission. Details: 601-595-0472; Brandon’s 8th Interactive Civil War Relic Show, June 8-9, Brandon. Vendors, living history, antiques, reenactors, prints, weapons, WWI & II militaria, Native American artifacts, artists and musicians. Brandon City Hall. Details: 769-234-2966; Prentiss Institute All School Reunion, June 14-15, Prentiss. All events will be held in

the Rosenwald Building. Onsite registration begins the 14th at 4:30 p.m. Details: 601-8471984; 11th Annual DeSoto Shrine Club BBQ Cook-Off, June 14-15, Hernando. DeSoto Shrine Club. Enjoy BBQ, live music, a car show and more. Details: 901-827-9201; Down East Boys Concert, June 15, Meridian. Plus, gospel performances by Day Three and 2nd Mile. Temple Theater for the Performing Arts. 6 p.m. Admission. Details: 601-416-1630; Bienvenue Acres Summer Camp, June 17-21 and July 8-12, Gulfport. Equestrian activities for kids. Details: 228-357-0431. Black Hawk Old-Fashioned Political Rally, June 22, Black Hawk. Black Hawk School; intersection of Hwy. 17 and Hwy. 430. State, district and county political candidates invited to speak. BBQ plates will be sold. 2 - 6 p.m. Details: 662-453-0072. Repticon Reptile Show, June 22 -24, Southaven. Landers Center; 4560 Venture Dr. This reptile event is fun and educational for the entire family. Live seminars, raffles and vendors offering reptile pets and supplies. Admission. Details: 863-268-4273; Kids’ Day Excelebration, June 26, McComb. McComb Depot. All aboard for a free, fun morning of Train Tales, Chuggington, jumpers, model trains, car tours, railroad demonstrations, face painting and free children’s books. 9 a.m. 12 noon. Details: 601-395-6456.


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The Collingsworth Family in Concert, June 28, Hattiesburg. Heritage United Methodist Church. 7 p.m. Admission. Details: 601-261-3371; Mississippi Opry, July 13, Pearl. Pearl Community Room; 2420 Old Brandon Rd. Featuring Harmony & Grits and also Alan Sibley & the Magnolia Ramblers. Concessions. 6 p.m. Admission for adults, children free. From Rabbit Foot to Blues & Cruise Exhibit, Now-Aug. 30, Port Gibson. Learn more of the story behind Port Gibson’s first Mississippi Blues Trail marker through this interactive exhibit hosted by Mississippi Cultural Crossroads. Details: 601-437-8905;

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Just the sound of it is refreshing – “Summer Vacation!” It used to mean a lot back when I was a kid. Free for the summer! We neighborhood boys who grew up together on North Broadway in Greenville would waste away our summer days riding bikes on the levee and our nights camping out in somebody’s back yard playing hide-and-seek trying to scare the kajeebers out of each other. Or at least that’s the way the years have compressed that time period into the definitive “summer” that I think I remember. No doubt we actually did some of those things occasionally, but not all the time. I tend not to think about lawn mowing and the tedium of my paper routes and having to come inside and watch my baby brother or help shell butter beans – leaving just the fun times on the highlight reel of the “Summer of My Youth.” Notice I mentioned no memories of Disney Land/World or the beach or trips out West. Naw, Daddy’s idea of a vacation was to pack us all up and take us to Grandma’s for the weekend. And by weekend I mean we spent either Friday OR Saturday night, not both. But when you work for a living like Daddy did, you had to be expedient with your time off – turning a family reunion into a holiday. But like someone who has always lived in a cave and never seen the sunlight of a cross-country trek or an adventure in a National Park, I never missed it. Besides, we had a lot of fun wherever we went because

Here was our first invitation to see the rest of the world, starting with Rock City on Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. I saw a bunch of these barns in north Mississippi on our way to Grandma's house for vacation-weekends before I ever saw Rock City.

when we got there, there were usually about a gazillion cousins to play with and you don’t get that in Yellowstone. Or even if you did, you can’t get off the well-marked walkway, so there goes a good game of tag out the window.

“Daddy’s idea of a vacation was to pack us all up and take us to Grandma’s for the weekend.” Traveling became a part of my job when I started in television. I have to admit my role model is Charles Kuralt and his “On The Road” series every Friday on the CBS evening news. And when travel is a part of your job, you don’t have to wait until summer to do it. We have discovered lots of places we enjoy here in Mississippi. Miz Jo and I took a road trip to the northeast part of the state (for a whole week!) with our friends Merrie and Rick Anderson from Clinton. We explored J.P. Coleman Park and Tishomingo Park and the adjoining towns and countryside. Rick is an artist and constantly snapped photographs out the window collecting elements that eventually worked their way into his paintings. I took the picture that accompanies this article because it reminded me of those trips we made to Grandma’s when I was a kid. Back then there must

have been a hundred barns in north Mississippi whose roofs beckoned us to expand our horizons, wooing us to see the rest of the world – (seven states at one time!) from Rock City. Most of those barns and roofs are gone, now. By the way, we have visited Rock City. Took the two youngest grandkids when they were little. After going there and back home with Mississippi them fighting in the back seat Seen the whole way, I wouldn’t by Walt Grayson even take them to church in the same car after that. Tourism in Mississippi has become a billion dollar industry. We who live here may ask, “What are people coming here to see?” Well, buy a tank of gas, put the grandkids in the back seat and go find out. After all it is Summer Vacation time!

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

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Today in Mississippi June 2019 Pearl River Valley  

Today in Mississippi June 2019 Pearl River Valley

Today in Mississippi June 2019 Pearl River Valley  

Today in Mississippi June 2019 Pearl River Valley