Today in Mississippi July 2021 North East

Page 1

on the menu

outdoo scene around the ‘sip


co-op involvement


southern gardening

Now Rechargeable!



Reg: $599.98

Only $299 99

Each When You Buy a Pair – LIMITED TIME ONLY!

How can a rechargeable hearing aid that costs only $29999

be every bit as good as one that sells for $2,400 or more? The answer: Although tremendous strides

“This is truly a miracle… I don’t even know how to begin thanking you for giving me my life back!” – Sherri H., Granville, NY


have been made in Advanced Digital Hearing Aid Technology, those cost reductions have not been passed on to you. Until now...


The MDHearingAid® VOLT+ uses the same kind of Advanced Digital RECHARGEABLE Hearing Aid Technology incorporated into hearing aids that cost thousands more at Charging Case a small fraction of the price. 30-Hour Battery Life Water Resistant to 3 Feet Over 600,000 satisfied MDHearingAid customers agree: High-quality, digital, 45-DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL! FDA-registered rechargeable hearing If you are not completely satisfied with aids don’t have to cost a fortune. The fact your MDHearingAids, return them is, you don’t need to spend thousands for within 45 days for a FULL REFUND! a hearing aid. MDHearingAid is a medical- For the Lowest Price Call grade, digital, rechargeable hearing aid offering sophistication and high Nearly Invisible performance, and works right out of the box with no time-consuming “adjustment” appointments. You can contact a licensed hearing specialist conveniently online or by Use Code phone — even after your purchase at no cost. No other company provides such extensive support. Now that you know...why pay more?



and get FREE Shipping SHOP AT HOME! Skip the Clinic with Remote Care


Proudly assembled in America!


outdoors today picture this my opinion grin ‘n’ bare it

Memories of a sweet summertime For many of us, summertime can stir up memories and scenes from our childhoods. Before cellular phones and video games, summertime in Mississippi meant spending hours outside, free of classes and homework, and running around under the sun like the days would go on forever. We wouldn’t even go back home unless the sun went down or our mommas called us in for dinner. Summer, as well as the month of July specifically, is also a time when watermelons play a prominent role in our family menus. Is it a summertime cookout without a sweet slice of watermelon? For those of us who have grown up or spent most of our lives in Mississippi, watermelon in July means melons from a specific place — Smith County. “Everyone says they have to have a Smith County watermelon,” Taylorsville farmer Kevin Ford told us in this month’s cover story. Why does it have to be a Smith County watermelon? Many in the Magnolia state testify that the taste of the super sweet, dark green melons from Smith County are the best they’ve ever had. We’re not sure if there’s something

magical in the soil or in the hands of Smith County watermelon growers. Whatever it is, the taste is something Mississippians swear by. If there’s something Mississippians would say they know a little bit about, it’s food. So go and find a Smith County watermelon — or any locally grown watermelon — soon to make your summer special and to support local farmers. According to the Mississippi State University Extension Service, there are about 38 watermelon farmers in the state. The economic impact of Mississippi watermelons is about $4.3 million. I want to wish all our co-op members, employees and their families a Happy Independence Day. And who knows — maybe, if we try hard enough, we can encourage our children to put down their phones, get them to spend a day outdoors and reward them when the sun goes down with a sweet slice of Mississippi watermelon.

by Michael Callahan Executive Vice President/CEO Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi

Photo by Lyle Hennen of Olive Branch. Northcentral Electric member

Mississippi is... I was born in Mississippi, and was Mississippi bred. I was schooled in Mississippi, and in Mississippi, I was wed. I was saved in Mississippi, by God’s amazing grace, and I’ve never thought of living, in any other place. By my Mississippi family, I have always been so blessed. Friends and neighbors too, are kind and helpful, they’re what’s called, THE VERY BEST! Storms do sometimes come this way, knocking all our power out. Central Electric is soon here restoring, that they’ll come is never any doubt. Many times we’ve left here, to take vacations or a trip, but the best part of our going, was getting back to good ole Missi-‘Sip. By now, you must know how I feel, about Mississippi, which to me has been loyal. And when I move from Mississippi to heaven, I’ll be buried in rich Mississippi soil.

by Doris Evans, a resident of Lena and a member of Central Electric

What’s Mississippi to you? What do you treasure most about life in our state? Send your brief thoughts to Today in Mississippi, or mail to P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158

JULY 2021 | TODAY 3

in this issue

5 southern gardening Geraniums — a flower of many colors

8 scene around the ‘sip A look at special people and places in Mississippi


Outside pests to avoid

14 local news


Acceptance of advertising by Today in Mississippi does not imply endorsement of the advertised product or services by the publisher or Mississippi’s electric power associations. Product satisfaction and delivery responsibility lie solely with the advertiser. • National advertising representative: American MainStreet Publications, 800-626-1181

20 feature

Summertime in Mississippi means sweet Smith County watermelons


Vol. 74 No. 7

OFFICERS Kevin Bonds - President Eddie Howard - First Vice President Randy Carroll - Second Vice President Ron Barnes - Secretary/Treasurer Michael Callahan - Executive Vice President/CEO EDITORIAL STAFF Ron Stewart - Senior VP, Communications Steven Ward - Editor Chad Calcote - Creative Director/ Manager Elissa Fulton - Communications Specialist Rickey McMillan - Graphic Designer Kevin Wood - Graphic Designer Chris Alexander - Administrative Assistant

11 outdoors today


The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi

Circulation of this issue: 489,200

Non-member subscription price: $9.50 per year. Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published 12 times a year by Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Inc., P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300, or 665 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157. Phone 601-605-8600. Periodical postage paid at Ridgeland, MS, and additional office. The publisher (and/or its agent) reserves the right to refuse or edit all advertising.

on the menu Bright and cool deviled tomatoes

POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 507.1.5.2) NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to: Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300

31 mississippi seen

Visit B.B. King’s Museum for a true destination


On the cover A Smith County watermelon growing in Kevin Ford’s Taylorsville farm. Photo by Chad Calcote.


Mouthwatering Mississippi meals Send us photos of your favorite foods. Show us entrees, sides or desserts from your favorite home-cooked meals or grill outs. Or send us something from a visit to a restaurant. Photos must be high-resolution JPG files of at least 1 MB in size. Please attach the photo to your email and send it to Each entry must be accompanied by photographer’s name, address and co-op. Submission deadline: Sept. 3. Select photos will appear in the October 2021 issue.

4 TODAY | JULY 2021

open first, showing a bit of color, followed by the lower buds. Flower colors include red, coral, lavender, salmon and bicolor White Splash. They can be up to 4 ½ inches across, and if you keep the plant deadheaded, it will bloom continuously all summer. Trial results show that the flower heads hold up to our Mississippi summer weather. The scalloped foliage has a dark bronze band and develops into a mounded habit. Geraniums are pretty easy plants to grow, especially in containers with a well-drained potting mix. Be sure to plant in areas that get at Geraniums are easy to grow in containers with a well-drained least six hours of potting mix, at least six hours of sun a day and consistent fertilization. Pictured are Americana White Splash zonal geraniums. full morning sun every day. Be careful not to overwater because geraniums don’t like wet feet. Only water when the soil is dry to the touch. Geraniums are heavy feeders and need consistent fertilization to keep flowering. Feed with a controlled-release fertilizer at planting and then twice a month afterwards with a water-soluble fertilizer. Don’t forget to deadhead when the flowers are fading. Don’t just clip the flower head. Go ahead and pinch or prune the flower stalk at the base. I know everyone’s porch and patio would look great with a couple of big containers of pretty geraniums. Be sure to visit your favorite local independent garden center and pick up one or two or a dozen to enjoy this summer.

by Dr. Gary Bachman Gary Bachman, Ph.D., Extension/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. He lives in Ocean Springs and is a Singing River Electric member.

JULY 2021 | TODAY 5

VERSION #______________ RON Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested STEVEN Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHAD Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ELISSA Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHRIS Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ARTIST __________ Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested

One of my favorite summer color annuals is the old-fashioned red geranium. This is one of the plants that could be considered an old timey flower whose time has passed, but I don’t think so. They are just as useful and beautiful in our modern gardens and landscapes as they were once upon a time. As I write this, I find it ironic that I’m I know everyone’s porch and calling the geranium patio would look great with one of my favorites. a couple of big containers You see, when I of pretty geraniums. was working on my master’s degree, my thesis project revolved around growing and harvesting geraniums. I mean thousands and thousands of geraniums. I’m sure there came a time when I swore — both literally and figuratively — that I would never, EVER grow another geranium. But enough time has passed for garden sanity to return, and thank goodness for that, because I really do like geraniums. The geraniums gardeners love in the landscape have taken a very long trip to get to our gardens. Pelargonium x hortorum, the botanical name of our common garden geranium, is native to southern Africa. From there, most of the major breeding and development that resulted in our great garden plants were accomplished in Europe. I’ve discovered that the Americana geranium flower heads can be larger than 4 inches across and develop on upright stems. Pictured are Americana Americana salmon zonal geraniums. geranium series really performs well in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes. This group was bred and developed to thrive in our North American environment. I love the size of the Americana geranium flower heads that develop on upright stems. The flowers are actually clusters of tightly grouped buds, and the buds don’t open all at once. The top buds



mississipp on the menu outdo Publishers Clearing House scene around the ‘sip

You Gotta Be In It To Win It! co-op involvement

Country Music Superstar Brad Paisley & the Prize Patrol are looking for the next BIG WINNER!

southern gardening


Hurry! he t Clip outbelow n o coup nter to e ! today

$5,000.00 A W







nd By





MAIL TO: Publishers Clearing House • 22 Contest Processing Center • St. Cloud, MN 56388-0022


OFFICIAL RULES: ALL PRIZES GUARANTEED TO BE AWARDED AS OFFERED. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY TO WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Contest Officials will take a special early look for a matching winning number in just a few weeks. A prize of $5,000.00 A-Week-For-Life will be paid to the winner of Giveaway No. 19000 if the timely returned winning entry for our August 31st Special Early Look SuperPrize Event comes from this promotion. If an eligible matching winning number is not returned, an alternate winner will receive a $1,000,000.00 prize. Award subject to verification of identity and eligibility. Winner must sign an Affidavit of Eligibility within 30 days or alternate winner will be selected. Principals and employees of PCH and their immediate families are not eligible. Board of Judges’ decisions are final. Bulk entries will not be accepted. Not responsible for lost or mutilated mail. Entry constitutes permission to use winner’s name and photograph in television commercials, in website promotions, and for other promotional purposes, unless prohibited by law. Subject to complete Official Rules available at website or mail address provided. Entry must be received by 8/6/21. Please visit to view our Privacy Policy and California Consumer Privacy Act Disclosures or to exercise your rights under that Act. You can also exercise your rights by calling 1-844-557-8505. SWEEPS FACTS: Giveaway No. 19000; End Date: 2/28/22; Est. Odds of Winning: 1 in 6,200,000,000. You Have Not Yet Won. All Entries Have the Same Chance of Winning. We don’t know who the winner is. Enter For Free. You don’t have to buy anything to enter. Enter As Often As You Like. You may submit additional entries by writing to the address provided. Each entry request must be mailed separately. Buying Won’t Help You Win. Your chances of winning are the same as someone who buys something.

6 TODAY | JULY 2021





utdoors today picture this my opinion grin ‘n’ bare it


3 4











1. Jessie Saul of Carriere; Coast Electric member.

8. Cherie Foster of Hamilton; Monroe County Electric member.

2. Robbie Fisher of Glen Allan holding her dog Jasper in her garden; Twin County Electric member.

9. Janice Wallace of Mize; Southern Pine Electric member.

3. Karen Sandifer of Moss Point; Singing River Electric member. 4. Celia Cerda of Yazoo City; Yazoo Valley Electric member. 5. Sarah Dalton of Carthage; Central Electric member.

10. Amanda Moore of Carthage; Central Electric member. 11. Nancy Chain of Sumrall; Pearl River Valley Electric member. 12. Keith Ball of Petal; Dixie Electric member. 13. Paula Lewis of Gulfport; Coast Electric member.

6. Paula Lyle of Gautier; Singing River Electric member. 7. Sherry Sledge of Pontotoc; Pontotoc Electric member.

JULY 2021 | TODAY 7


$ g in



p ip sh us pl

Historic 1920-1938 “Buffalos” by the Pound


g lin nd ha


Stone Arrowhead with every bag

Released to the Public: Bags of Vintage Buffalo Nickels


ne of the most beloved coins in history is a true American Classic: The Buffalo Nickel. Although they have not been issued for over 75 years, is releasing to the public bags of original U.S. government Buffalo Nickels. Now they can be acquired for a limited time only—not as individual collector coins, but by weight—just $49 for a full QuarterPound Bag.

100% Valuable Collector Coins—GUARANTEED!

Every bag will be filled with collectible vintage Buffalos from over 75 years ago, GUARANTEED ONE COIN FROM EACH OF THE FOLLOWING SERIES (dates our choice): • 1920-1929—“Roaring ’20s” Buffalo • 1930-1938—The Buffalo’s Last Decade • Mint Marks (P,D, and S) • ALL Collector Grade Very Good Condition • FREE Stone Arrowhead with each bag Every vintage Buffalo Nickel you receive will be a coveted collector coin—GUARANTEED! Plus, order a gigantic full Pound bag and you’ll also receive a vintage Liberty Head Nickel (1883-1912), a valuable collector classic!

Long-Vanished Buffalos Highly Coveted by Collectors

Millions of these vintage Buffalo Nickels have worn out in circulation or been recalled and destroyed by the government. Today, significant quantities can often only be found in private hoards and estate collections. As a result, these coins are becoming more sought-after each day.

Supplies Limited— Order Now!

Supplies of vintage Buffalo Nickels are limited as the availability of these classic American coins continues to shrink each and every year. They make a precious gift for your children, family and friends—a gift that will be appreciated for a lifetime. NOTICE: Due to recent changes in the demand for vintage U.S. coins, this advertised price may change without notice. Call today to avoid disappointment.

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee

You must be 100% satisfied with your bag of Buffalo Nickels or return it within 30 days of receipt for a prompt refund (less s/h).

Order More and SAVE

QUARTER POUND Buffalo Nickels (23 coins) Plus FREE Stone Arrowhead $49 + s/h HALF POUND Bag (46 coins) Plus FREE Stone Arrowhead $79 + s/h SAVE $19 ONE FULL POUND Bag (91 coins)Plus FREE Stone Arrowhead and Liberty Head Nickel $149 + FREE SHIPPING SAVE $47

FREE Liberty Head Nickel with One Full Pound

FREE SHIPPING over $149!

Limited time only. Product total over $149 before taxes (if any). Standard domestic shipping only. Not valid on previous purchases. For fastest service call today toll-free

1-877-566-6468 Offer Code VBB575-07 Please mention this code when you call. • 14101 Southcross Dr. W., Suite 175, Dept. VBB575-07, Burnsville, Minnesota 55337® is a retail distributor of coin and currency issues and is not affiliated with the U.S. government. The collectible coin market is unregulated, highly speculative and involves risk. reserves the right to decline to consummate any sale, within its discretion, including due to pricing errors. Prices, facts, figures and populations deemed accurate as of the date of publication but may change significantly over time. All purchases are expressly conditioned upon your acceptance of’s Terms and Conditions ( or call 1-800-721-0320); to decline, return your purchase pursuant to’s Return Policy. © 2021 All rights reserved.

8 TODAY | JULY 2021


JULY 2021 | TODAY 9

Revisions Requested Approved

STEVEN Date_____ Revisions Requested Approved

RON Date_____

buys the materials needed. Different church and volunteer groups erect the crosses. The crosses must be erected on private land, she said. Abraham said the ministry has changed her life. “I love what I do. The people I’ve met doing this…we have been blessed by God,” Abraham said. The point of the crosses? Abraham wants motorists to look at them. “When people look at those three crosses, they have a decision to make. Will they accept Christ in their life? Some people will drive past the crosses and it won’t change anything, but for others, it may change everything,” she said. How well known is the ministry? Country singer Randy Travis recorded a song, “Three Wooden Crosses,” about Abraham’s mission in 2002. The song, written by Kim Williams and Doug Johnson, became Travis’ final No. 1 single when it was released and was named Song of the Year in 2003 by the Country Music Association. “He (Travis) played it for me and asked what I thought of the song. I told him I didn’t like it but that I didn’t listen to country music or know anything about it. Me not liking it was probably a good thing,” she said laughing. Abraham’s ministry has also started to build giant, 110-foot steel crosses as well. Three of the towering crosses have been erected in Mississippi — Batesville, Winona and one right next to Berry’s Seafood and Catfish House in Florence. The crosses cost about $200,000 a piece to construct. The next giant cross will be built in Ripley. “I do this because the Lord wants me to do it,” Abraham said. To donate to Crosses Across America or find out more information, visit or call 601-630-5562 or 601-619-0169.

VERSION #______________

by Steven Ward Everything started with a photo in a newspaper. Vicksburg resident Sara S. Abraham was reading a story in The Vicksburg Post in 1993 about the death of West Virginia lay Methodist minister Bernard Coffindaffer. Coffindaffer, a former coal industry businessman who became a Christian later in life, began a roadside cross ministry in 1984 building trios of gold and royal blue crosses all over the country. The newspaper story said Coffindaffer’s ministry — Crosses of Mercy — would halt due to his death. Coffindaffer’s story interested Abraham, but it was his photo that accompanied the story that grabbed her attention. “He looked just like my father. My father was a judge. He (Coffindaffer) was in a robe in the paper’s photo and my father wore a robe as a judge. He really looked like him,” Abraham said. Abraham cut the story out of the paper, folded it up and placed it inside her Bible. She didn’t give it much thought after that. Sometime later, while in her study, Abraham picked up the Bible for an unrelated reason and the article fell out onto the floor. “At that moment, that’s when the Lord spoke to me and impressed upon me that I should continue that cross ministry,” Abraham said. Today, Abraham runs Crosses Across America, Inc. The nonprofit organization’s mission is to preserve, maintain, and construct wooden crosses across the country and further abroad. Abraham took over and restarted the ministry in 1999 making Vicksburg the international headquarters for Crosses Across America. Over 2,100 clusters of crosses exist to symbolize the crucifixion of Christ and the two thieves. The ministry refurbishes the standing crosses and erects new clusters of crosses along America’s interstates and other major thoroughfares. Abraham’s ministry raises the money for the crosses and

CHAD Date_____


Revisions Requested

scene around the ‘sip

mississippi seen

Bad to the Bone Full tang stainless steel blade with natural bone handle —now ONLY $79!

Huntsman Blade $249*

genuine leather sheath!



Stauer® 8x21 Compact Binoculars -a $99 valuewith purchase of Huntsman Blade

What Stauer Clients Are Saying About Our Knives


“This knife is beautiful!” — J., La Crescent, MN


“The feel of this knife is unbelievable...this is an incredibly fine instrument.” — H., Arvada, CO


Your Insider Offer Code: HUK554-01



Rating of A+

14101 Southcross Drive W., Ste 155, Dept. HUK554-01 Burnsville, Minnesota 55337

shown *Discount is only for customers who useNot the offer code versus the actual size. listed original price.

California residents please call 1-800-333-2045 regarding Proposition 65 regulations before purchasing this product. • 12" overall length; 6 ¹⁄2" stainless steel full tang blade • Genuine bone handle with brass hand guard & bolsters • Includes genuine leather sheath

10 TODAY | JULY 2021 Stauer… Afford the Extraordinary.®

on the menu

scene around the ‘s

southern gardening

Offer Code Price Only $79 + S&P Save $170

You must use the insider offer code to get our special price.


co-op involvement


he very best hunting knives possess a perfect balance of form and function. They’re carefully constructed from fine materials, but also have that little something extra to connect the owner with nature. If you’re on the hunt for a knife that combines impeccable craftsmanship with a sense of wonder, the $79 Huntsman Blade is the trophy you’re looking for. The blade is full tang, meaning it doesn’t stop at the handle but extends to the length of the grip for the ultimate in strength. The blade is made from 420 surgical steel, famed for its sharpness and its resistance to corrosion. The handle is made from genuine natural bone, and features decorative wood spacers and a hand-carved motif of two overlapping feathers— a reminder for you to respect and connect with the natural world. This fusion of substance and style can garner a high price tag out in the marketplace. In fact, we found full tang, stainless steel blades with bone handles in excess of $2,000. Well, that won’t cut it around here. We have mastered the hunt for the best deal, and in turn pass the spoils on to our customers. But we don’t stop there. While supplies last, we’ll include a pair of $99 8x21 power compact binoculars and a genuine leather sheath FREE when you purchase the Huntsman Blade. Your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. Feel the knife in your hands, wear it on your hip, inspect the impeccable craftsmanship. If you don’t feel like we cut you a fair deal, send it back within 30 days for a complete refund of the item price. Limited Reserves. A deal like this won’t last long. We have only 1120 Huntsman Blades for this ad only. Don’t let this BONUS! Call today and beauty slip through your fingers. Call today! you’ll also receive this



mississippi is...

mississippi marketplace u outdoors today out d the ‘sip picture this my opinion ement


grin ‘n’ bare it Whompas Cats were an ever-present danger while growing up country. “Down by the creek. Y’all stay out of there.” The admonition was powerful and initially productive, but its impact waned. No one had ever encountered a Whompas Cat. Juvenile reasoning eventually concluded that this was a scheme hatched to keep wandering young’uns in check. We gradually drifted closer and closer to the creek, fishing and squirrel hunting and distinguishing the squeal of wood ducks from that of the prophesied feline. Odds are high that no wanderer across the Magnolia State will ever encounter the dastardly Whompas Cat. However, there are a host of other evil doers that are best avoided. And they are in abundance. Snakes get the nod as particularly threatening, and there is a modicum of validity in that. Rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouths are about, and they can be not only frightening but a solid cause for caution. But those three aside, there is little to fear. Most others are harmless — apart from generating cardiac arrest. Properly identified, they deserve a “Howdy” and “Thank you” for their role in consuming mice and rats and other such pestilences. But before you rest comfortably in the knowledge that very few things are out to get you and that you are not required to avoid all outdoor exploration, be aware that there are two verifiable nasties that can easily deal grief. These are none other than mosquitoes and ticks. The former seek you out, their proboscis jabbing a tiny hole in skin that instigates an almost immediate itch. That’s unpleasant, but the residual can be a major problem. While enjoying your blood, mosquitoes can inject all sorts of

squirmy beings into your body. These can be truly harmful. What to do? There are methods to help mitigate their bites. Long sleeves, full-length pants, high-top socks, sturdy shoes or boots. Repellents also help, though some users experience skin irritation. And some repellents can rumple the finish of sporting gear. Those little repellent units that employ a scent wafer and small butane cartridge work wonderfully well and are worth the price of admission. Ticks? Oh my. Diseases they carry are many. Avoid knee-high grass and brushy areas. Pine straw and leaves, too. The same regimen regarding mosquitoes applies, but tuck pants cuffs into long socks. And wear light-colored clothes for the simple reason they make a crawling tick easier to see. There are products that work well for treating clothing — never on the skin — available from various stores, but read carefully the instructions and follow them thoroughly. One last bit of advice. Research and learn tick removal. Check your entire body after being outside. And inspect children closely, particularly their heads where ticks can be difficult to locate in hair. And by all means, watch out for Whompas Cats!

by Tony Kinton Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. He lives in Carthage and is a Central Electric member. Visit for more information.

JULY 2021 | TODAY 11

13 10 ⁄8 103⁄4 10 ⁄16 7


43rd Annual

July 16-17 Sullivan’s Hollow, Mize, MS

Gates open to the public on:

Practice SAFETY at all times! ■ Use your generator only outdoors, away from open windows, vents and doors. Do not use it in an attached garage. ■ Never plug your generator directly into your home outlet. Connecting a generator to your home’s wiring requires the professional installation of a power transfer switch.

A safety message from your local electric cooperative.

FRIDAY JULY 16, at 3:30 pm

SATURDAY JULY 17, at 8:30 am

Adult: $5.00 • Child under 10: $3.00

Adult: $10.00 • Child under 10: $5.00

In Concert: Saturday night at 8 p.m.

William Michael Morgan

(601) 517-3510 • Arts, Crafts, & Food Vendors • The Mississippi Watermelon Festival 5K Run • The Mississippi Watermelon Festival Car Show • Live Music • Watermelon Eating, Seed Spitting, & Biggest Watermelon Contest

ALL the FREE watermelon you can eat! All Proceeds go to the Mize Volunteer Fire Department

Luter’s Supply

Buy & Take Home Same Day

- Tubs, Showers, Faucets, Sinks & More - 14 Walk-in Bathtubs On Display - World’s Largest Walk-in Bathtub Store

(single location)


Tylertown, MS

12 TODAY | JULY 2021 101⁄2 103⁄4 1013⁄16 107⁄8


Remember friends and family Of which you are a precious part Love deeply and love truly Give freely from your heart The world is far from perfect There’s conflict and there’s strife But you still can make a difference By how you live your life And so I’m very blessed to know The wonders you will do Because you are my granddaughter And I believe in you



Sterling silver heart charm is elegantly engraved with your granddaughter’s name



completes the beautiful look, The exquisite pendant arrives in a velvet jewelry pouch and gift box that includes the touching “Grandma’s Pearls of Wisdom” poem seen above.

Exclusive Design ... Exquisite Craftsmanship

A remarkable value at $99.99*, this is a beautiful expression of a grandmother’s love, payable in 3 installments of just $33.33 and is backed by our unconditional 120-day guarantee. It comes complete with a Certificate of Authenticity in a velvet jewelry pouch and gift box that includes the meaningful poem. This design is exclusive to The Bradford Exchange, so you won’t find it in stores. Order today! ©2019 The Bradford Exchange 01-26030-001-BIPR

©Grandma’s Pearls of Wisdom by Becky Netherland for The Bradford Exchange


BRADFORD E XC HANGE j e w e l ry

9345 Milwaukee Avenue · Niles, IL 60714-1393

YES. Please reserve the “Precious Granddaughter” Pearl Pendant for me as described in this announcement in the quantity checked below.

❑ 1st Pendant

❑ 2nd Pendant ❑ 3rd Pendant ❑ 4th Pendant


CHAD Date_____

Logo & Addres

Job Code

Signature Mrs. Mr. Ms.


Trackin Code

Name (Please Print Clearly)

Address City Email (optional)




*Plus a total of $9.98 for shipping and service. Allow 4-6 weeks for delivery of your jewelry after we receive your initial deposit. All sales subject to product availability and order acceptance.

JULY 2021 | TODAY 13


VERSION #______________

You experience her joys ... encourage her dreams ... and wish for her the best in life. Now you can give your blessed granddaughter a very special gift of love: a beautiful personalized pendant along with some wise and loving words to treasure forever. The “Precious Granddaughter” Pearl Pendant is finely hand-crafted of solid sterling silver and features a genuine cultured freshwater pearl with a genuine diamond at the top. Suspended from the heart-shaped clasp is a sterling silver heart charm engraved with your granddaughter’s name. Our solid sterling silver is enhanced with a fine layer of rhodium plating for maximum beauty and shine. An 18" solid sterling silver chain

Revisions Requested

Keep hope right in your pocket It will guide you day by day Take it out when it is needed When it’s near, you’ll find a way


Express what you are feeling Your beliefs you should uphold Don’t shy away from what is right Be courageous and be bold

STEVEN Date_____

Walk softly when you’re angry Try not to take offense Invoke your sense of humor Laughter’s power is immense!

Revisions Requested

Forgive those who might hurt you And though you have your pride Listen closely to their viewpoint Try to see the other side


Let kindness spread like sunshine Embrace those who are sad Respect their dignity, give them joy And leave them feeling glad

RON Date_____

I’ve traveled paths you’ve yet to walk Learned lessons old and new And now this wisdom of my life I’m blessed to share with you

Revisions Requested


Yellow Snipe

Shippin Servic


B_I_V = Live Area: 7 x 10, 7x10 Magazine Master, 1 Page, Installment, Vertical updated 11/2013

North East Mississippi ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION For more information about Today in Mississippi, contact Marlin Williams or Tracie Russell at 662-234-6331




A MESSAGE FROM YOUR GENERAL MANAGER/CEO in attendance, and we were able to hear from former Vice Over the last few months, we’ve seen our world gradually President Mike Pence, David Robinson, a former player for slip back into a semblance of normalcy. With Americans the San Antonio Spurs and business entrepreneur, along with receiving vaccine doses on the rise, along with rapidly other industry expert speakers declining COVID-19 cases, it about important issues facing the has brought a long-awaited energy sector. We also hope to sign of activity returning to hold our annual meeting in-perour towns and cities. Ole Miss son here at our new auditorium recently announced plans in the fall and we encourage our to return to 100% in-person members to attend. We will share learning for the 2021-22 more about the annual meeting school year. This welcome in the coming months. news means that our co-op We certainly would not be membership will rise to our talking about brighter days pre-pandemic levels. As ahead if it weren’t for the dilithe schools reopen at full gence of our community to capacity and the occupankeep each other safe. For that, cy of local apartments and we thank our cooperative memstudent housing return, so bers and community members will our normal business here for your efforts and patience at North East Power. We love during the pandemic and all the to see our students arrive at weather events that the last year school in August and after the has brought us. I would also like year we’ve all had, we can’t to thank our employees for their wait to welcome them back Keith Hayward, NEMEPA CEO, is pictured with David “Admiral” Robinson, hard work and dedication. to Oxford. We are all looking a former professional basketball player with the San Antonio Spurs. Robinson, a well-known philanthropist and businessman, was a speaker We are invested in this commuforward to Grove days and at the recent CFC Summer Summit in San Antonio, Texas. nity and the people we serve. cheering on our team. We look forward to seeing you in our office and out in our I am also looking forward to the return of in-person communities. meetings and professional development. Though we have all learned that working from home is possible, the networking opportunities and comradery of sharing ideas in a professional environment is equally as important. As a board member, I was able to attend the Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) Summer Summit in San Antonio, Texas, in June. It by Keith Hayward was great to network with my professional peers in a largely General Manager/CEO attended, in-person meeting. There were approximately 800

14 TODAY | JULY 2021

NOTICE TO ELECTRIC SYSTEM CONSUMERS OF INVESTMENT IN COMMERCIAL BROADBAND North East Mississippi Electric Power Association (NEMEPA) requested authorization from its regulator, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), to invest electric system revenues in its wholly owned subsidiary, North East Fiber, LLC, DBA NE SPARC (SPARC). This notice is being provided to NEMEPA’s members pursuant to TVA’s regulatory transparency requirements. Previously, NEMEPA filed an application with TVA requesting authorization to invest electric system revenues in SPARC. Specifically, SPARC will use electric system revenues to finance the deployment of broadband equipment and startup its commercial broadband business in its service territory over multiple years. The total combined fiber investment for electric and commercial broadband purposes is projected to be

$42.7 million. Of this amount, NEMEPA plans to loan $6 million to SPARC, for commercial broadband purposes. Per TVA requirements and conditions of TVA’s authorization, SPARC is required to repay NEMEPA for the electric funds being loaned to it for commercial broadband purposes. It is estimated that the total investment for both electric and commercial broadband will not have rate impacts associated with the investment. Any questions regarding this broadband investment should be directed to Brittany Hill, NEMEPA’s human resource and personnel specialist: Mail: 10 PR 2050, Oxford, Mississippi 38655 Email: Phone: 662-238-3229

Regular board election process To be nominated as director, you must:


• Obtain a petition with not less than 35 active, non-delinquent members that live in the district from which he/she is to be a candidate for director.

A duly completed ballot shall constitute the sole and exclusive means of voting for candidates for director.

• Nominations must be received at least 45 days before annual meeting in order to be included on the ballot. • Click on ABOUT at the top of the home page and then select Bylaws. Then click on NEMEPA Bylaws. Go to Article IV, Section 4.

Members wishing to run for the board of directors should come by the office to pick up a packet which includes the Board of Director Qualifications and Eligibility and official nomination form. Guidelines taken from bylaws. To view the bylaws visit

Special board election In addition to our regular December election, NEMEPA will hold a special election during the same period to fill the board seat for District 8, after the passing of Mr. Jim Tatum in 2020. The person elected would fill District 8’s remaining two-year term. Qualifications and how to be placed on the ballot mirror our usual election process. Any candidate interested in our regular or special election can pick up an information packet at the North East Power office. The dates for our regular board election process are: Petitions due on Wednesday Oct 27, 2021, and the Annual Meeting will be December 11, 2021.

North East Mississippi Electric Power Association Annual Meeting

Important dates to remember PETITIONS DUE Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021

ANNUAL MEETING Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021 JULY 2021 | TODAY 15

Membership and small businesses are important to cooperatives. It’s the focus of our organization. In the next few issues of Today in Mississippi magazine, North East Power will highlight small businesses that contribute to our communities. We hope that you enjoy reading about these business and their owners.

Operations improve with high-speed internet in Pontotoc by Elissa Fulton In the small community of Hurricane, receiving rural highspeed internet to the area was a huge gamechanger for J&W Furniture Frames. The business that has operated in the area since 1983, provides the framing pieces needed to build furniture. The furniture manufacturers in Pontotoc produce much of the nation’s furniture and a small business such as J&W is important for business operations in this area. Jeff Warren, owner of J&W Furniture Frames, and his nephew Benjamin Hill, who onboarded in 2017 and will be taking over the business in the near future, were ecstatic when NE SPARC was made available for their business. Technological changes have made the way they do operations reliant on reliable internet service. After his father started the business in 1983, Warren took over in 1992. With an automotive engineering background, he was familiar with the manufacturing side of the operations. However, as email became the preferred way to communicate, the days of faxing in orders, which he was accustomed to, has become obsolete. “We used to receive all of our orders by fax, but everything is electronic now,” said Warren. “We use an AutoCAD program and many of our customers will email orders and the drawings for us to download to use in our machines. Before NE SPARC came to this area, we had a tablet with a hot spot that we could sometimes put in the window and get service, but we couldn’t get any of the downloads of those drawings because of the size of those files. Once we got high-speed internet, it was BIG shift in the way we do business.”

16 TODAY | JULY 2021

Hill added, “We are also trying to transition to the phone system as well. The customer service that we are receiving far exceeds what we have been getting with our current provider. We also get a much less expensive product from our cooperative. Many companies are charging twice as much for less service.” Both men agreed that having local North East Power and NE SPARC employees who live in the area make a huge difference in the level of service that they are receiving. As the time nears for Warren to retire, his nephew Hill is up for the challenge of running the business. “I like to build things and before I was a banker. Sitting at a desk everyday was beginning to wear on me, so now I get to do something where I am able to see a finished product, so I’m really enjoying it,” said Hill. The company employs about 10 people. Though the company is small, they prefer it that way so they can continue to provide exceptional customer service over anything else. This is the same spirit that drives NE SPARC to continue working hard to provide quality internet service to its members. As technology continues to advance and changes the way many companies do business, we are excited to be a trusted partner to many small businesses in our area.

Benjamin Hill (left) and Jeff Warren (right) are co-owners of J&W Furniture Frames.

by Elissa Fulton to play with his food. Now he can play with everyone’s About one mile outside of the city limits of Oxford sits an food.” Emma Grace is the kitchen manager for Fergndan’s old house that houses Fergndan’s Wood Fired Pizza, owned and runs Bremma’s Sweet Treats, a bakery inside the pizzeria, and operated by the Ferguson Family. John and Laurabeth Ferguson always dreamed of a family business that they could with her friend and Fergndan’s first intern and full time employee, Brooke Mardis. do with their children, William “FergE”, Emma Grace and For John and Laurabeth, the experience of running a busiDan. John previously had restaurant experience and through ness is invaluable for their children. Teaching them the value the years he would jot down ideas about different ideas and of work, the value of the dollar and what it takes to earn a concepts for a family business. Through research he discovwage is an important aspect ered that Americans of the business and what consume more than drives them to success. 100 acres of pizza Just as a quality product, per month. such as their unique wood“That’s a lot of pizza! fired pizzas is important to And everyone loves the Ferguson’s, providing pizza,” said John. quality internet so that “It was a visual image they can run their family that made me think we business efficiently is could carve out some likewise important to sort of niche with that.” North East Power. “The In 2016, the family Fergndan’s Wood Fired Pizza is owned and run by the Ferguson family. Left to right: William a.k.a FergE, Laurabeth, John, Emma Grace and Daniel a.k.a Dan. internet service has been made the leap. Without an excess of startup capital, the family began their wood-fired great, but the quality of service and the interaction with the employees has been exceptional. The smartest decision I pizzeria with a food truck concept. It wasn’t long after the have ever made was making the transition to NE SPARC.” initial startup that they added a second truck to their operaTo learn more about Fergndan’s Wood-Fired Pizza or to tions. In the fall of 2017, the family acquired the old house that view a menu and order, visit houses their current family restaurant and things really began to take off. A unique aspect of their family style restaurant is the atmosphere. When developing the property, it was very important to the family to keep the home intact to create a “homey” ambiance and so that the old house could continue to tell its story. “We added a front porch because every good southern home has a front porch,” said John. “It was the vision.” The walls were recycled into aspects of the structure and the dining furniture. The Ferguson’s repurposed everything to achieve their idea. “We want people to walk in and feel like they are at home.” The business is family owned right down to the name, Fergndan’s. It is short for FergE, the oldest son, and Dan, the youngest son. The boys have even carved out their own personalities within the operation. FergE is the pizzaioli and mans the oven and cooks the pizzas in the wood-fired oven. Instagram@fergndanspizza “FergE is all things fire,” said John. “Dan is all things dough. Facebook@fergndanspizza As the one who makes and throws the dough, I teased Dan when we first started that he was my child who always wanted JULY 2021 | TODAY 17

by Rebecca Lauck Cleary Walking your dog can be a routine event, or it could be the for the Wall Street Journal. “I always read the acknowledgments exact time someone calls your cellphone from a prestigious uniand realized how much Ball’s project was like what I wanted to versity sharing the exciting news that you’ve been named a 2021 do: a personal story about a bigger topic,” he said. “I have been fellow at the Harvard Radcliffe Institute. playing around with a book on the Delta for quite some time and W. Ralph Eubanks, who received word he is the Carl and Lily this seemed like a way to get some focused research done.” Pforzheimer Foundation Fellow Eubanks brings a great deal while walking his dog on the of energy and insight to classrooms, streets of Washington, D.C., joins an programs and planning at the extraordinary group of artists, sciCenter for the Study of Southern entists, scholars and practitioners Culture, said Katie McKee, the cenwho will learn from and inspire one ter’s director. another in Cambridge, Massachu“At this crucial moment in nationsetts, this fall. al and regional history, professor Eubanks, visiting professor of Eubanks has the opportunity to English and Southern studies and turn his keen eye to a new project writer-in-residence at the Center that continues his focus on Misfor the Study of Southern Culture sissippi and draws the eyes of the at the University of Mississippi, will nation to the key role of ‘the South’ draw from personal history, archival in the American story,” McKee said. I hope my project will tell the region’s research, blues culture and faceThe acceptance rate for the class history and explore why many residents of of fellows, which represents nine to-face interviews to draft a book the famous Southern alluvial plain persist countries, was 2.4 percent, from revealing the American story at the heart of the Mississippi Delta. in trying to transform a place that has been 1,383 applications. Harvard Radcliffe “I hope my project will tell the Institute is a unique space within deemed broken and beyond repair. region’s history and explore why Harvard — a school dedicated to many residents of the famous Southern alluvial plain persist in creating and sharing transformative ideas across all disciplines. trying to transform a place that has been deemed broken and Each year, the institute hosts leading scholars, scientists, and beyond repair,” Eubanks said. artists from around the world in its renowned residential fellow“I also hope to explore a larger question: As economic disparity ship program. in this country grows, have the forces that made the Delta the Eubanks is the author of “A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey South writ small now seeped into the rest of the country, renderThrough a Real and Imagined Literary Landscape.” He is also ing an entire nation the Delta writ large?” author of two other works of nonfiction: “Ever Is a Long Time: Harvard Radcliffe Institute fellows have a shared ambition to A Journey into Mississippi’s Dark Past” and “The House at the take their creative, far-reaching and bold projects and make this End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial changed world a better place, and Eubanks will be able to pursue Family in the American South.” his individual project in a community dedicated to exploration Rebecca Lauck Cleary is a communications specialist at the and inquiry. Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Eubanks learned about the fellowship while reviewing Edward Mississippi. Ball’s “Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy” 18 TODAY | JULY 2021

by Ruth Cummins Since January, Sonia Simpson has been working 12 to 14-hour days at the University of Mississippi Medical Center Grenada’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic. It’s no wonder Simpson and her staff have given out more than 9,000 vaccines at the clinic, first located adjacent to the hospital on JK Avent Drive and then moved to its current location at 1300 Sunset Drive. “That’s what it takes to get the job done,” said Simpson, manager of clinic operations. “We want to get as many people vaccinated as possible.” Simpson and a dedicated team are administering the vaccine to both those making appointments and anyone who walks up. The most vaccines delivered in a day was That’s what it takes to get the job about 400 back done. We want to get as many in January. “Now, people vaccinated as possible. we’re averaging 150-160,” she said in May. “We’re trying to make it as easy as possible.” That includes working with the Grenada-area community, especially residents who don’t use computers or smart phones. “We’re in a more rural situation. Most of our population is elderly,” Simpson said. “They depend on their community doctors to get them signed up for the vaccine. We also will schedule them when they are already here in our clinics to see one of their doctors.” Since Simpson joined the UMMC Grenada family in September 2015, “she has been the driving force behind our (dozen) clinics,” said John Farrish, the hospital’s director of ambulatory operations. “Benjamin Franklin once said, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person,’” Farrish said. “Perhaps that is why Sonia was tasked with starting up and overseeing our vaccine clinic. Sonia is no stranger to hard work, and she takes pride in the quality of work that she produces.” Not just UMMC Grenada, but its sister hospital, UMMC Holmes County in Lexington, is making vaccines widely available to the community.

Simpson said she’s concerned that in recent months, the number of vaccines being given has decreased. “We have people who are on the fence, but we also have seen more young people coming in,” she said. “It’s good to see college-aged people being responsible.” Simpson is reaching out to community leaders, civic groups and businesses to communicate the urgency of getting the vaccine. “We want to open up the conversation so that more people will take it,” Simpson said. “If your neighbor takes it, then maybe you will be inspired to take it.” “I think it is safe to say that the past year has thrown us a few curve balls, but I will admit that without Sonia on our team, it would have been so much harder to respond to those curve balls,” Farrish said. Simpson is married to former Grenada Fire Chief Herman Simpson. They have a daughter, Jennifer Simpson, and one grandchild, Khloe Campbell. “She is my life,” Simpson said of Khloe. “She keeps me sane.” In their spare time, Simpson and her husband like to catch a ball game. “Baseball, basketball — we are sports enthusiasts,” she said. Since COVID-19 hit more than a year ago, Simpson said, getting residents tested and vaccinated “has become my life in a lot of ways. “This is not the time to slow down,” Simpson said. “We want to get as many people in the community vaccinated as possible.” Ruth Cummins is UMMC’s assistant director for media relations.

JULY 2021 | TODAY 19

20 TODAY | JULY 2021

Photos by Chad Calcote

Revisions Requested Approved

CHAD Date_____ Revisions Requested Approved

STEVEN Date_____ VERSION #______________

RON Date_____


Revisions Requested

by Steven Ward Mississippi residents start calling Smith County waterDonna Beliech, a Mississippi State University Extension melon farmer Kevin Ford in January with questions. Service horticulturist, said there might be something to the What does the crop look like this year? How much will soil theory. the watermelons cost? Can they be placed on a waiting “Smith County watermelons are known statewide for list to buy them? being sweet and of ‘top grade.’ The history of Smith County Never mind the crop won’t be harvested for another producing the best watermelons must be due to the locafive months. tion (soil) and a grower’s ability “We tell them, call back after (knowledge), because the same Easter,” Ford, 59, said recently handful of varieties are grown standing on the land of his throughout Mississippi,” Beliech Taylorsville-area family farm, said. Everybody says it’s something Ford Farms. The seeded varieties are mainly about the soil here. I don’t know. Ford, a right-of-way manager ‘Jubilee,’ ’Crimson Sweet’ and But everyone says they have to at Southern Pine Electric and a ‘Charleston,’ she said. These have a Smith County watermelon... 37-year-veteran of the co-op, watermelons are usually 20 to has also run his farm during his 30 pounds and green with dark entire career. stipes and have a sweet, red flesh. Ford, whose 89-year-old father also was a farmer, grew What this year’s crop looks like, like every year, depends up growing tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, corn and, of on the weather. course, watermelons. “The weather often determines the successfulness of Not just any watermelons either. a crop. Cool, wet springs are not good for watermelon Mississippians love Smith County watermelons. growers. For one thing, you shouldn’t sow seeds until the What is so special about Smith County watermelons? soil temperature 4-inch deep is 60 to 65 degrees. Fields “Everybody says it’s something about the soil here. of watermelon can be destroyed when weather conditions I don’t know. But everyone says they have to have a favor the development of disease,” Beliech said. Smith County watermelon,” Ford said.

• Look for ones that are evenly shaped, with no cuts or bruises. • Lift the watermelon. It should be heavy for its size. • Look at the ‘ground spot’ to make sure it is creamy yellow in color.

“From transplant to flowering is 45 days. In Central Mississippi, you should have plants in the ground by April 1. All watermelons are pollinated by bees and require about 45 days from pollination to fruit maturity.” Ford didn’t have an exact number of watermelons he grows and harvests each year, but he said the number is in the thousands. Beliech said there are currently 38 watermelon growers in the state. Although information on watermelon production at the county level is limited for Mississippi, based on the most recent Census of Agriculture data from 2017, it’s estimated that the area of watermelon planted for the fresh market in Smith County is approximately 240 acres, with

a value of production estimated at around $1.4 million, Mississippi State Extension Service agriculture economist Elizabeth Canales said. The retail price for a large, seeded watermelon is $1.10 to $1.30 per pound. A small round, seedless watermelon is currently going for $4 to $7 at grocery stores, Beliech said. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, the major watermelon producing states are Texas, Florida, Georgia and California. These states produce an average of 3.5 billion pounds with an annual value around $501.7 million. Mississippi watermelon production averages less than 1% of the total U.S. market share.

• Watermelons are 92% sugary, sweet water. • Only 3/4 of a watermelon is edible. 1 pound = 3 1/4 cups. • Watermelons ripen only slightly after picking. • Cut watermelon will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. • Watermelons contain powerful antioxidants making them a healthy summer treat. 22 TODAY | JULY 2021

“Our annual production is around 3.8 million pounds each year, which is worth about $4.3 million,” Beliech said. Smith County watermelons might represent a tiny piece of the U.S. market, but ask anyone in Mississippi and they will tell you that small fraction happens to taste sweeter than all the rest. “We sell them until they run out. And when they run out, they run out,” Ford said. And by the way, Ford said he doesn’t have a waiting list for his watermelons. For more information about Ford’s watermelons, call 601-422-0098.

43rd Mississippi Watermelon Festival Downtown Mize, Mississippi July 16 and 17 Friday: Adults, $5, Children under 10, $3 Saturday: Adults, $10, Children under 10, $5 Gates open 3:30 p.m. on Friday 8:30 a.m. on Saturday Annual fundraiser for the Mize Volunteer Fire Department

Details: JULY 2021 | TODAY 23

Medicare Supplements Guaranteed Renewable

Culotta Insurance & Investments Serving Miss-Lou STATEWIDE Since 1992


Great low rates on G and F plans!

Plan G (Female) age: 65 $89.00 70 $95.00 75 $113.00 80 $134.00

Plan G (Male) age: 65 $102.00 70 $109.00 75 $130.00 80 $154.00

Plan F (Female) age: 67 $103.00 70 $110.00 75 $129.00 80 $152.00

Plan F (Male) age: 67 $119.00 70 $126.00 75 $148.00 80 $175.00


Richie Culotta • Cameron Culotta • Zach Dustin



Rates with household discount, most zip codes.

Call today for other great Medicare supplement rates!



800-880-2305 P.O. Box 85 Brandon, MS 39043

Not affiliated with any government agency.

Get the Muck

OUT! Marble size AquaClear TM Pellets clear your lake or pond bottom. Beneficial microorganisms. Restore balance in natural and man made surface waters. Increase water clarity. Improve water quality. Eliminate black organic muck. A 10 lb. bag treats .50 to 1.0 acres $102.00 A 50 lb. bag treats 2.5 to 5.0 acres $374.00 Apply weekly for 4 weeks, then monthly to maintain. No water use restrictions!


800-328-9350 Order online today, or request free information.

Our 66th year


PO Box 10748, DEPT 72CX White Bear Lake, MN 55110-0748

40’x60’x12’ - Installed

Roof only, closed gables. Or, Roof only, open gables. Call for prices.

30’x40’x10’ - Installed

Roof only, open gables. Call for price.

601-928-5309 or 601-928-5308

321 Madison Ave., Wiggins, MS 39577

Do You Have a 401K?

Are you leaving your job or no longer work there? We can help with stock market like returns with no risk.

L.D. O’Mire Financial Services Better Business Bureau A+ Rating

Call For My 115 Page Growth Without Risk Safe Money Book Visit our website:

1Fir0st %


H Call 601-957-3841 H Or Call Me Personally at 601-209-3131 Guarantees subject to the claims-paying ability of the Insurance Company. Surrender of the Contract may be subject to surrender charge or market value adjustment. Product not available in all states. This is a single premium deferred annuity. Interest rates are subject to change. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty.

Advertise with

As Mississippi’s largest circulated publication, advertisers reach an average of 462,400 homes and businesses each month! Contact us at

said, ‘No, I am more of a single, double and triple guy,’ and they all had a good laugh,” Gibbs said. Gibbs was assigned to Richmond where he played second, shortstop and third base in his first two years in the minors. He never saw his switch to catcher coming. He was at basic training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, in October of 1962, when a lieutenant came up to him and asked if he was Jake Gibbs. “He said, ‘You are going to be catching this year for the Yankees.’ I just laughed it off and never gave it another thought. Yankee manager Ralph Houk called me into his office the first day of spring training and told me of the move to catcher. I guess that lieutenant knew something after all. Houk told me if I wanted to get to the majors, that was going to be my ticket.” In 1965, he was assigned to Toledo and was called up to New York later in the season. He finally made “The Show” for good in 1966 and played in 538 MLB games. “Playing in New York was fun, but it was even more fun being a Yankee.” Gibbs retired from baseball after the 1971 season and returned to Ole Miss to become the Rebels’ head baseball coach. The Rebels won three SEC Western Division championships and two overall SEC championships. During that first season in 1972, he led the team to the College World Series. They won the first SEC Baseball Tournament in 1977. He coached until 1990, leading the Rebels to 485 wins.

by Dale McKee Dale McKee is a Waynesboro native who has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973. He is a member of Dixie Electric. Contact him at

JULY 2021 | TODAY 25

VERSION #______________ RON Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested STEVEN Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHAD Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ELISSA Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHRIS Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ARTIST ___________ Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested

If you grew up in Mississippi back in the 1950s, you probably remember our football-crazy state. On November 15, 1952, this craziness may have reached its peak as Ole Miss, led by quarterback Jimmy Lear, upset No. 3 Maryland, 21-14. The win propelled Ole Miss into the national spotlight. One Grenada teenager attended that game and knew he wanted to be the next Jimmy Lear. At that time, Jake Gibbs, only a seventh grader, was the starting second baseman on his local high school baseball team. “I grew up listening to the baseball game of the day on radio, and I dreamed of one day playing in the majors. Baseball was a lot of fun growing up in Grenada,” Gibbs said. Football, however, was also definitely in his future. Gibbs’ high school football career was riddled with injuries. “I broke an ankle one year and my nose another season. I was not that big — about 160 pounds — but I could run pretty good,” Gibbs said. Ole Miss football did come a calling Gibbs’ senior year, and he signed with the Rebels. Four years later, Gibbs would become Mississippi’s first two-sport All-American, a two-time All-American in baseball and a 1960 All-American quarterback. Ole Miss football won two SEC crowns and a National Championship, and Gibbs finished third in Heisman voting. In the spring, he would trade in the helmet and shoulder pads for a bat and glove. Gibbs was a three-time All-SEC third baseman for the Rebels as they won two SEC titles. “Kansas City offered me $35,000 after my junior season and Milwaukee was talking in the six-figures, but my parents wanted me to finish college,” Gibbs said. Oddly, the Atlanta Braves came to every football game his senior year. Gibbs signed for $100,000 and headed to New York that day. Gibbs walked into the ‘Bronx Bombers’ locker room for the first time and saw all the Yankee legends: Mantle, Maris, Berra and Ford. “Whitey Ford asked me if I was a power hitter, and I

Last State Restricted Morgan Silver Dollar Bank Rolls go to state residents Residents of the shaded states listed on the map below get first dibs on last remaining Bank Rolls loaded with U.S. Gov’t issued Morgan Silver Dollars dating back to the early 1800’s some worth up to 100 times their face value for just the $59 minimum set for state residents - all other state residents must pay $136 per coin if any remain after 7-day deadline

“It’s a miracle these State Re- IMPORTANT: The dates and mint marks of the U.S. Gov’t issued Morgan stricted Bank Rolls even exist. Silver Dollars sealed away inside the State Restricted Bank Rolls have never That’s why Hotline Operators been searched. Coin values always fluctuate and there are never any guarare bracing for the flood of calls,” antees, but any of the scarce coins shown below, regardless of their value said Laura Lynne, U.S. Coin and that residents may find inside the sealed Bank Rolls are theirs to keep. Currency Director for the National Mint and Treasury. For the next 7 days the last remaining State Restricted Bank Rolls loaded with rarely seen U.S. Gov’t issued Morgan Silver Dollars are actually being handed over to U.S. residents who find their state listed in bold in this publication and call the 1886-S 1888-S 1896-S 1899-P State Toll-Free Hotlines. Mint: San Francisco Mint: San Francisco Mint: San Francisco Mint: Philadelphia Mintage: 657,000 Mintage: 5,000,000 Mintage: 330,000 And here’s the best part. Mintage: 750,000 Collector Value: $78 Collector Value: $125 Collector Value: $70 Collector Value: $175 If you are a resident of one $350 $315 $850 $260 of the states listed in bold in this publication you cover just $590 which is a real steal be- the United States of America only the $59 per coin state mini- cause non state residents must who said ‘In all my years as mum set by the private National pay $136 per coin which totals Treasurer I’ve only ever seen Mint and Treasury, that’s ten $1,360 if any coins remain after a handful of these rare Morgan Silver Dollars issued by the rarely seen U. S. Gov’t issued the 7-day deadline. Morgan Silver Dollars’ worth up “Recently National Mint spoke (Continued on next page) to 100 times their face value for with the retired Treasurer of R1037R-1

(Continued from previous page)

U.S. Gov’t back in the 1800’s. But to actually find them sealed away in State Restricted Bank Rolls still in pristine condition is like finding buried treasure. So anyone lucky enough to get their hands on these Bank Rolls had better hold on to them,’” Lynne said. “Now that the State Restricted Bank Rolls are being offered up we won’t be surprised if thousands of U.S. residents claim the maximum limit allowed of 4 Bank Rolls per resident before they’re all gone,” Lynne said. “That’s because the dates and mint marks of the U.S. Gov’t issued Morgan Silver Dollars sealed away inside the State Restricted Bank Rolls have never been searched. But, we do know that some of these coins date clear back to the 1800’s and are worth up to 100 times their face value, so there is no telling what U.S. residents will find until they sort through all the coins,” Lynne said. The only thing U.S. residents

need to do is call the State TollFree Hotlines printed in this publication before the 7-day order deadline ends. “Rarely seen U.S. Gov’t issued coins like these are highly sought after, but we’ve never seen anything like this before. According to The Official Red Book, a Guide Book of United States Coins many Morgan Silver Dollars minted in the 1800’s are now worth $125 - $1,000 each in collector value,” Lynne said. “So just imagine how much these last remaining, unsearched State Restricted Bank Rolls could be worth someday. Remember, these are not ordinary coins – these rarely seen coins are at least 100 years old. In fact, these coins have been forever retired by the U.S. Gov’t, and you can only get them rolled this way directly from the National Mint and Treasury because these are the only State Restricted Bank Rolls known to exist,” Lynne said. “We’re guessing thousands of U.S. residents will be taking the maximum limit of 4 Bank Rolls

because they make such amazing gifts for any occasion for children, parents, grandparents, friends and loved ones,” Lynne said. “We know the phones will be ringing off the hook. That’s why hundreds of Hotline Operators are standing by to answer the phones beginning at 8:30am this morning. We’re going to do our best, but with just 7 days to answer all the calls it won’t be easy. So make sure to tell everyone to keep calling if all operators are busy. We’ll do our best to answer them all,” Lynne said. “That’s why the private National Mint and Treasury set up the State Toll-Free Hotlines in order to make sure U.S. residents get the State Restricted Bank Rolls before they’re all gone,” Lynne said. The only thing readers of today’s newspaper publication need to do is make sure they are a resident of one of the states listed in bold in this publication and call the State Toll-Free Hotlines before the 7-day deadline ends. ■

RESIDENTS IN 49 STATES: COVER JUST $59 MINIMUM PER COIN IF YOUR STATE IS SHADED BELOW CALL: 1-800-270-4516 RMR886 If you are a resident of one of the shaded states shown left you cover just the $59 per coin state minimum set by the private National Mint and Treasury, that’s ten rarely seen U.S. Gov’t issued Morgan Silver Dollars some worth up to 100 times their face value for just $590 and that’s a real steal because all other residents must pay $1,360 for each state restricted bank roll. Just be sure to call the State Toll Free Hotlines before the deadline ends 7 days from today’s publication date.



Backyards, patio pots, roadside truck beds and farm stands have got tomatoes of all shapes and sizes this month. So, we should make hay (or tomato sandwiches) while the sun shines! These deviled tomatoes make a great side dish for a rotisserie chicken picked up from the market or just about anything that comes out of the smoker. These also make a unique addition to a brunch with scrambled eggs and hash browns.

Cool Summer Salad might even be better after marinating for a while but I can’t resist eating right out of the mixing bowl. Gather up some peak-of-season staples and douse them in a marinade of lemon juice, olive oil and mint and tote this to the next cookout or pool party. The touch of fresh mint is the pop of unexpected flavor that will have dining companions pleading for the recipe.

This salad makes a wonderful lunch packed in a pita bread with some crumbled feta cheese. INGREDIENTS 2 cups chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes 2 cups chopped seeded cucumber or diced English cucumber ½ cup seeded and diced colorful bell peppers ¼ cup finely chopped red onion ¼ cup chopped fresh mint ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley 28 TODAY | JULY 2021

Juice of 1 lemon ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Taste again to check salt and pepper and serve.

We use this dressing on everything from crisp leafy greens and straight from the garden cucumbers to hot chicken wings. Changing up your tomato sandwich with a spread of this tangy dressing will have you rethinking plain mayonnaise on your tomato sandwiches. It might even break up your relationship with bottled or made from a packet Ranch-style dressings and dips. I love it made with fresh herbs but in a pinch dried will do, just use ½ teaspoon of each dried herb as the flavor is more concentrated.

These stuffed and broiled tomatoes get their heat from Pepper Jack cheese and jalapeno peppers. Some crumbles of bacon add a bit of smokiness. Each filled tomato sits on a raft of sourdough bread to sop up the juices and any drips of bubbly melted cheese. Some tomatoes just aren’t as good looking as others. Save the pretty ones for your salads because once they get this treatment you won’t notice and imperfections are sometimes the tastiest.

INGREDIENTS 1 cup buttermilk ¼ cup sour cream ¼ cup mayonnaise 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chives 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 1 teaspoon cider vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

INGREDIENTS 6 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces 1 cup chopped red onion 1 cup chopped green bell pepper 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced 3 large tomatoes, halved 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano Salt and freshly ground black pepper 6 slices sourdough bread, toasted ¾ cup shredded pepper jack cheese

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Chill for at least 1 hour. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator for one week.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to paper towels and reserve the drippings in the skillet. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic and jalapenos to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, scoop the flesh out of the center of the tomatoes and chop, reserving the shells. Add the chopped tomatoes to the skillet and stir in the oregano. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat the broiler. Put the bread slices in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Top each slice of bread with a tomato half. Divide the vegetable mixture evenly among the tomato halves. Top the tomatoes with the bacon and cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.

Martha Hall Foose, the author of “Screen Doors & Sweet Tea: Recipes and Tales of a Southern Cook,” won the James Beard Award for American Cooking. Her latest collaboration is “A Good Meal is Hard to Find: Storied Recipes from the Deep South” with Amy C. Evans. Martha makes her home in the Mississippi Delta with her husband and son. She is a member of Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association.

JULY 2021 | TODAY 29

mississippi seen

mississippi is...


mississippi marketplace Never lose electricity onopenthe menu outdoors today Events to the public will be published free of charge as space allows. Submit details at least two months prior to the scene around the ‘sip picture this event date. Submissions must include a phone number with area code for publication. Email to my opinion co-op involvement Events are subject to change or cancelation due to COVID-19. Please confirm details before traveling.

southern gardening Annual July 3 Gospel Singing Event. July 3. Waynesboro. Corinth Freewill Baptist Church hosts The Inspirations, Ricky Atkinson and Compassion and Sound Street at 7 p.m. South Mississippi Freewill Baptist Campground, 1400 Pine Grove Road. Bring lawn chairs. Love offering will be received. Details: 601-735-9083 or 601-270-1543. Sawmill Festival. July 9 and 10. Bruce. Entertainment, food, arts and crafts. Friday night entertainment will be Hannah and Karly and the Spunk Monkees. Saturday will be Vinnie Cheney and The Bonfire Orchestra. Fireworks at conclusion on Saturday night. Details: Magnolia Square Market. July 10. Water Valley. Every second Saturday of the month through October. 8 a.m. to noon. Local produce, crafts, plants and baked goods. Live music and kid activities. 207 N. Main St. Details: 662-832-1528. Mississippi Watermelon Festival. July 16-17. Mize. Sullivan’s Hollow. Gates open Friday at 3:30 p.m. and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Adults $5 and children under 10 $3 on Friday. Adults $10 and children under 10 $5 on Saturday. William Michael Morgan will play live Saturday at 8 p.m. Arts, crafts, food, 5K and car show. All the free watermelon you can eat. Details: 601-517-3510 or

grin ‘n’ bare it Own the #1 brand in home standby power. 8 out of 10 buyers choose Generac Home Standby Generators to automatically provide electricity to their homes during power outages. GENERAC Home Standby Generators start at just $1,999.*

Calhoun County Sacred Harp Singing Convention. Aug 7. Bruce. Bethel Primitive Baptist Church, located 1 mile north of Bruce on Highway 9. Singing begins at 10: a.m. with potluck in the fellowship hall. Singing will continue after lunch. The adopted songbook is The Sacred Harp, published in 1844. Details: Mark S. Davis at 601-940-1612. Text or leave voicemail. Email Mississippi Sacred Harp Singing Convention. Aug 21-22. Forest. Antioch Primitive Baptist Church, located on Highway 21, six miles north of Forest. Singing begins at 10:a.m. each day. Dinner at noon in the fellowship hall. Singing will continue each afternoon. Details: Mark S. Davis 601-940-1612. Text or leave voicemail.Email:

30 TODAY | JULY 2021

CALL for FREE Generator Buyer’s Guide and get…

Limited Time


877-202-1501 *Price does not include installation.

Are You In Or Near Retirement? I Have Some Good News For You! • Want Your Money To Be Safe? • Want Your Money To Grow? • Want To Have A 6% Guaranteed Growth?

150th Old Methodist Camp Meeting. July 24 to 30. Oxford. Services daily at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Special events will be held during the week. The camp is at 18 County Road 238. Details: DeSoto Wings Competition and Festival. July 24. Olive Branch. 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Olive Branch Soccer Fields at Church Road and Highway 305. Two categories: Traditional and unique. Entry fee for cookers per category: $150 or $200. Cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Professional category for restaurants. Eating contest for first 12 participants to sign up. Music, food trucks, water slides and bounce houses. Details:


L.D. O’Mire Financial Services

Better Business Bureau A+ Rating

Call For My 115 Page Growth Without Risk Safe Money Book Visit our website:

1Fir0st %


H Call 601-957-3841 H Or Call Me Personally at 601-209-3131 Guarantees subject to the claims-paying ability of the Insurance Company. Surrender of the Contract may be subject to surrender charge or market value adjustment. Product not available in all states. This is a single premium deferred annuity. Interest rates are subject to change. Withdrawals prior to age 59 ½ may be subject to a 10% IRS penalty.


Mississippi’s largest circulated publication. SOON Church/Government uniting, suppressing RELIGIOUS LIBERTY, enforcing NATIONAL SUNDAY LAW. Be informed! TBS, Pob 374, Ellijay, GA 30540.


beaten path for people to come see just an exhibit. But they will come to a destination. And people have beaten their own paths from all over the world to Indianola to visit the B.B. King Museum. The riverboats landing in Greenville now have tour buses going to it, for instance. It is a Mississippi destination. Maybe our plans fail sometimes not because we over-build, but because we under-build. We think “display” instead of “destination.” In the movie “Field of Dreams,” Kevin Costner was told, “If you build it, they will come.” Add to that, especially if we make it worth coming to see!

by Walt Grayson Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television and the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Walt is also a reporter and 4 p.m. news anchor at WJTV in Jackson. He lives in Brandon and is a Central Electric member. Contact him at

JULY 2021 | TODAY 31

VERSION #______________ RON Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested STEVEN Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHAD Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ELISSA Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested CHRIS Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested ARTIST __________ Date_____ Approved Revisions Requested

After an isolated Thanksgiving and Christmas without the kids because of COVID-19, followed by me and Miz Jo by ourselves on New Year’s Eve, binge watching Netflix, it seems the world is finally coming alive again. People are coming out like fire ants after a rain. The popular tourist spots in Mississippi are filling up again. I was at the B.B. King Museum in Indianola the first weekend of June. The museum had been shut down entirely during most of the pandemic and had only recently been opening part time, Thursdays through Sundays. But there was a big crowd for a ribbon cutting and dedication that weekend. A couple of new additions were formally opened. One is a large room housing two of B.B. King’s cars. A Rolls Royce, which they say he didn’t drive all that much — a little too flashy for his taste. And a deep blue El Camino decked out modestly with a treble clef painted under the window of both doors with two notes painted on the measure. Both of them, ‘Bs.’ B.B. King’s home away from home is on display as well — his huge travel bus. I was told the bus was actually his real home for about 300 nights a year when he was on tour. Restoration is underway so tourists can go inside. But that won’t happen until later, though. Outside, on the grounds overlooking B.B. King’s final resting place at the Memorial Garden, is a bronze statue of him sitting on a bench with plenty of room beside him for people to take a seat and snap a selfie. The statue was officially dedicated that weekend as well. Back in 2008 when they announced the opening of the B.B. King Museum, I had no idea what to expect. My mind imagined it might be anything from a converted house in a neighborhood that had some associations with B.B. or maybe a couple of rooms at the Chamber of Commerce office. Possibly a repurposed empty store downtown? I never, ever imagined the actual worldclass display that is the museum’s final result. Some of the people in on the ground floor of planning the museum told me that the best piece of advice they got was to “build a destination.” Indianola, they were told, is too far off the


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.