Today in Mississippi July 2023

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If Your Hands, Arms, Feet, or Legs Are Numb - If You Feel Shooting or Burning Pain or An Electric Sensation - You Are at Risk Get The Help You Need - Here's What You Need to Know...

Purvis, MS - If you experience numbness or tingling in your hands, arms, legs, or feet or if you experience shooting or burning pain, this is important.

Please read this carefully

Peripheral Neuropathy is when small blood vessels in the hands, arms, feet or legs become diseased and tiny nerves that keep the cells and muscles working properly shrivel up and die.

Early-warning symptoms include tingling and numbness, mild loss of feeling in your hands, arms, legs or feet, inability to feel your feet, which increases your risk of foot-injury and falling

More Advanced Symptoms Include...

Loss of coordination & dexterity, which puts you at increased risk of accidents

Inability to feel clothing like socks and gloves

High risk of falling, which makes walking dangerous, and makes you more dependent on others

Burning sensations in your arms, legs, hands or feet that may start mild, but as nerves and muscles die, may feel like you're being burned by a blow torch.

Ignore the early warning signals long enough and you risk progressive nerve damage leading to muscle wasting, severe pain, loss of balance and a lot of staying at home wishing you didn't hurt

When every step is like walking on hot coals, sitting still may be the only thing you feel like doing But there's little joy in sitting still all day long

Now here's the scary part....

Nerve damage CAUSES cell damage Cell damage SPEEDS UP nerve degeneration

Without treatment this can become a DOWN-WARD SPIRAL that accelerates.

The damage can get worse fast Mild symptoms intensify Slight tingling, numbness or lack of feeling can turn into burning pain.

Before you know it, damage can become so bad you hurt all the time

Unless this downward spiral is stopped and nerves return to proper function - the damage to nerves and cells in the affected area can get so bad your muscles begin to die right along with the nerves and cells. And that sets the stage for weakness, loss of mobility, disability, and dependence on others.

If you have early warning signs of peripheral neuropathy, (tingling &/or numbness, loss of feeling or pain) it's CRITICAL you get proper treatment

It's critical, because with proper treatment the symptoms can often be reversed Without it, you are playing Russian Roulette with your health

Once your nerve loss reaches 85%, odds are there's nothing any doctor can do to help.

The most common method your doctor may recommend to treat neuropathy is prescription drugs

Drugs like Gabapentin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, & Neurontin are often prescribed to manage the pain But, damaged nerves and dying cells do not heal on their own

Pain pills do not restore healthy nerve function. They just mask the pain as the nerves continue to degenerate and cells and muscle continue to die.

Taking endless drugs and suffering terrible side effects that may damage your liver & kidney and create even more problems, is not a reasonable path. You deserve better. Three things must be determined to effectively treat neuropathy

1) What is the underlying cause? 2) How much nerve damage has been sustained?

3) How much treatment your condition will require? With proper treatment, shriveled blood vessels grow back & nerves can return to proper function How much treatment you may need depends on your condition

At Purvis Chiropractic we do a complete neuropathy sensitivity exam to determine the extent of your nerve damage The exam includes a detailed sensory evaluation, extensive peripheral vascular testing, & a detailed analysis of the findings.

Dr Rob Acord, D C will be offering this complete neuropathy sensitivity exam for $47 This special offer goes away at the end of this month as we have a limited number of exam appointments available

Stop Hurting & Start Healing

Call Now to Schedule Your Complete Neuropathy Sensitivity Exam with Dr. Rob Acord, D.C. (601) 794-0081

105 Main Street Purvis, MS 39475

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Voting: It’s important

We want you to use your voice and power to help shape the future of Mississippi.

Back in January, I told you about an electric co-op e ort to better inform members about our statewide elections and the voting process, so you will be armed with the information you need to go to the polls and cast your ballot.

Our campaign — Co-ops Vote MS — became o cial and went live in late May with our new website,

The website features quick links to important voting information, including where to register to vote, our current elected o cials, what elections are slated for this year, and videos of statewide elected o cials talking about the importance of voting, and what they do on a day-to-day basis.

If you follow your electric cooperative on social media, (and if you don’t, we encourage you to do so) you will notice a campaign underway now to equip you with the knowledge you need to become a better-informed Mississippi voter.

Our e ort is all about voting and getting informed. We don’t care about political parties, and we are not backing any candidates. We will give equal opportunity to all candidates for statewide o ce to be interviewed.

Co-ops Vote MS is about participation and helping you understand who you are voting for and why.

July is an important month in the 2023 election cycle.

July 10 is the registration deadline to vote in the Aug. 8 primary election. Circuit Clerk o ces will be open longer hours for Mississippians to register.

The deadline for registration to vote in the Nov. 7 general election is Oct. 9.

The plan is to continue this e ort annually. Our message with Co-ops Vote MS is a simple one:

You have the POWER to Register. Be informed. Vote. It’s that simple, folks.

And we hope our e ort will assist you all in becoming better informed voters.

From the Father of Country Music to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Music can run deep in a Mississippi soul

It’s the Hospitality State with its river rolling through Home of the Natchez Trace, and the Mississippi Blues

Its truth runs deep, and its song runs wide

I will never forget my Mississippi pride.


Toomsuba, and a member of East Mississippi EPA.

Mississippi is... 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 Submit your beautiful digital photo of life in Mississippi to Today in Mississippi, My Opinion
2023 | JULY 3 Visit Co-ops Vote MS at

Southern Gardening


Look for a mayfly hatch to load up on fish

Scene Around the ‘Sip

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Mississippi’s tiniest museum — The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum — is an almost hidden treasure

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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 o ce. The publisher (and/or its agent) reserves the right to refuse or edit all advertising. The magazine is published for members of subscribing co-ops. The magazine is a bene t of membership.

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On the cover

Central Electric Power Association, Coahoma Electric Power Association, Coast Electric Power Association, Delta Electric Power Association, Dixie Electric Power Association, East Mississippi Electric Power Association, 4-County Electric Power Association, Magnolia Electric Power, Monroe County Electric Power Association, Natchez Trace Electric Power Association, North East Mississippi Electric Power Association, Northcentral Electric Cooperative, Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association, Pontotoc Electric Power Association, Singing River Electric, Southern Pine Electric, Southwest Electric, Tippah Electric Power Association, Twin County Electric Power Association, and Yazoo Valley Electric Power Association.

Vol. 76 No. 7
Vicki Taylor and Rick Taylor are the masterminds behind The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum behind the historic Saenger Theater downtown. Photo by Chad Calcote.
your garden
spruce up
Outdoors Today
A look at special people and places in Mississippi 8 31 20 28
Back porch fun
Picture This
Stop and ask for directions
you won’t
disappointed 10 8
Mississippi Seen
20 Local News Feature
15 7
Issue 28 26 4 JULY | 2023
In This

Mississippi students gather in D.C. for 2023 youth tour

The Mississippi delegation of the NRECA Electric Cooperative Tour arrived in Washington, D.C., on June 18 and came back home on June 23.

The delegation included 81 high school juniors from around the state and adult advisors from Mississippi’s electric cooperatives.

More than 1,800 youth delegates and advisors were scheduled to attend at di erent times over a two-week period, from June 13 to 23. Forty-four states were represented this year, compared to 28 in 2022.

“We are still feeling the e ects of the pandemic,” said Beth Knudson, NRECA’s youth programs and training manager. “Not having

our in-person program in 2020 or 2021 put a dent in our applications simply because we don’t have those recent attendees in our pipeline to promote the program at school. But we’re getting there!”

The Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi’s Cooperative Youth Leaders program provides an opportunity for students from across the state to learn the value of electric cooperatives, grow in their leadership qualities, and experience the democratic process at the state and federal levels by visiting the Mississippi and U.S. capital cities.

Nearly half the U.S. Senate asked the Department of Energy to avoid placing electricity supplies and national security at risk and halt its plan to require distribution transformers, already in short supply, to be made using less readily available amorphous steel.

“We urge the department to refrain from promulgating a final rule that will exacerbate transformer shortages at this strategically inopportune time,” a bipartisan group of 47 senators told Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a June 1 letter.

“Such a standard could come at meaningful cost to grid reliability and national security, continuing the clean energy transition, and bolstering domestic supply chains and the workforce.”

The senators encouraged DOE instead to “convene stakeholders across the supply chain to develop [a] consensus-based approach to setting new standards.”

The department’s proposal, part of its draft Energy Conservation Standards for Distribution Transformers rule, is based on e ciency gains it says will be realized if transformers and other electrical components are made of lighter-weight but less-durable amorphous steel rather than traditional grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES).

There is currently only one domestic supplier of amorphous steel, which has a market share of less than 5%, a scenario the senators said

would lead to further supply chain delays of up to two years.

“We believe the most prudent course of action is to let both GOES and amorphous steel cores coexist in the market as they do today, without government mandates, for new installations as we ramp up domestic production and reorient supply chains,” the senators wrote Granholm.

The senators also requested a briefing from DOE on its proposal and how the department might “bolster domestic supply chains and help alleviate the current and persisting supply chain challenges facing distribution transformers.”

NRECA praised the Senate e ort, led by Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., for underscoring to DOE the significant electric reliability risk of the proposed rule.

“We sincerely appreciate Sen. Hagerty and the extensive list of bipartisan cosigners for raising concerns about DOE’s proposed distribution transformer rule and its e ects on national security and grid reliability. We need to support, not hamper, the domestic supply chain of distribution transformers,” said Will Mitchell, NRECA legislative a airs director.

“We look forward to working with our colleagues, senators, representatives and DOE to ensure electric reliability and e ciency solutions.” NRECA

NRECA honors Dixie Electric employee

Dixie Electric’s Dan Wooten was one of 31 lineworkers across the nation honored this year by the NRECA during National Lineworker Month.

Wooten, Dixie Electric’s Waynesboro District supervisor, is always ready to assist his community at every opportunity. For example, in 2021, a 6-year-old boy went missing from his home. Wooten immediately went to assist local law enforcement in the search for the missing boy. After hours of searching, Dan found the missing boy and returned him home with only a few minor cuts and bruises.

Dan loves Wayne County and serves his members and community well.

2023 | JULY 5 News and Notes

One of the best ways to highlight ferns is to plant them in hanging baskets or pots.

Many varieties of ferns grow as a bush of green foliage, so lush that the fronds spill over the sides of the container. Raising this display up to eye level where it can be properly admired is one of the best ways to showcase their beauty.

Fern hanging baskets thrive in our Mississippi heat and humidity if they are kept in partial to full shade. They do best in filtered light, although a little morning sun is permissible.

If ferns sound like something your house or yard needs, there are many di erent varieties to choose from.

A popular but classic fern for hanging baskets is the Boston fern. The graceful and arching branches are lush with a rich, green color. You see these used all over the South in hanging baskets on front porches.

The Kimberly Queen fern, also known as the Sword fern for its lush, sword-shaped fronds, is gorgeous with both upright and sprawling growth habits. The leathery and toothed, dark-green foliage provides great texture. It also is a great choice for our hot and humid summers.

The Kimberly Queen tolerates more sun than does the Boston, and it can put on an enormous amount of growth in a year. They handle indoor conditions well for those who want to overwinter them.

Many gardeners don’t realize that, if it is planted in the ground, Kimberly Queen has quite a bit of cold tolerance, which frequently allows it to return from ground level in the spring. Mulching, of course, is mandatory.

Living up to its name, the Macho fern is a big, brawny fern that sports bright-green fronds with bold, broad leaves. Before the name Macho became attached to this fern, it was commonly called the broad sword fern.

6 JULY | 2023
Southern Gardening
I believe one of the easiest ways to add curb appeal to your home is to add beautiful ferns to the landscape. Ferns can also be brought inside to add greenery to indoor spaces.
The graceful and arching branches of the Boston fern have made it a popular hanging basket for decades across the South.

Growing up to 3 feet tall and wide, this plant makes a statement hanging on the porch. Despite their size potential, Macho ferns are commonly sold as large baskets that look great.

Feed ferns every month during spring and summer using a water-soluble fertilizer, and they will look great all season long. Indoors, ferns require very little fertilizer until you get ready to bring them outdoors in the spring.

Ferns do require frequent watering during the spring and summer. Give your ferns a good, deep soaking and then let them dry lightly before the next watering. Be careful not to overwater your ferns. More ferns are harmed from overwatering than underwatering.

During the winter, you can bring ferns in hanging baskets and pots inside. When growing ferns indoors, choose a spacious area that will allow their fronds plenty of room to shoot out in all directions.

Visit your local garden center to see what ferns they o er to add some beauty to your landscape or home.

2023 | JULY 7
Southern Gardening columnist Dr. Eddie Smith, a gardening specialist and Pearl River County coordinator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, is an internationally certified arborist, Produce Safety Alliance certified trainer, and one of the developers of the Mississippi Smart Landscapes program that encourages the use of native plants in the landscape. The Kimberly fern is a lush and beautiful selection that tolerates more sun than does the traditional Boston fern. The Macho fern grows up to 3 feet tall and wide with bold, broad leaves.

One sweltering summer afternoon, the waters beneath an overhanging branch along a shoreline seemed to boil. Despite the heat of the day, the sun did not cause this phenomenon.

Millions of insects attempted to dry their new wings on the branch and nearby bushes or buzzed around the vegetation. Inevitably, some fell into the water, kicking o a ferocious feeding frenzy.

Mayflies spend most of their lives underwater as nymphs that somewhat resemble elongated or flattened crickets. Hatches, technically just bugs metamorphizing into their winged adult form, periodically erupt during warmer months. In Mississippi, hatches typically take place from late March through early November, peaking from late June to mid-September.

The insects change into adults for one purpose — to mate and then die. Mayflies belong to the insect order Ephemeroptera, which means “lasting only one day.” Each hatch could produce millions, perhaps even billions, of winged insects clinging to tree branches, low bushes, reeds, or whatever they can find before taking flight to mate.

Huge mayfly swarms sometimes appear on radar. On July 3, 2020, a gigantic swarm appeared on National Weather Service radar 50 miles away and blanketed the town of Burlington, Iowa. In June 2015, a hatch along the Susquehanna River near Columbia, Pennsylvania, grew so thick that police had to close to bridge over the river because motorists couldn’t see. In 2014, a hatch on the upper Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wisconsin, reached an altitude of 2,500 feet. On radar, it resembled a powerful rainstorm approaching the town. Sometimes, northern communities use snowplows to push piles of dead insects o bridges so people can drive safely.

8 JULY | 2023 Outdoors Today
Most mayflies don’t even last their one day of adulthood. When such copious amounts of protein suddenly enter the food chain, that kicks o a massive feeding frenzy, attracting every bug eater around.

Most mayflies don’t even last their one day of adulthood. When such copious amounts of protein suddenly enter the food chain, that kicks o a massive feeding frenzy, attracting every bug eater around. Birds snatch flies from the air. Those that fall into the water, alive or dead, soon attract every fish in the vicinity.

Anglers never know when or where a major hatch might erupt. A hatch could happen along any freshwater stream or lake in the Magnolia State at any time, but generally occur in places with little or no current, like backwater areas away from the main channels or along placid lake shorelines.

Fishermen fortunate enough to find a mayfly hatch could load the boat quickly. Bait selection doesn’t matter as much as placement. If an enticement lands in the right spot where the water seems to boil with activity, strikes come fast. It the bait doesn’t hit the sweet spot, nothing happens.

For the most fun, cast small floating “popping bugs” made of cork or foam with fly tackle. These floating temptations mimic insects swimming on the surface. Some even closely resemble crickets, grasshoppers, or other creatures that fish love to eat.

Bass also eat the insects, but larger bass gather to feed on the multitude of smaller fish consuming the insects. Finding a mayfly hatch could swiftly turn a humdrum day into incredibly fast action.

2023 | JULY 9
John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer, broadcaster, photographer, and editor who lives in Alabama. An avid sportsman, he’s written more than 3,300 articles for more than 170 different magazines on a wide variety of outdoors topics.Contact him at

Scene Around the ‘Sip

Walter “Radar” Mullins spent a little over a year in Iraq manning a gun truck as a soldier with the Mississippi Army National Guard.

The assignment was stressful to say the least.

When he returned to Waynesboro in 2003, Mullins picked up an activity that he only “piddled with” before — woodworking.

“It was relaxing. And it allowed me to clear my mind,” Mullins, 56, said recently at the Waynesboro district o ce of Dixie Electric Power Association.

Mullins was visiting with Dan Wooten, Dixie Electric’s Waynesboro district supervisor.

Wooten and Mullins became friendly after Wooten spotted a wooden bulldozer inside Chickasawhay Feed, Seed, and Lumber.

“I was there buying some cow feed,” Wooten said. “I saw that bulldozer, and I couldn’t believe it. Whoever made it was so talented. I asked the owner who made it, and I tracked him down.”

Wooten’s o ce is now adorned with several wood trucks he commissioned from Mullins, including a few electric cooperative staples — a bucket truck, digger truck, and a track machine.

When they first met, Mullins asked Wooten for a bucket truck photo. Mullins finished the truck two months later.

10 JULY | 2023
From left: Dan Wooten of Dixie Electric and Walter “Radar” Mullins

Mullins has a day job working as a mechanic and a painter, but when he’s not doing that, or spending time with his wife, Margaret, he can be found woodworking in the workshop behind his home.

“Some people have hobbies, and others just exist. I don’t want to just exist, I want to do something meaningful,” Mullins said.

Through trial and error for more than six months, Mullins taught himself how to create detailed trucks.

“At the time I was working for a trucking company. I looked at an 18-wheeler and thought, I can make one of those,” Mullins said. He uses just four tools — a drill, scroll saw, sander, and a pocketknife. He uses cedar, poplar, ash, and oak wood for his trucks.

Although Mullins has made trucks for buyers in West Virginia, Alaska, North Carolina, and Alabama, he doesn’t do it for the money or commercial purposes.

“In a way, other than God, when I’m doing this, (woodworking) I’m in my happy place. This is my relaxing, alone time. Some people fish. This is what I do,” Mullins said.

2023 | JULY 11
Some people have hobbies, and others just exist. I don’t want to just exist, I want to do something meaningful.
Photos by Chad Calcote
31. Select photos will appear in the Oct. 2023 issue. Send us photos of you or your family and friends fishing or shots of the one that didn’t get away. The 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.
Plan to go to the polls! REGISTER. You have the POWER to BE INFORMED. You have the POWER to VOTE. You have the POWER to VOTE MS Co-ops

about home lighting

Gone are the days when a simple flip of the switch was the only choice for illuminating our homes. While we still have this tried-and-true option, we’ve entered a new era of innovative and intelligent technologies, which includes smart lighting. Smart lighting connects to Wi-Fi and o ers an array of cutting-edge functionality and convenience. Let’s look at the main benefits of smart lighting options.

Smart options

Most smart bulbs utilize LED technology, which is much more e cient than traditional incandescent lighting. Additionally, smart lighting gives you more control over how and when you light your home, ultimately resulting in less energy used for lighting.

home lighting

Whatever mood you want to create, smart lighting can help. For a more traditional look, try dimmable white bulbs. If you want to create the perfect ambiance for movie night, look for bulbs that can be adjusted for a variety of vibrant colors.

To use a smart bulb, the wall switch it’s connected to must be “on” so the bulb receives power, which enables it to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

If you need additional options to operate the lights, consider a smart light switch. Today’s smart switches tend to play nicely with smart bulbs. If you want to control your smart bulbs with a physical switch (in addition to using your phone and voice commands), look for smart switches that include a built-in feature that allows both.

If you’re looking to take the plunge and integrate multiple smart bulbs to your home lighting system, your best bet may be a kit, like the Philips Hue Starter Kit. Most kits include several bulbs and any additional tools you’ll need to get started.

Most smart bulbs can be controlled from an app on your smartphone or can be paired with your voice assistant, like Amazon Alexa. You can conveniently control lighting settings from anywhere in your home or when you’re away. Whether you want to set a schedule for lighting or adjust brightness levels, these smart options o er e ortless control from the comfort of, well, anywhere!

Whether you’re looking for more convenience, colorful options or better ways to manage energy use, smart lighting can provide multiple benefits. Determine which smart lighting features are most important for your needs, then start shopping!

Abby Berry writes on consumer and cooperative a airs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Philips
empower you to personalize
Smart lighting provides convenience and control
2023 | JULY 15
Smart lighting is energy e cient


I like the style of my front door, but it is drafty. Can you recommend ways to fix the drafts and make it more energy e cient?

The front door of your home has a lot of meaning. It sets the stage for the home and is the first impression for your guests. Beyond curb appeal, the front door is a good place to look for energy savings.

E cient exterior doors seal tightly and don’t allow air to pass through. Limiting airflow from exterior doors can result in lower heating and cooling costs. Throughout the years, the construction of exterior doors has improved to increase their e ciency. If your door is older, it likely is not insulated.

There are two strategies to address an ine cient front door: purchase a new one, or work with what you have.

If you want to replace your front door for aesthetic purposes, make it more functional or improve its e ciency, consider upgrading to an ENERGY STAR®-certified model. The ENERGY STAR® certification ensures the door you buy meets e ciency criteria for your local area. It also means the National Fenestration Rating Council independently tested and verified the door.

Replacing or improving your front door can help you save without compromising the aesthetics of your home.
16 JULY | 2023

Certification requires any windows in the door to be double or triple pane to reduce heat flow, which results in a more e cient home. While windows in doors o er aesthetics, more glass means less e ciency. ENERGY STAR® o ers di erent criteria based on the amount of glass the door has. That means that the bigger the windows in a door, the lower the e ciency. The most e cient doors have no glass or windows in them.

U-factor is the primary rating for e ciency on doors and windows. U-factor is the inverse of R-value, which is the rating used for insulation. Unlike R-value where higher is better, the lower the U-factor, the more energy e cient the door. Check the U-factor on ENERGY STAR® doors at your local hardware store or online to help choose the most e cient door in your preferred style.

ENERGY STAR®-certified doors are made of the most e cient materials, such as fiberglass, wood cladding, and steel with polyurethane foam core. They are built to fit snugly into their frames, reducing drafts and airflow.

When it comes to doors, you don’t have to sacrifice style for e ciency. There are many styles available to match the architecture, whether your home is historic or modern.

When completely replacing a door and the frame, you can use expanding foam or caulk to fill the space between the door jamb and structural framing. ENERGY STAR® doors have specific installation instructions to ensure the desired e ciency.

If a new door isn’t in your budget, there are less expensive options to reduce air leakage and improve your home’s e ciency.

All of that coming and going throughout the years can wear out weatherstripping. If you can see daylight around the edges of the door or underneath it, it’s time to stop those air leaks.

Weatherstripping around the door jamb can be adjusted to make a snug seal or replaced if it’s too far gone. Apply one continuous strip along each side, and make sure it meets tightly at the corners.

There are many di erent types of weatherstripping products on the market, so shop around for what’s right for you. Don’t forget the door sweep at the bottom of the door.

Adding a storm door can also help and is less expensive than replacing the entire door. Most storm doors have options for using a screen or glass. Swapping the screen for the glass insert can help save energy in both the winter and in the summer if you use air conditioning. Consider a storm door that’s easy to switch between glass and screen so you can maximize the benefits.

Open the door to energy savings by improving the e ciency of your exterior doors — without compromising the aesthetics of your home.

Miranda Boutelle is the chief operating o cer at E ciency Services Group in Oregon, a cooperatively owned energy e ciency company. Consider a storm door that’s easy to switch between glass and screen so you can maximize the benefits. Adding a storm door can help seal in your home and is less expensive than replacing the entire door.
2023 | JULY 17

Providing Your Own Power

If you’re wondering whether to buy a home generator in case of a power outage, you’re not alone. Backup power sources have gotten so popular that manufacturers now offer a wide range of choices. Options run from pull-start gasoline models costing a few hundred dollars to permanent outdoor installations for several thousand dollars. That variety makes it easier to get exactly what you want, but harder to choose.

A good first step is to think about what you want a home generator to do. Do you just want to keep your phone charged? Do you want to make sure food doesn’t spoil in your refrigerator? Do you want to make sure you have heat and air conditioning through an extended outage? Answering those questions will require you to know the wattage of the appliances you want to run, so you know the capacity of the generator you need. You might also ask if you really need a generator. The average U.S. home is without power about seven hours a year. Is that enough to justify the expense and attention?

Another part of your planning should be contacting your electric co-op to get their expert advice on the best and safest fit for your home.

Here’s what to know about the four basic choices in home generators:

Most portable generators are powerful enough to run a refrigerator or a window air conditioner. Special attention to safety is required, and they should never be used indoors, not even in a garage.

Portable generators are small enough that you might even take them on camping trips. The costs for these can vary — from more than $2,000 to as low as $400. Most should be able to run a refrigerator or a window air conditioner. Special attention to safety is required. They should never be used indoors, not even in a garage. The carbon monoxide they produce can be deadly in minutes. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 85 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gasoline-powered portable generators. Portable generators should be operated more than 20 feet from the house and be connected only with outdoor extension cords matched to the wattage being used. Look for models with a carbon a monoxide detector and automatic shutoff.

Appliances should be plugged in to the generator; the generator should never be plugged into an outlet or your home’s electrical system. You should also spend the money to have an electrician install a transfer switch. That acts as a mini-circuit breaker to protect your appliances and can be an easier way to connect the house to the generator.

Inverter generators are higher-tech versions of standard portable generators. The power they produce changes to match what the appliances are using, so although they are a little more expensive, they use fuel more efficiently and make less noise. The same safety guidelines apply to both inverter and standard portable generators.

Most standby generators are permanently mounted outside the home, then connected to the home’s electrical system. Standby generators run on propane or natural gas, and they must be installed by a professional electrician.

Standby generators can cost $7,000, plus installation, but they have the benefit of turning on automatically during a power outage and running your whole house. They’re typically a permanentlymounted outdoor unit that’s connected to your home electrical system and runs on propane or natural gas. It must be installed by a professional electrician.

Power stations, also known as batteries, charge themselves up while the power is on. They’re not as powerful as some of the other options, and can be more expensive, but they’re quiet, easy to operate, and some are designed to look good hanging on the wall. They can cost between $400 and $6,000. One common use of power stations is to pair them with rooftop solar panels, so electricity from the sun can be available even at night.

With the increased intensity of storms and our reliance on electronic devices, power outages can be a bigger concern these days. Technology now gives you many choices for how to react, whether you want to make sure you’re never without power, or you’re willing to just light a candle and wait for the lights to come back on.

Paul Wesslund writes on consumer and cooperative a airs for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

18 JULY | 2023

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20 JULY | 2023
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The idea came about when the pandemic hit, and downtown Hattiesburg was empty.

Everyone was on lock down and nobody was outside.

“We started thinking, what we can we do? How can we get people outside again and engaged,” said Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.

The pandemic caused the closure of the historic Saenger Theater downtown. The Hattiesburg Convention Commission managed the theater, so Rick Taylor, and his wife, Vicki Taylor, started thinking about ways for people to escape the isolation of lockdown with the theater as a catalyst.

Hidden for almost four decades, the couple discovered a boarded-up window in a rear storeroom of the theater that faced the outside alley. The window was replaced with security glass, and a display cabinet was created to fit the window. Lighting and an outside speaker were also added.

The idea was to create a museum experience that visitors could enjoy from the outside. The exhibits were purposefully small, so they could fit in the window.

The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum opened to the public in August

2020 with a Swiss army knife exhibit. More than 115 unique pocket knives were displayed.

The Taylors ensured there was mystery with the new museum. They wanted the public to “discover it organically.” There was no advertising. The only clue to the community was a billboard that simply said, “Can you find it?” with the museum’s logo, a mouse. The mouse is known as Milo and is the museum’s curator.

“People would call the city and say, ‘where is it?’ ‘What is it?’ We wouldn’t tell them,” Rick Taylor said.

The couple said they love to discover things when they travel, and they wanted the museum to evolve in a similar way.

Eventually, people discovered the downtown alley, and then photos started popping up on social media.

Three months after the museum

“opened,” there was a story published in The Washington Post.

“The headline was something like, the six best museums to open during the pandemic. And we were one of them,” Rick Taylor said.

After the story was published, people started to visit the alley behind the theater in droves. The Taylors said more than 150,000 people a year visit.

2023 | JULY 21
One of the great things about the museum is we get to do whatever we want. The city has been great and supportive. It’s brought people to downtown who might not have otherwise thought about coming before,
Many styles of art encompass the length of the alley — paintings on asphalt, utility boxes, doors and other exterior surfaces; sculptures from large to tiny in size; miniature scenes and people; and mixed media pieces. Some of the art visually and boldly transforming the space in which it exists while other pieces are hidden throughout the alley for curious explorers to find and create their own exciting adventure.

The actual pocket museum — the old window that now houses a new exhibit every month — is just one part of what the Taylors have created for the alley behind the theater.

There are numerous outdoor art installations in the alley including a Kelsey Montague painting on the city parking garage across from the museum, tiny pop culture displays hidden all up and down the corners and crevices of the alley, a 3-D Abbey Road painted on the ground for photo opportunities, a LEGO sky bridge between the theater and parking garage, a renovated newspaper stand transformed into an art gallery, and ever-changing miniature model dioramas placed on di erent utility boxes in the alley.

Right next to the window museum is a mini-theatre — The Hattiesburg Pocket Theater – where short film clips play along with the museum display.

“To keep people coming, we change the exhibit every month,” Vicki Taylor said. The monthly exhibits are always something very di erent — cute, funny, or just plain weird.

“We tend to find people either love or hate the museum exhibits,” Rick Taylor said.

The initial display, which was started during Covid, has a monthly revolving exhibit from area artists. The exhibit for June was provided by Lynda and Cory Hartup, a Cooperative Energy drone pilot that creates miniature sculptures from his 3-D printers.

22 JULY | 2023

Past exhibits include: “McDonald’s Through the Ages” with the chain’s iconic paper hats and blue uniform and Happy Meal boxes; “Shrunken Heads” carved from apples, sweet potatoes, and pears; the now extinct “Library Card” with old cards brought back to life as canvas drawings that give a tip of the hat to the books the cards were once tied to; and an exhibit called, “Tools of the Trade: Serial Killers,” which showcased four well-known real life and fictional killers — Dexter, Hannibal Lecter, the Zodiac Killer, and the Green River Killer — and their “tools of choice.”

The June 2023 exhibit was called, “Honey, I Shrunk the Museum.” The exhibit featured famous works of art from all over the world shrunken to mouse-size and touched up with paint, sparkles, and glitter.

The exhibit was the brainchild of Lynda and Cory Hartup, who spent about eight months putting it together. Cory Hartup is a drone pilot for Cooperative Energy, a generation and transmission cooperative that provides wholesale power to 11 local electric distribution cooperatives.

“The idea was Lynda’s. She just told me what I needed to do to help,” Cory Hartup said.

Hartup used 3-D printers to print the tiny statues while Lynda painted each piece and created the backstory for each panel.

Hartup said the response to the exhibit, and the museum in general, has been tremendous.

“I love it (the museum). This was such a cool idea, and it’s been great for Hattiesburg,” he added.

Rick and Vicki Taylor run the museum without any city funding. The budget when they started out was $800. They spent $300 on the museum sign.

Vicki Taylor works 30 hours a week as a volunteer.

“Honestly, this is a labor of love for us,” Vicki Taylor said. Exhibits are set through 2024, but the couple always welcomes the public’s ideas.

“One of the great things about the museum is we get to do whatever we want. The city has been great and supportive. It’s brought people to downtown who might not have otherwise thought about coming before,” Rick Taylor said.

The Hattiesburg Pocket Museum is free and open to the public 24 hours a day. For more information, visit

2023 | JULY 23
A painting of dragonflies by Kelsey Montague adorns the facade of the parking garage across from the museum, in the alley.





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Picture This

26 JULY | 2023
1 2 3 4
2023 | JULY 27
1. Playing some tunes, by Morris Miller of Macon; 4-County Electric member. 2. Bleu and Lula Belle enjoying the screened in back porch, by Eleanor McClendon of Lumberton; Pearl River Valley Electric member. 3. Laila rocking on Mawmaw’s porch, by Lisa Brock of Sumrall; Pearl River Valley Electric member. 4. Our dogs are part of the family, by Diane Harper of Olive Branch; Northcentral Electric member. 5. Chatting, by Vicki Murphy of Bay Springs; Southern Pine Electric member. 6. Rocking chair, by Michelle Forsythe of Byhalia; Northcentral Electric member. 7. Back porch fun during spring 2023, by Bob Morton of Starkville; 4-County Electric member. 8. Grilling on the porch, by Glenn Dixon of Brandon; Southern Pine Electric member.
5 6
8 9
9. After the Easter egg hunt, by Teresa Lott of Perkinston; Pearl River Valley Electric member.

On the Menu

A song out of a Christmas movie, no less, and it’s been on my mind all week long. Sounds strange to equate summer with Christmas, unless you are a Hallmark movie fan, then you live for movie marathons that revolve around the same timeless (or tiresome) plot, same crisp white snowy splendor everywhere, and little towns that look like — well, look like something out of a Hallmark movie.

I’ve been known to shut the curtains, set the air to iceberg, cuddle under a blanket, and imagine that it isn’t hotter than Georgia asphalt in August outside. But su ce to say, my jingle bell reverie doesn’t draw me into the kitchen to bake a ham, or roast a turkey, or spend a

minute making mama’s dressing with giblet gravy. I need lighter fare, and something that speaks “birds and the trees and sweet-scented breezes.” I need something more 4th of July, and outdoor picnics, and eating on the back porch watching the lightning bugs put on a show. So, how about an old-fashioned strawberry shortcake (thank the Lord for strawberry season), or some pulled chicken that can be started in the morning and be ready for dinner without heating up the whole kitchen? And for good measure, who doesn’t love potato salad in summer? This one is my oldest kiddo’s favorite, and I’ll happily share it with you.

Makes (at least) 12 sandwiches


3 pounds of fresh chicken breasts (about 4 to 5 large breasts)

2 18-ounce bottles of Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue sauce

½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper

½ teaspoon of Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning

½ teaspoon of all-purpose salt-free seasoning (Kroger makes a good ‘zesty’ one)

Garlic powder, lemon pepper, etc.

Spray the insert of a crock pot lightly with Pam. Lay the raw chicken breasts in the bottom of the liner in a single layer, overlapping the edges if necessary to make them all fit. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Season to taste with garlic powder, lemon pepper, and all-purpose seasoning. Pour the two bottles of barbecue sauce over the top and cover. Turn heat to high and cook for 4 ½ to 5 hours until chicken is totally done and fall-apart tender. Using two forks, shred the chicken in the sauce. Serve hot on hamburger or slider buns.

Note: You may think you’ve added way too much barbecue sauce to the recipe until the chicken is shredded, so don’t skimp.

28 JULY | 2023


2 pounds of small new potatoes, washed and halved or quartered

1 pound of bacon, cooked and crumbled

(Alternately, ½ cup of real bacon bits will work)

1 bunch of green onions, tops, and greens, sliced

½ cup of mayonnaise

¼ cup of sour cream

2 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoon of vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil for roasting potatoes

4-6 servings

Sprinkle potatoes lightly with salt and pepper. Heat a roasting pan at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes, add the 1 tablespoon of oil to pan, and place back in the oven for a minute or two to heat well. Add potatoes to hot pan and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, taking care not to over brown, but making sure potatoes are tender (turn down oven if necessary.) When potatoes are done, remove to a bowl and allow to cool. Add the bacon and onions and toss together. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, and sour cream. Pour over potatoes and toss well. Serve immediately, or refrigerate to have later.


1 quart strawberries, washed and hulled

½ cup plus 2 teaspoons of sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Slice all strawberries into a medium bowl; sprinkle with ½ cup sugar and let stand at room temperature. If desired, crush berries lightly. (Save a few pretty slices or whole strawberries for garnish.) Whip cream with remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar and refrigerate until needed.


2 cups all-purpose flour

1⁄3 cup sugar

4 teaspoons of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

½ cup of butter

1 egg

1⁄3 cup of milk

1⁄8 teaspoon of nutmeg

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg with milk. Add to flour mixture and stir just until well blended. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat out into a round. Cut into individual biscuits and bake on a greased baking sheet (do not allow them to touch for the prettiest shortcakes). Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 2 minutes.

To assemble: Split a shortcake with a serrated knife into two layers. Spread a little softened butter on the bottom cut side and the top layer. Place bottom layer on serving plate. Spread with whipped cream, then top with strawberries and juice. Add top layer and add a little more cream and a few more berries. Serve.

2023 | JULY 29
Vicki Leach is a full-time chef/culinary instructor at Mississippi State University in the Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion. She teaches Science of Food Preparation, Foodservice Organization, and Quantity Food Production. She also serves as the food service coordinator for First Baptist Church in Starkville, where she attends with her husband, Rob. She has four children and five grandchildren, and lives in a 130-year-old farmhouse that speaks to her old soul. She still has the first cookbook she ever owned.

Clarke County Farmers Market. July 15, Aug. 19, Sept. 16, Oct. 21. Quitman. Every third Saturday thru October. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lots of fresh produce, food vendors, and arts and craft vendors. Depot parking lot on Railroad Avenue. Sponsored by the Clarke County Chamber of Commerce. Details: 601-776-5701

Ricky Atkinson and Compassion. July 2. Petal. The First Baptist Church of Runnelstown will host the concert at 6 p.m. A love o ering will be received. The church is located at 9211 Highway 42. Details: 601-583-3733 or 601-325-4047.

Je and Sheri Easter and Ricky Atkinson and Compassion. July 3. Waynesboro. The concert will start at 7 p.m. at the South Mississippi Freewill Baptist Campground, 1400 Pine Grove Road. This free indoor concert will be the part of 65th Southern Gospel Sing. Bring lawn chairs. Concessions will be available and a love o ering will be received. Details: 601-735-9083 or 601-270-1543

Amory Indian Artifact and Relic Show. July 22. Amory. From 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Magnolia State Archaeological Society will meet at 3 p.m. Awards will be given for: Best Recent Find. Best of Show, Best Education Display Stone, and others. The event is free. Old Armory, 101 S. 9th St. Details: 662-397-1249 or 228-235-1506.

Calhoun County Sacred Harp Singing Convention. Aug. 12. Vardaman. Will be held at Mt. Hermon Primitive Baptist Church, 163 CR 427. Singing will begin at 10 a.m. with lunch in the fellowship hall. Singing will continue in the afternoon until 2:30 p.m. Singing will be from the 1991 edition of The Sacred Harp. Loaner books will be available. Details: 662-507-9434.

Little Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Aug. 17, 18, and 19. Sturgis. Event admission is $10. Live music, dinner ride, sound and light show, poker run, bike games, and food and merchandise vendors. Begins at 9 a.m. Diane Jackson Memorial Park.

Details: 662-465-7970

Mississippi Sacred Harp Singing Convention. Aug. 26 and 27. Forest. The event will be held at Antioch Primitive Baptist Church, 6931 MS Hwy. 21. Singing will begin at 10 a.m. both days with lunch in the fellowship hall. Details:

The 31st Clarke Fest. Sept. 23. Quitman. Archusa Water Park, 540 County Road 110. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Car show, entertainment, Miss Clarke County pageant, fishing tournament, arts, crafts, food vendors, and kid’s zone. Sponsored by Clarke County Chamber of Commerce.

Details: 601-776-5701

30 JULY | 2023
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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. Email to Events are subject to change.

Thank you to all of the day lily and tomato growers who emailed me about last month’s column, where I was lamenting the poor showing of our day lilies this year and absolute lack of showing of any tomatoes on my vines last year. The photo that accompanies this article attests to the fact that my tomatoes are already doing better. Also, I think I have a handle on our day lilies as well. The day lilies ended up blooming better than I expected.

My tomato situation came to mind the other day as we were driving through Belzoni. Jo went with me to Silver City to do a story about the recovery from the March tornado. Silver City, or what’s left of it, is about five miles south of Belzoni. When we finished the story, Jo and I drove on up Highway 49 to grab a bite to eat before going back home.

In Belzoni we remembered one of our grand adventures that happened there several years ago. It started as we were trying to follow some rather obscure directions to the house of one of Jo’s friends. Now, this was before we all had location finders and GPS on our phones. For that matter, it was well before we all had phones in our pockets, too. We used dead reckoning and scribbled notes to get where we were going back then.

Our landmarks included a blue transmission shop where we were to turn left and follow that road until the power lines ran out.

After about a half hour of circling in and out of cotton patches, Jo said I should stop and ask for directions. Normally that statement would have been blasphemous to my manhood. But it was getting late, and I had no idea where we were going, so I compromised. I stopped. But Jo went up to a house to ask for directions.

She knocked on the front door. The door opened and she went inside. Five long minutes later Jo and the couple who lived there came out the back door with paper sacks in their hands and disappeared through the wooden gate into their back yard. After a while all three emerged and came toward the car with bags of squash, tomatoes, corn, and other stu . They had loaded us up with vegetables from their garden. They also knew Jo’s friend and told us exactly how to get to her house to boot.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I almost rethought that whole “never ask for directions” thing us men swear by.

As we were backing out of their driveway, I stopped the car and turned to Jo and said, “Let’s stop at the next neighbor’s house down the road and ask for directions again and see what they have in their garden.”

Just as a lark, before we left Belzoni the other day, we put Jo’s friend’s address in our GPS and drove straight to her house. She wasn’t home.

2023 | JULY 31
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
After a while all three emerged and came toward the car with bags of squash, tomatoes, corn, and other stu . They had loaded us up with vegetables from their garden.

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