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Periodical postage (ISSN 1052 2433)

News for members of Coahoma Electric Power Association

STUDENTS TOUR WASHINGTON, D.C. 5

Clean Kitchen

12 Digital Magic

19 Steps to Nowhere


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August 2019

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August 2019

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Today in Mississippi

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Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi: Supporting your local cooperative to serve you better The true power of locally-owned electric cooperatives are the consumer-members living and working in the communities they serve – and when those cooperatives are connected, their collective energy gives them statewide reach. The Electric Cooperatives in Mississippi (ECM) serves in this “connector” role, supporting Mississippi’s cooperative members. On a statewide level, ECM’s main objective is to complement what Mississippi’s electric cooperatives do at the local level. By amassing this collective – and important – work under one association, we ultimately form a stronger, unified voice. This voice, in turn, supports strategic efforts that aim to positively impact all of our members across rural Mississippi. ECM represents and serves 26 electric cooperatives, helping provide electric services to nearly 800,000 meters – that translates to more than 1.8 million Mississippians served, covering 85 percent of the state’s landmass.

“ECM represents and serves 26 electric cooperatives, helping provide electric services to nearly 800,000 meters – that translates to more than 1.8 million Mississippians served, covering 85 percent of the state’s landmass.” In our statewide capacity, it is our commitment to both facilitate and lead efforts in safety, education and training, economic development, legislative affairs, public policy, tax and regulatory matters and regional planning – all of which help each Mississippi electric cooperative run more smoothly, successfully and serve its members better. In addition to the “business” side of our operation, ECM also takes a leadership role in programs supported by local electric cooperatives, such as

On the cover The Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Youth Leadership Program had 81 students at the 2019 Youth Tour in Washington, D.C.

JOIN TODAY IN MISSISSIPPI

ON FACEBOOK Visit us online at www.todayinmississippi.com

youth outreach. One of those is the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour, a national program that sends more than 1,800 high school students from 43 states to Washington, D.C., every June. This year, 81 students from Mississippi, representing 20 local cooperatives, participated. The Youth Tour, which you can read about in the following pages, provides students an inside look into state and federal government operations as well as incrediMy Opinion ble opportunities to learn Michael Callahan leadership skills and build Executive Vice President/CEO Electric Cooperatives relationships that will serve of Mississippi them for a lifetime. Another significant outcome of the program is that these students develop strong relationships with their sponsoring electric cooperative and often speak or volunteer at annual meetings and other cooperative events. The results are meaningful community service hours and experiences that often inspire college application essays or can lead to technical or member services career opportunities after graduation. ECM’s role as “connector” also includes publishing Today in Mississippi. Through this monthly publication, we work hand-in-hand with your electric cooperative to bring our 470,000-plus readers stories celebrating life in Mississippi and our rich culture as well as important local industry news. And, don’t forget that next month’s issue will debut in the new magazine format, which we are excited to share with you! These are just a few of the many ways that ECM supports local electric cooperatives across the state, and everything we do is focused on this one goal: working alongside our cooperatives to better serve you, our communities and Mississippi. Visit us at www.ecm.coop.com to learn more.

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

Vol. 72 No. 8 EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING • 601-605-8600 Acceptance of advertising by Today in Mississippi does not imply endorsement of the advertised product or services by the publisher or Mississippi’s electric power associations. Product satisfaction and delivery responsibility lie solely with the advertiser. The publisher (and/or its agent) reserves the right to refuse or edit all advertising. • National advertising representative: American MainStreet Publications 800-626-1181 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300 Circulation of this issue: 472,701

IS

The beauty of a winter snowstorm, Once in a blue moon Raindrops clinging to a leaf After a spring rain The laughter of children playing in the red dirt, The taste of blackberry cobbler and teacakes On a Sunday afternoon Listening to the whippoorwills On a summer night in June Wild violets growing in the woods, From the Delta to the Coast Bluegrass music, the lighthouse, Cotton fields as far as you can see Dogwood trees, azaleas, roses and butterflies Mississippi is … to me

The Official Publication of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Today in Mississippi is brought to you by your member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative to inform you about your cooperative and its various services, including wise energy use. If you are not a member of a subscribing cooperative, you can purchase a subscription for $9.50 per year. Today in Mississippi (ISSN 1052-2433) is published 11 times a year (Jan.-Nov.) by Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Inc., P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300, or 665 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, MS 39157. Phone 601-605-8600. Periodical postage paid at Ridgeland, MS, and additional office.

—Frances Dennis, Soso

What’s Mississippi to you? What do you treasure most about life in our state? Send your thoughts to Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158, or to news@ecm.coop. Please keep your comments brief. Submissions are subject to editing for length and clarity.

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A question for my readers Mr. Roy recently asked me this question, and I failed on my answer. Where is the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library located? As I pondered my answer, I said, “Well, I remember from teaching high school history that he was born and grew up in Ohio. I’ll say somewhere in Ohio.� I knew that Mr. Roy had recently read a book on the life of Grant, and I also knew I was in for a history lesson. My man has always loved history and especially biographies about the people who founded this great country and others who have influenced it. He has always been interested in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. His most recent study was of Ulysses S. Grant, and the book he chose was “Grant� by Ron Chernow. For anyone interested, Mr. Roy says it’s a great book, but only if you can endure 965 pages. Back to the Grant Presidential Library and Mr. Roy’s question. After I failed to answer the question correctly, he said, “You'll never guess the location correctly. It’s located at Mississippi State University in the Mitchell Memorial Library and opened in November 2017. It is only one of six universities in the country that houses a presidential library, and I want to go visit it.� I said, “Let’s go in a couple days; Grin ‘n’ but first, give me Bare It a crash course on by Kay Grafe Grant so I’ll know more about him.� Mr. Roy proceeded to tell me about his military career, his rise to general of all Union Armies and his defeat of Robert E. Lee. I said, “I remember a lot of what you told me, and I also remember that the high school history books were very critical of his presidency.� Mr. Roy said, “The Chernow book cleared up a lot of the criticisms of Grant both as a military man and as president. There were reports during the war and during his presidency that he was an alcoholic. But, according to his closest associates, these stories were mostly false or overly exaggerated. There were also several scandals during his presidency, but all were caused by people in his cabinet or

other appointed positions. There were never any accusations that Grant did anything illegal or dishonest. We are leaving early Friday morning, so be ready.� To house the vast amount of material associated with the Grant Library, the university added a fourth floor to the Mitchell Memorial Library. This is now the home of 17,000 linear feet of documents, books, manuscripts and artifacts associated with the life of President Grant. The collection includes correspondence from Grant and his family, civil war generals and common soldiers, clothing, china, books owned by the Grant family and a variety of 19th century objects bearing Grant’s image. For anyone doing research for a book or just to answer a question, the Grant Presidential Library at Mississippi State University is the place to visit. We left home early Friday morning and had no trouble locating the library, even though as Mr. Roy likes to say, “Mississippi State sure has changed since the early- to mid-1950s.� We did visit the campus parking website online and printed a temporary parking pass. And you may want to consider doing this when you plan your visit. When we arrived at the Grant Library on the fourth floor of the Mitchell Memorial Library, we were warmly greeted and provided all of the guidance we needed to enjoy our tour. The presidential library is new and modern with “hands-on visual aids,� exhibits and artifacts that do an excellent job of describing the life of Ulysses S. Grant. But as Mr. Roy reminded me, the majority of the research material is stored and protected in rooms behind public view. As we headed back to Lucedale, I told Mr. Roy, “Thank you for a very enjoyable day and tour of the Grant Presidential Library, it is something that Mississippians should visit and be proud of. Now, when and where do we eat?�

Kay Grafe is the author of “Oh My Gosh, Virginia.� To order, send name, address, phone number and $16.95, plus $3.50 S&H, to Kay Grafe, 2142 Fig Farm Road, Lucedale, MS 39452.


August 2019

CLEAN KITCHEN: healthy habits for real life

By Sandra M. Buckley “Most people envision ‘healthy eating’ as salads and chicken for the rest of their life,” said Jamie Page of Hattiesburg. “They believe in order to be healthy or to lose weight there should be some sort of suffering that goes with it. But eating well does not mean cutting flavor or starving!” And that core belief is what led Page and business partner Kellar McAlister to launch Clean Kitchen, a pioneering program that focuses on developing lifestyle habits that promote whole body health – including nutritious cooking and eating, fitness and quality sleep. And, central to Clean Kitchen’s message is that healthy living does not mean giving up delicious food or needing to spend hours cooking complicated recipes. Clean Kitchen’s program, the 12 Week Challenge, is an online, coach-based course designed to teach

Avocado Brownies

I Fresh: 1 large avocado 1 ⁄2 cup unsweetened applesauce 3 ⁄4 cup Egg Beaters

I Pantry: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 ⁄3 cup honey 1 ⁄2 cup coconut flour 1 ⁄3 cup cocoa 1 tablespoon baking soda 1 ⁄4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional) Nonstick cooking spray Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend avocados, applesauce, vanilla extract and honey. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in Egg Beaters. Then, add coconut flour, cocoa, baking soda and chocolate chips. Spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray and bake for 25 minutes (or a little less for a fudgier consistency). Let cool before serving.

and establish lifestyle habits through meal planning, consistency and accountability. Each participant has a personal coach and together will customize Jamie Page, Clean Kitchen the challenge to fit his or her goals, whether that is losing weight, building muscle, making better food choices or managing portion control, improving existing medical conditions or preventing diseases and illnesses. An easyto-use app serves as the activity hub for participants and conveniently assists them in managing daily food logs, tracking progress and communicating with their coach. While Clean Kitchen is located in Hattiesburg, as an app-based program, it is accessible to anyone, anywhere – and thousands of clients from across Mississippi, the U.S. and globe have already

Sweet Potato & Apple Hash I Fresh: 1 sweet potato, skinned and chopped 1 apple, chopped 1 ⁄4 white or yellow onion, chopped 1 cup spinach, chopped (optional) I Pantry: 1 can tomato sauce 1 can diced tomatoes 1 packet McCormick’s Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce Mix Salt, to taste In a medium saucepan, add oil and heat on low/medium heat. Add sweet potato and spices, then cover, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Cook until sweet potatoes are fork-tender, about 5 minutes (may add 1 tablespoon water as needed if potatoes are not softening). Next, add the apple and onion, and more oil if needed, and cook down for another 5 minutes. Once all ingredients are soft, add in spinach and cook until wilted. Serve immediately.

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successfully completed a 12 Week Challenge event. Strategically designed for “real life,” Clean Kitchen’s challenge is not a diet program. “Counting calories or macronutrients is just not practical for the everyday person looking to feel better and improve their body composition,” said Page. “And honestly, most of the time the counting is very inaccurate and also creates an obsession with hitting the ‘numbers’ instead of focusing on the nutrients your body needs. In real life, we do not need complicated math equations to build our plates. We are all different and different sizes; and most times, our hand-size is pretty spot-on to what our bodies need at each meal. By using hand portion sizes, we get our clients to focus more on the quality of their food.” To complement the challenge and reach more people, Page and McAlister published “Clean Kitchen: the Cookbook,” which is filled with “recipe re-vamps” of flavor-packed comfort foods that are easy, tasty and quick to make using simple, wholesome ingredients. “For most people, complicated recipes are one of the barriers to eating healthy,” Page explained. “When Kellar and I were writing the cookbook, we made a deal that any recipe we put in it would have ingredients that could be found at any local grocery store and that would not take more than 20 minutes to prep.” Packed with cooking tips and other valuable resources, the cookbook is much more than a collection of recipes. “I know with each copy sold, we just planted a seed,” said Page, sharing that the hope is that people add the recipes to their rotation in meal planning – building momentum for enjoying cooking and eating healthy. “If the cookbook does that, then we just changed someone’s quality of life forever.” Visit www.vsccleankitchen.com for more information on the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge, which begins August 18, or to order the cookbook.

Chicken Parm Bake

I Fresh: 4-5 frozen chicken breasts 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese 1 ⁄2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, mix together tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and seasoning. Place frozen chicken breasts in a baking dish and season with salt. Pour sauce mixture over chicken. Top each chicken breast with a dollop of cottage cheese, and then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Serve immediately.


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August 2019

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August 2019

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AN OLD MAN’S MEMORIES OF AUGUST

While not the same stream the boy fished in his youth, he surely would have celebrated one this clear and serene. Photo by Tony Kinton.

Once upon a time and far, far away, there was a boy. “Wait,” someone will shout. “That sounds like an elementary opening to a fairy tale. Can’t you write a better lead than that?” Perhaps, but I hold to the one offered above. There are fairies and giants and heroes; still, the following story is unlike others we have heard or read in that genre. It falls short of the common definition with which we are familiar because it is true. This boy in question lived on a poor-dirt farm. Other than Sunday church, Vacation Bible School and the annual practice of week-long revival services, he had little exposure during summers to the world outside those 80 acres. Work on that farm began early on with milder duties but morphed with years into more detailed and complex chores. Preparing for and planting crops, maintenance of those crops and harvesting them became common. So did tinkering with equipment to keep it serviceable. Regarding equipment in that boy’s day, it was most rudimentary. A disk was the primary tool. And there was a stalk cutter made from cast-off road grader blades welded to a steel pipe which, in theory anyway, chopped the residue of corn and cotton after gathering. Planting of said crops, though done mechanically, was accomplished one row at a time. Plowing too. But life was good. Everything was not hot and dirty work. Portions of a day or two per week involved walking to a creek less than a mile away, cane pole and a can of worms accompanying the boy. Most of these adventures were reserved for late afternoons, with redbellies the preferred specimen. But the occasional

catfish or bass came. That latter was colloquially known as trout in those days. The boy thought them exotic, though he preferred the taste of redbellies. He would take his catch home threaded onto a spindly green limb as shadows lengthened. He quickly prepared and presented the entire package to his mama. She always congratulated him, and would more times than not fry them right then for supper. This exercise was usually in August, when gardens had been set aside and cotton picking or corn pulling not yet underway. And there were other August days when the boy went with his daddy to the Pearl River, a Outdoors much more adventurous journey Today than that one to the creek. His by Tony Kinton daddy liked to fish, and August generally initiated a season that worked well for spotted cats, his daddy’s favorite. The man knew how to catch spotted cats. August, for the most part, saw waters low, currents gentle and sandbars embracing edges all along the river’s course. The boy’s daddy understood that spotted cats would be there, cloistered in holes along steep banks or tucked snugly in debris of downed trees that eroding currents had unearthed from those banks. He would dangle limb hooks there. It was glorious. When I think about the entire matter more, this story definitely has a fairy-tale flavor. There was that

once-upon-a-time thing, mid 1950s or so. There was that far, far away element. Today, however, that is more accurately measured by chronology than geography. And there definitely was a boy; I knew him. There were fairies, seen by the boy, in sunlight glittering on the surface of placid water; dragonflies sitting on cattail stalks; green herons fishing the shallows. There were giants too. Some were only perceived, like an owl hooting in the distance. But there was a real giant out there; his name was Fear. And there was heroism; this displayed not so much in the boy as it was in his parents. Often times, heroism required nothing more from them than to just be there. That, the boy later realized, was a feat demanding the strength of Atlas. I haven’t seen the boy in nigh on 60 years. I hear, however, that he is doing well. Since he is my age, that is quite the accomplishment. I hear that he has experienced pain and pleasure, sorrow and joy, failure and success. He has stood nose-to-nose with that giant. I am told he credits his resolve and endurance to that upbringing of hard work and proper teaching. He kept his eyes, now failing him, on the goal. And a key component in all this, he has said, were those youthful days at that little church down the road from where he grew up. This, as it turns out, is a genuine fairy tale after all. Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. His latest book is “Rambling Through Pleasant Memories.” Visit www.tonykinton.com for more information.


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Today in Mississippi I August 2019



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August 2019  Today in Mississippi

By Elissa Fulton Eighty-one of Mississippi’s finest high school juniors spent a week in June exploring the nation’s capital and making new friends, courtesy of their local electric cooperative. The students that participated in the 33rd annual Mississippi Electric Cooperative Youth Tour were able to visit many of the capital’s most significant historical and cultural sites during the tour. They also joined more than 1,800 participants from 43 other states as a part of the national electric cooperative program for the annual Youth Day. The day was filled with motivational speakers and information about unique cooperative opportunities available to students. 2019 Youth Leadership Council Member and National Spokesperson Wallace Bass was invited back to speak to the students during Youth Day. Wallace was sponsored by Central Electric Power Association in Carthage. A highlight was a visit to the U.S. Capitol, where Rep. Michael Guest carried on the tradition of escorting Mississippi students to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Guest told the students about the historical artifacts significant to the Capitol Building. After the Capitol tour, each student had the opportunity to visit the office of his or her congressman. The workshop in Jackson, held in February, and Youth Tour are components of the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi (ECM) Youth Leadership Program. Participants are chosen through a competitive process sponsored by their electric cooperative. “We are strong advocates of providing resources to educate and encourage our young people,” said Ron Stewart, ECM senior vice

Mississippi’s participants in the 33rd annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour met with Rep. Michael Guest on the steps of the U.S. Capitol building.

president. “Our investment in this program has produced outstanding dividends as we see many of our past participants serving in leadership roles in our communities, schools and government. They have accepted our challenge and are using their skills to make a difference. Their involvement is a true example of the success this program has experienced in the past 33 years.” 2019 Mississippi Youth Tour delegates and their sponsoring electric cooperatives are Alcorn County EPA: Alana Hillard,



MISSISSIPPI YOUTH LEADERS

Rep. Guest gave Youth Tour students a tour of the Capitol, beginning in the National Statuary Hall, which is devoted to sculptures of prominent Americans throughout history.



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Payne Sleeper; Central EPA: James Carpenter, John Carpenter, Savanna Greer, Callum Mann, Brooks McDill, Kathryn Moss, Brack Rudolph; Coast Electric: Caleb Bergmann, Jordan Calomese, Alaina Olsen, Mary Thames; Dixie Electric: Lorin Brown, Courtney Lee; East Mississippi EPA: Khadijah Bell, Daneel Konnar, Judson Moore, Maggie Phillips, Shelbie Dean Reid; 4-County EPA: Ben Brown, Carrington Davis, Ethan Sevier, Zachary Wilson; Magnolia Electric Power: Baleigh Brumfield, Abby Burris, Carley Craig, Amia Miller; Natchez Trace EPA: Seth Burks, Chris Mathieu; North East Mississippi EPA: Johnathyn Assad, Mason Bay, Jed Fitts, Murphy Grace Smith, Tamyia Spencer; Northcentral EPA: Grady Brooks, Bobby Current, Anna Ruth Doddridge, Kennedi Evans, Xavier Harrell, Avery Hughes, Madi Jones, Dreanna Leake, Morgan Lee, Sammy Lee, Caroline McIntosh, Katie Payne, Kevin Rico, Alex Sanderlin, Danielle Smith, Morgan Vanderburg; Pearl River Valley EPA: Eli Johnson, Hannah Phipps; Singing River Electric: Sarah Hults, Carly Jones, Jeb Wells, Madisyn Peterson; Southern Pine Electric: Hunter Lee, Ethan McNair; Southwest Electric: John Michael Chance III, Graci Malone, Layna Myers, Carleigh Sproulls; Tallahatchie Valley EPA: Grant Burress, Claye Childers, Taylor Dean, Mary Grace Dickerson, J’Kayla Pomerlee, Abbi Roark, Ben Rowsey; Tombigbee EPA: Sara Taylor Baker, Alisha Boren, Tara Beth Buse, Haley Dean, Chloe Evans, Lakin Hamm, Cameron Mayes; Twin County EPA: Ethan Blasingame, Williette Kingdom; and Yazoo Valley EPA: Hunter Barron, Peyton Jones. Cooperative Energy sponsored a student representing Singing River Electric.




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Back to School Electric co-ops are continually learning to improve service for members. It’s a new school year and kids of all ages are getting ready for a fresh year of learning! From kindergarten through college, students attend school to gain knowledge about a broad variety of subjects and learn new skills that will prepare them for the future. In a similar vein, Coahoma Electric Power Association is continually learning in order to advance technology that improves electric service, reliability, safety and in turn, enhances quality of life for the members we serve in our local communities. Coahoma Electric Power Association keeps abreast of industry trends because the energy

sector is rapidly changing. Innovations in technology and energy types are fueling demand for more options. On the consumer front, people are looking for more ways to manage their energy use with smart technologies. Consumers expect more convenient payment methods – whether through automatic bill pay, pre-pay, online or in person. We’re working to help sift through the options for our members in ways that benefit the greater community. At the same time, we never lose sight of the top priority – providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity.

Students will be out and about. Please watch out for school buses and children at crosswalks. And observe school zones when school is in session.

THINK SAFETY!

Coming

COAHOMA ELECTRIC POWER ASSOCIATION

WILL BE CLOSED Monday, September 2 in observance of

LABOR DAY

NEXT MONTH... We are excited to announce that the September issue of Today in Mississippi will have a new look. The state’s most widely circulated publication will transition to a magazine format. The publication’s content will continue to reflect Coahoma Electric Power Association’s pride in the communities we serve and our beautiful home state. What will change? The new magazine format will reflect a high-quality, colorful and sophisticated design. By increasing to 32 pages, the additional space will allow us to deliver even more interesting and entertaining content along with dynamic photographs – and all in an easy-to-read layout. We look forward to sharing with you soon the fresh, new look of our publication and also a renewed commitment to delivering quality stories and family-friendly content celebrating life in Mississippi. And, it continues to be our privilege to be your source for valuable information about your cooperative, new recipes, travel, events, gardening, outdoor life and so much more.


August 2019

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Today in Mississippi

Four life hacks to beat the summer heat As summer temperatures continue to go up, there’s no need to let the heat get you down. There are several ways you can keep cool this summer –– without wreaking havoc on your home’s air conditioner! Use these four simple life hacks to beat the summer heat: 1. Make aloe vera cubes. Whether you’re nursing a sunburn or just wanting to cool off, aloe vera cubes will offer some relief. Simply fill an ice tray with aloe vera gel, freeze it, then place the cubes on your body’s pulse points, like the neck and wrists, for a quick cooling sensation. 2. Try a cooling pillow. If you’re willing to spend a little, a cooling pillow can help you feel more comfortable on those muggy summer nights. Prices range from $27 (like Plixio Pillows) to $180 (like the Technogel Pillow), so you can determine how much you’re willing to spend. 3. Just add mint. Menthol makes our bodies feel cool, so by adding spearmint essential oil to products like body wash and lotion, you can get an instant cooling effect. Essential oils can be purchased at most drugstores or online. 4. Spend a few bucks on a handheld fan mister. Sure, you may feel a little silly carrying around a tiny fan, but you’ll be more comfortable than everyone else –– and they’ll probably ask to borrow it. You can typically find these at big box stores like Wal-Mart or Target, or you can order one online. There are additional ways to keep you and your home cool this summer: • Close blinds and curtains during the day, and open them during the evening when the temperatures are cooler. • Use ceiling fans and portable fans to stay comfortable. But remember, fans cool people, not rooms. • Use appliances that put out heat, like clothes dryers and dishwashers, during the evening to minimize indoor heat during the day when temperatures are higher. Don’t let the heat get in the way of summer fun. Use these tips to keep your cool and enjoy the rest of the season!

Tip of the

Month

Routinely replace or clean your air conditioner’s filter. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter can reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent. Source: energy.gov

HARVEST SAF FETY TIPS FOR

FARMW WORKERS • Maintain a 10-foo ot clearance around all utility equipment ent in all directions. • Use U a spott tter and d deplo d l yed d fl flags to t maintain safe distances from power lines and other equipment quipment when doing field work. • If your equipmentt makes contact with an energized d or downed power line, contact us immedia mmediately by phone and remain n inside the vehicle until the power lin ne is de-energized. In case of smoke or fire, exit the cab by making a solid jump mp out of the cab, without touching it at the same time, and hop away to ssafety. • Consider equipment ent and cargo extensions of you ur vehicle. Lumbe er, h y, tree limbs, irriga ha rigation pipe and even bulk materials als can conduct e electricity , so keep p them out of contact with electrical trical equipment. Source: Safe Electricity ctricity

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An interactive, hands-on program that introduces Mississippi students to documentary filmmaking By Sandra M. Buckley “I have always been interested in sharing what I know about film with others, especially our youth,” said Wilma Clopton, Ph.D., of Jackson. “Our youth are eager to find their voice. They have something important to tell the world. They want to make a difference in their respective communities. They are our future, and I want them to find their voices and couch them in research that supports their eagerness to make a difference.” Clopton is an award-winning film director and producer, writer and national speaker who has a deep passion for children, education, history and Mississippi. As president of NMHS Unlimited Film Productions, she has created a documentary filmmaking workshop called Digital Magic as an educational outreach for students ranging from kindergarten to college. “Digital Magic introduces students to the innovative world of documentary filmmaking, using the technology with which they are familiar, such as iPhones and iPads,” explained Clopton. “Participants become immersed in honing their skills in research, social studies, history, reading, language arts, social interaction, mathematics and critical thinking, while also building meaningful skillsets and confidence.” Participants not only learn film terminology and research methods, they also get to plan, film and edit

research component of the project, it is a natural fit for their own short videos. “By learning the art of transDigital Magic to be hosted at libraries. By partnering forming their own stories into film, students have fun with the Mississippi Library Commission, the first prowhile also developing skillsets necessary to succeed in gram was conducted at the Medgar Evers Library in school and in life,” said Clopton. Jackson and then followed by classes in Canton through Designed as a project-based learning experience, the Madison County Library Systems. Digital Magic classes are funded through grants, dona“With the development of technologies in the past tions and/or by the presenting institution and are free 20 years, and the ability to share and exchange informafor students unless specified by the presenting institution, a new field has opened up around the concept of tion. And, students who may not have access to a smartdigital history,” said Hulen Bivins, executive director of phone, camera or iPad will have one provided. the Mississippi Library Commission. “Libraries repreWith class sizes of around 15 students or less, a sent the work of diverse set of talents, economic background, ethnicity information and race are represented. To complete a gatherers who class requires at least 8 hours, typiafford, to cally allotted over a period of anyone, the several days, and students “It is our responsibility, opportunity work in teams of two to and privilege, to share our to expand five people. The teams historical knowledge and skills their personal are challenged with with young Mississippians who and professiondeveloping their choal horizons. The sen topic into a story are looking for ways to share and variety of formats allows that will then culmidocument their own unique voices and a library to be more than a nate into a short docinterests with others. This is why we created depository of hardback umentary film – or the Digital Magic filmmaking program.” books and scrolls. That varidigital history – of 3 ety allows the library to to 5 minutes in length. – Dr. Wilma Clopton, embrace many formats like Due to the extensive Digital Magic creator and instructor


August 2019

Left and above: Digital Magic students. Below: Digital Magic Teachers Workshop prepares educators from across Mississippi on the innovative program.

recordings, films and digital format materials. The interactive experience of the Digital Magic program is exciting.” “Digital Magic is a great way to teach students something, but it’s also a great way to get young people to have interest in the public library,” added Tracy Carr, library services director for the Mississippi Library Commission. “Kids are easy to engage in libraries, but once they get a little older, we often lose them. Filmmaking is fun and cool, and this type of program supports the idea that libraries are community centers. It also supports the makerspace movement, which many libraries are getting involved in.” The educational component built into Digital Magic helps instill confidence, a sense of accomplishment and establishes new skills. From various forms of research and interviewing expert subjects to script writing, time management and teamwork, participants gain long-term, valuable experience throughout the process. “It is critical that each student understand what their own particular skillset might be and how to best use that skillset to tell a story,” said Clopton. “The program is designed to help participants understand that there are many ways to tell a story. And, we want our Digital Magic students to be able to tell a story in such a way that audiences will be able to walk away with a message that is thought provoking.”

Upon completion of each film, students will have summarized their thoughts, film footage, voice-overs and photographs into a format that tells a complete story – giving life to their message and voice. “I am constantly amazed by the work of the students in each of the Digital Magic classes,” said Clopton. “Students have explored everything from the lack of access to healthy foods on college campuses, to writing a poem, to overlay black and white photographs that the student took and paired with jazz as the musical score, to creating a cartoon about animals to discuss abuse.” Lake Dodson, 18, is a student at St. Joseph Catholic School in Madison who heard about Digital Magic from a friend who was working on a documentary with Dr. Clopton. “I joined him and jumped straight into the process of script making and throwing ideas around,” he said. “After many weeks of deliberation and hard work, we managed to finish our first documentary: ‘Debating Speech,’ which covered the history of speech and debate, all the way back to the Sumerians, leading up to where it is today. Then, we were ready for our next documentary and felt we were ready to tackle a more poignant subject. We decided to do a documentary about The Hollow, a historically African American section of Canton, where we both live. Dr. Clopton helped us out every step of the way, but made sure to loosely guide us, so that we could be self-reliant when crunch

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time came around. Overall, I would say that Dr. Clopton challenged our ideas of what makes a film great. A combination of her strong leadership and the recourses we had available to us at the Canton Library, we gained such valuable knowledge about planning, production, content and editing films.” High school student William Lindsey also values his experience from Digital Magic. “I'd previously made short films for fun and didn't think I had much to learn in the way of filmmaking ... I was wrong ... very wrong,” he said. “Dr. Clopton helped me find passion in documentary filmmaking along with passion in storytelling that easily transfers over to my other pursuits. Dr. Clopton most of all helped me come to enjoy letting the people I interview make the narrative and let that lead me in the storytelling process instead of trying to forcefully create a full-fledged story and using the interviews to fill in the gaps.” Films created by Digital Magic students have earned awards in state competitions as well as film festivals, locally and nationally. For Clopton, the ultimate reward of bringing Digital Magic to youth in Mississippi comes in “I’ve seen the another form. impact of Digital “I am more Magic firsthand, and it’s excited about truly stellar to see our the “ah-ha” moments I students in Mississippi see,” she said. experimenting with, and “The moment excelling at, documentary when stufilmmaking and dents see the digital storytelling.” importance of what they have – Al Wheat, Mississippi Department done, the exciteof Archives and History ment in their eyes and the recognition that they now have a tool that they can use to make a difference. It is at that moment I find joy, peace and the enthusiasm to do more.” “Dr. Clopton is a very passionate and engaging speaker, and when I heard about this program, I was struck by what a great idea it was to teach filmmaking and storytelling to students whose stories and voices haven’t traditionally been heard,” added Carr. “While young people may write a song or take a photograph, filmmaking requires training and equipment that’s not available to everyone. Digital Magic makes it something accessible and doable.” The program’s success continues to grow, as it is now also being hosted at museums and colleges. Its statewide partnerships have also expanded. “The Mississippi Library Commission, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), the Greater Jackson Arts Council and SCORE Mississippi have been extremely supportive of our efforts,” added Clopton. “Many doors have been opened because of their interest in Digital Magic.” (Continued on page 15)


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(Continued from page 13)

DIGITAL MAGIC In addition, Digital Magic Teachers Workshops have been implemented to provide Mississippi educators with model lesson plans and learn how to effectively incorporate film projects into the classroom. “We are able to provide instruction to teachers who see the program as another tool to support their teaching efforts, especially since they are able to incorporate mathematics, language arts, history, social studies, communication and interpersonal relationship skill-building as a part of the teaching process,” explained Clopton.

“Dr. Clopton helped me find passion in documentary filmmaking along with passion in storytelling that easily transfers over to my other pursuits.” – William Lindsey, Digital Magic student

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Teachers from across Mississippi have participated in the workshop hosted at MDAH, including teachers from the Canton Public School District, Greene County School District, Jackson Public Schools, Madison School District, North Delta School District, Ocean Springs School District, Rankin County School District and Warren County School District as well as Benedict Day School and Jackson Academy. Presenting institutions also give CEUs to the participating teachers. “From the first time I met Dr. Wilma Clopton, it was clear that she wants what is best for students and educators in our state,” said Al Wheat, director of education at MDAH. “She truly ‘gets it;’ and with the work she is doing, I can only see positive outcomes for enhancing 21st century skills in our students. I’ve seen the impact of Digital Magic firsthand, and it’s truly stellar to see our students in Mississippi experimenting with, and excelling at, documentary filmmaking and digital storytelling.” “Dr. Wilma Clopton has a great love of Mississippi and its history,” added Brother Rogers, director, programs and communication division at MDAH. “MDAH was thrilled to have her lead a teacher workshop to help teachers understand how to teach students to make documentaries. Students who use this cutting-edge technology will help preserve our state's history in new ways.” Digital Magic is already in the works to by presented in 2020 by many more library systems and other organizations across the state. “It is our responsibility, and privilege, to share our historical knowledge and skills with young Mississippians who are looking for ways to share and document their own unique voices and interests with others,” noted Clopton. “This is why we created the Digital Magic filmmaking program.”

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Heat-loving summer Summer has hit us with a vengeance this year. At my home landscape in Ocean Springs, we’ve experienced some of the highest temperatures in several years. Recently, we had a heat index above 115, which drove me indoors by about 11 a.m. that morning. You may be like me and find that some of the needed landscape chores are simply not getting done in this heat. But there are some plants that actually shine in this heat. One such group that refuses to wilt with the rest is the Rudbeckia. Rudbeckias are among my summer favorites with their bright and sunnycolored flowers. It’s no wonder that Rudbeckias have been selected as a Mississippi Medallion and All-America Selections winner. Rudbeckias have received recognition in Mississippi for their landscape and garden performance. In 1999, the Rudbeckia Indian Summer was selected as a Mississippi Medallion winner. This same variety previously was an AllAmerica Selection in 1995. It’s no wonder the plant received these honors. Indian Summer has been a reliable performer in our landscape at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi since at least 2008. It really is a showstopper every year.

August 2019

I

Today in Mississippi

I

17

blooms

The upright stems are sturdy enough to display huge flowers that can reach a whopping 9 inches across. The petal colors are bright and cheery, ranging from sunshine yellow to warm oranges at the petal bases. Each flower has a delicious-looking, rich chocolate-brown center cone. Cherokee Sunset, an All-America Selection in 2002, is a fantastic choice consisting of a blend of warm autumnal colors in yellow, orange and mahogany bronze. The flowers are big – 3 to 4 inches in diameter – and they are a mix of singles and Southern doubles, especially Gardening when grown in full sun. by Dr. Gary Bachman Cherokee Sunset reaches about 24 inches tall, and its sturdy stems hold the large flowers without staking. These plants are a good choice for cutting and using in fall indoor arrangements. Rudbeckia Prairie Sun is a robust

selection with very distinctive blooms. It was selected as an All-America Selection in 2003. The bicolor flowers have orange petals tipped in bright, primrose yellow with light-green centers. The size of these 5-inch flowers makes it hard not to notice them wherever they are grown, whether in your landscape or in a large container on the patio. As with the other Rudbeckia varieties, these plants make a fantastic cut flower. Plant all Rudbeckias in full sun for best flowering and color. These plants grow best in compost-amended and well-drained soils, but they tolerate poor, clay soils. While they are known and grown for their tolerance of droughty conditions, lack of water can limit flowering. For best landscape performance, you must keep consistent soil moisture. If you can water during these times, you will

be rewarded with continued flowering. Rudbeckias are all considered lower maintenance plants, but they need deadheading, which is the removal of the fading flowers to keep the plants blooming all summer long. If you are a home gardener growing these beauties, take advantage of their summer-long blooming by bringing the landscape inside with gorgeous cut Rudbeckia stems. These plants are easy to start from seed, so start planning your 2020 landscape right now.

Gary Bachman, Ph.D., is an associate Extension and research professor of horticulture at the Mississippi State University Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. He is also host of “Southern Gardening” radio and TV programs.

I Submission guidelines

I How to submit photos

• Photos must be in sharp focus. • Photos must be the original work of an amateur photographer (of any age). • Photos may be either color or black and white, print or digital. • Digital photos must be high-resolution JPG files of at least 1 MB in size. If emailing a phone photo, select “actual size” before sending. We cannot use compressed photo files. • Please do not use photo-editing software to adjust colors or tones. We prefer to do it ourselves, if necessary, according to our production standards. • Photos with the date stamped on the image cannot be used. • Each entry must be accompanied by the photographer’s name, address, phone number and electric power association (if applicable). Include the name(s) of any recognizable people or places in the picture. Feel free to add any other details you like. • Prints will be returned if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We cannot, however, guarantee their safe return through the mail.

Attach digital photos to your email message and send to news@ecm.coop. If submitting more than one photo, please attach all photos to only one email message, if possible. Please be sure to include all information requested in the guidelines. Or, mail prints or a CD to Picture This, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300. Photographers whose photos are published are entered in a random drawing for a $200 cash prize to be awarded in December 2019. Questions? Contact Today in Mississippi at 601-605-8600 or news@ecm.coop. Photos must be emailed or postmarked by September 6. Selected photos will appear in the October issue.


18

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Events MISSISSIPPI

Want more than 472,700 readers to know about your special event? Events open to the public will be published free of charge as space allows. Submit details at least two months prior to the event date. Submissions must include a phone number with area code for publication. Send to Mississippi Events, Today in Mississippi, P.O. Box 3300, Ridgeland, MS 39158-3300; fax to 601-605-8601; or email to news@ecm.coop. Events are subject to change. We recommend calling to confirm details before traveling.

Business Expo: Buy, Sell, Trade, August 10, Holly Springs. Open all day. E.L. Smith Building. Free admission. Vendor registration and details: 901-649-2741; delia.reid@yahoo.com. The Shireys in Concert, August 17, Newton. Southern gospel concert by The Shireys from West Columbia, SC. 6 p.m. Ebenezer Baptist Church; 4442 Newton-Conehatta Rd. Love offering accepted. Details: 601-896-2249. Denim and Diamonds, August 17, Starkville. BBQ dinner, music by Kannawermz, raffle and Ava Moore Award. 6:30 p.m. Starkville Country Club. Tickets available. Details: 662-323-0211. Lower Delta Talks Series, August 20, Rolling Fork. Audrey Harrison will deliver the presentation, Monarch Migration. 6:30 p.m. Sharkey-Issaquena County Library; 116 Robert Morganfield Way. Free admission. Details: 662-873-6261; www.lowerdelta.org. Choctaw County Jamboree, August 24, Ackerman. Featuring bluegrass bands Harmony & Grits, Robert Montgomery, Alan Sibley & The Magnolia Ramblers and Phillip Steinmetz. Meals will be available from the Ackerman Church of God. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Music 1 – 9:30 p.m. Choctaw County Community Center; 895 College St. Admission; children under 18 free with paying adult. Details: 662-617-3744. 4th Annual Ride to Sunbelt Youth Ranch, August 24, West Point to Lake. Motorcycle ride fundraiser for Sunbelt Christian Youth Ranch, a ministry in Lake for at-risk youth. 9 a.m. Details: 662-640-5956. Mississippi Sacred Harp Singing Convention, August 24-25, Forest. Singing on Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; Sunday 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Antioch Primitive Baptist Church; 6931 Hwy. 21. Details: 601-940-1612. From Rabbit Foot to Blues & Cruise Exhibit, Now-Aug. 30, Port Gibson. Learn more of the story behind Port Gibson’s first Mississippi Blues Trail marker through this interactive exhibit hosted by Mississippi Cultural Crossroads. Details: 601-437-8905; www.MSCulturalCrossroads.org. 41st Annual Prairie Arts Festival, August 31, West Point. Fine arts, crafts, 5k run, kids activities and more. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Details: 662-494-5121; www.prairieartsfestival.org.

Coila Annual Fall Festival, August 31, Coila. Food vendors, fresh hog skins and cracklins cooked on the spot, live music, children's activities, horseback riding, motorcycle riding, handmade quilts, arts and crafts and more. 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Crossroads at 15426 Hwy. 1, 6.5 miles south on Hwy. 17 from Hwy. 82. Free admission. Details: 662-385-6223. Krewe of Horse Sports Autumn Chase Fun Show, September 6-8, Gulfport. Featuring great footing, good stabling, exhibitor appreciation events and lots of fun. Will include beginner classes, hunter classes and classic equitation classes, classic jumper classes and more. Harrison County Fair Grounds. Details: 228-669-2687; 228-357-0431. Delta Dragon Boat Races, September 7, Greenville. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy the festivities. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Lake Ferguson at Schelben Park; North Lakefront Rd. Details: www.deltadragonboatraces.com. Battle of the Cowboys, a Western Heritage Event, September 7, Meridian. Sponsored by Cattle Call Cowboy Church, this includes a Mule Pull and a Ranch Rodeo with team competition, children’s entertainment, vendors and concessions by Chuck Wagon Cooking Team. Lauderdale Country AgriCenter. Details: 601-917-5996; 601-692-5618.


August 2019

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Today in Mississippi

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19

Steps to nowhere

For decades, the ruin of The Church of the Redeemer was the most striking monument on the Coast of the destruction of Hurricane Camille. And then Katrina knocked down the rest of the church. Now, the Hurricane Camille Monument is located where the church once stood on Highway 90 in Biloxi.

This is an exciting summer for 50th anniversaries. We just had the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing in July. And now we have the 50th anniversary of Hurricane Camille in the middle of August. As I recall, there were some “old timers” back then that even connected the two events – saying if they’d never landed a man on the moon then the weather would have never gotten so far “out of whack.” I don’t know what they blamed Hurricane Betsy on just four years before Camille. I don’t remember much about Betsy at all, other than the name. I was a thoroughly modern teenager and wasn’t aware of too much outside of myself, my friends, my girlfriend and school. And church, of course. I do remember seeing Betsy’s landfall on television and the reporter saying it would come right up the Mississippi River. It made me wonder if we were in danger in Greenville. Daddy told me hurricanes didn’t have too much punch that far inland. They lose their strength once they move away from water. That calmed me down. Daddy grew up in Louisiana so I figured he instinctively knew everything about hurricanes. Actually, I had just barely graduated from teenagehood when Camille came ashore in August of ‘69. It made a direct hit on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Bert Case from WJTV-12 television in Jackson was all

over the place with his photographer, Bob Bullock, sending back reports of damage from Ocean Springs to Waveland. Shocking video of total devastation like most people had never seen in Mississippi. No wonder, for so many years afterward, we thought Camille was the worst storm that could ever happen – until Katrina came along. I quit making assessments of what might be the “worst, baddest, etc.” storm or recession or Mississippi flood after that – knowing no Seen matter how bad, it might be by Walt Grayson topped – just like Katrina topped Camille. I figure if I didn’t tempt fate by attaching superlatives, the “forces” might not need to prove me wrong later. The first time I saw the Mississippi Coast wasn’t until a year after Camille. We had taken a long weekend and headed out to find something new and drove to the Coast from the Delta with an idea of maybe going on to Pensacola. We spent the first night in Gulf Port at (I think) the Broadwater. Next day I was very surprised to see the amount of damage still there a year after Camille. Before crossing the Back Bay Bridge at Cadet Point from Biloxi over to Ocean

Springs, we saw mountains of tin cans strewn about from where they had been washed from the seafood canneries – and the canneries themselves were washed away. Driving along Highway 90, we saw the eerie “Steps to Nowhere” leading to empty lots where houses were no more. By the way, when I did a 25th anniversary television story about Camille – years later, many of the “Steps to Nowhere” were still there. Some still are today – between Camille and Katrina. It is strange that the Coast never came back as that sleepy string of fishing villages that it was before Camille. But instead grew back as relatively mature up cities. And then Katrina hit and washed all that away. And now the Coast is coming back as sort of a sophisticated metropolis. That says something about a resilient people who could take direct hits from two of the worst storms ever and not only come back, but come back better. I don’t even know if Daddy knew hurricanes could make that happen. Walt Grayson is the host of “Mississippi Roads” on Mississippi Public Broadcasting television, and he is the author of two “Looking Around Mississippi” books and “Oh! That Reminds Me: More Mississippi Homegrown Stories.” Contact him at walt@waltgrayson.com.


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Today in Mississippi August 2019 Coahoma  

Today in Mississippi August 2019 Coahoma

Today in Mississippi August 2019 Coahoma  

Today in Mississippi August 2019 Coahoma