Hometown Rankin - February & March 2017

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volume 4 number 1<br />

february <strong>2017</strong><br />

Camel Crusade<br />

____________________<br />

The Perfect Fit<br />

____________________<br />

Restoration Grace

4 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

publisher & Editor<br />

Tahya A. Dobbs<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin W. Dobbs<br />

Consulting Editor<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Account Executives<br />

Dacia Durr Amis<br />

Kati Gaines<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Bill Harvey<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

Brandon Middle School<br />

Venture Students<br />

Erin Williams<br />

staff Photographer<br />

Othel Anding<br />

Contributing<br />

PhotographerS<br />

Jill Parker<br />

Administrative<br />

Assistants<br />

Alisha Floyd<br />

Brenda McCall<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

Layout Design<br />

Daniel Thomas - 3dt<br />

• • •<br />

As you begin reading this issue of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> Magazine, you’re going to see RED! And we<br />

have lots of it–but in the best kind of way.<br />

Red is for Valentine’s and the warm and fuzzy stories we share about valentines of all ages. We have a<br />

story about a couple who has just been engaged, another who has been married for twelve years, and then<br />

there are the Bairds, who have celebrate sixty-four years of marriage.<br />

Red is for <strong>Rankin</strong>’s Red Carpet Gala that we continue to celebrate. We were thrilled with the county’s<br />

participation in voting, the response of the businesses nominated, and the results of the inaugural<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Magazines and <strong>Rankin</strong> County Chamber’s event.<br />

You’ll enjoy sharing in the evening’s candids along with the list of<br />

winners. And congratulations to all of the nominees! We are blessed<br />

to live in a hometown that offers so much.<br />

Our cover spotlights the RED-hot junior college that we call our<br />

own and the man, Dr. Clyde Muse, who has been instrumental in<br />

fashioning this award-winning institution. Join us in the kick-off of<br />

the year-long centennial celebration of Hinds Community College<br />

and in honoring Dr. Muse, a master in education.<br />

We hope you enjoy this star-studded issue and will<br />

join us in celebration of our amazing hometown.<br />

On the cover: Dr. Clyde Muse<br />

www.facebook.com<br />

/hometownrankinmagazine<br />

For subscription information<br />

visit www.htmags.com<br />

Contact us at info@HTMags.com<br />

601.706.4059<br />

26 Eastgate Drive, Suite F<br />

Brandon MS 39042<br />

• • •<br />

All rights reserved. No portion of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

may be reproduced without written permission from<br />

the publisher. The management of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

is not responsible for opinions expressed by its<br />

writers or editors. <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> maintains the<br />

unrestricted right to edit or refuse all submitted<br />

material. All advertisements are subject to approval by<br />

the publisher. The production of <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

is funded by advertising.<br />

In this issue Camel Crusade 8<br />

Taking Heart 15<br />

Sweet Recipes 17<br />

Bullying Awareness 18<br />

The Perfect Fit 32<br />

MS Burn Foundation 44<br />

Restoration Grace 50<br />

Lessons from Lucky 56<br />

An Enduring Valentine 80<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 5

6 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Whether your dental needs include a complete<br />

exam and cleaning, full-mouth restorations,<br />

or anything in between, we promise to provide<br />

you with exceptional care as we enhance the<br />

natural beauty of your smile!<br />

Our Services:<br />

• Sedation Dentistry<br />

• Dental Implants<br />

• Porcelain Veneers<br />

• Cosmetic Dentistry<br />

• Bridges<br />

• Porcelain Crowns<br />

• Root Canal Therapy<br />

• Preventative Dentistry<br />

• Children’s Dentistry<br />

• Teeth Whitening<br />

• Oral Cancer Screenings<br />

• Dentures and Partials<br />

• Restorative Dentistry<br />

• Composite Fillings<br />

• Clear Correct <br />

• Dental Extractions<br />

• Emergency Dental Care<br />

• Periodontal Therapy<br />

Our Dentists:<br />

• Jonathan Germany, DMD<br />

• Lance Welch, DMD<br />

*Dr. Germany, and Dr. Welch,<br />

are general dentists.<br />

Our Hours:<br />

Mon : 7:45 am - 5 pm<br />

Tues: 7:45 am - 7 pm<br />

Wed: 7:45 am - 5 pm<br />

Thurs: 7:45 am - 7 pm<br />

Fri: 7:45 am - 12 pm<br />

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• Two basic cleanings a year* • No cap • Any X-rays necessary<br />

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* Not all patients will qualify for a regular cleaning. Call for more details. Certain restrictions apply.<br />

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• Annual Enrollment $299 • Additional Family Member $100<br />

No matter how long it’s been since your last dental appointment, you’re welcome at Germany Dental.<br />

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any cosmetic dental procedure including whitening and veneers. Offer can be<br />

used in combination with new patient special. Expires 03/31/17.<br />

New Patient Special<br />

FREE<br />

Exam and X-rays<br />

Includes complete dental exam, periapical and bitewing X-rays,<br />

and any other service the dentist deems necessary to complete<br />

your exam. For new patients only. Expires 03/31/17.<br />

2004 Courtside Drive • Brandon, MS 39042 • (601) 866-5709 • thegermanydental.com

8 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Camel<br />

Crusade<br />

Article and photos by Brandon Elementary Venture teacher Donna Mabus and her 5th grade students: Jada Bouldin, Bre Blackburn, Lindsey Braband,<br />

Preston Churchwell, Sarah Grace Karabelen, Tyler Peede, Jack Ransom, Luke Switzer, SophieWarren, & Baileah Wilson.<br />

We’re a group of ten quirky 5th graders<br />

from Brandon Elementary on a crusade<br />

to get the message out about the amazing<br />

health benefits of drinking camel milk.<br />

Sip on that thought for a minute while<br />

we explain the journey that led to this<br />

class project!<br />

We are students in Mrs. Mabus’<br />

Thursday gifted class who started the<br />

year thinking about people and animals<br />

as allies in our quest to make life better<br />

for both. We were tasked with selecting<br />

an animal we could study, identifying a<br />

problem that might exist between this<br />

animal and humans, and developing a<br />

solution. At first we wanted to study<br />

donkeys after Sophie read an article<br />

about the benefits of drinking donkey<br />

milk. When we began our research, we<br />

discovered that donkey milk is a substitute<br />

for human milk and can help protect<br />

babies from infection and disease. It is<br />

also helpful for people with conditions<br />

like asthma, eczema, or psoriasis. There<br />

was just one problem…we really wanted<br />

to be able to interview some donkey<br />

farmers, but couldn’t find anyone who<br />

were milking donkeys in our area.<br />

Jack remembered that camel milk was<br />

mentioned in one of our donkey articles<br />

so he decided to chase that rabbit for a<br />

while. It’s a good thing he did, because<br />

that chase led us to discover that Frank &<br />

Friends Camel Dairy (check out their<br />

Facebook page) was right down the road<br />

in Pelahatchie, MS. This <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

camel dairy, owned by Jimmy and Tonia<br />

Godby, is the first of its kind in the<br />

Southeast. Mrs. Godby agreed to an<br />

interview, but didn’t have any nursing<br />

camels at the time, so she brought Frank<br />

Camel (check out his Facebook page)<br />

with her so we could see a camel up close<br />

and personal. It was love at first sight for<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 9

all of us! Who knew you could grow these<br />

desert creatures right here in Mississippi?<br />

We learned so much from Mrs. Godby and<br />

by examining Frank and feeding him all<br />

the vines we could find on the playground.<br />

We even treated him to a can of Coke<br />

people allergic to cow’s milk. It is also<br />

high in insulin, which makes it good for<br />

diabetics. Camel milk reduces anxiety,<br />

promotes a healthy gut, treats and<br />

prevents some types of cancer, and has<br />

proved to be beneficial in the treatment<br />

the farm, but the sale of raw goat milk is<br />

legal. You can’t even drive to another<br />

state to buy raw milk and bring it home<br />

because the FDA has a ban on the<br />

interstate sale of raw milk.<br />

Frank & Friends Dairy does offer<br />

before he left for all his patience with us as<br />

we asked his handlers endless questions.<br />

We researched like crazy to find out<br />

everything we could about camels and<br />

camel milk. Who knew you could milk<br />

them like a cow? And who knew camel<br />

milk kept the nomadic people in the<br />

Middle East alive and healthy for<br />

thousands of years? Yes, camel milk, also<br />

known as “magic milk”, “liquid gold”,<br />

“elixir of life”, and “white gold,” has<br />

scientists and doctors from around the<br />

globe calling it the next super-food! So<br />

what’s so super about camel milk? It is<br />

rich in protein, which can boost the<br />

immune system. It has three times the<br />

amount of vitamin C that cow milk does<br />

and is rich in B vitamins and iron and low<br />

in fat. It is a good dairy alternative for<br />

of autism and those with autoimmune<br />

diseases. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?<br />

We thought so, too, until we realized<br />

there are a few problems with getting<br />

your hands around a tall glass of cold<br />

camel milk. First of all, those health<br />

benefits we just described are mostly<br />

referring to the ones that come from<br />

drinking “raw” camel milk as opposed to<br />

pasteurized. The pasteurized version is<br />

still good for you, but heating the milk<br />

not only gets rid of some of the nutrients<br />

and kills bad bacteria, it also kills the good<br />

bacteria. Over time, killing the good<br />

bacteria in our food supply has caused<br />

damage to our immune systems’ ability to<br />

fight the bad bacteria. In the state of<br />

Mississippi, the sale of raw camel or cow<br />

milk is illegal, both commercially, and on<br />

pasteurized camel milk whenever they<br />

have babies and at the time of this writing,<br />

our new friends, Coco and Passow, are<br />

anxiously awaiting the birth of their<br />

babies and their friend Mia is due in July.<br />

The babies will bring the total herd count<br />

to nine camels. The mommas can be<br />

milked for 14 to 16 months and will provide<br />

about 5 to 6 liters per day compared to a<br />

cow that produces between 20 to 40<br />

liters per day. The cost for one pint of<br />

camel milk or “liquid gold” is around $18.<br />

That might seem expensive, but it costs<br />

more money to buy a camel than a cow,<br />

production costs are high, and camels<br />

produce less milk than a cow.<br />

So, what does a kid have to do for a<br />

glass of raw camel milk? We decided that<br />

we need to help educate our local friends<br />

10 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

and family about the health benefits of<br />

camel milk and help change the laws<br />

about raw milk. We started our mission<br />

by contacting Dr. Millie Hinkle, ND, of<br />

North Carolina, an expert on camel milk,<br />

to discuss the research she’s involved<br />

with. Dr. Hinkle founded the American<br />

Camel Coalition, which introduces and<br />

supports laws that benefit camel owners.<br />

She has helped make it legal to sell camel<br />

milk in the US and is responsible for<br />

getting the camel dairy business started in<br />

the US, Australia, Canada, and Europe.<br />

She works with researchers to prove the<br />

health benefits and even prescribes camel<br />

milk to many of her patients.<br />

We also interviewed Marlin Troyer, an<br />

Amish camel farmer from Michigan. The<br />

sale of raw milk is illegal there too, but,<br />

just like in Mississippi, the owner of a<br />

camel can drink all the raw milk they<br />

want. That state supports “camel-share”<br />

agreements where you become part<br />

owner of a camel by paying the farmer<br />

a fee for taking care of the camel. This<br />

agreement allows you to “obtain” the<br />

milk from “your” camel. Drinking raw<br />

milk is legal in all states, but sales are only<br />

allowed in a few states. What good is it<br />

if you can drink it, but you can’t buy it?<br />

Mr. Troyer helped us understand that all<br />

citizens should have the right to choose<br />

whether they drink raw or pasteurized<br />

milk. He pointed out that the government<br />

allows people to choose whether<br />

or not they smoke cigarettes and drink<br />

alcohol, both of which we know is<br />

dangerous and harmful to our bodies.<br />

We realize we are just kids, but that<br />

doesn’t make much sense to us.<br />

After reading through raw milk laws,<br />

we realized that each state gets to make<br />

it’s own laws regarding the sale of raw<br />

milk. Problem solved! We would just<br />

have to find a way to change the law in<br />

Mississippi! What we didn’t realize was<br />

how hard that task was going to be and<br />

how long it can take to change a law! We<br />

were going to need help getting over this<br />

hump! A quick Internet search led us to<br />

state representative Dan Eubanks from<br />

Desoto County. Mr. Eubanks has been<br />

working on a couple of raw milk bills.<br />

When we first contacted him with our<br />

idea to legalize the sale of raw camel milk,<br />

he thought we were kidding because he<br />

didn’t realize you could milk a camel! He<br />

did some research and realized that we<br />

were onto something big. He emailed us<br />

his proposals for HB 1143 and HB 1133<br />

and asked us to read them and insert<br />

suggestions about where to change the<br />

wording to include camel milk. One of<br />

his bills will allow for partial ownership<br />

of dairy animals just like on Mr. Troyer’s<br />

farm. The bills also propose an act known<br />

as the “Mississippi On-Farm Sales and<br />

Food Freedom Act.” This will allow for<br />

the raw milk to be sold on the farm or at<br />

a farmer’s market as long as the milk label<br />

warns people to consume at their own<br />

risk. Even if these bills become laws there<br />

will still be another hump to get over<br />

because it is illegal to advertise the milk is<br />

for sale. Boy, our government can sure do<br />

some pretty weird stuff! But for now, we<br />

are excited about all the new friends we’ve<br />

made on this journey and Mr. Eubanks<br />

is so excited about camel milk that we<br />

invited him to go with us to visit Frank &<br />

Friends Dairy Farm as soon as the babies<br />

are born so we can all taste the milk<br />

together! We hope everyone reading this<br />

article will do your own research to see if<br />

camel milk is right for you and if it is–<br />

head on down to Pelahatchie and ask the<br />

locals how to get to Frank’s place! n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 11

12 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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or email info@randywatkinsgolf.com for<br />

more information.<br />


14 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

– Advertiser Spotlight –<br />

Taking Heart<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

The heart is a unique organ; fragile,<br />

yet resilient, capable of getting stronger with<br />

the proper care. Dr. James L. Warnock Jr.<br />

has seen it happen time and time again.<br />

“There’s something so satisfying about<br />

seeing someone who has been in dire straits<br />

improve their health and overall quality<br />

of life after experiencing heart failure,”<br />

Warnock said. “We’ve seen people come<br />

in who can barely breathe, with hearts<br />

pumping at only 15%, and with fairly<br />

inexpensive medications, expertise,<br />

coaching, and exercise, there has been a<br />

major turnaround. It’s so gratifying to me,<br />

and amazing at the same time, especially<br />

to see a heart that is so sick get so much<br />

better.”<br />

Warnock was born in Montgomery,<br />

Alabama, and raised in the Mill Creek<br />

subdivision near the Ross Barnett Reservoir.<br />

He finished high school in the third graduating<br />

class at Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong> before majoring in<br />

biological engineering at Mississippi State.<br />

After graduating college, Warnock attended<br />

medical school at the University of Mississippi<br />

Medical Center in Jackson then completed<br />

an internship at the National Naval Medical<br />

Center in Bethesda, Maryland. That led to a<br />

three-year-stint as a general practitioner with<br />

the United States Navy at the Naval Air<br />

Station in Meridian before returning to<br />

Jackson to finish his internal medicine<br />

residency at UMMC. He then spent a year<br />

as chief resident before completing a<br />

cardiac fellowship.<br />

“I began having a real interest in cardiology<br />

while in medical school,” Warnock said. “I<br />

had thought about doing primary care, but<br />

when I did the heart rotation in my residency,<br />

I really liked it.” Warnock said he enjoys all<br />

aspects of cardiology. “I enjoy being able to<br />

say that. I really like the variety it provides.<br />

But I guess if you had to pin me down, heart<br />

failure and valve problems are the areas I<br />

find most interesting. One results from lifestyle<br />

choices, but can be turned around.<br />

The other is a result of the way the heart<br />

was formed, a problem that some people<br />

have a tendency towards. It’s an issue that<br />

must be caught before there’s a problem<br />

and monitored closely. It is always so<br />

encouraging and amazing to me that we<br />

can do so much to help people these days.”<br />

Warnock practices with Baptist Heart.<br />

One of the things that is so encouraging to<br />

Warnock is that with proper treatment and<br />

lifestyle changes, heart patients almost<br />

always end up feeling so much better.<br />

“It’s not like cancer, where the treatment<br />

may be effective, but may cause the patient<br />

to feel bad. Any time someone’s heart gets<br />

stronger and healthier, they’re going to<br />

feel better.”<br />

As a cardiologist, Warnock practices<br />

what he preaches, eating healthy and<br />

exercising regularly. “Our oldest daughter<br />

is in college at Sewanee, and she’s really<br />

into healthy eating, and our youngest<br />

daughter avoids gluten.” Warnock also<br />

enjoys running and backpacking. “I’ve<br />

always enjoyed hiking and camping, but<br />

haven’t backpacked since college. I’ve now<br />

done it three times recently, taking trips with<br />

each of my daughters.” The entire family,<br />

including Warnock’s wife, Shannon, their two<br />

daughters and their son, took a family trip to<br />

Glacier National Park last August. “My<br />

youngest daughter gave me a map of the<br />

United States with all of the national parks<br />

on it. I’d love to visit each one before I leave<br />

this earth.” ♥<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 15

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16 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

ankin<br />

Recipes<br />

Hershey Bar Pie<br />

• 20 large marshmallows<br />

• 7 Hershey bars with almonds<br />

• 1/3 cup milk<br />

• 16 oz. Cool Whip<br />

• 1 graham cracker crust<br />

Combine marshmallows, Hershey bars (break<br />

them into small pieces) and milk in a double boiler<br />

or microwave safe dish. Heat on low until melted.<br />

Stir until everything is combined. Add half of the<br />

cool whip. Mix well and spoon into graham cracker<br />

crust. Chill for several hours. Top with remaining<br />

Cool Whip and shave a little chocolate over the top.<br />

Salted Nut Squares<br />

• 3 cups salted peanuts (no skins) divided<br />

• 2 ½ Tbsp. butter<br />

• 2 cups peanut butter chips<br />

• 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk<br />

• 2 cups mini marshmallows<br />

• Kosher or sea salt (optional)<br />

Place 1 ½ cups peanuts in bottom of an ungreased<br />

pan. Melt butter and peanut butter chips in a large<br />

saucepan over low heat. Stir until smooth. Remove<br />

from heat. Stir in condensed milk and marshmallows.<br />

Continue stirring until smooth. Pour mixture<br />

over peanuts in pan. Sprinkle remaining 1 ½ cups<br />

peanuts over top of mixture. Sprinkle lightly with<br />

salt if desired. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.<br />

Then cut into bars. Can be served chilled or at<br />

room temperature.<br />

Note: You may add another ½ cup of peanuts to bottom<br />

and top layer and make in a 13 x 9 pan. The bars will<br />

be a little thinner.<br />

Three Ingredient<br />

Peanut Butter Cup Fudge<br />

• 24 Reese’s peanut butter cups (full size)<br />

unwrapped and divided<br />

• 1 can sweetened condensed milk<br />

• 3 cups milk chocolate chips<br />

Line an 8 x 8 glass dish with foil so that the foil<br />

extends over the sides of the pan. Lightly spray foil<br />

with cooking spray. Line pan with 16 whole peanut<br />

butter cups. Set aside. In a large microwave safe<br />

bowl combine condensed milk and chocolate<br />

chips. Microwave in 30-second increments (it will<br />

probably take about 2 minutes) until melted and<br />

smooth. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into<br />

baking pan over the peanut butter cups and smooth<br />

out evenly. Break the remaining peanut butter cups<br />

into pieces and sprinkle on top. Press lightly into<br />

the top. Allow the fudge to set out for about 1 hour<br />

to reach room temperature then refrigerate for 2<br />

to 3 hours. Once the fudge is solid, use the foil to<br />

remove from the pan. Peel away the foil and cut the<br />

fudge into squares.<br />

Casserole Cookies<br />

• 2 eggs<br />

• 1 cup sugar<br />

• 1 cup chopped pecans<br />

• 1 cup coconut<br />

• 1 cup chopped dates<br />

• Powdered sugar<br />

In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs well and add<br />

sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add nuts, coconut, and<br />

dates. Stir well and pour into an ungreased 2-quart<br />

casserole dish. Bake 30 minutes in 350-degree<br />

oven. Remove and stir down with wooden spoon.<br />

Let cool. Roll small spoonfuls in powdered sugar.<br />

Shape into balls. Let cool completely before storing.<br />

Oreo Balls<br />

• 1 bag of Oreos<br />

• 1 package cream cheese<br />

• Dipping chocolate<br />

Use a food processor to grind up Oreos into a fine<br />

mixture. In a bowl mix Oreos and cream cheese<br />

until completely blended. Roll mixture in balls<br />

(any size works, but truffle size is best). Melt<br />

dipping chocolate and dip balls. Set on wax paper<br />

and refrigerate overnight.<br />

Reminder: the chocolate shells do melt so keep cool.<br />

White Chocolate -<br />

Orange Macaroons<br />

• 3 egg whites<br />

• 1 cup sugar<br />

• 14 oz. package sweetened flaked coconut<br />

• 1 cup white chocolate flavored morsels<br />

• 1 tsp. orange zest<br />

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with<br />

parchment paper. In a large bowl, beat egg whites<br />

at high speed with a mixer until foamy. Gradually<br />

add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently<br />

stir in the coconut, white chocolate morsels, and<br />

orange zest until combined. Spoon mixture by<br />

heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking<br />

sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges<br />

are golden brown. Let cool on pans for 2 minutes.<br />

Remove from pans and cool completely on<br />

wire racks.<br />

Kathy Coker has lived in Brandon since 1986. She is<br />

married to Lu Coker and they have two grown kids who<br />

are both married and live in Brandon. They also have four<br />

precious grands. Kathy has been employed in the real<br />

estate field since 1992, first as a realtor, and has been<br />

a mortgage loan officer since 2005. She enjoys spending<br />

time in the kitchen in her spare time.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 17

Bully<br />

Prevention<br />

Awareness<br />

During the month of September,<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County Schools sponsored<br />

it’s 1st Bully Prevention Awareness<br />

poster contest. Students were<br />

asked to submit original posters<br />

addressing any of the following:<br />

• Physical Bullying<br />

• Emotional Bullying<br />

• Social Bullying<br />

• Cyber- Bullying<br />

• Positive Friendships<br />

• Peer Pressure<br />

• Peer Conflict<br />

Category 1<br />

Pre K-Second Grade<br />

1st Place<br />

Micah Lea<br />

1st Grade<br />

Pisgah Elementary<br />

2nd Place<br />

Wyatt Irby<br />

1st Grade<br />

Richland Elementary<br />

3rd Place<br />

Bethany Tucker<br />

1st Grade<br />

Pelahatchie Elementary<br />

There was an overwhelming<br />

response district wide and over<br />

700 posters were submitted for<br />

judging in four age categories.<br />

Each of the four categories had<br />

1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County School District has<br />

had the winning posters reproduced<br />

to display in district schools and<br />

offices and the Foundation for<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County Public Schools has<br />

provided checks to each 1st place<br />

winner for $100, second place<br />

winners, $50 and 3rd place winners<br />

$25. RCSD is looking forward to<br />

making the contest an annual<br />

event to raise awareness for<br />

bully prevention.<br />

18 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Category 2 Third-Fifth Grade<br />

1st Place Aubrie Barr<br />

3rd Grade, Northsore Elementary<br />

Second Place Patrick Bowen<br />

4th Grade, Brandon Elementary<br />

Third Place Lottie Feathers<br />

3rd Grade, Highland Bluff Elementary<br />

Category 3<br />

Sixth-Eight Grade<br />

1st Place Skylar Simmons<br />

7th Grade, Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong> Middle School<br />

2nd Place Christina Guzman<br />

6th Grade, Florence Middle School<br />

3rd Place Cameron Rivers<br />

7th Grade, Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong> Middle School<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 19

Bully<br />

Prevention<br />

Awareness<br />

Category 4<br />

Ninth-Twelfth Grade<br />

1st Place Daniel Welch<br />

10th Grade, Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong> High School<br />

2nd Place Allisa Pickel<br />

12th Grade, Brandon High School<br />

3rd Place Cara Leigh McCrory<br />

11th Grade, McLaurin High School<br />

20 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 21

22 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 23

Camille Anding<br />

If you visit the Puckett High School campus, it won’t take long<br />

to notice that you’re walking amid a large, beautifully landscaped<br />

garden. Chuck Rhoads, art teacher extraordinaire, would give the<br />

credit to his students and all the friends that have been a part.<br />

But Chuck Rhoads is the brain-child behind the living artistry.<br />

Rhoads joined the Puckett faculty in 2005 with the assignment<br />

to create an art department. He fulfilled that assignment with a<br />

growing, vibrant department that’s gotten state-wide recognition.<br />

Shortly before 2009, Rhoads’ artist-trained eyes saw a garden<br />

instead of the overgrown walkway that students passed through<br />

every day. After administration approval, he shared his vision with his<br />

students and drew from their talents in design and landscaping.<br />

Today that unsightly walkway is a grand garden landscaped by the<br />

students complete with an arched bridge donated by Prentiss Calhoun<br />

of Puckett. The bridge overlooks a stone-covered creek whose<br />

accessories were donated by Dr. Milton Matthews of Pearl.<br />

BEFORE<br />

after<br />

24 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Bob Stribling, better known as the<br />

Fern Man, contributed an abundance of<br />

ferns with detailed instructions on<br />

planting and tending them.<br />

Rivers Greenhouse and Garden, with<br />

the help of Joy Foster and Rhonda Rivers,<br />

helped with The Tribute Garden, another<br />

campus garden area dedicated to the<br />

memory and honor of military individuals<br />

from Puckett. Burnham family members<br />

donated perennials from their old home<br />

place. Other Puckett residents have<br />

donated a variety of plants, too, as<br />

locals continue to help make it the<br />

Gardens of Puckett.<br />

Lowes Heroes partnered with the art<br />

department and built a pergola that adds<br />

beauty to the front of the campus and installed an irrigation system.<br />

In the spring, over 1500 daffodils brighten the campus into a flowering<br />

showcase. The courtyard area sings with original, student-designed<br />

fountains, and sitting areas, paved by art students using donated stones,<br />

add additional textures to Mr. Rhoads’ outdoor “canvas.”<br />

The Sculpture Garden is next on the art department’s landscaping<br />

project. A group of art students, named “The Legends” by their teacher,<br />

are presently sketching designs for the new venture. Rhoads will invite<br />

judges to study the sketches and choose the winning plan. It’s Rhoads’<br />

ambition to teach his Legends to become a legend that generations will<br />

continue to follow.<br />

With so many projects going on outside the walls of Puckett High<br />

School, Rhoads still shares equal time with the in-house art students.<br />

As they produce their art work, Rhoads finds the means to display their<br />

artistry. In 1992, he arranged an exhibit at the Mississippi State Capitol<br />

and called it the Capitol Art Exhibit which continues as an annual event.<br />

Youth Art Month, observed in <strong>March</strong>, will give students opportunity to<br />

showcase their art and have it judged<br />

by accomplished artists that will visit<br />

the school. In late April, the department<br />

will host a Painter’s Garden where<br />

Mississippi artists will paint in the<br />

garden campus while students<br />

observe their techniques.<br />

Rhoads’ students participate in<br />

local and regional contests, and a<br />

number of his talented artists have<br />

earned scholarships along with local<br />

and national recognition.<br />

With art departments at the end<br />

of the line for educational funding,<br />

Rhoads has turned to writing grants<br />

for supplementing the department.<br />

Those grants, along with donations<br />

from businesses and individuals, make up the total funding for the art<br />

department. Susan Wellington, a nationally recognized watercolor artist<br />

from Flowood, has been a faithful donor and supporter of the high school’s<br />

art projects. The students have also found the fall Canton Flea Market to<br />

be a lucrative fund raiser for the department and its students.<br />

Rhoads is a visionary and continues to flourish in a teaching atmosphere<br />

that he describes as “wonderful.” After earning his art degree and<br />

masters at Mississippi College, his talents carried him into the business<br />

world of malls and large department stores where he dressed windows<br />

and floors. His talent even gave him opportunity to step into management<br />

of some of the stores.<br />

Then the classroom called, and Rhoads wanted to follow his goal of<br />

being an art instructor. His ability and expertise of creating art departments<br />

carried him to several schools, but he appears to have found home<br />

at the Gardens of Puckett. This is where his artist’s pallet has spilled out of<br />

the classroom and onto the landscape. This is where he will continue to<br />

design and deploy legends. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 25

26 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 27

28 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Mary Ann Kirby<br />


THE<br />

STORY<br />

Everyone has a story, don’t they? I often<br />

make up peoples’ stories in my mind so that I<br />

can fill in the gaps created from not knowing<br />

details—and I’m not entirely sure why I do<br />

it. I guess I’m just an observer of life. And<br />

because I like to write stories, I’m always on<br />

the hunt for one.<br />

My husband and I have even made a<br />

game of it. We’ll see a couple that we don’t<br />

know at a restaurant and spend the next<br />

thirty minutes creating their fictitious story.<br />

It has made for some hilarious conversations<br />

between the two of us as there are no limits<br />

to the depth of detail that make this couple<br />

extraordinary.<br />

On Sundays, when people are asked<br />

to come to the front of our church during<br />

invitational, I often cry at their “stories”—<br />

even though I don’t know what those are.<br />

I sometimes wonder if they’re broken and<br />

hurting and I all of a sudden ache for them<br />

and the burdens that they may carry.<br />

I imagine the single mom, raising a<br />

family alone and trying to make ends meet.<br />

Or the one that dreamed of children but<br />

struggled with infertility. I imagine the man<br />

that has recently lost his job and his insurance<br />

benefits only to have just gotten a bad report<br />

from the doctor. And all this is completely in<br />

my imagination, mind you. I can’t hear them<br />

when they speak to the pastors at the front of<br />

the church—but I can see them—and for some<br />

reason I’m compelled to give them a story.<br />

Maybe I’m crazy. Or maybe it’s how I make<br />

strangers more relatable. I have an intuitive<br />

desire to connect.<br />

Several years ago we had just moved<br />

into a new neighborhood with super-strict<br />

covenants. Our first Christmas season in our<br />

new home had come and gone and Mardi<br />

Gras and Valentine’s Day decorations had<br />

begun to pop-up everywhere. Every day I<br />

would ride by this one house that still had<br />

Christmas lights hanging from their eaves.<br />

And every day I would think, “Surely they’ll<br />

take those down soon.”<br />

I’m certain there were guidelines<br />

somewhere that addressed the timely<br />

removal of neighborhood Christmas<br />

decorations. If not, there needed to be.<br />

Another week would pass and the lights<br />

still remained. I had become indignant<br />

that they weren’t following the rules (what<br />

rules?). I mentally drafted the letter that<br />

would be sent to the homeowners association<br />

demanding that their lights be removed.<br />

When had I become Nosey-Nellie, the<br />

judgmental neighbor that made everyone else’s<br />

business her business? Why did I even care?<br />

Aren’t we all guilty of doing this in some<br />

form or fashion—making other people’s<br />

issues our business? Don’t we often judge<br />

people’s choices without fully understating<br />

their reasons for making them?<br />

The adored actress and comedian Betty<br />

White was once quoted as saying, “I don’t<br />

know how people get so anti-something.<br />

Mind your own business, take care of your<br />

own affairs, and don’t worry about other<br />

people so much.” She’s 94-years old. I wonder<br />

how long it took her to figure that out.<br />

So on the 21 st of <strong>February</strong> of the very<br />

first year in our new covenant-protected<br />

neighborhood, 58 days after Christmas and<br />

7 days after Valentine’s Day, the offending<br />

home was lit up like I had never seen. I’m<br />

certain it could be seen from space. Their<br />

Christmas tree stood defiantly in the living<br />

room window and the icicle lights that<br />

hung from the eaves blinked as if to signal<br />

their rebelliousness to the entire world. I<br />

absolutely could not believe my eyes. Their<br />

blatant disregard of holiday decorating code<br />

was mind-boggling.<br />

As I slowed my car and rounded the<br />

corner to get a better view, a banner that<br />

read, “Welcome Home Ryan” hung across the<br />

garage doors right next to a flag bearing the<br />

United States Marine Corps emblem. And then<br />

it made sense. Their son was returning home<br />

and they had “saved” Christmas just for him.<br />

I burst into tears. First of all, I felt<br />

grateful. My sense of patriotism immediately<br />

outweighed my sense of incredulousness.<br />

How thankful they must have been to have<br />

him home and in the safety of their loving<br />

arms. But then I felt embarrassed. They<br />

don’t make enough lights to express the joy<br />

my husband and I would feel had our own<br />

son been returning home. To this day I am<br />

changed as a result of that experience.<br />

When you look at a person, any person,<br />

remember that they have a story. Everyone<br />

has gone through something that’s changed<br />

them. Life is hard and everyone has ups and<br />

downs—and fears and pain. Give grace, love<br />

and support to those around you who may<br />

have struggles you don’t see. Our opinions<br />

don’t matter. But how we treat people, does.<br />

I “imagine” Ryan and his family to have<br />

had the most extraordinary Christmas-in-<br />

<strong>February</strong> that ever was. And now, when<br />

I see something that doesn’t necessarily<br />

make sense to me, I try not to criticize it but<br />

rather look for the story. After all, when you<br />

actually realize there’s something you don’t<br />

understand, then you’re generally on the<br />

right path to understanding all kinds<br />

of things.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 29

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30 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

32 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

The Perfect Fit<br />

Camille Anding<br />

As Dr. Muse entered the grand hall of the Clyde Muse<br />

Center at Hinds Community College, his robust frame, fitted<br />

with a black business suit, walked with the gait of a much<br />

younger man. His gracious stature, firm handshake, and<br />

embracing smile gave a first impression that assured me our<br />

interview would be propitious for the one taking notes. I was<br />

on target with my impression.<br />

We sat down around a conference room in the building<br />

named in his honor–an appropriate recognition for an<br />

86-year-old educator who is president of Hinds Community<br />

College with five campuses at six locations in five counties of<br />

Mississippi. Thirty-nine years of leadership have designated<br />

him the longest serving president at the college.<br />

“I’ve never wanted to do anything else but teach and coach–<br />

I even knew that when I was in high school,” he said as he<br />

began retracing his career. “My daddy wanted me to be a<br />

preacher because he hadn’t gotten a preacher out of his six<br />

boys. Then he wanted me to marry a girl that could play the<br />

piano so we could be a ministry team.”<br />

Dr. Muse remembered a day while he was a principal at<br />

Starkville High School when his dad “got off on preaching<br />

again.” Clyde respectfully shared with his dad how preaching<br />

wasn’t the only means of having a positive influence on others.<br />

He explained how teachers can direct and impact students in<br />

the classroom that can last a lifetime.<br />

The senior Muse listened and was satisfied with his son’s<br />

dedication and bent toward the classroom. “My dad never<br />

brought it up again,” Dr. Muse said.<br />

Originally from Hickory Flat in Benton County, Muse<br />

graduated from Sebastopol High School, believing he had<br />

the ability to do one thing well–play basketball. His principal<br />

carried him to East Central Junior College and told the<br />

president, “Dr. Todd, this is a good boy and he wants to go<br />

to school.”<br />

Young Muse explained to the president that he didn’t have<br />

any tuition money but was hopeful for a job to pay his way.<br />

The president said there was just one job...milking cows,<br />

4am and 4pm, seven days a week.<br />

The relieved and grateful freshman said, “Dr. Todd, that’s<br />

nothing new to me; I’ve been doing that all my life.”<br />

While he milked cows for tuition money, he, along with 85<br />

other young men, signed up for the basketball team. Coach<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 33

Arno Vincent, Muse’s greatest life-mentor, began scrimmaging all the<br />

hopefuls. At the end of each practice, he would have a chalkboard listing the<br />

names of players he wanted to return.<br />

The list got smaller and smaller, but Clyde’s name stayed. He got a uniform,<br />

“but it wasn’t the same color as the others,” Muse said with laughter.<br />

When their team played East Mississippi College, Clyde met Pap Presley on<br />

that team and described him as the best player he ever saw. In the middle of the<br />

third quarter, Coach Vincent asked Clyde if he thought he could stop Presley from<br />

scoring, an assignment none of Clyde’s teammates had been able to accomplish.<br />

Clyde said, “Just give me a chance. I’ve been watching him and have figured it<br />

out–keep the ball out of his hands.” Clyde did just that and never sat on the<br />

bench again. And, Coach gave him another uniform to match the starters.<br />

The acclaimed educator paused at the end of his basketball story and stepped<br />

into his teacher role. “I always teach my students to prepare yourself for the<br />

opportunity that comes your way.”<br />

He chose Delta State University after graduating from ECCC. His basketball<br />

playing continued to improve, but his greatest joy came during his senior year when<br />

he met his future bride, Vashti Underwood. Dr. Muse described her as a little<br />

towheaded freshman beauty that captured his heart. On their second date she<br />

informed him, “I’m gonna marry you.” Dr. Muse laughed as he shared his shock<br />

over her prophetic statement and remembered his own private response,<br />

“Good Lord, I’ve got to hang around and see what happens!”<br />

After Muse graduated in <strong>March</strong>, he married his freshman sweetheart and<br />

carried her with him to his first job at Canton High School. His first year’s<br />

assignment was teaching five science classes and coaching high school girl’s<br />

and boy’s track and basketball plus coaching junior high football. Muse said,<br />

I had a fulltime job, but I didn’t know it. I was just having fun!”<br />

His starting salary was $2,400 a year. Muse emphasized, “I knew I’d never<br />

have a lot of money teaching and coaching, but I never was in the business of<br />

education to make money.”<br />

The newlyweds continued to work together, and Vashti earned her degree in<br />

education, going on to teach all ages from kindergarten to college. She was known<br />

for never giving up on her students. During one of the numerous opportunities<br />

her gift of teaching afforded her, she was asked the difference between teaching<br />

the very young and the college level. Her answer: “None. Just bigger bodies.”<br />

34 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 35

36 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Vashti and Clyde teamed their education-centered lives<br />

to touch and improve schools and colleges throughout our<br />

state and beyond while raising their family of two daughters<br />

and a son. On July 9, 2010, Vashti died in a car accident and<br />

left a legacy of accomplishments few could match.<br />

Dr. Muse recalls his doctors advising him to go back to<br />

work after losing his soulmate. It was good advice, but<br />

the void is still there. “How long were you married?”<br />

I asked. “Fifty-eight years and two weeks. It seemed short,”<br />

he replied.<br />

A daily routine now is waking up at 4am, Monday through<br />

Friday, exercise at the Wellness Center from five to six, back<br />

home to eat breakfast and in the office by 7:15 or 7:30. An<br />

average of three nights a week are taken for college-related<br />

events. His seven grands and seven great-grandchildren get<br />

“Granddaddy time,” too.<br />

Dr. Muse has earned a wealth of experiences in his field<br />

and recalled one eye-opening experience with his first 8th<br />

grade science class. “I noticed that a few of the students<br />

would walk to the pencil trimmer next to the door, trim<br />

their pencils and just walk out the door. The other students<br />

would laugh. I knew I was losing control of the class, so I<br />

went to the Ag teacher and asked him to make me a paddle.<br />

I slipped it in the drawer of my desk and waited for the first<br />

student to do the pencil routine. He did, and I grabbed the<br />

paddle and followed him out the door. I wore his rear end<br />

out! When we walked back in the room, you could have<br />

heard a pin drop.”<br />

That led to Dr. Muse sharing a major issue in today’s<br />

education. “We’ve lost discipline in the home, and it’s<br />

transitioned to the classroom. When I was a principal, a<br />

student didn’t want his mama to know he got a spanking<br />

because it automatically meant he would get a second one at<br />

home. Today, teachers don’t get support from the courts or<br />

homes. We must have discipline that creates an atmosphere<br />

that’s conducive to learning.”<br />

The educator wizard’s advice to college students is basic:<br />

Go to class, get up your lessons, behave yourself and take<br />

advantage of the opportunities to grow and develop.<br />

In his 65 years in education, he’s witnessed rapid changes,<br />

and the electronic-age is more than he wants to engage.<br />

He is learning to communicate through texting but knows<br />

nothing about computers. He explains, “I don’t need one<br />

as long as I have two people in my office.”<br />

Renee Cotton, District Director of Marketing and<br />

Community Relations at Hinds CC, listened to the<br />

interview and interjected her respect and awe of Dr. Muse’s<br />

wisdom and contribution to the education of the 30,000<br />

students that attend Hinds and those that have graduated.<br />

She also suggested we research his contribution as the T-Ball<br />

inventor. Muse laughed and said, “I didn’t have enough<br />

sense to have the game patented.”<br />

In response to his masterful career, Dr. Muse asserted,<br />

“It’s my great joy to help students be all they can be.” He<br />

sees educators as having the wonderful opportunity to serve<br />

others. “You know the Bible tells us that to be the best, be<br />

a servant.”<br />

I asked the gifted educator why or how he was able to<br />

stay at Hinds for thirty-eight years. Had there been other<br />

offers? He nodded yes and said, “I’ve had a few opportunities<br />

to go other places. But let me tell you, Hinds fits me.<br />

There’re a lot of people that need an education. They are<br />

just like ole Muse was when he walked in that president’s<br />

office and couldn’t afford an education. There’re still a lot<br />

of people out there that without a community college, won’t<br />

get an education. That keeps me going.”<br />

On Christmas day, Dr. Muse celebrated his 87th birthday.<br />

He said he often heard his mama tell him, “You’re the best<br />

Christmas present I ever had.” She was right because an<br />

inestimable number of lives have been touched by that very<br />

special gift that’s been education’s “perfect fit.” n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 37

AND<br />

We are thrilled to announce Today's Teen recipient honoring teens<br />

in our city that have exhibited exemplary leadership skills and serve as<br />

excellent role models. Brower Myers, an upcoming Junior at Pearl<br />

High School, was awarded this distinction by CEO of Merit Health<br />

River Oaks, Dwayne Blalock. Congratulations Brower and a big<br />

“Thank You” to Merit Health for investing in our leaders of the future.<br />

There’s Merit in the future.<br />

38 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 39

40 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

Hinds Community College<br />

Centennial Convocation<br />

January 3, <strong>2017</strong> • Muse Center

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 41

42 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Serving our county<br />

Deputy Sheriff Chase Beemon<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County Sheriff's department<br />

Why did you decide to pursue law<br />

enforcement?<br />

It was during college where I had chosen to take a criminal<br />

justice class to go towards my course credit hours. While<br />

taking the class I found the entire process of this career<br />

field very interesting and it was the first moment in my life<br />

that I realized I knew exactly what I wanted as not only a<br />

job, but make a career out of as well.<br />

How long have you been in law enforcement<br />

in <strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

I started my career at the Brandon Police Department and<br />

served the community of Brandon for a little over three<br />

years. It has now been almost two years that Sheriff<br />

Bailey gave me the opportunity to serve the entire<br />

community of <strong>Rankin</strong> County and I take great pride and<br />

pleasure in calling it home.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I have a very supportive family. Starting with my wife,<br />

Bethany Beemon, who is a registered nurse for Baptist<br />

Medical Center in Jackson and my son, Riley Beemon,<br />

who is currently in the first grade at Rouse Elementary.<br />

Our entire family has a strong foundation for serving<br />

others and the community in which we live.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your<br />

spare time.<br />

I am an avid (only) bow hunter and love all things archery<br />

related. The part that makes archery much more than just<br />

a hobby is that I am able to enjoy this with my wife and<br />

son, as well, who are both avid hunters.<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

My bucket list consists of getting the opportunity to<br />

harvest a 200-inch whitetail deer, travel the world, and be<br />

able to grow old enough to spoil my future grandchildren<br />

the way my son has been spoiled by his grandparents.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

There are several people whom I admire and many that<br />

have contributed to the person I am today. I admire my<br />

mother for going without so that I could always have more<br />

in life; my father for giving me the knowledge and wisdom<br />

of what makes a man; and my in-laws for giving me their<br />

support from day one and leading me down the right path<br />

which ultimately led to my accepting Christ into my life.<br />

Where do you see yourself in ten years?<br />

There are several places I see myself in ten years, but as<br />

for my career, I’m 100% positive that the <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

Sheriff’s Department is my home. I hope to continue here<br />

and advance my skills, knowledge, and career throughout<br />

my life as much as I can.<br />

If you could give one piece of advice to<br />

a young person, what would it be?<br />

My advice would be to think about what decisions you<br />

make and the impact they will have on your future. As for<br />

myself, I would have saved a lot of time using this advice<br />

and not having to learn the hard way.<br />

What is a favorite childhood memory?<br />

My favorite childhood memories involve going hunting and<br />

fishing alongside my Paw-Paw Jack and my father.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think<br />

young people make today?<br />

Young people tend not to think about consequences. They<br />

can act on an impulse without any regard to what could<br />

happen as a result of their actions and choices made.<br />

What is your favorite thing about <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County?<br />

My favorite thing about <strong>Rankin</strong> County, hands down, is the<br />

people. The citizens of <strong>Rankin</strong> County are very helpful and<br />

very supportive of law enforcement and first responders.<br />

The citizens of <strong>Rankin</strong> County play a large part in contributing<br />

to why this job is very fulfilling and rewarding.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 43

Susan Marquez<br />

No one expects it to happen, but when it does, a burn injury<br />

can be devastating not only physically, but emotionally and<br />

financially. The burn victim isn’t always the one affected, as<br />

there must be caregivers to help the patient throughout the<br />

healing and recovery period, causing a disruption in lives. The<br />

good news is that there is help available through the Mississippi<br />

Burn Foundation, help that many <strong>Rankin</strong> and Madison County<br />

residents have benefitted from through the years.<br />

Amanda Fontaine heads that organization as its executive<br />

director, and she works tirelessly to make sure services are<br />

provided to everyone in Mississippi who suffers from burns,<br />

regardless of a family’s ability to pay. Fontaine says that 550<br />

patients a month are seen on an outpatient basis at Central<br />

Mississippi Medical Center Burn Center.<br />

Having a burn center in Mississippi is something Fontaine<br />

has fought for. “We had one in Greenville, but it closed while<br />

Haley Barbour was in office as governor. He came up with a<br />

task force which decided that Mississippi patients could go out<br />

of state for treatment.” That decision resulted in more than a<br />

few deaths in the state, as the protocol at that time was for an<br />

emergency room with a burn patient to call the nearest burn<br />

center in another state, and then wait for a return call to see if<br />

they had room for the patient. If there was no room, the process<br />

started again, with a call to another facility. “I thought there<br />

had to be something we could do to provide services to<br />

Mississippians,” sighs Fontaine. “I was getting calls from family<br />

members during the night wondering where their loved ones<br />

had been taken.”<br />

She spoke with Dr. Fred Mullins at the Joseph M. Still (JMS)<br />

Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia, about what it would take to<br />

open a burn center in Mississippi. “He was very receptive and<br />

was instrumental in getting the outpatient center at Merit Health<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> started. Now the inpatient facility on Chadwick Drive<br />

in Jackson, has 1200 to 1500 patients admitted throughout<br />

the year.<br />

In addition to their regular fundraising, the Mississippi<br />

Burn Foundation is currently raising funds for the Mississippi<br />

Burn Survivor Family Home, a 24-bedroom facility across from<br />

the hospital on Chadwick Drive where families and caregivers<br />

can stay free of charge while their loved one is hospitalized.<br />

44 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

“Each room will have a private bath,” says Fontaine.<br />

“It’s really like a small hotel.” The home was the last<br />

project designed by the late Michael Barranco, a muchloved<br />

Jackson area architect. “This was a project he felt<br />

strongly about,” says Fontaine. “One of the features of<br />

the home will be a prayer garden, named in his honor.”<br />

The slab for the home has been poured and<br />

construction is underway, but fundraising efforts are still<br />

going strong to raise the funds necessary to complete it.<br />

At the same time, Fontaine continues to raise funds for<br />

the many services provided to burn patients and their<br />

families by the Mississippi Burn Foundation. “We try<br />

to assist families with whatever they may need,” she<br />

says. That may include specialized supplies such as<br />

pressure garments to help with recovery, expenses<br />

associated with medications for treatment, gas cards,<br />

hotels and meals when patients come to Jackson from<br />

out of town for treatment and much more.<br />

The Mississippi Burn Foundation was founded<br />

in 1976 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to the<br />

mission of offering financial assistance to burn victims<br />

who need help to overcome hardships that a burn<br />

injury presents. Tax-exempt donations and fundraising<br />

efforts from civic organizations, corporations and<br />

private citizens helps the Burn Foundation in their<br />

mission to help burn victims meet the high costs<br />

they incur during treatment and recovery. Firefighters,<br />

healthcare professionals, and first-responders<br />

throughout the state also help with the effort,<br />

including participating in the popular Heroes<br />

from the Heart calendar each year. To purchase<br />

a calendar, or to donate to the Mississippi Burn<br />

Foundation, contact director Amanda Fontaine at<br />

afontaine@msburn.org.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 45

46 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

“Shop with a Doc” gives children who<br />

have suffered excruciating pain and<br />

have been confined to the hospital<br />

for months at a time the chance to<br />

experience the thrill and excitement<br />

of going to a store to pick out gifts with<br />

doctors, firefighters and first responders.<br />

Wide eyes, big smiles and squeals of joy<br />

are always the theme for this special<br />

Mississippi Burn Foundation event.

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 47

48 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

King of Cakes.<br />

Jackson-Flowood<br />

163 Ridge Way, Suite E • (769) 243-7108<br />




808 LAKE HARBOUR DRIVE // RIDGELAND // 601.856.0789<br />


©2016 BUFFALO WILD WINGS, INC. BWW2016-4063<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 49

50 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Restoration<br />

Grace<br />

Camille Anding<br />

In 1998, Mike Boyanton’s life appeared to<br />

be on a one-track journey to the American<br />

dream. He and his bride of only three months,<br />

hopeful for a bright and long-lasting marriage<br />

and career, worked together as nurses at<br />

University Medical Center.<br />

Then the phone call came. Mike’s bride had been in a serious<br />

automobile accident. Ten days later in ICU, a life support system<br />

and coma removed all hope for Mike and his in-laws. The<br />

heart-breaking decision was made, leaving Mike single, alone, and<br />

searching for a new beginning.<br />

Over the next year and a half, Mike moved from the EMT<br />

unit to ICU and a change of faces. He found additional healing<br />

as a travel nurse for several months.<br />

Meanwhile, a friend of Mike’s entered the “dating game”<br />

when she decided that Mike and one of her friends, Mandy,<br />

would make a perfect match.<br />

Mandy’s friend began promoting Mike and describing him as<br />

the perfect date. Mandy, a nurse practitioner in her late 20’s and<br />

quite comfortable with her single life, questioned her friend who<br />

was also single, “Why don’t you go out with him?”<br />

The friend replied, “Oh, he’s way too settled for me.”<br />

Weeks passed and with the help of his cupid friend, Mike got<br />

Mandy’s phone number and called her. Mike, who is quiet and of<br />

few words by nature, talked for three hours.<br />

Mandy enjoyed the conversation, but there were no bells or<br />

whistles ringing in her heart. A few weeks later, Mike called and<br />

said he would like to prepare dinner for her in his home. Mandy<br />

accepted his invitation and was amazed with the meal. She even<br />

wondered if he had actually had it catered.<br />

The relationship took root in the next weeks and began to<br />

grow. On New Year’s Eve of 2002, Mike proposed, and they<br />

were married October 4, 2003 in Mandy’s home church in Utica.<br />

Dealing gently with Mike’s first in-laws who still came from<br />

Canada to visit their daughter’s gravesite and his continuing<br />

through the healing process taught Mandy and Mike a lot about<br />

themselves. Their adjustments to married life under the shadows<br />

of the past were all a part of building a strong marriage.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 51

Mike spoke of his concerns for Mandy, “I tried to<br />

protect her from my past.”<br />

Mandy was obviously the perfect match for Mike<br />

because of her experiences with tragedy in her own<br />

family. “Through our own losses, my family had<br />

learned the beauty of moving on,” she said.<br />

Today they are a testimony to God’s healing and<br />

grace. Mike has been a nurse in Batson’s emergency<br />

room for ten years, and Mandy began a new venture<br />

in January as nurse practitioner in the Jackson<br />

Thyroid and Endocrine Clinic.<br />

Their lives revolve around Maley Grace, their<br />

seven-year-old daughter who is mature beyond her<br />

years and who helps her parents care for her petting<br />

zoo – a cat, dog, three donkeys, two horses, one pig,<br />

and two goats.<br />

The Richland family invests much of their time<br />

and lives in FBC of Richland where Mike and Mandy<br />

teach a young couples class. Their personal experiences<br />

continue to give encouragement and hope to their<br />

members.<br />

“Maley Grace was our miracle child,” Mandy said<br />

in her gracious manner. She and Mike experienced the<br />

trials of seven years of infertility and thirteen failed<br />

adoptions. When they began to doubt having a child<br />

of their own, God impressed to them, “Be still, and<br />

know that I am God.”<br />

Their waiting was abundantly blessed with the<br />

birth of Maley Grace, and its byproduct was<br />

compassion and hope toward other young families<br />

experiencing infertility.<br />

Needless to say, the Boyantons are a unique<br />

couple. Their goal is to “wind down” instead of<br />

“winding up.” Contentment and peace live under<br />

their roof, and their home stands firm on God’s sure<br />

foundation. Their marriage proves that even on the<br />

backdrop of tragedy, God can paint beautiful love<br />

stories.<br />

As for celebrating Valentine’s Day and its<br />

meaning, Mandy says, “We try to have Valentine’s<br />

most days of the year.”<br />

52 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

“We try to have<br />

Valentine’s most<br />

days of the year.”<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 53

54 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

56 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Erin<br />

Williams<br />

Loving When It Isn’t Easy<br />

olly was born On September 23, 2013. and our lives changed for<br />

the better. After being married for almost three weeks, my husband<br />

and I knew we wanted to add to our family. So when she turned sixweeks-old,<br />

Dolly, the golden retriever puppy, joined our household.<br />

Dolly is the perfect dog. She’s sweet-natured, obedient, cheerful, and was a breeze to train.<br />

She is truly one of those once-in-a-lifetime dogs, and we couldn’t love her more.<br />

Fast forward two-and-a-half years to when we stumbled upon a fearful, skinny, black,<br />

pit-bull mix puppy. She came crawling to us out of nowhere and we found out she had<br />

been living under a shack after being dropped off and abandoned a few days earlier. In less<br />

than 10 minutes, we pulled 14 ticks off of her. We decided to keep her, and, in that moment,<br />

she became “Lucky.”<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 57

Although Lucky doesn’t have a mean bone in her little<br />

body, loving her hasn’t always been easy. When we decided<br />

to take Lucky in, we also took in her past problems, learned<br />

behaviors, and lack of training. We learned that she was<br />

deathly scared of leashes, ropes, water hoses, riding in a<br />

vehicle, and being picked up.<br />

On top of that, Lucky has turned our yard into a field<br />

of craters. She’s torn apart more than her fair share of<br />

pillows, towels, toys, mats, etc. If it’s outside, in Lucky’s<br />

eyes, it’s fair game.<br />

Between cleaning up after her, house training her,<br />

teaching her not to jump and to not be afraid of a leash,<br />

teaching her to trust humans, and showing her how to<br />

act around children, there’ve been many times that I’ve<br />

almost thrown in the towel. I mean, she’s just going to tear<br />

it to shreds anyway, right? In fact, I’ve almost done it more<br />

times than I’m willing to admit.<br />

However, in the last six months that Lucky has been<br />

a part of our family, amidst all the hair-pulling trials,<br />

she has taught me more about patience and love than I<br />

would’ve learned on my own.<br />

Lucky teaches me everyday how to love when loving<br />

isn’t easy.<br />

With Dolly, we fell in love with her instantly because<br />

she is the easiest, most cheerful and obedient dog we’d ever<br />

been around. Loving Dolly was easy. But in life, more often<br />

than not, loving isn’t easy at all. In fact, it can often be<br />

messy and difficult, at best.<br />

When we make the choice to love others, we have to<br />

love all of them—including their past problems, current<br />

issues, and future predicaments. Real love in relationships,<br />

whether with family, friends, or, in my case, a dog, is a<br />

journey full of detours, snags, and unlovable moments<br />

along the way. And, it’s not always easy.<br />

58 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Lucky teaches me everyday<br />

how to love when loving isn’t easy.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 59

60 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

Loving when it isn’t easy doesn’t<br />

just change the other person,<br />

it changes you, too.

When we chose to bring Lucky<br />

into our family, much like how we<br />

choose to bring others into our<br />

lives, we made a commitment to<br />

love her, regardless.<br />

While Dolly draws immediate pats and smiles from<br />

others, Lucky doesn’t. I mean, who doesn’t want to love on a<br />

Golden Retriever? It’s harder to want to pet a rambunctious<br />

Pit-Bull. In many ways, Lucky has had the odds stacked<br />

against her and been discriminated against her entire life.<br />

How many of us know others like that: People that are<br />

easy to love and don’t look intimidating versus others<br />

who we stay away from based on their looks and perceived<br />

personas?<br />

In some ways, Lucky has taught me to go beyond what<br />

I’m comfortable with. Although I don’t have kids yet, I want<br />

them to grow up learning that you love others regardless of<br />

whether they’re lovable or not, especially if they’re different<br />

than you. I want them to learn that others, like Lucky, can<br />

come out above the circumstances they were born into, and<br />

that love transcends similarities or looks.<br />

I want them to love well. Whole love.<br />

How will our kids today know what we don’t exhibit?<br />

And if we’re really honest with ourselves, we’d see that<br />

there are times when we aren’t always as loveable as we<br />

think we are.<br />

At the end of the day, we’re actively training Lucky<br />

and teaching her what we expect of her. And while I hope<br />

she’ll someday stop tearing things up and start behaving<br />

better, I can’t say for certain she will. I think the same thing<br />

is true in life. While we love others and hope they will<br />

come out of certain scenarios and situations that make<br />

loving them hard, the stark reality is that sometimes they<br />

won’t. But choose to love them anyway. Loving when it<br />

isn’t easy doesn’t just change the other person, it changes<br />

you, too. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 61

62 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Call us to schedule<br />

your next visit.<br />

(601) 825-3368<br />

Sarah Langston, DMD<br />

14 Woodgate Drive<br />

Brandon, Mississippi 39042<br />

Nationally recognized leaders in cardiovascular care.<br />

You don’t have to leave Mississippi for expert heart care. The team at Baptist Heart is<br />

recognized by HealthGrades among the Best 50 Hospitals in the Nation for Vascular Surgery.<br />

Make an appointment today.<br />

Call 601-968-1966 or go<br />

online to baptistheart.org.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 63<br />

The Following Is Not For Print/For Information Only<br />

Placement: <strong>Hometown</strong> Madison. 01/<strong>2017</strong>. 8” x 5”. Commissioned by Diane Martin.

A small building with a drive-thru<br />

was available at the Reservoir area, and<br />

Stogner and his wife signed a lease and<br />

started their business. The business was<br />

originally called Super Shakes, but they<br />

had to change the name to Quick Quakes<br />

because the owner of the building served<br />

ice cream shakes next door and didn’t<br />

want any confusion. Once the ice cream<br />

store closed, the former owner gave<br />

Stogner the greenlight to change the<br />

name back to the original Super Shakes.<br />

“It was about that time we were<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

Jason Stogner had a problem. As a graduate of University of<br />

Southern Mississippi with a degree in nutrition and dietetics and being<br />

a registered dietician, he knew more than a little about good nutrition.<br />

But as a sales rep who traveled all day (making healthy meal plans for<br />

patients), Stogner was often forced to eat unhealthy fast food on the<br />

road, mostly because of the convenience and lack<br />

of other options. “I knew what I was eating wasn’t good for me.”<br />

Stogner began preparing smoothies at home to take with him on<br />

the road. “One day my wife, Jodie, tasted one and she thought they<br />

were great. She told me I should be selling those!”<br />

Stogner gave it some thought and looked into existing smoothie<br />

franchises, but the nutritional information for the drinks was not good.<br />

“They were high in sugar and low in protein. I started playing with<br />

some formulas at home, playing with different ingredients to form new<br />

drinks that would provide energy and nutrition while satisfying hunger.<br />

It wasn’t long before I decided to open my own place.”<br />

opening our second location in the<br />

Township in Ridgeland, so we used that<br />

as an opportunity to rebrand ourselves,”<br />

explains Stogner. Through a series of<br />

events, Stogner met his business partner,<br />

Taylor Lyle, who owns a label company in<br />

Richland. “He made the labels for Quick<br />

Quakes, and one day he delivered them<br />

in person and ordered a shake. Soon he<br />

was coming every day and he also started<br />

ordering shakes for his staff. We talked,<br />

and he asked if he could join me in the<br />

business, and we’ve gone full steam<br />

ahead ever since.”<br />

There are now two more Super Shakes<br />

locations, one in the Crossgates area of<br />

Brandon, and the newest inside the<br />

Healthplex in Madison. “Franchising is<br />

64 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

definitely in our plans for the future,” says Stogner.<br />

“We’ve had people contact us from all over the country,<br />

including New York, Florida and California. We definitely<br />

plan to grow.”<br />

Super Shakes are made to order at any of the locations.<br />

There are nine basic formulas that meet a variety<br />

of nutritional needs. “Everyone needs 15 to 30 grams of<br />

protein per meal,” explains Stogner. “People who skip<br />

breakfast often go up to 15 hours without a meal. What<br />

they don’t realize is the body will get its needed protein<br />

supply from the muscles or even from organ tissue, so<br />

it’s important to refuel the body each morning. When the<br />

body is deprived of essential nutrients it needs to stay<br />

healthy, the immune system is weakened and the body<br />

goes into a downward spiral. That’s why we offer Super<br />

Fit, to keep folks healthy and fit.”<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 65

Other formulas include Super Fuel, Super Trim,<br />

Super Power, Super Charge, Super Calm, Super Meal,<br />

Super Gain and Super Sleep. All of the formulas are<br />

available at the Super Shakes locations, and can also<br />

be purchased in large containers that make 30 servings.<br />

The formulas can be customized with different<br />

flavors and supplements which can be added.<br />

All the powdered formulas are made in Mississippi<br />

with the best raw ingredients sourced in the United<br />

States. “We try to keep things as local as possible,<br />

especially with the fruits and vegetables we use.”<br />

The powders are made using whey protein isolate,<br />

the best form of protein available. There are also<br />

vegan versions which use pea protein or egg whites.<br />

Stogner says he usually drinks two of the shakes<br />

a day, which is helpful with his active lifestyle. He is<br />

still employed as a sales rep full time, and he has a<br />

country music band, The Jason Stogner Band,<br />

which has two releases on iTunes.<br />

“I think Super Shakes has a world of potential<br />

to grow,” says Stogner. “We started out to make<br />

a difference in Mississippi, one shake at a time.<br />

If we can make it in Mississippi, the least healthy<br />

state in the Union, we can make it anywhere.”<br />

66 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 67

68 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

1:1 Apple Device For Everyone | Small Class Size | Nurturing Environment<br />

Current Scholar, Future Scientist.<br />

S.M.A.R.T. Kids Lab is just one of the ways students learn<br />

through “doing.” At Jackson Academy’s Preschool,<br />

all students explore the world through engaging<br />

curriculum that fosters enthusiasm for learning. From<br />

educational growth, character development, and Mind<br />

and Motor physical education, JA’s Preschool provides<br />

a nurturing environment that builds a strong foundation<br />

for success!<br />

Enroll Today!<br />

Call 601.364.3627 or visit jacksonacademy.org/japreschool<br />

Year-Round After School Program | Spanish | SuperKids Reading Program<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 69

&<br />

Gives Back!<br />

Pure Air Consultants wants to give back to the community that has so graciously supported us. We have been blessed<br />

with continued growth and are humbled by the recent recognition as Best Heating & Cooling Company in <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

at the 2016 <strong>Rankin</strong>’s Best of the Best Gala. We recognize and appreciate the fact that we would not be who we are or<br />

where we are without the continued patronage of our customers and the support of <strong>Rankin</strong> County.<br />

Here’s Our Plan<br />

We’d like to find a family that’s truly in need of a new heating and cooling<br />

system. Do you know an elderly person on a fixed income, a family with a<br />

sick child or parent in the home, or a disabled veteran? Maybe it’s an existing<br />

system not operational or it’s very old and inefficient and the family cannot<br />

afford to replace it. The recipient’s home must be in <strong>Rankin</strong> County.<br />

How To Enter<br />

Log onto surveymonkey.com/r/pacgivesback or MyPureAirConsultants.com<br />

and nominate someone in need. People interested in submitting may enter<br />

themselves or nominate another person or family. All entries are completely<br />

confidential. Before and after photos of the job will be taken, and winner will<br />

be announced through social media. Media release required.<br />

What They Get<br />

The recipient chosen from online applications/nominations will receive the<br />

following: One (1) new 14 SEER (efficiency rating- current standard) Rheem<br />

heating and cooling system, installed. This is a complete system, providing<br />

new equipment both inside and outside, for a home that has existing central<br />

heating and cooling. Pure Air Consultants will also provide a new pad for the<br />

outdoor unit and a new digital thermostat. (Note: Replacement system must<br />

be of the same size/tonnage as winner’s existing system, and have the same<br />

heat source (gas, electric, or heat pump) as the existing system.)<br />

When<br />

We will accept submissions through <strong>February</strong> 28, <strong>2017</strong>. The winner will be<br />

selected and announced on <strong>March</strong> 1, <strong>2017</strong>.<br />

Enter today<br />

surveymonkey.com/r/pacgivesback<br />

www.MyPureAirConsultants.com<br />

70 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

At Just<br />

the Right<br />

Moment<br />

Leah Mitchener<br />

What sort of things pop into your head<br />

when someone asks your favorite thing<br />

about Thanksgiving? Probably visions of<br />

autumn leaves crunching under foot, the<br />

celebrated pumpkin-spiced latte gracing the<br />

cupped hands of chilly people wearing cable<br />

knit sweaters, or feasts of turkey and<br />

dressing. But Jordan Perry and Briana<br />

Outlaw will probably answer a little<br />

differently than most from now on because<br />

that is the day they got engaged.<br />

Their relationship has withstood the test<br />

of time and being high school sweethearts<br />

has given them over ten years to grow and<br />

explore life together.<br />

The two started dating after attending<br />

Brandon’s homecoming dance together.<br />

Briana recalled a special<br />

moment early in their<br />

relationship when Jordan<br />

had taken her to his<br />

grandmother’s house in<br />

Leakesville, Mississippi.<br />

“We were just hanging<br />

out and he put his arm<br />

around me and I said<br />

‘I’m gonna marry you<br />

one day.’ It’s kind of<br />

crazy looking back<br />

now because we had<br />

only been dating about<br />

six months. And here we are ten years later<br />

and we really are getting married!”<br />

The couple has shared everything from<br />

shrimp and steak at Yoko’s Japanese<br />

Restaurant to several ski trips. Though<br />

they had a short break-up during their<br />

college years, they soon got back together<br />

feeling that the separation helped them<br />

realize, even more, that they were supposed<br />

to be together.<br />

Briana, now a geometry teacher and<br />

dance team coach at Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

High School, and Jordan, a commercial<br />

flooring estimator for Craft Croswell, held<br />

a ‘Friendsgiving’ at Jordan’s house on<br />

November 22nd.<br />

After two weeks of coordinating with<br />

their friends that would be in town for the<br />

Thanksgiving season, Turkey Day finally<br />

arrived. Briana busied herself with<br />

preparing food in the kitchen when Jordan<br />

made a comment about everything “being<br />

so stressful.” Confused by the statement,<br />

Briana shrugged it off and went on about<br />

her business. After everything was warm<br />

out of the oven and it was time for the<br />

banquet, their best friend, Matt, gathered<br />

everyone around for the blessing. Briana<br />

bowed her head and closed her eyes,<br />

awaiting the prayer but she soon opened<br />

them to see Jordan in front of her—down<br />

on one knee. She reflected on the moment<br />

saying, “It was special because all of our<br />

friends were there.”<br />

Unlike many girls who<br />

grew up dreaming<br />

about how lavish and<br />

gorgeous their<br />

wedding day would be,<br />

Briana never really<br />

focused on the occasion<br />

itself. “I don’t know that<br />

I’ve always had<br />

everything planned out<br />

to a ‘T’ before it happens.<br />

I’m just ready for it to be<br />

here and to be married to<br />

Jordan,” she said.<br />

The couple will wed at First Baptist<br />

Church of Brandon on July 22, <strong>2017</strong>. And<br />

while additional plans are still in the works,<br />

it’s safe to say that this pair is not in it for<br />

the wedding–they’re in it for the marriage.<br />

After the wedding, Briana plans to move<br />

from the house she has been sharing with<br />

her brother in Pelahatchie into Jordan’s<br />

new home in Flowood. Jordan purchased<br />

the house almost a year ago, with Briana’s<br />

input, and had already planned on proposing<br />

to her. He just had to wait for the right<br />

opportunity when their close friends could<br />

be there to witness the special moment.<br />

Their goals involve a lot of traveling to<br />

visit friends, and continuing to share the<br />

shrimp and steak at Yoko’s. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 71

Who is the one person<br />

Yolanda Anding<br />

My mother, Shirley Ware.<br />

She is the epitome of someone who exemplifies a<br />

compassion unlike any other. Her nature is<br />

summed up by her drive to always put the needs<br />

of others before her own. As I watch her, I can<br />

see the many life lessons she has taught me that<br />

make me constantly strive to be a better wife,<br />

mother and daughter. I can only pray that I<br />

make her as proud to call me her daughter as I<br />

am to call her my mother.<br />

JT Ginn<br />

My grandfather.<br />

He is a hardworking, selfless man who<br />

loves his family and always puts them first.<br />

Clint Emmons<br />

My youth pastor, Marshall West.<br />

He is there any time that I need to talk to<br />

someone and he always knows what’s best for<br />

me. He truly inspires me to be my best.<br />

Tricia Ingram<br />

My mother, Diane Jacobsen.<br />

Her gift of teaching children is what inspired<br />

both my sister and me to become educators.<br />

She finds joy in every moment and shows love<br />

to so many people in so many ways.<br />

Nikki Burke<br />

My mom, Tommye Porter.<br />

She inspires me because she is the most caring<br />

and loving lady I know. She is always willing to<br />

put the needs of others in front of her own<br />

and is willing to help anyone in need.<br />

72 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

who inspires you and why?<br />

Kristin Daniels<br />

Tammie Ferguson.<br />

As a military spouse, mother, and entrepreneur,<br />

she finds time to operate her small business,<br />

Tammie Ferguson Consulting, LLC, lead<br />

international mission trips through Habitat<br />

for Humanity, and encourage others to be their<br />

best selves. Tammie definitely inspires me<br />

to positively impact the world.<br />

Bethany Hill<br />

Beth Bowman<br />

The way she loves and cares for others<br />

and makes everybody feel special.<br />

She’s a great role model and I would<br />

love to be like her when I grow up!<br />

Barry Wesson<br />

My mom and dad.<br />

I am inspired by their work ethics, their love<br />

to serve others, and their love for Jesus Christ.<br />

They inspire me to become a better man, to<br />

work hard in life, and to raise my two boys with<br />

the morals and values they taught me.<br />

Mary Margaret Creamer<br />

My dad, Yale Canfield.<br />

He always sees the best in people,<br />

and he taught me by example to extend<br />

grace, forgiveness, and mercy to those<br />

who may not seem to deserve it.<br />

Alexis Knott<br />

My father, Sanford Knott.<br />

He is a God-fearing man of Christ.<br />

He knows that in this world, life is a faith walk.<br />

But with God, everything is possible.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 73

74 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

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1301 West Government Street, Suite 105<br />

Brandon, Mississippi<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 75

<strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

Volunteer Fire Departments<br />

Bill Harvey<br />

The very core of democracy in America is<br />

self-rule. We pride ourselves on the ability to<br />

establish our institutions, make our laws,<br />

select our leaders, outline our goals and achieve our<br />

mission. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than<br />

with local volunteer fire departments (VFD’s).<br />

The first organized force of volunteer firefighters<br />

that history records was the Corps of Vigiles in<br />

ancient Rome about 6 A.D. The first volunteer<br />

units in the U.S. were formed in New Amsterdam<br />

(New York City) in 1711 when concerned citizens<br />

organized so-called mutual fire societies of<br />

approximately 20 members each. We are not privy<br />

to their accomplishments but we have their modern<br />

component today in the sixteen volunteer fire<br />

districts in <strong>Rankin</strong> County. These districts contain<br />

fire fighting units that serve the populace not<br />

included in Brandon, Pearl, Flowood and Richland<br />

which have full-time paid departments.<br />

Approximately 69% of all fire departments in the<br />

United States are volunteer in composition. <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

is typical of the 3,000 counties and parishes in the<br />

U.S. in how it administers its volunteer emergency<br />

services. All political subdivisions have laws, policy<br />

standards and personnel requirements set up to<br />

administer aid and protection to their citizens.<br />

Volunteer fire districts are located in Robinhood,<br />

Lake Harbor, Leesburg, Langford, Pelahatchie,<br />

Evergreen, Monterey, Walters, Puckett, Shell Road,<br />

Cato, Star, Florence, Cleary, and Southwest and at<br />

the Reservoir, which is a partially paid entity.<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County Fire Coordinator Brett Ishee<br />

describes VFD’s as service units at the grass roots<br />

level. These units, located within their district,<br />

perform a wide number of critical services, many<br />

in coordination with local law enforcement and<br />

other emergency services. These include firefighting,<br />

rescue operations, medical emergencies, road<br />

accidents, drownings and inclement weather<br />

emergencies.” You can’t imagine what we are<br />

sometimes called on to do; from getting pets<br />

down out of trees to bringing our own water to put<br />

out a grass fire.” The demand for service is intense.<br />

“There were 20,559 runs or calls countywide in<br />

2015,” Ishee said, “and we ran well ahead of that<br />

demand in 2016.”<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County’s VFD’s are non-profit<br />

organizations and fall into two categories. The<br />

larger units are chartered under the county board<br />

of supervisors and have their own elected board of<br />

directors and commission which appoints a<br />

president and vice-president. These units have an<br />

official charter, bylaws and are subject to an<br />

annual audit. The small, unchartered units have a<br />

board of directors only but are subject to local<br />

statutes and authority. All real estate for individual<br />

units is acquired through funding from the county<br />

supervisors.<br />

Once a unit is established and operational it<br />

must acquire membership. Membership is attained<br />

by recruiting interested personnel through<br />

community events, church gatherings, fundraisers<br />

and word of mouth. Both men and women are<br />

firefighters and women receive the same training<br />

and adhere to the same training standards as the<br />

men. Most members have part or full time jobs<br />

outside the unit and when they receive a call they<br />

must leave work if possible.<br />

Even though the unit is voluntary, financial<br />

support is critical to the maintenance of a viable<br />

firefighting capability. In taxing districts, a millage<br />

is designated for the fire units. In each taxing<br />

district $18,000 per year is allocated from<br />

76 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

homeowner’s fire insurance rebate money collected<br />

by private insurance companies. This money is<br />

distributed to the county by the state fire insurance<br />

commissioner in his capacity as state fire marshal.<br />

In addition to rebate monies and in non-taxing<br />

districts there are a variety of means of generating<br />

financial support such as local fundraisers, corporate<br />

and private donations and occasional grants for specific<br />

needs. The State Surplus Property Commission is<br />

also quite helpful in providing equipment for all<br />

units. For example, an old army truck purchased<br />

from the Commission for $100 can be converted<br />

to a 3,000 tanker. After being in use for 90 days, it<br />

belongs to the fire department.<br />

Training of fire emergency personnel is provided<br />

by the State Fire Academy and the county fire<br />

coordinator. It is paid for out of county funds. There<br />

is some in-house training provided by the county.<br />

The State Fire Academy must certify this training in<br />

order for the unit to be in service. These training<br />

standards are the same as those employed by paid<br />

fire departments.<br />

VFD’s are on call 24/7. They are alerted to an<br />

emergency the same way any emergency notification<br />

is received. A citizen calls “911”.The dispatcher then<br />

alerts the fire department nearest the emergency.<br />

The Florence VFD is typical of the county’s larger<br />

units. Its 27 person force has an average response<br />

time of eight minutes to an area emergency.<br />

According to Chief Chip Taylor, “Once our pagers<br />

are activated by a 911 call to the sheriff’s office, we are<br />

on the way to the scene along with the local police<br />

and other emergency personnel as needed.” The chief<br />

understands the demands on his team and its place in<br />

emergency service. “Our service would be impossible<br />

without the dedication and sacrifice of our members<br />

who are personally concerned with the safety of their<br />

neighbors.”<br />

The VFD in Cato is a smaller unit serving a less<br />

dense population area. Its ten members have the<br />

same eight minute reaction time as Florence.<br />

Coordinating with other emergency services and<br />

reporting procedures is also similar. “We perform<br />

almost any service necessary to protect our citizens<br />

after receiving an alert,” says Chief Alan Hudson.<br />

“We answer fire and medical calls, clear downed<br />

trees and have even helped round up loose livestock.”<br />

How can the public assist these men and women?<br />

Chief Hudson says, “Donations and prayers are<br />

always appreciated.”<br />

Having proximity to a VFD can positively affect<br />

homeowner insurance rates. These are typically greatly<br />

reduced along the same lines as those in a paid<br />

district. This reduction often off-sets any increase in<br />

tax millage, if any, to maintain these facilities.<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County resident Camille Wright lives in<br />

District 4, which was previously outside a designated<br />

fire district. A lack of fire protection had a negative<br />

effect on insurance rates in her area.<br />

In <strong>March</strong> 2016, Scott Berry, chief of the Reservoir<br />

Fire assisted in getting Ms Wright’s area in his fire<br />

district. He was able to get the fire rating agency and<br />

the county supervisors to agree to this expansion.<br />

“As a result of Mr. Berry’s efforts, our fire rating has<br />

gone from a 9 down to a 6,” Ms. Wright says. “This<br />

has reduced my personal yearly homeowner’s<br />

insurance premium by half.”<br />

Volunteer men and women who make up these<br />

fire units are a special breed. They truly care for the<br />

security of families and their community. Brett Ishee<br />

sums it up well. “Come rain or shine, the volunteer<br />

fire departments are there to help. No matter what<br />

time or what they have scheduled in their lives, they<br />

put family and friends on hold every day. Even on<br />

holidays when everyone else is having fun they are<br />

there and on call to help others.” n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 77

78 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

sAY “i Love you”<br />

with<br />

Chocolate Covered Strawberry baskets<br />

order online • nandyscandy.com<br />

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Heart Boxes with Assorted Chocolates<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 79

80 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

An Enduring<br />

Valentine<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Jim Baird had a single focus seventy years<br />

ago when he moved from Chicago and entered<br />

Maryville College in Tennessee. He wanted to<br />

play football. What he didn’t expect was finding<br />

his forever valentine, but that’s exactly what<br />

God arranged.<br />

Jane was a freshman, and she and Jim were<br />

introduced by a mutual friend. Their first date<br />

was attending a college play, “The Man Who<br />

Came to Dinner.” Jim recalls walking her back<br />

to her dormitory with concrete assurance that<br />

he would marry this girl.<br />

It took six years of dating, along with Jane’s<br />

mother’s prodding, for Jane to come to the<br />

same conclusion. “He had to grow up,” Jane<br />

said with her jovial smile.<br />

In the years that followed, Jane was<br />

instrumental in converting her Yankee spouse<br />

into a southern gentleman. Three years and<br />

their first of four sons later, God made a<br />

conversion of His own in their lives. He called<br />

Jim into the ministry.<br />

They have served in churches in Alabama,<br />

Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi and traveled<br />

the world sharing the Gospel. From 1983 to 1995,<br />

Dr. Baird was the popular and able minister at<br />

First Presbyterian Church in Jackson.<br />

Today they remain active in church ministry,<br />

and Dr. Baird continues to preach in various<br />

churches. They maintain a disciplined schedule<br />

of water aerobics and visit with their sons’<br />

families and ten grandchildren.<br />

Valentines for sixty-four years is an amazing<br />

milestone. “We seldom argue,” Dr. Baird said<br />

while reflecting on the longevity of their love.<br />

Jane quickly added, “We know each other so<br />

well. We know when to stop!”<br />

Happy Valentine’s to a couple whose love<br />

story portrays the beauty and joy of ageless<br />

devotion. ♥<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 81

82 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Anh Giang Edwards, OD<br />

Melissa R asmussen, OD • Michael Phillips, OD<br />

Julie Dawson, OD • Jimbo Bearden, OD<br />









Brandon Office: (601) 825-8300<br />

Canton Office: (601) 859-3464<br />

Madison Office: (601) 605-2259<br />

Ridgeland Office: (601) 957-9292<br />

Yazoo City Office: (662) 746-4312<br />

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for your continued support!<br />

100 Ridge Way, Flowood MS<br />

601.420.4202 | TableOneHundred.com<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 83

Several months ago, with a collaborative<br />

desire to promote <strong>Rankin</strong> County businesses,<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Magazines and the <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County Chamber of Commerce decided to<br />

create a red carpet event that would<br />

celebrate the outstanding business<br />

community in which we live and work.<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County’s Best of the Best Red<br />

Carpet Gala was born.<br />

Fifty-three categories were established<br />

to start. We asked for submissions from<br />

the public for favorites in each category.<br />

Over thirty-thousand votes were cast<br />

as people voted for their top choices in<br />

each group.<br />

On January 12, nearly 500 people walked<br />

the red carpet at the sold out inaugural<br />

event where the winners were announced.<br />

Listed here are all the nominees and<br />

winners. We congratulate every single<br />

business for this incredible achievement.<br />

The 2018 Red Carpet Gala has been<br />

scheduled for January 18. Mark your<br />

calendars now!<br />

84 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 85

86 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 87

Best of the Best<br />

Nominees<br />

Dining Out<br />


Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi of<br />

Flowood<br />

Osaka Japanese Restaurant<br />

Fuji Japanese Restaurant<br />

& Sushi Bar<br />

OEC Japanese Express of Brandon<br />

Yoko Japanese Steak House<br />


Dickey’s Barbeque Pit<br />

Smokehouse of Florence<br />

Sonny’s BBQ<br />

Triple A Barbeque<br />

Little Willie’s BBQ<br />


Amerigo<br />

Cerami’s<br />

Mazzio’s - Brandon<br />

Lost Pizza<br />

Soulshine Pizza<br />


El Sombrero - Flowood<br />

Fernandos - Pearl<br />

Papitos - Flowood<br />

El Portrillo - Brandon<br />

Salsa’s - Flowood<br />

Health &<br />

Wellness<br />


Kennedy Chiropractic<br />

Fowler Chiropractic<br />

Foxworth Chiropractic<br />

Chad A. Brown, D.C.<br />

Barnes Chiropractic<br />


The Winning Smile<br />

Wren Pediatric Dentistry<br />

Pediatric Dentistry of Brandon<br />

(Dr. Henry Cook)<br />

Mayatte Family Dentistry<br />

Dogwood Family Dental<br />

(Dr. Amy W. Sherman, DMD)<br />


Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi - Flowood<br />

Osaka Japanese Restaurant<br />

Fuji Japanese Restaurant<br />

Sushi & Grill<br />

OEC Japanese Express - Richland<br />

Asahi Japanese Restaurant<br />

& Sushi Bar<br />


Half Shell Oyster House<br />

Table 100<br />

Mudbugs<br />

Moss Creek<br />

Cafe Lagniappe<br />


Mugshots Grill & Bar<br />

Five Guys Burgers and Fries<br />

Table 100<br />

Taste of Detroit<br />

Kismets<br />


Fannin Mart Restaurant<br />

Table 100<br />

Georgia Blue<br />

Abner’s<br />

Remember When<br />


Dr. Anna Taylor<br />

Taylor Eyecare Family Optometry<br />

Dr. Mark Allen<br />

The Optical Shoppe<br />

Dr. J. Minor Pace<br />

20/20 Vision<br />

Dr. Richard W. Pharr<br />

Dr. Tina Sorey<br />

Eyecare Professionals<br />


Dr. Dennis W. Rowlen<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> Children’s Group<br />

Dr. Joe Edwards<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> Children’s Group<br />

Dr. Craig Flowers<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> Children’s Group<br />

Dr. Sam J. Denney<br />

The Children’s Clinic<br />

Dr. Laura Mullins<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> Children’s Group<br />


Lost Pizza Company<br />

Soulshine Pizza<br />

Millers Grill & Pizzeria<br />

Mellow Mushroom<br />

Papa Johns<br />


Table 100<br />

Outback Steakhouse<br />

LongHorn Steakhouse<br />

Dukes Steakhouse and Restaurant<br />

Amerigo Italian Restaurant<br />


Cups – Flowood<br />

Mocha Mugs – Brandon<br />

Cups – Brandon<br />

Crave – Florence<br />

The Gathering Grounds<br />


Nothing Bundt Cakes<br />

Sugar Magnolia Takery<br />

Corner Bakery<br />

Gigi’s Cupcakes<br />

That Special Touch<br />


Amerigo<br />

Millers Grill & Pizzeria<br />

Newks – Brandon<br />

Papitos<br />

Georgia Blue<br />



Lisa Byrd<br />

Merit Health, Brandon<br />

Heather Kuriger<br />

Baptist Medical Clinic, Reservoir<br />

Kimberly Loe<br />

Baptist Medical Clinic, Brandon<br />

Aaron Katzenmeyer<br />

Merit Health, Flowood<br />

Candice Ashley<br />

Florence Family Medical<br />


Baptist Medical Clinic - Brandon<br />

Corner Clinic Urgent Care - Flowood<br />

Merit Health Medical Clinic - Brandon<br />

TrustCare Express - Brandon<br />

MEA - Spillway<br />


Mississippi Legends Grill<br />

Alumni House<br />

Georgia Blue<br />

Buffalo Wild Wings<br />

Mugshots Grill & Bar<br />


Mike Roemhild - Table 100<br />

Danny Eslava - Eslava’s<br />

Jay Bruner - Cafe Lagniappe<br />

Tony DeMartini - Old Fannin<br />

Restaurant<br />

Tim McSweyn - Outback<br />

Steakhouse<br />


Table 100<br />

Castlewoods Country Club<br />

Georgia Blue<br />

Mississippi Legends Grill<br />

El Sombrero<br />


Primos<br />

Cracker Barrel<br />

Heart & Soul<br />

Joe’s Diner<br />

Corner Bakery<br />


Dr. Richard D. Kirby<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Veterinary Services<br />

Dr. David May<br />

Animal Medical Hospital, Inc.<br />

Dr. Scott Houston<br />

Brandon Animal Clinic<br />

Dr. Staci Rhodes<br />

Crooked Creek Animal Hospital<br />

Dr. Jennifer Sullivan<br />

Oakdale Animal Hospital<br />


The Club of Crossgates<br />

Anytime Fitness<br />

YMCA<br />

Focus Fit<br />

University Wellness - Brandon<br />

88 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Retail &<br />

Personal<br />

Services<br />



Cobo’s Boutique<br />

Material Girls<br />

Faith N Candy<br />

The Girlie Boutique<br />

Miss Priss<br />



Cozy Outfitters<br />

Shades<br />

Bass Pro<br />

Capital Menswear<br />

Heart of the South<br />



Bows n Arrows<br />

Southern Raised<br />

Little Miss Sew & Sew<br />

O! How Cute<br />

Traditions<br />



Forget Me Nots<br />

From Me to You<br />

Wear It’s At<br />

Goodwill - Brandon<br />

Traditions<br />


Green Floral<br />

Flowers by Mary<br />

Chapman’s Florist<br />

That Southern Accent<br />

Willow Blu<br />



Corporate Apparel & Promotions<br />

Pollchaps<br />

One Way Promotional Products<br />

Global Screen Printing<br />

SignMark, Inc.<br />


James Jacobs Salon<br />

Lacru Salon<br />

Headwaves<br />

Kasha<br />

Hair & Company<br />


Massage Envy<br />

Tranquility<br />

The Skin District<br />

The Face and Body Spa<br />

The Wellness Spa<br />


Newton’s<br />

Jackson Jewelers<br />

Crown Jewelers<br />

Crossgates Jewelers<br />

Courtyard Manufacturing Jewelers<br />


O! How Cute<br />

Apple Annie’s<br />

Heart of the South<br />

AllyOops<br />

Mockingbird Marketplace<br />

Entertainment<br />


Acoustic Crossroads<br />

Stace and Cassie Shook<br />

Burnham Road<br />

Chasin Dixie<br />

Jason Miller Band<br />


Castlewoods<br />

Refuge<br />

Patrick Farms<br />

Bay Pointe<br />

Pearl Golf Course<br />


Winner’s Circle Park<br />

High Heaven<br />

Party Safari<br />

Pump it Up<br />

Shiloh Water Park<br />



Pump it Up<br />

Party Safari<br />

High Heaven<br />

Fannin Lanes<br />

Funtime Skateland<br />

Professionals<br />


Brian & Hollie Hull<br />

Rachel H. Boyer<br />

Destiny Tillery<br />

Jamie K. Morris<br />

Alana Donovan<br />


Ambiance Landscape<br />

Murphy’s Lawn & Landscape<br />

Carter and Gardner Landscape<br />

Lakeland Lawn & Garden Center<br />

Southern Oaks Landscape Design<br />

& Maintenance<br />



Mike Roberson Builders, Inc.<br />

Robert Bridges Construction<br />

S & S Builders<br />

Southern Pines Construction<br />

Neese Custom Homes<br />



Pure Air Consultants<br />

Central Heating & Cooling<br />

Hermetic Rush<br />

Climate Masters<br />

Jamie Weeks Heating & Cooling<br />


Community Bank<br />

Trustmark National Bank<br />

BankPlus<br />

BancorpSouth<br />

Renasant Bank<br />



Insurance Protection Specialists<br />

Malcolm Houston - State Farm<br />

Eddie Grimes - Allstate<br />

Steven Wallace - Insurance Associates<br />

Don Bass - State Farm<br />


Jeff Arnold<br />

Julie Lewis - Casabella Interiors<br />

Alisa Berry - Casabella Interiors<br />

Cindy Phillips<br />

Magic Touch Interiors<br />

Miscellaneous<br />



Elliott Law Firm<br />

Brandon Methodist Kindergarten<br />

The Winning Smile<br />

Mocha Mugs<br />

Morgan Stone<br />



(50-100 EMPLOYEES)<br />

Precision Spine, Inc.<br />

The Face and Body Center<br />

Scott’s Miracle-Gro<br />

Chick-fil-A Brandon<br />

Performance Drilling Co.<br />



(100 + EMPLOYEES)<br />

Merit Health <strong>Rankin</strong> - Crossgates<br />

Nucor Steel<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County School District<br />

Blue Cross/Blue Shield<br />

GI Associates<br />



Larry Swales, Chancery Clerk<br />

Bryan Bailey, Sheriff<br />

Chris Vinson, Alderman Ward 2<br />

Gregg Harper, Congressman<br />

Butch Lee, Mayor<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 89

Best of the Best Winners<br />

Dining Out<br />


Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi<br />


Little Willie’s BBQ<br />


Cerami’s Italian Restaurant<br />


Papito’s Mexican Restaurant<br />


Ichiban Hibachi & Sushi<br />


Half Shell Oyster House<br />


Mugshots Grill & Bar<br />


Georgia Blue<br />


Lost Pizza Co.<br />


Table 100<br />


Café Crave<br />


Nothing Bundt Cakes<br />


Georgia Blue<br />


Alumni House Sports Bar and Grill<br />


Danny Eslava - Eslava’s Grille<br />


Georgia Blue<br />


Heart & Soul<br />

Health &<br />

Wellness<br />


Fowler Chiropractic<br />


Mayatte Family Dentistry<br />


Dr. Anna Taylor<br />

Taylor EyeCare Family Optometry<br />


Dr. Laura Mullins<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> Children’s Group<br />



Candice Ashley<br />

Florence Family Medical<br />


Baptist Medical Clinic<br />

Brandon<br />


Dr. Richard D. Kirby<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Veterinary Services<br />


Focus Fit<br />


RJ Barrett - Focus Fit<br />


Dr. Richard C. Randolph<br />

Retail &<br />

Personal<br />

Services<br />



Cobo’s Boutique<br />


Heart of the South Apparel & Gift<br />



O! How Cute Boutique & Gifts<br />



Forget Me Nots<br />


Chapman’s Florist<br />



One Way Promotional Products<br />


Lacru Salon<br />


Massage Envy<br />


Jackson Jewelers<br />


O! How Cute Boutique & Gifts<br />

Entertainment<br />


Stace and Cassie Shook<br />


Patrick Farms Golf Club<br />


Winner Circle Park<br />



Pump it Up<br />

Professionals<br />


Brian and Hollie Hull Portraits<br />


Murphy’s Lawn & Landscape. Inc.<br />



Southern Pines Construction<br />



Pure Air Consultants<br />


Trustmark National Bank<br />


Don Bass<br />

State Farm Insurance<br />


Alisa Berry<br />

Casabella Interiors<br />

Miscellaneous<br />



The Winning Smile Dental Group<br />



Precision Spine, Inc.<br />



<strong>Rankin</strong> County School District<br />



Bryan Bailey, <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

Sheriff<br />



Mustard Seed<br />

90 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 91

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92 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 93

<strong>2017</strong><br />

Winter<br />

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January 24<br />

The Ivy<br />

94 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 95


is celebrating<br />

1917-<br />

<strong>2017</strong><br />

100years.hindscc.edu<br />

www.hindscc.edu<br />

In compliance with the following: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 of the Higher Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other applicable Federal and State Acts, Hinds Community College offers equal education<br />

and employment opportunities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status in its educational programs and activities. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson,<br />

Vice President for Administrative Services, 34175 Hwy. 18, Utica, MS 39175, 601.885.7002. Dr. Tyrone Jackson, Associate Vice President for Student Services & Title IX Coordinator, Box 1100 Raymond Campus (Denton Hall 221), Raymond, MS 39154, 601.857.3232, titleIX@hindscc.edu<br />

SAVE<br />

the<br />

DATE<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County Chamber<br />

Golf Classic<br />

Friday, <strong>March</strong> 24, <strong>2017</strong> - Castlewoods Country Club<br />

To register your team or for more information, call <strong>Rankin</strong> Chamber office at (601) 825-2268<br />

RCC-half-page-wide-<strong>Rankin</strong>-Jan<strong>2017</strong>.indd 1<br />

96 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

1/23/<strong>2017</strong> 11:38:11 AM

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

Reader<br />


Bettye<br />

Massey<br />

Why did you decide to make <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

your home?<br />

Actually, my parents made that decision for me.<br />

They moved back to the “old family homestead” in<br />

the Concord community when I was a teenager.<br />

After my marriage I moved to Pelahatchie and<br />

have lived here ever since. When I visit my<br />

daughter in Houston, Texas, where four million<br />

people live with eight lanes of interstate highways<br />

weaving overhead, I am very happy to come home<br />

to my town with no traffic light and little traffic.<br />

How long have you lived in <strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

58 years.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

I am the middle child and only daughter of the<br />

late Edward and Roma Purvis of the Concord<br />

community. I was married to the late James<br />

“Schraunchy” Massey for 53 years. We have two<br />

children, Beverly of Houston, Texas, who is a nurse<br />

practitioner at M.D. Anderson and Jeff who lives<br />

in Mendenhall with his wife Donna. Jeff is<br />

employed with General Electric. I have three<br />

beautiful granddaughters and two wonderful<br />

grandsons-in-law. Kristin and Donald Berry live in<br />

Florence, Mississippi, Karli and Davis McGinnis<br />

live in Meridian, and Isabella Fayad is in Houston,<br />

Texas. I have been blessed this year with a great<br />

granddaughter, Della Rae Berry. I have also been<br />

blessed to be city clerk of Pelahatchie for 29 years<br />

and belong to Pelahatchie Baptist Church.<br />

What is your favorite memory of living in<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

My favorite memory of living in <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

would be the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I<br />

witnessed our county coming together taking care<br />

of each other in unselfish ways. <strong>Rankin</strong> County is<br />

fortunate to have the best county officials! Being a<br />

city clerk, I often hear other clerks and mayors<br />

complain about their county officials. I am very<br />

proud to say <strong>Rankin</strong> County Officials will make<br />

every effort to help the municipalities.<br />

Where are your 3 favorite places to eat in<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

Well the most favorite place to eat would have<br />

been my moms! She was a fantastic cook! Of<br />

course I love Duke’s in Pelahatchie, Newk’s in<br />

Brandon and Flowood and The Half Shell Oyster<br />

House in Flowood.<br />

What are some fun things to do in <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County on the weekends?<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County offers countless activities for all<br />

ages. There is the Yogi Bear Resort Park in<br />

Pelahatchie, unlimited shopping all over the county,<br />

the M-Braves games, and the Ross Barnett<br />

Reservoir. I think every municipality offers<br />

something unique for its citizens.<br />

What are three things on your bucket list?<br />

My bucket list is very simple. I have been blessed in<br />

my life to have a supportive family and wonderful<br />

friends so therefore I feel very content. My daughter<br />

thinks it is amazing that I attend church with<br />

people that I graduated with. My granddaughters<br />

laugh when I tell them that I was a cheerleader at<br />

Pelahatchie High School with ladies that are now<br />

in my Sunday school class! Of course I would like<br />

to spend more time with my family and to be more<br />

active in my church.<br />

Share some things you enjoy doing in your<br />

spare time.<br />

I love to read, work in the yard, take my dog Jake<br />

on daily walks and I love to be involved in my<br />

church activities and well as the town’s activities.<br />

Who is someone you admire and why?<br />

The person I have always admired would be my<br />

Aunt Grace Bowman. She fought a mighty battle<br />

with breast cancer for over 20 years. She had an<br />

unwavering faith and was truly a “sermon walking.”<br />

She was a testimony to “Even so, God is good!”<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years from<br />

now?<br />

Surely, I will be retired by then!<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

My favorite childhood memory would be the<br />

summers my brothers and I spent in the country<br />

with our grandparents enjoying the companionship<br />

of our Purvis, Patrick and Nobles cousins and<br />

going to Shiloh camp meeting and staying with<br />

Grandmother Minnie Nobles in her tent!<br />

If you could give us one encouraging<br />

quote, what would it be?<br />

“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.”<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Magazines?<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Magazine is a great asset for the county.<br />

It is both beautiful and tastefully done. The staff<br />

does an awesome job covering our county and is a<br />

great recruiting tool for people who looking for a<br />

great place to live. There is no place like <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County! n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 97

98 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong><br />

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 99

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 101


rankin county Schools<br />

Northshore<br />

Northshore Elementary students enjoyed Thanksgiving lunch<br />

with their families.<br />

102 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Jackson Prep<br />

Jackson Prep is proud to announce that Stacey Ferreri has<br />

accepted the role of Director of Institutional Advancement. In her<br />

new role, Stacey will oversee all facets of school fundraising,<br />

including educational endowments, capital campaigns, The Legacy<br />

Society, and will work with Assistant<br />

Director of Annual Giving and<br />

Alumni Relations Melanie Schade<br />

to boost annual fund giving and<br />

alumni involvement.<br />

“We are extremely excited to<br />

have Stacey on board to run our<br />

development efforts at Prep. Her<br />

extensive experience in event<br />

management and non-profit<br />

fundraising makes her perfectly<br />

suited for this role and we are<br />

delighted to have her on our team,” said Dr. Jason Walton, Head<br />

of School at Jackson Prep.<br />

Stacey graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi<br />

in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Paralegal Studies.<br />

Prior to graduating, Stacey studied at the University of London,<br />

London England in furtherance of her English minor. Upon<br />

graduation, Stacey worked for eleven years as a legal assistant with<br />

the Jackson law firm of Stennett, Wilkinson & Peden where she<br />

worked in all facets of the firm’s civil, corporate and administrative<br />

law practice. During this time Stacey volunteered her free time to<br />

help raise money and awareness for such local charities as The<br />

Junior League of Jackson, The Jackson Symphony League, and the<br />

St. Dominic Hospital Auxiliary.<br />

Combining her paralegal background and volunteer fundraising<br />

experience, Stacey became a political consultant to Governor<br />

Ronnie Musgrove, and served from January 2001 to May 2003 as<br />

his Campaign Finance Director, raising funds in preparation for<br />

his then upcoming re-election campaign.<br />

Ferreri Consulting LLC was born in 2004 with political<br />

consulting as the prime focus of the company as Stacey has directed<br />

the fundraising efforts of a host of mayoral, judicial, county and<br />

state races as well as congressional races. In recent years she has<br />

served as the Campaign Finance Director for former First District<br />

Congressman Travis Childers, former State Representative and<br />

Transportation Chairman Warner McBride, current Public<br />

Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (Northern District of<br />

Mississippi), and Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton.<br />

Stacey currently serves as Board President of the Greater<br />

Jackson Arts Council and sits on the Community Foundation of<br />

Jackson-Membership Committee. She is a past president of the<br />

Jackson Symphony League and the St. Dominic Hospital Auxiliary.<br />

She is a Sustaining member of the The Junior League of<br />

Jackson, a founding board member of the New Stage Theatre<br />

League, and past member of Board of Trustees of the Mississippi<br />

Chapter of The National Multiple Sclerosis Society.<br />

Stacey and her husband Glenn are the proud parents of Gabbi,<br />

a current 10th grader at Jackson Prep. The family resides in Brandon.<br />

2016 Jackson Prep Junior Varstiy Fastpitch Softball Awards: L-R: Grace Sinclair,<br />

Most Improved; Lauren Noe, Patriot Award; Carly Lewis, Most Valuable Player.<br />

Congratulations to Jackson Prep juniors Mary Margaret Mitchell and Anne Clark<br />

Harvey on the completion of the Making a Difference (MAD) project “Book it for<br />

Northtown”. These leaders collected over 500 children’s books for daycare early<br />

reader programs and assisted with young readers.<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 103


rankin county Schools<br />

Pelahatchie #PelahappyTHEplacetolearnandgrow<br />

Pelahatchie High School is generating entertainment and excitement for<br />

Chieftain fans with its winter sports programs. Three Pelahatchie teams are<br />

currently ranked in the state for their extraordinary seasons. The girls’ soccer<br />

team is ranked 8th in the 1A – 3A division. Their record is 11-0-1. As they<br />

progress through district play, they continue to roll over their opponents. In the<br />

most recent contest, the girls defeated McLaurin with a score of 8-1.<br />

As the basketball teams move into district play, both teams are ranked in the<br />

top five. The Lady Chiefs team currently ranks 4th in the state. Their overall<br />

record is 15-5. In their opening district game, the Lady Chiefs defeated the<br />

Puckett Wolves with a score of 52-44. The boys are ranked 5th in Division 2A<br />

with an overall record of 14-3. The boys also opened district play with a 69-62<br />

win against Puckett.<br />

Park Place<br />

Park Place Christian Academy is hosting our 2nd Annual Parent’s Seminar on Thursday,<br />

<strong>March</strong> 9, <strong>2017</strong>. We are blessed to welcome David Barton, author and founder of WallBuilders<br />

– an organization dedicated to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes with an emphasis<br />

on America’s moral, religious, and constitutional heritage.<br />

All parents of all public, private, parochial, and home-schooled students are welcome to attend<br />

this free seminar. For more information, visit www.goppca.com and/or www.wallbuilders.com<br />

PPCA congratulates our Teacher of the Year, Faith Mann. Mrs. Mann is a third grade teacher<br />

and has taught at PPCA for eight years. Anyone that enters into her classroom immediately<br />

recognizes her passion for teaching and her love for her students; but most importantly her<br />

passion and love for Jesus. She works diligently to incorporate creative teaching strategies that<br />

foster academic success in her students. This year, after much research, Mrs. Mann removed<br />

student chairs from her classroom and replaced them with medicine balls. This is just one of the<br />

many innovative methods she uses to help each student reach his or her greatest potential.<br />

104 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Puckett<br />

There is nothing like seeing and touching United States history<br />

firsthand, reliving major historical times that shaped the world in<br />

which we live. Puckett Student Council had the opportunity to<br />

travel to Washington D.C. after the Christmas holidays. As soon as<br />

the plane landed, the students were able to tour Ford’s Theater,<br />

where John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln. The next<br />

morning the group enjoyed a snow shower as students posed for<br />

pictures at the U.S. Capitol and toured the Smithsonian Museums<br />

(Botanical Gardens, Native American, & Air and Space).<br />

One of the highlights of the trip included a visit to the United<br />

States Holocaust Memorial Museum where students learned about<br />

genocide, promotion of human dignity, and the importance of a<br />

strong democracy. Sunday began with touring the remaining<br />

museums of the Smithsonian (National Art Gallery, Natural<br />

History, and American History). It was an enlightening experience<br />

to walk into the National Archive Building and see such historical<br />

documents as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution,<br />

the Bill of Rights, and the Magna Carta of 1215.<br />

The students were able to experience a sense of patriotism and<br />

pride in their country as they walked around a city still alive with<br />

history. The third day, the students enjoyed touring the Pentagon<br />

and National Zoological Park, home of the giant pandas. The<br />

pinnacle of the trip, though, was the personal tour of the U.S.<br />

Capital with Representative Gregg Harper. During the tour, Paul<br />

Ryan, the speaker of the house, passed and briefly spoke to the<br />

group. The knowledge garnered from the tour with Representative<br />

Harper was much appreciated.<br />

When it comes to learning about life, there is nothing more<br />

enriching than travel. Students do not have to be lectured; they can<br />

learn through living history.<br />

Student Council D.C. Group: Hannah Womack, Julia Peoples, Molly Welch, Mary Jo<br />

Benton, Mackenzie Downs, Mattie Hammock, Madison Tullos, and Ali Hammock<br />

Teachers and Sponsors: Nikki Hammock, Jennifer Johnson, Amy Smith and Amy Tullos<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 105


rankin county Schools<br />

Florence<br />

Florence High School DECA travelled to District I competition<br />

at Hinds Community College in Pearl on Friday, January 13.<br />

Twenty-six competitors, two current state officers, and two state<br />

officer candidates participated in the days’ events culminating in<br />

18 of the 26 competitors receiving medals and qualifying to<br />

advance to state competition in <strong>February</strong>.<br />

The following students placed in their respective events: 1st<br />

place - Jaiden Bell, Richard Milne, Gregg Stull, and Ethan Tullos;<br />

2nd place - Lydia Edmonson, Mary Beth Vanlandingham, and J.J.<br />

Williams; 3rd place - Blake Breaux, Charlie Millette, Taylor<br />

Young; 4th place - Abby Gipson; 5th place - Lauren Barnett,<br />

Nelson Buckley, Avery Burkett, Judson Cavanaugh, Riley Cohen,<br />

Shawnee Howard, and DeCameron Mayes. These students will<br />

compete at MS State DECA competition on <strong>February</strong> 16 and 17<br />

in Jackson and those who qualify there will be eligible to travel to<br />

DECA International Career Development Conference (ICDC)<br />

in Anaheim, CA in April.<br />

Lt. Ed Steed, Sgt. Cody Hamilton, and Rico from the<br />

Richland Police Dept. visited Florence Elementary recently.<br />

The FES Eagle Readers Book Club members were fascinated<br />

with the many facets of using a dog in police work. The officers<br />

shared the special bond and training required of a law enforcement<br />

officer and his canine assistant. Eagle Readers just finished<br />

Kavik, the Wolf Dog, the story of a dog’s 2,000 mile trek to a<br />

family who loves and cares for him. The visit was a great way to<br />

connect literature to our lives. FES Eagle Readers meet once a<br />

week before school to read and discuss books. These 40 students<br />

go above and beyond what is expected because they love to read!<br />

FHS Junior Katie DeRouen and Senior Adara Young are<br />

completing their tenures on the DECA State Officer Team with<br />

Katie serving as State President and Adara serving as State<br />

Secretary. Katie served the organization for one term while Adara<br />

served for two. These young ladies have represented DECA,<br />

FHS, and RCSD well.<br />

Continuing the tradition of leadership in MS DECA, two<br />

additional students seek state officers in the organization for the<br />

<strong>2017</strong>-18 school year. FHS Sophomores Sam Emerson and<br />

Jonathan Whittington are campaigning for State President and<br />

State Vice-President, respectively. Elections will be held at MS<br />

State DECA Conference in <strong>February</strong>.<br />

106 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Flowood<br />

Nestled amongst the Flowood Nature Park , Winner’s Circle<br />

Park and the Flowood Library, Flowood Elementary School is<br />

proud to bear the same name of the community that supports its<br />

outstanding teachers in producing top scholars and world citizens.<br />

With partnerships from parents and the community, Flowood<br />

students learn to live out its creed every day as we proudly reaffirm,<br />

“I am ready, I am respectful and I am responsible–I am a<br />


This past term, our students were exposed to the responsibilties<br />

of citizenship where they learned about the democratic process<br />

through campaigns and elections. They also learned about the<br />

sacrifices made to keep us safe as we honored veterans in the<br />

classrooms and created a tribute wall of fame to honor veterans in<br />

our families who have proudly served our country.<br />

Two major highlights for the second term were the Flowood<br />

Fall Festival and the Annual Christmas Grand Lighting at Winner’s<br />

Circle Park. Our students enjoy providing the entertainment and<br />

interacting with the community who appreciates and supports their<br />

scholastics and talents. Our next big event is the Multicultural<br />

Night scheduled for Tuesday, January 24, <strong>2017</strong>, from 5-7 pm on<br />

the school campus. Students and their families will be provided<br />

passports for a learning excursion through researched information,<br />

and foods from various cultures around the world and in our school<br />

and community.<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 107


rankin county Schools<br />

Richland<br />

Academic achievement has always been the primary focus in<br />

creating opportunities for students in high school, and this<br />

practice is certainly evident at Richland High School. Teachers<br />

work collaboratively to define, develop, and implement strategies<br />

to improve student achievement daily. There is no coincidence<br />

the book study this year is entitled, FOCUS. Throughout the<br />

year, teachers will present lessons on fundamental practices, the<br />

basics of curriculum, and literacy. Teachers are seen working<br />

together across the table at lunch, between classes, after school,<br />

before school, and at night using technology to communicate. As<br />

professionals, teachers devote hours to develop strategies designed<br />

to enable students to learn and teach them how to think<br />

and solve problems independently. However, there is another<br />

critical factor of education that is evident not only at Richland<br />

High School but also throughout the Richland community.<br />

It goes without saying that the Richland community exudes<br />

tremendous heart, and this was obvious as the school became the<br />

hub for a community drive to collect items for families in<br />

Mississippi and Louisiana that were devastated by floods earlier<br />

this year. The idea started with one teacher and spread like a<br />

brush fire from one teacher to another and one student to<br />

another. Very quickly, Project Richland Response was established<br />

and soon spilled out into the community. The City of Richland,<br />

local families, and businesses quickly opened up their hearts as a<br />

truck full of goods were collected and delivered. Richland High<br />

School became the hub of this service-oriented project, which<br />

taught the importance of caring for those who needed help in a<br />

time of crises. The concept of service was obvious in this massive<br />

effort, but for Richland High School students, service is demonstrated<br />

daily and efforts of service come in all forms.<br />

At Richland High School, students help each other with peer<br />

tutoring. Students are often seen doing random acts of kindness<br />

during the day. Students plan to generate even more Ranger pride<br />

in the development of a project encouraging all of us to keep our<br />

school looking good. Many of our students volunteer their time<br />

working with the Mayor’s Youth Council in activities such as 49<br />

Fest and the Haunted Trails in the City of Richland. Several of<br />

our students are recognized each graduation with a Distinguished<br />

Service graduate for the accumulation of at least 200 hours of<br />

volunteer service over their high school career. Students log in the<br />

time, the activity, and provide verification of the time spent<br />

volunteering.<br />

Reading, writing, and arithmetic consistently remain the focus<br />

of education and certainly at Richland High School but building<br />

the concept of service to one another and one’s community is a<br />

character trait that is just as critical. It truly is exciting to be a<br />

member of caring community in Richland, Mississippi and<br />

Richland High School.<br />

108 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

At Richland Elementary our little Rangers take pride in their<br />

learning and the staff couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments<br />

they make daily. Our teachers thoughtfully plan lessons<br />

that engage our students in hands-on learning and problem solving.<br />

Many of our teachers have embraced using STEM (Science,<br />

Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) projects to challenge<br />

our students and teach them to collaborate, communicate, and<br />

problem solve.<br />

Recently, the students in Mrs. Perkins’ second grade class<br />

worked in groups to construct their own catapults. They were<br />

given craft sticks and a rubber band to use as the catapult. They<br />

had to knock down a cup using a unifix cube. After experimenting<br />

with their catapult to see if it worked properly, the students wrote<br />

about the process they went through to construct the catapult and<br />

what they thought about the project. Mrs. Perkins said, “It was<br />

interesting to see the different strategies the students used during<br />

the project”.<br />

Ms. Hernandez’s second grade class’s STEM project was to<br />

construct a teepee that could sustain weather. Her class compared<br />

and contrasted the Native American’s home with the pilgrims’<br />

homes. The objective was for them to build a teepee structure<br />

that could sustain weather and at the same time be movable<br />

(since some Native American tribes would move from one<br />

location to another).<br />

Not only did our students learn from these experiments<br />

– they loved it!<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 109


rankin county Schools<br />

Brandon Middle<br />

Brandon Middle School’s Self-Contained classes were so thrilled<br />

to have Gold ‘N Fit Zumba come and show us some great dance<br />

moves during the month of December! Gold ‘N Fit ladies did an<br />

excellent job showing the students and teachers how to combine<br />

dance and fitness in a really fun way. We are so thankful that Gold<br />

‘N Fit Zumba donated their time, effort and energy to our students.<br />

Everyone had an energizing time! A huge thank you to each<br />

member from BMS!<br />

Standing Right to Left: Tiffany Withers, Teresa Green, Neisha Brown,<br />

Rozie Gray, Emilia Simmons, Artez Walters, Barbara Cook, Derrion Padgett,<br />

Justin Greer, Cole Ford, Scott Mills, Jonathan Cox, Brad Woods, Rose McKay,<br />

Wayne McDonald, Betty Ward, Phyllis Davis, Melissa Brooks, Brady Bennett,<br />

Will Ratliff, Theresa Bennett. Seated Right to Left: Shakita Howard, Henri<br />

Smith, Chloe Lacy, Scheheem Williams On Floor Right to Left: Mitchell<br />

Bargender, LaShaye Evans, Pat Moulds, Fair Strawder, Diane Bruce, Vern<br />

Price, Kathy King (Instructor), Josie Moore, Anne Waggoner, Evelyn Pryor,<br />

James Ward, Terry Watson, Ethan McIntyre, Corey Brownlow<br />

McLaurin<br />

Visitors Making a Difference<br />

Peyton Hendry & Ryleigh Johnson<br />

McLaurin Elementary is excited to welcome Move to Learn to<br />

our school on <strong>February</strong> 8. Move to Learn is a foundation that<br />

motivates kids to be more focused in school. Their top priority is<br />

to improve nutrition and physical activity levels for Mississippi<br />

schools. While at the school, they will present a live demonstration<br />

of their Move to Learn videos. It’s sure to be a fun experience!<br />

Sixth grade classes are also having special visitors throughout<br />

the next few months. In December, Carson and Bender visited us<br />

from Y101. They talked about how radio worked and possible<br />

jobs in the radio industry. They also participated in a question and<br />

answer session with the students.<br />

Future visitors for the sixth grade class will be Miss Mississippi<br />

along with First Lady Deborah Bryant. Miss Mississippi, Laura<br />

Lee Lewis, will discuss with the students tobacco and smoking<br />

prevention. The program is hosted by the American Academy of<br />

Family Physicians. Laura’s motivation is children, because “they<br />

are so eager to learn”, which makes this a great opportunity for our<br />

sixth graders. First Lady Deborah Bryant will soon visit as well.<br />

Her initiative is to promote literacy with her “Read Across<br />

Mississippi Program”.<br />

McLaurin can’t wait to give a warm welcome to these special<br />

visitors. They will provide us with inspiration and the chance for<br />

new opportunities.<br />

110 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

Pisgah<br />

The year of the Dragon continues with vigor at Pisgah High.<br />

Our students have been hard at work making an impact both at<br />

school and across the south.<br />

In December, seventh-grader Madison Goss initiated a project<br />

to aid those affected by the Gatlinburg wildfires. Madison<br />

sponsored a drive to collect supplies needed by the wildfire victims<br />

and successfully loaded an 18-wheeler provided by KLLM<br />

Transport Services. Madison’s project garnered the attention of<br />

local media, earning her a feature on the WJTV broadcast. In true<br />

Dragon spirit, Madison’s efforts showcase her tenacity and<br />

willingness to serve others.<br />

For Coach David Brown’s eighth-grade students, history<br />

became reality as they participated in an interactive “Wax Museum”<br />

exhibit at the conclusion of the fall semester. The students<br />

selected and researched an influential figure of U.S. history who<br />

lived between 1492 and 1800. On the day of the exhibit, students<br />

dressed in character to present short monologues for touring<br />

students and teachers. The experience was one that made learning<br />

both fun and authentic.<br />

Several seniors participating in the Capstone project are using<br />

their skills to make a direct impact on the PHS campus. Colton<br />

Pierce, Hunter Hartlein, and Skyler Moss all worked on a complete<br />

overhaul of the landscaping near the football fieldhouse. The<br />

Discovery<br />

Christian<br />

Discovery Christian School took 2nd place in<br />

the Florence Christmas Parade. The theme of<br />

their float was, “Jesus, the Sweetest Gift.” Drew<br />

Teten, Vhaun Beckham, Ava Martin-Campbell<br />

and April Mally, four of our preschool students,<br />

enjoyed throwing candy to the crowd.<br />

students planted 69 trees, installed attractive flowerbeds, and<br />

completed dirt work to divert rainwater away from the fieldhouse.<br />

These students’ efforts have been noticed and admired by all. In<br />

addition, Archie Sullivan and Brandon Watson built two picnic<br />

tables, which will be used near our cafeteria for break time,<br />

outdoor class experiences, and rewards for students who are<br />

chosen to enjoy lunch outside.<br />

Pisgah High School is proud of the valuable learning and<br />

community service experiences being initiated by the faculty and<br />

students in our Dragon family.<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 111


rankin county Schools<br />

Hartfield Academy<br />

Congratulations to our MAIS 1st Team All District football award recipients!<br />

Students are heading to Dominican/Haiti <strong>March</strong> 8th-15th<br />

Students are serving in Guatemala “Inner City” and Eagles Nest <strong>March</strong> 7th-14th<br />

A couple of members will start the season off for the State High School Bassmaster<br />

fishing circuit this weekend in D’Iberville, MS. Jonathan Harris and Blake<br />

Barnard will compete with schools across the state in several tournaments for the<br />

points championship and a chance at the National Championship this summer.<br />

112 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

We have after hours coverage 7 days a week!<br />

Conveniently located in Flowood off of Lakeland Dr.<br />

New Patients Welcome<br />

Our Doctors<br />

Sam J. Denney, Jr., M.D.<br />

Samuel A. Smith, M.D.<br />

Amanda H. Cook, M.D.<br />

Gordon H. Meador, M.D.<br />

M. Adam Adcock, M.D.<br />

Laura A. Barron, M.D.<br />

Visit us at www.thechildrensclinicms.com or<br />

find us on at /childrensclinicms<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 113

Camille Anding<br />

The Time Coin<br />

Nancy was at home in her flower<br />

garden. The miracle of burying<br />

seeds and bulbs to see them push<br />

through the soil and fill her garden with<br />

color and fragrance brought sheer delight<br />

in her senior years.<br />

Now that she was retired, her garden<br />

was her new work place. No, make that<br />

playground. She studied seed and flower catalogs and spent creative<br />

hours designing her flowering oasis.<br />

Nancy’s daffodil collection had grown to a showplace in the early<br />

spring. January might bring its wintry mix, but <strong>February</strong> and <strong>March</strong><br />

meant color would return. Neither the <strong>March</strong> lamb nor lion could<br />

intimidate the designs that God had programmed in her select<br />

daffodil bulbs.<br />

By late <strong>February</strong>, the blanket of leaves was raked and in compost<br />

mode. The daffodils were up and breaking into a parade of blooms.<br />

Nancy spent special moments perusing her inviable collection while<br />

searching for more planting areas.<br />

On the last <strong>February</strong> weekend, Nancy’s granddaughter, Milly, came<br />

for a visit. The crisp Friday evening was perfect for Milly to wander the<br />

garden paths and examine her grandmother’s prize blooms. Nancy<br />

suggested a cup of hot chocolate and stepped inside to prepare their<br />

treat. “Warm cookies would add to this special visit,” Nancy said to<br />

herself as she pulled a package of cookie dough<br />

from the freezer.<br />

Before Nancy could finish her surprise<br />

cookie bake, Milly had her own surprise. She<br />

pushed through the kitchen door with both<br />

of her seven-year-old hands clutching a huge<br />

bouquet of daffodils – the prize ones that<br />

Nancy adored.<br />

“Here! Non-Nee, these are for you! I picked the biggest ones I<br />

could find.”<br />

Nancy tried to act surprised instead of shocked, and pleased instead<br />

of annoyed. Milly had harvested her choice blooms with stems in all<br />

lengths.<br />

“They’re beautiful, Milly, but let’s don’t pick anymore – they last<br />

longer outside and look so pretty from the windows,” Nancy said with<br />

a forced smile.<br />

That night while Nancy and Milly slept warm and snug in their<br />

quilt-topped beds, the lion of <strong>March</strong> slipped into Nancy’s garden and<br />

left a surprise carpet of snow.<br />

During their pancake breakfast, Non-Nee and Milly reveled in<br />

the “snow garden” and Milly’s beautiful bouquet on the breakfast table.<br />

In twenty-four hours Nancy had learned to seize the joy moments<br />

because they’re fleeting and to spread sunshine – not hoard it. The<br />

lion of <strong>March</strong> and the Lamb of God had been the instructors. n<br />

114 • <strong>February</strong> <strong>2017</strong>

More than 30 clinics.<br />

Quick appointments.<br />

One number: 844-MSMERIT.<br />

Because there’s Merit<br />

in convenient care.<br />

With more than 30 primary care and specialty clinics in four counties across the Jackson and Vicksburg metropolitan<br />

areas, Merit Health Medical Group providers offer quality care for your family with your schedule in mind. From sore<br />

throats and fever to annual wellness visits and more specialized care, we’ve got you covered.<br />

To see all locations and specialties, please visit MyMeritDoctor.com<br />

Walk-in, same-day and next-day appointments are available.<br />

Just call 844-MSMERIT for an appointment with a provider near you.<br />

116 • June 2015

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