Hometown Rankin - October & November 2016

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volume 3 number 5<br />

oct/nov <strong>2016</strong><br />

Planting a Family<br />

____________________<br />

A Season of Freshness<br />

____________________<br />

In God’s Hands<br />

____________________<br />

From Diamonds to Deer stands

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 3

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 />

4 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

publisher & Editor<br />

Tahya A. Dobbs<br />

CFO<br />

Kevin W. Dobbs<br />

Consulting Editor<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Account Executive<br />

Rachel Lombardo<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Camille Anding<br />

Olivia Halverson<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

Knox Ross<br />

Shari Veazey<br />

Jamie Walley<br />

staff Photographer<br />

Othel Anding<br />

Contributing<br />

Photographer<br />

Kristy Ellingburg<br />

Administrative<br />

Assistants<br />

Alisha Floyd<br />

Brenda McCall<br />

Layout Design<br />

Daniel Thomas - 3dt<br />

• • •<br />

www.facebook.com<br />

/hometownrankinmagazine<br />

For subscription information<br />

visit www.htmags.com<br />

Have you ever considered the gift of communication?<br />

We utilize it from the time we wake up to<br />

the time we close our eyes and night, and it appears<br />

to have no limits. Where there’s a television, radio,<br />

or cell tower, there’s a way!<br />

The most modern and certainly most popular<br />

means of communication today appears to be<br />

texting. It can be brief but with added emotion,<br />

thanks to those cute little emojis. It seems that<br />

preschoolers to senior adults have adopted this<br />

unique form of staying in touch. But there’s one<br />

catch–successful communication via texting<br />

definitely requires a response. At least that’s what<br />

I’ve tried to impress upon our youngest, CandyLee,<br />

now that she’s a sophomore at Southern.<br />

Having our “baby” leave us as empty nesters<br />

wasn’t on my top-ten list of things in which to look<br />

forward. The emotion was similar to her leaving<br />

for kindergarten–but this was a whole new level,<br />

altogether. A week of college had passed and our<br />

communication was considerably less than I was<br />

expecting. Our baby had adjusted wonderfully to<br />

college–and without the close proximity of her<br />

parents. I had mixed feelings about that. While I<br />

was grateful that God had answered our prayer in<br />

helping her to love her new home and roommate,<br />

I also had a tinge of sadness that her maturity had<br />

reached such a level of independence. And she<br />

didn’t exactly text me back as quickly or as often as<br />

I had hoped, either. It’s been a difficult adjustment<br />

for ol’ mom here.<br />

But, as anyone that’s been through it knows,<br />

it’s all just a part of the process–and, if nothing<br />

else, it renewed my drive to make <strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

a quality issue of positive encouragement and open<br />

communication. We are blessed to call <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County our home and I want this publication to<br />

be a reminder of that to you, our readers.<br />

We are surrounded by people who have wonderfully<br />

important and inspirational stories. Please<br />

make us aware of any that you think need to be<br />

told. Feel free to communicate<br />

with us by phone, email or<br />

Facebook. We always love<br />

hearing from our readers<br />

and want to hear<br />

from you soon.<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 The Rythm of Home 8<br />

In God’s Hands 14<br />

A Season of Freshness 20<br />

Shopping Local 27<br />

Planting a Family 28<br />

Y’all Aboard! 38<br />

Tender Loving Hair 54<br />

From Diamonds to Deer Stands 86<br />

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

etirement,<br />

assisted living<br />

& memory care<br />

community<br />

call now to schedule a tour<br />

(601) 345-2202<br />

Every day of life is a blessing.<br />

350 Town Center Way Flowood, MS 39232 blakeliving.com<br />

please join us in welcoming<br />

Anita Davis<br />

as the new executive director<br />

for the blake at flowood.<br />

6 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Whether your dental needs include a complete<br />

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

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

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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 />

• Brandon Goza, DMD<br />

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

Dr. Goza 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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used in combination with new patient special. Expires 12/31/<strong>2016</strong>.<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 12/31/<strong>2016</strong>.<br />

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

Musical Legend<br />

& Jackson Native,<br />

Dorothy Moore<br />

8 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

The Rhythm<br />

of Home<br />

Olivia Halverson<br />

A bluesy bravado echoes<br />

throughout Jackson, Mississippi.<br />

The smooth sound reminisces of days when a young<br />

girl belted out gospel hymns and blues hits to the<br />

delight of local ears. For this little girl, learning a<br />

melody came as easily as breathing.<br />

Musical legend and Jackson native, Dorothy Moore,<br />

made her humble debut singing in the choir at New<br />

Strangers’ Home Baptist Church. She was raised by her<br />

great-grandmother, or “Mama” as Dorothy called her.<br />

Mama supported Dorothy’s singing from the very<br />

beginning, encouraging her to join the church choir and<br />

sing in talent shows at the Alamo Theatre.<br />

Barely tall enough to reach the microphone, Dorothy<br />

Moore was the youngest competitor in the Alamo talent<br />

shows. Her small stature inspired the nickname “Little<br />

Dorothy,” but there was nothing little about the song<br />

Dorothy had in her heart. At just 11 years old, Dorothy<br />

roused the crowds with her powerful voice and natural<br />

talent of singing the blues.<br />

Mama sat in the front row watching her great-granddaughter<br />

blossom into the singer she was destined to be.<br />

Dorothy did not know it at the time, but she was well on<br />

her way to stardom. Soon, Dorothy would graduate from<br />

the Alamo stage to Madison Square Garden and stages<br />

across the globe.<br />

Late one evening, Dorothy was nearly asleep in the<br />

front room of Mama’s home when a man knocked on<br />

the front door. Mama answered the door, and Dorothy<br />

listened to the conversation. The man was a record<br />

producer looking for the girl who could sing. “When<br />

I heard that, I stood up and walked out of that bed.”<br />

Dorothy knew that she wanted to be a singer, and her<br />

opportunity was standing right in front of her that night.<br />

Only 17-years-old at the time, Dorothy accepted an<br />

opportunity that literally came knocking at her door.<br />

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

Dorothy began to sing professionally<br />

with a group called The Poppies while she<br />

attended college at Jackson State University. They<br />

recorded for Epic Records, reaching the Billboard Hot 100<br />

chart in 1966 with “Lullaby of Love.”<br />

Some years later, Dorothy joined with Jackson’s Malaco<br />

Records as an independent artist. At Malaco, Dorothy<br />

recorded “Misty Blue,” the song that would take her to the<br />

top of her career. She recorded “Misty Blue” in 1973. The<br />

producers at Malaco did not trust that “Misty Blue” would<br />

become a hit song, so they put Dorothy’s record on the<br />

shelf. Two years later, producers at Malaco found themselves<br />

in financial turmoil. In a last attempt to avoid bankruptcy,<br />

they released every record they had on label in hopes that<br />

just one song might take off. “Misty Blue” climbed the<br />

charts and became an instant hit in the R&B genre.<br />

At the same time “Misty Blue” was taking off, Dorothy<br />

had married. She was working at School Pictures on<br />

Mill Street. Dorothy and her coworkers were listening<br />

to the radio at work when “Misty Blue” began to play.<br />

The song played all around town, and locals recognized<br />

the unmistakable smooth voice that flowed from their<br />

radio speakers.<br />

“Dorothy, ‘Misty Blue’ is on! They are playing it again!”<br />

Dorothy’s coworkers would cheer. When “Misty Blue”<br />

made the top 50 chart, Malaco Records contacted Dorothy<br />

about going on tour. Thanks to “Misty Blue,” Malaco was<br />

financially stabilized. At the age of 27, Dorothy was on her<br />

way to the big stage–a really big stage. Madison Square<br />

Garden was Dorothy’s first stop on the “Misty Blue” journey.<br />

Dorothy was the opener for Smokey Robinson and Hal<br />

Melvin and the Blue Notes. “I was just singing ‘Misty<br />

Blue,’” Dorothy said. “It was all I had.” That night on the<br />

Madison Square Garden stage, Dorothy got encore after<br />

encore. She came back out to the crowd waving and<br />

bowing. When she finally came off the stage,<br />

Dorothy’s booking agent lifted her up, twirled<br />

her around, and said “What do you want, Dorothy? You<br />

can have anything you want.” Dorothy smiled, and said<br />

“I really want a hamburger deluxe.”<br />

The world had chosen Dorothy Moore and her song.<br />

Fame came to her in as pure a form as it could. She was<br />

simply following her dream and doing what she loved.<br />

After “Misty Blue” came out, people wanted more.<br />

Dorothy’s record went gold in the United States and<br />

Canada and platinum in the United Kingdom. In 1996,<br />

“Misty Blue” went gold again after being featured in the<br />

movie “Phenomenon” on compilation. Today, the song<br />

remains in the iTunes top 10 chart for the blues genre.<br />

Dorothy toured all over the world and sang alongside<br />

stars she had always listened to and seen on TV like<br />

Johnnie Taylor, Ray Charles and The Temptations. She<br />

felt right at home on stage with a band and a microphone.<br />

But Dorothy’s voice was never meant for just performing–<br />

and Dorothy knew that well.<br />

In addition to the blues, Dorothy had a passion for<br />

singing gospel. After all, the church is where it all began<br />

for Dorothy Moore. “I don’t perform when I’m singing<br />

gospel,” Dorothy said. “I minister.” During her career,<br />

Dorothy recorded a gospel album that made it to the top<br />

10 chart. Despite the album’s success, Dorothy faced a<br />

battle. “I was confused.” Dorothy explained. “I felt wrong<br />

performing gospel for people.” Dorothy prayed that God<br />

would help her. “He told me to just sing and He would do<br />

the rest. I’m not the star when I’m singing gospel. He is.”<br />

Over the years, fame pulled Dorothy in every direction<br />

but never defeated her. The industry pressured her to<br />

abandon comfort zones and sing music she did not<br />

believe in. “I was very particular about what I sang.”<br />

Dorothy said. She turned down songs that did not match<br />

10 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

her values. Mama had raised Dorothy to stand<br />

firm in her beliefs, and stay true to herself. “And<br />

Lord if I didn’t,” Dorothy said, “my great-grandmother...I<br />

knew she was going to turn over in her<br />

grave, come out, and whoop me good!”<br />

Dorothy always felt the strong tug of her<br />

Mississippi roots when she toured. Jackson was<br />

the birthplace of her career. “This is home,”<br />

Dorothy said. “Ain’t nothing like it.” It was the<br />

place where Dorothy fell in love with singing,<br />

and learned about the God who gave her such<br />

an incredible talent. “I get to leave and go<br />

perform in Hollywood or Europe. You name it.<br />

I like to come back home, though, for some<br />

good ole black eyed peas and cornbread. The<br />

plane sometimes seems like it don’t be flying<br />

fast enough when I’ve been gone.”<br />

Real Mississippians never forget the rhythm<br />

of the south. The beat is slow and rich with<br />

sounds of family, fishing, good southern cooking<br />

and sweet tea. Dorothy always followed the<br />

melody right back home. The sound of home<br />

has only gotten sweeter over the years, as<br />

Dorothy now spends her days with her children<br />

and grandchildren. She fishes in the pond at her<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County home. You can even find her<br />

selling popcorn at the Alamo Theatre where she<br />

serves the community that nurtured her for so<br />

many years.<br />

Times have changed since<br />

the first days of “Misty Blue,”<br />

but the classic tune plays on through the ages.<br />

The melody continues to delight the ears of all<br />

who listen, and the rhythm never fails to bring<br />

listeners to Mississippi where Dorothy Moore’s<br />

musical journey began, and her legacy will<br />

never end. n<br />

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

12 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


Rescue 100 is a collaborative effort between the Mississippi<br />

Department of Child Protection Services, the Mississippi Commission<br />

on Children’s Justice, 200 Million Flowers and churches across the<br />

state of Mississippi to provide loving homes for children in the foster<br />

system.<br />

These organizations work together to streamline the training and certification<br />

process for resource families – most of which happens over one weekend after a<br />

family attends a brief orientation/informational meeting. Trainings will be held in<br />

different parts of the state throughout the year.<br />


All begin at 6 p.m.<br />

<strong>October</strong> 10 - Madison County Chancery Court Annex<br />

<strong>October</strong> 11 - Hinds County Chancery Court Building<br />

<strong>October</strong> 12 - Warren County Courthouse<br />

<strong>October</strong> 13 - <strong>Rankin</strong> County Justice Center<br />


<strong>October</strong> 21-23 - Mississippi College, Clinton*<br />

For more information or to register, visit: www.200millionflowers.org/rescue100.<br />

*You must complete orientation in order to attend the training.

14 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

In God’sHands<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

It’s no accident that Leigh Cochran had an unscheduled<br />

mammogram just after her 40th birthday in 2014. “I wasn’t<br />

scheduled for a mammogram, but when I went to see my<br />

gynecologist, Dr. Darden North, for my annual checkup, he<br />

insisted that I have one while I was there.”<br />

Cochran, a Brandon resident, had no history of cancer in<br />

her family, and no real reason to suspect that there would be<br />

any problems with the routine mammogram. Yet doctors<br />

reviewing the results saw something wrong. “They saw<br />

something that didn’t look right, and thought it was probably<br />

nothing, but because it was my first ever<br />

mammogram, they had nothing to compare<br />

it to. I was sent to Women’s Hospital to have<br />

a 3-D mammogram done, and they found<br />

a spot on one of my breasts.” A biopsy was<br />

done, followed by a lumpectomy. “I was<br />

diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ,”<br />

explained Cochran.<br />

According to the Mayo Clinic website,<br />

ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the<br />

presence of abnormal cells inside a milk<br />

duct in the breast. It is considered the earliest form of breast<br />

cancer and it is noninvasive, meaning it hasn’t spread out of<br />

the milk duct to invade other parts of the breast. DCIS is<br />

usually found during a mammogram done as part of breast<br />

cancer screening or when there is another concern with a<br />

woman’s breast. While DCIS isn’t life-threatening, it does<br />

require treatment to prevent the condition from becoming<br />

invasive. Most women with DCIS are effectively treated<br />

with breast-conserving surgery and radiation.<br />

Since Cochran’s cancer was discovered early, she did not<br />

require radiation or chemotherapy.<br />

What she did have was a mastectomy,<br />

and that was harder than she had<br />

anticipated. “I had issues, and I didn’t<br />

heal right. I had to go back and have<br />

more work done. In all, I had five<br />

surgeries in one year.”<br />

During that time, Cochran leaned<br />

heavily on her faith along with family<br />

and friends for support. “This experience<br />

deepened my faith, no doubt,” she laughed.<br />

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

“I had to<br />

totally<br />

depend<br />

on God<br />

and<br />

hand this<br />

burden<br />

over to<br />

Him.”<br />

16 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

“I am a person who, in both my professional and personal<br />

life, had to be totally in control at all times. That’s so funny<br />

now to me, because I realize I’m not in control at all. I had<br />

to totally depend on God and hand this burden over to Him.”<br />

Unable to leave her house for a month except to go to the<br />

doctors, Cochran said she had nothing to do but pray. “I was<br />

kind of forced to slow down, and in doing so, I became more<br />

focused on the important things in life. I couldn’t lift my<br />

arms at all because I had drains and my arm was in a sling, so<br />

I depended on my mother and others to brush my hair and<br />

other things I couldn’t do for myself. I had to learn to let<br />

others do for me.”<br />

Although it was a rough time for Cochran, she said there<br />

were many blessings in her life during that time as well. “I had<br />

gotten divorced, but when all this happened, my ex-husband<br />

was right by my side, helping me every step of the way. We<br />

are now back together and I am so grateful for that.” The<br />

couple has two boys, ages 11 and 15. “I had to miss a lot with<br />

them, such as going to their ballgames, but honestly, I don’t<br />

think I could have gone through this without them. They<br />

were such a big help to me.”<br />

Through it all, her faith never wavered. “I remember<br />

sitting in Dr. Scott Runnels’ office and his nurse, Rachel<br />

Burnham sat down with my mom and me and prayed. She<br />

said that we would not accept a bad diagnosis, and that we<br />

claimed a full healing. That meant the world to me.”<br />

Cochran has become a minister of sorts to other women<br />

with the same diagnosis. “I found out a girl I went to high<br />

school with in the fifth grade had the same thing, then two<br />

other women who go to the same gym I do have it. I didn’t<br />

know anyone who had been through this at the time I was<br />

diagnosed, but I was introduced to someone through a<br />

friend who had been through it and she really helped me.<br />

It is important to pass on that support and help walk others<br />

through it.”<br />

Because of increased screening with mammograms, the<br />

rate at which DCIS is diagnosed has increased dramatically<br />

in recent years. “If I can say anything to other women,”<br />

Cochran stressed, “it’s get a mammogram! It can save your<br />

life like it did mine.” n<br />

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

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18 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Front: Robby Carr · Back (L to R): Justin Gauthier, Daniel Barham, Johnny Beck<br />


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

16ORIGIN095_ATMTeamAd_HRM-J.indd 1<br />

9/16/16 10:21 AM

A Season of<br />

Freshness<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

20 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Kyle Cockrell is the third generation of produce<br />

peddlers in his family, something he’s quite<br />

proud of. “My grandfather, Homer Cockrell,<br />

started in this business farming and selling his produce<br />

to others,” said Cockrell. “He actually started the Farmers<br />

Market on Woodrow Wilson in 1948 with the help of then<br />

Commissioner of Agriculture Si Corley.<br />

The first thing he ever sold there was<br />

ten pounds of peas. They were a penny<br />

a pound, so he made a whopping ten<br />

cents!” Cockrell said his family has been<br />

closely tied through the years to the<br />

State Agriculture Commission, working<br />

with Commissioners Jim Buck Ross,<br />

Lester Spell and now Cindy Hyde-Smith.<br />

Cockrell’s grandfather Homer worked his stand at<br />

the farmers market with his wife, Effie. “They brought<br />

my dad up in this business as well,” said Cockrell. “He<br />

farmed and sold produce at the farmers market as far<br />

back as I can remember.” What Billy and Jane Cockrell<br />

did differently was that they began buying<br />

produce from other areas of the country<br />

when it was not in season here. “Daddy<br />

took over the stand around 1989 and moved<br />

to Freshway Produce on Old Canton Road.<br />

He had developed relationships with<br />

growers from Homestead, Florida, all the<br />

way up to Michigan. They could supply<br />

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

more than Daddy could grow. I drove an 18-wheeler to<br />

pick up the produce, so I got to know the suppliers as well.”<br />

After doing some farming on his own, and working<br />

with his dad for many years, Kyle Cockrell and his wife,<br />

Sherry, took a leap of faith and purchased the Old Fannin<br />

Farmers Market on Old Fannin Road in Flowood. “We<br />

changed the name to Cockrell’s Farmers Market and<br />

here we are today.”<br />

“God works in wonderful, mysterious ways,” said<br />

Sherry Cockrell. “He certainly has done so for us in the<br />

past couple of years.” The Cockrells didn’t change too much<br />

about the business, other than adding more options. They<br />

still have suppliers far and wide to make sure they meet<br />

the demands of their customers, but there is also a strong<br />

emphasis on buying local whenever possible. “I have<br />

some cousins and friends who are growers, and we buy<br />

from them,” said Kyle Cockrell. “I try to pick farmers<br />

who are in it for the long haul, so we can<br />

have a consistent supply. I do, however,<br />

buy from farmers who grow small amounts, but what<br />

they grow really looks good.”<br />

In addition to produce, the business continues to sell<br />

preserves, jams and jellies as well as a full line of Amish<br />

goods including butter and cheese. They sell local milk<br />

and old timey peppermints. “We try to keep it as simple<br />

as possible,” said Sherry Cockrell. Depending on the<br />

season, the business also sells metal lawn art, birdhouses<br />

and “anything unique and different,” most all made by<br />

local folks.<br />

Running a produce stand is as seasonal a business as<br />

you can find. After a winter break, the business opens on<br />

March 1 of each year, offering spring flowers and ferns in<br />

addition to spring produce. As summer comes along, it’s<br />

almost all vegetables and fruits, including local figs and<br />

muscadines. The fall brings peanuts, which is a big seller<br />

according to Kyle Cockrell, as well as mums and<br />

pumpkins. And finally, the year closes with<br />

Christmas trees, citrus and pecans.<br />

22 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

“God works in wonderful,<br />

mysterious ways. He certainly<br />

has done so for us in the<br />

past couple of years.”<br />

Being the third generation family member to be in the<br />

business is a big deal to Kyle Cockrell, and his daughter,<br />

Rhegan, is continuing the legacy. The City of Flowood<br />

asked if the Cockrells would have a produce stand during<br />

the Green Market and Craft Fair held each Saturday in<br />

the Belk parking lot at Dogwood from July to <strong>November</strong>.<br />

They bought a trailer that Rhegan takes to the market.<br />

The Simpson Academy senior will continue working the<br />

produce trailer this fall and again next summer to save<br />

money for college. “She’s going to Mississippi College<br />

next fall to work towards getting her nursing degree,”<br />

said Sherry Cockrell. “But she’ll always be involved with<br />

the family business in one way or another.” n<br />

To see what’s fresh at Cockrell’s Farmer’s Market,<br />

visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/<br />

cockrellsfarmersmarket<br />

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

24 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>November</strong> 2-5, <strong>2016</strong> | Mississippi Trademart | Jackson, MS<br />

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Wednesday, <strong>November</strong> 2<br />


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WALK THE RED CARPET | 7 - 10 P.M.<br />

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SILENT AUCTION | 7 - 10 P.M.<br />

LIVE AUCTION | 9 P.M.<br />

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PRESENT PICK | 7 - 10 P.M.<br />

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Thursday, <strong>November</strong> 3<br />


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Thursday, <strong>November</strong> 3 | 11 A.M. - 9 P.M.<br />

Friday, <strong>November</strong> 4 | 11 A.M. - 9 P.M.<br />

Saturday, <strong>November</strong> 5 | 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.<br />

Friday, <strong>November</strong> 4<br />


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11:30 A.M. - 1:30 P.M.<br />

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Fashions presented by Belk<br />


2:30 - 6:30 P.M.<br />


4 - 5:30 P.M.<br />

Presented by University of Mississippi Medical Center<br />


7:30 - 11 P.M.<br />

Presented by Southern Beverage Co, Inc.<br />

Saturday, <strong>November</strong> 5<br />


9:30 - 11:30 A.M.<br />

Presented by Ergon<br />


9 A.M. - 3 P.M.<br />


10 A.M. - 3 P.M.<br />


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26 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Shopping Local<br />

Shari Veazey, Executive Director, Mississippi Municipal League<br />

As we approach this year’s holiday season,<br />

our thoughts will naturally turn to shopping and<br />

the quest to find the perfect gifts for family and<br />

friends. Many people now do all or most of their<br />

shopping on the internet, while other shoppers<br />

will choose to shop at “big box” retailers.<br />

But this year, I would urge you to make it a<br />

point to shop at home and support your local<br />

retailers and businesses. Brick and mortar<br />

businesses are extremely important to cities,<br />

towns and our state as a whole. When you shop<br />

locally, you are supporting “mom and pop”<br />

businesses that, in turn, support the cities and<br />

towns where they are located.<br />

In Mississippi, 18.5% of sales tax paid by local<br />

businesses is diverted back to the municipalities<br />

where they are located. This revenue supports<br />

critical municipal services such as police and fire<br />

protection; water and sewer; parks and recreation;<br />

libraries; and street infrastructure. For many<br />

municipalities in the state, sales tax revenue is a<br />

significant contributor to their overall budget.<br />

A recent survey of the Mississippi Municipal<br />

League revealed that sales tax is often the largest<br />

source of revenue for many of the 299 municipalities<br />

located in the state.<br />

There are many other reasons to shop locally,<br />

though. Local retailers and other small businesses<br />

are more invested in the overall success of their<br />

communities and are more likely to play active<br />

roles in the betterment of their city or town.<br />

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration,<br />

in 2015, Mississippi housed more than<br />

242,000 small businesses making significant<br />

contributions to the state’s economy. These<br />

locally-owned companies support community<br />

events, local schools and sports teams, and often<br />

create partnerships with other small businesses,<br />

neighbors and residents.<br />

Small locally-owned businesses are the largest<br />

creator of jobs nationally, according to the Small<br />

Business Administration. As a general rule, local<br />

retailers can offer better customer service and add<br />

a more “personal” touch to the buying experience.<br />

Big-box retailers may have a larger physical<br />

footprint, but small retailers often have access<br />

to the same vendors and are more vested in<br />

satisfying your needs as a customer. They can<br />

order products that are not currently in stock,<br />

and because they are locally owned, they can be<br />

more flexible to extend a sale price, or offer a<br />

rebate to attract your business.<br />

Now, no one can dispute the convenience<br />

factor of ordering products online from the<br />

comfort of your home or office, but online<br />

retailers have an unfair advantage over our<br />

“Main Street” businesses that are working hard<br />

to grow, or sometimes just sustain, their clientele.<br />

These same businesses are contributing to the<br />

fiscal health of cities and towns, which ultimately<br />

benefits local citizens. Internet based businesses<br />

do nothing to contribute to these communities<br />

or to the state of Mississippi.<br />

The Mississippi Municipal League has been<br />

and will continue to be a strong advocate for the<br />

implementation of internet sales tax as a<br />

mechanism to simply level the playing field. A<br />

local retailer in one of our member cities has<br />

told me of many instances of “showrooming”<br />

where customers come into his store to try on a<br />

coat or pair of shoes, and when questioned by<br />

a salesperson about making a purchase, they<br />

indicate that they are just trying on the item so<br />

they could make the purchase online.<br />

Determining the mechanism for collecting<br />

internet sales tax is not easy, but with all of the<br />

technology and software currently available, it<br />

can be done. The MML would support a method<br />

of taxing the product based on the destination.<br />

For example, if someone in a Mississippi city<br />

buys online from a company and the product is<br />

delivered to their home, then the state of<br />

Mississippi would collect the 7% sales tax on the<br />

purchase and then divert 18.5% back to the city<br />

where the online purchase was delivered–the<br />

same method used when purchases are made<br />

in a brick and mortar retailer.<br />

Closing the online sales tax loophole will give<br />

cities and towns in Mississippi more resources to<br />

invest in improving the business environment<br />

and the quality of life for our citizens. In the<br />

meantime, when you choose to shop locally,<br />

you are doing much more than helping one<br />

small business–you are supporting your entire<br />

community. n<br />

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

28 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

I<br />

Planting<br />

a Family<br />

Jamie Walley<br />

t’s been over five years since two couples from our church approached our<br />

staff about getting involved in orphan care. We agreed to meet, and the<br />

conversation led to what this would look like for our faith family. As the<br />

student and mission’s pastor at Meadow Grove Baptist Church, part of my<br />

role was to help develop our orphan care ministry and team. Fortunately for<br />

me, we had several amazing people who had adopted, were foster parents, or<br />

were already praying about how they could be involved.<br />

It wasn’t long after those initial conversations that we were actively involved<br />

with orphan care. We began by reaching out to our local CPS (Child Protective<br />

Services) office, and building relationships with social workers. A foster care/<br />

adoption support group started to meet at our church. We created a resource<br />

closet to help foster families and<br />

social workers have quick access<br />

to clothes, diapers, toys, and other<br />

essentials for children who came<br />

into custody with nothing but the<br />

clothes on their backs. I was proud<br />

of our church, and content with<br />

my role.<br />

Along the journey, I met my<br />

friend Rick Valore who was at that<br />

time the executive director of 200<br />

Million Flowers, an adoption agency<br />

based out of Ridgeland, Mississippi.<br />

Rick was traveling the state<br />

encouraging churches to create,<br />

equip, and train orphan care teams.<br />

He played a critical role in Meadow<br />

Grove taking the next steps in orphan<br />

care, and was a huge blessing to me<br />

personally, and our team. I was excited to see what God was doing in the lives<br />

of others, and felt like what I was doing was adequate. Then one day my wife<br />

Stephanie mentioned to me that she felt like we needed to consider becoming<br />

foster parents. My initial thought was, “We are already doing enough!” We<br />

have three children. Evan is 19, Eli is 14, and Olivia is 12. In my mind our<br />

family was set, and we were already making a difference. But I reluctantly<br />

agreed, and we moved forward.<br />

We began our journey to get licensed to be a resource family through CPS<br />

in 2013. We received our license in April of 2014. It took almost a year for us<br />

to get licensed. I really struggled at first with bringing children into our home.<br />

It disrupted everything. Our schedules were off, we had additional meetings<br />

to attend, and it limited what we would normally do as a family. In <strong>October</strong><br />

of 2014 I received the Heart of Adoption Award from 200 Million Flowers<br />

for my work in orphan care, and yet I was still struggling as a resource parent.<br />

God, in His grace and kindness, used several people in my life to help change<br />

my heart. Stephanie was doing an amazing job, and I was trying my best to<br />

keep up.<br />

In early December of 2014, Stephanie received a call for a medically fragile<br />

child that would be a long-term placement. I remember going to the hospital<br />

and seeing this tiny baby boy lying in a hospital bed with no place to go. The<br />

doctor explained that he would need a kidney transplant, and after hearing<br />

that, I only caught bits and pieces of the rest. I heard “G tube”, “around ten

medications per day,” and “dialysis in your home”. We were both fearful,<br />

but God had been preparing us for that moment for years, and we just<br />

didn’t know.<br />

Currently we are waiting to finalize the adoption of our foster son.<br />

Hopefully by the end of this year he will be a Walley. None of us can<br />

imagine life without him. He is handsome, smart, funny, busy, and very<br />

special. He is doing really well, and because of the outstanding care from<br />

his team and Stephanie, he can continue to grow before his transplant is<br />

scheduled. The reality of his situation is this; had we<br />

not taken him into our family, he would not be alive.<br />

Everyone involved with his care has stated that. Foster<br />

families are critical, and our state is in desperate need<br />

of more. Many more.<br />

In May of this year I began working with 200<br />

Million Flowers as the director of church relations<br />

and training in addition to my ministry at Meadow<br />

Grove. Shortly thereafter, 200 Million Flowers got<br />

involved with Rescue 100.<br />

Rescue 100 is a collaborative effort between the<br />

Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services,<br />

the Mississippi Commission on Children’s Justice,<br />

200 Million Flowers and churches across the state<br />

of Mississippi to provide loving homes for children<br />

in the foster system.<br />

The goal is to streamline the training and<br />

certification process for resource families–most of<br />

which happens over one weekend after a family<br />

attends a brief orientation/informational meeting.<br />

What took our family almost a year to complete can<br />

now be done in about 4 months. The Central Mississippi Rescue 100<br />

training is scheduled for <strong>October</strong> 21-23 at Mississippi College in Clinton.<br />

Orientations will be <strong>October</strong> 10-13 in surrounding counties. Training<br />

weekends are limited to 100 families.<br />

This faith-based initiative started in Gulfport under the leadership<br />

of Pastor Tony Karnes of Michael Memorial Baptist Church and the<br />

J127 Ministry, which hosted the first Rescue 100 event. The second<br />

event was held in July at William Carey University in Hattiesburg.<br />

74 families from that weekend are in the process of being licensed.<br />

In addition to regular resource families, partnering social service<br />

agencies such as Mississippi Children’s Home Services and Southern<br />

Christian Services for Children and Youth are helping to place families<br />

as therapeutic foster care homes.<br />

There are over 7,000 churches in our state. Currently there are<br />

approximately 5,400 children in foster care in Mississippi. If one family<br />

from every church were a licensed resource family, there would be a<br />

waiting list of families and not children. All of the information for<br />

the Central Mississippi Rescue 100 event can be found at their website,<br />

www.200millionflowers.org.<br />

People will think, “There is no way we could be a foster family.”<br />

I would point them to the words of Christ in Matthew 19:26 where<br />

He is speaking on salvation, but it certainly applicable to fostering:<br />

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” n<br />

“ With man<br />

this is impossible,<br />

but with God<br />

all things<br />

are possible."

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 31

Girls’<br />

Night<br />

Out<br />

Fashion Show<br />

August 27th<br />

Clyde Muse Center • Pearl , MS<br />

32 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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

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34 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Rankin</strong>'s finest<br />

Dwayne “Dlo” Thornton<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County Investigator<br />

Why did you decide to become an<br />

investigator?<br />

As a kid I always wanted to be a law enforcement officer. I grew<br />

up next door to and was influenced by Mr. Hulon Craft. Mr. Craft<br />

was a <strong>Rankin</strong> County constable and deputy sheriff for as long<br />

as I can remember. When I first started working for the sheriff’s<br />

office, Mr. Hulon was an investigator under Sheriff Ken Dickerson.<br />

I enjoyed being able to work with Mr. Hulon for several years<br />

before he retired.<br />

How long have you been an investigator<br />

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

I have worked at the sheriff’s department 17 years. I started as<br />

a reserve officer and full time jailor under sheriff Ken Dickerson.<br />

After completing my training at the Mississippi Law Enforcement<br />

Officers Training Academy, I served as a school resource officer<br />

and juvenile investigator for approximately four years. I then<br />

moved to the patrol division and served as a patrol deputy under<br />

Sheriff Ronnie Pennington. After several years of working on<br />

patrol, I returned to the criminal investigations division where I<br />

currently serve under Sheriff Bryan Bailey and on <strong>October</strong> 1st<br />

will become chief investigator.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

My wife Julie Thornton has been a nurse for 12 years and<br />

currently serves as the head nurse for Pearl Public School<br />

District. We have two great kids who keep us busy. Our daughter<br />

Amy is 13-years-old. She loves riding ATV’s, and enjoys hunting<br />

and fishing. Our son Brady is 7-years-old. He also loves riding<br />

ATV’s, and enjoys swimming and playing baseball. We are<br />

members of McLaurin Heights Baptist Church in Pearl. Our<br />

family enjoys sports. In fact, when we were choosing a<br />

wedding date, we picked the opening weekend of college<br />

football so that we would always remember our anniversary.<br />

Like any good husband, I let Julie choose our honeymoon<br />

destination. I knew I had a great woman when she chose to<br />

start the weekend off at a Mississippi State game in Starkville<br />

and ended in Atlanta, Georgia at a Braves game. We have<br />

spent every anniversary since watching college football.<br />

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

spare time.<br />

I enjoy watching my children play softball and baseball. I also<br />

enjoy old muscle cars. I have restored a 1970 Chevy Chevelle<br />

and a 1987 Buick Grand National. When my son Brady was born<br />

we brought him home from the hospital in the Chevelle. I have<br />

also restored a 1952 Ferguson tractor. My latest project has<br />

been building a cabin with my dad. It has been a great experience<br />

and our family has already enjoyed many weekends there. Being<br />

able to build it myself with the help of my dad makes it that much<br />

better. I will always have the memories of working side by side<br />

with him, from clearing the land to hammering the last nail.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have<br />

experienced in your job?<br />

I have experienced a lot during my time in law enforcement.<br />

The toughest thing I have experienced in my line of work is<br />

dealing with the loss of life. Any loss of life is hard, from a<br />

child gone too soon to a fellow officer taken in the line of duty.<br />

Those are the cases that stick with me.<br />

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

I have never really developed a “bucket list”. But if I had three<br />

wishes they would be: That my family would live long healthy<br />

lives. That my children grow into hard working adults who rely<br />

on their Christian faith to guide them through life, and that I live<br />

long enough to enjoy retirement with my family.<br />

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

My parents are the people I admire the most. My father<br />

Howard Thornton and my mother Peggy Thornton have always<br />

been great Christian parents. They taught my sister Anna and<br />

me how important it is to work hard, put God first, and put our<br />

family’s needs above our own.<br />

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

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

Think before you act. One bad decision can follow you for the<br />

rest of your life. Finish school, set goals and work hard to<br />

achieve them, and stand firm in your beliefs.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think<br />

young people make today?<br />

Giving into peer pressure and going along with “the crowd”<br />

even when they know it is wrong. It is much harder to do the<br />

right thing when everyone around you is doing wrong. It is very<br />

important to surround yourself with friends/people who will<br />

stick by you even when you stand up for what is right.<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

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

I have been blessed to have worked for three great Sheriff’s:<br />

Ken Dickerson, Ronnie Pennington, and our current sheriff,<br />

Bryan Bailey. I am fortunate to work with the <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

Sheriff’s Department where every day we end our morning<br />

meeting with a prayer. I am also humbled by the support the<br />

citizens of <strong>Rankin</strong> County have shown us. In light of the recent<br />

tragedies suffered by our law enforcement brothers across the<br />

nation, it is a blessing and an honor to serve in a county that<br />

supports its law enforcement officers.<br />

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

Corkscrews<br />

& How Do You Do's<br />

September 1 • Table 100<br />

36 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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

Y’all Aboard! That’s the motto of the Southern<br />

Rail Commission, a compact between the states<br />

of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana formed by<br />

the United States Congress to promote passenger rail<br />

in our three states. I have had the honor of serving<br />

on the Commission since 2011, including a term as<br />

its chairman.<br />

The Commission currently has three focus areas.<br />

They include the resumption of Amtrak service east<br />

of New Orleans to Orlando, the establishment of<br />

Amtrak service on the I-20 corridor between Meridian<br />

and Dallas/Ft. Worth, and a multi departure service<br />

between New Orleans and Baton Rouge, including a<br />

stop at Louis Armstrong International Airport.<br />

In February, the Commission, along with Amtrak<br />

and host railroad CSX Transportation, hosted a<br />

two- day inspection train from New Orleans to<br />

Jacksonville to inspect the condition of the railroad<br />

and to gauge the interest of the communities along<br />

the line. We were joined on the trip by mayors,<br />

state legislators, and business leaders. We also hosted<br />

Governor Phil Bryant, Senator Roger Wicker, and<br />

Federal Railroad Administrator Sarah Feinberg.<br />

The public response to our trip was unbelievable!<br />

Thousands of people greeted the train at our stops.<br />

There were high school bands, fire departments, and<br />

the largest American flags I have ever seen, even in<br />

the smallest towns. Most importantly, the people who<br />

came represented every walk of life. Any and every<br />

demographic imaginable was there, arm in arm. It<br />

was a sight none on the train have forgotten. When<br />

talking to the leaders of these communities, the refrain<br />

was common; they need connectivity to the nation.<br />

They need ways to connect their communities to<br />

those who would like to visit.<br />

Out of this experience, Senator Wicker and Cochran<br />

worked to include language in the latest Transportation<br />

Bill to assist in our work to make this train and our<br />

other priorities possible. Currently, I am serving on<br />

the Gulf Coast Working Group that was created by<br />

this bill to determine exactly what has to be done to<br />

re-establish service. Our group has been meeting<br />

along the line since February, and will have a report<br />

to deliver to Congress in the fall. We are confident that<br />

38 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

. . .Central Mississippi will have some of the best rail connections in the country.<br />

our report will provide Congress with a realistic plan to<br />

re-establish service that makes sense for all involved.<br />

Both of our long distance train initiatives directly<br />

impact <strong>Rankin</strong> County. The I-20 corridor project<br />

would give us one seat service to Dallas/Ft. Worth<br />

and to Atlanta, along with Washington D.C. and<br />

New York. The New Orleans/Orlando train would be<br />

an extension of the City of New Orleans, currently<br />

serving Jackson. A one seat, or sleeper, ride from<br />

Jackson to the Magic Kingdom, or the Mississippi<br />

Coast would be a great way to start a vacation.<br />

This is an effort that Mississippi is leading. When I<br />

have met with mayors from Ft. Worth to Jacksonville,<br />

it has brought me great pleasure to be able to say that<br />

this effort began with, and would not be possible<br />

without, the leadership and urging of Governor<br />

Bryant and Senators Wicker and Cochran. When we<br />

are successful in bringing these projects to fruition,<br />

Central Mississippi will have some of the best rail<br />

connections in the country. We look forward to being<br />

able to bring our inspection train to <strong>Rankin</strong> County so<br />

you too can enjoy the fun and excitement and look<br />

forward to the day we can all say “Y’all Aboard!”<br />

Many photographs, news stories, and videos<br />

are available at www.southernrailcommission.org.<br />

These tell a much more complete story of who we<br />

are and what we are doing to promote passenger<br />

rail options.<br />

Knox Ross<br />

Mayor,<br />

Town of Pelahatchie<br />

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

Richland Mayor’s<br />

Prayer Breakfast<br />

September 23 / Richland Community Center<br />

40 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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

42 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

?<br />

?<br />

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

St. Marks Tablescapes<br />

August 27, <strong>2016</strong><br />

44 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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

46 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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

Flowood Chamber of Commerce<br />

Health Fair<br />

September 22<br />

Flowood YMCA<br />

48 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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

50 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>


Julia and Emily aren’t just playing in class.<br />

They are experiencing a lesson Jackson<br />

Academy has celebrated since its founding.<br />

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purpose, students learn teamwork and<br />

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side by side…All For One.<br />

THE<br />

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Positive<br />

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 51

52 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Cast your vote now at<br />

www.surveymonkey.com<br />


Tender Loving Hair<br />

Susan Marquez<br />

54 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Brandon resident Lisa McFadden is on an unlikely mission<br />

to make women with cancer look and feel better.<br />

“This isn’t something I set out to do in life,”<br />

laughs Lisa McFadden of <strong>Rankin</strong> County.<br />

“I really kind of fought it. But obviously, it’s<br />

a God-thing that I’m supposed to be doing.”<br />

McFadden grew up in the hair salon<br />

business, working with her mom and dad at<br />

the Kirkland Hair Studio, a salon they’ve<br />

owned in downtown Jackson for many years.<br />

“About 15 years ago, my dad really wanted me<br />

to work with all the ladies who came in with<br />

thinning hair or hair loss,” she recalled. “I began<br />

learning more about hair loss in women and<br />

saw that what I was doing was making a<br />

difference in how those ladies felt about<br />

themselves.”<br />

One day, a distraught mother called<br />

McFadden about her daughter who had been<br />

diagnosed with malignant melanoma in her<br />

brain. The patient was a young mother who<br />

had just given birth to her second child. “She<br />

suffered from a headache that wouldn’t go<br />

away, and all along she thought it was from<br />

the anesthesia that was administered before<br />

childbirth. But the medical staff realized it<br />

was something more and they sent her for<br />

tests and the cancer was discovered.”<br />

That young mother was Whitney Luckett,<br />

who came into the salon with her mother that<br />

day ten years ago to consult with McFadden.<br />

“It was about 4:00 in the afternoon, and<br />

Whitney was really in a bad way. Her hair was<br />

already thinning due the chemo drugs she<br />

was getting, and she was very self-conscious.<br />

I helped her pick out a wig in a catalog and I<br />

ordered it next-day delivery.” Luckett and her<br />

mother returned to the salon the next day and<br />

tried on the wig. “It looked amazing on her,”<br />

said McFadden. “Her mother called Whitney’s<br />

husband, who worked just down the street, to<br />

come see it. When he got there he said, ‘That’s<br />

your hair!’ Whitney asked him to take her to eat<br />

at the Mayflower, something she would have<br />

been too embarrassed to do the day before.”<br />

While McFadden had never worked with<br />

cancer patients before, that experience was an<br />

“aha” moment for the hairdresser. “I knew I<br />

had to help other women with cancer, because<br />

I saw the difference it made in Whitney’s life.<br />

It also gave me a renewed appreciation for other<br />

women who suffer from permanent hair loss.”<br />

McFadden embraced fully the idea of<br />

helping cancer patients and began visiting<br />

hospitals and cancer centers in the area. In<br />

doing so, she learned that what most women<br />

with cancer want is to look like themselves.<br />

“That gives them a better sense of wellness<br />

and when they look good, they feel better and<br />

they have more of a fight in them. Every<br />

doctor I’ve spoken with has told me that.”<br />

She began teaching the “Look Good, Feel<br />

Better” class at Women’s Hospital and St.<br />

Dominic’s, but after a while she became<br />

frustrated with that. “The class was focused on<br />

makeup, but what I saw was that women were<br />

more concerned with their hair, or lack of it.<br />

I began learning what wigs were out there, and<br />

which wigs were better suited to certain people.<br />

For example, some chemo drugs have hormones<br />

in them, and that makes the patients hot. Add<br />

that to living through a Mississippi summer,<br />

and a lot of wigs are just too tight and too hot<br />

for people to feel comfortable wearing. I’ve<br />

found wigs that are lighter and breathe more.”<br />

Budget is often an issue for some cancer<br />

patients, so McFadden works to get the best<br />

wig possible for the money. “If you spend $200<br />

on something that’s hot and itchy, you simply<br />

won’t wear it. But if you can find something<br />

that looks great and is comfortable for $400,<br />

that might be worth it to you. However, that<br />

may be too much for some people, so we do<br />

the best we can with the budget they have.”<br />

The longer she’s involved in this work, the<br />

more McFadden has learned. “I found a<br />

product recently that women can use to keep<br />

their eyelashes and eyebrows from falling out<br />

during chemo. You can put a wig on a head<br />

with no hair, but when there are no eyelashes<br />

or eyebrows, the person just doesn’t look the<br />

same.” A certain kind of chemo will often<br />

cause patients’ nails to come off the nail beds.<br />

“My husband found a product that helps with<br />

that, and many have come in showing me their<br />

nails, which are stronger than ever.”<br />

Learning about the different chemo drugs<br />

used in treatment and the effects they can have<br />

on the body has been essential for McFadden<br />

to continue the work she does. “I work closely<br />

with the doctors and nurses, and I help counsel<br />

my clients when they have questions. I know I<br />

can always call one of the nurses or doctors<br />

when there’s a question about something I’m<br />

not sure about.”<br />

It’s been a rewarding journey for McFadden,<br />

and she says she is very focused now on the<br />

often uncertain journey cancer patients are on.<br />

“This work has been the biggest blessing to me.<br />

I owe this all to Whitney, who lived to see her<br />

baby’s second birthday before she passed away.<br />

I think of her often, and how she unknowingly<br />

led me to the work I’m doing today.” n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 55

“If you could try<br />

any job for one day...<br />

Jeremy Rushing<br />

I’ve always wanted to be a game warden<br />

since I was little and first started hunting<br />

and fishing. I would love to be one of the<br />

people in my community that enforces the<br />

laws that protect our wildlife and outdoor<br />

sports, from deer hunting and fishing to<br />

skiing and riding 4-wheelers.<br />

John Robison<br />

President of the United States. In addition<br />

to the generous pension plan, allowance<br />

and medical care I’d get once I retire from<br />

my hard day’s work, it would be nice to have<br />

the power to change some of the things<br />

that are truly wrong with the world we<br />

live in today. Having the job for only a day<br />

would allow someone the focus to address<br />

a few key issues (take your pick) without<br />

the distraction of having to sweat the<br />

small stuff.<br />

Kim Little<br />

A counselor for young girls. Preferably teens<br />

who have low self-esteem. I would choose<br />

this position of influence because it would<br />

be so rewarding to see young girls realize<br />

their true value and live life like they know<br />

they are loved and that they are important.<br />

Many times, during the teen years, girls lose<br />

a bit of their self-identity trying to fit in with<br />

the in crowd without realizing that being<br />

who God created them to be will draw the<br />

right crowd to them.<br />

Fletcher Trask<br />

Well, I always wanted to be a cowboy,<br />

but seriously I am in the profession that<br />

if I had the choice to pick, I would pick<br />

over and over again. Public interaction,<br />

public safety and community growth is all<br />

involved in my career. Since I’m employed<br />

with <strong>Rankin</strong> County, I’m not limited to just<br />

one city. Hands down best decision I’ve<br />

made to protect and live with citizens of<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County!<br />

Marie Grant<br />

I love nails. I would love to be a celebrity<br />

nail technician and work with the stars,<br />

traveling with them and being their personal<br />

nail technician.<br />

Allen Thomas<br />

President. I would change all the rules that<br />

I could in one day.<br />

56 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

what would it be<br />

and why?”<br />

Tracey McKay<br />

Cupcake Tester for GiGi’s, because I love<br />

cupcakes. Doesn’t get better than that<br />

–eat sugar all day and get paid for it.<br />

Amber Biswell<br />

If I could be anything for a day, I think I<br />

would like to be a pilot. It’s quite ironic too,<br />

the older I get the more fearful of heights<br />

I get! But just the thought of being able to<br />

control a machine to fly through the air is<br />

interesting to me.<br />

LeMarcus Norman<br />

I would still be a principal. I enjoy being a<br />

principal because it allows me to interact<br />

with kids on a daily basis and have an<br />

influence on their future. Although I am<br />

not in the classroom actually teaching,<br />

I still have an impact on what students are<br />

learning by observing teachers, mentoring<br />

students, and talking to parents. Being<br />

a principal can be challenging at times,<br />

however it is one of the most rewarding<br />

professions I think anyone could have.<br />

Seeing kids grow up to become future<br />

leaders and active participants in the<br />

community is something special.<br />

Emily Tisdale<br />

I have always wanted to live out my inner<br />

history nerd as a greeter at a presidential<br />

library. I would have the opportunity to<br />

meet so many different people and maybe<br />

even my favorite president!<br />

Madeline Sanders<br />

I would own my own event and floral<br />

business. I love planning events and getting<br />

to use my creativity to make people feel<br />

special so to be able to do that as a career<br />

would be a dream come true.<br />

Khrysten Glass<br />

If I could have one job, I would most<br />

definitely be a gourmet chef! This way,<br />

I could provide a delicious hot meal for<br />

those who can’t provide one for themselves.<br />

It really breaks my heart to see people<br />

going without their basic needs being met.<br />

Ronnie Moore<br />

To have a legislator’s job for one day and<br />

provide the <strong>Rankin</strong> County Sheriff’s<br />

Department with radar. Why? To save lives.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 57

58 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 59

Anthony Clay, Eric Norwood<br />

Caroline & Randall Vaughan<br />

Dr. Bryan Lantrip, Sonya Summerlin<br />

Brit Phelps, Jana Fuss<br />

Jesse Houston, Stephanie Fowler<br />

In its third year in Jackson,<br />

24 prominent area men<br />

will take a stand against breast<br />

cancer by supporting the<br />

American Cancer Society<br />

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer<br />

of Jackson, MS<br />

throught participation in the<br />

Real Men<br />

Wear Pink<br />

campaign. Throughout the month<br />

of <strong>October</strong>, Real Men Wear Pink<br />

candidates will encourage women<br />

in their lives and in the community<br />

to take action in the fight<br />

against breast cancer.<br />

August 9, <strong>2016</strong><br />

Table 100<br />

Jay & Shirley Johnson<br />

John MacLennan, Pamela Hancock<br />

60 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong><br />

Kelli Towers, Pam Verdung<br />

Michael Wallis, Diane Rester<br />

Natalie Nichols, Deniece Ponder

Tracie Wade, Samuel McDonald, Christie Levy<br />

Jason & Ruth Thomas<br />

Terrance Black, Fredrick Hadley<br />

Nelda & John Neal<br />

Rickey Thigpen, Mary Allen Bennett<br />

Sheila & Richard Friedman<br />

Sherry Pierce Hartfield, Mike Brechtel, Lori Brechtel<br />

Nate Delaware, Blake Butler<br />

Gaye Broyles, Johnny Donaldson, Katy Barrett<br />

Ora Reed, Alice Tisdale, Marie Smith<br />

Joseph Moss, Bill Iupe<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 61



FUN?<br />

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• 5K Run<br />

• 5K Walk<br />

• Kids Fun Run<br />

Costume up<br />

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Info & Register online at:<br />

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TREAT<br />

Street<br />

Thurs, oct 27th - 5:00-7:30 pm<br />

Muse Center, Pearl<br />

at socc<br />

Enroll at soccershots.org<br />

Enroll at soccershots.org<br />

Ages 2+<br />

Ages 2+<br />

Enroll at soccershots.org<br />

Ages 2+<br />

Enroll at soccershots.org<br />

Ages 2+<br />

QUESTIONS? derek@soccershots.org<br />

QUESTIONS? derek@soccershots.org<br />

The Nutcracker<br />

December 2 • 7:30pm<br />

December 3 & 4 • 2:00pm<br />

QUESTIONS? derek@soccershots.org<br />

Thalia Mara Hall<br />

Age<br />

QUESTIONS? derek<br />

This safe and fun-filled<br />

indoor event is open to<br />

kids 12 & under.<br />



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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 63

Good News Travels Fast<br />

Great News<br />

Travels Faster...<br />

Mary Ann Kirby<br />

School had not started yet and we were constantly<br />

looking for ways to stay entertained. I’m sure there are<br />

plenty of parents that can relate. So when my husband<br />

announced that his company was doing a promotion in<br />

Dallas, the location of which just happened to be the<br />

AT&T Stadium, and that my son and I could go if we<br />

wanted, we jumped on it. We could just drive out to<br />

meet him since he would already be there. He works<br />

for one of the big national mattress companies and<br />

travels all over the country.<br />

We really didn’t know what all the trip would<br />

entail, but on a Thursday afternoon, my 13-year old<br />

and I headed from Jackson to Dallas–by ourselves.<br />

It was six hours of non-stop talking and laughing–<br />

and if we didn’t do anything else, the trip was worth it<br />

for that reason, alone.<br />

We stopped at Buc-ee’s, the Texas-owned Disney<br />

World of “travel centers”, and bought drinks and snacks.<br />

We had already checked to make sure it would be on<br />

our route. It’s a 60,000 square-foot roadside-refuge<br />

that’s as much a tourist attraction as anything else.<br />

There are 84 gas pumps, mega-aisles of various snack<br />

mixes and candies, Texas-themed home accessories,<br />

Buc-ee’s clothing, and an entire wall of beverage<br />

fountains. They’re probably best known for their<br />

bathrooms–the cleanest in the industry, they claim.<br />

We took the obligatory photo with the big bronze beaver<br />

mascot out front, popped it up on Facebook with the<br />

caption, “Because Texas….”, and headed on our way.<br />

The next day, after killing several hours around the<br />

Dallas area, we headed to the stadium. I’ve never been<br />

on an NFL football field and was in awe of the massive<br />

venue the Dallas Cowboys call home. There’s a jumbotron<br />

hanging overhead that’s wider than most houses. It’s<br />

actually the 24th largest hi-definition video screen in<br />

the world and spans from one 20-yard line to the other.<br />

Upon entering the field, we were given our<br />

volunteer t-shirts and ushered to where 100 twin beds<br />

were set up–complete with Dallas Cowboy bed linens,<br />

pillows, teddy bears, footballs, and promotional swag.<br />

We were told that 100 kids and their parents or<br />

guardians were already in the building getting a tour.<br />

The field would be their last stop and would soon<br />

become home for one great big sleepover. Ranging in<br />

ages from 5 to 12, these children, through a monthslong<br />

application and vetting process, were found to be<br />

in-need–and particularly in need of beds.<br />

I started taking pictures with my phone. I got<br />

close-ups of the teddy bears holding footballs and of<br />

the beds, themselves, lined up like soldiers on the field.<br />

I could hear the drumline playing outside of the locker<br />

room and knew that it was getting close to time for the<br />

kids to enter the arena.<br />

I scrolled through my photos, created a quick<br />

collage, and decided to post it to Facebook before the<br />

kiddos got there. The caption read, “. . . 100 kids will be<br />

coming to AT&T Stadium for a giant sleepover. Little do<br />

they know they get to keep their beds. These kids don’t<br />

have beds of their own . . . and now they will. I’ll be the<br />

one standing off to the side, bawling.” I posted it and<br />

took my position as they headed our way.<br />

Everyone was wide-eyed and cheering as those<br />

kids ran full-steam onto the field, led by one of the<br />

football players, along with Rowdy, the team mascot.<br />

Each was rushed to their own bed awaiting them with<br />

their name on it.<br />

I started taking more pictures; pictures of kids<br />

hugging their new teddy bears, pictures of kids throwing<br />

their new footballs, wearing their new hats with big<br />

blue Cowboy stars on them, and bouncing on their new<br />

beds–and I quickly added them to Facebook, too.<br />

There’s no way those kids could have realized how their<br />

lives were about to change. They had just been given<br />

the gift of a good night’s sleep–if not that night, then<br />

certainly for nights soon to come.<br />

After a couple of hours of dancing with cheerleaders,<br />

lots of running and throwing, hula-hoop wars and pizza<br />

eating, it was time for the movie to start–to be shown<br />

on the enormous screen above. The kids made their<br />

way into the stands with their popcorn–some carrying<br />

their new teddy<br />

bears and others<br />

dragging their<br />

Cowboy blankets<br />

behind them. The<br />

lights dimmed and<br />

Finding Nemo began<br />

to play–one of my<br />

all-time favorites.<br />

64 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

It was already late by then. I hated to leave<br />

knowing that I was in the midst of something so<br />

special, especially with the movie just starting. But I<br />

wasn’t particularly interested in sleeping on the field<br />

in a sleeping bag either, so we loaded up and headed<br />

back to the hotel. It was around 11 p.m., and I checked<br />

Facebook for the first time since making my posts.<br />

One post had been shared almost 400 times. The<br />

other related posts were picking up steam, too. I stayed<br />

up a couple of hours longer that night just watching all<br />

the shares and likes grow.<br />

Shares were at 2,500 the next<br />

morning and over 5,000 by the<br />

time I got out of the shower, just<br />

thirty-minutes later. They had grown<br />

to 15,000 by lunch and were at 30,000 by mid-day.<br />

I had never seen anything like it–especially from such<br />

close proximity.<br />

By Sunday, shares were nearing 90,000 and it was<br />

clear that it wasn’t slowing. It had gone viral–and all I<br />

could do was watch.<br />

One post has been shared over 150,000 times on<br />

my Facebook page alone–and is still growing! It’s been<br />

shared another several-hundred thousand times on other<br />

pages and been featured on countless news sites<br />

including The Houston Chronicle, AOL.com, Fox News<br />

and The Huffington Post. It’s been on Love What Matters,<br />

Good News Network, Little Things, Do Something.org,<br />

and Reddit. The promotion was talked about on K-Love<br />

and Fox Sports along with numerous radio and<br />

television outlets and, by any estimation, has easily<br />

touched millions of people.<br />

I have to admit, I’ve had an incredible time watching<br />

this phenomenon unfold. It’s been surreal, to say the<br />

least. Ironically, I’ve spent my entire adult-life in the<br />

marketing and media industry but could never have<br />

predicted this. And truth be known, there’s no way to<br />

predict how people will react anyway–especially in the<br />

realm of social media. But I can tell you this; people like<br />

good news! And beyond that, it all boils down to good<br />

timing–and good old-fashioned luck. Lightening in a<br />

bottle, as they say.<br />

The Dallas Cowboys Organization, Tempur+Sealy<br />

International and Ashley Furniture HomeStore DFW<br />

gave those kids an ultimate sleepover and the experience<br />

of a lifetime. One little girl said it was the best night of<br />

her life. She also went on to say she had never had her<br />

own bed before–or a teddy bear. God bless her.<br />

The program is called Hope to Dream and they<br />

have donated over 40,000 beds to children across the<br />

nation and around the world. And now, because of the<br />

generosity of these companies, another hundred kids in<br />

Dallas can sleep a little better, too. Amen to that. ✭<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 65

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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<br />

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the non-discrimination policies: Dr. Debra Mays-Jackson, 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,<br />

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Utilizing state of the art equipment and advanced treatment techniques,<br />

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601.936.4645<br />

66 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

Reader<br />


Jamie<br />

Higdon<br />

Why did you decide to make <strong>Rankin</strong> County<br />

your home?<br />

My husband and I have always lived in <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County and we chose to stay because of the quality<br />

of life the area offers and the excellent school<br />

system. We can’t imagine living anywhere else.<br />

How long have you lived in <strong>Rankin</strong> County?<br />

I was born and raised in Richland and now live<br />

in Florence. Scott and I are both graduates of<br />

Richland High School.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

We have been married for 17 years and have two<br />

daughters, Sydney and Karlie. Sydney is a 4th<br />

grader at Florence Elementary and Karlie is in first<br />

grade at Steen’s Creek Elementary where I serve<br />

on the PTO Board. We are actively involved in<br />

various ministries at First Baptist Richland. Scott is<br />

a deacon, teaches an adult Sunday school class,<br />

and sings in the choir. I volunteer in our children’s<br />

ministry and have served on various committees.<br />

Scott just celebrated 20 years at Hudspeth<br />

Regional Center where he is the director of<br />

information systems. I have worked for TempStaff<br />

for 16 years where I am the vice president of<br />

operations.<br />

What is your favorite memory of living in<br />

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

Growing up, life always seemed to center around<br />

church and school activities. Having been a<br />

cheerleader and in the band, Friday night football<br />

games were a highlight of the week. The friendships<br />

made then are still important relationships<br />

I have now.<br />

Where are your three favorite places to<br />

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

There are so many to choose from, but you will<br />

often find us at Jerry’s Fish House in Florence,<br />

El Ranchito in Richland, or Heart & Soul in<br />

Brandon.<br />

What are some fun things to do in <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County on weekends?<br />

We enjoy shopping at Dogwood or the outlet mall.<br />

After a busy week of school, work, dance practice<br />

and other school activities, we often just hang out<br />

with family and friends with a cookout or pool party.<br />

Sundays are always for worship and fellowship at<br />

FBC Richland.<br />

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

spare time.<br />

We love cheering on the MSU Bulldogs, whether<br />

it’s a football, baseball or basketball game. Spring<br />

break you will often find us snow skiing. In the<br />

summers, we love going to the beach or spending<br />

time at the pool.<br />

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

I love to travel and will check Ireland off the list in<br />

<strong>October</strong> with a family trip. Australia, London and<br />

Paris are also on the list.<br />

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

My parents have taught me about the value of hard<br />

work and perseverance. They’ve instilled in me<br />

the importance of setting priorities: God is always<br />

first, family second, and then work and service to<br />

our community. Not only do I live next door to my<br />

parents, but I also work with my mom at TempStaff.<br />

I’ve had the amazing privilege to learn from one of<br />

the best on how to grow a successful business.<br />

I also admire my friend Jill Dale. We became quick<br />

friends our freshman year at Mississippi College.<br />

Last year, her son Campbell lost his battle with<br />

cancer. She is an amazing woman who has had<br />

remarkable faith through such adversity. She is now<br />

helping others through the Campbell Bulldog Fund<br />

and www.goinggoldformskids.com by raising<br />

awareness and funds to find a cure to childhood<br />

cancer.<br />

Where do you see yourself ten years<br />

from now?<br />

We will have both a high school and college student<br />

in ten years. Life will be busy!<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

Much of my extended family lives in the Richland<br />

and Florence areas. Family events have always been<br />

a fun way to keep us all connected. As a child,<br />

Christmas Eve with my dad’s family includes about<br />

50 people and lots of home cooking. It is much the<br />

same when we gather with my mom’s side of the<br />

family on Christmas day. As a child, I remember<br />

the mounds of presents and endless laughter as we<br />

celebrated Christmas.<br />

If you could give us one encouraging<br />

quote, what would it be?<br />

Find your passion. I was with a group from the<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> Chamber the other day and we were<br />

discussing our passions and what would happen if<br />

we gave just 5% more. <strong>Rankin</strong> County, our state,<br />

and our country would become even greater if we<br />

all would find our passions and dedicate ourselves<br />

to them.<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Magazines?<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> County is a great place to live and work.<br />

While we have so much negative in the world,<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> Magazines showcase the positive and<br />

allow us to celebrate the successes of our<br />

communities. n<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 67

Richland Fire Chief<br />

David Stanley<br />

Why did you decide to be a firefighter?<br />

For the most part, it was all coincidental, perhaps<br />

fate. I was approached by some members of a newly<br />

built volunteer fire department in a small community<br />

called Three Forks. I worked nights, and they needed<br />

someone to respond in the day. The next meeting,<br />

I was sworn-in and given personal protective<br />

equipment and a radio. They showed me as much<br />

as they could, like how to get my gear on correctly<br />

and search patterns.<br />

About a week later, we were paged out for a house<br />

fire. When I arrived, the house was over halfway<br />

involved. I partnered up with some senior firefighters<br />

and went in with them. The intense heat and flames<br />

were all around us but we fought the fire and<br />

extinguished it, saving the rest of the house and<br />

belongings. It was at that moment that I could not<br />

believe people got paid to do what I just did. So for<br />

the next two years, I tried to get on with a department.<br />

I have thought of this numerous of times. It goes<br />

beyond pay, for sure. It reaches deep down into your<br />

desire to help people, work as a team towards<br />

something greater than one’s self, and to save lives and<br />

property while making a positive impact in society.<br />

How long have you been with Richland Fire<br />

Department?<br />

I started this grand adventure on August 2, <strong>2016</strong><br />

and love the department as well the city.<br />

Tell us about your family.<br />

Unfortunately, I have out-lived my grandparents<br />

and parents. However, my wife April and I have<br />

been married for 19 years and are raising 5 children.<br />

I have two boys in college with the oldest getting his<br />

Ph.D. The other has been accepted into medical school.<br />

Rachel, our oldest daughter is 15 years old and<br />

11-year-old Ashley is our middle child. She is the<br />

girly-girl whereas Rachel is my tomboy. Dyllan is<br />

the youngest at 10 years old. He’s my little buddy.<br />

What is the toughest thing you have<br />

experienced in your job?<br />

I get this question quite a bit. Out of my 24 years<br />

of emergency service, with 20 in EMS and 3 years as<br />

a flight medic, I can honestly say whatever you can<br />

think of, I have seen it or, more than likely, done it.<br />

I have seen lives taken unexpectedly and with great<br />

violence, innocence lost from babies and from the<br />

elderly.<br />

What gets me through all of the carnage and<br />

sheer devastation and tragedies is God. He gives the<br />

strongest warriors the toughest battles. Obviously,<br />

there were times when I was not sure; however, I know<br />

He would not give me anything I cannot handle–that<br />

is His promise. Sometime we need to remember that.<br />

The toughest part is standing at the caskets and<br />

gravesites of my fellow brothers who I have lived and<br />

worked with for over a third of my life. We have<br />

fought many battles, held the hands of the innocent,<br />

and supported each other financially, mentally,<br />

emotionally, and spiritually. These are the brothers<br />

who supported me through the loss of all of my<br />

family and even a son. These brothers are my family<br />

and, throughout my career, I have lost too many of<br />

them to accidents, heart disease, and cancer. Hearing<br />

the last call when the bell rings is definitely hard.<br />

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

spare time.<br />

What is that, spare time? What time I do have, I<br />

try to spend it with family and friends. I like hanging<br />

out at the firehouse and to fish. This is my recent<br />

sport, just picked back up. My goal here is to put the<br />

fish on the endangered species list and I’m doing it<br />

one fish at a time.<br />

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

This is a tough question because I honestly<br />

believe I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted to do.<br />

Most people would answer with places, events, or<br />

extravagant experiences. However, my bucket list is<br />

being a firefighter. God blessed me beyond what I<br />

deserve and has allowed me to fulfill a career with<br />

amazing experiences.<br />

Back in Corinth, I worked my way through the<br />

ranks to company officer. This was something I<br />

always wanted to do, lead my comrades into battle,<br />

teaching them all that I knew. As a paramedic, I was<br />

involved with coordinating several scene flights.<br />

As they lifted off, I wondered if I could ever be that<br />

good. That day came and I flew as a flight medic for<br />

three years.<br />

Having had most of my training at the Mississippi<br />

State Fire Academy, I told myself that one day I’d be<br />

training members of the fire service. Eventually I<br />

served as a senior instructor. Knowing training is the<br />

backbone of a department, a training officer will have<br />

great contributions to the success of a fire department.<br />

I went on to serve in Jackson as the chief of training.<br />

This was a great experience and learned even more.<br />

Now, here we are. For some unknown reason,<br />

God blessed me way more than I deserve. I do not<br />

see what he sees in me, but I am glad to receive his<br />

favor. I have been given an opportunity to come to<br />

Richland and serve the best fire department and<br />

wonderful city as the fire chief. For me the fire service<br />

is my bucket list. It has allowed me to see, experience,<br />

and impact people’s lives beyond what I deserve. I<br />

cannot think of anything else I want to do.<br />

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

There are so many people I admire. These are the<br />

ones who believed in me, helped me, and mentored<br />

me into a better person–from my parents to my<br />

teachers in my early years. Jack, Bobby, and<br />

Raymond who showed me fire behavior in the fires,<br />

as well helped me master the organized chaos of the<br />

emergency scene. When I moved to the metro area,<br />

I worked beside the very ones who taught me how<br />

to fight fire at the MSFA. Perhaps the two most<br />

influential in my life are Dr. Jeffery Brown (Doc)<br />

who has become family in my eyes and Chief Rob<br />

Martin. These two men allowed me to follow them,<br />

pick their brains, and always guided my path when<br />

I was unsure of myself. They demonstrated true<br />

leadership and pushed me to new heights. They have<br />

impacted my life profoundly and hope one day I can<br />

rise to their level.<br />

68 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?<br />

This is a hard question, too, because I never<br />

thought I would be where I am now. I made a<br />

promise to my guys here that I would stay 8 years.<br />

They reminded me of this promise the other day<br />

when I was offered a contract job at a training event<br />

when a colleague jokingly mentioned coming to<br />

work for them. One of the firefighters said, “You<br />

made a promise to us and that you’d stay a minimum<br />

of 8 years so you need to keep you word.” As far as<br />

ten years? I see great things happening with Richland<br />

Fire Department and the city. We are striving to be<br />

the best, and we are headed in the right direction.<br />

Each member is willing to pull their weight and have<br />

gotten on board in our vision. Because I see the true<br />

potential of our department and fully understand the<br />

direction we all want to go, I will be here in Richland<br />

working for the very best firefighters in the very best<br />

fire department.<br />

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

person, what would it be?<br />

Life is about being well balanced. Be kind but do<br />

not let people abuse you. Trust, but do not be deceived.<br />

Be content but never stop improving yourself, no<br />

matter what life throws at you.<br />

Find passion in something you love to do. Work<br />

is a big part of our lives; therefore, we need to find<br />

something we truly have passion for. When this<br />

happens, you really look forward to going to work.<br />

I cannot believe this is my 24th year. I love serving<br />

others and enjoy every minute of the day in the fire<br />

service. That is why my response to someone who<br />

asks me how I am doing; I am living the dream and<br />

getting paid for it.<br />

We only get one shot in life; therefore, we need<br />

to make something great of every day of our lives.<br />

I can’t think of doing anything greater than serving<br />

in the fire service helping people in their greatest<br />

time of need.<br />

Also, I would share this. Be careful of what you put<br />

in your mind and stay positive. I grew up on a farm<br />

and learned a whole lot about life. We would cultivate<br />

the land. No matter what was planted, we reaped what<br />

we sowed. On the other hand, if we would have planted<br />

Morning Glory there it would have grown, as well.<br />

Morning Glory is poisonous and would take over the<br />

garden if we did not cut it out. Our minds are like the<br />

fertile soil. Whatever we place in our minds, we will<br />

produce just that. Then, we become the by-product<br />

of what we have taken in and allowed to enter our<br />

brain. That is why I stay so motivated and positive.<br />

We should not allow negativity get rooted in our<br />

thoughts.<br />

Negative people and circumstances are like a<br />

cancer. Once it takes hold, it will consume you, and<br />

you will become negative with a poor attitude. We<br />

should not permit negative people or circumstances<br />

to affect us. That is just too much power to give away.<br />

If we allow these negative situations and individuals<br />

to control us, we become a slave for something that<br />

will not be there long term. I cannot see why anyone<br />

relinquishes their power for any reason. We are the<br />

cultivators of our own lives, and we should cultivate<br />

something spectacular. God said we are created<br />

unique, one of a kind and to never be duplicated.<br />

Therefore, we need to harness the idiosyncrasies and<br />

construct great works.<br />

What is your favorite childhood memory?<br />

I would have to say growing up in the country on a<br />

farm. At that time, I hated it every day. We cultivated<br />

10 acers and had chickens and cows. My dad worked<br />

us like Hebrew slaves every day. During that era, the<br />

communities were very close. We all knew each<br />

other, and the community would come together to<br />

help each other during hardships. My dad believed<br />

in that theory. He would take us over to other folks’<br />

houses to work the gardens, hay fields, and cattle.<br />

Once I remember dad taking me to an elderly<br />

lady’s house. Her husband had died and dad told<br />

me to stay there until she figured out what to do with<br />

the farm. I was instructed to run the farm in the<br />

meantime. I would get up around 4:30 every morning<br />

and she would already be up with my breakfast made<br />

and a cup of hot coffee waiting on me. After eating,<br />

I would go out to feed the cows, horses, and chickens.<br />

This was all before I got on the school bus headed to<br />

school. Later that afternoon, I would do the same<br />

thing and work the fields or cut wood for the winter.<br />

When all of this was completed, I would get a shower<br />

and do my homework before bed. The next morning<br />

was a repeat like the movie “Groundhog Day.” I did<br />

this for about 2 months.<br />

Looking back on this time in my life, I understand<br />

why my dad did all of this. He was raising men, not<br />

boys. I learned so much about life on the farm, just<br />

like cultivating our minds. I guess this is why I enjoy<br />

being a firefighter. I am helping others and serving<br />

my community.<br />

What is the biggest mistake you think young<br />

people make today?<br />

Most would say not going to college. However,<br />

college does not make the person. The biggest<br />

mistake I see with today’s generation is their attitude<br />

thinking the world owes them something, like<br />

self-entitlement. I have my own opinion why this is<br />

taking place, but I can assure them the world does<br />

not owe anyone anything, and it sure as heck does<br />

not care what they think they deserve. With this<br />

sense of entitlement, this generation believes they<br />

do not have to work to get things they want/need.<br />

To them, the entitlement attitude is just “give” it to<br />

me, like working for $15.00/hr.<br />

I was a paramedic and didn’t make that much,<br />

and I was responsible for narcotics and peoples’ lives.<br />

Hard work makes you appreciate the things you<br />

purchase and own. It also builds your self-esteem,<br />

and you have gratitude.<br />

What is your favorite thing about the<br />

City of Richland?<br />

The very first thing I noticed about this great city<br />

is it’s a very tight-knit community with the same<br />

closeness I grew up on. Everyone has welcomed me<br />

with open arms and treats me as if I have always<br />

lived here. This is comforting, coming from the<br />

outside. It is like there are no strangers. People speak<br />

to you and are friendly.<br />

What is your favorite thing about<br />

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

<strong>Rankin</strong> County has everything you need to raise<br />

a family. It has the conveniences of metropolitan<br />

lifestyle, yet small-town feel. Other than going on<br />

vacation, there is pretty much everything you want<br />

or need right here, all within driving distance.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 69

Mayor’s<br />

Prayer Breakfast<br />

Pelahatchie Baptist Church<br />

Saturday, August 20, <strong>2016</strong><br />

70 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 71

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72 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

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<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 73

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74 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce presents<br />

Holiday Happening<br />

The Clinton Chamber of Commerce invites you to<br />

join us for a BIG holiday shopping event in our<br />

quaint town of Clinton, Mississippi!<br />

Visit www.clintonms.org/holidayhappening<br />

to view all of the participating businesses and print<br />

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*Present this ad to receive special discounts at each of the participating businesses!<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 75


rankin county Schools<br />

Brandon Middle<br />

Leading in Learning and Life is more than a motto at Brandon<br />

Middle School…it’s a lifestyle. Students do not have to look far to<br />

become engaged learners. With various clubs to choose from,<br />

Brandon Middle School takes pride in getting students actively<br />

involved. A newly organized Art Club is designed for students<br />

who have a love for the arts. Working with different mediums,<br />

students expand their knowledge while expressing their designs.<br />

A Science Club offers learners opportunities to take part in<br />

experiments, observations, and educational field trips. For students<br />

who maintain a GPA of a 4.0, Beta Club is an organization that<br />

provides students the opportunity to attend competitions and<br />

conventions showcasing their talents, skills, and academic prowess.<br />

For students interested in business, Future Business Leaders of<br />

America (FBLA) provides students with opportunities to foster<br />

leadership roles in the community. Fellowship of Christian<br />

Athletes (FCA) is a student led faith based club that encourages<br />

student fellowship and positive relationships. Students apply and<br />

are selected based on certain criteria for the Student Technology<br />

Team. Student’s who are on the Technology Team assist with 1:1<br />

rollout, work directly with ITD, and help students and faculty<br />

with computer and Internet issues. Eighth grade students have<br />

the opportunity to join part in the JROTC, a program that<br />

focuses on character education, physical wellness, and personal<br />

leadership.<br />

Brandon Middle School is pleased to announce recent student<br />

accomplishments. This summer cheerleaders received the First<br />

Place Champion award, First Place Chant Performance and a<br />

National Competition bid along with fourteen All-American<br />

nominations. Dance team members received the team “Full Out”<br />

Award, first place in Home Routine, two National Competition<br />

bids, along with five All-American nominations. Bringing home<br />

four national titles, Beta Club represented Brandon Middle<br />

School proudly at convention.<br />

Brandon Middle School is looking forward to the <strong>2016</strong>-2017<br />

school year as the students continue Leading in Learning and Life.<br />

McLaurin Kayleigh Keys<br />

How do you take a school from GREAT to BEST? This is<br />

the overarching theme for the district, and it has certainly been<br />

a central goal for McLaurin Elementary. Already, the school year<br />

is off to its BEST year yet.<br />

To begin the year, we were informed that McLaurin Elementary<br />

was selected as the Spring <strong>2016</strong> Scholastic National Elementary<br />

School first place winner for our “Groovy” book fair. Being the<br />

BEST in the nation is such an honor, and it has served as great<br />

motivation for this school year! Already we are enthusiastically<br />

planning and awaiting this year’s book fair, “Bookaneer: Where<br />

Books are the Treasure!”<br />

In sixth grade, students have been challenged by Gandhi’s<br />

famous words, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”<br />

Students thought about their future goals in life and how, even<br />

now, they can begin thinking about their impact on the world<br />

around them. They displayed these goals in the hallway as daily<br />

reminders. One student said, “I think some kids’ perspectives<br />

of what they wanted to be might have changed the goals that<br />

they had set for themselves. I think it made me and others want<br />

to be more helpful within our community and later in life.”<br />

What better way for Gandhi’s famous words to be applied<br />

than when tragedy struck our neighboring state of Louisiana?<br />

As communities in Louisiana were devastated by the floodwaters,<br />

McLaurin Elementary students were encouraged to donate<br />

school supplies for schools in the affected areas. They rose to<br />

the task at hand and donated a tremendous amount of supplies.<br />

There were so many donations that they had to make two trips<br />

to pick up the supplies.<br />

76 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Pisgah<br />

It’s 7:28am, and the blare of a bell sets into motion the sounds<br />

of shuffling feet and eager chatter as students bustle through the<br />

hallways. These are the welcomed sounds of the beginning of a<br />

new year at Pisgah High School as the faculty, staff, and students<br />

prepare for our best year yet: The Year of the Dragon.<br />

Our academic and athletic triumphs foreshadow the accomplishments<br />

ahead of us. This year we welcome five new faculty and<br />

staff members. In addition, Pisgah High School was awarded the<br />

title of National Bronze Level School by U.S. News and World<br />

Report in its <strong>2016</strong> edition of Best High Schools. Pisgah has<br />

received this award every year since its inception in 2009.<br />

Athletically, Pisgah continues to be met with success on the<br />

court and field. In volleyball, the Lady Dragons remain undefeated<br />

in their division games. Their regular season concludes <strong>October</strong> 11,<br />

hopefully to be followed by an appearance in the playoffs. Our<br />

softball team has endured, in spite of several washout games,<br />

collecting a win against Morton. The Dragons football team has<br />

tallied back-to-back victories over Mize and St. Aloysius. Cross<br />

country is set to begin its season September 10.<br />

Amidst celebrating our high school teams, the community of<br />

Pisgah has rallied to support our own hometown Olympian, Tori<br />

Bowie. Tori, a 2008 Pisgah graduate, competed in her first Olympic<br />

games this summer by running in the Women’s 4X100 meter<br />

relay, 100 meter, and 200 meter races and earning gold, silver,<br />

and bronze medals respectively. On Saturday, August 27th, Tori<br />

returned home to her alma mater for a meet-and-greet with fans<br />

who were excited to celebrate her victories as a first-time Olympian.<br />

Follow Pisgah High School on Facebook and Twitter as we<br />

continue to triumph this year, #TheYearoftheDragon.<br />

Pelahatchie<br />

We are a place where students lead fiercely, encourage constantly,<br />

and endure strongly. We’re a place where teachers motivate and<br />

mentor students to break the status quo, and a place where<br />

administrators have a vision for success and work tirelessly to<br />

make it happen.<br />

As the year ushers in great changes from faculty to schedules,<br />

to a new senior class, OUR TRIBE stands strong and united to<br />

make <strong>2016</strong>-2017 the biggest and best year ever.<br />

What is so special about OUR TRIBE??<br />

OUR TRIBE is growing. People are moving here because<br />

they want to be a part of the great things we are achieving, and we<br />

embrace them to become Chieftains and thrive with us.<br />

OUR TRIBE is enduring. We are working through late<br />

afternoon softball practices and exhausting football exercises. We<br />

are persevering through difficult cheer routines and marching to<br />

the beat of a brand new band. We are conditioning in basketball<br />

and warming up in baseball. We are building up for soccer, tennis,<br />

and archery.<br />

OUR TRIBE is succeeding. We are adding Beta members,<br />

electing student council and FFA officers, and training yearbook<br />

photographers. We are building towers in math, traveling to other<br />

parts of the country in social studies, and visiting characters through<br />

a good book in English. We are staining glass in art and learning the<br />

alphabet in Spanish. We are writing hypotheses in science and<br />

learning what’s beneficial to us in health.<br />

We are designing webpages and creating spreadsheets in<br />

business and running laps in P.E. We are yielding great innovators<br />

in shop and producing respectful citizens in JROTC. We are<br />

creating Chieftains!<br />

We are achieving; we are excelling; WE ARE PELAHATCHIE!<br />

What are you waiting for? Come join OUR TRIBE.<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 77


rankin county Schools<br />

Florence #eaglepride<br />

At Florence Elementary School, we strive to always put our<br />

BEST foot forward. Our school motto is “Focus, Educate, Soar.”<br />

The word that best describes our school is “family.” From the<br />

staff members to the students, to our fabulous community, we<br />

are family.<br />

As a group, all staff is currently reading the book Focus, by<br />

Mike Schmoker. This month, our focus, as instructional leaders,<br />

has been on the importance of simplicity, clarity, and priority.<br />

We take pride in making students our top priority at Florence<br />

Elementary. Having a clear vision helps set the tone, focus on the<br />

tasks at hand, and soar to that next level…from great to BEST!<br />

At FES, we are looking forward to the BEST school year ever!!<br />

Puckett<br />

Welcome back! Puckett High School has started off with a<br />

bang. There have been a lot of improvements this summer at the<br />

school. The Art Garden continues to grow in size. All of the<br />

hallways plus the auditorium have been painted, the senior<br />

composite pictures from the 1950s-<strong>2016</strong> are hanging in the old<br />

hallway. There is new carpet in the office and a new greenhouse<br />

for the Ag. classes to use.<br />

Patrick Lemoine, the Ag. teacher at Puckett High School has<br />

done it again! Mr. Lemoine’s Ag. classes won state in open and<br />

closing, horse judging, forestry and tree judging. Since arriving<br />

in Puckett eight years ago, our Ag. classes have won over 30 state<br />

championships. The<br />

forestry team competed<br />

in West Virginia this<br />

summer and placed 12th<br />

in the nation. The open<br />

and closing team will<br />

compete in Indianapolis,<br />

Indiana, later in <strong>October</strong>.<br />

A greenhouse was<br />

built in front of the new<br />

Ag. building. Puckett<br />

students will now be able<br />

to grow plants and<br />

vegetables to sell as<br />

fundraisers. In the past,<br />

our students sold ferns<br />

that we bought from<br />

another state. Now, with<br />

the help of the greenhouse,<br />

we can grow and<br />

sell our own ferns. This<br />

will be a valuable tool in<br />

the education of our Ag. students.<br />

With the help of Vallery Temple, the junior high has started<br />

an Ag. program as well. Mr. Lemoine and Mrs. Temple had two<br />

groups that won state last year. The junior high students won<br />

state in nursery/landscaping and horse judging. This group will<br />

be moving up to help the high school out in the near future.<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.

Richland<br />

Have you ever been in a situation where you don’t know<br />

anyone? This year, my students and I found ourselves in that very<br />

position. Usually when someone is new, it takes a while to<br />

acclimate and meet new friends. That’s’ what makes Richland<br />

Upper Elementary School a place like no other. From the moment<br />

someone walks into our school, whether student or teacher, they<br />

are a member of a special family.<br />

In a time where schools are composed of predominantly<br />

testing and data, Richland Upper Elementary is a breath of fresh<br />

air. Each morning, when our precious students walk in, we greet<br />

them as one would greet a friend. Why? It’s because they are our<br />

friends. Every child who comes into a classroom is automatically a<br />

part of a small, tight-knit family.<br />

Oakdale<br />

As a K-6 feeder school to Northwest <strong>Rankin</strong> Middle School<br />

and home to over 600 students in the Brandon/Reservoir area,<br />

Oakdale has a proven track record and rich tradition of excellence<br />

in instruction and student achievement. As part of a progressive<br />

district moving <strong>Rankin</strong> County from great to best, Oakdale offers<br />

a variety of academic programs and extracurricular opportunities<br />

to engage students in deeper learning and social/physical growth,<br />

such as Jr. Beta Club, Cougar Choir, Archery Team, Band,<br />

Principal’s Book Club, Critical Thinking Through Chess Initiative,<br />

and numerous others.<br />

A sense of belonging is an essential component in making up<br />

the essence of Richland Upper. Teachers at RUES not only focus<br />

on the academic portion of teaching a child, they also focus on the<br />

character and talents of our students. In order to instill a sense of<br />

character and citizenship, our fearless leader, Principal Toby Price,<br />

suggests that we begin the year by enforcing the Essential 55 by<br />

Ron Clark. Teachers strive to integrate this amazing program into<br />

our daily instruction. Through this program, our students are<br />

showing the necessary skills to becoming successful adults.<br />

Every morning a child wakes up either excited to go to school<br />

or dreading school. At Richland Upper, it’s our mission to create a<br />

place where kids want to be and where teachers want to teach. At<br />

our school, we are taking <strong>Rankin</strong> County School District from Great<br />

to Best one student at a time. It’s a great day to be a Ranger!<br />

A point of school pride is how Oakdale is constantly tapping<br />

into the pulse of the digital age by using technology to enhance<br />

teachers’ instruction and students’ learning. This year Oakdale<br />

was the only elementary school in the district selected to participate<br />

in the state’s CS4MS pilot, a computer science initiative for<br />

our 6th grade students. Students will also be engaged in extended<br />

learning through virtual field trips this year via Google Expeditions.<br />

The school also offers 6th grade and 4th/5th Venture students<br />

Spanish language learning through Rosetta Stone and guided<br />

teacher instruction. According to Principal Dr. Lynnette McNeil,<br />

three things make Oakdale such a wonderful school. First, the<br />

high expectations teachers have for all students as they work to<br />

foster their academic and social/emotional growth. Second, the<br />

outstanding work going on in classrooms everyday with teachers<br />

and students–as teachers are consistently engaged in collaborative<br />

growth and learning to provide the best education for<br />

students. Third, the strong relationships with students, parents,<br />

community, and each other.


Hartfield<br />

Jackson Prep<br />

Newly Elected Student Council:<br />

President - Hayden Van Norman, Vice President - Megan Smith<br />

Secretary - Laney Armstrong<br />

Class Representatives: Freshman-Sally Hatten, Eli Gooden,<br />

Daniel Walters; Sophomore-Eli Holaday, Kaylynn Steen, Katie<br />

Long, Julie Thompson; Junior-Alexia Nicks, Kennedy Montgomery,<br />

John David Beall, Kaylee Van Norman, Cameron Withers,<br />

McKenzie Ragan; Senior-Shelby Killough, Rachel Long, Maddie<br />

Dyess, Harper Germany<br />

4th Annual Hart & Soul Auction is <strong>October</strong> 20th,<br />

6-9pm at the Ivy Venue in Flowood. Special Guest will be<br />

Patrick House, Season 10 Winner of the Biggest Loser.<br />

Coffee + Chapel Preview Day<br />

<strong>October</strong> 25th and <strong>November</strong> 16th<br />

Hartfield Academy congratulates one of our seniors, Grace<br />

Thaggard, for being selected a National Merit Scholarship<br />

Semifinalist. Grace is Hartfield’s first National Merit Semifinalist.<br />

She is also one of the 16,000 semifinalists in the National Merit<br />

Scholarship Program to be chosen<br />

out of the 1.6 million entrants<br />

nationwide. To be selected, a<br />

student must score well on the<br />

PSAT exam given in <strong>October</strong> of<br />

the student’s junior year of high<br />

school. The next step is to be<br />

selected as a finalist. The finalists<br />

will be announced in February of<br />

2017. We are really proud of Grace<br />

and hope you join us in congratulating<br />

her on this big honor!<br />

Congratulations to Jackson Prep’s National Merit Semifinalists:<br />

(back row, left to right) Robert Wasson, Will Massey, Paul Andress,<br />

Wesley Roberson, Lawson Marchetti, (front row) Kennedy<br />

ZumMallen, Rose Iacono, Kacie Van Pelt and Jack Davis.<br />

Jackson Prep boasts 570 National Merit Semifinalists: more<br />

than any independent or public school in the state of Mississippi.<br />

Discovery<br />

Christian<br />

First graders enjoyed apple<br />

painting while learning all<br />

about apples.<br />

Pre-K students had a fun time<br />

learning about apples. They were<br />

fascinated by the dehydrator and<br />

enjoyed tasting the apples.


pearl public Schools<br />

Pearl<br />

Pearl High School recently hosted over 35 colleges and military<br />

recruiters at its annual college fair. Over 400 students and parents<br />

participated in this year’s fair. After the fair, a Class of 2017 parent<br />

and student college planning luncheon was held. Over 190 participants<br />

learned about the college and financial aid planning process<br />

from a representative of Education services Foundation. ESF is a<br />

nonprofit college planning service. Both events were sponsored by<br />

the Pearl High School Counseling Services Department.<br />

The mission of Pearl Public School District<br />

is to prepare each student to become a<br />

lifelong learner, achieve individual goals,<br />

and positively impact a global society.<br />

Submissions provided by local officials from each individual district and not to be considered editorial opinion.

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888.486.7666<br />

www.TheInnAtOleMiss.com<br />

Thanks to our readers<br />

and advertisers.<br />

We appreciate you!<br />

82 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 83

<strong>Rankin</strong> County Bar Association’s<br />

Summer<br />

M-Braves Social<br />

August 5, <strong>2016</strong> / Trustmark Park<br />

84 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 85

86 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

? ?<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 87

From Diamonds<br />

to Deer Stands<br />

Camille Anding<br />

88 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

“I’m just a deer hunter,” Brian Owens says<br />

about himself as he tries to keep in perspective the<br />

potential of his new venture and company, Owens<br />

Outdoors. It’s definitely far removed from life just a<br />

few years ago.<br />

Owens played high school baseball at Northwest<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong> and went on to play for Mississippi<br />

State for two years. He stayed on another year after<br />

graduation as an assistant to Coach Ron Polk, an<br />

opportunity that he will always prize.<br />

Marriage to Anna Werne came next–along<br />

with a coaching job at Tennessee Tech University<br />

in Cookeville. The following year, he was offered<br />

an assistant baseball position at Mississippi<br />

College. After one year on the job,<br />

the head baseball coach resigned,<br />

leaving Owens interim baseball<br />

coach at age twenty-five. One<br />

year later, he was offered the<br />

head coaching job, and baseball<br />

life at Mississippi College was<br />

his family’s life for the next<br />

nine years.<br />

During that ninth year, Owens used his<br />

backyard as an experimental station for designing<br />

a hunting blind that would accommodate bow<br />

hunting. In the midst of that, he sensed God’s<br />

direction to do something else. “Go be with your<br />

kids (Ella, 8 and Parker, 5) more,” were the directions<br />

that Owens recalls.<br />

It was easy for Brian and Anna to understand<br />

due to the long hours away from home that all<br />

coaches invest.<br />

It was definitely a step of faith and obedience<br />

when Owens resigned his head coaching position,<br />

especially since Mississippi College had become a<br />

special part of their lives. “I loved my players and<br />

the college,” Owens says.<br />

Then the idea that came by<br />

accident soon launched Brian<br />

and Anna, along with the help<br />

of his brother, Daniel and<br />

sister-in-law, Laura, into<br />

production of the Double Dare<br />

Blind, manufactured by Owens<br />

Outdoors early this year.<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 89

Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap,<br />

they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God<br />

feeds them. Of how much more value are you than<br />

the birds!” Luke 12:24<br />

90 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Life as CEO of his new company is a far<br />

stretch from the baseball diamond. God has given<br />

him time with his children, something he never<br />

had when coaching. “It’s such a priceless thing<br />

for me to be able to carry our kids to school or<br />

schedule a lunch date with them,” he says.<br />

After family time, Owens travels to outdoor/<br />

hunting expos to show and promote his one-of-akind<br />

blind. “It’s actually a portable shooting house,”<br />

Owens says in describing the ground and tree<br />

stand blind. “It’s 53”x53”x76” with a shooting<br />

width of 68” – ample room for bow and gun<br />

hunting.” The blind travels in a backpack, sturdy<br />

enough to work as a permanent stand or easily<br />

breaks down to transport.<br />

Owens recalls fond memories of growing up<br />

hunting with his dad and brother. “Dad taught us<br />

how to move slowly and quietly through the<br />

woods and to appreciate the beauty of nature and<br />

its wildlife.”<br />

This new venture gives Owens more pleasure<br />

than he could have imagined. “You find something<br />

you love and you won’t work a day in your life,” he<br />

says in describing the result of his obedience and<br />

faith. Owens smiles with great contentment as he<br />

reflects on God’s faithfulness. “Anna and I have<br />

claimed Luke 12:24 for years, and we have figured<br />

it out – God always meets our daily needs.”<br />

With hopes of endorsements from large retailers<br />

like Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, Owens dreams of<br />

an expanding company and orders for thousands<br />

of Double Dare Blinds. He may have learned to<br />

move slowly in the woods, but in the production<br />

and marketing world, he’s in race mode. n<br />

www.owens-outdoors.com<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 91

92 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Calendars<br />

Church Bulletins<br />

MoreThan<br />

Manuals Brochures<br />

Design<br />

Meets the Eye<br />

Embossing<br />

Letterhead<br />

Overprinting<br />

Folding<br />

Collating<br />

Storefront<br />

Banners<br />

Invitations<br />

Postcards<br />

Customized<br />

Mailing<br />

NCR Multi Part<br />

Menus<br />

Perfect Binding<br />

Information Booklet<br />

Personalization<br />

Sorting<br />

Scratch Off Envelopes<br />

Stationery<br />

Labels<br />

Die-Cuts<br />

Annual Reports<br />

Database Management<br />

Business Cards<br />

Foil Stamping<br />

500 Steed Road • Ridgeland, MS 39158<br />

601.853.7300 • 1.800.844.7301<br />

www.hederman.com<br />

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 93

94 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 95

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

always been supportive<br />

of its first responders<br />

and recently three<br />

local groups had special<br />

gatherings to honor the<br />

commitments of these<br />

brave men and women.<br />

Country Place Subdivision<br />

in Pearl hosted a thank<br />

you celebration where<br />

every police officer and<br />

dispatcher received a<br />

gift card to Frisco Deli<br />

and all four fire stations<br />

and Pafford EMS received<br />

gift baskets. Bailey<br />

Walter, daughter of slain<br />

police officer Mike Walter,<br />

received an educational<br />

endowment of $1000.<br />

Brandon Baptist Church<br />

hosted a breakfast for<br />

first responders<br />

on August 27th.<br />

The Brandon Police<br />

Department and <strong>Rankin</strong><br />

County Sheriff’s Office<br />

were both represented.<br />

Crossgates Baptist<br />

Church fed fire and<br />

police departments<br />

recently as well.<br />

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★<br />

96 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

<strong>Hometown</strong> <strong>Rankin</strong> • 97

Camille Anding<br />

The Time Coin<br />

The sweltering, bone-dry days of<br />

September were tolling a death<br />

knell for Virginia’s backyard<br />

garden. The surviving caladiums drooped<br />

their once lovely heads, and the hardiest<br />

petunias dangled from their baskets in a<br />

farewell surrender. The roses had responded<br />

well to the drop in humidity, but their roots cried for a soaking rain.<br />

Virginia hurriedly cleared away the dinner dishes so she could<br />

assuage her garden’s suffering. Smaller jobs seemed to jump in the way<br />

so by the time Virginia opened the back door, the evening light had<br />

retired. Not to be deterred from her task, Virginia reached for the<br />

flashlight and headed for the watering hose.<br />

The earth was parched, and the plants seemed lifeless, but the sounds<br />

said there was life. It was too dark to know what kind of life, but all<br />

unidentified creatures seemed to be making noise. Was it crickets,<br />

cicadas, locusts or grasshoppers – or a combination of all? Virginia<br />

wasn’t sure, but their amplifiers were on full throttle. The noise would<br />

qualify as a roar.<br />

“Amazing,” Virginia thought to herself that tiny insects could create<br />

such a symphony.<br />

Symphony? Virginia was confident that not everyone would define<br />

those noises in musical terms, but growing up listening to the night<br />

sounds makes one appreciate the unique<br />

summer nights in the country.<br />

Another familiar noise broke Virginia’s<br />

concentration on God’s little creatures. She<br />

tossed the hose to pull her cell phone from<br />

her pocket. “Hi, Mama,” the welcomed voice<br />

greeted. It was Marie, her firstborn who<br />

was married with her own family.<br />

Before Virginia could finish asking Marie about how things were<br />

going, Marie interrupted. “Where are you, Mama?” she asked. “Outside,<br />

watering my roses.” “I knew it,” Marie responded, “I hear home!”<br />

After their conversation ended, Virginia continued watering her<br />

roses. She thought how anyone could hear the roar of the summer night<br />

creatures, but not everyone has spiritual ears to hear the still, small voice<br />

of God.<br />

For the next few moments, amid the fanfare of the summer night,<br />

Virginia’s mind drifted from the night sounds and thirsty plants to a<br />

well of contemplation. She thought about how easily the clamor of<br />

sounds and pleasures can muffle the eternal voice of God.<br />

With garden hose in hand, Virginia dedicated herself to more<br />

disciplined focus on spending time alone with God. She spoke audibly<br />

into the heavens, “Lord, when You speak, I want to say without<br />

hesitation, ‘I hear home.’” n<br />

98 • <strong>October</strong>/<strong>November</strong> <strong>2016</strong>

Because there’s Merit<br />

in faster care.<br />

In a medical emergency, every minute matters. So, at Merit Health, you’ll<br />

find faster care in the emergency room. We work diligently<br />

to have you initially seen by a medical professional* in 30 minutes –<br />

or less. And, with a team of dedicated medical specialists, we can provide a<br />

lot more care, if you need it.<br />

The 30-Minutes-Or-Less E.R. Service Pledge – at Merit Health.<br />

Central<br />

Madison<br />

<strong>Rankin</strong><br />

River Oaks<br />

River Region<br />

100 • June 2015<br />

*Medical professionals may include physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.<br />


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