OurTown39042web

hometownmagazines

Our

Town

39042

2020


2 • Our Town 39042


39042

Our

Town

PUBLISHER & EDITOR

Tahya A. Dobbs

CFO

Kevin W. Dobbs

CONSULTING EDITOR

Mary Ann Kirby

SPECIAL PROJECTS MANAGER

Brenda McCall

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

Lindsey Dees

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Alisha Floyd

SPECIAL PROJECTS ASSISTANT

Caroline Hodges

LAYOUT DESIGN

Daniel Thomas - 3dt

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Othel Anding

Whether you’re brand new to our community or have

been here for years, Our Town–39042 will help you find

answers to questions about how the city works and how

to get things done. This is a reference book–and you’ll find

plenty of information about our local businesses as well as

opportunities to engage with the city and other residents.

We’re so glad you call Brandon home.

INSIDE

• Letter from the Mayor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

• Neighborhoods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

• Childcare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

• Churches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

• Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

• New Resident Info . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

• Grants Ferry Parkway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

• Clubs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

• Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

• Parks & Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

• Q&A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48

• Amphitheater. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

• Friends for Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58

• Make-A-Wish . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93

Copyright HTMags.com / 601.706.4059

26 Eastgate Drive, Suite F / Brandon, MS 39042

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be

reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

The management of Hometown Publications is not responsible

for opinions expressed by its writers or editors.

39042 Our Town • 3


4 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 5


Letter from the MAYOR

The City of Brandon is experiencing tremendous

population growth (9% annually), which is

exceptional given that many other similarly sized

cities are seeing a decline in population. Six years

ago, we were the 21st largest city in Mississippi (of

approximately 298). By 2018 we had grown to

the 16th largest and the 2020 Census will show

another significant growth in population.

It is the size and quality of our population

which brings private investment into our

community. Without a solid population base and

adequate traffic counts on our streets and

highways to warrant investment, private funding

to build businesses, restaurants, and hotels would

not come to our city. Furthermore, your local

government has taken great care of finances. To

attract private investment, it is incumbent upon

us to demonstrate fiscal discipline and responsibility,

which we do well.

This is achieved through professional external audits

which are, in turn, evaluated by bond rating

agencies such as Moody’s and S&P. A notable

municipal barometer of evaluating whether a

city is “taking care of business” is their bond rating.

Brandon’s bond rating was upgraded in 2016 by

Moody’s to Aa3, (S&P AA-) ratings which have

been sustained in ’17, ’18 and ’19. The first and

most important need of local government is to

keep the financial house in order–and a AA bond

rating speaks to the work being done while

keeping first things first.

Brandon touts the largest median income

($72,529) in Mississippi for any city under

25,000 in population and is second only in median

income to the City of Madison, statewide. This

speaks to the quality of residents who choose to

call Brandon home. So how does a growing,

200 year old city, with aged infrastructure (water,

sewer, streets, ditches, etc.), wonderful people,

great churches and good schools, in need of

investment for restaurants, businesses, hotels, etc.,

attract private capital investment? Simple, we

invest in ourselves.

Realizing the value and daily importance of

municipal services, Brandon began taking the

long view of using progressive steps to improve

every aspect of the service provided to our

residents. It isn’t difficult to comprehend that

sustaining a higher quality community requires a

higher quality delivery system of services. The

City of Brandon began a 20-year march toward

improving services in the last decade.

We ended the decade with a new 1000 gpm

water well and replaced every water meter

(10,500 water customers) with a high-quality

meter system with a 20-year warranty against

defects that can be read online. The older system

had dated, blue-tooth technology which required

a drive-by with a laptop to read the meter. That

upgrade two decades ago eliminated the need for

a manual meter read where a person had to

physically read the meter once a month. But still,

riding the city streets to have electronic readings

fall into a laptop still took as much as three days

before invoices could be generated. Today, in a

matter of minutes, not days, data is sent to our

billing company. This has standardized the

number of days in a billing cycle and provided

more consistency to the day of the month utility

bills are issued.

6 • Our Town 39042


Our utility bill (not simply a “water” bill as it

includes garbage pickup, local sewer, sewer

treatment, and admin.) also includes adjustments

for the new West Rankin Utility Authority

waste-water treatment plant in Richland. At the

end of 2020, Brandon will no longer send sewer to

the Savannah Street plant in Jackson for treatment.

This $90M facility will stabilize our treatment

costs, long term, and put us in charge of our own

rates and economic future for the first time since

the 1980s.

While the last decade saw many accomplishments

in Brandon (such as the creation of first

municipal EMS district in the state to improve

our ambulance service, the GIS location of

infrastructure assets, increasing employee

compensation, mapping and condition grading

of all city streets, building three new fire stations,

resurrecting city parks and playgrounds,

resurfacing 27 miles of our 93 miles of city streets,

the I-20 Exit 56 on-ramp improvements, the

addition of four lanes to Hwy 471, 824 new

homes built at an average construction cost of

$253,667, and many other improvements),

perhaps one of the most important accomplishments

was the planning for the next decade.

In 2020, we will complete a citywide street

inspection to include storm drain conditions. We

will release a street specific, multiyear plan to

begin street resurfacing in 2021 budgeting

$1,000,000 annually for improvements and will

finalize a citywide sewer line improvement plan

that will initiate a sewer line rehabilitation project

to address unseen decay in our aged sewer lines.

Two new 500,000 gallon water tanks will come

online this fall, while locations for four new water

wells have been identified. A modern police

station will be constructed beside City Hall to

include a new courtroom, an expanded dispatch

communication center and a stormproof

information technology vault. The existing

police department will be modernized to be a

free standing senior center with safe and covered

parking, renovated fire stations will lower our

fire rating to a Class 3 for further fire insurance

savings, and many more community needs will

be met throughout the year. These initiatives can

be accomplished because in the 2010 decade we

used responsible, fiscal discipline to reduce our

long-term debt.

But more than anything else, I’d like to offer

my heartfelt thanks to you for choosing to make

Brandon, Mississippi, your home. If there is

ever anything that I can do for you, please don’t

hesitate to reach out to me. And if you are

considering moving to Brandon, within this

edition you will find a lot of contact information

concerning our schools, city and county

government, as well as where you can get

assistance, if needed. We’d love to call you

neighbor and look forward to the many years

to come of calling Brandon home.

Mayor Butch Lee

39042 Our Town • 7


Protect More.

Save More.

Aaron Jussely

311 E. Government St.

Brandon, MS 39042

(601) 825-9995

tjussely@alfains.com

8 • Our Town 39042


ALDERMEN &

DEPARTMENT HEADS

The Brandon Board of Aldermen meets twice

a month, on the first and third Monday of each

month, starting at 6:00 PM. If a holiday falls on

that Monday, the board meets the following day.

All board meeting agendas and minutes can be

found at www.brandonms.org

James Morris

Alderman at Large

jmorris@brandonms.org

601-540-2000

Monica Corley

Ward 1

mcorley@brandonms.org

769-257-3140

Cris Vinson

Ward 2

cvinson@brandonms.org

601-824-8884

Harry Williams

Ward 3

hwilliams@brandonms.org

601-825-8970

Lu Coker

Ward 4

lcoker@brandonms.org

601-573-0281

Dwight Middleton

Ward 5

dmiddleton@brandonms.org

601-278-9637

Tahya Dobbs

Ward 6

tdobbs@brandonms.org

601-750-7972

DEPARTMENT HEADS

Angela Bean

City Clerk

abean@brandonms.org

Brian Roberts

Fire Chief

broberts@brandonms.org

William Thompson

Police Chief

wthompson@brandonms.org

Ramie Ford

Parks & Recreation Director

rford@brandonms.org

Matt Dodd

Community Development Director

mdodd@brandonms.org

Charles Smith

Public Works Director

csmith@brandonms.org

39042 Our Town • 9


TERRAPIN DRIVE

DUN

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DRIVE

39042 NEIGHBORHOODS

1 Acadian Court

2 Ambiance

3 Arbor Hill

4 Asbury Lane Village

5 Belhaven

6 Bella Vista

7 Belle Oak

8 Bellewood Estates

9 Boyce Acres

10 Brookwood

11 Cannon Ridge

12 Cedar Crest Park

13 Centre Pointe

14 College South

15 College South Cove

16 Copperfield

17 Cornerstone

18 Crossgates

19 Crossview

20 Dickson Estates

21 East Towne

22 Eastgate of Crossgates

23 Easthaven

24 Edgewood

25 Fairfax Place

26 Fox Meadow

27 Glen Arbor

28 Glen Wycke

of Cannon Ridge

29 Golden Estates

30 Grandeur

31 Green Acres

32 Harrell Heights

33 Harvey Hill Estates

34 Hastings

35 Hearts Ease

36 Howard Johnson

37 Keystone of Crossgates

38 Legacy

39 Lennox

40 Long Leaf

41 Maxey Place

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FAWNWOOD DRIVE

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TOLLE SON DRIVE

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10 • Our Town 39042


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PLEASANT STREET

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SEY LANE

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EASTHAVEN DRIVE

RE M

RICHM O ND DRIVE

LANCE DRIVE

MARTIN ROAD

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LEGACY DRIVE

EDGEWOOD CRO S SING

LOUIS WILSON ROAD

TOWNE ST

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EVERGREEN DRIVE

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RED OAK LANE

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PILGRIM REST DRIVE

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SHILOH ROAD

ROBBINS ROAD

MCDONALD LANE

PAIGE MCDILL ROAD

Richland Creek

DEER RIDGE RD

TIFFANY DRIVE

42 Meadow Grove

43 Mineral Springs

44 North Lake

45 Oak Grove Place

46 Old Town Brandon

47 Orchard View

48 Pecan Grove

49 Pecan Ridge

50 Prescott Place

51 Provonce

52 Raintree Place

53 Ridge Pointe

54 Roberts Estates

55 Rosemont

56 South Haven

57 Speers Crossing

58 Springtree of Crossgates

59 Stonebridge

60 Stonehendge

61 Stoneybrook

62 Sunchase

63 Sylvias Place

64 The Commons

65 The Estates of Longwood

66 The Gardens of Crossgates

67 The Meadows

68 The Pavillions of Crossgates

69 The Terraces of Crossgates

70 Timbers I

71 Timbers II

72 Towne Station

73 Trickhambridge Estates

74 Victoria Place

75 Wellington

76 Westland Heights

77 Windchase

78 Windsong

79 Windsor Ridge

80 Wisteria Hall

81 Wisteria Heights

82 Wisteria Park

83 Woodland Acres

!(

READ ROAD

39042 Our Town • 11


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12 • Our Town 39042


CHILDCARE

For many years, childcare services have been an

important and essential part of today’s working

parents’ needs.

Infants to kindergarten-age children are given

care, training, and environments for learning social

interactions. Our community offers these exceptional

“second homes” for our children.

Brandon Methodist

Kindergarten

Ages 3-5

www.brandonfumc.org/kindergarten

205 Mary Ann Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.5958

Circle of Friends Learning

Center II

Ages 6wks - 4

2006 Creek Cove

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.2387

Crossgates Baptist

Kindergarten

Ages 3-4

crossgates.org/weekday

8 Crosswoods Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.2734

Crossgates Methodist

Children’s Center

Ages 3-4

thechildrenscenterbrandon.com

21 Crossgates Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.0555

First Baptist Brandon

Children’s Center

Ages 6wks - 4

www.fbcbrandon.com/

childrens-center

309 S. College Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.8686

Kids Are Kids

Learning Center

Ages 6wks - 5

462 Luckney Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.0402

Little Cam Cam’s

Learning Center

Ages 6wks - 5

305 W. Jasper Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.7951

Miss Mandy’s

Christian Daycare

Ages 6wks - 4

783 Marquette Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.6224

Silver Spoon

Ages 6wks - 5

213 Woodgate Drive South

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.6093

Tikes 2 Tots

Family Childcare

Ages 6wks - 4

213 Commerce Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.3101

39042 Our Town • 13


14 • Our Town 39042


CHURCHES

Living in our hometown of Brandon with churches

“on every corner” is a blessing and freedom we

often overlook. Read our list of local churches in

a spirit of thanksgiving!

“And let us not neglect our meeting together,

as some people do, but encourage one another,

especially now that the day of his return is

drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:25

Brandon Assembly of God

995 South College Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.8188

ag.org

Brandon Baptist Church

100 Brandon Baptist Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.1781

brandonbc.org

Brandon First United Methodist

205 Mary Ann Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.5958

www.brandonfumc.org

Brandon Presbyterian Church

209 South College Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.5259

www.brandonpres.com

Crossgates Baptist Church

8 Crosswoods Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.2562

crossgates.org

Crossgates United

Methodist Church

23 Crossgates Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.8677

www.crossgatesumc.org

Crossview Baptist Church

687 Burnham Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.0412

crossviewbc@att.net

First Baptist Church

of Brandon

Office: 309 College Street

Brandon, MS 39042

Sunday Worship:

175 Boyce Thompson Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.6766

601.825.3141

www.fbcbrandon.com

First United Pentecostal

Church of Brandon

1368 West Government Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.7569

brandonupc.com

Grace Baptist Church

1013 MS-471

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.7334

www.gracebaptistonline.net

Hope Fellowship

500 North College Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.9088

www.hfcbrandon.org

Journey Church

1000 Municipal Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.874.9595

journeypeople.cc

Meadow Grove Baptist Church

3221 Louis Wilson Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.5704

www.meadowgrove.org

Nativity Lutheran Church

495 Crossgates Boulevard

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.5125

www.nativitylc.org

New Life Assembly of God

300 Shiloh Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.3030

ag.org

New Vision Fellowship

652 Luckney Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.591.1267

nvfms.org

North Brandon

Church of Christ

1029 MS-471

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.6497

northbrandoncc.com

Rock Star Baptist Church

303 Tamberline Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.2560

www.facebook.com/

RockStarMBChurch

St Luke’s Episcopal Church

104 North College Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.5839

stlukes.dioms.org

The Pointe

1120 Star Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.591.1154

www.thepointebrandon.com

39042 Our Town • 15


16 • Our Town 39042


LIBRARY

Brandon Public Library

1475 W. Government St., Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.2672 / cmrls.lib.ms.us

The past several years have seen many amazing changes and additions in the

Brandon Public Library’s programming and services, and we couldn’t be more

excited. The Master Gardeners, led by Chris Purser, have begun a dramatic makeover

of the bird feeding and nesting areas outside the children’s wing of the library by

landscaping with a variety of native seed, and fruit-bearing flowers, shrubs, and trees.

Did you know we have a notary public? In fact, we have four! There is almost

always one available at the branch, and the cost is only $3. We also have a public

shredder, so feel free to bring your sensitive documents and take 20 minutes to shred

them. If you want to take our bag of shreds with you, we charge $1 for the bag,

otherwise the service is free.

Our regular teen and middle grade programs are going strong and feature hits

like chocolate tasting, game nights, and STEAM+ activities like Snap Circuits,

Makey Makey, and more!

Speaking of STEAM+, January saw the rollout of our new STEAM+ program

every first and third Wednesday at 4pm (for ages 9-12) and 5pm (ages 13-18).

Designed for those who want to try out multiple activities related to science,

technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, STEAM+ is the place to take those

interests and turn them into productive skills.

We’ve also introduced The Makery, a come-and-go program every Tuesday from

1pm to 5pm where we will provide supplies and activity ideas for all ages to drop in

and create with us.

On that note, our summer library program is just around the corner! Every year

for six weeks, we go all out with programs, activities, and reading challenges for all

ages to encourage reading during the summer! This year’s theme is “Imagine Your

Story,” and it’s all about fantasy, fairy tales, myths, and legends. So gear up for some

magic, some mystery, and maybe a few spooky tales! We’ve already got our large

meeting room ready to be transformed into Wonderland, so be sure to follow us

down the rabbit hole this summer.

Other fun things you may not realize we have include sewing classes (with sewing

machines for public use) as well as fitness kits and cake pans for checkout. We also

have several online offerings including a book club (Third Thursday Online Book

Club), a writing club (Let’s Write! Brandon Library Writing Club), and a genealogy

club (CMRLS Genealogy Group), all three of which are on Facebook and can be

found via the Central Mississippi Regional Library System’s Facebook page.

Don’t forget to stop by and check out our truly impressive genealogy room.

Talk to our resident genealogy librarian, Paula Perez, and browse through hundreds

of books, newspapers, files, photographs, microfilm, and more.

There is always something going on at the Brandon Library. Come by and get

involved.

39042 Our Town • 17


18 • Our Town 39042


MEDICAL FACILITIES

Healthcare delivery is changing. In addition to great

medical care, patients expect easy access, affordability

and convenience. In Brandon, we have a high

standard with a focus on quality, convenience and a

personalized care experience. We are able to bring

acute and long-term care services closer to home

through the following providers:

Baptist Medical Clinic

Family Medicine - Brandon

1490 West Government Street

Suite 10

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.1936

Family Health Care Clinic

1551 West Government Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.3163

Greenfield Family Healthcare

762 Highway 468

Brandon, MS 39042

601-824-0988

Merit Health Medical Group

Primary Care Brandon

348 Crossgates Boulevard

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.2236

Merit Health Rankin

350 Crossgates Boulevard

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.2811

Rankin Children’s Group, PLLC

1405 Crossgates Drive West

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.0925

Rankin Primary Care Clinic

103 Service Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.1491

Region 8 Mental Health Services

613 Marquette Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.0342

Richard C. Randolph, M.D., P.A.

348 Crossgates Boulevard

Suite 2200

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.2466

St. Dominic’s

Family Medicine - Brandon

1297 West Government Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.200.4790

TrustCare

1645 West Government Street

Suite F

Brandon, MS 39042

601.829.6600

39042 Our Town • 19


20 • Our Town 39042


Main 601.933.3344 • Keith Clair 601.842.1225 • Jim DeFoe 601.842.1228

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In compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972 of the Higher Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and other applicable

Federal and State Acts, Hinds Community College offers equal education and employment opportunities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability or veteran status in its educational

programs and activities. The following have been designated to handle inquiries regarding these policies: EEOC Compliance: Sherry Franklin, Vice President for Utica Campus and Administrative Services, Box 1003, Utica, MS 39175; Phone:

601.885.7002 or Email: EEOC@hindscc.edu. Title IX: Randall Harris, Vice President for Advancement and Student Services, Title IX Coordinator, Box 1100 Raymond MS 39154; Phone: 601.857.3889 or Email: TitleIX@hindscc.edu.

39042 Our Town • 21


NEW RESIDENT INFO

• Brandon was incorporated in 1831 as the county

seat of Rankin County, Mississippi. Over the years,

Brandon has experienced positive growth while

maintaining its small-town charm.

• A-rated school district

• 2nd safest city in Mississippi

• Class 4 fire rating

• The City of Brandon is 1 of 13 Certified Retirement

Cities in the state, as recognized by the Mississippi

Development Authority

Brandon Police Department

1455 West Government Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.7225

Brandon Fire Department

601.824.4636

Station 1

629 Marquette Road

Brandon, MS 39042

Station 2

6577 Grants Ferry Road

Brandon, MS 39042

Station 3

47 Kennedy Farm Parkway

Brandon, MS 39042

Station 4

1058 Star Road

Brandon, MS 39042

Station 5

16 Woodgate Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

Station 6

213 Poindexter Street

Brandon, MS 39042

Rankin County

Emergency Management

601 Marquette Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.1499

Rankin County Safe Room

651 Marquette Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.1480

Rankin County Tax Collector

Vehicle Registration and Title

211 East Government Street

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.1467

DPS Driver’s License Location

3851 Highway 468

Pearl, MS 39208

601.420.6342

Circuit Clerk’s Office

211 East Government Street

Suite A

Brandon, MS 39042

601.825.1475

M-F 8:00am - 5:00pm

Marriage License

• No appointment is needed,

but you must arrive by 4:30pm.

• The bride and groom must come

to the circuit clerk’s office together

to apply.

• Marriage license cost $37

- CASH ONLY.

• Proof of age must be provided in

the form of a driver’s license, birth

certificate, or other legal documents.

If either applicant is under 21 years

of age, he/she must have consent

from parents or legal guardians.

• If applicants have previously been

married and divorced or lost a spouse

through death, the applicant will need

to provide the month, day and year

the marriage ended.

• Once a license is issued, it does not

expire.

Rankin County Chamber

of Commerce

601-825-2268

Brandon City Public Works

1000 Municipal Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601.824.4579

www.brandonms.org/

departments/public-works

water@brandonms.org

The City of Brandon Public Works

Department consists of four divisions:

streets, water, sewer, and sanitation.

Together these divisions provide many

of the basic services that affect the daily

lives of everyone who lives and works

in the City of Brandon.

Some of the Public Works

Department services include:

• Maintenance of city rights of way

and stormwater drainage systems

• Major and minor infrastructure

construction projects, pothole repair,

roadway shoulder maintenance,

roadside ditch, and creek cleaning

• Operation, placement, maintenance,

and repair of traffic control devices,

including traffic signals/controllers,

pavement markings, and street and

speed signs

• Water, sewer, and residential grinder

pump repairs

• Garbage pick-up

• Mosquito abatement services and

herbicide spraying for creeks and

ditches

• Review of subdivision construction

plans

• Emergency response during adverse

weather (i.e. removing fallen trees,

treating bridges when experiencing

icy road conditions)

22 • Our Town 39042


Community Development

601-825-4580

www.brandonms.org/departments/

community-development

A building permit is required for:

Shops and other accessory buildings,

roofs, pools, additions & structure

remodels

A building permit is not required for:

Fences, painting, replacing rotten wood,

small cosmetic remodels

For code enforcement questions:

code@brandonms.org

Demographics

• Population: 11% growth from 2010

• 47% growth from 2000

• 2000: 16,436

• 2010: 21,705

• 2018:24,156

• Daytime Population: 59,311

• Children at Home: 2,661

• Retired/Disabled: 6,189

• Homemakers: 9,569

• Student Populations: 8,189

• Work at Home: 511

• Employed: 30,905

• Unemployed: 1,205

• Median Household Income: $72,529

Brandon’s household income is the

highest for municipalities in Mississippi

with populations less than 25,000, and

2nd overall for the entire state.

Permit Info

559 new single family homes in last

five years

Commercial Permit Valuation

• 44% increase from 2017-2018

• 56% increase from 2018-2019

• 2017: $8,450,185

• 2018: $13,222,341

• 2019: $30,150,587

Top Employers

• Rankin County School District: 1000

• Rankin County: 464

• Merit Health Rankin: 371

• Brandon Nursing and Rehab: 320

• Gray Daniels Auto Family: 300

• Brown Bottling Group: 250

• Kroger: 200

• City of Brandon: 170

• Enterprise Rent-a-Car: 155

• Community Bank: 140

• Rogers Dabbs Chevrolet: 130

Amphitheater

The Brandon Amphitheater, completed

in 2018, is an 8,500 ‐seat concert and

event venue. The venue has hosted 26

live concerts and has averaged nearly

66,000 annual visitors. The amphitheater

draws visitors locally as well as regionally.

Out of the 131,897 total visitors, nearly

36% (47,211) have been out‐of‐state or

live outside of the Jackson Metro Area

and have a travel distance exceeding an

hour and a half.

City Hall Live

The City of Brandon also holds concerts

and events at Brandon Municipal

Complex. There are 6-8 events held

at “City Hall” annually, and they average

600-1200 visitors per event. These

events bring an average of 6,600 visitors.

Parks & Recreation

Parks and Recreation facilities continue

to be a local and regional draw for

athletics, tournaments, and events.

Brandon has eight parks spread across

425 acres.

SHILOH PARK

• 7 Baseball/Softball Fields

• 11 Soccer Fields

• 4 Pickle Ball Courts

• 3 Playgrounds

• 1 Splash pad

QUARRY PARK

• 6 Baseball/Softball Fields

with artificial turf

CITY PARK

• 7 Full‐Size Tennis Courts

• 3 Junior Tennis Courts

• 1 Children’s Playground

Tournaments

Tournament Statistics 2019 to date

• Tournaments: 49

• Metro Teams: 1076

• Non-Metro Teams: 564

• Out of State Teams: 213

• Total Visitors: 50,819

Parades/Events

The City of Brandon hosts three

annual events that have been extremely

successful for the community and

attracts visitors locally and regionally.

• Christmas Parade: 4,000 visitors

• Gumbo Fest: 1,500 visitors

• Mardis Gras Parade: 3,000 visitors

39042 Our Town • 23


DOING BUSINESS

WITH A NEIGHBOR

FEELS GOOD.

Steven Wallace

601-825-5242

swallace@insassociate.com

24 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 25


26 • Our Town 39042


Grants

Ferry

–Parkway–

Helping build Brandon’s future!

Susan Marquez

The third and final phase of the much-anticipated

Grants Ferry Parkway will soon be under construction.

Phase C will complete the three-mile parkway,

which will be an economic boon for the city of

Brandon, opening 1200 acres for development. When

finished, the Grants Ferry Parkway will connect

Highway 80 to Highway 471.

The groundbreaking for the Parkway was in June

2016, and the first two phases, Phase A and Phase B,

are complete. “Phase A opened up 400 acres between

Highway 80 and the railroad for commercial

development,” says Tom Cook with Grants Ferry

Parkway, LLC, the developer of the project. “That area

is all south of the railroad. Having it completed has

allowed us to begin selling commercial lots between

Highway 80 and I-20.”

Phase B of the Parkway runs from Trickhambridge

Road north of the railroad, to Cornerstone, where ten

houses have been built with plans for 15 to 20 more.

Plans for Phase B are primarily commercial. “There

will be a big box retailer and a grocery store,” says

Cook. “We have sold one lot to a pharmacy, and we

have a contingency to sell a lot to a convenience store

that will have twelve gas pumps and restaurants inside.

We are also talking to banks and eventually plan for an

open-air mall. There will be several one- to three-acre

lots for stand-alone retail businesses.”

Phase C is expected to be completed by the end of

2021 and will run all the way to Highway 471. “There

could easily be 2500 home sites, and Brandon really

needs those,” Cook says.

Mayor Butch Lee is thrilled about the Grants Ferry

Parkway and what it means to Brandon’s future. “If you

look at a map of Brandon and see the area that is taken

up with Eastgate and Crossgates, that’s about the same

amount of land we’re looking at developing along the

Parkway. Brandon will add a lot of new businesses,

especially around Exit 59 off I-20.”

Brandon currently has an eight percent growth rate,

which is high for a city in Mississippi. “Brandon, in

Rankin County, is one of the three fastest-growing

areas of the state. The other two are DeSoto County in

north Mississippi, and Harrison County on the Coast.

What makes Brandon different is we’ve got great

schools, great churches and great people. We have

more and more good people moving to Brandon all

the time. Our planned green spaces, parks and

amphitheater attract people to the area. People

nowadays will choose where they want to live based

on the quality of life. They’d rather live in a place they

love and travel to work, unlike previous generations of

folks who wanted to live near their work. This parkway

will make Brandon even more attractive to families

who are looking for a certain lifestyle,” Lee concluded.

39042 Our Town • 27


28 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 29


CLUBS

The definition of a club - a group of persons organized

for a social, literary, athletic, political, or other purpose.

Brandon offers a great choice for those inclined to

organized social gatherings. Our area clubs have

united members who have invested in the advancement

of our hometown. Check out this list in our area.

Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County

Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County is a non-profit service organization for women

who desire to serve and improve their communities. Through a variety of hands-on

projects that cover a wide sector of the community, JARC members implement the

ideals of their national motto: Care Today, Character Tomorrow.

www.jankinja.org / email@rankinja.org / 601-706-9727

Kiwanis Club

Kiwanis International is a global organization of members dedicated to serving the

children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs - nearly 600,000 members

strong - annually raise more than 100 million dollars and dedicate more than 18

million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and serve children. Members

of every single age attend regular meetings, experience fellowship, raise funds for

various causes and participate in service projects that help their communities.

Members also make an impact throughout the world by participation in Kiwanis

International’s Global Campaign for Children, The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis

eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus. The Rankin County Kiwanis Club

meets every Wednesday at noon at the Brandon City Hall.

www.kiwanis.org / rankinkiwanis@aol.com

Crown Club - Service project of Junior Auxiliary of Rankin County

Crown Club encourages the young women of Rankin County during their 8th

through 12th grade years to build leadership skills, foster good character, and

understand the importance of good citizenship. Crown Club members experience

the act of caring for others through community service projects.

Rotary Club

Founded in 1905, Rotary is the world’s oldest and largest international service

organization. The 34,000 Rotary clubs across the globe are composed of 1.2 million

business leaders, friends, and neighbors located in over 200 countries and territories.

Together they create positive, lasting change in their local areas and around the

world. From community service to working for a polio-free world, Rotary’s universal

motto is “Service Above Self.” Rotarians in Rankin County participate in a multitude

of service projects such as children’s literacy and reading programs, student

scholarships, helping needy families at holidays, hosting community blood drives,

assisting with building community parks, providing dictionaries to third graders and

supporting clean water projects abroad. The Rankin County Rotary Club meets

every Thursday at noon in the Buchanan Room at Brandon City Hall.

601-540-2995

30 • Our Town 39042


The Exchange Club of Crossgates

Exchange, America’s service club, is a group of men and women working together

to make our communities better places to live through programs of service in

Americanism, community service, charities, youth activities, and its national project,

the prevention of child abuse. This club was formed in 1976 as a local chapter of the

National Exchange Club dedicated to the Exchange Club covenant of service. The

Exchange Club of Crossgates meets at Penn’s Restaurant in downtown Brandon on

the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month at 6:30pm.

www.crossgatesec.com / 601-825-5442

Brandon Mayor’s Youth Council

The City of Brandon Mayor’s Youth Council is a group of approximately 40-50

students from area high schools, both public and private. Mayor’s Youth Council

mission is to serve as role models in the community and among the youth of

Brandon by serving as an example and by taking an active role in community

sponsored activities and volunteer work. Members are required to earn service

hours through sponsored events to raise funds for community projects that improve

our city and unity all age groups in our community.

Rankin County Chamber Youth Leadership

The Youth Leadership Program helps young leaders develop responsible community

leadership roles and impact the future of Rankin County! The students will

familiarize themselves with community opportunities, needs, problems and

resources. They will have effective dialogue, establishing friendships among

participants and community leaders. The students will learn advanced leadership

and management skills such as:

• Goal setting

• Effective communication

• Decision making

• Team building

• Motivation and organization

• Work ethic development

39042 Our Town • 31


GARDEN CLUB

Beautifying Brandon for Almost 70 years

Since its organization in 1952, Brandon Garden Club has been a driving force for

beautification and preservation in Brandon. Throughout the year, the hard-working

club members are involved in projects to support its underlying theme of beautification

through gardening in our homes, gardens, and the Brandon community. In

2019, Brandon Garden Club was named Outstanding Garden Club in both

Mississippi and in the six-state Deep South Region.

Brandon Garden Club’s projects support the goals of our federated organizations,

The Garden Clubs of Mississippi, Inc., Deep South Garden Clubs, Inc., and National

Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC). We are proud that the current NGC president, Gay

Austin, is from Mississippi. Her theme to “Plant America” is reflected in our current

theme “Let’s Plant Brandon!”

Brandon Garden Club’s annual Tablescapes Luncheon is our only fundraiser. It is

supported by an impressive list of businesses and individual contributors that

recognize Brandon Garden Club’s value to the community. The next Tablescapes

Luncheon will be held February 26, 2021. Get your name on the ticket list now by

contacting any Brandon Garden Club member.

The club’s 28 ongoing projects include:

• Old Brandon Cemetery – spring and fall cleanup and planting, including

memorial trees and daffodil bulbs

• Brandon Municipal Complex – donating plantscaping for the atrium and main

lobby, providing year-round plantscaping maintenance, and decorating for

Christmas

• Brandon High School – providing gardening-related programs for the special

needs class

• Nursing homes and assisted living facilities – providing garden therapy

• Commercial landscape awards – recognizing outstanding commercial landscaping

• Veterans – decorating for the Veterans Day breakfast

• Cancer awareness – planting and maintaining the “Plant It Pink” flower bed in

downtown Brandon

• Education – providing scholarships at Hinds Community College and

Mississippi State University and providing displays and programs at Brandon

Public Library

Brandon Garden Club welcomes new members and volunteers for projects.

Look for us on Facebook, visit our website www.thebrandongardenclub.com, or

email us at thebrandongardenclub@gmail.com.

32 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 33


SCHOOLS

Rouse Elementary

Rouse Elementary School is home to kindergarten and 1st graders

in the Brandon Zone of the Rankin County School District.

151 Boyce-Thompson Drive / Brandon, MS 39042

rse.rcsd.ms / 601.825.5437

34 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 35


SCHOOLS

StoneBridge Elementary

StoneBridge Elementary School is home to 2nd and 3rd graders

in the Brandon Zone of the Rankin County School District.

115 StoneBridge Boulevard / Brandon, MS 39042

sbe.rcsd.ms / 601.824.3287

36 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 37


SCHOOLS

Brandon Middle School

Brandon Middle School is home to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders

in the Brandon Zone of the Rankin County School District.

408 S. College Street / Brandon, MS 39042

bms.rcsd.ms / 601.825.5998

38 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 39


SCHOOLS

Brandon Elementary

Brandon Elementary School is home to 4th and 5th graders

in the Brandon Zone of the Rankin County School District.

125 Overby Street / Brandon, MS 39042

bes.rcsd.ms / 601.825.4706

40 • Our Town 39042


Brandon High School

Brandon High School is a 6A high school and is home to 9th, 10th,

11th, and 12th graders in the Brandon Zone of the Rankin County

School District.

3090 Highway 18 / Brandon, MS 39042

bhs.rcsd.ms / 601.825.2261

39042 Our Town • 41


42 • Our Town 39042


Heartfelt thanks

to all our frontline heroes

Every day is a day for lifesaving work.

Thank you to our physicians, nurses, CCHTs,

administrative staff, social workers, dietitians,

and biomeds for taking care of our patients

and each other. FreseniusKidneyCare.com

Fresenius Kidney Care

Rankin County

209 Mar Lyn Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

1–601–591–0053

© 2020 Fresenius Medical Care. All Rights Reserved.

39042 Our Town • 43


PARKS &

RECREATION

Brandon Parks & Recreation

105 Kennedy Farm Parkway

Brandon, MS 39042

601-825-3047

Ramie Ford

Director of Parks & Recreation

Dawn Errington

Administrative Assistant

Corey Voyles

Parks Superintendent

Matt Hopkins

Athletic Director

Julie Hopson

Recreation Program Coordinator

Larry Wesson

Recreation Program Coordinator

www.brandonparkandrec.com

Facebook: Brandon Parks & Recreation

Instagram: brandonparks_rec

Brandon City Park

1463 West Government Street, Brandon, MS 39042

Bill Vance Park

72 Golden Estates Drive, Brandon, MS 39042

Crimson Lane

809 Crimson Lane. Brandon, MS 39042

Diamond St. Park

120 Diamond Street, Brandon, MS 39042

Ponderosa Park

230 Appleridge Road, Brandon, MS 39042

Quarry Park

222 Boyce Thompson, Brandon, MS 39042

Shiloh Park

330 Shiloh Road, Brandon, MS 39042

Sunset Park

810 W. Sunset Drive, Brandon, MS 39042

44 • Our Town 39042


SPECIAL EVENTS

Lori Farrar

Special Events Coordinator

601-941-3824

Carley Keyes

Assistant Special Events Coordinator

Brandon Municipal Complex

1000 Municipal Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601-825-5021

June 2020

11- Farmers Market

13/14 - Civil War Relic Show

July 2020

2 - Let Freedom Ring

9 - Farmers Market

August 2020

6 - Back to School Bash

13 - Farmers Market

November 2020

11 - Veterans Breakfast

December 2020

4 - Christmas Parade

February 2021

5/6 - Princess Ball

12 - Krewe De Roux Parade

13 - Krewe De Roux Car Show

13 - Krewe De Roux Gumbo Cook Off

20 - Rankin County

Junior Auxiliary Gala

26 - Brandon Garden Club Tablescapes

Spaces for rent for private parties

and or meetings available at

City Hall or the Public Library

Located at City Hall

Two meeting spaces with 660 sq. ft. per

room. Both rooms come with a drop

down screen, ceiling projector, and

counter for refreshments. Rental rates

begin at $200 plus a $100 refundable

deposit.

For a larger room we offer our Senior

Center with 132 capacity and 2,646 sq.

ft. room. The center features a drop

down screen, ceiling projector, sound

system, microphone, and full kitchen.

Rental rates begin at $400 plus a $200

refundable deposit. This rental includes

sixteen tables and 128 chairs. Additional

tables and chairs are available for an

additional rental charge.

Our largest room we offer is our Civic

Center with 3,771 sq. ft. room. The

center offers two drop down screens,

two ceiling projectors, sound system,

microphones, and prep kitchen. Rental

rates begin at $1,750 plus a $500

refundable deposit. This rental includes

twenty tables and 160 chairs.

Located at the Public Library

At the city’s public library we offer a

larger room with 1,748 sq. ft. The room

offers a number of tables and chairs,

drop down screen and a full kitchen.

The rental fee if $400 plus a $200

refundable deposit.

A smaller conference room is available

at the library during library hours

only. The room includes a projector,

drop down screen and a large

conference table which can hold 20

people comfortably. Rental fee for this

conference room is $125 plus a

refundable deposit of $75.

*all fees and deposits are subject to change

SENIOR CENTER

Angelia Pryor

Senior Services Coordinator

601-813-4382

Brandon Municipal Complex

1000 Municipal Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601-825-5021

Monthly Fee of $5 or $10 for

non-residents. Activities include arts,

crafts, games, fitness classes, informational

lunches, and field trips.

Baseball/Softball

• Spring registration usually begins

in January.

• Fall registration typically takes place

in July.

• We also offer Pickleball in the

summer and table tennis in the

spring.

• Football registration typically begins

in July or August.

• Soccer registration information can

be found at www.brandonfc.com.

• Pavilion rentals can be made online

at www.brandonparkandrec.com.

• Tennis reservations can be made

with the Club at Crossgates.

601-591-2582

Splash Pad

322 Shiloh Road

Brandon, MS 39042

601-824-9509

Monday-Friday 10am-5pm,

Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 1pm-6pm

$5 Admission (Ages 1 - 49)

Individual Season Pass $50

Family of 4 Season Pass $150

Party packages available for $150 for

residents, $200 for non-residents for

2 hours and 25 kids.

Private parties also available after-hours

for up to 50 participants, $250 for

residents and $300 for non-residents.

BRANDON AMPHITHEATER

8190 Rock Way Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

Grace Young

Box Office Manager

601-724-2726

601-278-3876

Facebook: BrandonAmpMs

*Tickets available through Ticketmaster

or the box office

CITY HALL LIVE

*Tickets available through Ticketmaster

CEMETERIES

(Grounds maintained by Brandon

Parks & Rec)

Brandon Memorial

300 Highway 468

Brandon, MS 39042

Plots at can be purchased through

City Hall at 601-825-5021

Ponderosa Cemetery

231 Appleridge Road

Brandon, MS 39042

Brandon Historical Cemetery

165 Old Depot Road

Brandon, MS 39042

Light of Liberty

School Road

Brandon, MS 39042

There is a flag depository for old flags

located at City Hall.

39042 Our Town • 45


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46 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 47


What do you love about living in BRANDON?

Andrew Comans

Brandon may be growing, but it still has the small

community feel. Whether out and about at the

amphitheater, local pharmacy, or one of our local

restaurants, you always see familiar, friendly faces!

Also, my other big love about Brandon is the

selflessness of everyone. Most people in our town will

always lend a helping hand when they see someone

in need. Whether that be a financial struggle or a

broken down car, our town has some of the most

selfless people you will find in the nation!

Kim Little

When my family moved to Brandon five years ago,

we were drawn by the excellent school system and the

family-oriented environment. Today, these are still

reasons that I love living in Brandon. In addition, I

love the reputation of our first responders and feel

Brandon is a safe place to live.

Shane King

Brandon feels like home. Brandon reminds me of the

small town I grew up in, in the Delta. No matter

where I go, I always run into others and enjoy

catching up. I love my job, our schools, our church,

our neighborhood, and overall I love my town!

Heather Garrett

Education, family and faith make Brandon the

community that it is. Education for our children has

prepared them for college. The churches in Brandon

are strong and caring for everyone. These attributes

have made our family feel the love and care of the

community that we call Brandon.

48 • Our Town 39042

Yolanda Anding

Brandon is very endearing to me with its small town

charm. It gives me the tranquility of country life with

the enthrallment of city life. It is economically stable

and affordable, making it an ideal place to raise my

family. Brandon is filled with hidden gems that I have

yet and can’t wait to discover.

Congressman Michael Guest

My wife, Haley, and I were raised in Brandon and

we are thankful for the opportunity to raise our two

boys here. The people who call Brandon home make

it a great place to live, worship, and raise a family.


Tonya Leach

I am 44 years old and moved to Brandon when I

was ten. I have seen tremendous growth over the

years. There are so many things I love about Brandon

that it is hard to list just one. I feel safe in Brandon,

I love the school district, Friday night football games

and tailgates, the Brandon Amphitheater and the

growth in our city over the last few years. I’m excited

our town has some of the best sports fields in the area.

My nephew, who lives out of town, attended a recent

event here and was amazed at the turnout and the

community support. When outsiders recognize your

town, it’s proof we live in one of the best cities in

Mississippi.

Marty Vinson

Brandon is a wonderful place to live! We are fortunate

to have excellent schools which provide high academic

standards and numerous extracurricular activities,

a great library, wonderful churches, outstanding

recreational facilities and parks, and a state-of-the-art

amphitheater which brings well-known artists to our

area to provide a variety of entertainment. We are

also a safe city with a well-trained police and fire

department. Most of all, it is the people of Brandon

who make this city so unique. There is a comradery

among the people of Brandon that draws us together

to make a wonderful city. I love living in Brandon!

Stacy Starling

Brandon represents a place of new beginnings for me.

I was able to succeed and give my kids the same

opportunity because I raised them in this community.

A community that wants your success as much as its

own. Here you’ll find stability, love and support–

you’ll find a family.

Chance Carter

When I think of Brandon, I think of great schools,

great churches, great quality of life, but mostly I think

of great people! Just a perfect place to raise a family.

Not just a city or a town, but a real community.

39042 Our Town • 49


50 • Our Town 39042


39042 Our Town • 51


The Stars Come Out in BRANDON

Susan Marquez

When city officials began laying out their vision

in 2014 to bring about more tourism, recreation, and

lifestyle improvements to Brandon, the idea of an

amphitheater was raised. Mayor Butch Lee and the

board of aldermen began brainstorming the idea and

it took a lot of people to bring it to fruition. From the

beginning, the city’s goal for the Brandon Amphitheater

and The Quarry was to create a quality,

family-centric atmosphere that will bring more

economic growth and increased tourism to the city of

Brandon, as well as the state.

The amphitheater opened in April 2018 and has

far exceeded expectations, according to Brandon

Parks and Rec. Director Ramie Ford, who oversees

the operations of the venue. Although the amphitheater

has a flexible capacity of 7,000 to 8,300 people,

Ford says the objective is more about quality shows

rather than quantity of crowds attending. “We need

big names to validate the venue,” he says. “And we’ve

been surprised with a few sell-out shows.”

One example is the Beach Boys, which drew a

crowd of 7,500 people. “We work to have a varied

selection of acts including Christian, comedy,

country, pop, and rock. Some of the most notable

performers include Hank Williams, Jr., Chris

Stapleton’s All-American Road Show with Marty

Stuart and Brent Cobb, the Dave Matthews Band,

Alan Jackson, Widespread Panic, Jason Aldean and

Alabama featuring the Charlie Daniels Band.

In addition to both lower and upper-level seating,

the venue offers box seats. A state-of-the-art audio and

video infrastructure, complete with LED video walls

provides a superior experience for attendees. There

are ample concession windows and beverage kiosks

throughout the venue. The Community Bank Club is

a private VIP club for amphitheater sponsors and box

seat ticket holders.

The Brandon business community has supported

the Brandon Amphitheater since the beginning.

When it opened, the city welcomed a distinguished

group of sponsors, including C-Spire, Miller Lite/

Capital City Beverage, Community Bank, Brown

Bottling Group, Bob Boyte Honda, Merit Health,

Entergy, Ergon, and Cathead.

The Brandon Amphitheatre is part of a 250-acre

park called The Quarry, which includes walking and

biking trails, a dog park and tournament-equipped

baseball fields. “We had our first season on The

Quarry fields last year,” says Ford. “Right now we have

the fields at Shiloh open allowing baseball teams to

practice. We are hoping to have league games and

tournaments this summer.” Ford says the hiking and

biking trails are currently under construction.

It’s unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic

has cut the concert season short this year. “I think this

would have been a banner year for us had the

coronavirus not been a problem. We had a great

line-up scheduled.” But Ford is optimistic about the

future. “I am in contact with promoters weekly, if not

daily,” says Ford. “I’m letting them know that once it’s

safe to have large outdoor concerts, Brandon,

Mississippi, is ready! We may have a lot of shows

crammed into the last few months of the year!”

People can stay up to date on all the latest concert

and ticket announcements by following the Brandon

Amphitheater’s website www.brandonamphitheater.

com or by calling the box office at 601-724-2726.

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Friends

for Life

Camille Ferriss & Pam Partridge

Dani Edmonson

When faced with life’s challenges, many

people attribute three things to their mental or

physical survival: faith, family, and friendships.

We are born with love of family, but faith and

friendships are born from choice. While friends

can come and go, it is possible to find that

elusive-but-real best friend.

Brandon residents, Camille Ferriss and

Pam Partridge, met some 45 years ago when

Pam pledged Chi Omega at Mississippi State

University. The year Pam pledged, Camille

was beginning her third year. “Sorority

membership wasn’t as large as it is today,”

Pam said. “It was easy to get to know all the

members, and Camille and I just kept

bumping into each other.”

Camille graduated MSU in 1975; Pam in

1977. Pam stayed to attend graduate school

until 1978. This time gap and geographical

distance would dissolve most youthful

friendships, but their shared degrees in

teaching would soon bring the two back

together.

“We were single and living in Jackson,”

Camille began. “We both accepted jobs at

Brandon Middle School, reconnected our

friendship, and carpooled to work for the next

three years.” Camille taught science, and Pam

taught special education. “Our classrooms were

down the hall from each other,” Camille said.

Camille got married in the spring of 1981 and

soon expected her first child, so she left the

world of teaching children to stay home and

raise her own. “After my first child was born,

my mother got cancer, and since I was her only

child, I felt I needed to take care of her,” Camille

said. Her mother’s health brought Camille and

her family back to her childhood home on East

Jasper Street in Brandon to make caregiving

more of a reality.

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Though Camille never returned to the

classroom, she and Pam stayed in touch. In 1992,

Pam, who had moved to Laurel for a short while,

found herself drawn once more to the Brandon

area. “I called Camille and asked if she knew of

any houses for sale in the older part of Brandon,”

Pam said. “She told me the house across the

street from hers was for sale.” Camille, a lifelong

resident of Brandon, was quite familiar with

the neighborhood and the livability the small

community offered. Pam said, “It was between

that and one other, but I loved the neighborly

feel of the East Jasper Street house.”

Pam moved across the street from Camille,

and they have been neighbors for 29 years.

Ironically, Camille obtained her real estate

license a few years after helping Pam find her

forever home and now has her own business,

Camille Ferriss and Company. Pam retired from

teaching after 26 years, but since 2006, has been

working part-time with the Rankin County

School District in student support services.

Pam said, “I love the small-town feel of

Brandon. My church is here, my work is here,

and I just feel safe here.” In November of 1992,

a tornado ravaged Brandon, wreaking havoc

on the East Jasper neighborhood. Camille said,

“We evacuated to Pam’s house that night.” Pam

laughed and added, “Three families came over

that night, including all of their pets.” Though

Pam has no children of her own, she is always

a devoted mother to fur babies. “One of our

friends once said, ‘When I die, I want to come

back as one of Pam’s dogs,’” Camille added.

When asked to explain the secret to such a

sustained friendship, they agree it is a comfortable

friendship. While both Camille and Pam

have other friends, the “neighbor-friend”

relationship is a great one. “We’re across the

street in a heartbeat if needed – always!” Pam

said. Camille said, “We laugh a lot. We often

think things are funny that others may not. But

even though we’ve had laughs, we’ve also had

deaths and the gauntlet of things that happen

during a lifetime.” Pam said, “Friendships just

happen. We may go a week without seeing each

other or talking, but if I need anything, I can

depend on her and she on me.”

Like an old married couple, the two women

are able to complete each other’s thoughts. And

one story led to another being told collaboratively

by the two of them. But no recollections

of any tough times between the two came up.

“While we don’t agree on everything,” Camille

said, “we just shrug it off and overlook it.”

As the storytelling wound down, both Pam

and Camille admitted that living in Brandon is

one of their binding factors. Camille said,

“Mary Ann Mobley, Brandon’s first Miss

America, said it best about the city of Brandon;

‘Everybody’s joys are everybody else’s joys, and

everybody’s sorrows are everybody else’s

sorrows. We know each other at the grocery

store, church, wherever you go. It’s a comfortable

feeling.’”

Pam added, “I think this place was the

best-kept secret. But not anymore, because so

many people are moving here!”

On any given morning, you can find the

two women, as well as other East Jasper Street

neighbors, out in the middle of the road with a

cup of coffee and an abundance of conversation.

They both said, “Everyone feels welcome.”

Grab a cup and join them. l

“I can depend

on her and

she on me.”

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BRANDON

HIGH SCHOOL

Tailgating

FALL 2019


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brandon

Gumbo

Fest

February 22, 2020


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LET

FREEDOM

RING

BRANDON AMPHITHEATER

JULY 3, 2019

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Krewe De Roux

Parade

February 21, 2020

downtown Brandon

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Brandon

Christmas

Parade

DECEMBER 6, 2019

DOWNTOWN

BRANDON


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BRANDON

Princess

Ball

February 1-2, 2020

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Brandon High School

Pep Rally • March 6, 2020

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Brandon High School

Supports Make-A-Wish Mississippi

Melanie McMillan

Rankin County is a place where community

members are quick to pitch in to help those in need.

It’s one of the reasons so many call Rankin home,

where examples of neighbor helping neighbor

are plentiful. Whether you’re a “native” Rankin

Countian or a “transplant,” you’re family here.

Josh and Liza Forbes moved to Rankin

County from Louisiana eight years ago when

Josh accepted a position at Nissan. Stay-at-home

mom Liza stayed busy with their two boys and the

family settled into their new home and community.

They have since welcomed two more sons to the

family and are the proud parents of Jude, 10,

Jacob, 9, Jonah, 4, and Jesse 1. They enjoy camping,

traveling, and just spending time together.

Nothing could have prepared the happy family

for the news they would receive two years ago.

In March of 2018, the family spent their

spring break in Tennessee. While they were there,

the older boys got a cold but Jonah seemed fine.

When they returned home, Jonah began to run

fever. Liza assumed he had caught a cold from

his brothers and didn’t think much about it.

However, the fever continued for several days,

spiking every night. Seemingly unrelated, Jonah

had begun to bruise more than normal for a two

year old. Because he is very fair and red-haired,

not to mention a typical “rough and tumble” boy,

Josh and Liza weren’t overly concerned about the

bruises. The fever didn’t go away, however, so

they took Jonah to the pediatrician where he was

tested for the flu and strep, which were both

negative. It occurred to Liza that Jonah’s iron

levels might be low, causing the bruising, so she

requested a CBC, which turned out to be the

key to learning what was causing Jonah’s fever.

The blood test revealed that Jonah’s platelets

were extremely low, and the family was referred

to Batson cancer clinic. “During that 15 minute

ride to the hospital, I was on my phone googling

about low platelets, and ‘leukemia’ just kept coming

up,” Liza says. Within one hour of arriving at

Batson, Jonah was diagnosed with leukemia,

specifically acute lymphoblastic B cell leukemia.

He was admitted that day and had surgery the

following day to put in his chemo port.

“The first month was awful,” Liza shares.

“He couldn’t walk, and he was on steroids so he

was always hungry but would get sick from eating.”

Fast forward two years, and although they have

been through some very rough times, Jonah is in

remission. He goes to the clinic once a month for

check-ups, takes chemo at home every day, and

also gets a weekly and monthly dose of chemo.

This year, Brandon High School held its

annual Make-A-Wish pep rally in Jonah’s honor,

presenting the family with $2,000 for Jonah’s

wish. “Through the Make-A-Wish pep rally, we

are able to give back to deserving children in our

community who are going through unimaginable

challenges,” says BHS principal Bryan Marshall.

Teacher Rebecca Russell, organizer of the pep

rally says, “Make-A-Wish Mississippi is an

amazing organization that helps sick children

right in our own area. I love that our community

and all five Brandon schools work together to

support our Wish child. There’s no better joy

than seeing high school kids give their time and

money to help others.”

Participating in the Make-A-Wish pep rally

is very meaningful to the high school students as

well. “Make-A-Wish is a great opportunity for a

child to experience something magical,” says

student Mackenzie Brown. “I am so glad that

Jonah came to our pep rally to celebrate

Make-A-Wish with Brandon High School.”

Student Cadence Howell adds, “Make-A-Wish

gives children an amazing experience they might

not otherwise have.”

When a child goes through a serious illness,

every member of the family is affected. Parents

face worry and exhaustion, and siblings struggle

to understand what is happening and why they

may not have as much time with mom and dad.

It’s a difficult balancing act, and time spent

together having fun as a family becomes a

precious commodity.

Thanks to the outpouring of support from

the community and help from Make-A-Wish,

the Forbes family will soon enjoy a trip to Disney

World, where they will make memories to last a

lifetime, and their Rankin county “family”

couldn’t be happier.

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Buy One, Get One

Buy any 6-inch sub and a 40 oz. drink,

and get a 6-inch sub of equal or lesser

price free! Extras at additional cost.

Valid only at:

112 Service Drive

Brandon, MS 39042

601-825-8344

/SubwayofCrossgates

*Must present this coupon to redeem offer. Free sub excludes Extras.

Valid for in-restaurant orders only, excluding kiosk orders. Plus applicable tax.

No additional discounts or coupons may be applied.

Subway ® is a Registered Trademark of Subway IP Inc.

© 2018 Subway IP Inc.

220 E Government St.

Brandon, MS 39042

601-825-8383

/SubwayofDowntownBrandon

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