State of the City Address: Canton

Mayor William Truly gives the State of the City address on Tuesday.

Mayor William Truly gives the State of the City address on Tuesday.

On Tuesday I attended the State of the City Address given by Canton Mayor William Truly. His address was broad, starting with his 40 years spent in Canton, his journey to becoming an Alderman and running for mayor, and the status of several economic development projects planned for the city.

A rundown of the progress of economic development projects in Canton.

A rundown of the progress of economic development projects in Canton.

I recorded most of the speech, so you can listen here.


Ridgeland police detective earns lifetime service award

Ridgeland police detective earns lifetime service award

Submitted by the city of Ridgeland:

Mississippi Crime Stoppers awarded the Law Enforcement Coordinator Lifetime Service Award for 2013 to Detective Frank Dillard. Dillard has been the local coordinator with Mississippi Crime Stoppers for the Ridgeland Police Department since 1996. He has been extremely active with Crime Stoppers in tracking down leads. He is considered to be one of the most dedicated individuals in law enforcement and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Dillard was instrumental in the investigation of the Avis Banks murder case a few years ago and more recently, he was the lead investigator in the Party City capital murder case. Dillard’s energy level, passion and commitment make him an invaluable asset to the Ridgeland Police Department and to the Mississippi Crime Stoppers Program.

Pictured L-R: Frank Dillard, detective, City of Ridgeland Police Department and Trish Harbour, state director, Crime Stoppers, Mississippi Department of Public Safety.

Miss Mississippi College seeks to help homeless

Miss Mississippi Courtney Parella

Miss Mississippi Courtney Parella

Courtney Parella is thrilled to wear the crown as the new Mississippi College, and she pledges to work to combat homelessness in the USA as her platform in 2013.

“I am beyond blessed to have been a part of the Miss MC Pageant with all of the beautiful contestants,” Courtney said less than 24 hours after the judges selected her for the honor on the Clinton campus.

A junior from Grenada, Miss., and graduate of Kirk Academy, Parella impressed the judges with her musical talents on stage at Swor Auditorium. The Deltan sang “I Dreamed A Dream’’ from the movie Les Miserables, and now gets to live her dream as Miss MC and a contestant in the Miss Mississippi Pageant in Vicksburg later this year.

Being in the spotlight with hundreds of people looking on doesn’t seem to bother Courtney one bit. “I love being on stage and performing.’’

There were six Mississippi College students competing for the title on January 31st.  A marketing major with career plans to become a pharmaceutical representative, Parella was sponsored at the pageant by the Kissimmee Social Tribe.

During the months ahead, Courtney will speak about the needs of homeless people in Mississippi, the nation’s poorest state, and other parts of the USA. She wants to make her platform, homeless ministries, much more visible in the community. It may open the door to greater funding to help with their needs, she said.

Courtney succeeds 2012 Miss Mississippi College Taylor Townsend of Flowood.  Since Taylor was thousands of miles away in England taking classes in Mississippi College’s London Semester Program, Taylor’s mother, Dr. Cindy Townsend, crowned the 2013 titleholder Thursday night. An educator at Jackson Prep, a minister to women and students, and an inspirational speaker, Cindy Townsend served as Miss Mississippi College in 1981.

Besides her work to prepare for  the Miss Mississippi Pageant, Courtney also will sing the National Anthem at the annual Clinton/Mississippi College Night with the Mississippi Braves at Trustmark Park on Monday April 8. It’s the first homestand of the 2013 season for the M-Braves.

Other contestants in the annual scholarship pageant on the Clinton campus included interior design major Nikki Rhea of Houston, Texas, foreign language & international trade major Hannah Fletcher of St. Francisville, La., English major Tori Crosby of Gulfport, Kelly O’Mahoney, an exercise science major from Mandeville, La. and nursing major Sarah-Kate Rowan of Clinton.

All of the contestants worked hard at rehearsals the past three weeks and improved their interviewing skills to get ready, Fletcher said. “It was great to see it all come together so smoothly. My favorite part was probably the opening because we got to start off the show with a bang,’’ she said. “Honestly, I enjoyed it all.’’

MC students Ashley Dillard of Memphis and Caleb Jett of Brandon served as the show’s co-hosts. Ashley says staff director Dannie Woods and student directors Katelyn Williams and Molly Roberts deserve much of the credit for making this year’s pageant such a success. The Roaring 20s was the pageant theme.

“The room had a sense of pure elegance and the contestants looked flawless,’’ Dillard said. “Each of the six ladies brought their own flavor to the competition.’’

–Submitted by Mississippi College Public Relations

2013 Hinds County Spelling Bee winner

Clinton Junior High School hosted the Hinds County Spelling Bee this morning and 46 students from throughout Hinds County participated. The first place winner was Desiree Roby, a student of Christian Home Educators Connection. Second place winner was Edison Brown of Northwest Jackson Middle School. Desiree will go on to represent Hinds County in the Mississippi Spelling Bee in March.

Pictured at left are Edison Brown (left) and Desiree Roby, the 2012 winner of the spelling bee. Roby will participate in the statewide spelling bee, to be held at Mississippi Public Broadcasting on March 19. MPB will air the event live. The Mississippi Regional Spelling Bee is hosted by the Mississippi Association of Educators. The state winner will compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held the week of May 26-June 1. For a complete list of participants, click here: HindsSpellingbeeprogram

Photos by Sandi Beason, Clinton Public Schools and Brian Albert Broom, The Clarion-Ledger

The second photo is from the 2012 spelling bee with second place winner  Neziah Igwebuike and winner Desiree Roby.

The second photo is from the 2012 spelling bee with second place winner Neziah Igwebuike and winner Desiree Roby.