Brandon Day and other Rankin County events

In May, Brandon, Pearl and Flowood will have lots going on for families and the general public that can get out and enjoy the nice spring weather (hopefully it stays sunny, less rain). Click here to read a Rankin Ledger column with details, and watch this video of the city of Brandon’s press conference for Brandon Day 2013. PS: Brandon’s own Skylar Laine is on the line!


Living History on The Natchez Trace Parkway

While reporting for the April 18th Suburban Digest article about the War of 1812 field trip on the Trace, I learned some things about the Trace’s history and the types of people that used it for travel — Militia troops and Native American Indians. (Read the article here.)

I love taking pictures, so here are some of the things students from Olde Towne and Germantown middle schools got to do.

And, here are a couple videos.

Free dental care for Mississippians in need

Not long ago, the Suburban Digest featured the Mississippi Dental Association’s Mission of Mercy project. The project aims to provide free dental care to as many as 2,000 people this weekend at the Muse Center on the Pearl campus of Hinds Community College. Community volunteers, University of Mississippi dental school students and other groups, services include fillings and extractions and preventive care for adults and children. No proof of income or dental insurance is required.

Here’s some basic information in case you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity or lacking dental insurance to get a simple teeth cleaning:

Volunteers can sign up at or call (601) 664-9795 and speak to project coordinator Michelle Aiken. Volunteers can do many things such as unload trucks and set up the clinic, greet and register patients, give health screenings, serve as translator and help pass out food and drinks. The clinic starts at 6 a.m. and people have been known to line up overnight.

Home rehab project announced in Canton

Representatives from BankPlus and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas with city leaders and elected officials announced this morning the start of a project that will rehabilitate 45 homes. BankPlus and FHLB Dallas awarded the Canton Housing Authority a $495,000 Affordable Housing Program grant in 2012 to provide repairs to the homes of very low- to low-income residents, many of whom are elderly or disabled.

Due to conflicting events, I was unable to attend the announcement, featuring a number of residents who will benefit from the project. At the event were Mayor William Truly, Democratic Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, Democratic Rep. Edward Blackmon Jr., Canton Housing Authority executive director Stanford H. Beasley, BankPlus’ first VP and Director of Affordable Housing Mark Ouellette, FHLB Dallas Senior Affordable Housing Analyst Marko Loya and Michael Lambert, Government & Industry liaison for FHLB Dallas. 

This looks like an effort on Truly’s part in his re-election bid, as he has told me about this program a little while ago. (Municipal election primary is May 7 and general election is June 4.) Either way, 45 residents will have nicer looking homes that will surely help property values in their neighborhoods.

Spring horse show and benefit for Mississippi College Equestrian Team

If your family is looking for something to do this weekend, go see the Spring Horse Show and Benefit for the award-winning Mississippi College Equestrian Team. It’s on April 13-14 at Providence Hill Farm in Jackson.

Spring Luncheon and Silent Auction are 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday, with Hunter Derby at 1 p.m. Tickets for lunch are $35 a person. The money goes to the MC Equestrian Team. Check out some of the following items in the Silent Auction:

Item # 1:

A 2 night stay in our “Love Me Tender” Suites, which is a 4 room suite dedicated to Elvis Presley (he stayed here during the summers in the 50″s).  It is 2200 sq ft, it has 3 bedrooms and a hospitality room.  I can match that up with a golf package; I will ask Jimmy F at the Golf Course how many rounds he can give me with this package.  The estimated value of this package will be $2600.00.  If any of you want to see our hotel, you can go to  I am sure that many people you all do business with has been here and have played golf here, and can also appreciate our downtown area.  Perhaps some of you have been here yourselves. Contact is Becky Bartles.  Donor is Gulf Hills Hotel, attn:___________, address & phone no.

Item # 2:

“An Old Fort Bayou Getaway”

One night for 2 at Gulf Hills, Kayak rentals for 2 at the Kayak Shed from South Coast Paddling Company, and Dinner at the famous Shed BBQ and Blues Joint.  Value starts at $160

This package is pretty neat because they bring the kayaks to the hotel and we launch you here, or at The Shed.  You can paddle upstream or downstream, and when you get to the Shed, they will pick up your kayaks there.  Then you can eat and listen to the live music as long as you wish!

Contact is Becky Bartles; Donor is ______________________.

 Item # 3:

“Appetizers for your Spring Party”— Gift Certificate for appetizers for 50 donated by Fresh Cut Catering & Floral and Wendy and Bruce Putt.

Contact is Jamie Martin

Item #4:

Spa and Salon Services from Barnette’s Salon and Aqua the Day Spa—Gift certificate with basket of goodies on the way.

Contact is Jamie Martin

Item #5:

Three Introductory Lessons at Providence Hill Farm by Tina Davey– $135 value

Item # 6:

Day of Bass Fishing at Providence Hill Farm for 4– $500 value.

Item #7: 

Duck Flush Sporting Clay Shoot for 4 people and Providence Hill Farm(Approximately 2 hours)– $440 value

Item #8:

$50 gift certificate to Pan-Asia, 1 month Diamond membership to Palm Beach Tan, 1 hour massage at Massage Envy, 1 hour facial at Massage Envy.– $266 value

Item #9:

Handmade queen size quilt with equestrian theme.– $200 value

Item #10:

Original watercolor by equestrian team member Sarah Yost, fine arts major at MC. Painting will be 16×20. –$200 value

Item #11:

Commissioned oil painting or your favorite equine by Sarah Yost. — $400 value

Item #12:

Hand painted TOMS shoes for child– $75 value

Item #13:

1 week vacation in a RCI affiliated resort anywhere in the US, Canada, Mexico,  Bermuda, Bahamas, or the Caribbean. RCI is the largest timeshare vacation exchange network in the world. 

Submitted by Mississippi College

Do I need to be a college student to hang out at Mississippi College?

Here’s why: The hangout space in Alumni Hall.

In my email inbox, I saw photos of happy students relaxing while studying in the new hangout space that was opened this month. Between classes, students can watch TV, eat (a must) and chat with friends in nice, comfy looking chairs. As of now, the hangout space will operate seven days a week staying open as late as 2 a.m. Doors open at 6 a.m.

Mississippi College leaders will add more amenities to the hangout space once classes resume in the fall, such as a space for table tennis games and a small enclosed meeting room. New offices for “The Collegian” and “The Tribesman” and other student publications are adjacent to the hangout space.

Now, I look young enough to be in college so I could stop by and sit in one of the chairs. They look that comfortable. Photos submitted by Mississippi College

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Team Pay It Forward (with more information from Suburban Digest column)

Today’s Suburban Digest column is from Brandon, about a group of students from Brandon High School in Team Pay It Forward. Art teacher Marcia Davis asked her students to help renovate a daycare center in Flowood, and the group has more service projects in store this year. To read the article, click here.

I didn’t have enough space to include more information about the Ronald McDonald House in Jackson where the group will do house and office chores on May 4. I’d like to share the Wish List of items needed and hopefully someone can help out the team and the Ronald McDonald House. You can reach Ms. Davis at (601) 447-8619 if you’d like to join the team that day.

Office needs: Postage stamps, print cartridge for HP printer (number 940 xl color and 940 xl black), Office Depot gift card.

Food/kitchen needs: Individual size boxed cereal (variety pack), individual snack food items (please no “nabs”/crackers with peanut butter or cheese), microwaveable meals, single-serve frozen dinners.

Cleaning needs: Liquid laundry detergent, self-squeeze mops with matching replacement mop heads, Mr. Clean floor cleaner, multi-surface cleaner (409/Clorox brand), disinfectant spray, disposable spoons, toilet paper.

General House needs: “Discount store” gift cards (I’m guessing any dollar store or Fred’s)

Share-a-Night Donor: $8 per night

Disclaimer: For health and safety of families, used items or stuffed animals are not allowed. If you have other gift ideas, call house manager Chris Kennedy at (601) 981-5683 before delivering them. The Ronald McDonald House is 2524 North State Street.

And, here are a few photos of the Ray of Sunshine Learning Center where the students painted the main hallway and left some nice artwork. Enjoy.

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