Community donates hundreds of items for storm victims

HATTIESBURG, MS. - A handful of residents are taking a minute out of their day to help the Lone Star state. Saint Fabian, St.Thomas, Holy Rosary, and Sacred Heart Catholic churches provided a 26 foot truck for the community to fill with necessary items. Church volunteers will drive the truck to Houston and help storm victims. The churches set up two drive-thru drop off sites at Winn Dixie and Half Shell Oyster House parking lots Thursday. “I had some items, I just figured it would be a good thing to do, stop by and donate them" says a donator Kendall Andrews. Another donator Katy Chmelicek says, “What goes around comes around, we just wanna help when we can." South Mississippi is no stranger

Hattiesburg woman wins brand new Honda in FGH raffle

HATTIESBURG, MS. - A Hattiesburg woman won a brand new car during a give-a-way by Forrest General Hospital Wednesday at Vardaman Honda. Pam Breland is the winner of the 2017 Honda CRV valued at $32,000. Funds raised from the event benefits the Forrest General Cancer Center in its Together We Can Advancing Cancer Care campaign. The campaign supports the Healing Garden, a Patient Navigation Services Program and the New Forrest General Infusion Center and Family Waiting Area all located at the Forrest General Cancer Center. "It was just one of those unbelievable moments. Forrest General foundation is a tremendous organization that I have supported for many years" says Breland. The hospital sold

HS Game of the Week: Laurel vs. Oak Grove

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Laurel will be traveling to Hattiesburg Friday to take on the Oak Grove Warriors. The Golden Tornadoes are coming off a tough loss against Hattiesburg, and are looking to be (2-1). And the Warriors are trying to get their third win in a row. "We're both athletic. We've both got some really good defenses, and I think it's going to be a great ball game," said Oak Grove head coach, Drew Causey. "Oak Grove is probably playing better than anybody in the state right now. So, it's going to be a challenge. It's a great place to go play, and we're looking forward to it," said Laurel head coach, Todd Breland. Oak Grove is led by quarterback, John Rhys Plumlee who has completed 86%

HAC ask city to secure former Hattiesburg American Bldg.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Hattiesburg Art Council members are ready to put things into action for their future Community Art Center during the 2018 Fiscal Year. While citizens of Hattiesburg all say downtown is taking shape, Mayor Toby Barker says he looks forward to seeing north Main street as an anchor for the city. “If you have the arts center right here at the Hattiesburg American Building and if you have senior housing at the Hattiesburg High, I think you really start to create an anchor here on north main street," HAC Executive Director, Rebekah Johnson, said the art council is ready to give back to the community. "Once we take that building we would like to give it as a gift to the cit

Petal receives EF-1 tornado

PETAL, Miss. - National Weather Service reported an EF-1 tornado hit Petal Wednesday morning. The tornado happened on West Central Avenue, and damaged the old Pizza Hut, Kitrell Industrial & Supply, Chase's Tire & Auto, and a house nearby. No injuries were reported.

City Council approves demolition of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - City Council unanimously approved a bid Thursday to demolish a portion of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church. Portion B of the church was damaged from Hurricane Katrina, and has not been fixed since. City officials have blocked off roads near Portion B of the church due to safety reasons for about a month. But, city officials can now move forward with the demolition process. City Director of Engineering, Lamar Rutland said, "We will go through and execute contracts. Go through that process. Once all the contractors are assembled and executed, we will begin the process of demolition of the church." M&M Services won the bid Wednesday, and the city will pay the company's fee of $339

United Blood Services face increase demand for Hurricane Harvey Victims

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Hattiesburg United Blood services and Jaycees teamed up Thursday to host the annual Labor of Love Blood Drive. UBS officials said during the Labor day holiday, blood donations typically decline. However, this year Hurricane Harvey's devastation in Texas has caused a high demand increase for blood supply. "We were open here...with the Jaycees cooking some hamburgers to say thank you to donors. We’re open through the weekend, also on Labor Day from seven a.m. til two p.m. So if you're type ‘o’ we need you to come in and make a red blood cell donation," said Katie Martin, Donor Recruitment Supervisor. Donors must be at lease 16 years old, weigh at lease 110 pounds to partic

State officials discuss drug impact in South Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Mississippi Department of Mental Health along with a other state departments held an opioid town hall meeting Tuesday night in Jones County. Mississippi's law enforcement, political officials. narcotics and pharmacy boards came together to discuss the impact of opioids in Southern Mississippi communities. According to the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the US accounts for only 5 percent of the world's population; However, when it comes to drugs, Americans consume about 80 percent of opioids manufactured in the world. “80 percent of individuals who are going through treatment for heroine or for fentanyl addiction, started off with an opioid, narcotic or medication presc

Three suspects charged in Hattiesburg residential burglary

HATTIESBURG, MS. - Three suspects have been charged in connection to a residential burglary over the weekend. The incident occurred on the 100 block of Mandalay Drive Sunday. On Wednesday Detective Sergeant Neal Rockhold with the Hattiesburg Police Department (HPD) observed the suspect vehicle traveling on 25th Ave. near 7th Street. Sergeant Rockhold conducted a traffic stop at 6174 U.S. Hwy 49 and made contact with the suspect Joshua McCray. "McCray was apprehended following a brief foot pursuit" says HPD Spokeswoman Latosha Myers Mitchell. The driver of the vehicle, James Moore, Jr., was also taken into custody. McCray was charged with Residential Burglary and Fugitive of other Jurisdicti

Survivor recounts Petal tornado

PETAL, Miss. - A tornado hit the Pine Belt Wednesday morning, and damaged an area in Petal on Central Avenue. Kitrell Industrial & Supply, Chase's Tire and Auto, and a home nearby received minor damage. No injuries were reported, but it left one person with an experience he will never forget. Witness, Randy Ingram said, "As it came down, you could see the funnel start coming down and it sucked everything from around the streets: water, limbs, rocks, and started forming a funnel like you see in the movie 'Twister’ at the end. Everything was just straight spiraling up. It kind of pulled myself in a little closer, and it started pulling me back out. I didn't know what else to do. I just held on

Collins man arrested for killing his girlfriend

COLLINS, Miss. - A woman was murdered Tuesday night in Covington County. Undersheriff, Layne McLaurin said Granville Spencer Jr., 82, shot and killed his long-time girlfriend, Chong Sun Wells, 66, at his home on 245 Highway 84 West in Collins. Deputies arrived on scene and found the victim dead under the carport of the home. Deputies arrested Spencer, and he is charged with murder. The victim's body has been sent to the state crime lab in Jackson for an autopsy. Spencer's bond is set at $100,000.

Pine Belt churches accepting donations for storm victims

HATTIESBURG, MS. - The Catholic churches in the Pine Belt are accepting donations for Texas storm victims Thursday. Saint Fabian's Father Tommy Conway says, "We like to take care of each other but especially in times of need." He adds, "It is important that we respond and of course the government and officials will always help out." A 26-foot-truck will be at the Winn Dixie parking lot on Lincoln Road between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. The truck will then relocate to Half Shelter Oyster House parking lot between 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Sacred Heart, Holy Rosary, St. Thomas and St. Fabian are all working together to gather supplies. The churches are asking for the following items: Water, Diapers, Baby Wipes, B

Laurel School District partners will state organization, superintendent search underway

LAUREL, MS. - Parts of the article is written by the Laurel School District. During the special called meeting Tuesday, the Laurel School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved to contract with the Mississippi School Boards Association (MSBA) to assist with the search for a new superintendent. Earlier this month, Superintendent Dr. Chuck Benigno announced his last day in the district will be December 31, 2017. Dr. Benigo started with the district in 2010 and will join the faculty at William Carey University. Since the Mississippi School Boards Association launched its superintendent search service in 2006, MSBA has conducted over 80 searches statewide. Board President Miranda Beard

Salvation Army open Angel Tree registration earlier this year

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The Salvation Army will open Angel Tree registration earlier this year. The first registration date is Sept. 5, this date is to set an appointment to sign up for Angel Tree. The Angel Tree Registration will be October 2-13, Monday through Friday. "We will have sign ups by appointment only this year. So they’ll need to start calling next week we will give them an appointment day and an appointment time. [There] are thirty minute slots so it’s important that they keep their time," said Captain Stacey Connlley of the Salvation Army. Connlley says despite their displacement from the January EF-3 Tornado, the Salvation Army will continue to bring Christmas cheer to families i

William Carey University Dyslexia Therapy Program receives accreditation

This is a press release from William Carey University. HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The William Carey University Dyslexia Therapy Program recently received accreditation through the International Multisensory Structured Language Educational Council (IMSLEC). The IMSLEC offers accreditation of training courses whose purpose is to develop qualified professionals to practice in the field of multisensory structured language education. “The IMSLEC accreditation assures students and colleagues that the WCU Dyslexia Therapy Program meets the highest standards at the Therapy Training Level,” said program director Dr. Cena Holifield. The WCU Dyslexia Therapy Program received an IMSLEC site visit in March and

Free art exhibit at Hattiesburg Cultural Center

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Hattiesburg Art Council celebrates Mississippi's Bicentennial with a free art exhibit. The "Common Ground" art exhibit showcases photography, paintings and mask work from women artists of the Women's Art Collective and South Mississippi Arts League. "So the common ground is that they’re meeting in one place for the first time with all of their art. Each person from the group brought probably 2 or 3 pieces, and there here right now in the Hattiesburg Cultural Center...," said Rebekah Stark-Johnson, executive director of the Hattiesburg Arts Council. The exhibit is open Monday through Friday, during normal business hours. "We had a opening in July that was a big kick off f

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