City and Emergency Management Officials prepare for wintry mix

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Beginning Sunday night Pine Belt residents will experience temperatures dropping as low as 23 degrees. “South Mississippi usually has a two or three day cold snap. Then it’s usually over with and it goes back to 60 degrees the next day or so, but this is going to be kind of a prolonged event. The temperatures are going to be extremely cold all the way through this coming weekend.” said Director of Emergency Management District, Glenn Moore. Hattiesburg Public Works Division Manager, Colton Hill says the city will administer rock salt and sand to the city’s busiest streets for safe traveling. “What the rock salt is going to do is make the freezing temperature of the water

Pine Belt residents share New Year's Resolutions

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The count down to 2018 is just around the corner and many people in the Pine Belt are looking forward to setting a few goals to start the new year off right. Here's a few resolutions residents shared: “My new year’s resolution for 2018 is to be more closer to God, healthy mind, body and soul and abundance,” “My new year’s resolution has been for decades now to be a better person than I was the year prior.” “My resolution this year has already began to shed the word of God with as many people as I can and share the word some of God’s people will be saved.” According to the New York Times, experts say give yourself a doable goal that also doubles as meaningful resolution i

Laurel School District Announces Watts as the New Superintendent

HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Friday morning, the Laurel School District announced that Dr. Toy L. Watts will take over as Laurel’s new superintendent. “I am very excited to get to the Laurel School District, I can hardly wait… Next week I’m actually going to come in a little early so, I can have some quiet time to look over some paperwork,” Watts said. “I look forward to meeting my teachers on the third [Jan. 3], my staff, and everyone who works here to take care of our children here in Laurel.” Watts brings over 20 years of experience in education to the Laurel School District. “I have a little bit of experience in everything. I've been a teacher for ten years, I was a counselor two years,” Watts

The Mississippi State Lottery will be Voted on at the next Legislative Session.

Mississippi's State Senator, Joey Fillingane holds a seat as the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Fillingane is on the record saying he opposes the idea of the state having a state lottery, but he will let the bill pass through his committee. “Most people think that if you were to pass the lottery all this money is going to pile into the state that has been hemorrhaging from the state for the past so many years, and it is just going to fix all of our monetary problems, and fill all the budget holes… that's just simply not the case,” Sen. Fillingane explained. “There's been a house study committee that's been looking at the lottery specifically over the past few months, and their be

Fireworks Safety and Precautions for New Year's

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Fireworks attract the eyes of thousands of people during the New Year’s holiday. However, unfortunately, hundreds of Americans have been affected by fireworks accidents. According to the Hattiesburg Police Department, fireworks are not allowed to be sold or possessed within the city limits, nor are they allowed to be shot. However, residents are allowed to shoot fireworks inside the county. Loco Joe’s Fireworks manager, Patrick Hodges says people need to make sure they do a couple of things before setting off their firecrackers. “The main thing you want to do is make sure your fireworks are always safe and level on hard ground that way they don't dump over,” Hodge

Mississippi Legislative Session Coming Soon

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - The 2018 Mississippi Legislative session is just a few days away. State Senator, Joey Fillingane says there are a lot of topics on the table to be discussed, such as the state budget, having a state lottery, and whether the state should change its flag. However, Senator Filligane says the biggest topic could affect the medical community. “The Medicaid issue will certainly rise up… We plan on taking it up this year,” Fillingane explained. “That’s a bill where all the doctors' reimbursement rates to accept Medicaid are set. The hospital rates are adjusted or set, which raise money for the Medicaid program. Also, pharmacists that get reimbursed for drugs for patients wh

Mayor Toby Barker Names Director of Parks and Recreation

This is a press release from the city of Hattiesburg. HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Mayor Toby Barker announces Ronnie Perkins as his nomination for director of Parks and Recreation, which Hattiesburg City Council members will vote on at a special called meeting today at 4 p.m. “Ronnie is passionate about his community, and his leadership ability and management experience make him a great fit to lead the Parks and Recreation Department,” said Barker. “Dr. Clemon Terrell built a solid foundation for operations and growth during his tenure as director, and I look forward to continued growth in programs and offerings under the leadership of Ronnie Perkins.” Perkins, a long-time community member in Palme

Jones County EMA: Boil water notice issued for parts of Laurel

(The following is a press release from the Jones County Emergency Management Agency.) The Mississippi State Department of Health has received the following alert from the City of Laurel in Jones County. A PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE FOLLOWING AREA: *59 residences on Indian Springs Rd. *12 residences on Fant Dr. *7 residences on Hurst Dr. *15 residences on Sheppard Dr. *19 residences on Loverýs Lane *6 residences on Baker Dr. *5 residences on Best Dr. *37 residences on Palmer Rd. *10 residences on Burnt Bridge Rd. South of Pruett Rd. *12 residences on William Pruitt Rd. * 6 residences on Sanderson Rd. *7 residences on Bimaka Dr. *2 residences on Management Rd. *5 r

Mayor swears in new fire dept. lateral transfer

This is a press release from the city of Hattiesburg. HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Mayor Toby Barker issued the firefighter's oath to Michael Wheelock, a lateral transfer to Hattiesburg Fire Department on Wednesday. Firefighter Wheelock is a graduate of South Jones High School, and he is coming back to the city as a re-hire from spending a few years working in the oil industry. He holds Firefighter 1001 and 1002 certifications, and he is certified as both a Hazardous Material Technician and Rope Rescue Technician. The City of Hattiesburg continues to see growth in both police and fire departments and is actively recruiting for its 2018 academy classes. Anyone interested in applying for either academ

New Year's Eve Weather Conditions Alert

HATTIESBURG, MISS. – The Pine Belt could possibly see some nasty weather this New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. The cold weather has moved in, and it looks like it is here to stay. Also with the chance of rain over the weekend, there is a chance Pine Belt residents could see some ice. Wednesday, Jones County Emergency Operations Center released a statement acknowledging the possibility of freezing rain for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. “We are experiencing cold weather for us in south Mississippi right now, but it is by this weekend… Sunday going into Monday it's going to get drastically colder,” the executive director of the Jones County, Emergency Management Agency, Marda Tullos s

How Should You Properly Dispose of Your Christmas Tree?

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Christmas has come and gone once again, and the next thing to do is get rid of those Christmas trees. The Parks & Recreation Department for the City of Hattiesburg wants residents to properly dispose of those trees. “Well, we just got our signs out and got everything situated for the program to begin,” the assistant manager of the Parks & Recreation Department for the City of Hattiesburg, Andy Parker said. The program that Parker is referring to is the Christmas Tree Recycling Program. "Well, this is an annual program that Parks & Recreation manage,” Parker said. “We will recycle live Christmas trees, and we have four drop-off locations.” The four drop-off locat

Hattiesburg Public Works Director Larry Barnes Announced His Resignation

This is a press release from the city of Hattiesburg. HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Public Works Director Larry Barnes announced his resignation from the City of Hattiesburg to pursue other career opportunities. “I appreciate the support of the residents of Hattiesburg during my tenure as Public Works director,” said Barnes. “We have made great progress in becoming more citizen-focused, and I believe the future of Hattiesburg is bright." Barnes has served as Public Works Director since 2014. Under his leadership and direction, the Public Works Department grew with expanded goals and visions as well as with the advancements in pavement and sidewalk renovation improvement projects, curb-side recycling,

Hattiesburg Hosts Holiday Recycling Opportunities

This is a press release from the city of Hattiesburg. HATTIESBURG, Miss. - After the Christmas holidays, the City of Hattiesburg will provide several opportunities for city residents to recycle excess wrapping paper, cardboard boxes and Christmas trees. On Wednesday, Dec. 27 and Thursday, Dec. 28, between 8 a.m. and Noon, the recycling division will be at Kamper Park for its annual “Stuff-a-Truck Recycling Event.” This year, city officials added a second day to accommodate the busy holiday schedule. Accepted recyclables include: Paper Plastic Cardboard Food & beverage cans (rinsed) In addition, Kamper Park will also serve as a drop-off location for any resident who wants to recycle live Chri

How Retail Stores Benefit From the day After Christmas

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - It’s the day after Christmas, and lines to return items could get pretty long. “The returns look as long, if not a little bit stronger than last year,” Academy Sports and Outdoors, store director, Jim Lamb said. Academy is one of the many stores seeing people return merchandise the day after Christmas. However, Lamb says this it's not a bad thing. “We don't have any figures yet on it, but we're having a fair amount of returns brought back to our store today, but they are shopping with us,” Lamb said. “They are going throughout the store not only returning but buying merchandise.” Which is ultimately good for business, and by bringing crowds into the store for a

Mississippi Highway Patrol Says There Were No Fatal Accidents Over the Christmas Period

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Everyone made it home safe for the holidays. According to the Mississippi highway patrol, there were not any fatal accidents during the Christmas period on any state or federal roads. The highway patrol attributes this good news to their high visibility, and also to responsible decision-making made by motorists. The Christmas period started Friday night at 6PM and ended Monday at midnight.

Gwen James hopes to see steady development and growth for Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - If you’re active in the Hattiesburg community you’ve probably met, worked with, or heard of Gwen James. She has worked in the real estate business for over 40 years. Today she is the co-owner of Coldwell Banker Don Nace Incorported and serves on several organizations and business boards. “I think that God just tenderized my heart over the years through life events, it makes me see and understand people’s needs. When you have a family as large as I do and live as long as I have, you have a lot of experience that gives you an opportunity to see needs," Gwen James explained in her office. Her grandparents taught her to give back to the community and her late husband taught

Tatum Court near renovation completion at William Carey

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - William Carey university has spent the year building. The university’s president, Dr. Tommy King, said nearly every building destroyed by January’s EF-3 tornado are now up and running. He said there are three other buildings that are still under construction but the iconic Tatum Court will take a little more time than others. “It will be shifted some to be more centered in the campus. It will also be turned around facing the opposite direction. It will be facing the inner campus. It actually will not be quiet as large because we have built the Asbury Academic Building which will take all of the classrooms and the faculty offices out of the new Tatum.” said Dr. King The w

The Rewards and Difficulties When It Comes to Working on Christmas Day

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - On Christmas day many of restaurants are closed. However, there are a few that are an exception to that rule, and Shoney’s is one of those restaurants. “It can be kind of rough because you got get up and leave your family,” Shoney’s general manager, Cedric Harden said. “But when you get here, just turn it on and try to take care of those guests.” Harden mentioned some of the difficulties and rewards that come with working on Christmas. “Yes, it's a bright side too. We get to feed all the people that don't have a family and friends… so, that's a bright side right there,” Shoney’s employee, Karen Jordan said. “People appreciate us being open,” Harden said. “They

Jones County Emergency Management: Boil water notice in Laurel lifted

(Jones County Emergency Management says the boil water notice in the city of Laurel has been lifted. Emergency Management also provides the following tips following the lift.) When your boil-water notice is lifted: Flush faucets for a total of 10 minutes to introduce system water throughout house plumbing. Example: 1 faucet — run for 10 minutes 2 faucets — run both for 5 minutes 3 faucets — run each for 3-4 minutes Flush any faucet a minimum of 2 minutes to ensure clearing of the line serving the faucet. Discard any drinks, ice, food, etc, made during the boil water notice. Rewash any food or drink contact items (knives, forks, plates, etc.) with "cleared" system water. Check water


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