Americans Are Expected to Spend $9 Billion on Halloween This Year

HATTIESBURG, MISS: According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans will spend approximately $9 billion celebrating Halloween, and local businesses are looking to cash in. “Business has been very good for us,” the store manager for Spirit Halloween, LaKeisha Washington said. The term “very good” could be viewed as an understatement, as stores like Spirit Halloween are set to make a huge profit with Americans projected to spend $3.2 billion on customs. However, Spirit Halloween also plans to use the holiday as an opportunity to raise money for a charity. “We’ve been big on our Spirit of Children donation,” Washington said. “Last year, we gave almost five-thousand dollars to Bl

‘Passion Project’: Professor, musicians organize benefit concert

This is a press release from the University of Southern Mississippi. HATTIESBURG, Miss. - When Galit Kaunitz realized there was a food pantry on campus at The University of Southern Mississippi, she began allocating part of her monthly grocery budget to donate. Now, the School of Music faculty member is trying to make an even bigger impact – and she’s bringing dozens of her colleagues and music students into the mix as well. Kaunitz, who started her fourth year as an assistant professor of oboe this fall, has organized two benefit concerts for the Eagle’s Nest food pantry on the Hattiesburg campus. The first is 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Marsh Hall Auditorium; the second is 6 p.m. We

The Expansion of a Local Company Adds to 230 More Jobs to the Pine Belt

This press release comes from Area Development Partnership HATTIESBURG, MISS. – SaviLinx, a customer service-based outsourcing firm headquartered in Brunswick, Maine, announced Tuesday a recent expansion into a new 43,000 sq. ft. customer service facility in the Cloverleaf Center. SaviLinx currently employes over 260 local citizens who work primarily from their homes, and this expansion increases the company’s local employment by an additional 231 jobs while solidifying their presence with their new leased premises. In addition to these permanent, full-time employees, SaviLinx anticipates hiring over 500 temporary workers to serve seasonal contracts. SaviLinx will now employ 500 full-time em

Former Forrest County Chief Deputy Charles Bolton's appeal denied

HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Thursday, the U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals decided to uphold the convictions and sentences of former Forrest County Chief Deputy, Charles Bolton and his wife Linda Bolton (on tax evasion charges). A federal court jury found the Boltons guilty of tax evasion and filing false income taxes. Charles Bolton was sentenced to 45 months in prison, and Linda Bolton received a 30-month sentence. The couple claimed that checks written to them from attorney John Lee for more than $270,000 over a five-year span were loans not income. Federal prosecutors claimed otherwise. Among other things, Bolton’s attorneys claim that his current sentence of 45 months exceeded the court's sente

Kindness in Action: Hats from Heaven seeks donations to honor Ida Landrum, help other children

(Toggle closed captions on and off through the video player settings.) The Hats from Heaven organization collects hats for children for local hospitals, including the NICU. On December 24th, they will deliver assorted kinds of hats to the kids in time for Christmas. To find out how you can help, visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/730232700672355 or call 601-470-9114 or 601-344-9037.

Attorney General Aims to Stop Teen Vaping

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood recently called vaping an “epidemic” amongst teenagers and wants to warn parents about the dangers of vaping. “It is an epidemic because parents don't know their kids are vaping,” Hood said. “It's these little thumb drive looking devices that they are smoking, and they can easily hide it.” According to the attorney general, vape devices are now the preferred choice for teens. The buy rate for vape devices comes in at a total of 19 percent, while cigarettes have decreased to 2.8 percent. “So, there’s a problem with them selling vape devices to kids,” Hood stated. While the Hood and local vape stores might have opposite views

William Carey University puts a $2 Million donation to good use

HATTIESBURG, MISS. – The Asbury Foundation made a $2 million donation to William Carey University to help with recovery efforts after the January 2017 EF-3 tornado. Tuesday morning, the university showed its gratitude by naming a new build after the organization. “After the tornado, we saw the damage and William Carey being a private university does not have access to the tax dollar like other public universities do,” President of the Asbury Foundation, Bill Ray said. “And we stepped forward with a $2 million donation for them.” The Asbury Academic Building is the second-to-last building project associated with the tornado recovery. The final building to be completed will be the new Tatum

USM research project to help with suicide prevention

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, on average there are 123 suicides per day in the U.S. which averages out to nearly 45,000 persons a year. According to the U.S. Department of Defense 123 of those Americans are National Guardsmen. Today, the DoD is working with the University of Southern Mississippi to find methods of suicide prevention for Mississippi's National Guard. “We’re not bringing in suicidal soldiers and working with them. We’re trying to help them build some skills put some protection in place before things get bad, to see if we can prevent crisis from ever actually emerging in the first place,” said Associate Professor of Psychology

Suspicious Fire at Timberton Softball Complex

HATTIESBURG, MISS. - The Hattiesburg Fire Department plan to take a close look at what they call a "mysterious fire," after the Timberton Softball Complex caught on fire twice Thursday night. Friday morning, the Hattiesburg Fire Department held a press conference to address what exactly happened at this mysterious fire. “We got a call to a structure fire on William Carey Parkway at the Timberton Softball Complex,” assistant chief for the Hattiesburg Fire Department, Danny Wade said. The department received the call around 7 p.m. and one William Carey student standing described what he saw from across the street. “I looked up, and the entire building was in flames,” William Carey student, E

USM to host step show during Homecoming 2018

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The National Pan-Hellenic Council organization at Southern Miss will be host a step show at Bennett auditorium Friday night. Commonly known as the NPHC, this organization plans to use the money from the step show to host community service projects for the Pine Belt community and campus events. The tickets will be available for $10 each before the event and at the door the price will increase to $20 per ticket. For more information visit click here.

Fourth Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner

This press release comes from the Hattiesburg Clinic HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Hattiesburg Clinic Heart & Vascular will host its 4th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner Thursday, Oct. 18, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center, located at 962 Sullivan Dr., Hattiesburg. Law enforcement officers from local agencies are invited to attend, including Lamar County Sheriff’s Department, Forrest County Sheriff’s Department, Hattiesburg Police Department, Purvis Police Department, Petal Police Department, USM Police Department, Forrest General Hospital Police Department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol’s Troop J division. The officers will be treated to a meal, catered

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