Sunday, May 31, 2009

National Boating and Fishing Week


Free fishing days set for Mississippi parks -


The only thing better than spending a relaxing day fishing is getting to fish for free.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks is observing National Boating and Fishing Week by offering two weekends of free fishing at state lakes and state parks lakes.

June 6-7 and June 13-14 are designated as free fishing days and no launch fees or permits are required on these days. A valid Mississippi fishing license is required.

"This is just another way we can encourage people to get out and fish," MDWFP Fishing Bureau Director Ron Garavelli said. "This is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time fishing and we hope people take advantage of it."

For more information, call 601-432-2400.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vicksburg Riverfront Murals

The final riverfront mural will be unveiled in front of the floodwall here in downtown Vicksburg completing an eight year project. It will also complete the 32 murals on the floodwall and will honor a grocer, Jitney-Jungle.

"I am so excited, you cannot imagine," said Nellie Caldwell, head of the Riverfront Mural Committee. "To see the whole wall finished and is a marvelous feeling."

Sponsored by the Nosser family and friends, the mural depicts Jitney-Jungle, a first-of-its-kind supermarket to open in Vicksburg in 1933, and the owners who opened it, the late Pete Sr. and Bessie Nosser of Vicksburg.

"The Jitney-Jungle was a lot of things all under one roof," said Rowdy Nosser, a grandson of Pete Sr. and Bessie Nosser. "It was a central part of life in the city. It was a place where people were truly appreciated in that time."

The store housed a cafeteria, which Rowdy Nosser referred to as a "gathering place," a toy store and a delicatessen.

The Nosser family owned and operated four Jitney-Jungle grocery stores in Vicksburg for over 50 years.

The guest speaker will be former Vicksburg Mayor Johnny Holland, and Miss South Outstanding Teen Grace Claire Cordes will sing the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Immediately after the unveiling, a reception will follow at the Art Park beneath a covered tent.

The event will feature foods from local restaurants and door prizes, while celebrating the end of the 32-mural historic Riverfront Mural project.

"We really want all of our sponsors and everyone involved to be in attendance," said Caldwell.

"This is the final thing." Caldwell expects more than 400 people to attend.

Almost all murals in the series were paid for with donations. The project followed a visit to Paducah, KY., where Caldwell saw Dafford's work and suggested a similar project here. Mayor Laurence Leyens agreed and named her chairman of the committee. The Dafford murals cost from $15,000 to almost $20,000 each and the City of Vicksburg landscaped, fenced and lighted the area.

Monday, May 18, 2009

End of school year

This is the last week of school (hallelujah), and we're getting ready for the summer. A few questions:

• Do you have school-aged children? Is one of your children starting kindergarten in the fall?

• What are your summer plans, as far as daycare? Are you happy where your child is in daycare this summer?

• What are you doing to get ready for the next school year? Do you know the principal at your child's school? Are you active in the PTA or other parent groups?

I'm asking these questions to share tips I've learned, and to encourage you to get involved in your child's education. It was scary for me to see my daughter walk through those doors on the first day of kindergarten, not knowing her teacher or the other kids in that classroom. I cried at the thought of her growing up, and the uncertainty of her first year in "big school."


Tip: get to know your child's teacher, especially at the kindergarten level. This is the person who is going to spend every day with your child, and will be doing her best to teach her whole class the basics of the kindergarten curriculum. Ask her about her classroom management techniques, and what you can do to reinforce at home her discipline system. If there's something you disagree with, talk to her about it; don't try to undermine at home what she's doing at school to keep order in the class. Keep in mind that some of the kids in her class have never been in a classroom setting, and are going to have a difficult time adjusting to the structure.

And one more tip: Read to your child. Read every day, and encourage him/her to read, too.


As for summer plans, it's tempting to be lazy, sit at home and play video games all summer. But try to do what you can to keep your child mentally and physically fit in the off season. There are tons of summer camps in the arts, athletics and, yes, academic. If you have to work and can't take your child to camps, look for a summer program that offers more than just baby-sitting. Look for a program that has field trips, maybe dance class or swim lessons. Keep your child learning and active. And check at your child's school for summer reading lists.


For next year, make time to get to know the principal at your child's school. Ask questions about the curriculum your child will be learning, and things you can do at home to prepare. Find out how the school ranks on the state's accountability scale. What's going on in the gifted classrooms, and what are the facilities like? Is the building clean and organized? What resources are available in the library?

And, of course, ask about the PTA or PTO. For working moms, it's hard to be at the school every day, and to go to officer meetings that are held during work hours. But most PTA meetings are at night, and there are always volunteer opportunities. It's not easy to be a presence at your child's school, but when parents are involved, children always, always do better in the classroom.


This school year, I was not able to be part of the PTO at daughter's school. But next year, she'll be in school where I work and I will be there. It's going to be nice to have lunch with her sometimes, and to work with the principals and teachers. I've already been recruited to the PTA board, and I'm looking forward to getting to know the other parents as well. Daughter has done OK so far, and I'm expecting her to only get better as time goes on.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Water Valley Founders Day/ Market Fest

This weekend is the annual Founders Day/ Market Festival in Water Valley. This is downtown along Main Street and is filled with games, shows, music and of course the farmers market.
The North Mississippi Herald has several great articles about the festival.
Please come enjoy the fun.

May 9
Market Fest Event Schedule

8 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Farmers Market Kick Off: at Magnolia Tree on Main & Blackmur (includes fresh produce, breads, honey, eggs, etc….
Fiddlin' Rooster Kids Train Ride
10 a.m. to noon – Children's Stage at Farmer Market Jim McGaw Kelli and Kelly
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Official selling time for Arts & Crafts and Food vendors
12:30 Festival Announcements: Bandstand
1:30/2:30 p.m. – Games at Marchbank Park, corner of Panola and Main including: Sack races, hula hoops, three-legged race, horseshoes, spoon and egg race
11 to 5 p.m. – Historic Quilt Show Mechanics Bank Community Room
2 to 4 p.m. – Student Art Show at Imagination Station
12:45 to 8 p.m. – Music at the Bandstand Water Valley Middle School Girl's Band -
Jake Fussell - Rosie and Jamie Posey - Swinging Prevaricators - Brad Van Winkle Wiley and the Checkmates
8 p.m. – Fireworks Display: Downtown

T-shirts are available in sizes from 3x to youth small. They cost $15 and are available at the Main Street Office, located at 207 Main St.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swing Into Summer

Madison announces the Swing Into Summer concert series and picnic which kicks off May 7 for the 11th year.

Families are invited to bring picnic baskets, blankets and lawn chairs as they kick back and enjoy the festivities. New activities are a Monster Spider Jump on May 7 and a homemade ice cream party, courtesy of First Baptist Church, on May 14 and 28.

New to the Swing Into Summer stage will be The Pates on May 7. The Johnny Crocker Band will entertain the crowd on May 14. New to Madison will be Something Blue band on May 21 and The Magnolias on May 28.

Featured children's activities are:

# May 7, monster spider jump, petting zoo and Dorian the Magician.

# May 14, ice cream party, bubbles, hoola hoops and Smiley the Clown.

# May 21, pony rides, space jumps, face painting, hoop shots, rock wall, trackless train and bubbles.

# May 28, ice cream party, sno-ball junction and rock wall.

A weekly drawing at 7 p.m. will be for spring garden items: a porch swing on May 7, two urns on May 14, hanging baskets on May 21 and a wheelbarrow full of gardening items on May 28.

Swing Into Summer is a free event. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. No pets are allowed at the alcohol-free event. In case of rain, events will be moved inside the Madison Square Center for the Arts.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Heatwave Classic Triathlon

"Entering its 24th year!"
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Starts at 7:00 a.m.
This year's race will consist of a ½ mile swim in the Ross Barnett Reservoir, a 24 ½ mile bike ride along the scenic and historic Natchez Trace Parkway, and ending with a 10K run along Ridgeland's heavily shaded Multi-Use Trail.
Registration Fees:
Early Registration (by May 15th): Individual $65

Relay $125



After May 16th: Individual $75

Relay $135
All registration forms must accompany race fees. No refunds no transfers will be given. Registration fee will cover T-shirt, swim cap, post race meal, and entertainment. The last day to register for the race is June 5, 2009.
Packet Pickup Information:
Friday, June 5th - 3:00 - 7:00pm -
677 South Pear Orchard Road in Ridgeland
(see map under Travel)
Saturday, June 6th - 5:30 - 6:00am - Race site
For more information contact Ridgeland Recreation and Parks at (601)853-2011

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