Community News

Community News

NOTICE OF OPEN BOARD MEETINGS

 

Notice is hereby given that the Neshoba County Board of Supervisors will hold its regular meetings for the months of April, May and June 2021 as follows:

     

       Monday                 April 5, 2021            9:00 AM

       Monday                 April 19, 2021           9:00 AM

       Monday                 May 3, 2021         9:00 AM

        Monday                 May 17, 2021        9:00 AM

       Monday                 June 7, 2021         9:00 AM

        Monday                 June 21, 2021        9:00 AM

 

All Board Meetings are held at the Neshoba County Courthouse in the Board of Supervisors meeting room.  Any special meetings will be posted on the Neshoba County Courthouse bulletin board and published on the Neshoba County website at www.neshobacounty.net at least five (5) days prior to the meeting.            

GUY NOWELL, CLERK OF THE BOARD

Open Arms Food

Meal Ministry

During the pandemic, Open Arms Food-Meal Ministry is providing bags of food to the community on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 3:45 PM UNTIL 5:15. They are located at 239 Railroad Ave. For more information call 601-663-8505. Next Date will be May 11 & May 25th. Please remember hours of 3:45 pm-5:15 pm.

Neshoba County School Board accepts $2.5M bid for major renovations

A $2.5 million bid was accepted Thursday morning by the Neshoba County School Board to totally renovate restrooms in three buildings at Neshoba Central Elementary School.

Phase 1 of a three-phase project will also include new heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in the high school gym and old physical education gym.

The project will be paid for with federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds which address the impact of COVID-19 on schools.

The funds are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act passed by Congress.

Neshoba County Superintendent of Education Lundy Brantley said ESSER funds can only be used “to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. It all addresses airflow and cleanliness.”

Restrooms in the first, second and fourth grade buildings at the elementary school will be totally renovated.

The second-grade building dates back to the 1960s and includes the original restrooms, Brantley said.

Neshoba Central Elementary School Principal Tiffany Plott could not be more excited for the project to get underway.

“The second-grade building was built around 1963 and nothing has been done to the student, teachers and guest restrooms since then,” she said.

“We are really in great need to get this update. Plans are to get touchless faucets and automatic flush toilets. This will help in keeping things clean and sanitized. Not so many people will be touching the same areas of the restroom anymore.”

She noted that almost 1,500 people use the restrooms every day at the elementary school.

 The restroom project is expected to be completed by July 30 while the gym project should be finished by the end of August.

Burks-Mordecai Builders, Inc. of Columbus was awarded the contract for $2,566,000.

Phase 2 of the overall ESSER project is expected to get underway in the fall with additional HVAC, new windows, new exterior doors and additional restroom renovations.

“Phase 2 will be doing things that minimally disrupt the educational environment because it will be during the school year,” Dr. Brantley said.

Phase 3 will get underway in the summer of 2022 and include additional HVAC and window replacements at the elementary.

“People have asked what we plan to do with our ESSER money and I quickly tell them,” Brantley said. “We have been wanting to and planning to do this for a while. As soon as Congress passed this in December, we started working on it.”

He noted that the new HVAC systems in the two gyms will provide much needed air circulation in wake of COVID-19. Neither presently are air conditioned.

“We are really excited about that. It is something we’ve wanted to do for a while,” he said.

The first phase of work was approved by the Mississippi Department of Education.

Other bids considered by the School Board were $2,639,000 by J & J Contractors, Inc., $2,683,000 by Ralph McKnight & Son Construction, Inc., and $3,078,400 by Perry Construction Company.

 

--Story by Debbie Burt Myers

Neshoba Central students win

numerous state TSA awards

 

The Neshoba Central High School Chapter of the Mississippi Technology Student Association captured 58 awards in the state TSA competition. They will compete nationally in June. All competitions this year are virtual.

 

Winners included:

 

Debating Technology Issues: second place, Leyton Turk and Hunter Pollack- Bavetta.

Essays On Technology: second place, Spencer Rea.

Digital Video Production: first place, Aiden Collins, Jacob Goforth, Ethan Hardin, William Schmid and Wayne Weaver.

On Demand Video: first place, Aiden Collins, William Dorman, Kathryn Dreifuss, Ethan Hardin, William Schmid and Wayne Weaver.

Chapter Team: first place, Tyus Bell, Damien Clark, Madison Eickhoff, Briauna Eubanks, Justin Hendrix and Hunter Pollack-Bavetta.

Coding: second place, Matthew Pecoraro and Tony Riddle.

Forensic Science: second place, Brandon Beckham and Hunter Pollack-Bavetta.

Technology Bowl: first place, Damien Clark, William Smith and Zavibien Welch.

Children’s Stories: second place, Heather Nicholson, Briauna Eubanks, Natalie Page and Kylie Posey.

Board Game Design: second place, Ethan Bounds, Zoie Herring, Devin McCoy, Malcom McDonald and Mary Moran (team one). First place, Madison Eickhoff and Noah Savell (team two).

Extemporaneous Speech: first place, Riley Robinson.

Fashion Design and Technology: first place, Annalise Bell and Daylynn Mingo.

Music Production: third place, Damien Clark, Tony Grant, Braedon Raffield, Omarion Stribling and Zavibien Welch.

Photographic Technology: second place, Zoie Herring. First place, Jonathan Andy.

Prepared Presentation: second place, Aiden Collins.

Video Game Design: first place, Madison Eickhoff, Logan Flowers, Brice Foster, Justin Hendrix and Samuel Knight.

Information Technology Fundamentals + Preparation Exam: first grade, Gracie Waldrop.

Cybersecurity: third place, Jackson Stroud; second place, Zavibien Welch; and first place, Damien Clark.

TSA Teacher of the Year: Sedera Anderson.

CHOCTAW INDIAN FAIR ANNOUNCES ENTERTAINMENT

The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has announced the 71st edition of the Choctaw Indian Fair will take place July 14-17, 2021, in Choctaw,  Mississippi! Taking the Main Stage at this year’s festivities are top Country and Contemporary Christian music artists. 

Thursday, July 15, 2021 -Jimmie Allen

Friday, July 16, 2021-Zach Williams

Saturday, July 17, 2021-Brett Young

The event will include four days of fun, social celebrations, cultural activities, arts and crafts  demonstrations, stickball tournaments, and professional nightly entertainment in beautiful Choctaw, Mississippi. 

Neshoba Central High School engineering teacher Sedera Anderson, center, was named Mississippi Technology Student Association Teacher of the Year after her students captured several awards at the state competition. At left is Damien Clark, president of the Neshoba Central TSA Chapter, and at right is Kaden McDonald.

 

Sedera Anderson named state

TSA Teacher of the Year

 

It was no surprise that Neshoba Central engineering teacher Sedera Anderson was named Mississippi Technology Student Association Teacher of the Year after her students captured 58 awards at the state competition.

Thirty-three students brought home first-place awards, 19 received second-place awards and six earned third-place awards. They competed in teams and/or individually in 18 categories, ranging from debating technology issues and coding to forensic science and cybersecurity.

The students are enrolled in engineering and digital media classes at Neshoba.

Shannon Broom teaches digital media while Anderson teaches engineering at Neshoba.

The state competition was held virtually this year. The group will compete on the national level later this summer.

Anderson said the students had to use technology and their own creativity in designing their projects.

The competition also required them to have portfolios, which included step-by-step outlines of their work with pictures throughout.

The students used the Solid Works drawing program, 3D printers and other tools to design board games.

The Technology Student Association is a national organization of students engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Mississippi Association falls under the umbrella of the state Department of Education.

Superintendent of Education Lundy Brantley lauded Anderson’s commitment.

“Mrs. Anderson truly deserves this award,” Dr. Brantley said. “She is so committed to growing her students every day.”

Neshoba Central High School Principal Jason Gentry was also excited to learn of Anderson’s recognition.

"We are very proud and honored to have a teacher of the caliber of Mrs. Anderson at NCHS,” Gentry said. “She deeply cares about her students and is always looking for ways to improve her program and NCHS as a whole. It is a great honor for her to be chosen as TSA Teacher of the Year!"

Anderson was excited about her recognition but her students’ accomplishments brought her the most pleasure.

The Neshoba County native and 1987 graduate of NCHS, worked as an engineer for Peavey Electronics for seven years before coming to Neshoba Central first as a volunteer and later as an algebra teacher. This is her fourth year teaching engineering.

Her students speak with pride about their teacher and feel blessed that she shares her knowledge with them as their facilitator.

“She is very informative,” said Neshoba TSA Chapter President Damien Clark.

Anderson got Clark interested in engineering when he was in her algebra class.

“She was telling me that she was going to be head of the engineering program the next year,” Clark said. “Engineering sounded interesting to me so I decided to give it a try.”

Clark joined his junior year and found it to be “the most amazing thing because I’ve always been a hands-on person. We got to build robots the first year and we did coding.”

Now a senior, he admires Anderson because of her knowledge in the engineering field.

“She knows what she is talking about because she was previously an engineer herself,” he said. “She knows a lot about many different things. She likes to stay on us and makes sure we get our tasks done in a timely and correct manner.”

 Clark and many of his classmates look up to Anderson because she is eager to learn new things along with her students.

“She’s very curious,” he said. “She is constantly learning with us. We are getting our national certification and she is learning with us to also get certified. The same thing goes with her and our OSHA certification.”

Clark captured first place awards in the state TSA competition in Chapter Team, Technology Bowl and Cybersecurity.

Anderson enjoys watching her students utilize their creativity.

“I am in awe of them when they show me a video game that they created or something else,” she said.

 Anderson’s students are quick to note that she is not one of those teachers who will hand out material and then sit down at her desk.

She is more of a facilitator who guides them in the right direction.

“I want them to figure out what they love and what direction they want to go,” she said. “There are so many diverse interests in the engineering program.”

They touch on many areas of engineering including mechanical and civil throughout the two-year course.

Anderson attended East Central Community College and Mississippi State University where she earned in degree in industrial engineering and a minor in math.

After working at Peavey, she took a break from engineering to spend a year at home with her two children.

 “I kind of started volunteering at the school and I went back and got my alternate route certification to teach. I taught algebra for 18 years.”

 While she loved those 18 years, it’s clear that her heart remains in engineering.  When Neshoba added the program four years ago, she was the perfect fit.

“It just let me go back and use the engineering degree that I started with,” she said. “My priorities just kinda changed a little bit when the kids came along.”

Anderson’s work with teenagers doesn’t end in the classroom as she is also the youth director at The Sanctuary church.

“Working with teenagers is my calling in whatever capacity, at church, school, etc.,” she said. “I sometimes question my sanity with it but it’s my calling.”

She uses her talents and her “giving heart” to impact and change lives in whatever capacity she is led to.

“It just makes it fun to do it from a technology side,” she said.

 

Story by Debbie Burt Myers

Neshoba County Vegetable Growers Association

It’s that time of year again! The Neshoba County Vegetable Growers Association is starting up their Farmers’ Markets for the season. Becoming a vendor is easy! If you grow your own fruit and/or vegetables, or you produce another type of Agriculture related product like flowers, honey, cottage foods, etc. just give the Neshoba County Extension Office a call at 601-656-4011. If you are interested in being vendors, you can pay the Vegetable Growers Association $50 in order to be a vendor for the entire season, or you can pay $10 per day that you actually sell at our markets.”

 

 

Neshoba County Vegetable Growers Association Farmer’s Market Schedule for 2021

Farm Bureau Hwy 16 Market will be Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday from    6:00 – 8:00 a.m during months of June- August. *All Saturdays except the 2nd Saturday of each month

Fresh Market @ the Depot will be held each 2nd Saturdays of each month from 7:00 – 12:00 during June – August. For more information contact the Neshoba County Extension Office a call at 601-656-4011.

Neshoba County Fair Entertainment 2021 Fair

Entertainment for the 2021 Neshoba County Fair has been announced.

• Michael Hardy, Tuesday, July 27

• Trace Adkins, Wednesday, July 28

• Jordan Davis, Thursday, July 29

• Riley Green, Friday, July 30

The Fair runs July 23-30.

COVID-19 Immunizations

The state of Mississippi is currently giving COVID19 immunizations for the following:

·         Free Drive-Through Vaccinations

·         MSDH operates free drive-through vaccinations sites in locations around the state.

·         If you are 18 or older, please schedule your first-dose appointment online

·         If you are 16-17 years old, make a drive-through site appointment by calling 877-978-6453.

·         When you arrive for testing, expect vaccination and related paperwork to take about 10 minutes. We also have a 15-minute observation period after vaccination. Sign up online at covidvaccine.umc.edu or call 1-877-978-6453. The website is the best option, officials have said.

 

4H WOODWORKING CLUB

Neshoba County 4H is restarting its Woodworking Club for youth ages 10-14 who would like to learn the basics of woodworking. Local volunteers are donating tools, time, and wisdom to safely teach our youth the joy and fulfillment of the craft. Participants will learn shop safety along with a wealth of other skills and woodworking techniques. The cost to join is only $25. Parents of children interested in joining need to call the Neshoba County Extension Office to enroll. The class is limited to 8 participants, so it will be first come first serve. For questions or to enroll please contact Austin Ainsworth, Neshoba County Extension Agent, at 601-656-4011.

Fellowship Baptist Church

Fellowship Baptist would like to remind you they are open for in-person Worship Services on Sunday. The have created a safe environment for you and your family to attend Sunday Worship Services. An on-line feed is available also. Pastor, Terry L. Anderson invites all to attend.

4H S.A.F.E.T.Y. Shooting Sports

Neshoba County 4H has a well-established S.A.F.E.T.Y. Shooting Sports Club for youth ages 8- 18. The goal of this club is to teach the youth of our community about firearms safety and conservation via regular practices and a little friendly competition our kids also learn a great deal responsibility and have fun doing it. The disciplines offered are Archery, Shotgun, .22 rifle, .22 pistol, air rifle, and air pistol. Parents with children interested in joining need to call the Neshoba Extension Office at 601-656-4011 When you contact the extension service, you will learn what is necessary to enroll in 4H as well as all the details associated with joining this particular club.

Community Development Partnership–

How about a Neshoba County Fair Cook Book! They are only $ 15. Contact Amelia Henson at the Community Development Partnership at 601-656-1000.

 

Neshoba Central High School is partnering with the Neshoba General Hospital to implement Project SEARCH, a unique, business led transition-to-work program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 

Neshoba Central partners with

county hospital in Project SEARCH

 

Neshoba Central High School is partnering with the county hospital to implement Project SEARCH, a unique, business led transition-to-work program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The nation-wide program comes under the umbrella of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services.

It facilitates a seamless combination of classroom instruction, career explorations and hands-on training through worksite rotations.

Students working as interns at Neshoba General Hospital might work in such fields as food services, housekeeping, shipping and receiving, physical facilities, etc.

The intern recruitment and selection process is currently under way at Neshoba Central. Those selected will complete three 10-week job rotations over the next school year.

“The partnership with Neshoba General and Project SEARCH is an outstanding opportunity for our students to gain vital work experience.,” said Dr. Lundy Brantley, superintendent of education.

 

Founded in 1996, Project SEARCH’s goal is to help ensure the interns become happy, productive adults once they leave high school, said Mendy Bowen, director of Special Education at Neshoba Central.

“They will get on-the-job training and experience,” she said. “The outcome is, hopefully, some type of competitive employment.”

The program comes under the umbrella of the Mississippi Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

Neshoba General Hospital is excited about the partnership with Project SEARCH and Neshoba Central, Lee McCall, chief executive officer, said.

“We look forward to working with these students to help them develop competitive skills for future employment opportunities,” he said.

While the interns are not guaranteed jobs under the program, the focus is to ensure that they gain employable skills to utilize after high school. Interns must be at least 18 years old.

A number of hospitals across Mississippi participate in Project SEARCH, including Forrest General Hospital, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Baptist Medical Center, North Mississippi Medical Center, among others.

Bowen is eager to get the program under way at Neshoba Central, starting with the 2021-22 fall semester.

“This will give our students real world experience outside of the classroom,” she said. “They will be able to show their abilities and not just their disabilities.”

Only four to six students will be selected for the program, initially, but Bowen expects to expand in the future with 10 to 12 interns, depending on the number of opportunities available at the hospital.

The first few weeks of the program are focused on intern orientation, hands-on skill assessment and familiarization with the business environment.

They will also work on employability and functional skills for approximately one hour of their day.

During the last few months of the program, the emphasis is on refining skills, achieving the career goal and carrying out individualized job development.

By the end of the program, interns will have completed their resume and portfolio and, hopefully, be ready to enter the workforce.

Project SEARCH serves young people with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities, who are typically on an Individual Education Program and in their last year of high school eligibility.

 

Story by Debbie Burt Myers

Jacob Drury was named the new Neshoba Central Middle School principal Tuesday morning. He introduced his wife, Courtney, and three children, Reiney, Aiden and Kinsley, to the School Board. Not pictured is daughter, Ashtyn.

 

Jacob Drury to take helm at Neshoba Middle School

 

A new Neshoba Central Middle School principal was hired Tuesday morning by a unanimous vote of the Neshoba County School Board.

Jacob Drury, currently the assistant principal of Northeast Lauderdale High School, will take the helm at Neshoba Middle School on July 1, replacing Cody Killen who resigned to take a position in another school district.

Drury and his wife, Courtney, currently reside in Neshoba County. They have four children: Kinsley, 3, Aiden, 7, Reiney, 8 months and Ashtyn, 15.

Drury is originally from Noxapater and his wife, from Meridian.

He introduced his family to the School Board Tuesday and called his new position “a dream job.”

Neshoba County Superintendent of Education Lundy Brantley said Drury “brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our district. He truly shares the ‘One Neshoba’ mindset that we have developed over the past four years. Mr. Drury is a true ‘academic’ who is focused on student achievement and seeing that all of our students and staff members grow each day. We are very excited about having Mr. Drury on our team.”

Dr. Brantley said he has been keeping up with Drury for a couple of years and “has watched his progress as an administrator.”

Drury told the School Board that he was “humbled and honored to be given this opportunity.  It’s honestly a dream job for me. It’s not something that I tried to get, the Lord let it happen. He let it come to me. My family lives here. My kids go or will go to school here.  So I have just as much of a stake for not just the middle school, but all the schools to be successful.

“I want you to know that I am going to give it my all. Go Rockets!”

He met the middle school staff Tuesday afternoon.

The Drurys have lived in Neshoba County since June 2017. They attend Mars Hill Baptist Church.

He loves baseball, basketball and football and spending time with his family.

The Drurys like to travel. While he favors the mountains, his wife prefers the beach! They also enjoy camping.

“I like to grill because I like to eat,” Drury said.

His goal at Neshoba Middle School is to help the school continue to go in the right direction to make it as great as it can be.

“I think that is my number one priority,” he said. “I want the school to continue to grow and be successful. I want the community to be proud of the school and the students to be proud to be a part of the school as well.”

Drury said he would like to finish his career at Neshoba Central.

“I’ve got 21 years left. It would be awesome to look up in 21 years and still be here,” he said.

Before going to Northeast Lauderdale, Drury was an assistant principal at Meridian High School and an academic coach for the Meridian Public School District.

In his earlier years, he was a mathematics teacher at Carver Middle School in Meridian, where he was named Teacher of the Year in 2015-2016.  Before that, he was a mathematics teacher and football coach at Armstrong Middle School in Starkville.

Drury earned his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark., his Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi State University and an associate degree from East Central Community College.

 

--Story by Debbie Burt Myers

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATER DAY SAINTS

THE CHURCH OF THE JESUS CHRIST OF LATER DAY SAINTS INVITES YOU TO SERVICES EACH SUNDAY AT 10 AM AT 1033 BOUNDS AVENUE. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT THE PHILADELPHIA MISSIONSRIRS AT 601-832-6160.

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Miss Black Neshoba County

The pageant is scheduled to be held on Saturday, June 19 at the Westside Community Center. The pageant will begin at 6 p.m. and is free to the public. To be eligible to compete in the Miss Black Neshoba County pageant, young women must be 16 years of age by June 19, and not have reached their 22nd birthday by June 19, 2021. All contestants must be residents of Neshoba County or have attended or graduated from a school located in Neshoba County. Applications are available now by going online to www.missbnc.com or may picked up at the Depot. There is a $50 registration fee. For more information, visit www.missbnc.com or email Pageant Director Erica Clemons Moore at missblackneshobacounty@gmail.com.