Covington County Hospital to host 5K run October 27

Covington County Hospital along with Relay for Life of Covington County will host the 5k Run on Thursday, October 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Covington County Hospital. The pre-registration fee is $30 and $35 on race night. Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. All proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.
Sponsorship opportunities are available.
For information about the run or sponsoring this event, contact the event organizer, Missy Lott at 601-698-0153 or visit

Peanut Festival held this weekend

To many, the Fall season means the change of leaves, cooler temperatures and bonfire gatherings; but for Covington Countians, it’s all about the Peanut Festival.
Now in its fifth year, the Mississippi Peanut Festival, held at Mitchell Farms in Collins, has gained momentum as one of the area’s premier events of the season.
Thousands of people come from all over to get bags of the Mitchells’ delicious peanuts, shop at arts and crafts booths, stroll through the five-acre grass maze and pick a pumpkin from the notorious pumpkin patch.
Guests also enjoy a wide selection of food  vendors, live entertainment and access to the farm’s various amenities.
This year’s event will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, 8 a.m until 6 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 2 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Entry fee  includes admisson to the pumpkin patch and maze.
For more details, call 601-765-8609 or visit the farm’s website at

Main Street paving project underway

Crews with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) began this week the paving project along Main Street in Collins.  Work will be ongoing through October 31 from the hours of 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.
MDOT has contraacted with The Blain Company to pave, mill and stripe Main Street.
“We are very excited about the new paving,” said Mayor V.O. Smith.  “This will make our downtown look real good.  It’s also going to be a nice, smooth ride through town.”
Crews, according to the Mayor, must be off site by 6 a.m. so as not to interfere with daily business along Main Street.
“They will be working at night so they don’t block traffic,” Smith said.  “This project is going to make our town look very nice for the Christmas season.”

DA warns of counterfeit bills in our area

District Attorney Matt Sullivan is cautioning businesses and citizens of Covington, Jasper, Simpson and Smith Counties to beware that his office and other law enforcement agencies are receiving increasing reports of individuals in our area attempting
to use counterfeit bills as legitimate currency.  Sullivan is urging the public to use caution and common sense when accepting cash.  “Some of the fake money being taken into evidence recently appears extremely authentic,” says Sullivan.  It is a crime to knowingly possess, transfer and/or manufacture United States currency.  To do so may be both a federal and state crime.  Please report any violations to your local police departments or sheriff’s offices.

Chamber sets dates for Christmas in the Park

The Covington County Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for its annual Christmas in the Park.  The Bettie Robertson Park in Collins will soon be transformed by thousands of glittering lights on display throughout the Christmas season.
According to Chamber Executive Director Marie Shoemake, this year will include several new displays.
“This is a positive thing for our community,” said Shoemake.  “It has a good economic impact on Covington County and it is something everyone can enjoy.”
Shoemake noted that the chamber is seeking volunteers to help with the event which is held each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night during the Christmas season.
“We are also taking memorials which can be purchased by calling the chamber office,” Shoemake said.
This year’s display will be open November 24-December 31 on Thursday-Saturday nights from 5-9 p.m.
For more information contact the Covington County Chamber of Commerce at 601-765-6012.

CPD receives Labor Day grant for DUI enforcement

The Collins Police Department has received a DUI Enforcement Grant along with an Intox 8000 to help combat driver’s under the influence.  The grant will provide extra officer on the streets at no cost to the taxpayers.  Drivers will see Collins Police checkpoints and extra patrol during the Labor Day holiday.
“We would like to thank Mississippi Office of Highway Safety Officer Director Penny Corn and her staff and Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz and his staff for allowing this to take place,” said Police Chief Joey Ponder.
The Intox 8000 is a breathalizer machine that will be utilized at the police station to determine alcohol levels.

Collins Fire Chief elected president of MS Firefighter’s Association

Collins Fire Chief John Pope was re-elected to serve a third, two-year term as President of the Mississippi Firefighter’s Association (MFFA) during the 79th annual Mississippi Fire Fighter’s and Fire Chief’s Conference held in Natchez earlier this summer.
Pope began his fire service career with the Collins Fire Department in 1996 and worked his way through the department’ ranks.  He was named fire chief in August 2007.  He also served as an instructor chief with the Louisiana State University Fire and Emergency Training Institute in Baton Rouge and as a staff instructor with the Mississippi State Fire Academy in Pearl.
Having served as a member of the MFFA Executive Board for the past 10 years, Pope was first elected president in 2012.  In 2012, the length of office term was extended to two years.  Pope was re-elected to his third consecutive term with overwhelming support from the association’ membership and conference delegates.
“It is an honor and privilege to be re-elected to serve as president of this great association,” said Pope.  “I remain humbled by the confidence that has been placed in my ability to lead and guide our association.  I vow to continue to work diligently to represent the fire service and ensure that the issues, concerns and needs of our firefighters are properly addressed.”
During his first two terms, he worked to see many important issues effecting firefighters were addressed.  He has worked to see legislation, especially the Mississippi Firefighter’s and Law Officer’s Death Benefit, were passed.
Pope is a resident of Collins and he and his wife, Rebecca, have three daughters Bela, Blayne and Blaire.
The Mississippi Fire Fighter’s Association was established in 1923 and represents over 16,000 firefighters throughout the State of Mississippi.

Demo begins to make way for Main Street green space

The City of Collins will soon get a green space on Main Street.
The Board of Aldermen voted to purchase a piece of property that once housed the Collins Cleaners and the old Bill Dent Law Office building.  The cleaners is falling in and had been declared unsafe by Public Works Director Bob Shoemake.
Mayor V.O. Smith explained his ideas for the 30’x90’ property.
“We began revitalizing our downtown in 2003 with new lighting, sidewalks and landscaping,” he said. “Several years later we received a grant to renovate the depot on the east end of town, and we’ve said we need a green area on Main Street.”
Plans for the project include two entrances built from the antique bricks from the buildings.
“We want to create two arches like we have at the Robertson Park,” Smith said.
Smith explained that in addition to the arches, the park will include restrooms, a small concession stand, a small stage with an arbor for concerts, tables and chairs with umbrellas and a fountain in the center.
“It will be a place that can be used for Santa Claus during our Christmas events, and it will be a place where we can have special events going on during Okatoma Festival.  It’s going to be a spot we have needed on Main Street.”
Smith said he would like to have the space finished by the Christmas season.
“I think it’s going to be a big asset for Collins,” he said.  “Wherever I go, people always brag on Main Street in Collins.  It’s important to keep it looking nice.”
Smith said he estimates the project to cost about $25,000-$30,000.
“We are going to use the money we receive off the city’s rental property at the industrial park for this project,” he said.  “We have several hundred thousand dollars from that rental property so it wont be taxpayer funds that are used.”
The park will include lighting and landscaping.
“It will be another area along Main Street we can be proud of,” said Smith.