City adopts rate increases

The City of Collins has announced rate increase that will take effect October 1, 2018.  The new rates for sewer are $14.00for 3,000 gallons or less,and $3.35 per 1,000 gallons thereafter.

The garbage rates will increase to $12.00 per month for residential, $20 per month for small commercial and $100 per month for large commercial.

Mississippi Meet the Microlenders in Collins

The U.S. Small Business Administration invites you to the Mississippi Meet the MicroLenders in Collins, a Small Business Borrower-Lender Match-Making event.  This event will be held Wednesday, July 25, 2018, at the Collins Train Depot (110 Ash Avenue in Collins), 9 a.m.-12 p.m.  Sign-in will be at 8:30 a.m.  The event will provide small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet with MicroLenders, SBA and Resource Partners to discuss resources to help start or grow their businesses.

SBA’s Microloan Program, which is focused on startups, minority and other underserved markets, provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses start up and expand by providing working capital, materials, supplies, equipment and inventory.  Microloans play an important role in distressed communities where access to conventional lending remains a challenge.  Take advantage of the opportunity to meet one-on-one with SBA Mississippi MicroLenders and SBA Mississippi Resource Partners, the Mississippi SBDC Network 1-800-725-7232, SCORE 769-208-3593, Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) 662-325-4990 and the Women Business Center of Mississippi (WBC) 601-376-9895.

Family Fourth celebration to feature children and pet parade

The City of Collins is hosting the first annual Family Fourth on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at the Collins Civic Center. The event will be held from 5-9 p.m.

Featured activities will include a children and pet parade. Children ages 0-12 years may ride on bicycles, in wagons or walk in the parade. They are encouraged to decorate the bikes, wagons, etc. in red, white, and blue. Pets on a leash with their owners are invited to participate in the parade as well.

Other activities include live music with a special presentation by the Covington County Mass Choir as well as a hula hoop contest, pie eating contest, sack race, three-legged race, food, fun and more.

The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and attend this free event which will end with a fireworks display.

For more information about this upcoming event, please contact Collins City Hall at 601-765-4491.

Family Fourth celebration to be held in Collins

The City of Collins will host its first annual Family Fourth celebration on Wednesday, July 4, 2018, at the Collins Civic Center.  The event will be held from 5-9 p.m. and will feature Covington County’s Mass Choir, a children’s parade, games and activities, entertainment, food and more.  The public is invited to bring lawn chairs and enjoy this free family event!

For more information, contact Collins City Hall at 601-765-4491.

Driver’s license station reopens in Collins

The Mississippi Department of Public Safety has announced that it has re-opened its station in the Covington County Courthouse. The station will be open in Collins on the third Wednesday of each month from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. beginning today, April 18, 2018. They are located in the Covington County Justice Courtroom.

City of Collins seeks entries for Okatoma Festival parade

The 29th Annual Okatoma Festival will be held on Saturday, May 5. As a part of the day’s celebration, the Okatoma Festival parade will be held at 10:30 a.m. in Collins. This year’s theme is “Home Sweet Home”. Participants are encouraged to enter floats, four wheelers, trucks, cars or golf carts. Due to safety concerns, walkers will not be permitted to participate in the parade with the exception of bands, color guard and the Camp Shelby Youth Challenge. For more information or to receive an entry form, call Collins City Hall at 601-765-4491 or visit

Speed named Miss Hospitality

Molly Speed of Collins was crowned Covington County’s Miss Hospitality. Three contestants competed for the title. Speed will represent Covington County in the state Miss Hospitality pageant held July 20-21, 2018, in Hattiesburg. This year’s contestants included Speed, Dakota Lepard who placed second alternate and Anna Saucier who placed first alternate. Mississippi’s hallmark hospitality is beautifully displayed through the tradition of the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition. Held in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the program brings together the state’s best and brightest young ladies in competition for the title of Mississippi Miss Hospitality – a title that comes with a ticket to travel across the State of Mississippi and the responsibility of promoting Mississippi’s economic development and tourism industries. The mission of the Miss Hospitality Competition continues to be the identification of a young woman between the ages of 18 and 24 to serve as a goodwill ambassador for one year, showing hospitality to everyone she meets. The program allows young women to continue the tradition of beauty, grace, and dignity, while celebrating the intelligent and gracious qualities of today’s modern woman. The Miss Hospitality tradition began in 1949 under Governor Fielding Wright and the Mississippi Legislature. Since then, the program has called the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Starkville, and now Hattiesburg its home. Presented by VISITHATTIESBURG™, the City of Hattiesburg, and The University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Miss Hospitality Competition offers more than $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to young women from across the state. Molly Speed, 23, is the daughter of Wilford and Nancy Speed of Collins. She is a graduate of Presbyterian Christian School, University of Mobile and is currently seeking a graduate degree at the University of Southern Mississippi where she is studying psychology. Speed is active in her community where she has organized basketball camps, worked in Vacation Bible School, traveled on mission trips and helped with two natural disaster recovery efforts. She’s also organized community service projects for Lady Eagle basketball. Her hobbies include basketball and intramural sports. Speed plans to graduate from USM and impact the lives of young people through education and athletics. Her goal is to leave every place she comes in contact with better than she found it.

Candidates Forum to be held April 2

The six announced Republican candidates for District 3 Congressional post will participate in an April 2, 2018 forum at the Collins Civic Center. Incumbent Representative Gregg Harper joined over thirty other members of the United States House of Representatives who will not seek re-election in 2018. Harper served five terms as Congressman for Mississippi District 3. The Covington County Republican Party and the Covington County Republican Women are hosting the forum so that District 3 voters can have the opportunity to meet each candidate from 6-7:00 pm. The forum will begin at 7:00 pm with each candidate discussing the issues that he seeks to address if elected Congressman. There will be a follow-up question and answer session. Announced candidates are state Senator Sally Doty, an attorney of Brookhaven; Morgan Dunn, Managing Director of Vestra LLC, a health care consulting firm based in Magee; Whit Hughes, Jackson, Baptist Health Care Systems; Michael Guest, Brandon, Rankin County District Attorney; Perry Parker, retired international investment banker, Seminary, MS and a native Covington Countian; Katherine Tate, Tupelo, an educational consultant. March 1, 2018, was the qualifying deadline. At this time there are no announced Democratic candidates. The Republican Primary Election is Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The public is invited to the April 2, 2018, CCRP Forum, Collins Civic Center, Highway 49, 6-8:30 p.m. to meet the candidates, judge their issues, and question concerns.

Black Heritage Celebration set for February 24

The 21st annual Black Heritage Celebration of Covington County will continue throughout the month of February with the theme “Success Always Leaves Footprints.” The celebration included a Talent Hunt well as a Beauty and Beau Pageant. The Collins High School gymnasium will be set up for the Heritage Museum on Saturday February 24 at 10 a.m. The celebration highlight will be the Heritage Parade on Saturday, February 24 at 12 noon on Main Street in Collins. Entertainment will follow the parade at the Collins High School football field where a Battle of the Bands will be held. The parade route will travel down First Street South and make a turn onto Arrington Avenue before turning again onto Main Street. The parade will then travel along Main Street before turning onto Fir Avenue headed back to Collins High School. Guests are invited to come enjoy live music, children’s entertainment and concessions. Grand Marshal for the parade is Collins Mayor Hope Jones. Other honorees are retired and active educators. The Battle of the Bands will take place on February 24 at 1:30 p.m. and will include six area high school bands. Chairpersons and committee members for the celebration include: Pageant Chairperson-Jungeline Williams; Parade-Danny Spencer and Ray Magee; Museum-Mary Gilmer and Shana Cooper; Booth Space-Charles Carney; Fellowship of Churches-Betty Owens and Bettie Clayborn; Talent Hunt-Alonzo Williams; Battle of the Bands-Charles Beasley and Coordinator-Elaine Barnes.

Okatoma Festival set for May 5 in Collins

The Covington County Chamber of Commerce will host the 29th annual Okatoma Festival on Saturday, May 5, 2018. This year’s theme is “Home Sweet Home.” The special guest for the day will be recording artist and native Travis Clark. Pairing solid “Real Country Music” story-telling with a blend of modern and traditional country sound, Clark is a fresh take on popular country music. His original songs range from rockin’ country hits, to big ballads, to traditional country anthems – all telling honest stores about life, love, and lessons learned from growing up in rural Mississippi. Backed by a band of deeply talented musicians, Clark is an energetic entertainer with a unique sound that has broad appeal. The event begins at 8 a.m. with the annual 5K Run/Walk. Meanwhile, numerous arts and crafts booths and food vendors will be located at every corner in downtown Collins. Live entertainment, a health fair, quilt exhibit, art display, children’s park, fair rides, rubber duck race, golf tournament and much more will be provided. The traditional street dance will be from 6 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with the Cowboy Blues Band. For more information about the festival, contact the Covington County Chamber of Commerce at 601-765-6012 or go to