Prepare for Hurricane Season by packing a “Go Bag”

Atlantic Hurricane Season begins on June 1, 2022. Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney is encouraging Mississippians to pack a “Go Bag” before the season begins.

Go Bag contents should include:

  • Important documents: Insurance cards, Social Security cards, etc. Keep copies of these documents in a waterproof container or digital image saved online.
  • Cash
  • Medications
  • A battery-powered radio
  • A gallon of drinking water for every family member and pet
  • You should also take stock of your possessions and document those items.

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offers a free Home Inventory App. It makes it easy for consumers to create and protect a record of their belongings and offers tips on disaster preparation and filing claims. The NAIC Home Inventory App can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

“Don’t forget to review your insurance coverage and make sure you are familiar with your policies, “said Commissioner Chaney.

Flood damage is generally not covered by a standard homeowners or renter’s insurance policy. If you don’t have flood insurance and are considering purchasing a policy, remember there is a 30 day waiting period if you buy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Some insurance policies have a special deductible for losses caused by named storms. The insurer applies this deductible only when a named storm causes damage. This deductible is separate and different from the normal deductible in a homeowners policy.

If you need assistance with an insurance question or claim, call 601-359-3569, email consumer@mid.ms.gov or visit www.mid.ms.gov

Representative Noah Sanford’s Legislative Report

The 2022 session adjourned on Tuesday, April 5. To provide for allocation of federal funds received by virtue of Congress’ passing of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the session was lengthened by a few days.

The most important bills to pass this session:

  • The START Act would provide the largest teacher and assistant teacher salary increase in state history, boosting teacher pay to above the Southeastern average.
  • The Mississippi Tax Freedom Act will cut the state’s income tax by approximately 20 percent over five years. This will make Mississippi’s income tax the fifth lowest of the states that levy income taxes.
  • Parker’s Law will increase criminal penalties to a minimum of 20 years for knowingly selling an illegal substance containing fentanyl, when the user dies as a result.
  • The Pregnancy Resource Act will provide a tax credit for contributions to qualified crisis pregnancy centers, with the total collective credit being capped at $3.5 million.
  • House Bill 1430 will allow for owners of motor vehicles to make a beneficiary designation to their titles. Known as a “Transfer on Death,” title to the vehicle would not pass until the death of the owner, and the owner could change the beneficiary at any time for any reason. This will make estate planning an easier task.
  • The Medical Cannabis Act was passed very early in the session and has already been signed into law by Gov. Reeves. The Department of Health has been working since passage to get the program off the ground.

Noah Sanford represents parts of Covington, Simpson, and Jefferson Davis Counties in the Mississippi House of Representatives. He can be reached at NSanford@house.ms.gov

Senate approves Bill cosponsored by Cindy Hyde-Smith to make Daylight Saving Time Permanent

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is pleased to announce unanimous Senate approval of S.623, the Sunshine Protection Act. Hyde-Smith is an original cosponsor of this legislation to make Daylight Saving Time the new, permanent standard time. The Senate-passed bill, which still requires House passage and the President’s signature, would delay implementation until Nov. 20, 2023.

“The public safety improvements, economic benefits, and the wellbeing of the American people are all excellent and credible reasons to embrace year-long Daylight Saving Time,” Hyde-Smith said. “I know the agricultural sector in Mississippi and across the nation desires this change. I believe the Sunshine Protection Act would give us an immediate and long-term boost after a terrible pandemic year and a very dark winter.”

Potential effects of making Daylight Saving Time permanent for the nation:

  • Benefits the economy. According to a study by JP Morgan Chase, which found that there is a drop in economic activity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent when clocks move back.
  • Benefits the agricultural economy, which is disrupted disproportionately by biannual changes in time by upsetting the synergy between farmers’ schedules and their supply chain partners.
  • Reduces car crashes and car accidents involving pedestrians. Better aligning daylight hours to drivers’ standard work hours’ increases visibility. Also reduces the number of vehicle collisions with wildlife by 8-11 percent.
  • Reduces childhood obesity and increases physical fitness. According to studies, children see an increase in physical activity during DST.
  • Reduces the number of robberies by 27 percent, because of additional daylight in the evenings.
  • Reduces energy usage.

Covington Count 4-H & FFA Jr. Livestock Show to Be Held January 14-15

Covington County Junior Livestock exhibitors have spent numerous hours in preparation for the 2022 County Livestock Show which will be held January 14-15, 2022.

“We hope everyone will come out and support these young people at our county show. The hard work they have put into their project animals will continue as they move forward to the District Show in Hattiesburg and as they conclude the season with the Dixie National Junior Roundup in Jackson!” says Covington County ANR/4-H Agent, Ellen Russell. “This is a year long project for most exhibitors and they have put a lot of time and efforts into making their animal look their best for these shows. These are family projects which truly involve the whole family and make for a lot of quality time in the barn at home.” Russell concluded.

For more about livestock events information please contact the Covington County Extension Office at 601-765-8252. For more information on any Covington County 4-H Activity contact, Ellen P. Russell, Covington County ANR/4-H Agent, Mississippi State Extension Service, at 601-765-8252.

Collins Christmas

Collins Christmas Parade

Collins Christmas Parade held Thursday, December 2, 2021 was called one of the biggest and best ever! More than 45 entries participated in the Parade which included floats, bands, and so much more making it one of the largest Christmas Parades in Collins’ history.

Santa’s Village of Games brings out many children and adults in Collins

To say the children were excited to see Santa and Mrs. Claus on Friday, December 3, 2021, in Collins would be a large understatement. His arrival was met with a large crowd of children just waiting to tell Santa Claus what was on their Christmas list! Santa’s Village of Games was held in the V.O. Smith Courtyard in downtown Collins. Collins City Merchants were open for everyone to do their Christmas shopping as well as to mingle with their friends and families.

Christmastime in Collins

The City of Collins will hold its 2021 Christmas Parade on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. The theme will be “A Hometown Christmas.” Around 6:15 p.m., Marie Shoemake and the Covington County Chamber of Commerce will hold their drawing for Chamber Dollars, and then Mayor Hope Magee Jones will light the Christmas Tree on the vacant lot next door to Regions Bank on Main Street. Judges will be selecting 1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards for the floats.

Santa’s Village of Games will be Friday, December 3, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. Also the Mayor and Board of Aldermen welcome all businesses with a current City of Collins Privilege License to set up a table on Main Street.

Collins Mayor Hope Magee Jones Appointed to MS Municipal League’s 2021-2022 Legislative Committee

Mayor Hope Magee Jones of the City of Collins has been appointed to the Mississippi Municipal League’s 2021- 2022 Legislative Committee by MML President Mayor Errick D. Simmons of Greenville.

The 25 member committee is led by Legislative Chairman Alderwoman-at-Large Ricki Garrett of Clinton. In addition to participating in regular briefings during the session, committee members will be actively involved in visiting with legislators by phone and in person to lobby for important bills that will benefit municipalities.

“The role of the MML Legislative Committee is to provide guidance to the League staff in the development and promotion of our legislative agenda. I am honored that Mayor Simmons has the confidence to appoint me to this position and I am very appreciative to the MML members who have agreed to serve with me” Alderwoman Garrett said.

“I am pleased to be able to serve the League in this capacity and will work hard to help MML pass favorable legislation that will help not only the City of Collins but every municipality across the state” said Mayor Hope Magee Jones.

The mission of the Mississippi Municipal League is helping cities and towns excel. MML is a non-partisan association established in 1931, representing 290 city, town and village governments in Mississippi. MML is also affiliated with the National League of Cities, a lobbying, legislative and legal arm representing municipalities before the U.S. Congress. For more information about the Mississippi Municipal League, visit www.mmlonline.com.

SANTA’S COMING TO TOWN….Shop Covington County Merchants First!

Now in its 16th year, Santa Shops Covington County First has evolved into a traditional community event. It’s more than sales, door prizes and Chamber Dollars. It’s about our local merchants, our families, our community and our desire to keep the Christmas season close to home. It’s about our resilience during a worldwide pandemic and devastating storms! Our businesses stayed open during the difficult times to serve the community, and we thank them.

It has never been more important to keep our citizens shopping locally and eating at our restaurants. Small business is the strength of our county and keeping local businesses healthy is essential to Covington County’s economic future. Invest in our community and keep tax dollars at HOME!

Santa Shops Covington County First will run from Thursday, November 18, thru Tuesday, November 30, 2021. When an item is purchased at a participating merchant’s store, the customer signs up for a door prize from that store. Those names also go into the drawing for Chamber Dollars of $500, $300, and $100. The GRAND PRIZE drawing for Chamber Dollars will be Thursday, December 2, 2021, prior to the Collins Christmas Parade schedule for 6:30 p.m.

If your business has never participated in the Santa Shops program, the Chamber invites you to join the other businesses as we work together to build a stronger county. Contact the Chamber of Commerce at 601-765-6012 for additional information.

City receives Grant to provide Exercise Center for City Seniors and City of Collins Employees

The City of Collins recently received a Mississippi Department of Health- Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant. This Grant will be used to establish an Exercise Center at the Collins Senior Center in Collins for Senior Citizens and employees of the City of Collins. The Grant is focused on promoting a healthy “you” inside yourself.

The City of Collins Board of Aldermen are providing additional funding to help cover the expense of setting up the Exercise Center. Equipment has been selected with Senior Citizens and City Employees in mind. A security system will be installed in the Senior Center for the safety of the Seniors and Employees using the Center. It is expected that the Exercise Center at the Collins Senior Center will open soon. The Exercise Center will be open Monday through Friday, 9: a.m. until 2:00 p.m. for Senior Citizens.

Collins Mayor Hope Magee Jones said, “I am so excited we are adding this amenity to our City. To be able to offer this Exercise Center to our Senior Citizens and our City Employees is a joy. I would like to thank the MS State Department of Health for this boost in the right direction. In the near future, we will be establishing a Mayor’s Health Council. This council will help to plan events and activities that will promote a Healthier Collins. We deserve it.”

Mitchell Farms

Everyone at Mitchell Farms has been in high gear getting ready for the 11th annual Mississippi Peanut Festival to be held Saturday, October 2, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and on Sunday, October 3 from 12 noon until 5 p.m. Admission is $15.00 for each person 2 years and older. The price of admission includes Festival access and Pumpkin Patch festivities.

The Pumpkin Patch and Maze are open to the public through Sunday, November 7 from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sundays. During the month of October the Pumpkin Patch and Maze are open on Fridays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Mitchell Farms is located at 650 Leaf River Church Road in Collins.