Christmas in Collins

 

The Main Street Merchants in the City of Collins will host “Christmas in Collins” on Main Street on Friday December 6, 2019 from 5:30-8:00 p.m.  The event is designed to bring families out along Main Street to enjoy the Christmas season.  There will be plenty of activities for children as well as shopping and dining throughout the evening.  Everyone’s favorite downtown restaurants will be open.

A live nativity will be set up next to Annie B’s and everyone is invited to come see Santa Claus in the V.O. Smith Courtyard from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and have your picture made with Jolly Old St. Nick.  There will be games, a train ride and jumpers.

Guests are invited to stroll Main Street and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Christmas season.

It’s Christmastime in Covington County
Collins, Mount Olive and Seminary are all getting ready for Christmas.  The Collins Christmas Parade will be held Thursday, December 5, 2019, at 6:30 p.m.  Mount Olive’s Parade will be held Friday, December 6, at 6:00 p.m. and Seminary’s Christmas Parade will be held Saturday, December 7, at 6:00 p.m.

COVINGTON COUNTY HOSPITAL RECEIVES AWARD

CCH Recognized with 2019 Performance Leadership Award in Quality

In conjunction with National Rural Health Day on November 21, Covington County Hospital is announcing that it has been recognized by The Chartis Center of Rural Health and the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health (NOSORH) for overall excellence in Quality. Based on the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX from iVantage Health Analytics, the Performance Leadership Awards reflect top quartile performance among all rural hospitals in the United States in either Quality, Outcomes or Patient Perspective.
“It is a real honor to receive this recognition for the quality of care we provide,” said Kathe Bryant, Director of Quality at Covington County Hospital. “We have worked very hard to improve in areas such as Emergency Department wait times, care of patients with chest pain, timely pain treatment for patients with long bone fractures and appropriate follow-up for colonoscopy patients. These are just a few of the many ways we work to provide quality care to all of our patients.”
The Hospital Strength INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Leveraging data from publicly available data sources, the INDEX aggregates data from 50 rural-relevant metrics across eight pillars of performance. Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, the INDEX serves as the data foundation for a number of industry-leading rural recognition programs and legislative initiatives.
“National Rural Health Day has come to symbolize not just the vital role healthcare providers play in rural communities, but the dedication and hard work that goes into overcoming the unique healthcare challenges that exist across rural America,” said Teryl Eisinger, Chief Executive Officer, NOSORH. “We are proud of the work of the State Offices of Rural Health, their partners and rural hospitals do to improve care across the nation.”
“Each year, National Rural Health Day serves as a terrific backdrop for celebrating the power of rural and recognizing rural providers who continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to delivering quality care within their communities,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “We are delighted to be recognizing these top quartile performers in partnership with NOSORH.”

LINEMAN POSITION AVAILABLE

POSITION AVAILABLE

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Collins will be accepting applications for a Full-time Lineman for the Electric Department.   Applications may be picked up at City Hall during the hours of 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Deadline for receiving applications will be December 4, 2019, at 5:00 P.M.

Chamber to Kick Off Santa Shops November 21

Chamber to Kick Off Santa Shops November 21

The Covington County Chamber of Commerce will host its annual “Santa Shops Covington County First” event from November 21 through December 3, 2019.  Supporting local businesses is vital to the health and strength of a community, and the Chamber is encouraging the residents of Covington County to visit local stores and businesses when buying those all important gifts for loved ones.
To make shopping local more enticing, the Chamber is offering incentives and prizes to customers who do business with participating merchants in Covington County.   As they shop, customers will have the opportunity to register for prizes and for Chamber Dollars valued at $500, $300, and $100.  The drawing for the prizes and Chamber Dollars  will be held on Thursday, December 5 prior to the Collins Christmas Parade, which begins at 6:30 p.m.  Winners of Chamber Dollars will have until  December 24 to spend their prize money.
Participating businesses must be paid members of the Covington County Chamber of Commerce.  Names of participating businesses will be listed in the advertisements.
The Chamber is asking participating businesses to provide the prizes from their stores which will be given away as part of the program.  Merchants will draw for the store prizes and notify winners on December 5.  Store winners will also be eligible for the Grand Prize Drawing.  Customers who register must provide their name, address and phone number.
The “Santa Shops” program is designed to keep tax dollars in the county and promote businesses working together to create greater success for all.

RESCHEDULED WORK FOR CITY OF COLLINS POWER SYSTEM

On Sunday, November 3, 2019 (due to inclement weather for work originally scheduled for Sunday, October 27), the City of Collins will be changing out poles close to the Police Department and Fire Station.  Power will have to be off on all customers east of the railroad tracks and some locations west of the tracks in this area.  This will involve customers on Salem Church Road, Salem School Road, and Highway 588.  They are asking for everyone to not use air conditioning unless you are a senior citizen or someone who needs to stay cool with special concerns for their health.  Please use fans when possible and reduce the power load where possible.  Please make arrangements for that Sunday morning for 5-7 hours beginning at 7:00 a.m.  Any questions concerning this outage, please call Bob Shoemake at 601-517-0076.
These dates and times may change if there is bad weather or an emergency.  Again, this will only involve customers on the City of Collins Power System, not SPEPA.
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Collins thank you for your help in this matter.

POWER OUTAGE PLANNED FOR CITY ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS

The City of Collins will be working on the Power System beginning around 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, for about 4 hours.  They hope to keep the power on for everyone during this time but they are asking for everyone to not use air conditioning unless you are a senior citizen or someone who needs to stay cool with special concerns for their health.  This should enable the City to keep everyone with lights and television.  Please use fans when possible and reduce the power load where possible.  For any questions or concerns, please call Bob Shoemake at 601-517-0076.
On Sunday, October 27, 2019, the City of Collins will be changing out poles close to the Police Department and Fire Station.  Power will have to be off on all customers east of the railroad tracks and some locations west of the tracks in this area.  This will involve customers on Salem Church Road, Salem School Road, and Highway 588.  They are asking for everyone to not use air conditioning unless you are a senior citizen or someone who needs to stay cool with special concerns for their health.  Please use fans when possible and reduce the power load where possible.  Please make arrangements for that Sunday morning for 4-6 hours beginning at 7:00 a.m.  Any questions concerning this outage, please call Bob Shoemake at 601-517-0076.
These dates and times may change if there is bad weather or an emergency.  Again, this will only involve customers on the City of Collins Power System, not SPEPA.
The Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Collins thank you for your help in this matter.

Mayor Jones Speaks At Rotary Meeting

Collins’ Mayor Hope Magee Jones was the guest speaker for the October 7, 2019 meeting of the Collins Rotary Club.

She was the guest of Rotarian Josh Clayton and spoke on upcoming events for the City of Collins.  Pictured, from left, are Mayor Jones and Josh Clayton, Administrator of Arrington Living Center in Collins.

Collins Elementary School Discovery Garden

Collins Elementary School has a new interactive, educational area thanks to a group of volunteer citizens. The Discovery Garden was actually established in the 1990’s when kindergarten teacher Annette Hamill and her husband, Bob, put in sidewalks and gardening grids. Their  daughter, Sherry, painted murals on the walls surrounding the area. Annette’s students planted radishes and sugar cane that they could harvest and taste on the spot. WDAM came to CES and filmed the students enjoying the garden.

Over the years, the Discovery Garden had fallen into disrepair and become an unused space. In fact, for more than ten years, the garden was off-limits to the students.
One school volunteer noticed the unused area and saw the potential for the space, envisioning a fun learning spot that needed a little tender loving care. Work began in mid-July and continued through August. The inspiration came from a community garden in Bay St. Louis called Ruth’s Roots. Ideas were also found on Pinterest.
Today the Discovery Garden is alive and vibrant with colorful plants and yard decorations. A “Music Wall” featuring metal scraps allows the students to make music (aka noise) with wood dowels. A “Touch & Feel” wall serves as a ta

ctile sensory board where students can experience different textures and surfaces. A faux succulent and cacti display, a photo area with pictures of insects, birds and flowers, a huge pvc xylophone, and several birdhouses and bird feeders also fill spaces in the garden.

A “Pollinator Area” filled with a variety of plants and flowers that will attract butterflies and bees is situated in a rear section. This area will be more natural and has pine needles as mulch. Cypress and bark mulch covers most other ground with pebbles covering an area that has a table and benches. Some potted plants can be found throughout the garden with hopes of adding more.
Inter

active areas include a hopscotch grid, ring toss and a tic-tac-toe game made from a wood slice and rocks painted like bees and ladybugs.

A story time area has been established where a teacher may read to the students or students may read individually. Books about nature, insects and gardens are provided in a storage tub. Currently, there are chairs for seating in the story area but plans are to replace these with tree stumps for a more natural look. Bob Shoemake, Public Works Director for the City of Collins, and his crew are cutting some felled trees for this project.
The revitalization of the CES Discovery Garden has been possible by donations and volunteers. Several people donated money, mulch, plants and yard decorations. Volunteers from Collins First Baptist Church have worked tirelessly to weed, mulch, plant and decorate the area. Plant markers have been placed around the garden so that students can learn their names.
During the recent CES Open House on September 12, an Open Garden was hosted by Sheila Fortenberry and Lane McLoud. Lemonade and cookies were served to families, and an “I Spy” scavenger hunt added to the fun. Prior to the school open house, donors were invited to tour the garden to see the marvelous results.
Plans f

or the future are to keep adding plants and changing decorations to celebrate the different seasons and holidays. Hopefully, these additions will keep students interested and add to their enjoyment.

As with any garden, upkeep is crucial. CES Beautification Committee members have agreed to maintain the Discovery Garden.

Covington County Hospital Wound Healing Center Wins Award

The Covington County Hospital Wound Healing Center is pleased to announce that it is a RestorixHealth dual award recipient. The Center has earned both Clinical Distinction and Excellence in Patient Satisfaction Awards.                                                  Recipients of the Clinical Distinction Award meet or exceed national quality benchmarks; and, the Excellence in Patient Satisfaction Award recipients meet or exceed national patient satisfaction benchmarks. Both awards recognize achievement over a six-month period – January through June, 2019.

“These achievements reaffirm our commitment to the patient experience and the quality of care the Covington County Hospital Wound Healing Center provides its patients every day,” said Amy Hancock, CFNP, Wound Center Provider. “We are proud to be a recipient of these awards that recognize the hard work and dedication of our staff.”
RestorixHealth launched its Clinical Distinction recognition program to recognize those centers that have demonstrated success by meeting or exceeding patient safety goals along with a 90% healing rate. The Patient Satisfaction program recognizes those centers that have met or achieved a patient satisfaction score of 96% or higher.
The Covington County Hospital Wound Healing Center is dedicated to optimizing outcomes and preventing lower limb loss in those patients with non-healing wounds. The approach to wound care is aggressive and comprehensive, coordinating traditional and advanced therapies and techniques that are proven to reduce healing time and improve healing rates.
The center is staffed with a team of providers and nurses with advanced training in wound care. Integrating a team of wound care professionals optimizes patient care, while offering the most advanced healing options.
The Covington County Hospital Wound Healing Center is located at 701 South Holly Blvd. in Collins, MS, and is open every Monday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call 877.295.2273.

Pictured (left to right) Front Row: Karen Bell, Physician and Community Liaison for RestorixHealth; Julia Pierce, RN; Amy Hancock, CFNP; Kerri Eubanks, Specialty Clinic Coordinator; Robin Creel, RN; Back Row: Amanda Jones, Director of Radiology and Outpatient Specialty Services; Graham Broome, RN; and Whitney McPhail, RN

Covington County Schools on the Rise

The new round of assessments for public schools in Covington County revealed improvement in every school and in the district overall as compared to last year.  Two of the local elementary schools, Collins and Seminary, both received A ratings., and Seminary was the 10th highest elementary or middle school in the state.
A report released by the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Accountability provides data on each school’s score and ranking.  Grades  range from A – F.  Elementary and middle schools can score up to 700 points, and high schools up 1000 points.
Comparison of the report for 2018 and 2019 revealed the following improvements:

Seminary Elementary:  2018 – A (510 pts), 2019 – A (582 pts)
Collins Elementary:   2018 – C, (357 pts) 2019 – A (445 pts)
Seminary Middle School:  2018 – D (302 pts), 2019 – C (334 pts)
Hopewell Elementary:  2018 – D (282 pts), 2019 – D (302 pts)
Carver Middle School:  2018 – F (265 pts), 2019 – D (277 pts)
Seminary High School:  2018 – C (619 pts), 2019 – B (659 pts)
Collins High School:   2018 – C (611 pts), 2019 – C (629 pts)
Mount Olive High School:  2018 – F (483 pts), 2019 – C (593 pts)

Covington County School District:  2018 – D (533 pts), 2019 – C (581 pts)

Local school officials are understandably proud.  Dr. Arnetta Crosby, Superintendent of the Covington County School District, said, “We are very excited about the “C” rating of the district.  Everyone worked really hard for this! When I came into the Superintendent’s office in 2016 the district had a “D” rating.  We were allowed to keep a rating of “C” because of a waiver given to the district. This waiver was given to make adjustments to the accountability system because of the different test that had been used in previous years. The waiver year allowed the state time to work out problems with the new accountability system, the one that we presently use.  The next year, we did not show enough growth or proficiency to move to a “C”, so once the accountability system became somewhat consistent and reliable, we began implementing strategies to make improvements that would show growth and proficiency in our assessment results. Last year we were three points away from a “C” rating. This year we made it!  It was the hard work of the administrators, teachers, students, and parents who made the difference.
Before the academic year of 2018-2019 started, some strategic decisions about how we would monitor our student’s performance and achievement was put into place.  We needed this monitoring to be consistent and on a daily basis so that we might be able to do interventions at the appropriate time so that learning gaps would not linger too long.
Needless to say, that we are beginning to see the results of our hard work!  We are a long way from where we need to be, but in these four years, we are very proud of the accomplishments of our administrators, teachers, students, and parents.
We started this year off in a much better place academically than we have been in a very long time.  We are on course, if we follow the trajectory that has been laid out, to show continued growth and proficiency at all of our schools.”
Seminary Elementary School was one of the two county schools to receive an A rating.  Angie Palmer,  Principal of the Seminary Elementary School, said, “Seminary Elementary School is proud to have achieved the status of an “A” school for the second year in a row.  We are especially excited to be the 10th highest elementary or middle school in the state, based on the 700 point scale of which our school is rated.
We earned 582 points this year.  Our points were earned from our last year’s 3rd and 4th graders’ achievement in Reading and Math and from the growth of our 4th grade students in the same areas.
The staff at Seminary Elementary School works extremely hard to make sure students are learning the skills they need to be successful in school and in life.  This hard work begins in Kindergarten and only deepens as the students grow and progress through the years.  Our staff members in the lower grades work to build a foundation and an understanding of the skills and concepts needed for success as they develop.”
Collins Elementary School also received an A rating, up from a C rating last year.  Missy Rogers,  Principal of the Collins Elementary School, said, “How wonderful it is to be recognized and rewarded for our hard work, dedication, and determination to make CES “A” success.  Students, teachers, faculty, and staff moved Collins Elementary from a rating of “F” to “A” in only two years.
Collins Elementary School serves approximately 350 students- kindergarten to fourth grade, including district community based classes. CES focuses on achievement: academic and behavioral.  Learning for all students is ensured by assessing individual needs, using data to drive rigorous instruction, and consistently monitoring student growth and success. The elementary school serves as the foundation for learning and academic success; it is the first step on the road to graduation.  CES takes this responsibility very seriously.
A major factor in turning CES around has been PBIS, a positive behavior system.  Established behavior guidelines and expectations, and a system of incentives and rewards promote smart student choices.  With improved student behavior, CES teachers are able to focus more on academics and less on behavior issues in the classroom.
The community played a vital role in helping improve the school.  CES partnered with businesses and individuals to collect incentives to reward growth and advanced scores on state tests, and community members and church members have donated time to read with students, clean/paint outside and in the gym, and create a new discovery garden that students love!
Our students and this city deserve the best, and we will continue to give our best daily.  We are consistent – rules, procedures, consequences, quality instruction, high expectations never change at CES.”