Chamber of Commerce Week to be observed October 17-21

The Collins Area Chamber of Commerce was incorporated on the 22nd day of August, 1978. The by-laws stated the purpose of the chamber is advancing the commercial, industrial, agricultural, and trade area; to promote integrity and good faith; to promote just and equitable principles of business; to discover and correct business abuses; and have a part in representing the City of Collins and Covington County in the consideration and decision of city, county state and national issues.

A meeting of interested citizens was held on May 15, 1985 for the purpose of re-organizing the Chamber of Commerce. The chamber was inactive for six years. In 1986 a Board of Directors was elected and a “Program of Work” was established. Board members are elected by the membership and rotate off the board every three years. Membership is available to all citizens of Covington County, businesses, organizations and area service companies.

In 1987 the chamber by-laws changed the name of the organization to Covington County Chamber of Commerce for the importance of the entire county working together for the purpose of economic and community development. The Chamber of Commerce represents Covington County with membership in national and state organizations which includes: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, MEC (Mississippi State Chamber of Commerce), MEDC (Mississippi Economic Development Council), and the State Tourism Organization.

The Chamber is only as strong as its membership. Our members are our most valuable resource.

Come join us for the Chamber of Commerce “Fall Mingle” on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the V.O. Smith Courtyard in Collins on Main Street. We look forward to seeing you!

The City of Collins received a Silver Shovel award from Spire

Congratulations! The City of Collins has earned a Silver Shovel award! We are pleased to celebrate your commitment to natural gas pipeline awareness and safe digging! The dedication and coordination of your public works team helps our communities thrive. We hope this Silver Shovel acknowledgment will shine a light on your work and inspire other municipalities to continue their commitment to safe excavation!

Shane Knight, Jeff Wilcox, Mayor Hope Magee Jones

Leaders of Collins attend Mississippi Municipal League Conference

Elected officials of the City of Collins recently attended three days of training and leadership development presented at the Mississippi Municipal League’s 91st Annual Conference at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center.

At this year’s conference, entitled “Blast Off to Municipal Excellence,” the League celebrated 91 years of service to Mississippi’s cities and towns. An estimated 2,500 municipal elected officials, municipal employees, state agency representative, legislators, exhibitors and others attend this annual event. Many state and federal agencies provided speakers for the educational sessions. Topics included state law updates, grant opportunities, medical marijuana, municipal liability issues, community and economic development, infrastructure funding, disaster recovery, and water and sewer issues.

Other conference highlights included the presentation of the 2022 Municipal Excellence Awards, an induction ceremony for the 2022 Municipal Hall of Fame and an expo show, showcasing over 150 businesses, state agencies and other organizations. Also at he Conference, the Certified Municipal Official graduation took place, recognizing more than 100 municipal officials for their achievement in the program.

For more information about the Mississippi Municipal League, visit www.mmlonline.com

Sec. Watson Announces Sept. as National Voter Registration Month

Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson joins fellow members of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) in proclaiming September as National Voter Registration Month. During September, the Secretary of State’s Office, along with government agencies and organizations across the country, will promote the importance of voting and the significance of keeping your voter registration information up-to-date.

“Through outreach and education, our goal is to build an engaged and informed electorate in Mississippi,” said Secretary Watson. “Local elections often get decided by just a handful of votes, so every vote matters. By registering to vote or verifying updated voter registration information, Mississippians can ensure their voice is heard.”

NASS members established September as National Voter Registration Month in 2002 as a non-partisan means of encouraging voter participation and increasing awareness about state requirements and deadlines for voting.

This year, September 20, 2022, will be highlighted by NASS and other voter outreach groups as National Voter Registration Day (NVRD). Since its inception, nearly 4.7 million participants have either registered to vote or updated their voter registration on NVRD.

To encourage participation, the Secretary of State’s Office has launched the Voter Registration Road Trip which includes hosting voter registration drives across the state throughout he month of September. Stay tuned to the Office of the Secretary of State’s official social media pages for locations near you.

The Secretary of State’s Office serves as the primary, trusted source for election information. Visit our Y’all Vote website (yallvote.ms) to download a voter registration application or lean more about the overall voting process. The website also features a variety of helpful resources including a step-by-step guide to absentee voting. Frequently Asked Questions for absentee voting, and contact information for county election officials.

For voter registration or elections questions, contact ElectionAnswers@sos.ms.gov or call the Elections Hotline at 1-800-829-6786. For information regarding the Voter Registration Road Trip, contact Press@sos.ms.gov.

City of Collins Delinquent Tax Sale

State of Mississippi

County of Covington

City of Collins

I, Suzette Davis, City Clerk/Tax Collector of the City of Collins, Mississippi, in said state and county will sell on Monday, August 29, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. on GovEase Website, www.govease.com/auctions.

The City of Collins Tax Collector will conduct an Online Tax Sale for delinquent and unpaid for the year 2021.  The GovEase Website will allow you to register for the tax sale and bidders will be able to submit bids, view, and download auction results. For more information contact City Hall at 601-765-4491.

Covington County School Update

Students returned to school on Thursday, August 4, 2022. Their teachers had begun the 2022-2023 school year on Monday, August 1st by participating in a convocation at the Seminary Baptist Church. Dr. Ben Burnett, the soon-to-be inaugurated Tenth President of William Carey University served as the Keynote Speaker. The service included student speakers, musicians, and several representatives form the faith community as the program set the tone for a productive and prayer filled school year.

The Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Funds that the Covington County School District received as part of the nation’s response to the pandemic, were dedicated to improving the air quality in classrooms and hallways as well as addressing ventilation needs in school buildings. The project will be complete in mid-October. As part of the approximately 11-million-dollar project, the gymnasiums in the CCSD will be air conditioned for the first time.

To support parents and families, the CCSD will be operating the cafeteria meal program under the National School Lunch Program and National School Breakfast Program. The district will participate in the Community Eligibility Provision through USDA. This program allows schools to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students.

The Covington County Boys and Girls Club will begin hosting students in the afternoons in the school on September 6, 2022. If you have a child that you would like to participate in the Boys and Girls Club, please reach out to Peggy Weary at peggyweary@hotmail.com.

The CCSD high schools will play their first football games of the season on August 26th with Collins hosting Jeff Davis County, Mount Olive hosting North Forrest High School, and Seminary traveling to Forrest County Agricultural High School. All games will begin at 7:30 due to heat concerns by the MHSAA through October 1st.

The two most important elements of the last two school years that have been the difference makers are the support of the community and the prayers of many. Now that the pandemic is in our rear-view mirror, it might be assumed that prayer is no loner needed. Please don’t stop praying for the schools and the students that fill our buses and buildings. It goes without saying that community support is vital to a school being successful. The teachers and staff of the CCSD appreciate both the prayer and the support from each of you.

Please contact us with your questions and concerns as we can help you help your child. You can reach us at 601-765-8247 and keepintouch@covingtoncountyschools.org. Our district website can be found at covingtoncountyschools.org.

Feds End Payment for Covid-19 Testing and Treatments

Beginning the week of July 5, 2022, patients have become responsible for the full payment necessary for Covid-19 testing and treatments.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, and in compliance with the federally declared public health emergency. Covington County Hospital, and Covington-owned Clinics have waived out-of-pocket costs associated with Covid-19 testing or treatment. However, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which has funded Covid-19 testing for the last two years for uninsured patients, notified providers nationwide that the agency would no longer fund testing due to “insufficient funds.”

Insured patients who come to a Covington County Hospital clinic or drive-thru seeking a Covid-19 test or treatment will be asked to pay their co-pay based on their insurance and deductible.

Uninsured patients will have to pay an up-front fee, which would cover the cost of their visit with a provider and a Covid-19 test. If a higher level of testing is required, additional fees may be required.

Guest wins runoff election; to be on November 8 Ballot

Incumbent Representative Michael Guest defeated Naval Reserve pilot Michael Cassidy in the Tuesday, June 28, 2022, Republican Primary runoff.

Guest was first elected in 2018 in Mississippi’s 3rd Congressional District after serving as a district attorney in Rankin and Madison Counties.

Less than 300 votes in District 3 separated Michael Guest and Michael Cassidy after the June 7, 2022, election forcing the runoff.

In the June 28 runoff, Guest won 67% of the vote in District 3 with 46,334 votes to Cassidy’s 22,479 votes or 33%.

In Covington County, voters gave Guest nearly sixty percent of the vote with 731 votes while Cassidy received 496 votes or 40%.

Guest will now face Democratic challenger, Shuwaski A. Young, in the General Election to be held Tuesday, November 8, 2022. Young was unopposed in the Democratic Primary.