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

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 Our district website can be found at

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.

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 or visit


City of Collins
PWS ID # 0160002
April 2022

We’re pleased to present to you this year’s Annual Water Quality Report. This report is designed to inform you about
the quality water and services we deliver to you every day. Our constant goal is to provide you with a safe and
dependable supply of drinking water. We want you to understand the efforts we make to continually improve the water treatment process and protect our water resources. We are committed to ensuring the quality of your water. Our water source consists of 4 wells that draw from the Catahoula Formation and the Miocene Series Aquifer.

A source water assessment has been completed for the water supply to determine the overall susceptibility of its
drinking water to identify potential sources of contamination. The water supply for the City of Collins received a
moderate susceptibility ranking to contamination.

We’re pleased to report that our drinking water meets all federal and state requirements.

If you have any questions about this report or concerning your water utility, please contact Shane Knight at 601-517-1457.

We want our valued customers to be informed about their water utility. If you want to learn more, please attend
any of our regularly scheduled meetings. They are held on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at Collins City Hall
at 6:00 pm.

We routinely monitor for constituents in your drinking water according to Federal and State laws. This table shows
the results of our monitoring for the period of January 1st to December 31, 2021. As water travels over the land or
underground, it can pick up substances or contaminants such as microbes, inorganic and organic chemicals, and
radioactive substances. All drinking water, including bottled drinking water, may be reasonably expected to contain
at least small amounts of some constituents. It’s important to remember that the presence of these constituents does
not necessarily pose a health risk.

In this table you will find many terms and abbreviations you might not be familiar with. To help you better
understand these terms we’ve provided the following definitions:

Action Level – the concentration of a contaminant which, if exceeded, triggers treatment or other requirements
which a water system must follow.
Treatment Technique (TT) – A treatment technique is a required process intended to reduce the level of a
contaminant in drinking water.
Maximum Contaminant Level – The “Maximum Allowed” (MCL) is the highest level of a contaminant that is
allowed in drinking water. MCLs are set as close to the MCLGs as feasible using the best available treatment
Maximum Contaminant Level Goal – The “Goal”(MCLG) is the level of a contaminant in drinking water below
which there is no known or expected risk to health. MCLGs allow for a margin of safety.

To comply with the “Regulation Governing Fluoridation of Community Water Supplies”, the City of Collins is
required to report certain results pertaining to fluoridation of our water system. The number of months in the
previous calendar year in which the average fluoride sample results were within the optimal range of 0.6 – 1.2
ppm was 9. The percentage of fluoride samples collected in the previous calendar year that was within the optimal
range of 0.6 – 1.2 ppm was 55%.

Additional Information for Lead
If present, elevated levels of lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young
children. Lead in drinking water is primarily from materials and components associated with service lines and
home plumbing. Our water system is responsible for providing high quality drinking water, but cannot control the
variety of materials used in plumbing components. When your water has been sitting for several hours, you can
minimize the potential for lead exposure by flushing your tap for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before using water for
drinking or cooking. If you are concerned about lead in your water, you may wish to have your water tested.

Information on lead in drinking water, testing methods, and steps you can take to minimize exposure is available
from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline or at The Mississippi State Department
of Health Public Health Laboratory offers lead testing. Please contact 601.576.7582 if you wish to have your
water tested.

All sources of drinking water are subject to potential contamination by substances that are naturally occurring or man
made. These substances can be microbes, inorganic or organic chemicals and radioactive substances. All drinking
water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants.
The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk. More information about
contaminants and potential health effects can be obtained by calling the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safe
Drinking Water Hotline at 1-800-426-4791.

Some people may be more vulnerable to contaminants in drinking water than the general population. Immunocompromised persons such as persons with cancer undergoing chemotherapy, persons who have undergone organ transplants, people with HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders, some elderly, and infants can be
particularly at risk from infections. These people should seek advice about drinking water from their health care
providers. EPA/CDC guidelines on appropriate means to lessen the risk of infection by cryptosporidium and other
microbiological contaminants are available from the Safe Drinking Water Hotline (800-426-4791).

This report is being published in the paper and will not be mailed. Please call our office if you have any questions, City Hall, 601-765-4491

2022 Okatoma Festival to be held Saturday, May 7

The Covington County Chamber of Commerce will host the 33rd annual Okatoma Festival on Saturday, May 7, 2022 in downtown Collins.

The special guest for the day will be Nashville recording artist John King.

The Festival begins at 8 a.m. at the Collins Presbyterian Church 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 will be on two stages- in front of the Chancery Building on Elm Street and on Dogwood Street, a quilt exhibit in the courthouse, fair rides, rubber duck race, an antique car show in the parking lot of Covington County Bank and much more will be provided.

At 10:30 a.m. the Okatoma Festival parade will come through downtown Collins. At 12:00 noon, introductions will be made on the Main Stage and John King will perform.

On Friday evening, May 6, the fair rides will be open at the Chancery Building at 6:00 p.m.

For more information about the festival, contact the Covington County Chamber of Commerce at 601-765-6012 or go to

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