Relief from the Storms

Covington County has begun the long process of cleaning up the debris left behind from two catastrophic tornadoes that devastated the county on Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020.  The people of Covington County, however, are resilient and once again, as with other disasters, are working together to put their lives back together.
Local churches (even some that suffered damage) stepped up and immediately helped clear debris and then set up places where anyone in need can receive meals, clothing, supplies, and an encouraging word.  Organizations have come into the county with food and clothing as well as equipment to help clear the debris.  The Board of Supervisors, the Mayors, and the County and City Employees are working hard to get the cleanup done.  First Responders provided rescue and medical services, and are providing resources and aid to victims of the storm.  Some of those that are aiding people in need are themselves victims of the storms but want to assist in helping others.
The power companies, with the help of fellow power companies, have come in and have restored the power in almost all areas.  The water and gas companies are working to restore service to all customers that are able to receive the utilties.
While dealing with the horror of the storms, many people for a short while had forgotten about the Coronavirus.  This global COVID-19 pandemic adds to the difficulty in cleaning up the massive debris.  While cleaning up, people need to practice social distancing and think about how to slow the spread of the virus.
The strong people of Covington County are grateful to their fellow citizens and to the many people who have come from near and far to their aid, bringing with them food, supplies, and equipment as well as a helping hand.  Restoration is on its way.

Storms and Tornadoes sweep through Covington County Easter Sunday

Many homes and businesses destroyed in wake of storms; 11 fatalities reported in surrounding counties
A storm system ravaged through the Pine Belt Sunday afternoon, April 12, 2020, causing extensive damage in Covington County and the surrounding counties.  Two strong tornadoes ripped through the county with winds estimated to be in excess of 200 miles per hour, possibly EF4 or EF5s.
The first tornado traveled through Walthall, Lawrence, Jefferson Davis, Covington, Jones, Jasper, and Clarke counties.  The second tornado caused more damage in Walthall, Lawrence, Jefferson Davis and Covington Counties.
The power of the storms was evident by the damage to the homes, churches, farms, and businesses throughout the county.  The first tornado is reported to have been on the ground for more than 103 miles.
There have been no deaths in Covington County reported at press time  but there were injuries.  Eleven fatalities are confirmed in other counties.
More than 22,000 people in the Pine Belt area are without power and many without water.

Collins officials urge residents to heed warnings regarding COVID-19 to slow the spread

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen have been closely monitoring the developments related to  the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The public health and safety of our employees and the Citizens of Collins will always be our number one priority. The City has taken what we feel are a series of appropriate precautionary measures to protect the public health and safety of employees and the Citizens of Collins. Therefore, we will follow the guidelines from the President of the United States concerning the Coronavirus for America listed below:

Do Your Part to Slow the Spread of the Coronavirus

Avoid Social Gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.

Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts; however,  use of drive- thru, pickup, or delivery options is highly encouraged.

Avoid Discretionary Travel, shopping trips, and social visits.

Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

Practice Good Hygiene:

Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.

Avoid touching your face.

Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.

Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

MSDH guidelines to be followed in Collins during COVID-19 outbreak

Given the ever-changing situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Mayor and Board of Aldermen recommend the Citizens of Collins follow the recommendations released on Friday March 20, 2020 by the Mississippi Department of Health. These recommendations are to protect the public health, safety and wellbeing of all citizens. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen are closely monitoring the developments related to the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

We would like to say thank you to our local restaurants who have begun carry-out only and delivery services to their customers.

Statement from the Mayor and Board of Aldermen

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen have been closely monitoring the developments related to the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The public health and safety of our employees and the Citizens of Collins will always be our number one priority. The City has taken what we feel are a series of appropriate precautionary measures to protect the public health and safety of employees and the Citizens of Collins. Therefore, we will follow the guidelines from the President of the United States concerning the Coronavirus for America listed below:

Do Your Part to Slow the Spread of the Coronavirus

Avoid Social Gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.

Avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts; however, use of drive- thru, pickup, or delivery options is highly encouraged.

Avoid Discretionary Travel, shopping trips, and social visits.

Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.

Practice Good Hygiene:

Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.

Avoid touching your face.

Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.

Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

 

**This does not prohibit our citizens from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, restaurants,  gas stations, banks, parks, churches, nail salons and gyms so long as the necessary precautions are maintained to reduce the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Chamber Meeting features Rep. Michael Guest

 

 

 

 

A large crowd gathered in the Collins Civic Center to hear Representative Michael Guest, keynote speaker for the annual general membership meeting of the Covington County Chamber of Commerce, on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.   Everyone enjoyed a dinner provided by Shady Acres followed by recognition of guests by Chamber President Tommy Morgan.
Speaker Michael Guest, U.S. Congressman representing Mississippi’s Third Congressional District, was introduced by State Representative Noah Sanford.  Congressman Guest spoke about the low unemployment rate, the growth of lower and middle-income jobs, the strength of the stock market, and how Mississippi’s economy has benefited from a strong national economy.  He concentrated on 3 main areas of strength in Mississippi.
First he discussed the value of private businesses such as C-Spire, Sanderson Farms Poultry, and the Nissan and Toyota automobile manufacturing plants, which provide thousands of jobs to Mississippi workers and millions of dollars of revenue flowing through the hands of consumers, investors, and government.  He also told listeners that Amazon plans to build two distributions centers in Mississippi.
Second, he spoke about the benefits of having a strong National Guard presence in the state.  He informed Chamber members that Mississippi Guardsmen provided assistance in locating terrorist Al Baghdadi in Iraq, they are involved in helping protect U.S. airspace over Washington, D.C. and that Camp Shelby provides world-class training to military and National Guardsmen from all over the United States.
Third, he discussed  the military suppliers located in Mississippi such as Raytheon Corporation in Forrest  and Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula.  Raytheon serves as a hub for production and testing S-Band radar equipment, employs more than 800 people and produces radar for U.S. fighter jets, air-defense radar and other electronic warfare technology – some of which will be used by U.S. warships built at Ingall’s Shipyard.  Ingalls builds some of the world’s most modern and sophisticated warships in the world.  It  employs 11,500 employees, is the largest supplier of U.S. Navy surface combatants, and has built nearly 70 percent of the U.S. Navy fleet of warships.
He concluded by saying that, “In the United States, all men and women have the opportunity to work hard and achieve success”, and that we need to continue to strive to preserve our Republic.  The greatest threat to our Republic,  he said, is the growing rise of socialism.
Rep. Noah Sanford in his legislative report updated the crowd on events which have transpired so far in the 2020 legislative session, and said his focus was going to be on legislation to propose more funds to the Dept. of Corrections and for criminal justice reform, specifically legislation to require prisons to separate dangerous inmates from non-dangerous inmates.  He also said legislation has been proposed which would fund pay raises for State Employees and teachers.
Executive Director Marie Shoemake introduced Covington County’s Miss Hospitality for 2019, Larsen Sanford and Little Miss Hospitality Emma Grace Massey.  Larsen Sanford then presented Covington County’s Miss Hospitality for 2020, Laka Till to the members.  Chamber President Tommy Morgan presented closing remarks, thanked the members and guests for their help and participation and closed the meeting.

Black Heritage Celebration held in Collins

The 23rd annual Black Heritage Celebration of Covington County culminated with a parade on Saturday, February 22, 2020.  The theme “Remember the Struggle” was highlighted throughout the day.
Grand Marshals for the parade were Pastor Tony Duckworth, B. Joyce Barron Fairley (unable to attend), Lee Edward Gilliam, Coach Jeremy Jones, Markel “M.J.” McLaurin, Fenton Pope, Terry Price, and Peggy Weary.  Other honorees were charitable, educational and service organization award recipients.
The Battle of the Bands took place Saturday afternoon at Collins High School.
Residents came out to enjoy the celebration which included touring the heritage museum, live entertainment and much more.

Collins Rotary Club Paul Harris Recipients


The Collins Rotary Club recently recognized Paul Harris Fellowship recipients (pictured from left) Melinda Lott, Danny Frank McDonald and Patricia Speed.  This is a special honor for those Rotarians that chose to contribute to the Rotary Foundation and help international projects such as literacy, world hunger and other humanitarian efforts.  Pictured (far right) with the recipients is the newly elected club president-elect Josh Clayton.