PICAYUNE — Military family members and several Picayune firefighters celebrated Memorial Day by decorating National Guard Armory on U.S. Highway 11 for the return of the 857th Horizontal Engineering Company. The unit is expected to return by the weekend. The group decorating the armory consisted of wives, children, parents and Picayune firefighters who placed flags, yellow ribbons and signs along the road and exterior of the armory. “Everyone has worked so hard to make this happen,” said Dynell Debolt, volunteer liaison and chairperson of the 857th Family Readiness Group, which adds approximately 150 families to her care and for whom she advocates and watches over in the absence of their spouses. In the chatter of anticipation among the group, as they worked, a mom could be heard consoling her young son, saying, “We only have four more sleeps until daddy comes home.” The mom, Katherine Mitchell, has three children between the ages of five and seven. She works full time and said their father, Staff Sgt. Joshua S. Mitchell, made it a point to establish certain rituals with the children before he left. One of those, was to designate two songs for their six-year-old daughter, Emily, to practice singing while he learned to play them on the guitar while he was away. “She listens to them every night before she goes to sleep on the karaoke machine. She is looking forward to singing them with her daddy while he plays on his guitar,” said Katherine Mitchell. “Their dad is also a fireman when he is not deployed, so it means so much to have his fellow firemen out here today. They are always there when we need them.” As five-year-old Jamie Mitchell asked for help locating his father’s name on the monument just outside the armory front door, Katherine Mitchell showed him not only his father’s name but his two uncle’s names on the same monument. “They are a family who believe in serving their country. It takes its toll, but we know it has to be done,” she said. Newlywed Karen Havard, was there helping as well. She and her husband Pvt. Aaron Havard were wed in San Antonio as the troops were in mobilization to be deployed. “I put my life on hold for him,” Havard said. “Sometimes I do not go to things or events because I’m waiting for a call. Most people understand, but some do not. It is just part of the package. He is out there in all kinds of weather and situations risking his life for us and I am going to be there when he calls.” Debolt said that Picayune is much appreciated for its support of the deployed soldiers. She indicated one of the deployed soldier’s, Kayla Watkins, recent posts on Facebook as an example. Watkins, the deployed mother of three-year-old Braylee, writes, “I am absolutely amazed at the support Picayune, MS has given us during this deployment! The people of that community remind me of why me and my family have these sacrifices! I may not live there anymore but I’m proud to call Picayune my home town! I love y’all! ...” “Of all the counties, I am so amazed at the continual support from Picayune, in Pearl River County,” said Debolt. “The actions and selflessness of this community is widely noted among the troops and their families. It is greatly appreciated.”
Third annual Christmas on the Rails and Shopping by Candlelight
The Third Annual “Christmas on the Rails” is from 5 until 8 p.m. Friday in conjunction with Picayune Main Street’s Shop by Candlelight and Art Works sponsored by Greater Picayune Arts Council (GPAC). Art Works and Shop by Candlelight go on until 9 p.m. Sometime during the evening, the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce will announce the winner of the Best Decorated Store Front contest.
CWC Pilgrimage: A second time around
D.L. and Sandra Barker Bolton invite you to join them for the “second time around” as they open their home for the Civic Woman’s Club Christmas Pilgrimage to be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 2 until 7 p.m.
Both of them were on the first tour of homes when Civic Woman’s Club started the Pilgrimage in 1986. D.L. and his late wife, Wanda, had a Renaissance Christmas, and Sandra and her late husband, Larry, had a Victorian Christmas.
Business withstands test of time
McDonald Funeral Home, now owned and operated by Steve and Ann
McDonald, is a 96-year-old family run business with several long time
employees and was the recent recipient of the 2013 Excellence in
Business Award from the Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce.
Vocability: Did Black Friday make you blue?
The holiday shopping season has begun and in its honor this week’s
column relates to retail terminology.
Anyone who has either had a part-time job or has been known as a
frequent shopper has most likely encountered several of these terms.
Match the ones you know and learn the others because it will give you
a whole perspective on your shopping experience.
As always, the answers are at the bottom of the column.
Partners delivers Presents for Pearl River County
“Our vision was to coordinate with all three county school districts and have students anonymously adopted like the programs used with ‘Angel Tree’ and such,” said Herndon, who is Children's Minister at First Baptist Church in Picayune. “We have two locations for trees that will have ornaments representing children in need. One is at Coast Electric in Picayune and the other is at the Poplarville Courthouse.”
Coast Electric is located at 6375 U.S. 11, in Picayune. The Poplarville Courthouse is located at 200 Highway 26 E, in Poplarville. The trees are conveniently located for access when the facilities are closed.
Toys for Tots registration and drive
Boxes are available in Picayune, Poplarville, Crossroads, Millard, McNeill and Carriere.
In Picayune, a few of the many locations to find them are: Crosby Library, Highland Community Hospital, Picayune Police Department and SPCA. In Poplarville, a few of the many locations to find them are: Jacob’s Well, Chamber of Commerce and Hancock Bank. In Crossroads, a box is located at Crossroad Seafood and Grill. In McNeill, a box is located at McNeill Travel Plaza. In Carriere, boxes can be found at Hide-A-Way Lake and PRC School ROTC.
To sign up, go to WORC from Monday, Dec. 2 through Friday, Dec 6, during the hours of 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. through noon. Those needing further information can call 769-926-1333.
Fred Cruse Foundation again giving away bicycles
All donations can be either dropped off or mailed to Fred’s Westside Pharmacy located at 207 Kirkwood St., Picayune, MS 39466. For more information call Diane Cruse at 601-798-8888.
Angel Tree for children
Trees with angel ornaments to adopt can be found at Wal-Mart and Highland Community Hospital. Those who would like to sponsor a child through Angel Tree, or find out more about it, may call the church at 601-798-6301 or visit the Internet site at www.angeltree.org.
Senior Snowflake project
Snowflake trees will be found at:
— Highland Community Hospital;
— Ford Realty located at 1004 Memorial Boulevard, open from 8:30 a.m.
to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday;
— Stewart Insurance Agency, 114 East Canal Street in Picayune open
Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
CWC Pilgrimage: Formby home
It’s Christmas time in Picayune and you will be hard pressed to find more holiday spirit anywhere other than this Main Street home in the heart of old Picayune.
The renovated home of Mark and Rita Formby sits on four city lots across from a grove of live oaks that are draped in Spanish moss. The sprawling oaks are scenic year round and slightly buffer the rumble of Norfolk Southern trains that roll by.
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- Third annual Christmas on the Rails and Shopping by Candlelight