• Signature Q&A: Jim Prout

    JIM PROUT, executive director and CEO of Christian Services Inc., is a licensed and ordained minister who has grown up with a passion for helping hungry, hurt and lost people. He attended The University of Southern Mississippi and has a background in business and restaurant management. Returning to Christian Services Inc. in the ‘90s as director of operations, he has been fully devoted to the vision of reaching the community for Jesus. Prior to accompanying Jim in full-time ministry, his wife, Maggie, also worked in the food industry.

  • Meet Gerrell Payton: A Hub City man in his 13th year ringing the bell

    You can hear Gerrell Payton’s Salvation Army bell ringing out in the far reaches of the Walmart parking lot on Hwy. 98 West in Hattiesburg.

    Payton, who is the longest serving bell ringer in the Hub City at 13 years, has been on duty at his regular spot.

    Payton greeted customers with a hardy, “Hello, how are you?” as customers walked by, some in a hurry, some wrestling with youngsters while others were talking or texting on their mobile devices.

    He gave a heartfelt, “Thank you, Merry Christmas,” as they pushed a few bills or sprinkled some change in his red kettle.

  • MEET Marty Anklam: Purple Parrot's new chef

    The Purple Parrot has a new chef, only the sixth in its 32-plus years. Marty Anklam, who arrived on the scene in the spring, has had time to get his feet wet – having survived Mother’s Day and graduation weekends and a south Mississippi summer, helping launch a catering division and a new fall menu for the Parrot and feeding more than 600 at a recent fraternity tailgate at Mississippi State.

    A Mississippian by birth, his parents moved to Washington, D.C., when he was just 18 months old (not much say in that).

  • Merry Griswold Christmas

    “If you build it they will come” may be a line most remember from Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams.

    But the line from the 1989 movie is also working for Hattiesburgers Abby and Brandon Thaxton with the vignettes they are building and showcasing at their downtown business, The Lucky Rabbit. This time they’ve gone over the top and blown the budget to allow their fans to enjoy a completely immersive experience in the living room of Clark and Ellen Griswold of National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.”

  • Signature Q&A: Demaris Lee

    DEMARIS LEE is a 1972 graduate of Petal High School. She and her husband, David, started ServiceMaster in Petal in 1988. The following year, Lee and Jesse Rowell started the Petal Children’s Task Force when two families needed help with Christmas and food. This year it is celebrating its 30th year. Today, Lee serves as executive director for the nonprofit where she oversees the daily operations at their center. She and David have been married for 42 years and they have two children, Anthony and Brian Lee, and five granddaughters.

  • MEET THE... America READS Mississippi

    Since 2010, when Ekklesia Church in Hattiesburg first took part in the America Reads Mississippi Program – an initiative through Americorps Mississippi which helps place tutors in local schools – nine full-time reading tutors have been placed throughout the Hattiesburg Public School District, putting in more than 5,500 hours of one-one-one tutoring for more than 139 students.

  • MEET Bill Ray: City of Hattiesburg Veteran of the Year for 2019/2020

    Bill Ray has been named the  Hattiesburg Veteran of the Year for 2019-2020 by the City of Hattiesburg Veteran’s Committee.

    He will be recognized at the annual Veteran’s Day Program at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in downtown Hattiesburg. The program is open to the public and will follow the Veteran’s Day Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. at the Hardy Street Baptist Church.

  • Jim Meade

    Jim Meade’s passion for teaching remains as vibrant as his first day on the job 49 years ago as a member of The University of Southern Mississippi’s faculty.

    “I love teaching, and have enjoyed every minute of it,” said Meade of his nearly half-century career at USM as a professor of art and design.

    Whether in his youth as a swimming instructor or a Boy Scout showing others the proper technique for tying knots, and now teaching art to college students, Meade says he’s “never been stingy with my energy and knowledge.”

  • On the record: Rebecca Chandler

    Some people feel like they have no choice but to create and be creative. Southern Miss grad Rebecca Chandler is one of those people.

    We can only speculate what pushes a person to express themselves publicly, but it's these people who are responsible for the propagation of our culture and without these talented individuals, society would stagnate.

    Visual artists and musicians that we hold in high esteem are typically at the forefront of the performing lifestyle, but there are many more forms of art.

  • Meet the Blackwells

    Like many other parents, Cindy and Scott Blackwell are testing the waters as empty nesters. One month in and things are going pretty good. Sure, evening meals look different and the grocery bill has decreased dramatically, as has the laundry load, but that’s O.K.

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