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NEW ORLEANS — Every day of my life, I wear a small button on my shirt, jacket or vest — sometimes all three — that reads “Eat Local.”

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For the past 20-plus years, my final column in December is always a list of the top dining experiences I enjoyed throughout the previous year. In a typical pre-2020 year, I spend a few months working in Italy and a good bit of time traveling across the United States doing research and develo…

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 Laurel High School students made Christmas wishes come true for 19 families this year through its Fellowship of Christian Athletes Christmas party. In the gymnasium last Thursday evening, 50-70 students associated with Laurel High School sports wrapped presents for families in need. 

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 On Dec. 11, the Sharon Volunteer Fire Department hosted its sixth annual Shop With A Firefighter and was able to take 25 children from Jones County shopping at Walmart with al firefighter. 

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 We don’t want to put a damper on the holidays, but accidental injuries do occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Driving, cooking or even putting up decorations can be a source for trauma — especially involving the eyes. And, particularly for kids. According to the American Academy …

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Jacquisha Sims and her two daughters — Mariana, 4, and Makeinzy, 10 — had waited for four years to be a part of Shop with a Cop, and on Dec. 4, their wish came true. 

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 In four short days, we will have been a family of five for three whole months. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so much better than I could have imagined. Maybe it has something to do with Rynlee sleeping 10-12 hours per night or the fact that we have somehow managed to keep the other t…

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It is book season. For many people, that’s the time of year when summer paperbacks are released or the holiday cookbooks hit bookstore shelves. For me, it’s the time of year when I take to the road on an always interesting, sometimes grueling book-signing schedule.

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There are three constants that have been ever-present in my life from Day 1 — food, music and art. For the purposes of this column — and the release of my latest coffee-table book — I will focus on art. I am not an artist, though I grew up in the house of an artist.

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Friends Randy Jackson and Tony Hamrick, both of Laurel, shared an unlikely journey when both were diagnosed with prostate cancer a year apart from each other, seeing the same doctors, having surgery at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and following similar treatment plans.

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The Kiwanis Club of Laurel isn’t waffling this year. Flapjacks will be served to the masses again on the first Saturday of December, and club members are fired up about being back at the big griddle after a one-year hiatus.

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ORLANDO — Sometime in the next few week,s I’ll be opening a new restaurant, bar and tiki bar in the Fondren neighborhood of Jackson. Those are all very familiar concepts to me. I have worked in the restaurant business for 40-plus years and more than 33 years have been as an owner.

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The chances of being in the presence of genuine, iconic, living, breathing legends are few and far between, if ever at all. I don’t have many regrets in life, but I had several chances in my late teens to see blues master Muddy Waters. The same goes for Willie Dixon. I passed at the time bec…

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Last week, I was walking around a New Orleans grocery store with my daughter helping her restock her apartment, which had been virtually empty since Hurricane Ida swept through town almost two months ago. Everything in her refrigerator had been thrown out a few days after the storm and she h…

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Rev. Jamie Altman’s passion is following the Lord’s will in his life — and that’s allowed him to meet former Vice President Mike Pence, Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Tucker among others. 

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 The Jones County Fire Council and Board of Supervisors had a special-called meeting on Wednesday, where they were expected to announce that a contract agreement had been reached for the county’s volunteer fire departments to continue serving the county. 

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A suspect in a 20-mile, high-speed pursuit led law enforcement on a tour of Jones County and back to his home where he was tased and taken into custody in Laurel Tuesday morning.

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Pine Ridge pastor balances church, funeral homes, family

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Teresa Mackey took broken pieces of jewelry that she found around her house and turned them into beautiful pieces of art. That’s symbolic of the path her life took in recent years. What seemed shattered now shines.

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The most common form of cancer in women is breast cancer, besides skin cancers. There’s a one-in-eight chance that a person will develop breast cancer in the U.S. In 2020, nearly 282,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. The Laurel Housing Authority brings awareness to breast cancer b…

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The South Jones Band of Braves took the Bands of America competition by storm, winning the overall award for Class 1A and scoring high enough to make it to the finals.

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Gorgeous weather brings out the crowds for Fall Tyme Festival

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PETROGNANO-SEMIFONTE, TUSCANY— The first tour I ever led was seven years ago. My friend Andy Wiest, a history professor and war historian at the University of Southern Mississippi, and I created a tour we called Battlefields and Baguettes. We toured London, Belgium, Normandy and Paris with a…

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PETROGNANO-SEMIFONTE, TUSCANY — My mother used to speak disparagingly of grown men who kept changing careers later in life. Even as a kid, I never agreed with that. It seemed — and still seems — to me that, when it comes to an occupation, one should do whatever makes one feel happy, fulfille…

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Grab a broom and a dustpan because I am about to drop some names. My friend Marty Stuart, country music legend, multi-instrumentalist, curator, fellow Mississippian and all-around great guy, and his friend Ken Burns, the world’s finest documentarian — alive or dead — are supporting a project…

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Northeast Jones Middle/High School will celebrate Homecoming 2021 on Friday, Oct. 8. The homecoming parade will begin at 6 p.m. with the ceremony following at 6:30 p.m.

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On Wednesday, Dixie Electric Power Association General Manager Randy Smith and communication assistant Amanda Mills spoke to the Laurel Kiwanis Club regarding their new high-speed internet subsidiary company, DE Fastlink, LLC.

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Homecoming on the campus of Jones College in Ellisville will be a celebration of the “Jones Family 2021” with numerous reunions and gatherings scheduled on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 8 and 9. Jones College students recently elected its 2021 Homecoming Court with the following ladies represent…

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Downtown Ellisville has seen a boon of customers at its local businesses. New businesses are opening, and residents and tourists alike are enjoying the renovations from the Ellisville Downtown Paving Project’s completion. From 100-year-old to three-week-old businesses, everyone is staying busy.

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A woman who gave birth to a methamphetamine-positive baby is being sought by the Jones County Sheriff’s Department.

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For the second straight Monday, deputies were at West Jones High School just before classes were set to start. But this week, it wasn’t because of any students or parents of students.

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It’s been a little over a year since Julia Reed was taken from us — much too soon — after a long, sometimes public, always brave battle with cancer. I can’t remember the first time I met Julia. It was either at a party in her French Quarter home on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, or at a part…