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Lakeshia Ramsey of Laurel and her 5-year-old daughter Maison weren’t quarantined inside on a beautiful spring day. They went roller-skating at the Sportsplex on Wednesday afternoon, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine while school is out and many businesses are shut down to help combat the s…

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There is a routine I have followed for the last 20-plus years I have written this weekly column. On Monday mornings, I get to my office early and start fleshing out a thought or an idea for a column. Within a few hours I put the finishing touches on it, add a recipe, an associated image and …

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MARCH 17 — Good morning, everyone. We are living in strange and scary times. The atmosphere around the restaurants is very surreal. It’s almost as if we are living in a movie — and not a lighthearted romantic romp, a whacky screwball comedy or even a big-business drama — but a disaster movie…

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A week ago this morning, I was in New Orleans on a quick getaway with my wife. While reading the newspaper at my usual breakfast spot that morning, I noticed a story that mentioned that the legendary New Orleans restaurant, the Bon Ton Café, would be closing at the end of the week. Friday wo…

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The Garden Clubs of Laurel and Jones County came together for a work day to prune and weed the grounds at the Veterans Memorial Museum. From left, Jayne Cooper, Becky Brewer, Jan Smith, Mary Anne Sumrall, Brenda Rogers, Elizabeth Barnes, Judy Bush, Sherra Browning and photographer Erin Hicks. 

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The Ellisville Garden Club has selected the home of Rick and Sandra Sumrall at 16 Neil Road for the March Yard of the Month. This spacious Italian house has the perfect landscape to accent every feature of the architectural design and the long circular driveway that is accented with a concre…

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When I look over the past two decades in my life as a parent of a daughter and son, there are many moments that make me want to swell with pride. I remember the time my elementary school-aged daughter befriended a girl in her Sunday school who announced to the class that she had no friends. …

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The Ellisville Garden Club will host a spring plant sale on Saturday, April 4, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the corner of Front and West Holly Street — across from the Ellisville Police Department.

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For the past 20 years this column has covered hundreds of topics, some obscure, some newsworthy. It’s mostly a food column, but I write a lot about travel and family.

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The February meeting was at the First United Methodist Church of Ellisville with 17 members present. Members enjoyed delightful Mardi Gras-themed refreshments.

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It’s amazing to me how some parents have it figured out automatically and from the start. Some just get it. I don’t know if parenting was an intuitive thing for me or not. I feel like I was pretty good at it. If I wasn’t it wasn’t for lack of trying. I think I focused the things that needed …

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Several years ago, country music icon and noted Mississippian Marty Stuart and I were on the dais of a radio show. While we were each waiting our turn to go on the air, we struck up a conversation about one of my favorite subjects —  and most certainly one of his — our home state of Mississippi.

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Just a little over 32 years ago, I was a few weeks into the honeymoon phase of my first restaurant opening. There have been 17 other openings since then. They have all been stressful and hectic, but there is something about the first one that holds such a special place in my heart.

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Last week, a Facebook ad crossed my timeline in search of recent college graduates who might be interested in driving a hot dog on wheels all over the country for a year. Most people would be shocked reading such a solicitation. I, however, didn’t give it a second glance. I am an expert in r…

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If you grew up here in Laurel in the 1960s, you may have lived in one of the lovely old homes on the Avenues. Houses that had milk doors and wide porches, wooden stairways that creaked and claw-foot bath tubs.                                                                                       

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Kiwanis Club of Laurel immediate Past President Lowell Howell won the 2019 Kiwanis Club of Laurel "Ralph T. Simmons Trophy" for the most Pancake Day tickets sold for Kiwanis Pancake Day. He sold 289 tickets for a total of $1,734. The trophy is named for Simmons, who won the award each year f…

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There is a game I play with a few of my foodie friends. It’s based on the question: “If you could only eat one food item for the rest of your life, what would it be?” It’s a harder question to answer than one might think. I love steak, but would I want to eat steak three times a day forever? No.

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The West Jones High School Key Club won the Kiwanis Maple Syrup Trophy for the most 2019 Kiwanis Club of Laurel Pancake Day ticket sales. WJ members sold a combined 777 tickets, which totaled $4,662. A portion of the ticket sales will go to the West Jones Key Club to assist with club project…

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In the 1960s and early 1970s of my youth, there wasn’t a lot of dining out in my family. Most special occasions were hosted by my grandmother in her dining room. On the rare instance our family dined out, my favorite restaurant was a place called Captain John’s.

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There are many ways to sum up a person’s personality and character. Attaching labels to them is a shortcut, but probably the most frequently used. I am called a restaurateur, columnist, author, tour leader and a few other choice — and sometimes unsavory — things. But of all of the titles or …

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With 2020 only days away, I cannot quit thinking about the changes our family is soon to undergo in just 10 weeks or so.  While I know my husband and I will have a lot of adjusting to do, I cannot imagine what KJ will be experiencing soon. Not only will KJ be promoted to a big brother in 202…

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Memories are the fuel that ignite and continually stoke this column. I have written in this space for more than 20 years — approximately 1,000 words per week, 52 weeks per  year — and have never missed a week. Not one. I write mostly about food, but family and familial memories often enter t…

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It is almost my absolute favorite time of the year and I cannot wait to experience Christmas through KJ’s eyes this holiday season. Although KJ was here last Christmas, he was only 9 months old and not very interested in the holiday festivities. However, I feel like this year will be a compl…

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During the excitement of the winter holiday season, the Mississippi Ag Museum will host its Homestead for the Holidays event. On Thursday and Friday, Dec. 12-13, the Ag Museum will be open from 5-8 p.m. for this joy-filled holiday event. Admission will be $6 for adults and $4 for children, a…

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Panels of the internationally acclaimed AIDS Memorial Quilt — the 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 90,000 people lost to AIDS — will be on view in two locations in the Pine Belt today (Saturday) through Wednesday in commemoration of World AIDS Day. 

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The primary and traditional American holidays are Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween and Thanksgiving. I enjoy each of them for different reasons. There are two that typically bring my family together, Christmas and Thanksgiving. We’ll cover Christmas in a …

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With Thanksgiving festivities soon to start, you may already be dreading the Tupperware bowls that will be sure to fill your refrigerator. However, if you are feeling burnt out on turkey sandwiches, there are innovative ideas to reinvent your Thanksgiving leftovers.