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In a first for its usual breast cancer awareness event at Brown Circle, the Laurel Housing Authority launched a parade through the neighborhood loop on Thursday, Oct. 15, and included Mayor Johnny Magee, Laurel first-responders and more.

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The South Jones High School football program showed its support for the fight against breast cancer by painting the 50-yard line pink for the Braves' home game against Brookhaven High School on Oct. 16. Schools in and around the Free State show support for the fight against breast cancer ann…

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The fight against cancer often requires great amounts of love and support from its patients’ nearest and dearest friends. Laurel’s Whitney Pickering, an eight-year breast cancer survivor, knows this best. She credits her successful fight to faith, family and the support of a loving community. 

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My Twitter bio reads, “dad, husband, citizen, restaurateur, 70% water (10% gravy), enthusiastic traveler, world-class eater, and a lover of movies, music, football, and food.” That sums me up rather accurately. It should because I wrote it.

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Did you happen to see me waving to you in town last week? I talked to several visitors in our City Beautiful.

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With Halloween a week away, there is not much time to plan the perfect costume for all the procrastinators. However, you may still be able to steal the show with one of these easy last-minute costume ideas.

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“I wish that every day was Saturday and every month was October.” 

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In a collaboration between Jones College’s visual art instructor Mark Brown and Lauren Rogers Museum of Art education outreach coordinator Kelly Rosa, the Social Club in downtown Laurel now has a rainbow mural in the back room for kids to enjoy. Maddie, Brown’s daughter, also helped with the…

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Gamma Iota members met in September for the first time since COVID-19 restrictions began. Members wore masks, social distanced and enjoyed being together. The first order of business was announcing all 2019-20 officers had agreed to remain in office until the chapter year ends in June. The v…

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Because of COVID-19 and the consequential restrictions, the Ellisville Garden Club has revamped the Yard of the Month program for the remainder of 2020. Instead of selecting homeowners with outstanding yards, the club will highlight bright spots in and around the city that bring joy to the c…

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There was a comical saying that made the rounds with my mother’s generation, “Life’s short, eat dessert first.” As a kid I used to see it on T-shirts, notepads and posters. No one knew what a meme or a GIF was back then, but had they existed, the “Life’s short, eat dessert first” saying woul…

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Tim Douglas tries in vain to calm his poodle Elton, who tends to jump up and down when he meets strangers. The pair were standing outside First United Methodist Church, which each year hosts its “Great Pumpkin Patch” through Oct. 31 to fund its youth ministry for mission trips and retreats. …

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On March 12, I was scheduled to fly to Spain with my wife, best friend, his wife, a television production crew and 25 travel guests. We were going to lead our guests on a 10-day trek that was to start in Madrid and end in Malaga, with Barcelona, Valencia and Seville — among others — in betwe…

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Things are not always what they seem to be. When I was young, I was quick to make up my mind or be influenced in an opinion. But I have learned to look deeper into a situation and weigh all the evidence. 

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There are several stages in the life of a restaurant. The earliest stage is the research and development stage. Research-and-development involves recipe research, a lot of traveling around eating at similar concepts in search of ideas, and inspiration and spending a lot of time online lookin…

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How a Laurel family found their missing pomeranian

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As I sat here to write this, I had full intentions to share stories of Bradley’s 6-month milestones and KJ’s potty-training success. However, all I can think about is how I wish my mom was still here to share these moments with me and the kids. In life, you know there will come a day where y…

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Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Ellisville Garden Club decided to revamp the Yard of the Month program for the remainder of 2020. Instead of selecting homeowners with outstanding yards, the club will recognize bright spots in and around the city that bring joy to the community. The Sep…

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A couple of years ago, I was on the coast to see my grandson’s Gulfport ballgame. I had some time before I had to be there. “Lamb’s Tires and Oil Change” caught my eye and didn’t appear too busy. 

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Over the past 30 years, I have met a lot of people in my line of work. A lot of them are foodies. Many tell me they have the “best recipe” for this, that or the other. In the 20-plus years I’ve been writing this column, I have received countless cookbooks, old family recipes and various cook…

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Members waiting on mulch at The George Harrison Community Center are, from left, Katherine Herring, Elizabeth Barnes, Pam McGovern, Pat Holifield, Glynda Reed Robertson, Donna Blackwell and DD Zumwalt. Sherra Browning also took part in the cleanup but is not pictured because she snapped the …

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To be in the restaurant business and to live only 115 miles from one of the Top 3 restaurant cities in America (No. 1 in my book) has been an embarrassment of good fortune for 58 years. Even before I got into this line of work, I benefited from living just a few miles north of New Orleans. I…

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Life on the road is all about attitude. I have never minded road travel. I was raised by a single mom who funded our very limited — but wonderful — lifestyle on an art teacher’s salary. We didn’t have a lot, but I felt like I never missed a thing.

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JACKSON HOLE, Wyo.— The wife and I have been on the road for nine days. Just two people, one truck and way too much luggage.

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In the last two years, we have attempted to take only one real vacation with KJ. We traveled all the way to Atlanta for KJ to attend his first Atlanta Braves baseball game. KJ was 14 months old and I had every little detail mapped out perfectly. 

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Southern Civitan Club has purchased a wheelchair-accessible swing, and will be donating it to the Sportsplex in a ceremony at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3.  The swing will be located in the playground area of the Laurel Susan Boone Vincent Sportsplex. 

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Earlier in August I experienced one of the most surreal, yet rewarding, weeks I have spent in my 38-year restaurant career. Tuesday through Saturday nights we said farewell to a dear friend — the first restaurant concept I ever opened, the flagship of our company, the place where so many lif…

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Today I thought I would share the story of how a friend and I attempted to go to Dairy Queen. Sounds ordinary, doesn’t it? Somehow when we try to do anything together it becomes a misadventure. For privacy purposes I will call my friend Marcy. We both have brains that run, or limp, along the…

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Cal and Coen Cardwell took the lemons that were created by a global pandemic and made a lemonade stand. Cal, 8, left, and Coen, 5, attend Laurel Christian School. They wanted to have a garage sale, but since they don’t have a garage, they came up with the idea for lemonade stand near Euclid …

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Gulf Coast chef seeking local, regional recipes to give to Hurricane Laura victims

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“Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.” — Pablo Picasso

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LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Look for a way to turn a negative into a positive. Seek out people who share your concerns. Don’t waste time and energy on someone or something you cannot change. 

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Birdwatching seems like a strange hobby to me, but I have friends who do it, and they are fine people. The appeal of knitting, origami and crocheting are foreign to me, but they certainly require a certain level of dexterity that I likely don’t possess. Hobbies such as woodworking, stamp col…

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As the COVID-19 pandemic threw the country into a lockdown followed by strict mandates for businesses, many couples had tough decisions to make. Love, though, can never be canceled. These two couples took COVID-19 in stride, then made the most of it.

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One night, just after I had opened the back door so Snickers, my tabby cat, could go on patrol — rest easy 7th Avenue — my phone rang. I do not like to hear a phone ringing. It sends my two WatchPoodles crazy and I’m afraid they will have heart attacks or give me one.  A note here. Should yo…

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The past 4 1/2 months have been a range of emotions, milestones and adventures. With so much uncertainty going on in the world these days, it is easy to get caught up and overlook the small things happening right in front of you. However, at the end of the day, the little things will always …