Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Kristen Sampson Joins ECCC Women’s Basketball Staff

Former Mississippi College standout Kristen Sampson is the new volunteer assistant women’s basketball coach at East Central Community College after most recently serving as a graduate assistant at her alma mater.

ECCC Head Women’s Coach LaTaryl Williams announced Sampson’s hiring as he begins preparations for his first season leading the Lady Warriors. “I’m excited to have Coach Sampson join our program,” said Williams. “As a former player in our league, she understands what it takes to be successful on and off the court and will be a valuable mentor to our players. She has been doing a tremendous job thus far, and I see a bright future for her as she begins her coaching career.”

A native of Jackson, Sampson etched her name in the Mississippi College record book as she ranks in the top 10 in career three-pointers made, three-pointers attempted, and three-point field goal percentage. She started 50 games for the Lady Choctaws and compiled 700 points during her two seasons in Clinton and averaged 13.7 points per contest along with 4.3 rebounds. She added to her accomplishments during the 2015-16 season as she scored a career-high 32 points en route to a 91-80 Mississippi College win over the University of North Alabama. The performance was the first 30-point scoring effort for a Lady Choctaw since 2008.

Before her arrival in Clinton, Sampson played two seasons at Meridian Community College, where she averaged 19.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 steals, and 2.6 assists per game for the Lady Eagles in 25 games. She scored in double figures in 24 of her 25 games. She was named Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges Player of the Week seven times. 

Sampson started her basketball career in Jackson as she prepped at Provine High School. She was an All-Metro selection for the Rams averaging 15.0 points and six rebounds. She received her Associate of Art at Meridian Community College in 2014 and earned her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Mississippi College in 2016.

She is currently working on her master’s degree in athletic administration from Mississippi College.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Visits County

The Winston County Cattleman’s Association hosted Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner, Mr. Andy Gipson last Thursday evening. Prior to Commissioner Gipson’s speech to the Cattleman Association, Penny Barrier with our local USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office, planned a tour for the Commissioner to see some of Winston County’s Agricultural contributions to the state’s economy.

Agriculture is Mississippi’s greatest economic driver, boasting 36,200 farms, with a value of approximately $7.56 BILLION, from 10.7 million acres farmed. Winston County is a main stream contributor to Mississippi’s agriculture economy, with more than 80,000 acres in production, on an average of 500 privately owned farms. With Winston County having such a positive impact economically, there is a problem facing the agriculture community on the near horizon.

This problem was mentioned by Commissioner Gipson throughout the day as he toured our county. The problem facing us, is not unique to Winston, but the state and nation alike. The problem is our State’s farmer’s average age is 60, with more and more young people choosing other career paths.

Commissioner Gipson took time to meet, and talk with the FFA students attending the Cattleman’s meeting, and encouraged them to stay in school, make good grades, and explore all the opportunities agriculture can offer them, not only in technical careers, but the hundreds of professional careers absolutely crucial to the agricultural community.

Commissioner Gipson, was impressed with the diversity of agriculture commodities produced in Winston County. We toured a great cross-section of these commodities, to include row crop, beef, and poultry production. On behalf of MSU Extension, I’d like to thank the Winston Cattleman Association, USDA/NRCS office, Mr. Bobby Moody, Hugh Barrier, and Charlie Wilkes for representing Winston County Agriculture with great distinction. Lastly, I’d like to thank Commissioner Gipson for taking time from his undeniably busy schedule, to visit Winston County and encourage our agriculture community, and Winston County’s young people to take the reins of agriculture for the next generation.

Submitted by:  Jim McAdory, MSU Extension Agent

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Quilt on Display at Winston County Library

This beautiful quilt is on display at the Winston County Library through the months of September and October. The quilt was a gift to June Addkison of Louisville, by her second cousin Ann Whitfield Fox. Ann was raised in Shuqualak, but spent most of her adult life in Brandon, MS and the last two years in Durham, NC. The quilt features a deer, turkeys and other woodland wildlife and is called “Window of Love”. 

East Central Warrior Football Upsets No. 14 Itawamba on the Road

Warrior quarterback Mario Asagunla
tosses one of his four touchdown passes.
For the second week in a row, the East Central Community College Warriors took a lead into the fourth quarter on the road against a nationally ranked opponent, but this time the Warrior defense came up with a big last-minute stop to preserve a 34-28 upset win over the No. 14 ranked Itawamba Community College Indians Thursday, Sept. 6, in MACJC football action at Eaton Field in Fulton.

It was the first meeting between the two schools since 2013, when Itawamba defeated the Warriors 40-7 in Fulton.

Trailing by six with 4:40 to play, Itawamba drove from its own 21 to the Warrior 11 before the East Central defense stopped the Indians on four straight plays to preserve the upset. The Warrior offense took over and ran out the remainder of the game clock.

One week earlier, No. 6 ranked Northwest Mississippi scored 14 points in the final three minutes to avoid an upset in a 28-24 win over East Central in a game played in Senatobia.

With the win at Itawamba, East Central improves to 1-1 on the season, while the Itawamba Indians fell to 1-1. Both teams begin MACJC division play next week. East Central hosts South Division foe Southwest Mississippi in its home opener, while Itawamba begins North Division play at home against No. 1 East Mississippi.

For the second straight game, East Central took an early lead. Warrior freshman defensive back Anthony Blakely (Greene County High School) blocked the first two Itawamba punts of the game. Defensive back William Morgan (Northeast Jones) fell on the first punt in the end zone for a Warrior touchdown. The second block also resulted in East Central points as five plays later quarterback Mario Asagunla (Hillcrest Christian, Jackson) tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to freshman tight end Torin Hamilton (Starkville Academy) to give the Warriors an early 14-0 lead. The drive was aided by a 30-yard Asagunla to Octavious Olowo-Ake (Murrah, Jackson) pass play.

Following an ICC score, East Central extended its lead on a two-yard pass from Asagunla to freshman wide receiver Depodray Coburn II (Noxapater). The PAT was no good and the lead was 20-7. The drive began with a 52-yard kickoff return by Kevontaye Caston (Trinity Episcopal, Natchez).

The Warriors would tack on one more score before intermission on Asagunla’s third touchdown pass of the first half, this time a 16-yard floater to Caston in the corner of the end zone for a 27-7 lead at the half.
Depodray Coburn II out of Noxapater
bulls into the end zone.

East Central forced seven Itawamba punts in the first two quarters, and thwarted another drive when Keonte’ Daniels (Noxapater) intercepted an Indian pass on the Warrior nine-yard line in the second quarter.

Itawamba mounted a comeback in the third quarter with a pair of touchdowns to close the gap to 27-21. East Central got what would be the game-winning score early in the fourth quarter when Asagunla tossed his fourth touchdown pass of the game, this one good for 33 yards to a diving freshman wide receiver Jaylen Zachery (Thurgood Marshall, Dayton, Ohio) in the end zone.

The Indians would get their final points on a three-yard touchdown run by Hiram Wadlington with 9:11 to play before the Warrior defense took over and preserved the victory.

East Central will play its home opener Thursday, Sept. 13, when Southwest Mississippi visits Bailey Stadium in Decatur. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. It is Be Our Guest night and all area high school students will be admitted free to the game.

The game can be heard on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3 or via audio stream and live stream video at

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Winston Medical Center and Locals Participate in Full-Scale Emergency Drill.

Thursday, September 6, 2018 more than 20 agencies, schools and businesses from Winston County participated in a full scale emergency drill held at Winston Medical Center. This event was planned and exercised with the help of the Winston County Healthcare Coalition. 

From 8 am to 11 am, residents, patients, and guests may have notice law enforcement and fire personnel and vehicles inside and outside the hospital as well as hear overhead pages throughout the hospital pertaining to the exercise. With  student volunteers acting as the “victims,” physicians, hospital staff and emergency personnel practiced patient care and transportation for a mock emergency when a disaster occurs. The volunteers wore full make-up and posed as injured victims and concerned family members.

As the victims showed up, hospital staff members classified them based on their injuries, with emergency vehicles transporting patients to emergency areas and trauma bays. 
The fake injuries included everything from lacerations to a fatality caused by drowning. The students acting as patients said the drill was a great first-hand experience to see how things worked in the emergency and healthcare field. The students who participated are all students who plan to work in the healthcare field and are active students involved in the Allied Health (HOSA) program at LMSD. 

The exercise helped participants work through what they would do in a real life scenario.  “Preparedness is important,” said Paula Harris, Chairperson for Winston Medical Center Disaster Committee. “You never know what is going to happen so working together with various businesses and agencies, and having good communication is key. Participating in exercises like this helps us better prepare in case a real disaster was to happen,” said Harris.
While there was increased activity at the hospital, WMC was committed to ensuring that patient care was not disrupted. 
Any one who would like to get involved in the Winston County Healthcare Coalition may contact Paula Harris at 662-779-5150. 

Taylor Group Gift Benefits MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering

Read here

Aubries Angels Say Thank You

Aubrie's Angels adopted Mrs. McCools and Mrs. McCulloch's special education classes at Ackerman last year.  We were able to fulfill the teachers request of Task boxes for the classrooms and also an Ipad and other teaching materials.   Thanks to all who donated to Aubries Angels. 
(Pictured L-R: Joni McCulloch, Linda McCool and Lindsey Mills) 

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Red Cross Update

We are thinking of our fellow Red Cross board members, volunteers and staff across the coast in the affected communities and hoping that they are safe and well. If you know of anyone in the affected areas who might need assistance, please direct them to 800-REDCROSS (800-733-2767.)
329 people took refuge from Tropical Storm Gordon in 8 American Red Cross shelters last night as the storm hit our coast. The Red Cross mobilized 50 workers to help Mississippi residents with safe shelter, food and water and a shoulder to lean on.  Today, we are continuing to keep an eye on the weather and monitor needs as the system passes through our state. More than 10,000 Mississippians were without power last night and Mississippi Power, Coast Electric and Singing River Electric crews are working to get them all back online. At 9 a.m. today the remnants of Gordon were over the Jackson area dumpling lots of rain and moving north through the state.  Emergency managers in several counties are reporting some flooding but no major damage.
I would greatly appreciate anything that you can do to help raise awareness about the response efforts and to encourage individuals, corporations and foundations to provide support for Red Cross disaster relief at this time.
How can you help?
  • Download and encourage others to download our Red Cross mobile apps
  • Tell our story:
  • Make a donation and help ask for donations.
  • Use our disaster dollar handles to share the impact of a gift to support Tropical Storm Gordan can have:
    • $2.50: Provide a comfort kit containing the basic personal supplies someone would need in the aftermath of a disaster.
    • $17.50 provides 1 hot meal, a comfort kit and a blanket to a shelter resident
    • $30: Cover the cost of a clean-up kit and comfort supplies for a family of 4.
    • $300/day to deploy an ERV to an operation
    • $5,000 average cost of opening or preparing a shelter for 1 night
Submitted by: Charles Hampton

The Incredibles to Use Superpowers for Library Card Sign-up Month!

The Incredibles are joining the American Library Association and the Winston County Library to encourage the public to obtain a free library card as Honorary Chairs of Library Card Sign-up Month this September. The Incredibles will use their superpowers to remind families, students and people of all ages that signing up for a library card is a great step toward a truly super lifestyle.

A library card is the most important school supply of all!

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Library Card Sign-up Month, a national observance that was launched in 1987 to ensure every child obtain a library card and use it. Since then, thousands of public and school libraries join each fall in a national effort to ensure every child does just that.

A new library card at the Winston County Library is free. If you are an adult, just bring your photo, school or military ID, or passport. If a parent brings a child to get a new card, just bring the child’s social security card.

As a special treat this year, children getting their first library card can help us Build a Bookworm at the Winston County Library! Get a library card, write your name on a colored circle and watch it grow!

Aubrey and Mollie McAdory, pictured here, recently got their cards and added their circles to the Bookworm! They are first graders at Winston Academy and are the daughters of Mitch and Jennifer McAdory.

The Winston County Library is a member of the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System with 13 libraries located in Attala, Winston, Leake, Holmes and Montgomery Counties. This library card can be used at over 55 public libraries, college and university libraries through the Mississippi Library Partnership in Central and North Mississippi.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

MEMA Preparing for Tropical Storm Gordon

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency is coordinating preparations for Tropical Storm Gordon that is expected to begin affecting the state Tuesday afternoon. Hurricane and storm surge warnings are in effect for Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson counties. MEMA has a liaison in each of the county emergency operations centers.

Tropical Storm Gordon formed off the west coast of Florida on Monday morning. Gordon is expected increase to a Category One hurricane by landfall late Tuesday night, potentially bringing 80 mph winds and more than five inches of rain to south Mississippi.

MEMA reminds everyone about the importance of a family emergency plan and listen to the advice of your local officials.

“MEMA has been monitoring the development of Tropical Storm Gordon very closely and will continue to do so through landfall which is currently forecasted for some time late Tuesday night. We anticipate Gordon will produce widespread and heavy rainfall along the coastal counties. That rainfall combined with increased tidal surges are likely to result in localized flooding in the affected areas. Residents in those affected counties should also be prepared for tropical storm force winds and conditions that will favor isolated tornado threats not only along coastal counties but for South Mississippi in general.” said MEMA Executive Director Greg Michel. “Stay tuned to your local weather and monitor all guidance from your local Emergency Management Agencies. Be prepared by staying informed.”

Here is the latest information on Tropical Storm Gordon from the National Weather Service:

• Tropical Storm Gordon should make landfall along the Mississippi Coast Tuesday night, and is expected to become a hurricane at that time.

• Greatest threat is heavy rainfall and flooding, along with hurricane-force winds which will impact much of South Mississippi and 3 to 5 feet of storm surge.

• People living in low lying areas should have a plan to evacuate if waters begin to rise.

“Preparing for tomorrow’s disasters today” Visit us online at

The State Emergency Operations Center has been activated and is monitoring conditions along with supplying requests for resources from counties.

MEMA will provide updates as information becomes available. The best way to get up-to-date information is to “Like” MEMA on Facebook, or “Follow” us on twitter @msema.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Annual Christmas Concert 'On-Hold' For One-Year

The Red Hills Arts Foundation has announced that it will not produce the annual “Home for Christmas” concert this year due to the renovations that are underway at the historic Strand Theater in downtown Louisville. RHAF has produced the show for more than 20 years. Grammy Award winning Winston County Native Carl
Jackson along with many of his superb artists and friends have headlined the event.

ECCC Warriors Drop Heartbreaking Football Opener at No. 6 Northwest

ECCC freshman wide receiver Jaylen Zachery comes down with a 35-yard desperation touchdown pass from quarterback Mario Asagunla as the first half ended against Northwest.

The No. 6 ranked Northwest Rangers needed 14 points in the final 
three minutes of the game to avoid a major opening night upset at the hands of the East Central Community College Warriors in MACJC football action in Senatobia Thursday night, Aug. 30.

The home standing Rangers overcame a 24-14 East Central lead with two late touchdown passes to get the 28-24 victory in the non-division game played at Ranger Stadium at Bobby Franklin Field on the Northwest Mississippi Community College campus.  East Central fell to 0-1 with the loss, while the defending MACJC North Division Champion Rangers open 1-0.

East Central shocked the home team with an early touchdown and the lead. On its second drive of the game and second time in Ranger territory, quarterback Mario Asagunla (Hillcrest Christian, Jackson) hit a streaking wide receiver Kevontaye Caston (Trinity Episcopal, Natchez) for a 38-yard touchdown. The PAT from Sam Cox out of Starkville Academy was true and ECCC had a 7-0 lead midway through quarter number one.

Early in the second quarter, the Warriors gambled on a fourth and one from their own 40-yard line, losing three yards. Three plays later, the Rangers were in the end zone on a three-yard run by Kevin Perkins to tie the game 7-7. East Central regained the lead after defensive back Daniel Little (Terry) picked up a Ranger fumble and put the Warriors in business on the Northwest 31. The Warriors had to settle for a 29-yard Cox field goal and a 10-7 lead with 8:19 to play in the first half. Northwest would get its first lead of the game with 1:27 to go before the half on a 23-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Free to receiver Braden Smith.

Just as it appeared the half would come to an end, Warrior running back James Smith III (Velma Jackson, Canton) ripped off a 23-yard run to the Northwest 35, stepping out of bounds with one second left. Asagunla then heaved a pass high into the air and a leaping freshman Jaylen Zachery (Thurgood Marshall, Dayton, Ohio) came down with the ball in the end zone as the half ended and a 17-14 Warrior lead. East Central continued to put pressure on the highly ranked Rangers in the second half.
Freshman linebacker Elijah Keyes (No. 43) brings down a Northwest runner.

On their first possession of the third quarter, the Warriors drove 56 yards in six plays, with freshman Marcus Hooks (Northside Christian, St. Petersburg, Fla.) pounding in from the two to give East Central a 10-point cushion at 24-14. 

The Warriors appeared to be on the verge of putting the game away with 8:50 to play, but could not convert a fourth and goal from the Ranger one-yard line. From there, it was all Northwest. Free hit JaVonta Payton with a 26-yards scoring strike with 3:12 to play to close the gap to 24-21. The Rangers then recovered their own on-side kick near midfield and five plays later Free hit Smith for the third time of the evening, this time from 10 yards with 1:27 to play and the 28-24 win.

Asagunla finished the contest 16-26 passing for 194 yards and the two scores. Caston caught five of those balls for 62 yards, and Zachery has four receptions for 67 yards. Smith finished the game with 97 yards rushing on 17 carries. Northwest won the battle for overall yards with 539, but could manage only 92 on the ground. East Central rushed for 154 yards and passed for 205.

The Warrior defense was in the Ranger backfield a good part of the night, sacking Northwest quarterbacks five times for 31 yards in losses. Linebacker Kendrick Abney (Sylva Bay Academy, Heidelberg) led the way with 11 tackles and two sacks. Linebacker V.J. Swanier (Pass Christian) also had 11 tackles. Freshman Steven Anderson (Purvis) had a good night punting the ball and keeping it away from Ranger returners. He averaged 41 yards on six kicks with a long of 47.

East Central will head to north Mississippi again next Thursday to face Itawamba Community College in another non-division game. Kickoff from Eaton Field in Fulton on Sept. 6 is 6:30 p.m.

The East Central vs. preseason No. 16 ranked Itawamba game can be heard on WKOZ Cruisin 98.3 or via audio stream and live stream video at