Friday, May 29, 2020

Presley Works with Congress to Speed Up $940 Million for Broadband Deployment in Mississippi

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley joined a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers and industry leaders in showing support for legislation accelerating the timeline to make federal dollars available for rural broadband deployment.

The Rural Broadband Acceleration Act (H.R.7022) is sponsored by U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) and Representative Fred Upton (R-Michigan). Currently, $16 Billion are expected to be awarded to projects across America in October as part of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) administered by the Federal Communications Commission.

The legislation also prioritizes projects that can begin within six months of receiving the funding and provide service within a year. It also gives preference to projects providing one-gigabit speeds.

“Nothing has exposed the cruel digital divide in America like COVID-19. The bill brought forward today by Representatives Clyburn and Upton and is supported by our Mississippi Congressmen, Trent Kelly (R) and Bennie Thompson (D), prioritizes faster installation of broadband services, cuts red tape and federal bureaucracy. The fact is that the funds from the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund have been allocated long before the pandemic. These funds are sitting idle at the FCC at a time when Mississippians have their greatest need for broadband service. There is no reason to delay the disbursement of these funds. I am particularly thankful that Congressmen Kelly and Thompson support this bill because they understand it may mean up to $940 Million for Mississippi immediately. It is my sincerest hope that Mississippians can count on the support of Congressmen Palazzo and Guest and Senators Hyde-Smith and Wicker. Senator Wicker, in particular, has a vital role in this effort as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, with jurisdiction over the FCC. Mississippi is fortunate to have our senior senator in such an influential position.”

Commissioner Presley continued: “Anything that we, especially as officials elected by the people, can do to bring these resources to these communities, we should do so without delay. Anyone who is serious about bridging the digital divide should support this common sense legislation. This money is already appropriated, just waiting to be sent to communities that need it. Let’s get it there now.”

Monday, May 25, 2020

Supply of Masks to be Available for Local Churches

Winston County will be issuing a limited number of masks to all churches within Winston County on
Monday June 1st, 2020. These efforts are being made to help local churches meet CDC recommendations as many of our local churches are making plans to safely return to in-door worship services.

Our local churches have made huge sacrifices and shown great leadership through-out the pandemic. In an effort to assist our faith-based partners, Winston County will be providing an opportunity for each church within Winston County to receive and have protective masks for their members who want to attend services but may not have a mask.

While there are still many considerations for our religious leaders to make concerning returning to in-door worship services such as maintaining social distancing, limiting exposure of at-risk members, sanitation of facilities, ventilation of the facility, wearing of masks; Winston County would like to assist by providing a limited supply of masks for church members who may not have had an opportunity to acquire a mask for their personal use.

In order to receive these masks, we need each church leader to determine how many masks they may
need to supplement their congregation. Many members will already have their own masks, some members of the “at risk group for Covid-19” will need to continue to isolate themselves for protection. These and other factors should allow for a small number of masks to be made available for those members who may not have access to a mask that might prevent them from attending services.

When the church leader has determined how many masks they will need, we need them to send an e-mail to In this e-mail we will need the following information:

  • Church Name

  • Church Address

  • Number of Masks Requested

  • Contact Person

  • Contact Phone Number.

Winston County will use these requests to develop a listing of needs and to begin the packaging process.

Masks will be available for drive-through pick-up by an official designee at:

Mt Olive Bethel Harmony District Building

529 Armstrong Street

Louisville, MS 39339

Masks will be handed-out through a drive-through process on June 1st, 2020 between 3 and 5 PM.
If anyone should have any questions please feel free to contact Buddy King at 662-803-9473.

Friday, May 22, 2020

ECCC’s Girling Named DSU Music Alumnus of the Year

Ed Girling, who retired as director of bands at East Central Community College following the spring 2020 semester, was named 2020 Alumnus of the Year by the Delta State University Department of Music.

“The Alumnus of the Year Award is given to an outstanding music alumnus or alumna of Delta State whose career achievements reflect a sustained level of professional excellence that all our students can aspire to,” wrote Dr. Douglas L. Mark, DMA, Associate Professor of Trombone/Low Brass at Delta State University. “We are pleased to present the Career Achievement Award to Mr. Ed Girling and salute Ed for his many contributions to the field of music education and the exceptional model of success he provides for our students.”

Girling has spent 38 years as a music educator in Mississippi, including stints at Yazoo City, Cleveland, Neshoba Central, Stringer, Scott Central and Forest high schools, as well as North Sunflower and Manchester academies.

During his nine-year tenure at East Central, which began as an assistant and later taking over as director of bands, Girling also served as applied percussion instructor, director of the drumline, front ensemble, and the ECCC Percussion Ensemble.

He is a frequent clinic and contest judge, invited band clinician, and guest conductor. He has served the discipline as former president of both the East Central Mississippi Band Directors' Association and the Mississippi Junior and Community College Band Association. He also served director of the award-winning Scott County Honor Band.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

EMCC Conducts Virtual Graduation

East Mississippi Community college conducted a virtual commencement ceremony Tuesday, May 20, for the Class of 2020.
More than 600 academic and career-technical students who completed their coursework at the Scooba, Golden Triangle, Columbus Air Force Base, Macon, Lion Hills, West Point Center, Communiversity and online/eLearning campuses qualified to graduate. In-state graduates hail from 46 counties and 88 cities in Mississippi, with additional graduates from nine other U.S. states.

EMCC’s graduation ceremony was conducted online for the first time as a result of the novel coronavirus. During the virtual graduation, which can be viewed online via a link on the college’s Facebook page, EMCC President Dr. Scott Alsobrooks spoke about the pandemic that closed schools nationwide and prompted a shift from in-class instruction to online learning. “Many of you had never taken an online class, but you successfully transitioned to virtual instruction midterm and embraced new skillsets need to navigate remote learning tools such as Zoom video conferencing, virtual labs and online tutorials,” Alsobrooks said. “You navigated unfamiliar waters with new challenges presented by social distancing and shelter-in-place measures, children suddenly at home, and, for some, loss of income. Yet, you are here and, while it may not be apparent right now, you are stronger for it.”

He congratulated the students for overcoming unprecedented challenges. “A novel coronavirus that altered the course of the world couldn’t stop you,” Alsobrooks said. “You persevered in the face of uncertainty in order to be here today. Who would have thought when we closed for spring break that you would not return for the remainder of the school year? None of us could have seen it coming. But you rose to meet that challenge.”

In his charge to the students, EMCC Vice President of the Golden Triangle Campus Dr. Paul Miller told the graduates that although life can be tough at times, the best is yet to come. He encouraged them to make good use of their time and seize new opportunities as they arise. “Time is an abundant resource that is replenished every day for you to use to grow, give and learn,” Miller said.

EMCC Executive Director of College Advancement and Athletics Marcus Wood presented the closing remarks to students. He welcomed them to the college’s alumni family and encouraged them to register with the EMCC Foundation via the college’s website.

“Each of you have developed meaningful relationships and friendships with peers, instructors and administrators during your time here at EMCC,” Wood said. “Joining the alumni association is a fantastic way to keep those relationships going, reconnect with classmates years down the road and stay up with EMCC news and events.”

The list of students who applied for graduation from Winston County:
  • Louisville: Joyce Ainsworth, William Bane, Tyrique Carter, Lakisha Cistrunk, Nicholas Dempsey, Ronald Gibson, Clark Graham, Patrick Hill, Clay Jackson, Brianna Jaudon, Porcha Jones, Chelsey Kelly, Nathan Letteri, Jadea Shannon, Jalen Triplett
  • Noxapater: Hunter Johnson, Jarin Lewis, Levi Wekenman, Madelyn Wilkes

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Louisville Garden Club Presents Check to Winston County Library

The Louisville Garden Club recently presented a check to the Winston County Library for the purchase of gardening books. Pictured (l-r) club President Glenda Chandler, past President Judy McLeod, Treasurer Ouida Donald and librarian Beth Edwards. "We are so fortunate to have the support of our local garden clubs," said Edwards. "The Winston Garden Club means so much to this library and has for many years. These ladies are very active in the community and our town is the more beautiful for it!"

Friday, May 15, 2020

Some Local Businesses May Be Eligible for Ms Relief Funds

The Mississippi Legislature has  just approved a $300 million financial relief plan to create two
programs providing a direct payment to some businesses and a grant to others.

The "COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund" ($60 million in total) will provide a $2,000 direct and automatic payment to small businesses with under 50 employees who filed tax returns in 2019 or 2018 and were required to close by State, County, or Municipal Executive Order. These small businesses - including some restaurants, hair stylists, salons, barbers, furniture stores, florists, sporting goods, clothing stores, office supplies, gift stores, etc. - that were registered with the MS Department of Revenue (DOR) before March 1, 2020, with an EIN number or SSN should receive the $2,000 direct payment.

The "Back to Business Mississippi Grant Fund" ($240 million total) is a relief grant program that will be administered by MDA. To be eligible, small businesses under 50 full-time employees that have filed a 2019 or 2018 tax return must be in good standing and formed before March 1, 2020. The amount of the grant will be a base amount of $1,500 plus the greater of 1) $500 per full-time equivalent employee or 2) the amount of itemized "eligible expenses" the applicant demonstrates in the sworn application. The grant cannot exceed $25,000.

For the first 60 days, $40 million from the grant program will be set aside for minority-owned businesses. For the first 21 days of the application period, only businesses which did not receive funds from the Paycheck Protection Program or Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance, any other federal program, or compensation from business interruption insurance will be considered.

For more information on the bill, please see:

If you have questions or need further assistance, contact the Winston County Economic Development Partnership at 662-773-8719.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

PSC Prohibition on Utility Shutoff Set to End May 26th, Customer Protections Put in Place

On May 12, 2020, the Mississippi Public Service Commission announced the order suspending utility cutoffs has been extended to Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. The order prohibiting disconnections will expire after May 26th and customers with past due bills will be subject to disconnection if payment plans have not been arranged. This order applies to all water, sewer, electricity and gas services. In order to help customers who may still be economically struggling to meet their obligations, the PSC extended the order an additional 14 days to allow customers time to make payments or make payment arrangements. The PSC order also makes the following provisions to assist customers:

All utilities shall be encouraged to immediately begin offering payment plan arrangements with any customer who has a past due amount and will be subject to disconnection after May 26th. If a customer cannot reach a payment arrangement with utility the customer may contact the Commission for assistance in that effort.

If both the utility and customer agree, any cash deposit held by the public utility from the individual customer may be used to pay down a past-due balance.

If a customer had an outstanding balance prior or during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are encouraged to reach out to their utility to create a payment plan as soon as possible.

The Commission will continue to enforce the Ratepayer Bill of Rights, specifically that during life-threatening situations where a medical doctor in the State of Mississippi or an adjoining state certifies that such services are needed for medical reasons related to the customer’s health. Public utilities shall make a form available to customers to be used in these instances and shall provide receipt of the same.

Any utility that receives notice that a customer has been approved for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for the delinquent amount owed shall not disconnect service for 30 days.

The Commission will continue to prohibit electric shutoffs in the event that any excessive heat warning has been issued by the National Weather Service.

The Commission has established a portal on the Commission’s website containing links to qualify for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and other economic assistance programs for the benefit of utility customers.
During the state of emergency, the Commission reserves the right to issue subsequent orders as needed to protect public health and welfare.
If you have questions regarding this order or your utility service call Commissioner Presley’s office at 1-800-637-7722 or visit 

Ms Dept of Health - COVID-19 Update - May 13

There are 182 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH as of May 12th for a total of 10,090. Eight additional deaths are reported bringing the statewide total to 465. There are sixty-seven confirmed cases in Winston County with no new cases reported overnight. Official data indicates no deaths reported in Winston County at this time.

ECCC Board Names Residence Hall After Retiring President Stewart

The New Women’s Residence Hall at East Central Community College in Decatur will now be known as Billy W. Stewart Hall following action taken by the college’s Board of Trustees at its regularly scheduled May meeting held by conference call May 12.

The ECCC Board of Trustees also bestowed President Emeritus status on the college’s eighth president who announced his retirement in November effective July 1, 2020.

“Dr. Stewart has provided exceptional and dynamic leadership to East Central Community College during his eight-year tenure as our president,” said ECCC Board of Trustees Chair Dr. Jimmy Hollingsworth. “His leadership has resulted in national, state, and local recognition for the college; many campus infrastructure improvements; and educational program expansion and opportunities for the citizens of our five-county district; among many other initiatives and enhancements. It is only fitting that this tremendous addition to our campus that was constructed during his tenure bear the name Billy W. Stewart Hall.”

Opened in August 2017, Billy W. Stewart Hall is located adjacent to the Erma Lee Barber Women’s Residence Hall on the South Campus. The $6.6 million facility was funded using bond revenue and with financial support from each of the five counties in the college’s district. The modern, three-story suite-style living facility includes 56 rooms, a study area and a kitchen on each floor for student use, and a coin-operated laundry room.

Stewart began his service as East Central Community College’s eighth president on July 1, 2012. At East Central, he initiated a strategic planning process to shape and guide the future of the institution. As a result, 2020 Vision was adopted in February 2013 and included a long-term desire to be nationally recognized and locally preferred while meeting the educational and training needs of all residents of the college district.

In April 2019, he received the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction presented to college presidents who have shown strong support of student success on their campuses by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students. The award is Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious award for community college presidents.

A native of Pearl, Stewart earned his bachelor’s degree in history and his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, both from the University of Southern Mississippi, and his doctorate in higher education administration from Mississippi State University.

Prior to assuming the presidency at ECCC, he served as vice president for finance and administration at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Stewart has also worked as dean of community services and dean of the Simpson County Center for Copiah-Lincoln Community College. To date, he has served 30 years in various teaching and administrative positions in all levels of education in the state of Mississippi.

ECCC alumnus Dr. Brent Gregory, current vice president for student affairs at Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, was announced as the college’s ninth president at the March 2020 Board of Trustees meeting. He will assume his duties July 1.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Ms Dept of Health COVID-19 Update - May 11

There are 173 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH as of May 10th for a total of 9674. Five additional deaths are reported (9 reported on Saturday) bringing the statewide total to 435. There are sixty-six confirmed cases in Winston County. Official data indicates no deaths reported in Winston County at this time.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

MMRLS Offering Curbside Library Services at Select Locations Beginning May 11th

The Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System will be offering curbside book, audiobook, and DVD checkout, along with curbside document services, beginning May 11th at its Attala County Library, Carthage-Leake County Library, Durant Public Library, Winona- Montgomery County Library, and Winston County Library locations.

Library patrons will be able to place holds on up to five items anytime using the library’s online catalog, or by calling any of the above participating branch locations. After receiving notification that their items are ready to be picked up, customers can head to their local participating branch, and call to receive curbside delivery. Document services will also be provided, including the copying, faxing, and printing of up to five pages per visit.

Patrons will also be able to return their library items at the above branches utilizing library bookdrops, though all items with a due date of March 9th and after have automatically been extended to June 1st.

“We’ve been eager to find a way to resume offering some in-person services to our customers while keeping everyone safe,” said Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System Executive Director, Josh Haidet. “We feel confident the protocol we’ve set up for curbside library services does that, and I really appreciate the continued patience of our customers as this new service is rolled out. Our communities have provided us with incredible support during this difficult time, and we’ve been thrilled to see significant increases in usage of our digital library collection.”

The MMRLS Digital Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week online at All eResources are accessible with a MMRLS library card. You can even visit the library’s website to receive a digital library card if you live in the MMRLS service area and do not currently have a card.

For more information or questions about MMRLS curbside services, please visit:, or call 662-289-5151. The Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System serves Attala, Holmes, Leake, Montgomery, and Winston Counties.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Some Businesses to Reopen as "Safer at Home" is Extended

Mississippi’s “Safer at Home” order has been extended until May 25. The order was set to expire on
Monday, May 11th. Governor Tate Reeves extended the order today (Friday) but relaxed restrictions on businesses previously ordered closed. This includes hair salons, barber shops, health clubs and gyms which will be allowed open on May 11.

Expressing concern for the state and local economies and referencing the recent high unemployment claims, Reeves said his decision was based upon the threat of another Great Depression. “The human cost of another Great Depression is higher than the benefit of broad orders. As we work to re-open our economy, that is not a signal that the threat of the virus is gone. It is a shift in strategy because months of making it illegal for small businesses to operate is not sustainable. To the people of Mississippi: I am asking you—begging you—to exercise your personal responsibility.”

Before businesses can reopen, the following must be done:

· the salon or barbershop must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized.. They must also be deep-cleaned on a daily basis.

· All salons and barbershops are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

· Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances.

· Minimizing person-to-person contact using technology, such as mobile or online reservations and contact-less payment, is encouraged.

· Signs must be posted at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.

· Seating be rearranged to ensure at least 6 feet between each customer and be sanitized after each use by a customer.

· Only one customer per employee is allowed in the salon or barbershop at any given time.

· All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.

· Face coverings (masks) must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace them daily.

· Employees must wear disposable gloves and change them between customers, as well as wash their hands between every customer.

· All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.

· All waiting areas are to be closed. Customers must wait in their vehicles until their appointment time and they are called for screening before entering.

· Customers must sanitize their hands when entering and exiting.

· Customers must be screened when entering, including asking whether they have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19.

· Customers must wear a face covering,(mask) while inside at all times, unless they're receiving a service that would be impeded by the covering.

· Each customer must be provided with a clean cape, to be laundered after each use. A protective neck strip should also be placed around the neck of each customer getting a haircut.

· Gyms must close to the public by 10:00 PM each day.

· For gyms, there must be at least one employee available onsite during hours of operation dedicated to wiping down equipment after each use.

· For gyms, all high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.

· Exercise machines and equipment must be rearranged and/or deactivated to make sure there is at least 6 feet between customers.

· Gyms must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.

· Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances and throughout the gym floor.

· All common areas must remain closed.

· Gyms must operate at no more than 30% capacity

· Gym classes or group activities must ensure a 6-foot separation.
In explaining his decision, Reeves said, “I know that these actions that I have taken to reopen certain industries will receive harsh criticism. I’m not worried about that,” he said. “I cannot ask Mississippians to burn down their life’s work and put their family at risk of starvation because I’m afraid of some national media or because I’m afraid of my reputation.”

Reeves also announced an agreement with Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hoseman and House Speaker Phillip Gunn on terms for spending federal relief funds provided to the state.

COVID-19 Testing in Louisville on Tuesday, May 12

Winston County has been added to the list of counties where drive-thru testing for COVID-19 will be
conducted next week. Testing will be conducted on Tuesday, May 12 at the Louisville Coliseum (245 Ivy Avenue) by appointment only. Testing hours are from noon til 4:00 pm. The tests will be conducted by the Ms. Department of Health and the University of Mississippi Medical Center staff. This is not associated with Winston Medical Center. This testing is Free of Charge.

It is vital that you read and understand the following information to determine if you qualify for testing and the procedures that you must follow:


All those tested must be screened before an appointment. There are two ways to be screened. Those with smart phones can download the C-Spire Health App and complete the screening process between the hours or 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. To download the app- click here.

If you do not have a smartphone or prefer – you can call 601-496-7200.

Qualifying for the Test

You cannot be tested just because you are curious. The screening will determine if testing is necessary. You must meet certain criteria which includes:

  • Likely exposure to COVID-19 through contact with infected individuals
  • You show signs of illness related to the infection and/or you are in a high risk category.

Testing Procedure

People with an appointment should plan to arrive on time. Only people with an appointment will be
tested. People will stay in their vehicles and providers wearing protective gear will come to the car window. The provider will insert a long, naso-pharyngeal swab deep into the nose of the person being tested, similar to a flu test. The specimen they retrieve will go to UMMC for laboratory testing.


UMMC will contact people with their test results. In the meantime, it is crucial for everyone who has been tested go home. Self-isolate at home, away from friends and family, for at least 7 days from when symptoms first began or 3 days after symptoms improve significantly, whichever time is longer. Stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid groups of 10 or more people, even when quarantine is no longer needed.

Ms Dept of Health COVID-19 Update - May 8

There are 404 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH as of May 7th for a total of 9090. Thirteen additional deaths are reported (3 of these from prior period) bringing the statewide total to 409. There are sixty-one (up from 57) confirmed cases in Winston County. There are no deaths reported in Winston County.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Ms Dept of Health COVID-19 Update - May 7

There are 262 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 8686. Twenty-two additional deaths are reported (9 of these from prior weeks) bringing the statewide total to 396. There are fifty-seven (up from 52) confirmed cases in Winston County. There are no deaths reported in Winston County.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Ms Dept of Health COVID-19 Update - May 5

There are 330 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 8207. Thirty-two additional deaths are reported bringing the statewide total to 342. There are fifty-two confirmed cases in Winston County. There are no deaths reported in Winston County.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Governor Amends "Safe at Home" - Allows More Restaurant Access & Outdoor Activity

In today's press conference, Governor. Tate Reeves made some amendment to the Safer-At-Home
Order currently in place. These changes take effect on May 7 and will remain in effect til the original order expires or is adjusted on May 11. The amendments allow (with restrictions) restaurants to reopen in-restaurant dining and provide more access to parks.

The changes include:

  • Before in-house dining can resume, the entire restaurant and bar must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized top to bottom.
  • All restaurants and bars are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.
  • Cloth masks must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that mask throughout their shift.
  • All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • No more than 50% seating capacity in both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and floor plans must be updated to ensure at least 6 feet between each group. Party sizes will be limited to no more than 6 people per table.
  • Bars and bar areas that do no offer food services are to remain closed.
  • Minimizing person-to-person contact through technology, like mobile or online reservations and contact-less payment, is encouraged.
  • Customers will be screened upon entry. Restaurants and bars must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.
  • Cafeteria-style buffets and food stations that are manned by restaurant staff are allowed with appropriate barriers to limit contact. Self-service buffets, food stations, and drink stations are prohibited.
  • All restaurants and bars must place hand sanitizer at all entrances, hostess stations, in/near bathrooms, and at cashier stations.

  • Gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people for indoor activities and a maximum of 20 people for outside activities.
  • Parks can open to the public from 9:00AM – 7:00PM for outdoor recreation under guidance from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and local authorities, with people following social distancing guidelines such as 6 feet separation. Outdoor recreation activities, such as swimming, are also allowed within those same hours.

Ms Dept of Health COVID-19 Update - May 4

There are 327 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 7877. Seven additional deaths are reported bringing the statewide total to 310.There are two additional positive cases in Winston County with a total of 49.  There are no deaths reported in Winston County.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Winston Academy Welcomes New Headmaster Paul M. Hayles

Langley Named ECCC Director of Bands

A familiar face will lead the East Central Community College Wall O’ Sound band program next year as Zach Langley takes over as Director of Bands for the retiring Ed Girling who has led the program for the past seven years.

Langley most recently served as the assistant band director at East Central and also taught music education courses. Prior to his appointment at ECCC, he served seven years at Northeast Jones High School, three years as assistant director of bands and the last four years as director of bands. He earlier served two years as band director at Nettleton High School.

Langley is a graduate of Booneville High School and attended Northeast Mississippi Community College where he was a member of the NEMCC Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and the Concert Choir.

He received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Mississippi and was a member of the University of Mississippi Wind Ensemble and the “Pride of the South” Marching Band. While at Ole Miss, he studied trombone under Greg Luscomb and was a member of the Mississippians Jazz Band. Langley received a Master’s in Music Education from William Carey University, where he served as the adjunct trombone professor.

Langley was nominated and served on the board of directors for the Southeast Mississippi Band Directors Association from 2016 to 2019. Under his direction, the Northeast Jones “Tiger Pride” Marching band represented the state of Mississippi by marching in the 2017 “National Independence Day Parade” in Washington D.C. He is the recipient of the 2016-2017 Northeast Jones High School Teacher of the Year award.

He is a member of the National Band Association, Southeast Mississippi Band Directors Association, Trombone Association, and the Mississippi Bandmasters Association. He currently serves in the orchestra at First Baptist Church in Laurel. He and his wife, Lindsey, have three children, Abbey, Nate, and Olivia.

For more information on the ECCC Wall O’ Sound band, visit or email

Friday, May 1, 2020

Ms Dept of Health COVID-19 Update - May 1

There are 397 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 7212. Twenty additional deaths are reported bringing the statewide total to 281. Reports indicate that eleven of these deaths occurred from March 29 through April 16. There is one additional positive case in Winston County with a total of 44.  There are no deaths reported in Winston County.