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Chris Wells to serve as permanent director of MDEQ

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Chris Wells MDEQ director
Chris Wells (photo courtesy MS Governor's office)

Tuesday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced that Chris Wells will serve as the permanent executive director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. Wells served as the chief of staff at MDEQ for six years, and the senior attorney for the department before that. He has served as interim executive director since the governor’s inauguration in January. Wells is a graduate of Mississippi State University and the Mississippi College School of Law.

“Chris is a dedicated public servant who has spent the bulk of his career working for the people of Mississippi,” Reeves said. “He knows what it means to put their priorities first, and he has been a steady hand in this vital role since I took office. I have the utmost confidence in him, and I know that he will continue to serve the people well.”

“I look forward to continuing our efforts to protect Mississippi’s air, land and water,” Wells said. “Our mission is to look out for the people of this state and ensure that we can always be proud of our incredible God-given resources. I’m grateful for the governor’s trust in me as we serve this state as a team.”

Announcements

Red Carpet Bowl dates and teams set for 2021

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Vicksburg High Gators (photo by Ced Tillman)

The annual Red Carpet Bowl date and teams have been announced for the 2021 football season.

The bowl is scheduled for Aug. 27, 2021, at Vicksburg High School. The Vicksburg High Gators and Warren Central High Vikings are the home teams.

Vicksburg will face Germantown and Warren Central will play Forest Hill next year in the big games, and the Viking/Forrest Hill game will be first.

Germantown finished this season with a 4-5 record, and Vicksburg also won 4 games which should make it a competitive match. Forest Hill opted out of the 2020 season and Warren Central is still playing, with a berth in this year’s playoffs.

The two home teams will swap opponents  for the 2022 season.

As of now, most high school teams in Mississippi are in offseason training, preparing for their  next season.

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Make your Christmas tree a ‘Genuine Mississippi’ tree

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As the holidays approach, Andy Gipson, Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, encourages those celebrating to make this year a “Genuine Mississippi” Christmas by purchasing a Mississippi Christmas tree.

The Department of Agriculture and Commerce has made it easy for shoppers to find the perfect Mississippi Christmas tree this holiday season at MSChristmasTrees.com online. The website, part of the “Genuine MS” state branding program, provides a guide to the types of Christmas trees grown in the state and the locations of Mississippi Christmas tree farms where locally grown trees can be purchased.

“As families prepare for the holidays, I encourage them to visit one of the 32 Christmas tree farms in the state. It’s an experience the whole family will enjoy, and selecting a Genuine MS Christmas tree supports our Mississippi farmers, as well as the local and state economies,” Gipson said in a release. “Consumers can also find an array of other Mississippi products for the holiday season from stocking stuffers and gift ideas to ingredients for special holiday meals at GenuineMS.com online.”

For those who have never owned a Christmas tree or need tips for caring for a tree, MSChristmasTrees.com explains how to select the best Christmas tree for your family, how to safely care for a Christmas tree and how to dispose of your tree after the holidays.

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Alcorn president to participate in ‘Real Conversations, Real Impact’ panel

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Dr. Felecia Nave, Alcorn State University president (photo courtesy ASU)

Dr. Felecia Nave, Alcorn State University president, is among four nonprofit powerhouse leaders who are coming together Tuesday, Nov. 17, from noon to 1 p.m. for the first of three virtual panel discussions entitled “Real Conversations, Real Impact.”

Change Summer, the leading nonprofit for year-round, social-emotional development and enrichment for youth from under-resourced communities, is the organization behind the series

Part one will cover the topic “Implementing Anti-racist, Systemic Change in the Nonprofit Sector.” Dr. Nave brings with her a unique perspective as an HBCU leader with a passion for identifying and developing multiple pathways toward success. She recognizes that not all children have equal access to information and therefore may not be prepared for continued success.

“You have to give them information early, immerse them and excite them,” she said.

Dr. Nave will speak alongside three other influential nonprofit leaders:

“Change Summer has a responsibility to the students and families we serve,” said Josh Phillips, Founder and chief executive officer of Change Summer. “The communities from which they come have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, the resulting economic recession, and social injustice.”

Change Summer believes unequal access to high-quality summer programming is a solvable problem. The New York-based nonprofit partners with school organizations across the Northeast United States to create high-quality, customized summer opportunities for their students. Change Summer’s programs provide students from under-resourced communities with a summer experience that increases independence, curiosity, confidence and responsibility – all critical skills for a successful future.

“Our north star has always been an equal opportunity for all. And now, even more, we feel a deep responsibility to close the opportunity and fairness gaps that pervade American society,” Phillips said.

While Change Summer primarily addresses those gaps through overnight camp experiences, the nonprofit is an advocate and driver for real, sector-wide change at its organizational core.

To that end, Change Summer developed this panel series, which will tackle critical topics that can catalyze the deep and lasting change required for greater equity.

For more information about Change Summer, visit www.changesummer.org.

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