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Hattiesburg MS Hearing Aid Specialist Launches Hearing Care Exams Event

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Hattiesburg, MS hearing aid specialist Family Hearing Services announced its hearing exams service for people suffering from hearing loss.

Family Hearing Services provides patient-sensitive care by helping adults and the elderly diagnose and remedy hearing loss.

( — May 10, 2018) — Hattiesburg, MS hearing aid specialist Family Hearing Services announced the launch of its hearing care examinations. The service helps patients receive an accurate assessment of their hearing loss and individualized hearing improvement solutions.

More information about Family Hearing Services is available at

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, hearing loss is a relatively widespread phenomenon, with approximately 1 in 8 people over the age of 12 suffering from the loss of hearing in both ears, a phenomenon that increases with age. The Mississippi State Department of Health identifies hearing loss as one of the most common disorders among children born in the state.

Family Hearing Services provides patient-sensitive care by helping adults and the elderly diagnose and remedy hearing loss. The facility is focused on helping patients who suffer hearing loss due to age-related conditions. All cases of hearing loss due to disease or medical conditions are referred to ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialists.

The Hattiesburg, MS hearing aid store’s hearing tests are designed to identify the type of aid device that suits a patient’s lifestyle and hearing needs. The facility is staffed by Board-certified hearing instrument specialists and is an advanced partner of Siemens Hearing Instruments as well as Starkey Hearing Technologies. Products supplied include invisible, receiver-in-canal, completely-in-canal, behind-the-ear, in-ear, and waterproof hearing aids.

According to a spokesperson for the Hattiesburg metropolitan area hearing services provider, “Routine hearing exams enable the early diagnosis of hearing loss and its causative factors. We are happy to serve the city and its surrounding areas by providing these tests and hearing aids for patients of all ages.”

Family Hearing Services is headquartered in the city of Hattiesburg, MS and is the preferred provider of hearing instrument solutions for the elderly. The firm accepts payment by cash, check, Visa, or MasterCard and provides financing options through Care Credit, Wells Fargo Health Advantage, and any qualifying insurance provider. More information is available at the URL above.

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No confirmed survivors after military cargo plane crashes near Savannah

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There are no confirmed survivors after a military plane crashed on GA-21 at Gulfstream Road in Port Wentworth. GA. The plane was carrying nine people on board.

According to a news release from the 165th Airlift Wing in Savannah, the C-130 Hercules cargo plane from the Puerto Rico Air National Guard crashed at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday while performing a training mission. The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane was headed to the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ.

The Associated Press is reporting that this C-130 was 60 years old and was being flown into retirement.

Hwy 21 between Crossgate Road and Dean Forest Road will be closed indefinitely. The train tracks were also affected and are closed.

Our David Klugh examined crash video captured by a nearby business’ surveillance camera. WARNING: The video may be too graphic for some viewers:

Gulfstream tells us emergency personnel has removed the roadblocks at Robert B. Miller Road and Airways Avenue, enabling normal access to all parking lots at the main facility. Access to Gulfstream Road from Highway 21 remains closed.

The Georgia Ports Authority released the following statement for employees:

Following the crash of a C-130 military aircraft, the Georgia Department of Transportation instituted a road closure and detour on Georgia State Route 21 between Crossgate Road and Piedmont Avenue. Motorists traveling north on SR 21 are being detoured onto SR 307 North, then west on the Jimmy Deloach Connector to the Sonny Dixon Interchange back to SR 21, where the detour ends. Motorists traveling south on SR 21 are being detoured onto Sonny Dixon Interchange to Jimmy Deloach Connector, then east to SR 307 South back to SR 21, where the detour ends. Truck gates at Garden City Terminal have not been affected. Gates will remain open until the regular time of 6 p.m. Norfolk Southern remains able to move rail cargo from Atlanta to its Dillard Yard in Savannah, however NS is delayed from bringing trains to Garden City Terminal. Rail cargo moving over CSX Transportation’s lines has not been affected. The Georgia Ports Authority wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the families of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard members who lost their lives in the crash.

The Savannah-Chatham County Public School System sent a notification to parents advising that power, phone, and network services had been knocked out at both Port Wentworth Elementary and Rice Creek School due to the crash. Officials advise that there are no impacts or threats to the schools. School operations currently remain on our regular operating regular schedule. We are told the SCCPSS Transportation Department has assessed the road closures in the area and has determined that there will be no delays to transportation Wednesday afternoon.

Also, we are told that individuals should check with their airline if they are flying out of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport.

"As far as we know, there were no cars hit in this crash. It is an absolute miracle at that time of day, at that intersection," said Gena Bilbo, Effingham County Sheriff’s Office.

"We’re not releasing numbers on anything until we get an accurate count on everything," said Roger Parsons, Senior Master, GA Air National Guard. "We want to make sure when we come forward that we’re accurate with our numbers and that the families have all been notified. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. Anytime we lose our brothers and sisters in arms, it’s devastating."

We spoke to one couple who actually pulled up to the scene of the crash right after it happened.

"It’s just unexplainable. Everything was gone. People just rushing to try and help," said Melissa James.

"This is really, truly a travesty," said Timothy James.

The James’ were both working nearby when the aircraft flew over their office at what they say was a low altitude.

"I saw the plane come over the tree line, over the container yard where I work, and it went up into an embankment and then came down like a corkscrew in the middle of 21," Timothy James said.

Military police are handling the entirety of the investigation while local law enforcement takes over the traffic challenges. Highway 21 will remain closed from Dean Forest Road, which is a major work commute thoroughfare for Rincon, Effingham, and Port Wentworth residents. The crash caused a 600×600 foot field of debris, which is why that portion of the highway is shut down.

There is no timeline right now on when the road will be back open, but officials say the impact of the closure will be on a much larger scale.

"We’re going to stress to the local population, this is going to drastically affect your life for an extended period of time. I wish I could tell you more as to how long. We don’t know," said Chief Matt Libby, Port Wentworth Police.

Law enforcement says the military must first investigate the crash site. Once that’s complete, crews will need to clean up the aircraft and debris field. Hazardous material will then need to be examined before the Department of Transportation can complete the final step.

"Then the roadway is going to have to be evaluated by the Department of Transportation and repaired before it’s able to be reopened," Bilbo said.

If you’re traveling in the area, the suggested alternate route is Dean Forest Road, continue north past Highway 21, then take Jimmy DeLoach Connector until the Sonny Dixon Interchange. That will put you back on Highway 21. While this seems like an easy backup, officials say no part of this closure will be easy.

"It’s going to affect everything we do. It’s not just going to affect Port Wentworth, it’s going to affect Chatham County and Effingham County. It’s going to affect our children getting to and from school," Bilbo said.

To alleviate congestion, officials are asking the community for help.

"I’m going to ask the drivers to make alternate plans, to please plan ahead, give yourself plenty of time, not be distracted, and be patient."

President Donald J. Trump tweeted about the incident on Wednesday afternoon.

I have been briefed on the U.S. C-130 “Hercules” cargo plane from the Puerto Rico National Guard that crashed near Savannah Hilton Head International Airport. Please join me in thoughts and prayers for the victims, their families and the great men and women of the National Guard.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2018

Rep. Buddy Carter also shared his thoughts via Twitter:

The military and federal government are leading the investigation. Hundreds of police and firefighters from nearby cities and counties answered the call for help. The support proved vital in the minutes and even hours since the crash.

"We are a 30-man department. This is something that we’re reaching out to every agency, the Georgia State Patrol, the Motor Carriers Compliance. We’re going to reach out to the Georgia National Guard for MPs in the morning," Chief Libby said.

Highway 21 could be closed for weeks. Once the plane is removed, construction crews may have to repair the road. First responders say it’s nothing short of a miracle that no one on the ground died or got hurt in the crash.

Captain Daniel Maples was one of the first responders on the scene.

"Extremely emotional. Makes you want to hold your family close. It makes you appreciate all of the first responders, firefighters, EMTs. It really makes us evaluate the job we do and why we do it," he said.

Stay with us for the very latest as soon as it becomes available.

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HPD searching for man who broke into church with hatchet

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The man broke into the church on April 7, around 3:30 a.m. (Photo source: HPD)


Hattiesburg police are searching for a man that broke into Hardy Street Baptist Church with a hatchet in early April.

The man broke into the church on April 7, around 3:30 a.m. Police believe this is the same suspect that later used a hatched to strike an outside ATM and industrial air compressor at Dandy Dan’s on April 10, around 2 a.m.

If you have any information, contact Hattiesburg Police or Metro Crime Stoppers at 601-582-7867.

Copyright WDAM 2018. All rights reserved.

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Thompson joins Hattiesburg Clinic Eye Associates

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Joshua Thompson

Joshua M. Thompson, CNP, recently joined Hattiesburg Clinic Eye Associates.

A native of Hattiesburg, Thompson has been working in the health care field since 2013. At Eye Associates, he works with Christopher L. Cooley, MD, in providing ophthalmologic care to patients.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss., and a Master of Science in Nursing from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Thompson is board certified as a family nurse practitioner by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. He is a member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and the American Society of Ophthalmic Registered Nurses.


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You can help Hattiesburg win $20K for park improvements

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Throughout the month of April, residents can nominate Hattiesburg in the “Meet Me at the Park” campaign hosted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company. (Photo source: City of Hattiesburg)


Hattiesburg is hoping residents will help the city win thousands of dollars in grant money to go towards a local park improvement project.

Throughout the month of April, residents can nominate Hattiesburg in the “Meet Me at the Park” campaign hosted by the National Recreation and Park Association in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company.

At the end of April, the city with the most nominations will receive a $20,000 grant to improve a local park.

“Parks and green spaces are an essential quality of life offering for our neighborhoods. They encourage recreation, provide safe spaces for children and they foster community within our city,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “And in every neighborhood town hall that we’ve hosted, a common theme is the need for more park spaces, better equipment and facility upgrades.”

You can help by going to and typing in "Hattiesburg, MS." Voters can vote once a day until April 30.

"We know that we need to upgrade several aspects of our current parks, but we also think we want to do some new projects, too. So anytime there is a funding source that we can have our people get out and vote and hopefully secure, we are going to do that," said Barker.

Copyright WDAM 2018. All rights reserved.

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Heaven Or Hell: Take Your Choice - Mike Adams

Heaven Or Hell: Take Your Choice

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Last week, I was driving south from Hattiesburg to Biloxi on my way to spend a couple of days on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I decided to take a different route than my usual trek south on US Highway 49. Instead, I took Interstate 59 to MS Highway 53. About a mile or two after taking the exit, I came upon Juniper Grove Road. It led me to Juniper Grove Baptist Church, which sits in front of a graveyard where my cousin Theodore Gilmore Bilbo is buried. I decided to pull over and visit his gravesite, given that I had never been and that Bilbo is my most infamous relative. As I approached the church, I saw a sign that read, “Life has many choices. Eternity has 2. (more…)

ROBERT ST. JOHN: Beach music through time | Columns |

ROBERT ST. JOHN: Beach music through time

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Northwest Florida Daily News

WATERCOLOR, FLORIDA — Sitting here in the early morning dark of a rental house’s front porch — while my son and his three friends sleep the guilt-free, deep sleep of 16-year-old boys who have yet to worry about things like jobs and family responsibilities during Spring Break — it occurs to me that I have a long and storied history with this little postage stamp of the world they call the “Redneck Riviera.”

Until I was 30, my understanding of the Florida Panhandle was almost always experienced through someone else’s family. My single-mom schoolteacher rarely had the disposable income for a beach trip. We had a small fish camp on the Pascagoula River near Vancleave that offered experiences for a young boy and his older brother that I wouldn’t trade for the best beach story, today. But as a kid, Destin was where “it” was happening. I had several friends who went often, and I was lucky enough to tag along. (more…)

Mississippi-based bank, The First, expanding into Mobile

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A Hattiesburg based bank continues to grow. The First just acquired First Community Bank and its nine Mobile branches. (Photo source: The First/Facebook)


A Hattiesburg based bank continues to grow. If you have money in an account at The First, and you drive over to Mobile, you can now do your banking at an Alabama branch. The First just acquired First Community Bank and its nine Mobile branches.

If you’re a stockholder in First Community Bank’s parent company Southwest Banc, here’s what that means. Southwest’s shareholders are entitled to receive 15.8804 shares of First Bancshares’ common stock and $336.08 in cash for each share of Southwest common stock outstanding immediately before the merger.

M. Ray "Hoppy" Cole is President & Chief Executive Officer of The First.

"We are thrilled that today First Community and The First are now one company," Cole said. "We are proud to join forces with a franchise that has such a rich history of exceptional service for its clients. We look forward to growing our combined market share in South Alabama, as well as the Gulf South Region."

The merger gives The First more than 50 locations across Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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Walk-On’s breaks ground on first MS location

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Franchise owners and community officials break ground on the first Walk-On’s location in Mississippi. (Photo Source: WDAM)


A taste of the bayou is coming to the Hub City. Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, a Baton Rouge-based restaurant, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday.
The Hattiesburg location is the first of its franchise to open in Mississippi.

“We are thrilled not just to bring this incredible restaurant to Hattiesburg, but to have the honor of opening the first Walk-On’s in Mississippi,” said Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar franchise co-owner Matt Gallagher. “We’ve found the perfect location with tons of space and visibility, and we will soon begin hiring a team of talented individuals to help us share our made-from-scratch Louisiana cuisine with the community.”

The 8,500-square-foot, family-friendly restaurant is located at 4400 Hardy Street in the Westwood Square Shopping Center.
The new business will bring 200 jobs to the area and will also feature a “unique outdoor beer garden and spacious parking lot,” according to a news release. Walk-On’s is set to open in early September.

“From what I’m hearing from the locals, this is the 50-yard line, the main and main, of Hattiesburg so we are very excited to be here,” said Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar Founder and CEO Brandon Landry. “As far as the jobs, we create something a little bit different. Our culture is second to none. When you look at our brand, we are a restaurant, so it’s not like we are reinventing the wheel.”

Hattiesburg adds to the list of locations, which include but are not limited to Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Shreveport, Lake Charles, Lubbock and San Antonio. New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees, and his wife are co-owners of the franchise.

Copyright WDAM 2018. All rights reserved.

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Federal government will review Hattiesburg HUD program at mayor’s request

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Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker shared a story of a challenge he faced and how he overcame it, encouraging Forrest County Juvenile Drug Court graduates to write their own stories of overcoming drugs. Lici Beveridge/Hattiesburg American

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The federal government will conduct a review of one of the city of Hattiesburg’s Housing and Urban Development programs after Mayor Toby Barker requested the examination.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development notified the city Feb. 5 that it is initiating a survey review of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program after a referral from HUD’s Community Planning and Development Field Office in Jackson. That referral was made based on Barker’s request.

The HOME program helps provide decent, affordable housing, especially for low-income families.

In an October letter to the HUD Jackson field office, Barker asked for a “thorough analysis of all program areas,” for two areas — the HOME program and the Community Development Block Grants program.

“We would like to work collaboratively with HUD to identify any programmatic deficiencies — to locate and correct them promptly, yet comprehensively, in order to ensure the programs are effective as they can be within what regulations allow,” he wrote.

HUD had already looked at overall management of the HOME program during a monitoring review in late August. Monitoring is conducted periodically to ensure compliance with HUD policies.

At that same time, HUD also looked at the city’s financial management of Community Development Block Grants. It later issued a report, outlining nine findings and two concerns, most of which the city’s Urban Development Director Andrew Ellard said were “simple fixes.”

The one finding that was an issue was the city’s lack of an audit for 2015 and 2016. The city received the final 2015 audit in early December and was getting started on the 2016 audit.

In addition, in 2016, two men were indicted for misusing HUD funds. Artie Shaw of Picayune pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme. Prominent Hattiesburg pastor Kenneth Fairley recently had two counts of theft of government money overturned. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a conspiracy conviction to the U.S. District Court Mississippi Southern District to determine whether Fairley’s sentence should be changed in light of the vacated convictions.

In his letter, Barker said, given the recent history of the programs and several staffing changes, he believed the analysis would be beneficial.

“We understand a comprehensive review of all programs is not a small task, but it is important to the City of Hattiesburg to ensure that we are administering these programs as they are intended,” he wrote.

The review of the HOME program will begin Tuesday and is expected to take six to eight weeks.

The city has been asked to provide organizational charts and job descriptions of HOME program employees, HUD program audits and monitoring reports, internal reviews and program audits, annual city audited financial statements and other relevant documents and financial records.

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