Ridgeland Mississippi News

Arbor Day Foundation Names Ridgeland Tree City USA For Seventh Consecutive Year

Ridgeland, Miss. was named a 2014 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management. This is the seventh consecutive year that the City of Ridgeland has earned this recognition.

Ridgeland achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements: a
tree board or department, a tree-care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least
$2 per capita and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the
U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

“Everyone benefits when elected officials, volunteers and committed citizens in communities like Ridgeland make smart investments in urban forests,” said John Rosenow, founder and chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees bring shade to our homes and beauty to our neighborhoods, along with numerous economic, social and environmental benefits.”

Cleaner air, improved storm water management, energy savings, increased property values and commercial activity are among the benefits enjoyed by Tree City USA communities.

More information on the program is available at

National Day of Prayer in Ridgeland

The National Day of Prayer will be recognized in Ridgeland on Thursday, May 7. The public is invited to participate in the event held in the Ridgeland City Hall Garden starting at 12:10 p.m. Attendees will be treated to special choral performances by a Ridgeland High School ensemble. Prayers will be offered for the nation, military, state government, local government and the community by local pastors. The program will end by 12:50 p.m.

This year’s National Day of Prayer theme is “Lord, Hear Our Cry.” The theme Bible verse is “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.” I Kings 8:28

For more information about the National Day of Prayer, visit

Ridgeland’s Lynn Named 2015 Mississippi Parent of the Year

Press Release Posted May 4, 2015 on Mississippi Department of Education website

Madison County Resident Named 2015 Mississippi Parent of the Year

JACKSON, Miss. – Sissy Lynn, a mother of two children in the Madison County School District, was named the 2015 Mississippi Parent of the Year.

Lynn, a Congressional District 2 finalist, was by nominated the school district, and she has been actively involved at Highland Elementary School. She has been named Ann Smith Elementary Parent of the Year twice (2011 and 2014) and is the 2015 Highland Elementary Parent of the Year. Lynn and her husband Randy were named 2014 City Makers of the Year, the City of Ridgeland’s top award, for their service and dedication to Ridgeland’s public schools.

Lynn has served in various PTO Board positions over the past several years including vice president of public relations for two years at Ann Smith Elementary, executive vice president at Ann Smith for one year and vice president of public relations at Highland Elementary for two years. She is passionate about spreading positive publicity about Ridgeland’s public schools. She is currently serving as president of a volunteer public relations committee for the entire Ridgeland zone of Madison County Schools.

Research has repeatedly shown that parental involvement is a critical factor determining the academic success of students.  As part of the annual Parent of the Year program, the Mississippi Department of Education asks each district to select an outstanding parent who has made a significant impact on school improvement efforts in the school district.

A committee of educators reviewed numerous applications submitted by the school districts. As a result, the committee selects a Parent of the Year from each congressional district, and from those four names, the 2015 State Parent of the Year.

Parent of the Year Finalists

The Congressional District 1 finalist is Kate Farabaugh, who was nominated by Tupelo Public School District for her commitment to supporting public education. She has three children (9th & 11th grade) who attend Tupelo High School.

The Congressional District 3 finalist is Meci Beason, who was nominated by the Neshoba County Schools for her keen sense of student needs and community relations. She has two children (1st & 3rd grade) who attend Neshoba County Elementary School.

The Congressional District 4 finalist is Diane Young, who was nominated by Ocean Springs School District for her unwavering support of school and district functions. She has a 3rd grade son at Magnolia Park Elementary.

Madison County Law Enforcement Appreciation Week to be held May 10-16

Jan Collins, executive director of the Madison County Business League & Foundation, announced today that a county-wide law enforcement appreciation week will be held May 10 through 16. “We want to recognize the law enforcement officers who work unusual hours, knowing they may be in dangerous situations that could risk their lives in order to protect our homes, workplaces, schools and entire community.” Planning the week’s activities has been a joint effort with the MCBL&F, all the Chambers of Commerce in Madison County.

Collins said this is the first-ever county wide week of celebration and commemoration of the outstanding work of the law enforcement officials in Madison County. “We invite our business community, schools, churches and organizations to participate in recognizing our law enforcement officers for their dedication and commitment to Madison County.” Mike Yarbro has spearheaded a campaign to raise funds to provide a gift from the community to each law enforcement officer in the county. 

Mayor Gene Magee of Ridgeland is pleased about the upcoming appreciation week. “We in Ridgeland are so proud of the tremendous job that each officer does to make our city and county safe for our citizens. The Ridgeland Police Department is one of best. Together with the officers throughout Madison County, citizens can expect highly skilled and qualified officers to protect and serve to the best of their ability. Showing these officers appreciation is just one small reward that they deserve from our citizens. It means a lot to our officers to be recognized and appreciated.”

Madison County Sheriff Randall Tucker stated “We are grateful for the support of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and of the surrounding Law Enforcement agencies during the Madison County Law Enforcement Appreciation Week . It is gratifying to know that the deputies and officers, as first responders, are being recognized for the jobs that they do. Madison County Sheriff’s Office is very appreciative of all the support that we receive from the community on a daily basis.”

Activities are planned for each day of the week, and the business community, schools, churches and organizations are encouraged to participate as a way of recognizing law enforcement officers for their dedication and commitment to Madison County.

Sunday: Day of Prayer Churches in each community are asked to recognize the law enforcement officers in their church and community and say a special prayer during worship service. They also can plan activities for the children or the church during that week.

Monday: Blue Ribbon Week  Each chamber will encourage members to display a blue ribbon, or bow, outside their business in recognition of Law Enforcement Awareness Week.

Tuesday: Blue Balloon Release  Each city in the County is urged to release balloons to honor fallen officers.

Wednesday: Wear Blue Day The entire community (schools/churches/businesses) are encouraged to wear blue on this day or entire week.

Thursday: Thank an Officer Day On this day, businesses, churches and schools are asked to write a thank you note or draw posters or color drawings to present to the officers. Each community is encouraged to ask policemen or deputies to visit the schools for acceptance.

Friday: Celebrate Law Enforcement On this day, the chambers will show their appreciation to the stations or sheriff’s office.

“We’d like to thank the Chambers for their support of law enforcement,” said Gene Waldrop, chief of the Madison Police Department. “This is another great example of community involvement and assistance to our agency.”

For more information on how to get involved, call your city’s Chamber of Commerce office, or call the Madison County Business League & Foundation at 601.832.5592.

Poster -Law Enforcement Appreciation Week

Law Enforcement Appreciation poster

Keep Ridgeland Beautiful Hosts Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup State Kickoff

For April 24, 2015

WHAT:  Keep Mississippi Beautiful and Keep Ridgeland Beautiful will kick off the Mississippi 2015 Statewide Great American Cleanup at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2015. The event is part of a series of litter cleanup and beautification events being held across the state during the national Great American Cleanup. The kickoff project’s focus is renovation of Midway Park in Ridgeland, including painting a newly refurbished basketball court, installing new picnic tables, playground equipment, benches and grills and planting shrubs, trees and flowers to beautify the park. Keep Mississippi Beautiful selected Keep Ridgeland Beautiful’s project for the Kickoff Event and is a major sponsor of the project. Additional sponsors include Bulldog Construction, AdCamp,  Brown Bottling, Waste Management, Southwest Distributors, Inc-Summit & Natchez, Yelverton Consulting, Colonial Heights Baptist Church, First Ridgeland Baptist Church, Ridgeland Garden Club, Audubon “Bird Lanes” Homeowners Association, Troybilt and the City of Ridgeland.

WHO:  The event starts with a program featuring remarks from Mayor Gene McGee, Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall, Keep Mississippi Beautiful Director Sarah Kountouris, Keep Ridgeland Beautiful Chairman Jan Richardson and additional noteworthy speakers. Following the program, volunteers from Keep Mississippi Beautiful affiliates, McLaurin Tougaloo Heights Neighborhood residents and other local citizens, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, City of Ridgeland Parks and Recreation and Public Works departments, students from area schools, local church members and corporate sponsors will spend the morning renovating the park.

WHEN:  Friday, April 24, 2015
Program begins at 8:30 a.m. with patriotic music and remarks.
Project begins immediately after the program and will end after lunch.

WHERE:  Midway Park, 325 Midway Avenue, Ridgeland, Mississippi
Directions from Ridgeland City Hall located at 304 Highway 51, the corner of Highway 51 and Lake Harbour Drive:  turn south onto Highway 51, turn right onto W. Holmes Street, take second right onto Midway Avenue. Park will be on your left.

MEDIA PARKING:  Parking for the event is at Ridgeland City Hall; shuttles will transport attendees to the park beginning at 7:45 a.m. Media may obtain VIP parking spaces near Midway Park by advising contact prior to the event.

WHY: To learn more about Mississippi’s Great American Cleanup, visit

About Keep Ridgeland Beautiful
Keep Ridgeland Beautiful is an affiliate of Keep Mississippi Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful. For more information, please call 601-856-7113, ext. 2052.



Rice Road Reconstruction Project To Affect Commuter Traffic, Allow For Local Resident Access

A road reconstruction project for Rice Road in Ridgeland begins Monday, April 6. Hemphill Construction is planning to begin Rice Road construction Monday morning affecting commuter traffic and access to Wendover and Oakmont subdivisions from Rice Road. Rice Road will be closed for extended durations during the time of construction, April – June. View three sketches of the closures during each phase of construction: RICE ROAD CONSTRUCTION, ROAD CLOSURE DETOUR MAP-4.3.2015

Phase 1 begins Monday, April 6 and will end in early May. During this time concrete barriers will be placed on the west side of the Muirwood entrance and the east side of the Gallagher’s Pass entrance. Concrete barriers will also be placed at the Rice Road entrances to Wendover and Oakmont restricting access to these neighborhoods from Rice Road. Access will remain available to Wendover from Lake Harbour and to Oakmont form Old Canton Road. Barricades will be placed west of the Chevron driveway and on the east side of the Pear Orchard Road intersection with signs restricting traffic to local traffic only. Residents of Camden Park, Muirwood, and The Trace Apartments will be able to enter their neighborhoods from the Old Canton Road end of Rice Road. Residents of Gallagher’s Pass and Heatherstone will be able to enter their neighborhoods from the Pear Orchard Road end of Rice Road. Commuter or through-traffic will not be able to use Rice Road.

Phase 2 will begin in May.  During this phase concrete barriers will be placed on the west side of Camden Park Drive East and the east side of the Muirwood Entrance. Concrete barriers will also be placed at the Rice Road entrance to Camden Park West. Barricades will be placed west of the Chevron driveway and on the east side of the Pear Orchard Road intersection with a sign restricting traffic to local traffic only.

Phase 3 will begin in June. During this phase there will be one lane closures while the contractor paves the asphalt surface course.

Any questions may be directed to Chris Bryson, city engineer, City of Ridgeland at 601-853-2027 or

Descendants of Ridgeland’s Third Mayor Gather for Program, “Ridgeland in the Early 20th Century”

Descendants of Ridgeland's Third Mayor, Judson David Miner, happily gather in Ridgeland for a presentation by Marion Spencer at the March meeting of the Historical Society of Ridgeland, titled "Ridgeland in the Early 20th Century." Pictured from left, seated: Mary Sue Spencer, Nancy Spencer Ware, Patricia Spencer. From left, standing: Marion Spencer, Kitty McCleave, Billy McCleave and Cathy Giroux.

Descendants of Ridgeland’s Third Mayor, Judson David Miner, happily gather at the Ridgeland Public Library for the March program of the Historical Society of Ridgeland, “Ridgeland in the Early 20th Century.” Pictured from left, seated: Mary Sue Spencer, Nancy Spencer Ware, Patricia Spencer. From left, standing: Marion Spencer, Kitty McCleave, Billy McCleave and Cathy Giroux.

Proclamation Signed for National Walking Day in Ridgeland

Mayor Gene McGee signed a Proclamation to recognize the importance of regular physical activity and proclaim April 1, 2015 as National Walking Day in Ridgeland. Pictured to his right, seated, is Jan Collins, American Heart Association volunteer, and standing, Jennifer Wellhausen, Vice President, Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

Mayor Gene McGee signed a Proclamation to recognize the importance of regular physical activity and proclaim April 1, 2015 as National Walking Day in Ridgeland. Pictured to his right, seated, is Jan Collins, American Heart Association volunteer, and standing, Jennifer Wellhausen, Vice President, Greater Southeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association.

Online Action Center Launched for Ridgeland Citizens

The City of Ridgeland has recently launched an online action center for citizens to request service. A citizen may notice a pothole, a dog running at large, or an off-street parking offense, for example. Citizens may now conveniently go to the city’s website, and complete an action center request. The action center allows a citizen to choose the service type, enter the property address or location, and even track progress.

“We are pleased to offer this new online service for the citizens of Ridgeland,” remarks Paula Tierce, City Clerk and Director of Finance and Administration. “Phone calls and emails are always welcome when there is an unmet service need. However, the Action Center directs the service request to the correct department, removing the guesswork for the citizen, and also provides a way for the citizen to check the progress of the requested action.”

To get to the Online Action Center go to the quickLINK Dashboard on the city’s website and click the second button, “Online Services.” Then, click the second option, Online Action Center. You will be directed to a third party website where you can submit your request.

If you have paid a utility bill online, you will just need to log in. If you have not used this website before, you will need to register. Use the scroll down menu to choose your request type and enter the property address. There is an extensive list from which to choose. You may also describe your observations or explain the action needed. Complete the required contact information and submit. You will be given an incident number that you may use to track the progress of your request. Click here to get started with a request.

City officials wish to encourage citizens to utilize this convenient online service to streamline the process of meeting service needs in Ridgeland. If you have any questions, contact your Alderman or call City Hall at 601-856-7113.

13th Annual KidFest! Ridgeland Presented by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi

KidFest-Logo2015Four fun-filled days. KidFest! Ridgeland, presented by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, promises to deliver more fun and flexibility than ever before with new attractions and the return of some crowd favorites! The City of Ridgeland Department of Recreation & Parks and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MississiFour fun-filled days. KidFest! Ridgeland, presented by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi, promises to deliver more fun and flexibility than ever before with new attractions and the return of some crowd favorites! The City of Ridgeland Department of Recreation & Parks and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi will host KidFest! Ridgeland for four days over two weekends (April 3-4 and April 11-12). As always KidFest! Ridgeland will feature a variety of shows, interactive activities and lots of other attractions which are all included in the price of admission.

NEW THIS YEAR, Aussie Kingdom. This wonderful exhibit and show will entertain festival guests as well as educate them. Aussie Kingdom provides many interesting facts about the different species of kangaroos and wallabies, along with native Australian birds such as the kookaburra and rainbow lorikeet. Currently, they have 8 different species of these wonderful marsupials, (pouched animals). They also present information about their native land and the people of Australia. This is a high impact “WOW” factor program which includes all the animals on display throughout the day for everyone to enjoy the wonderful antics of the animals at play. Aussie Kingdom will appear both weekends of KidFest! Ridgeland April 3-4 & 11-12, 2015. They will perform three shows each day.

NEW for 2015, Kazoobie Kazoo Show. Rick Hubbard celebrates more than a decade of providing positive family entertainment throughout the United States, and every moment has been KAZOOBIE! Rick invented the word “kazoobie” to describe his performance. It means “exceptional, fun, involving everyone.” Rick’s “Kazoo Band” shows get EVERY AUDIENCE MEMBER involved. Each person receives a free kazoo and performs with Rick in the grand finale. Leading up to this kazoobie event, Rick performs his popular original songs and features “Kids Appearing On Stage” or “KAOS” as Rick calls it. While Rick performs on guitar, banjo, steel drum and other exotic instruments, kids participate on stage – dancing, singing, shaking maracas or playing inflatable guitars. Every song is an opportunity for kids to participate. It’s KAZOOBIE! Kazoobie Kazoo Show will appear at KidFest! Ridgeland April 11-12, 2015. There will be four shows on Saturday and three shows on Sunday.

ANOTHER EXCITING NEW ATTRACTION, You can meet Paddington Bear from the hit family movie “Paddington” at Freedom Ridge Park during KidFest! Ridgeland. Appearing Friday, April 3 and Saturday, 4. Be sure to have your picture made with him.

ALSO NEW for 2015! Disc-Connected K9s – World Champion Frisbee Dog Team – Featuring 5 different world champions, including the 2008, 2010 & 2014 Open World Champions and the 2012 & 2013 Pairs World Champions, this internationally acclaimed professional Frisbee dog touring show is comprised of the largest collection of the best Frisbee Dogs on the planet. All of their shows carry a message of fun, athleticism, canine bonding, and promote dog rescuing. Their routines are choreographed to music, defy the normal relationship between man and canine; and leave even the oldest of children with a smile on their face and in their heart. To make it even more interesting, all of the dogs are “rescue” dogs, meaning they have come from either abandoned, homeless, sheltered, humane society, etc. backgrounds. Their individual stories are almost as interesting as their performances. We promise you will be laughing and clapping in awe at the tricks these dogs perform. Four shows on Saturday, April 11 and three shows on Sunday, April 12.

A CROWD FAVORITE RETURNS, Sea Lion Splash returns to KidFest! Ridgeland with their unique show that gets everyone cheering and laughing. The sea lions amaze festival guests as they balance balls, shoot hoops, dance, perform handstands, and show their pretty smiles. The show is educational and funny. The sea lions will appear in four shows on April 3-4, 2015. The sea lions are on display between shows.

ALSO RETURNING THIS YEAR, Those Funny Little People is a one-of-a-kind entertainment company with life-sized puppets who dance, sing and make people laugh. The Little People have been in several theater productions such as The Wizard of Oz. Making their television debut in 2011, Those Funny Little People appeared on the TV show America’s Got Talent as four elves, an agent and a showgirl. The group resonated with audiences everywhere and placed within the top 36 acts. Appearing Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4.

America’s Got Talent finalists, The Fearless Flores Family, return Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12 with their daredevil motorcycle stunts that impressed the judges and America on NBC TV’s hit show, America’s Got Talent.

The City of Ridgeland’s Annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held during KidFest! Ridgeland on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4. Check the schedule online at for hunt times.

Children and adult festival guests will have the opportunity to dress up as frogs, fish, mushrooms or rainbow twirlers and be the featured performers for The Nylon Zoo.

Following a trip to The Nylon Zoo, take a ride on the carousel, a train, a pony or a carnival ride. Also, don’t miss the chance to view the world’s smallest horse, only at KidFest! Ridgeland.

The Temporary Tattoo booth is always a festival favorite, as children get their faces, arms and legs decorated with festival designs. With Kid Karaoke, children can perform their favorite songs on a kid-sized stage. Robert Day, a Mississippi magician, will show families how to perform magic tricks at The Magic Tent.

Children can use their imagination and creativity to become clowns and ringmasters at the Backyard Circus.

For boys and girls of all ages Touch-A-Truck will have the opportunity to be up close and personal with large trucks and equipment provided by the Ridgeland Department of Recreation & Parks.

Gates will open at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, April 3 and Saturdays, April 4 & 11 and at noon on Sunday, April 12. Gates close at 6:30 p.m. all days. Admission is $12 at the gate, but coupons for $2/guest savings off the regular admission price are available at All performances, activities and attractions are included in the admission price. For children younger than two, admission is free.

KidFest! Ridgeland has been named a Family Favorite by Parents & Kids Magazine and was recently named “Top Twenty Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society.

For more information on KidFest! Ridgeland, see or contact the Ridgeland Recreation and Parks Department at 601-853-2011.