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Dean Wade Named Co-Anchor of WDAM's News Seven Today | New Posts to PineBeltPRESS.com to Stop

A personal note:

My day will start a little earlier than usual Monday February 21st as I return to WDAM-TV as the co-anchor of the News 7 Today show. I will be joining Miranda Beard and Rex Thompson.

I’m looking forward to the return to broadcast journalism and I hope all of you tune in every weekday from 5-7am.

As for PineBeltPRESS.com, the site will still be up but I will no longer be posting any new content.

I want to thank all of you who have visited the site and who have submitted information. I also want to thank those who advertised with us as well.

To keep up with all the latest news from the station just go to www.wdam.com.

To keep up with me you can find me on facebook at  www.facebook.com/deanwade and on twitter @WDAMDeanWade.

I also hope to have www.DeanWade.com up and running in the next several weeks as well.

Dean Wade

JCJC searching for the ‘Love Stories of Jones’

ELLISVILLE – It seems as though Cupid has lived at Jones County Junior College since the institution opened its doors nearly a century ago. As the Alumni and Foundation Office prepares for the Centennial Celebrations in the fall, one recurring theme keeps surfacing: a lot of people met their spouse while at Jones.

“Our president, Dr. Jesse and Jennifer Smith are perfect examples! They met and fell in love at Jones and later married,” said VP for Advancement, Caroline Ramagos. “Our planning committee thought it would be a wonderful opportunity for the many who found love at JCJC, to have a special event called, ‘Love Stories of Jones’ as part of our Centennial Celebration for February 2012,”

Through the campus alumni newsletter, Bobcat Bulletin, a request has been made for alumni to submit their love stories to the JCJC Alumni Office’s email, jcjcalumniinfo@jcjc.edu. However, to ensure the invitation is extended to as many people as possible, the search has gone public.

“We have about 4,500 people who receive our electronic newsletter but we also know there are some alumni and friends who haven’t signed up to be on the mailing list,” said Ramagos. “They can find the newsletter and sign up on our mailing list, on our web page, www.jcjc.edu/alumni under e-newsletter.”

Many JCJC students seem to have been bitten by the “Love Bug”. A couple who recently fell in love while at Jones, made the news. Anna Tossy, a 2009 biology graduate from Beaumont and TJ Butler, a 2010 marketing management grad from Collins, were recently featured in WDAM-TV’s series, “Unique First Dates,” by Colleen Donovan.

“We received hundreds of letters from people all over the Pine Belt but Anna’s letter about her great boyfriend TJ and how their dating relationship started on their class trip to Spain was really unique,” said Donovan. “This relationship begins with a first date in a foreign country, a romantic place, and Anna said this experience was really dear to them both.”

The two first met at Top of Class 2007 which is an event for valedictorians and salutatorians, sponsored by WDAM-TV and hosted at JCJC. Tossy and Butler also signed up to be a part of the first class of the newly formed Charles Pickering Honors Institute. As students in the Honors College, they shared many of the same classes and were offered the opportunity to travel abroad.

“Going to Spain is not something I would have ever done on my own without the help of the college,” said Butler. “I will always treasure those 12 days because I got to know Anna even more.”

Tossy shared it was not love at first sight for her.

“I was the shy, proper girl who did her homework, who didn’t talk in class and TJ always sat by me in class,” said Tossy. “One time when he was poking me, I turned around and threatened to stab him with my pencil because I had had enough of him bugging me!”

That encounter was the beginning of something that blossomed into a romance lasting three years, so far.

“He really spoiled me in Spain….That trip was something between the two of us that we can relate to and was special that we’ve done,” Anna said.

In addition to the search for love stories, the Alumni Office is also trying to identify all alumni; whether they were part of sports, music, or student government.

“We hope a lot of alumni will return to campus to help us celebrate this significant time in Jones’s history,” said Ramagos.

There will be several celebrations on campus that will include a variety of alumni and friends who participated in different groups and organizations while they attended JCJC over the years. A complete list of activities will be released over the summer. For more information call or email the office at 601-477-4145 or jcjcalumniinfo@jcjc.edu.

JCJC Job Fair 2011

ELLISVILLE – Despite the uncertain job market, employers are looking for employees, according to Jones County Junior College’s Work-Based Learning program coordinators. Cheryl McQueen and Beverly Tynes also coordinate JCJC’s annual Job Fair 2011, which will be held on Wednesday, March 30, 2011.

Employers and employees in the Pine Belt can reserve a booth to discuss possible full and part-time employmentopportunities, take resumes, meet with interested applicants and conduct interviews at the annual event, which is held from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the P.E. Building.   For those looking for employment, Job Fair 2011 is a free opportunity to meet about 80 prospective employers.  To reserve a booth for your business, or for more information, call (601) 477-4234.

Job Fair 2011 is co-sponsored by Jones County Junior College, Work-Based Learning/Co-op, Tech-Prep, Blakeney Communications, Clear Channel Communications, South Central Regional Medical Center, Mississippi Department of Employment Security, WDAM-TV and Comcast Cable.

Forrest General Presents First “Red Carpet Event” To Honor Employees

HATTIESBURG- Forrest General’s star employees of care walked the red carpet on January 11 at the first annual “Red Carpet Event,” hosted by the hospital at the historic Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg.

This awards event, which will be held annually, was modeled after the classic Academy Awards show and served to honor several categories of awards given to Forrest General employees. Employees honored during the evening’s event included Forrest General’s Top Performers of 2010, which were based on patient feedback; We C.A.R.E. Award recipients who were honored for upholding the hospital’s We C.A.R.E. philosophy; and Service Award recipients who were recognized for years of service to the organization. This event also publicly honored the hospital’s 2010 Employee of the Year, Kathy Jones, who was announced as the winner during Forrest General’s annual Employee Christmas Party in December.

Also honored were the four winners of the 5th Annual Philip Rogers Quality Award. The award is named for Dr. Philip Rogers, a nephrologist with Hattiesburg Clinic, who dedicated 32 years of his life to serving the people of South Mississippi as a physician, mentor and humanitarian. Dr. Rogers, Forrest General’s first nephrologist, was known as a kind-hearted, brilliant physician and great medical staff leader, and was greatly admired and respected for his commitment to his patients and the medical field. Four recipients, each influential and important members of Hattiesburg’s medical community, were announced during the evening’s presentation and honored for their roles as a humanitarian, innovator, leader or mentor.

The star-studded extravaganza featured guest speaker Mayor Johnny DuPree and local celebrity emcee Randy Swan of WDAM-TV. Attendees were treated to special performances by the Forrest General Spirit Girls.

The following is a list of those Forrest General staff members and physicians who were honored as winners during the Red Carpet Event:

“Most Mentioned” Nominees:

Best Supporting Role for Most Mentioned: Richard Jones, Emergency Department

Best Leading Role for Most Mentioned: Stephanie Woods, 4FB

Most Mentioned Physician: Hilton Gillespie, M.D.

“Patient Pleaser” Nominees:

Best Supporting Role for Patient Pleaser: Brian Garcia, 9T

Best Leading Role for Patient Pleaser: Alice Twillie, Same Day Surgery

“Above and Beyond” Nominees:

Best Supporting Role for Above and Beyond: Donna Beard, Registration

Best Leading Role for Above and Beyond: Randa Anderson, 4FB

“Golden Needle” Nominees:

Best Supporting Role for Golden Needle: Angela Carter, 3T

Best Leading Role for Golden Needle: Sarah Cooley, 4FB

“Personal Touch” Nominees:

Best Supporting Role for Personal Touch: Sky Williams, Emergency Department

Best Leading Role for Personal Touch: Rose Contreras, Environmental Services

“Friendly Face” Nominees:

Best Supporting Role for Friendly Face: Wanda Wilborn, CCU

Best Leading Role for Friendly Face: Tammy Mills, Registration

“Setting the Standard” Nominees:

Best Supporting Role for Setting the Standard: Brittany Brown, 8T

Best Leading Role for Setting the Standard: Maria Lee, Pine Grove

Several long-time Forrest General employees were recognized for giving 35 years of service to Forrest General and its patients. Pictured, from left are 35-year award recipients Donnie Sue Drane, Ka Russum, Howard Nobles (accepting on behalf of Donna Gipson), Ora Lee Shaheed, Elease Godbolt, Toni Hudson, Susie Morris and Pam Breland.

Service Awards – 35 Years of Service

Vicki Lee

Susie Morris

Pamela Breland

Gussie Donald

Ora Lee Shaheed

Donnie Sue Drane

Ka Russum

Elease Godbolt

Michael Harris

Donna Gipson (accepted by Howard Nobles)

We C.A.R.E. Awards

Ramona Ridley, Outpatient Rehab, LiveWell Center

Evelyn Revies, Registration

Kizzy Reese, 4T

Martin Ready, Home Care

Philip Rogers Quality Award

Winners of the 5th Annual Philip Rogers Quality Award are, from left, Tom Messer, M.D.; Betty Bly Hatten, RN; Clint White, M.D. and Allen Harris, M.D.

Innovator: Clint White, M.D.

Leadership: Tom Messer, M.D.

Mentor: Allen Harris, M.D.

Humanitarian: Betty Bly Hatten, RN

Employee of the Year

Employee of the year Kathy Jones pauses for a photo with USM Football Player Martez Smith, both special guests at the Red Carpet Event. Smith attended to thank Forrest General employees for the outstanding care provided and to present Jones with her award.

Kathy Jones, Registration