Month: August 2013

Letter from the Editor – August 2013

080113Welcome to the August edition of GTP
They say that time heals all wounds…well perhaps that is true but those of us who lived through hurricane Katrina will never forget what happened here eight years ago, on that fateful August day in 2005. Our beloved Coast was torn apart and our lives were changed forever. What good could have possibly come out of that experience? Well, they also say that all clouds have a silver lining and believe it or not, Katrina did as well. Read all about it here.
Meet Mover and Shaker, Executive Director of the STEPS Coalition, Roberta Avila. STEPS was formed after Katrina in order to give a collective voice to the growing population of immigrants who came to rebuild the Coast.
We revisit the subject of Human Trafficking this month to provide you with a much needed update on this insidious crime that is alive and well in South Mississippi.
GTP also investigates sports energy drinks and current beauty trends…are they safe for you and your family?

All This…And So Much More
Nancy Marchbanks
Executive Editor

Katrina 8 Years Later

logoIt is hard to believe that the 8th anniversary of hurricane Katrina is here. Those of us who experienced Katrina and lived to tell the tale have much to be thankful for. Many of us lost everything, many lost their lives, and non of us will never be the same. It was a life changing moment in time yet we discovered we were stronger and more resourceful than anyone could have imagined. We learned how to survive during the most dire of circumstances. We reached out to one another with love and compassion and everyone truly cared about their fellow man. We discovered that the value of personal possessions means very little in the grand scheme of things and that faith means everything.
As horrific as Katrina was and as deep as the scars will forever be, there was actually a silver lining to the monster storm of 2005. The advancements and beautification are evident up and down the entire coastline. Cities are still healing, repairing and rebuilding but they are coming back bigger and better than before. Our leaders have done their utmost to restore our beloved Mississippi Gulf Coast and they deserve our thanks. Tremendous progress has been made and there is great of optimism for the future. (more…)


RAvilaFor 22 years Roberta Avila has worked in the non-profit and social justice sectors. She has served as the Executive Director of STEPS since July, 2009. Four years prior, she held the same position with the Mississippi Coast Interfaith Disaster Task Force. Roberta Avila is also a founding member of the Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center and currently serves on boards for both the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA) and the Mississippi Center for Justice. (more…)

Long Beach Band Festival – August 30th & 31st


The much anticipated Long Beach Band Festival is here again! On Friday, August 30th and Saturday, August 31st, at the Harper McCaughan Town Green on Jeff Davis Avenue, you will be able to bring the family out for an amazing weekend of carnival-type fun.
Founded in 2008, the Long Beach Festival brings the Gulf Coast Community together for summer fun and entertainment. The music alone is a great reason to give your time to this wonderful event. Bands like Hanover Drive, Suthurn Touch, Hester, Before Breaking, Unsung Youth, Set the Sails, By the Fire and South of I-10 will bring their exciting stage shows to entertain all ages. (more…)

Human Trafficking Update: Mississippi in Action

traffickingmedium2In February of this year, tens of thousands of sports fan flocked to New Orleans for the Super Bowl. Two young Mississippi brothers, ages 10 and 11, were thrilled that a family friend had invited them to go see the game. They left early for New Orleans, and the family friend treated them to the city’s main attractions for kids. They enjoyed the River Walk, watched an IMAX movie and explored downtown. When they returned to the hotel to rest up for the big game the next day, the family friend sold the two boys to three men. The brothers were raped repeatedly throughout the night. Thanks to the human trafficking advocacy group, Advocates For Freedom (AFF), the family knew what to do. They reported the incident, and the so-called friend was arrested for sex trafficking of the minors. The young boys will have a long road back to recovery after such an ordeal, but sadly, theirs is a success story. Many children who are sold into the minor sex trade never find their way back home. (more…)

1776 Lee Resolution — 1 County | 237 years of History | 1 Milestone

1776 AD – Lee Resolution

Lee-ResolutionOn June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, introduced this resolution in the Second Continental Congress proposing independence for the American colonies.

Acting under the instruction of the Virginia Convention, Richard Henry Lee on June 7, 1776, introduced a resolution in the Second Continental Congress proposing independence for the colonies. The Lee Resolution essentially says in it’s simplest form, we the people cast-out our current mode of government, create a new confederate of at that time were 13 Coloies, and that we are willing to surcfice our lives , our property and our sacred honor to get it. This leads to the War of Independence from the British King and he’s corrupt democratic parlament. (more…)