News 2007


Board honors Bill Powe for his efforts as Gateway Manager

Pictures from the 10/20 Jerry Ryan Memorial Ride


Some of the more unusual sights along the Trace

The new pavilion at Prentiss is completed except for landscaping

The Longleaf Trace makes Mississippi Magazine's Best of Mississippi List

The Trail Etiquette Signs have been placed at each station

The 2006 Bonnie Anglin Trailblazer Award is
presented at the March board meeting

Lights Installed from the Gateway to 7th Street

Dark no longer, one portion of the Longleaf Trace is now dotted with pools of illumination from 21 lights ranging from the Gateway behind the University of Southern Mississippi to the 37th Avenue tunnel.

The project has been in the works since 2004, when that year's Leadership Pinebelt class -then called Leaders for a New Century -began raising funds to install the lights along the trail, said Stacie Michel, one member of the class.

"It took a while because of Hurricane Katrina," said Michel, who helped raise $40,000 for the project. She wasn't sure what the final cost of the lighting project was.

The installation of the lights comes amidst a rash of attempted assaults on women jogging or walking along the trace. Since the first attack in February, Lamar and Forrest county sheriffs, Southern Miss and Hattiesburg police have increased patrols on the 44-mile trace, said Forrest County Supervisor Lynn Cartlidge.

One man is suspected to be the perpetrator of each incident, Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel has said.

"It's just a matter of time til they catch him," Cartlidge said.

Southern Miss student Marie Scaffidi, 21, said she likes to walk or run on the trace about once a week.

"I love the lights," she said. "I feel absolutely safe."

Hattiesburg resident Becky Ryder, 62, said she's always felt safe on the trail, despite an encounter with a man who may be the suspect sought in the attempted assaults.

Ryder encountered a man meeting the suspect's description -a Hispanic man about 5-foot-6, 180 pounds -the same day the first attempted assault was reported.

"There was a man standing in the middle of the trail," she said. "He made eye contact with me. He was just kind of goofy."

After leaving the trace, she learned of the reported assault.

Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree said that plans to install lights along the portion of the trail that leads to downtown Hattiesburg are in the works.

The mayor said that the city has reached an agreement with the Mississippi Department of Transportation and that he hopes to ask Hattiesburg's City Council to approve advertisement of the project in the next few weeks.

The plan is to extend the lighting work to the newly-renovated Hattiesburg train depot, set to open in late April, Cartlidge said.

Many thanks to the companies and individuals below who helped sponsor the lights project.

The signs marking county lines are now in place

Hunting clubs lease a lot of timber land adjacent to the Trace. This gives
them access to hunt game during seasons (Spring Turkey is open in March)
and varmits year round. We expect them to follow the rules and not hunt on
or near the Trace. We all need to follow the rules and not tresspass,
which can be dangerous at any time of year in these leased areas.

Katrina beat up this Redbud in the tree identification
project near Epley,but it's still blooming!

Work has started on straightening West Hills Drive. This will help make this
crossing safer.Already sight lines are better, but this is still a dangerous crossing.

Improvements to the equestrian trail at Sumrall Station. The trail will go
along the Trace to the right of the timbers. the area to the left of the
timbers will be additional parking for horse trailers.
Other news on the equestrian trail.

Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony at Sumrall Depot
- February 2007 with New Pictures

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