Red Ribbon Week

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A two-fold message today at Popp’s Ferry Elementary School as National Red Ribbon Week begins to wrap.

News 25’s Toni Miles takes to the school where the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department tied in another important message as Halloween is upon us.

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Christmas is still about two months away, but at Popp’s Ferry Elementary School, they’ve decked the trees with bows and ribbons as part of the school’s Red Ribbon Week campaign. Popp’s Ferry Elementary School PIO Crystal James said, “We’ve actually tried to encompass a lot of different themes this year. The national theme is ‘Life is Your Journey – Travel Drug Free.’ Throughout these eight days, our school has traveled through the decades. We traveled through the holidays, and we’ve also traveled through the movies and things like that.”

The message was stick to the script and make good decisions that will carry them through life. “Whenever they are this young, they may not necessarily know all of the dangers that are part of drugs, but we make it fun for them to learn about saying no and to let them know that it’s cool to say no,” said James.

The Harrison County Sheriff’s Department is tying in an additional message as thousands of South Mississippi kids get ready to trick-or-treat.  Lt. Robert Lincoln said, “One of the biggest things is for them to stay as a group. There is safety in numbers.”

Parents can also help steer their children in the right, and safe, direction while trick-or-treating. “Parents do need to be familiar with the sex offender registry, and where houses are around in their neighborhoods they want to be sure to exclude from their list. They can go to the Harrison County website, harrisoncountysheriff.com or you can go to sex offender registry, put in your address and it will actually show you every house with someone registered within a three mile radius.”

Good guidance on multiple fronts whether choosing which house to visit while trick-or-treating or saying no to drugs somewhere further down the line, all useful as tomorrow’s leaders begin here.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: tmiles@wxxv25.com. These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams (pwilliams@wxxv25.com) will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!

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