The Week in Vicksburg

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 21, 2000

Week of September 11, 2000

The weather moderated some as clouds moved in, although there was no recorded rainfall during the week. Temperatures during the day ranged from 82 to 95 instead of being in the triple digits. At night the thermometer gave readings from 70 to 75 degrees.

The Mississippi River dropped from 5.2 feet on the Vicksburg gauge to 1.5 feet by week’s end. Forecasters said the river should reverse its fall over the weekend and end up at about 1.1 feet by sometime today.

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Allen Maxwell became the fifth person to qualify to run for Warren County coroner to succeed L.W. Callaway III. Others on the Nov. 7 ballot will be Ronald Regan, John Thomason, Wanda Shay Clark Odom and Mark Morgan.

Robert Pickett, former superintendent of education, was honored by Alcorn State University by induction in the “A” Club Hall of Fame. The hall was begun in 1994 to honor Alcorn athletes.

City and county law enforcement officials said crack cocaine is still the drug of choice in Vicksburg and Warren County. They also said crystal methamphetamine has been increasing recently.

Fire broke out in an empty mobile home off North Frontage Road and destroyed the dwelling. Firefighters were unable to determine the cause of the fire.

Warren County officials voted to spend about $20,000 to repair erosion near the Bovina Volunteer Fire Department building. The county road manager said county crews would probably get to the emergency work in October.

Area farmers said not that it’s been dry for so long, they really don’t need rain right now. Larry and Daniel Branch farm some acreage near Eagle Lake and said any significant rain would lower the grade of their cotton still in the field.

Mayor Robert Walker announced plans to establish a second precinct office for the Vicksburg Police Department in Kings. Walker said he hopes to commit about $10,000 to the project.

Vicksburg officials announced some promotions and shifts in the Vicksburg Police Department including the transfer of newly promoted Lt. Billy Brown to head the Narcotics Unit and Lt. Walter Beamon to the Detective Division. Officials also said Patrolman Jimmy Sweet was placed on the sergeant’s list but not promoted.

The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Vicksburg approved a Fiscal Year 2001 budget of nearly $30.1 million, about $1 million more than was budgeted last fall but less than the $35.1 million it reached after amendments. Mayor Robert Walker said the budget represents independence from gambling revenues.

Vicksburg’s aldermen said the city plans to put more than $340,000 into work on City Front. The city’s plans include $100,000 to expand the concrete at City Front and $240,569 for other unspecified waterfront development.

The Vicksburg Bridge Commission received reports from its engineers saying it would take $4 million to repair the old Mississippi River Bridge and $2 million to tear it down. Chairman Raymond Ray said the commission is not thinking now about tearing the bridge down.

Four lieutenants on the Vicksburg Police Department wrote a letter to the city Civil Service Commission questioning why the city has not given a captain’s test since 1996. They also asked if the city is planning to eliminate the rank in the police department.

Famed actress and a Vicksburg native, Beah Richards, died at her home at age 80. The award-winning actress and author moved back to Vicksburg in May. She had been nominated for Tony and Oscar awards and was presented her second Emmy on Sept. 1 for a guest appearance on ABC’s, “The Practice.” She had emphysema.

Vicksburg officials announced that Halls Ferry Road would be closed for a day. The closing was to allow city crews to improve motorists’ vision at Division Street.

Organizers and members of the board of directors for a new chapter of Parents for Public Schools were chosen. Serving will be Ronnie Heath, Tammy Boolos, Joanne D. Gibbs, Jan Daigre, Elizabeth Bryant, Janet Akers, Tiffany Flanders, Carl Flanders and Marnita Lewis.

Trustmark National Bank announced that one of its Vicksburg locations, the branch office on Cherry Street at East Avenue, will revert to “banking hours.” Starting Monday, the bank will close from 1 until 2:30 each weekday afternoon.

In addition to Beah Richards, local deaths during the week were Robert E. Durst, Dr. Fred J, Hamernik, Melissa Jackson Hocutt, Willie Beatrice Sampson, Joseph B. Sessions, Gloria Lanier Ditto and Lena Sanders.