The Week in Vicksburg
Week of December 23, 2002
The weather was seasonable for Christmas week. Highs ranged from 43 degrees to 64 each day and lows from 29 degrees to 44. The Mississippi rose rapidly from a reading of 17.8 feet on the Vicksburg gauge to 30.7 feet by week’s end. Forecasters predicted the river will continue to rise to 31.1 feet by today.
Members of the Warren County delegation to the Mississippi Legislature said they were sad to see U.S. Sen. Trent Lott decide not to seek to retain the post of majority leader. However Mike Chaney, George Flaggs and Dr. Chester Masterson said they thought Lott would still be able to help Mississippi.
The Vicksburg Fire Department held a party for several members who retired. Those honored were captains Lee Griffin, Darrell Williamson and Richard “Dickie” Martin and Deputy Chief Robert Hall.
James Buie, owner of J&B Cab Co., said he might have to close his business if Vicksburg officials go ahead with plans to overhaul cab ordinances. The proposed new regulations required meters, new rates and increased liability insurance.
The 49 employees of Mississippi Welcome Centers visited the city, touring historic homes, downtown, the Old Court House Museum and the Vicksburg National Military Park. The gathering was hosted by the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Army veteran Thurman Nelson Jr. and his wife Yvonne are putting together a housing development off Mississippi 27. He said the dream of the development came to him as he traveled around with the Army.
Warren County Supervisors picked Marcie Tanner Southerland as the new county prosecuting attorney from a field that also included Robert Arledge and Pat McNamara Jr. Southerland succeeds Johnny Price Jr. who was elected to fill an unexpired term as Warren County Court judge.
Reginald Sims, a prisoner who escaped from the Warren County Jail, was recaptured in downtown Vicksburg by Vicksburg police and Warren County sheriff’s deputies. Sims and five other prisoners broke out of jail about a month ago. The other five were recaptured earlier.
Frances Marion Reid Cashman died at her home. Mrs. Cashman, who was 83, was the widow of Louis P. Cashman Jr., a former editor and publisher of The Vicksburg Post and the mother of the present publisher Louis P. “Pat” Cashman III.
Vicksburg officials approved a developer’s plan for the old Sears Automotive Center at the vacant Battlefield Village Mall. The old building will be renovated into a motorcycle and ATV dealership.
Vicksburg elected officials voted to establish a committee to set standards and rates for taxi cab companies rather than to adopt changes in laws to require meters and to set new rates. The committee will be made up of the city clerk, police chief, representatives of the cab companies and three private citizens.
Vicksburg residents will have an additional two weeks to dispose of Christmas trees, boxes and gift wrapping as a result of a decision made by city officials. The garbage collector asked the trees be placed out the second collection day and that boxes be broken down and bundled in bundles weighing not more than 50 pounds.
Kevin Jones and his family ended up having a good Christmas in spite of their home on Lydia Street burning, destroying all their possessions. Jones’ fellow employees at River Region Medical Center chipped in with gift certificates and cash donations to help them begin rebuilding.
The Warren County Board of Supervisors gave final approval to tax exemptions for Anderson-Tully Co. and Cooper Lighting. The exemptions are on $29 million in property and allow the companies to avoid local property taxes but not state taxes or taxes that support local schools.
The family of Teddy Smith, one of the people who died from injuries received in an explosion at Rouse Polymerics International, filed a lawsuit against the company. The suit asks for $65 million in compensatory and punitive damages and claims fraud and negligence.
Lester Grant, who with his wife Jackie put up Santa’s Lane for the past 17 years, died after being sturck in the head in an industrial accident. Although retired, he worked part time with Falco Lime Co. and was supervising a crew trying to free a barge when he was hurt.
Anitra Fisher and her 2-year-old daughter died as a result of injuries they received when their car collided head on with an 18-wheeler on Mississippi 27.
Departing Warren County Court Judge Gerald Hosemann filed his response to charges from a judicial watchdog panel with the Mississippi Supreme Court. Hosemann contended the day he dismissed a group of DUI cases was a trial date and not an arraignment date as the panel contended.
Former police officer Robert Jackson filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to get his job back. He charged the City of Vicksburg with employment discrimination.
Vicksburg engineering officials said they were watching a bridge on Washington Street at Clark Street because state officials said it has moved 1 1/2 inch to the east. James T. “Bubba” Rainer, head of the public works department, said the bridge has been moving for 25 years.
Deaths during the week included Sam Dykes Jr., Daisy Mae Keen McLemore, Sandra Gail Mason Strawbridge, Bessie N. Davidson, Ann S. Melton, Joseph E. Perkins Sr., Berlean Benard, Roger Dale Redditt, Martha Bentley, Carlton Lamar Brown Sr., Frances Marion Reid Cashman, Hilda Hamaker Katzenmeyer, Virginia Fletcher Downing, Lester L. Grant and Luke James Lee Sr.