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The Week in Vicksburg

Week of July 18, 2004

Although Saturday was cloudy, there was no rainfall recorded during the week. Otherwise the week was seasonable with daytime temperatures ranging from 82 to 94 degrees while at night the readings varied from 66 to 73 degrees.

The Mississippi River fell slowly from a reading of 25.0 feet on the Vicksburg gauge to 22.5 by week’s end. Forecasters said the fall should continue and the river reach a stage of 22.4 feet by today.

Local officials have dropped charges against three of the eight people arrested after Christopher Cage was found shot to death on Fayette Street. The ones who had charges dropped were Jimmy Renee Felix, George Deon Scott and Tameka Washington.

The board of trustees of the Vicksburg Warren School District refused to accept the recommendation of Superintendent James Price on the head of the special education department. Trustees said they had no problem with Jack Grogan but had a problem with how Price went about picking him.

The downtown theme park will feature a catfish-themed splash fountain and parts from the steam powered towboat Sprague and city officials hope it will be ready for next summer. Mayor Laurence Leyens said he hoped the new park would be another draw for tourists.

Randy Kleinman, David Longmire and Miguel Valenciano combined their talents to form Rio Trio and create the three-dimensional computer rendering of what Vicksburg’s new downtown park would look like. The techniques used are the same as those used in making major movies.

As District Attorney Gil Martin’s office prepared for the July session of the Warren County grand jury Martin said one of the cases to be heard involves bank robbery charges against Bobby Earl Wilson. Wilson was arrested for robbing the Trustmark National Bank on Mission 66 March 30, just days after he was released from prison.

Officials of the Vicksburg Convention Center announced plans for an outdoor consumer show, Everything Outdoors and More Expo, in August. They planned to begin the three-day event with a tailgate party and entertainment on the center’s lower parking lot.

Mary Katherine Brown, chairman of the Warren County Democratic Committee, will be the only Warren County resident to attend the national Democratic Party Convention in Boston. This is the second time Brown has attended a national convention.

Jack Criss has been working on a biography of former Gov. Kirk Fordice that will be called “Steel Will.” He said the authorized biography of the former Vicksburg resident should be out in 2005.

The Vicksburg Municipal Airport got a seven-year extension of its lifespan so city officials could get a $650,000 state grant for improvements. City officials also voted to ask the airport be restored to the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Vicksburg officials accepted a check for $125,000 from the Vicksburg Housing Authority to install sidewalks on Alcorn Drive and Mission 66. The money came from discretionary funds for the nearby Rolling Acres subdivision.

The Port of Vicksburg will be included in a study of Mississippi River ports, announced Dick Hall, Central District commissioner with the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The study will predict what needs to be done to properly position the county-owned port for 10, 15 and 20 years into the future.

Pablo Quiroz Hernandez drowned in the Mississippi River at LeTourneau Landing while saving an 11-year-old girl from drowning. In a separate incident, a Vicksburg woman, Mildred G., Davis, died in a wreck on Interstate 20 near Edwards.

Members of the Vicksburg Bridge Commission voted to recommend that the old U.S. 80 Bridge be used for a park and cycling path. The commission must send that recommendation to the Warren County Board of Supervisors for their approval before any action can be taken.

Vandals did at least $18,000 in damage to restrooms at golf and soccer facilities at the Clear Creek Golf Course. A reward of $500 was offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects.

Warren County Supervisors took the next step toward setting its budget for Fiscal Year 2005 by declaring the real and personal property tax rolls equalized. At the same meeting, the board also awarded a contract to Fordice Construction Co. for the replacement of a bridge on Belva Drive.

Leaders of the Vicksburg Warren County Community Alliance asked the Warren County Board of Supervisors to set aside a mill’s worth of tax money for Alliance promotional projects. The supervisors said the county may not be able to comply with the request after it funds raises mandated by the Mississippi Legislature.

The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau board voted to endorse the conversion of the Old U.S. 80 Bridge into a park and cycling path. The board then directed its executive director to draft a resolution to that effect to be sent to the Warren County Board of Supervisors.

The committee overseeing the murals on the flood wall at City Front said the first phase of paintings will be complete in 2005. The group said they are seeking funds for the mural dealing with the sinking of the steamboat Sultana.

Charles Selmon, president of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, told a local civic club he wanted to provide county health insurance for all elected officials including the constables, election commissioners and coroner. He also said he supported establishing a Web site for the county.

Local deaths were Bruce Carver Farnsworth, Willie W. Harris Jr., Tommie Nailor Sr., James P. Stafford Jr., Oliver Walker, Elaine Westcott Brown, Mary lee Williams Cooksey, Arthur James Jones, Philip Edward Witters Jr., Lenard Fay Peters, Minnie Bell Young Richardson, John H. Reed Jr. and Sadie A. Smith.