The Week in Vicksburg

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 6, 2005

Week of May 29, 2005

High temperatures remained in the mid-80s throughout the week, and overnight lows were steady in the mid-60s. More than 2 inches of rain fell in the area Tuesday and about a half-inch was recorded Thursday.

The Mississippi River rose to just above 21 feet at mid-week before beginning a slight drop. The gauge at Vicksburg was expected to measure 17.7 feet today.

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Employees of the Vicksburg National Military Park began the local observance of Memorial Day by placing small American flags on the 18,000 graves in the National Cemetery. The activities continued with a parade and the laying of a wreath on the grave of an unknown soldier at the National Cemetery.

After a beginning last year on U.S. 61 North, the organizers of the Vicksburg 2nd Annual Blues Festival decided to move the event to downtown Vicksburg. Organizer James Buie said he hoped to bring rhythm and blues back to the community.

Alligators seemed to be making more frequent appearances all over the area and officials of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks confirmed it. Ricky Flynt of the department said estimates say about 670 of the reptiles live in Warren County.

Gordon Cotton, director of the Old Court House Museum, received the Order of First Families of Mississippi for leadership in genealogy and historic preservation. Cotton has been director of the museum for 28 years and writes a weekly column for The Vicksburg Post.

Family albums and shadow boxes of medals were among the items that brought some local servicemen back to memories after they were killed in battles across the world. Also recalled was one Vicksburg resident’s helping build a hospital in the South Pacific.

A strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area Sunday, dropping at least 20 trees across the community. Also reported were power lines down and flooding on U.S. 80 that drained quickly.

Vicksburg’s connection to bourbon was one of the features of local history that brought a Canadian video crew to the city. The crew was working on a segment of “The Thirsty Traveler” that will be shown on the Fine Living channel on Canadian digital television.

The Vicksburg Bridge Commission met with state and federal officials in an attempt to come up with $6 million that is needed to stabilize the east end of the Old U.S. 80 Bridge. One of the proposed remedies for movement in the old bridge is soil nails similar to those used to stabilize the bluffs at Natchez.

With a week to go before this year’s municipal elections, candidates reports indicated incumbent Mayor Laurence Leyens has raised nearly eight times as much as any of his rivals. Only one of the candidates, Tommie Rawlings, missed the deadline to have the reports in the City Clerk’s Office.

The Isle of Capri Casino has purchased a former discount store building that had most recently been used as a business development agency. A $300,000 renovation is planned for the building, at 2920 Washington St.

Managing interest of the Vicksburg Factory Outlets was sold to Craig Realty Group, an outlet developer in Newport Beach, Calif. The sale will help the mall grow larger, according to the shopping center’s general manager, Margaret Gilmer.

A Vicksburg police officer accused of domestic violence was placed on leave without pay pending an investigation that could lead to her termination. The Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted in favor of the recommendation from Deputy Police Chief Richard O’Bannon.

Rudolph Walker, a 30-year veteran of the Vicksburg Police Department, says he was put on administrative leave because he requested to be placed on day shifts due to a medical condition that causes blackouts. Walker said his request was ignored for weeks until officials asked him to present a second doctor’s letter showing him fit for duty.

Local deaths during the week were Dewey H. Brown Jr., Mattie Lee Barry Cain, Doris R. Davis, Kenneth Arnold Heffner, John Henry Shelton, Savannah Wheatley, James P. Wright, Bobbie Denise Allison, Mary Louise Vallas, Luther Aaron Corbin Jr., Wilhelmina Cassino Turcotte, Alice Louise Johnson Vandevender, Johnnie Flaggs, Kathryn F. Cook, Mary Delaney and Lucille S. “Scotty” Kelly.