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Published 12:30 am Sunday, July 11, 2010

Highs hovered in the lower 90s most days during the week as clouds and afternoon thundershowers moderated the sunshine. Lows were in the mid- to lower 70s. Rain was measured on four days and totaled nearly 2 inches.

The Mississippi River had a stable week, starting the period at 33.8 feet on the Vicksburg gauge and ending at 33.5 feet. The forecast was for a reading of 33.3 feet today.

Rowan, the parent of LeTourneau oil rig fabrication in Vicksburg, purchased Skeie Drilling of Norway, which also builds rigs.

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Hunter Johnson and Zoe Kinsella, students at St. Aloysius, have received the St. Michael’s Book Award for Academic Achievement with a Social Conscience. The national award recognized their community service work.

Contestants arrived for the 53rd Miss Mississippi Pageant held in Vicksburg. The four days of competition result in selecting a representative to the Miss America competition.

After a year as one of Vicksburg’s youngest-ever mayors, Paul Winfield gave himself a “B,” outlined his plans for the next three years and said he expects to be a candidate for re-election in 2013. North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield agreed with the “B” grade, but South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman awarded a “C-.”

A full schedule of Fourth of July events included re-enactors in the Vicksburg National Military Park, walking tours in the Crawford Street area, a concert by a military band and entertainment at fireworks at City Front.

Former Vicksburg resident Bethan Shirley Smollen Pearson was pronounced dead in a Gowall Road home. She was 21. Autopsy results were pending and a resident of the home, Lance Burton, 22, was jailed after being accused of trying to take Pearson’s cell phone.

Joshua Kees, Hunter Johnson, Daniel Kees and April Mayfield, members of the Mayor’s Youth Council, are in an intensive business leadership development program that will take them to Wall Street later this summer.

Readers of Southern Traveler, the AAA magazine, ranked the Vicksburg National Military Park the South’s second-best heritage attraction. The World War II Museum in New Orleans was first.

Vicksburg officials voted unanimously voted to skip 5 percent raises they would have received by ordinance to start the second year of their terms. The vote makes about $11,000 more available in the coming year’s budget, expected to be about $31.5 million.

Warren County supervisors accepted land rolls showing about a 1 percent increase in valuations. They indicated they planned no increase in local tax rates in the coming budget year.

Habitat for Humanity is working with local officials to obtain the deeds to four home sites now owned by the state of Mississippi.

Shelby Shay Sanders, 34, of Port Gibson, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison. He pleaded guilty to being the driver in a Sept. 28, 2008, hit-and-run fatality on U.S. 61 South.

Five customers got notices from the city’s gas utility that an error had caused them to be underbilled by $867,000 over the past five years. Amounts ranged from $751,107 (Rainbow Casino) to $1,027 (One Source Systems). The Vicksburg Warren School District was on the list and was said to owe $88,000.

State Rep. George Flaggs Jr. was honored as Humanitarian of the Year 2010 during the Vicksburg Homecoming Benevolent Club’s homecoming celebration.

The Mississippi Lions Club All-State Band, including several students from Vicksburg, has returned from Australia with another first-place finish in international competition.

In addition to Bethan Pearson, deaths during the week included Charlie Grissom, Dr. Frank Taylor McPherson, Robert Pierre Theobald, Ruby Lee Lee, Mary K. Grillo and Robert J. Samuell.