Week in Vicksburg

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, June 30, 2012

The summer swelter settled in as high temps in Vicksburg hit triple digits after remaining steady in the 90s. Overnight lows were mainly in the 60s. No rain was recorded during the week.

The Mississippi River dropped nearly two feet locally, dipping to 5.5 feet from 7.2. A reading of 5.1 feet was expected for today.

Forty-two women made their way into the city for the week as contestants in the 55th Miss Mississippi pageant in Vicksburg. Activities included a parade, autograph parties and an after-crowning ball.

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After years of flooding mixed with drought, Warren County farmers are enjoying a bountiful crop of soybeans and cotton. Plentiful rains were credited for contributing to the eagerly awaited harvest.

Suspensions from Vicksburg Warren School District classrooms increased from 1,236 in the 2009-10 school year to 4,033 during the 2011-12 year. Officials emphasized that comparisons are difficult to make because of varying discipline and reporting strategies by different administrations.

Loud booms reported from various points south of the city were blamed on field tests being conducted by the Engineer Research and Development Center. Vicksburg Warren 911, as well as Entergy, fielded numerous calls as a result of the military explosive tests, which were no threat to public safety.

A bent elevator shaft stranded riders who were visiting the newly renovated Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot. The problem also forced the VCVB board of directors to move meetings because some board members cannot climb stairs. Plans were being developed to straighten the shaft, but no cost estimate has been presented.

Jeremy Blake Bowlin, accused in the 2011 shooting death of his mother’s live-in boyfriend, was acquitted by a Warren County Circuit Court jury. Bowlin told deputies he shot Timothy Harmon in self-defense after repeated beatings of his mother and him.

School district trustees declined to appoint for the second consecutive month the superintendent’s choice for assistant superintendent for operations. That position, along with a director of transportation, will remain vacant when school reopens Aug. 6.

Dennis Coulter, a resident of Drummond Street, plans to pursue the reversal of a decision by the city’s zoning administrator denying him a business license for his company that would sell custom-loaded small-caliber ammunition by phone and over the Internet. The city’s Board of Zoning Appeals is scheduled to hear Coulter’s appeal on July 10.

In a speech to Port City Kiwanis Club members, Vicksburg Housing Authority executive director Ben Washington pushed the development of more programs to help young people living in VHA units. He said the only current housing authority-sponsored youth program is its Summer Youth Leadership, a mentoring and education program.

Ground was broken on a new field house at Vicksburg’s Memorial Stadium. Construction on the $750,000 facility is expected to be complete in time for the 2013 football season.

Local deaths during the week were Emma Lee Earnest Burch, Madeline “Nell” Mendrop, Boyette R. Scott, Robert E. Smith, Katie Mae Robinson, Margaret Ruth Young Rose and Mable Bliss Tharrington.