Week in Vicksburg

Published 11:00 pm Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pleasant temps led up to the first day of fall as Vicksburg saw highs in the 70s and 80s and lows in the 50s and 60s. More than an inch of rain fell during the week.

After topping out at 1.9 locally, the Mississippi River slid back to 1.3 feet. Another decline was expected; forecasters were predicting a reading of 1.2 feet for today.

Franklin Lee Crook, Openwood Lane, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a 2011 shooting at a Marcus Bottom restaurant and club. He pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a convicted felon as a habitual offender and was sentenced by Judge M. James Chaney.

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Vicksburg native Bert Carraway began his role as third assistant district attorney after receiving word he had passed the state bar exam. He joins assistant district attorneys Angela Carpenter and Lane Campbell in the office of District Attorney Ricky Smith.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen announced the prohibition of talking on phones and texting while driving by those authorized to drive city vehicles. The safety policy has been in place, but is now in writing for grant purposes, officials said.

Ergon Refining announced a $147 million expansion, planning upgrades at its main refinery and new buildings near the Bunge-Ergon ethanol plant at the Port of Vicksburg. The new facilities will enable Ergon to process more diverse types of crude oil for chemical processes.

Vicksburg police said a 76-year-old, robbed at gunpoint and taken from a Rainbow Casino parking lot to a bank where more money was demanded, was released uninjured. Lance Burton, Kodey Goulette and Misty Lee were arrested and charged with armed robbery and kidnapping, Capt. Bobby Stewart said.

A third confirmed case of West Nile virus was reported in Warren County. The state total stood at 169 cases.

Jim and Ann Jones, who operated the Sweet Olive tour boat on the Mississippi River, announced they have closed the business and plan to remove the boat from City Front and put it up for sale. The Joneses operated Mississippi River Tours for nine years.

In an address to Vicksburg Lions Club members, Rep. Alex Monsour said he supports requiring retirees to contribute to the state retirement system if they return to work in the public sector. Monsour said a required contribution would help keep the state’s Public Employee Retirement System solvent longer.

Vicksburg Warren School District students with parking passes could be subject to random drug testing if the Board of Trustees accepts a proposed policy. Additionally, the board announced that Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Swinford will have to pay $357.56 for improperly using a district vehicle.

Letters in which District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon asks voters to support Court of Appeals candidate Ceola James were mailed from the Warren County Courthouse, postage metering showed. Selmon said he had supplied the courthouse secretary with stamps to use for mailing the political fliers.

Carl Whitaker was listed in serious condition at University Medical Center in Jackson after being struck on the back of the head while walking along Bowmar Avenue just before midnight. Whitaker’s wallet, which contained no cash, was stolen, Vicksburg police said.

Local deaths during the week were Jesse Dotson Jr., Katherine Meyer Turcotte, Linda Dianne McBroom, Elizabeth Jean “Betty” Martin Pace, Kimberly “Kimmy” Danielle Melton and Brenda Kay Friley.