Week in Vicksburg • 021614

Published 12:00 pm Sunday, February 16, 2014

A winter storm brought low temperatures and rain, ice and snow Tuesday and Wednesday that knocked out power in the Eagle Lake area closed schools. High temperatures for the first part of the week were in the 30s, and began warming into the 50s and 60s by the end of the week.
The Mississippi River was at 16.63 feet on Feb. 8. It had risen to 27.06 feet by Friday. Flood stage is 43 feet.

The icy weather was responsible for a wreck on the Mississippi River Bridge involving six 18-wheelers, resulting in multiple injuries that tied up traffic on Interstate 20 for 13 hours. Emergency management officials estimated about 4,000 gallons of a toxic solvent combined with lye spilled on the I-20 bridge and into the Mississippi.

The City of Vicksburg took over repair and maintenance of Fort Hill Drive after the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved an interlocal agreement with Warren County allowing the city to take over the street, which is a county road. The agreement, which must be approved by the Mississippi Attorney General’s office, clears one hurdle for a proposed auxiliary main water line for the city, which will cross the Vicksburg National Military Park and go down Fort Hill Drive to an existing water line at Jackson Street.
In another city matter, Mayor George Flaggs said the board will review a report on restructuring the city’s debt and a revised capital improvements list for the city.

Warren County supervisors learned state aid road construction funds that help county officials maintain roads will be down $1 million from fiscal 2014. The reduced funding reflected projects completed in 2013.
In another county matter, Warren Count supervisors learned the county’s $3.9 million bayou cleaning project that began in 2008 was nearing completion.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. told the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club he wants to develop a project to reduce the percentage of unaccountable gas use in the city. Flaggs cutting the unaccounted use from 23 percent to 10 percent, he said, will produce an extra $3 million for city coffers.

The Vicksburg Kiwanis Club dished out 1,700 servings of chili and raised $10,000 for scholarships for high school Key Club members.

A Vicksburg businessman has about 4½ months to decide whether to sell, renovate or raze the building he owns at 2323 Washington St. The Board of Architectural Review gave Robert Johnson the extension after a hearing on his request to demolish the building.

Mississippi’s two U.S. senators, as well as senators from Louisiana, Arkansas and Ohio said they support a bill to exempt the steamship Delta Queen from the Safety of Life at Sea Act. Approving the exemption would allow the boat to return to service as a passenger steamer plying the Mississippi River.

United Way of West Central Mississippi honored its volunteers at its annual banquet. United Way officials said the organization’s annual fund drive raised $1.5 million.

Local deaths included Clem Dickerson, Mary Jo Price, Patricia Reed Shelley, Lener M. Taylor, Kenny W. Channell, Kimberly Martin Stribling, Raymond Hart, Zorada Derby, Avel Marie Gardner, Andrew J. Nations, Lena Mae Nickerson, Ronald Wells, Bobby Gardner, Bobbie A. Noel and Patricia Reed Shelley.