Week in Vicksburg for Sunday, May 3

Published 10:43 pm Saturday, May 3, 2014

Severe thunderstorms packing heavy rain, high winds and a tornado hit the area early in the week as a cool front moved through the South. Temperatures remained warm, with highs in the 80s Monday and Tuesday dropping down to the low 70s and upper 60s, with nighttime lows in the 50s and 40s.

The Mississippi River was at 35.95 feet on April 26. It was down to 27.11 feet Friday. Flood stage is 43 feet.

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An EF-1 tornado cut through a 4-mile area of Warren County south and east of Vicksburg Monday afternoon, damaging 16 structures and leaving thousands without power. The tornado was one of many to hit Mississippi as severe weather crossed the state. The twister here started at Glass Road and U.S. 61 South, packing 105 mph winds and cutting a path 4.75 miles long and 200 yards wide east to Oak Park before moving to Mississippi 27 and causing damage along Stenson Road, Warriors Trail and Duncan Road. It moved east into Bovina and then Edwards.

The storm that spawned the twister also dumped 1.17 inches of rain in Vicksburg, and pea-size hail was reported across the area.

Thousands took advantage of the good weather April 25 and 26 to go to downtown Vicksburg for RiverFest, the city’s annual arts and music festival, listening to bands and touring the crafts booths downtown. Others visited the Old Courthouse Museum’s annual spring flea market along the streets surround the courthouse square.

Warren County officials said work could begin this fall on a shooting range for law enforcement officers at a 14-acre tract of the Ceres Research and Industrial Interplex.

In other county government news, Warren County supervisors indicated they might seek another bonding company to insure themselves in the wake of a recent performance by Western Surety Co., which currently provides the county officials’ bonds. The company was named a defendant in Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree’s civil suit against the county over whether she owes the county $671,751.75 in excessive salary and questionable payments from 2006-2011, and the supervisors were unhappy with the way the company has supported the board.

Members of the NRoute Board of Commissioners learned the public transportation system could possibly break even or finish fiscal 2014 in the black. The information was based on a preliminary review of NRoute’s finances by May and Co., the transit system’s accountant. Nathan Cummins of May and Co. said he would have a better idea of the system’s financial picture after six months at NRoute’s May meeting.

Vicksburg officials outlined plans for the city’s May 17 “Clean Up Vicksburg Day,” including the locations of 30-ton trash containers at different areas in the North and South wards.

In other city news, TV23, the city’s public access cable channel, is preparing to expand its audience by going on U-Verse, AT&T’s fiber optic cable telephone, Internet and television system, through a public education and government, or PEG channel, which will allow information about the city to be seen by U-Verse subscribers in Hinds, Madison, Rankin, Simpson and Warren and Yazoo counties. No start date has been set.

Local officials and community leaders visited Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, Pa., and met with members of the Gettysburg Foundation, an organization which supports the park, to learn ways of developing a cultural tourism program that will incorporate the Vicksburg area and the Vicksburg National Military Park to attract visitors to the area.

Local deaths included George Gray Jr., John W. “JW” Winger, Clarence Eugene Williams, Lena Mae Burks Hartsfield, Annie Betty Houston Wilson, Patrick Joseph DeMoss, Mary Annette Sims, Mary Louise Sanders-Young and Percy E. McInnis.