Week in Vicksburg

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekend temperatures approached 90 degrees as summer began taking over the area. Daytime temps remained warm during the week despite episodes of rain, with nighttime temperatures in the 60s. Today marks the beginning of another season that runs with the summer and into early fall — hurricane season.
The Mississippi River was at 31.03 feet on May 24.

An additional $229,880.01 were added to the charges of improper activity against former circuit clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree, raising the amount of money sought from her by state and Warren County authorities to $1,048,131.76. State Auditor Stacey Pickering said the new amount is based on fees he said she withdrew from the office’s civil and criminal accounts during 2013. Palmertree goes on trial Sept. 29 in Warren County Circuit Court on charges of criminal embezzlement.
Testimony is expected to continue in Hinds County Chancery Court in her civil trial against Pickering and the Warren County Board of Supervisors over $671,751.75 authorities say she owes in excessive salary and questionable subcontractor payments she made to her father and predecessor in office, Larry Ashley.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen hired Neel-Schaffer Engineers to do the design work for the proposed connector road between North Frontage Road and Wisconsin Avenue. Work on the road, which is being built in anticipation of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering Research and Development Center moving its entrance from Halls Ferry Road to Wisconsin, is funded in part by a $1.13 million, low-interest Mississippi Development Authority CAP loan is expected to begin next summer.
• In other city news, City of Vicksburg is in good financial shape with net assets of about $150 million, and liabilities of $38 million, according to the city’s 2013 audit released Thursday. Accounting Director Doug Whittington said the fiscal 2013 audit is the first one to be issued by the federal due date of June 30 of the following fiscal year since the 2004 audit report. It also brings the city up-to-date on it audits for the first time since 2007, when the 2006 audit was delinquent.

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Two people were killed in accidents during the week. Krystal Foster, 26, a Vicksburg native living in Louisiana, died Saturday when the van in which she was a passenger collided head-on with a Lincoln LS at the intersection of Washington and Bowman streets. Dakota West, 22, the driver of the Lincoln, was injured.
• Thursday, Carl James died after the car he was driving left Monroe Street, knocked a hole in the Vicksburg Police Station and caught fire. Autopsies were ordered in both deaths. The accidents remained under investigation.

Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann formally signed papers at the Warren County Circuit Clerk’s office putting the Vicksburg Auditorium back under the city’s ownership. City officials in 1985 deeded the auditorium to the Mississippi Department of Natural Resources to use state bond money to upgrade the building. The agreement expired in 2010, no action was taken by the Legislature to return ownership to the city, and it stayed in the state’s name. Title was returned under a bill sponsored by State Sen. Briggs Hopson III.
The NRoute Transportation Board of Commissioners learned the bus system is expected to break even and probably show a positive cash flow balance. Nathan Cummins with May & Company, NRoute’s accountants, said the system is expected to show $10,000 in income at the close of the fiscal year, Sept. 30.

Jules Michelle, retired principal of Cathedral School in Natchez has been named interim principal for St. Aloysius.

Local deaths include R.D. Savannah, Stephana Aldridge, Cecil Wayne Lott, Robert Donnell Brown, Robert E. Johnson, Maurice Andre Harrison, Eddie Lee Howard, Mary Ann Hudson, Arthur Henry Jackson, Ellawise Thomas Ross, Evelyn Culberson Breland, Monta Odell Jones, Natividad Binalla Morris, Johnnie Ray Graves, Willie Joe Johnson and Mary Morrissey Jones Kavanaugh.