A busy week in the life of a reporter

Published 11:48 am Monday, March 7, 2016

What a heart pounding last few days it has been in Vicksburg. Ups and downs have marked this week as unforgettable for most.

Monday started on a high note with a beautiful Lebanese dinner prepared by members of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, community friends and some Vicksburg natives who have moved to other cities but came back to participate in the annual food festival.

I was able to go to the church Saturday as part of the meal was being cooked. The entire crowd of workers was kind and welcoming to me as I snapped pictures left and right. I was given a tour of the workstations and was able to see each part of the process from the beginning to the final steps of making cabbage rolls.

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Multiple women from the Nosser family and also Jan Brasfield, among others, talked to me as they worked, kindly inquiring about my life and told me they read my writing. How sweet!

Everyone I spoke to encouraged me to attend the Monday meal. What a meal it was, with platefuls of pita bread, tabooli salad, Lebanese green beans, kibbee, cabbage rolls and baklava. I definitely didn’t leave hungry. It was a great experience to try something new and different that isn’t available everyday.

Later in the day I attended a wedding I was invited to through email. Brent Stokes, who I learned is an officer at the Vicksburg Police Department, married his longtime girlfriend Megan on Monday, which was also Leap Day.

After a few failed attempts to plan a larger scale wedding, the couple chose a small ceremony overlooking the Mississippi River at Louisiana Circle off Washington Street. It was a lovely day, and at 4 p.m. the sun was just behind their backs and on the horizon. The Rev. Johnny Williams officiated his 406th wedding ceremony on the bluff with Brent’s immediate family and their friends.

I have never met the couple but felt very honored to be able to witness their union in one of Vicksburg’s most gorgeous locations. It was clear Brent is so in love with Megan, and Megan had little tears of joy streaming down her face as she said her vows in a stunning shin length lace dress. I wish them the very best.

Wednesday I woke up to find multiple text messages from other Post employees about the jail escape. What a shock it was and has continued to be. It almost doesn’t seem real. As a staff, we have worked to gather as much information we can on every angle of the matter. While there haven’t been many new developments, we have been in constant contact with local law enforcement.

My heart goes out to the officers working tirelessly to find the suspect. I know the overtime they must be putting in cannot be good for their wellbeing. I can’t imagine the stress these uniformed officers are feeling. My thoughts are with them as they follow every tip and search every building to bring this entire ordeal to a close.

Let’s hope this week brings a few more high points than low ones.

Alana Norris is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach her at alana.norris@vicksburgpost.com.