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Alcorn establishes task force to plan for safely resuming campus activities

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(Photo courtesy Alcorn State University)

As colleges and universities around the nation consider scenarios to reopen their campuses this fall, Alcorn State University is establishing a Reopening Campus Task Force to develop and assess multiple options for determining when and how to safely resume campus activities.

The task force will be chaired by Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Keith A. McGee and will include broad representation bringing together a cross-section of campus leadership to ensure a comprehensive strategy.

In alignment with Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning, which is developing system-wide guidelines for universities to start and complete the fall 2020 semester, the task force will develop plans to open the campus in the safest and most effective way.

Alcorn State University President Felecia M. Nave said the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and local community is the University’s overriding concern.

“This process must be thoughtful and take into careful consideration overarching state and federal recommendations as we develop plans for a safe in-person educational experience,” Nave said in a statement.

“We are open, and the admissions office is accepting undergraduate and graduate student applications for fall 2020,” she added. “Despite the evolving challenges of the outbreak, we will be developing multiple options, so we have a game plan regardless of how reopening the campus looks. We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to reopen campus for the fall, however, we understand the constraints and will plan accordingly.”

Summer classes will be offered in the online format only. The course schedule and registration are open and available. Classes start June 1 for the first summer session.

Business

Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce graduates first Entrepreneur Bootcamp class

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Participants in the first class of the Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp graduated from the program the night of Nov. 10 at the Hinds Community College Campus.

For six weeks, 12 participants who are working to start or grow their small businesses learned about entrepreneurship as well as topics such as legal, finance, accounting, marketing and other essential components associated with starting and running a successful business.

The program included speakers from different industries that support small businesses as well as the presence of a business coach from Hinds Community College. Participants used the support system and resources afforded by the bootcamp to develop a business plan, which they can submit to compete for a seed grant of $1,000 to help them with the cost of opening or improving their recently opened small business. Participants competing for the seed grant will submit their plans on or before Dec. 8. They will also present the plan in front of a committee for review and ranking. The entrepreneur who develops the best and most feasible business plan will receive the $1,000 seed grant.

The Vicksburg Entrepreneur Bootcamp seed grant is sponsored by the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce, the City of Vicksburg, Hinds Community College, BancorpSouth, Mutual Credit Union, Home Bank, River Hills Bank, Regions, Guaranty Bank and Trustmark.

By proclamation of Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Nov. 16 through 22 is Mississippi’s Global Entrepreneurship Week. See the proclamation below.

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COVID-19

Reeves puts seven more counties under mask mandates

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Gov. Tate Reeves providing a COVID-19 update from home Nov. 12 (image from video screen capture)

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Monday that seven additional counties have qualified to be under more restrictive conditions due to rising COVID-19 cases.

The conditions, listed under his “Safe Recovery” executive order in effect through Dec. 11, include wearing masks in almost all public places.

Counties added to the list Monday are Hinds, Madison, Pontotoc, Tate, Winston, Itawamba and Montgomery. Added to the 15 counties already under more restrictive conditions, Mississippi now has 22 of its 82 counties included in the executive order.

“Let’s keep fighting COVID. Let’s protect ourselves and protect our neighbors,” Reeves said in a statement. “Let’s also keep praying. I believe if we work together, we can make a difference. We can slow the spread and bridge the gap between now and when this vaccine becomes readily available and protect the integrity of our health care system.”

The seven-day average of new cases in Mississippi is currently over 1,000. The state is part of a nationwide surge that is averaging more than 150,000 new cases daily from coast to coast.

Two vaccines have recently shown great promise in early testing. Neither is expected to be available to the general public until the spring of 2021.

The governor and his family are self-isolating after his youngest daughter tested positive for the virus.

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COVID-19

Three Vicksburg police officers test positive for COVID-19

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(Image by Felipe Esquivel Reed, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87846813)

Three officers of the Vicksburg Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division have tested positive for COVID-19.

Monday, the department announced the results of tests completed earlier in the day.

The officers, who will not be named, will be quarantined for up to 14 days.

The department reminds the public to wear masks when conducting business at the police station.

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