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Alcorn students petition school to expand online course offerings

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(Photo courtesy Alcorn State University)

More than 1,300 people have signed an online petition asking Alcorn State University not to force students to return to traditional in-person classes for the upcoming fall semester.

“Amid a global pandemic, Mississippi’s IHL board has directed its universities to offer as much ‘face to face’ instruction as possible,” reads the introduction to the petition. “As a result of these instructions, Alcorn State University will not be offering online formats for any classes that were already deemed face-to-face prior to this COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, there are hundreds of dollars in new fees being charged that Alcorn students have received no explanation for. This all comes as Mississippi continues to be one of the leading states in COVID-19 infection rates. Even so, institutions such as University of Mississippi or The University of Southern Mississippi, who are under the same IHL direction, are working to make online course options possible for their students. This blatant disregard for students’ health and wellness is of great concern to the Alcorn community, and we are demanding CHANGE!”

Alcorn’s fall classes are scheduled to begin in just over two weeks, on Monday, Aug. 17. The university issued the following statement in response to the petition.

“The pandemic has presented unique challenges for the entire nation as well as the daily operations of college campuses. At Alcorn, we understand that many students and their families have concerns about a return to campus for the fall semester, especially in light of the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

“The University has developed a comprehensive safe start plan based on best practices from federal, state, and local government and health officials, along with the Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning Safe Start Task Force. The 36-page document is available to the public on our website at https://www.alcorn.edu and will be updated accordingly in response to changes in circumstances.

“In addition to publishing a safe start guide, the University held a series of virtual town hall meetings to answer questions, taking one-on-one phone calls from students and parents, producing safe start videos and signage, and continuing to practice [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] health guidelines on campus including face coverings, social distancing, virtual meetings, and increased cleaning and sanitizing of public spaces.

“The University respects the confidentiality of employees and continues to follow CDC guidelines as it takes all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff.

“Alcorn State is offering online, hybrid/hyflex, and in-person classes this fall semester. Classes are open for registration and the schedule is available on the Alcorn website. In-person courses will be conducted with reduced class sizes and will follow protocols outlined in our safe return to campus plan. We will reopen various dining options, with significant restrictions in place.

“The pandemic has presented unique challenges for our entire community as well as the operations of our campus locations. Alcorn will continue to carefully monitor the situation and adjust as necessary. The health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority.”

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One person injured in crash on U.S. Highway 61 North

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(photo by David Day)

One person has been injured in a single vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 61 North near the intersection with Blake Drive.

At around 11:25 a.m. Friday, the driver of an SUV veered into the median and lost control.  The vehicle rolled over in the crash and the driver was injured as a result.

Thankfully, the driver appears to have suffered only minor injuries.

Traffic on U.S. Highway 61 North is flowing freely in both directions, but drivers should use caution in the area as first responders clear the scene.

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Two Vehicle Crash on Highway 465 near Leisure Lane

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Two Vehicle Crash on Highway 465
(photo by David Day)

Two commercial vehicles were involved in a motor vehicle collision on Highway 465 near its intersection with Leisure Lane at around 9:40 a.m. Friday.

No injuries were reported in the crash.

The United Parcel Service truck was overturned as a result of the impact.

Photo by David Day

Warren County Sheriff’s Sgt. Silento McMorris responded along with a trooper from the Mississippi Highway Patrol who will be in charge of investigating the accident.

The accident is not anticipated to impact traffic.

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Vicksburg recognizes VFD Capt. James Jones for 30 years of service

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Capt. James Jones
Capt. James Jones (photo courtesy VFD)

Vicksburg Fire Department Captain James Jones was recognized on October 23, 2020 at the Mayor and Alderman meeting for his 30 years of service to the fire department.

Jones joined the VFD at the age of 31 and has been with the department ever since. He was very excited to receive the recognition.

“I would like to thank the Chief and Mayor and Alderman for the recognition,” Jones said. “I thank God for allowing me to work here for 30 years and I also thank my wife and mother.”

Jones has been more than satisfied with his career choice where he was able to rise in the rankings.

“It’s been a very rewarding career and I’m happy to be a part of the Vicksburg Fire Department,” Jones said.

Jones started working for the VFD on Halloween in 1990. He is a 1978 graduate of Vicksburg High School and he also attended Hinds Community College.

Jones has proven himself as a great leader in helping to keep the community safe with all of his hard work and commitment to the Vicksburg Fire Department.

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Vicksburg
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Feels like: 54°F
Wind: 12mph N
Humidity: 61%
Pressure: 30.24"Hg
UV index: 5
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