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Caring Shirts made with loving hands

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Katherine Oldenberg explains how the snaps work on a Caring Shirt. (All photos by Thomas Parker)

“It all started when my granddaughter was diagnosed with cancer,” said Katherine Oldenberg.

“Her co-workers at River Hills Bank made her shirts with snaps so she could easily access her port for treatment. I said, ‘I can take this idea and help others.’”

There was only one problem: Oldenberg doesn’t sew.

She recruited church members from Bovina Baptist Church to aid in her mission to help others. Soon, members of other area churches joined the brigade of seniors on a mission to help those suffering from illnesses that require picc lines, ports, drains or feeding tubes to access their ports in a more comfortable and modest manner. The plastic snaps are also safe for MRIs and PET scans.

Oldenberg takes a patient’s information and determines whether the shirts need to be redesigned by adding snaps on the shoulders or the sides. She normally cuts the seams before the shirts are passed off to other team members.

Nancy Hilderbrand, Pat Johnson, Gene Kelly, Bettie Lee and Linda Carley cut and pin bias tape to each shirt to re-enforce the area that was cut. Then Susan Beard and Margo Martin sew the tape.

The work then goes to Eugene Perrine, Bill Madison, Jerry and Patrica Lewis, along with Jim and Betty Daquailla, the group that puts the snaps on the shirts. Finally, Oldenberg adds a “Jesus Loves You” emblem to each shirt.

The group meets a couple of times a week to work on shirts and fellowship. Since last July, they have hand-delivered or mailed 662 shirts to 37 states, three Canadian provinces, Australia and Russia.

Susan Beard with her sewing machine

Jackson Oncology Associates, the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson and Medical Associates of Vicksburg have discovered the shirts help their patients through a very trying time.

Oldenberg recently discovered another use for them when her sister broke her arm. Having snaps on the side with the broken arm allowed her to get dressed much easier.

Raymond Phillips at Hobby Lobby has been an integral part of the ministry’s success.

“He lets us know when items we use are going to be on sale,” Oldenberg said. “The group has found that Gilden shirts work the best, which Hobby Lobby carries.”

There is never a charge for a Caring Shirt. Generous donors have funded the shirts, supplies and postage. Love offerings from Bovina Baptist Church have funded their efforts along with private donations.

“It really hits you when you work on a shirt designed for a small child,” said Bill Madison , as he fought back a tear.

For more information visit Caring Shirts on Facebook. Shirts are available in all sizes up to 5XL.

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Family and friends of missing men ask for prayers

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A rescue boat from the Warren County Sheriff's Office. (photo by Thomas Parker)

Family and friends of the two young men missing since Thursday on the Mississippi River have reached out on social media, asking for prayers for their safe return. The two young men have been identified as Jeb Hughes, 21, and Gunner Palmer, 16, of Denham Springs, Louisiana.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace also expressed his hope for a good ending to the search.  “We are just hoping and praying that they possibly were able to make it to the bank,” he said.  “We just don’t know at this time.”

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COVID-19

COVID-19 cases spike in Warren County; Flaggs to call for new restrictions Friday

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. during his Nov. 25 news conference. (photo via video screen grab)

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. will announce an additional COVID-19 restriction for Vicksburg during a news conference at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, in the Robert M. Walker Building Board Room.

The news conference, originally scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, was rescheduled for Friday following the announcement of Vicksburg and Warren County’s one-day total of 46 new COVID-19 cases and one death.

“Due to one of our largest increases in reported COVID-19 cases, I plan to move forward with an additional restriction in Vicksburg immediately,” Flaggs said in a news release. “I have also canceled our First Friday Block Party in downtown Vicksburg scheduled for Friday night. This decision, and every decision, I’ve made since the beginning of this pandemic has been geared toward saving lives and mitigating the spread of this virus.”

In addition to the 46 new cases reported Friday, the state also reported one additional virus-related death in Warren County, pushing the total number of deaths to 59. In the past two weeks, Warren County has reported 204 new cases of COVID-19, and a ratio of 418.26 cases per 100,000 residents. The State has said that any county that has more than 200 cases in a 14-day period and a ratio of more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents could see additional restrictions from the State. In the past week, Vicksburg and Warren County have seen more than 20 new cases per day; a level not seen since mid-August. The current one-day record for new cases in Vicksburg and Warren County occurred Aug. 8, when 56 cases were reported.

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Cajun Navy joins search for two young men on the Mississippi

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(photo by Thomas Parker)

The search continues for two young men missing since Thursday on the Mississippi River, with multiple entities joining what is now a water and air rescue.

Friday morning, Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said the two were 16 and 21 years old, and not from the Warren County area. They were believed to be headed to an area near Davis Island looking for good duck-hunting spots.

The sheriff’s office was asked to assist in the search around 9 p.m. Thursday by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks after concerned family members reported the two had not returned and were not answering their phones. Their truck and boat trailer were found at LeTourneau Landing where the search began.

“We had boats out last night until after 2 o’clock this morning when the fog and the rain just made it too dangerous to be on the water,” Pace said.

Rescuers were out again at first light Friday, including volunteers with the Cajun Navy, MDWFP personnel, and Warren County and Madison Parish deputies. A private aircraft and one from Madison have also been searching.

Volunteers with the Cajun Navy arrived Friday to assist in the search. (photo by Thomas Parker)

Friday morning, an overturned boat was discovered believed to belong to the two young men. It is not known if they are experienced boaters. Thursday’s weather, with rain and drizzle throughout, made the search difficult.

“The Mississippi River is dangerous on its best day and deadly on its worst, and yesterday was really just not the best day to be on the water,” Pace said.

Watch the live interview with Sheriff Martin Pace on our Facebook page.

A rescue boat from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. (photo by Thomas Parker)

The missing young men have been identified as Jeb Hughes, 21, and Gunner Palmer, 16, of Denham Springs, Louisiana.  Family and friends of the two young men have reached out on Facebook, asking for prayers for their safe return.

Sheriff Pace also expressed his hope for a happy ending to the search.  “We are just hoping and praying that they possibly were able to make it to the bank,” he said.  “We just don’t know at this time.”

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Vicksburg
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