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Dave Says – December 12, 2011

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Business and Friendship

Dear Dave, I’m about to buy my first home. My plan is to buy a duplex and rent out the other side to help pay down the mortgage quickly. A friend of mine wants to be my renter, but I’m worried that this could jeopardize our friendship. What do you think? Jerry
Dear Jerry, This can work, but the odds aren’t in your favor. When you do business with friends you always face the risk of running into a situation that can damage the relationship. Does this mean you can never do business with friends? Of course not. I do a lot of business with friends. But I make sure that the specific requirements of our relationship are laid out very clearly, in writing. It would be a good idea to make sure he understands that he absolutely must come talk to you ahead of time if there’s even a chance that he might not make the rent one month. Most problems can be worked out, but you’re not running a charity. This needs to be emphasized in a kind-but-firm manner. Sometimes friends have unrealistic expectations on both sides. The friend who is renting may think he’ll get some slack on the payments, or the friend who’s the landlord may assume the renter will be a model tenant. These dangerous myths need to be addressed and ironed out before anything is signed. You can make it work, Jerry. Just be straightforward, and make sure the rules are understood by everyone involved. Then, when you have to enforce the rules, do it gently but firmly. —Dave Co-signing leads to Stupid Tax
Dear Dave, My wife co-signed on a loan for an ex-boyfriend five years ago when they were together, before we even met. Now a collection agency is after her. Our attorney has recommended we take Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but the debt is only $5,000. Is there a better way? Jeff
Dear Jeff, You bet there’s a better way! It’s just plain stupid to even consider trashing your financial life over $5,000, because bankruptcy stays on your record for years. This is an old loan with very low expectations for collection. The collector probably bought it for next to nothing, and everything he gets will be profit. It’s not uncommon for debts this old to be settled for fifty cents on the dollar, and sometimes even less. Haggle with them, and I’ll bet you can talk them down to $2,500. Get an agreement in writing before you send them a dime, and do not give them access to your bank account. They’ll threaten to sue, or ruin your credit and that kind of stuff, but my guess is you can work this out. It may take a couple of weeks and some patience, but that’s nothing if it will save you $2,000 to $3,000. You guys will have to pay some Stupid Tax on this one, but I hope it will teach you both a very valuable lesson. Never co-sign a loan! —Dave * For more financial help please visit daveramsey.com.]]]]> ]]>

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USACE employee receives 2020 Paralegal of the Year award

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Vincent “Vince” Farrell (photo courtesy USACE)

An employee with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District received the 2020 Paralegal of the Year award from the Mississippi Paralegal Association in Jackson Friday.

Vincent “Vince” Farrell was recognized by MPA for his “continuous example of professionalism and excellence in the legal community.” He serves as a paralegal specialist for the USACE Vicksburg District’s Office of Counsel and provides support for contract, environment, labor and employment, and litigation attorneys with a variety of specializations.

Since joining the district in 2018, Farrell has supported its vital investigations and litigations and has tracked over 500 contracting actions worth a combined total of over $500 million. Farrell also took the initiative to manage and coordinate the Office of Counsel’s administrative needs while simultaneously overhauling the law library and overseeing all training metrics for his colleagues.

In addition to his work as a paralegal, Farrell serves as an alternate district liaison officer to the state of Mississippi on behalf of USACE during severe weather events. He also serves as a district fire protection section monitor and assumes responsibility for the accountability and safety during fire-related drills and emergencies for the Office of Counsel, the district’s command suite and the chiefs of the district’s Operations Division.

He credits his success and accomplishments to support from his wife Ariel, their son Vincent and his parents, Vincent and Briceland Farrell, as well as the numerous colleagues and educators he has known throughout his life.

In addition to his award, Farrell was elected to the association’s board of directors as the central region director for 2021. He will serve as the voice of paralegals across 25 counties, establish and direct continuing legal education events, promote MPA membership within the region, and formulate activities to strengthen the paralegal population and relationships within central Mississippi.

“We are extremely proud of Vincent’s achievement and his continued dedication to USACE,” said David Dyer, USACE Vicksburg District head of the Office of Counsel, in a statement. “He has been invaluable in helping to achieve the district’s mission, and we are lucky to have his broad skill set and incredible work ethic.”

An alumnus of the U.S. Army’s Adjutant General School, Farrell has also earned certificates at Kansas State University, Boston University and an associate degree from Southern New Hampshire University. He is working toward his Bachelor of Science in criminal justice with a concentration in homeland security and counterterrorism from Southern New Hampshire University. A decorated and honorably discharged veteran, Farrell previously served as a paralegal supervisor at Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii, and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His service awards include two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, two Army Good Conduct Medals, a National Defense Service Medal, a Global War on Terrorism Medal and an Army Service Ribbon.

MPA was founded in 1980 by Mississippi paralegals who aimed to encourage a higher order of ethical and professional attainment and promote the profession of paralegals statewide. The organization supports, encourages and maintains high standards for the service, conduct and ethics of paralegals.

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COVID-19

Governor adds seven counties to list of those under stricter COVID-19 measures

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Gov. Tate Reeves during April 22 news conference. (Photo via video screen grab)

Monday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves added seven counties to the list of those in the state that will fall under more restrictive COVID-19 measures effective Wednesday, Oct. 21.

With cases and hospitalizations rising in the state, last week Reeves put nine counties under the stricter measures, which include a mask mandate in nearly all indoor situations other than at voting precincts.

The 16 counties are:

  • Benton
  • Carroll
  • Chickasaw
  • Claiborne
  • DeSoto
  • Forrest
  • Harrison
  • Itawamba
  • Jackson
  • Jones
  • Lamar
  • Leake
  • Lee
  • Madison
  • Marshall
  • Neshoba

The governor’s criteria for stricter measures includes more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents or more than 200 cases over a two-week period. The most recent period under scrutiny was Monday, Oct. 5, through Sunday, Oct. 18.

The measures also mandate hospitals to reserve 10% of their capacity for COVID-19 patients, and limit gathering to groups of 10 indoors and 50 outdoors.

Asked why Reeves excluded polling places from the mandates, the governor indicated he would not interfere with a citizen’s right to vote by forcing voters to wear masks. He does expect most voters to wear masks at the polls and to practice social distancing, however.

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Flaggs to recommend allowing the bar at LD’s Kitchen to reopen

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(photo by David Day)

On Tuesday morning, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. plans to recommend to the city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen that the bar and lounge of LD’s Kitchen be allowed to reopen under new management, enhanced security features and capacity restrictions, effective Tuesday, Oct. 27, at 6 p.m.

The bar and lounge portion of LD’s Kitchen, located at 1111 Mulberry St., was ordered closed by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen earlier this month following a late-night shooting Oct. 6 that left three people injured. Wade Carter, 31, subsequently died of his injuries Oct. 9.

The suspected shooter, James Earl Winters, 29, remains at large.

On Oct. 8, Flaggs announced he would seek to have the bar declared a public nuisance.

“He wanted another opportunity to keep his legacy, his business open,” Flaggs said about owner L.D. Prentiss when asked what changed his mind.

The mayor indicated that he has been in discussions with Prentiss’ attorney Marshall Sanders to come to a resolution. The agreement will avoid court and litigation costs for the city.

Prentiss, who waived the right to a hearing before the board, agreed to have someone else manage the bar portion of the business, to new hours (opening at 6 p.m.) and additional security measures. The resolution will likely be released to the public Tuesday afternoon.

In a conversation about the resolution, the mayor said South Ward Alderman Alex Montour will probably not agree to the resolution; however, the mayor expects North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield to sign off, giving Flaggs the majority needed.

Before the bar opens again, Police Chief Milton Moore will do walk through to ensure the agreement is being adhered to, Flaggs said.

“I’m willing to give him another shot at this,” he said.

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Vicksburg
64°
Fog
7:17am6:17pm CDT
Feels like: 64°F
Wind: 6mph NNE
Humidity: 94%
Pressure: 30.09"Hg
UV index: 0
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79/68°F
79/52°F
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