Connect with us

News

Driver cited in wreck on Halls Ferry Road

]]>

Published

on

The Vicksburg Police investigated a motor vehicle crash on Halls Ferry Road today near the I20 east on-ramp. 3 vehicles were involved and no one was injured. Officers on the scene are not permitted to comment as to who is at fault, however James Warren of Vicksburg was issued a citation for careless driving. The other drivers, Gary Smythe and Miteshbhia Patel, both of Vicksburg, were not cited for any violations. Traffic was down to one lane during the Friday lunch-rush for about 45 minutes as officers completed their investigation. [gallery link="file" order="DESC"] ]]]]> ]]>

Continue Reading

Crime

Judges agree on tougher bond conditions in firearm-related cases

Published

on

(Photo by Mdesigns from Pixabay)

If you’re accused of a firearm-related crime in Vicksburg, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, you will have new criteria to deal with as a condition of going home until your trial.

Monday, Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. sent a letter to all judges in the Vicksburg and Warren County courts asking for their assistance in curbing crime in the city. Specifically, he asked that they add GPS monitoring devices and a 7 p.m. curfew to any bonds on firearms related offenses.

The judges agreed.

Thursday, Vicksburg Municipal Court Judge Angela Carpenter sent a memo to Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore outlining how the municipal courts will apply the added criteria, effective immediately.

For misdemeanor cases, the court will add a bond amount, and the defendant must pay the bond as a condition of their release. Misdemeanors often are adjudicated without the use of bonds, but this new condition for firearms-related offenses will be made a condition of release.

For all cases, misdemeanor or felony, defendants will be fitted with a GPS ankle monitor before they are released and will need to adhere to a curfew of 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. as a condition of their bond.

Unless bond is denied altogether, felony cases also have bond amounts defendants will need to pay.

After arraignment in municipal or justice court, felons come under the jurisdiction of the county and circuit courts. At that point, a judge could change the criteria or add more to a defendant’s conditions of release before trial.

“They all agree,” Mayor Flaggs said. “It just makes sense.”

“I cannot be more complimentary of the judges,” he added.

With the GPS monitors, defendants who need to be out after 7 p.m. will be able to go to work or get needed medical assistance, but all their movements will be tracked. They will also be charged for the monitors.

Flaggs indicated that more than 70% of violent crimes are committed while defendants are out on bond. Bureau of Justice statistics indicate that about one-third of defendants released on bond commit another crime before trial or failed to appear in court as ordered.

“These are not new criminals,” Flaggs said, and he emphasized the need for tracking repeat offenders while under pre-trial release.

The mayor also wants to see a cross-jurisdictional database developed in Mississippi so that law enforcement and judges can see if a defendant has been issued bond in another city before setting bond on a new charge. Flaggs said he will be asking district attorneys and state legislators to develop such a system.

“We have to do a better job” of tracking repeat offenders, Flaggs said, adding that “you can’t have a revolving door in the courthouse.”

Continue Reading

Education

Hinds CC’s industry partnerships focus on business needs

Published

on

Among those participating in a recent tour of the KLLM Driving Academy were, front from left, Kirk Blankenship, vice president of driver resources at KLLM; Jim Richards, CEO and President at KLLM; Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik; back, Hinds Vice President Dr. Chad Stocks; Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell, Delta Regional Authority; Umesh Sanjanwala, state director, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith's office; and Brad Ferguson, field representative for Central Mississippi, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker's office. (photo courtesy Hinds CC)

The federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority took a firsthand look at two of Hinds Community College’s partnerships with industry during a recent tour of the KLLM Driving Academy and Diesel Technology Academy, both in Richland.

The college’s partnerships with the industry leaders, KLLM Transport Services and Empire Truck Sales/Stribling Equipment, grew out of a need the companies had for trained employees. Hinds worked with the companies to craft training structures and time schedules that fit their needs, not traditional academic schedules.

“At DRA, we stress the importance of partnering with regional business leaders to develop workforce programs based on industry-specific needs,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “Hinds Community College has done just that with the KLLM Driving Academy and Diesel Technology Academy, and I continue to be impressed by its vision and work to strengthen workforce pipelines in Mississippi.”

Caldwell toured both facilities with representatives of U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

“Everything we do is about workforce,” said Dr. Stephen Vacik, who became Hinds president July 1. “I was talking to Gov. Tate Reeves last week and he said, ‘Everything we do, whether it’s an English class, whether it’s welding and everything in between, it’s about workforce development.’ And I said, ‘you’re right.’

“We have a great team, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. We’ve got some exciting things on the horizon,” Vacik said.

The KLLM partnership began in 2012 with the current building housing the academy opening in 2014. KLLM handles the training of truck drivers. Hinds handles the coursework.

“We started this driving academy for one reason – to staff our trucks,” said Jim Richards, president and CEO of KLLM Transport Services. “We partnered with Hinds Community College, which brought a lot of credibility to us immediately. They were here on the ground level. They really understood what we were trying to do and jumped in. I never felt trapped by academia in this program. It was all about whatever we needed to do, they were available to help us.”

The KLLM tour concluded with a significant milestone for the Hinds-sponsored Registered Apprenticeship truck driver program when Dr. Vacik presented the 200th apprentice completion certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor to Richards.

Hinds has a similar partnership with Empire Trucks Sales/Stribling Equipment to train diesel technicians and parts specialists. The partners have employed 71 students and 70 other companies have employed graduates.

The partnership began in 2016 when company officials saw the KLLM partnership and said they wanted the same deal as KLLM, said Hinds Vice President Dr. Chad Stocks.

A new cohort of 15 students enters the program every eight weeks if they meet minimum requirements in core subjects either on the ACT or college placement tests. The first 30 credit hours of the program are held at the Raymond Campus with the next 15 credit hours at the Diesel Technology Academy where students focus on either transportation or equipment for a technical certificate. Students have the opportunity to continue the program for an Associate of Science degree in Diesel Equipment Technology.

“We took the model we had at KLLM, we replicated it and modified it to fit the diesel tech industry,” Stocks said. “We spent a great deal of time looking at the whole industry, and not just what the training needs are today.

“The only way to get a great workforce project is listening to industry, having the flexibility of the college to put these practices in place and building a pipeline of qualified graduates so that they have a steady stream of employees into those fields,” he said.

Hinds Community College has received workforce development grants in the past from the Delta Regional Authority, which covers 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region that includes Mississippi.

Hinds received a grant last summer for $1.3 million to expand workforce development in three distinct areas via the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities grant initiative. Those areas include Advanced Manufacturing, Inland Waterway Maritime and Logger Equipment Operations. Established in 2000 by Congress, the Delta Regional Authority makes strategic investments of federal appropriations into the physical and human infrastructure of Delta communities.

Continue Reading

News

Power of Hope is focus of Commission on Children’s Justice presentations

Published

on

Hope is more than a wish, and giving hope can make a difference in the lives of abused and neglected children and their families, says an Oklahoma psychologist who will meet with Mississippi officials next week.

The Mississippi Commission on Children’s Justice has scheduled presentations by Chan Hellman, Ph.D. for Oct. 20, 21 and 22 in Jackson at the Gartin Justice Building and the Department of Child Protection Services.

Dr. Hellman, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a professor of social work at the University of Oklahoma  and Director of The Hope Research Center. His research is focused on hope as a psychological strength helping children and adults overcome trauma and adversity. He is the co-author of the book “Hope Rising: How the Science of Hope Can Change Your Life.”

“Our overall goal is to create a culture of hope that is grounded in evidence-based practices,” Hellman told the co-chairs of the Commission on Children’s Justice and the HOPE training development committee in a virtual meeting Oct. 8.

“When you expose people to the awareness of trauma and adversity, the question is what do we do about it. The answer is hope,” Hellman said.  “Individuals who are in crisis, who have a history of trauma, tend to set goals of avoidance. Higher hope individuals set achievement goals.”

Commission on Children’s Justice Co-Chair Justice Dawn Beam said, “We are excited to welcome ‘Hope Rising’ author Dr. Hellman to Mississippi. He will challenge all of us to think outside the box on how to help struggling families in our state. My prayer is that he helps all of us to see hope: hope for our state leaders to see a way to improve services to our families, hope to service providers that have been workers in the trenches for years, but especially hope to our families and children to see their way out of poverty, helplessness and despair.”

Taylor Cheeseman, Interim Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, said, “Ensuring child and family wellbeing is the ultimate goal for all who serve in Mississippi’s child welfare system. And I believe Dr. Hellman’s research and training on hope will be an effective tool for fostering the resilience families who have experienced significant trauma need to move towards a state of long-term wellbeing.”

Dr. Hellman also is scheduled to present a series of hope centered lectures to judges, court staff and Department of Child Protection Services social workers during three regional trainings April 13, 14, and 15, 2021, in Oxford, Madison and Gulfport as part of the Court Improvement Program.

Providing hope is part of the work of those charged with ensuring the wellbeing of children and families. Hope is a pathway to helping people find employment and find solutions to problems such as acquiring transportation to reach  jobs or gain access to services. People need hope that there is a way out of their circumstances.

The Commission on Children’s Justice recently established Programs of HOPE to continue to address child neglect prevention. Five multi-disciplinary committees were established to identify and recommend actions which can fill gaps, strengthen opportunities and lift up Mississippi families to a place where they can see a path toward better lives.

Programs of HOPE committees include  Housing and Transportation; Opportunities for Treatment; Parent, Child and Family Supports; Economic Security; and Pathways of HOPE.

The Mississippi Supreme Court created the Commission on Children’s Justice in 2006 and tasked it to develop a statewide, comprehensive approach to improving the child welfare system; coordinate the three branches of government; and recommend changes to improve children’s safety, strengthen and support families, and promote public trust and confidence in the child welfare system.

In person attendance at each session is by invitation.

Continue Reading

Trending

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!