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First Truck Arrives for Roses Express



Roses has begun to move into the old Fred’s location on Halls Ferry Road.

Today the first truck showed up with materials to help get the store prepared for a “soft opening on September 12th,” according to District Manager Jeff Leach. “We are planning to do their grand opening on September 26th.”

The Vicksburg Roses will feature a huge assortment of name brand goods and will hire as much of the old Fred’s staff as possible.

Included in the hire is former Fred’s Store Manager Barry Bingham.

In addition to bringing back as many of the old Fred’s staff as they can, Roses is hosting a job fair next Wednesday and Thursday, August 21 and 22, at the store location at 3427 Halls Ferry Road. Hours for the job fair have yet to be determined. Look for a notice on the door.


Popeye’s will open second Vicksburg location



To the surprise of no one, Popeye’s will open a second location on Clay Street.


The new Popeye’s Chicken will sit right next to KFC and in the exact spot where the Pizza Hut stood for many years. Pizza Hut closed that location a couple of years ago and moved to a ‘To-Go” facility farther East on Clay Street.

The remnants of the Pizza Hut are but a memory now.

Popeye’s Chicken currently operates a store on Pemberton Boulevard. There are no plans to close that store.

Demolition of the Pizza Hut building was completed earlier this week, and the land is now being worked to prepare for the construction of the new Popeye’s.

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Hinds CC partners with industry on the Mississippi River



Photo by Dirk from San Diego, USA - Mississippi River Barge, CC BY 2.0,

For people looking for a challenging and rewarding career on the water, deckhand training classes continue this fall on the Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus.

Kristin Blackledge, 33, of Vicksburg, is among those taking the final steps toward permanent job placement working on barges on the Mississippi River. She’s making the jump from serving in the U.S. Coast Guard for nine years to a life on the river.

Kristin Blackledge, foreground, tosses a 12-foot mooring rope during deckhand class at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus on July 29, 2019. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

“I’m looking at it as a way into a long-term career,” Blackledge said in a Hinds CC statement. “I want to be a chief engineer and be in the engine room, working on the engines. That’s already my background from being an aviation maintenance tech in the Coast Guard.”

Blackledge and seven others participated in a deckhand training course that met 12 hours a day for just over a week, in which students learned every aspect of working on a barge – from throwing and securing a line and operating a johnboat, to rigging and other practical skills. The course followed classroom sessions with hands-on sessions and ended with a comprehensive written test.

Since its inception in 2014, the course has supplied companies with job-ready workers without interrupting workflow. River barge deckhands make about $20,000 to $30,000 annually to start. With successful advancements through the ranks, the earnings potential rises to about $65,000 as trained tankermen.

student tossing a rope

Austin Nance, 24, of Philadelphia, Miss., tosses a 12-foot mooring during deckhand class at Hinds Community College Vicksburg-Warren Campus on July 29, 2019. (Hinds Community College/Tammi Bowles)

“Once they get on the water, they’ll be handling barges carrying, in some cases, 220,000 pounds of either dry or liquid cargo,” said instructor Dennis Creel. “I’m teaching them everything they’ll see on river and the correct ways to do things.”

Hinds partners with several barge companies for the class, including Golding Barge, Maritime Services of Louisiana, Yazoo River Towing, Big River Shipbuilders and Magnolia Marine.

“I hope this class (accelerates) my career and helps me work my way up,” said Austin Nance, 20, of Philadelphia, Miss., who along with Blackledge passed the final test and hopes to start a new career versus just having a job. “I’ve done some work in logging, mechanical, electrical and carpentry. I’m basically a jack of all trades, but now I’m learning a new one. It’s a totally different world once you step out here.”

For complete information about the deckhand training program offered in Vicksburg through Hinds Community College, contact Marvin Moak, vice president for Hinds’ Vicksburg-Warren Campus, at 601-629-6805.




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Houston, Miss., to allow legal alcohol sales by Labor Day



Photo by Ken30684 - Flickr, CC BY 2.0,

The state of Mississippi took its sweet time to end prohibition. The United States officially repealed the 18th Amendment in 1933, ending 13 dry years in the U.S., but Mississippi maintained a state-wide alcohol ban until 1966.

Beer Light Wine Map 2019. Image from the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

By default, Mississippi is still dry. State law says that counties and cities must “opt in” to make sales of alcoholic beverages legal. As a result, many Mississippi counties continue prohibition to this day. Six prohibit all alcohol sales: Benton, Choctaw, Prentiss, Smith, Walthall and Webster. Another 26 counties allow alcohol sales in some municipalities and areas. In some of those, only beer and light wine are allowed, while others allow liquor and spirit sales as well.

Houston, Miss., population 3,623 in 2010, joined the wet cities surrounded by dry counties earlier this month, bringing to two the number of cities in Chickasaw County where residents can get a drink. Okolona was first.

Houston held a special election July 9 to decide whether to permit the sale of alcohol within city limits. The votes were 681 to 248 in favor of the sale of beer and light wine, and 661 to 264 in favor of the sale of liquor and spirits, according to the Chickasaw Journal.

“The margin of victory was profound, with over 70 percent voting to end prohibition,” Sean Johnson, director of the Chickasaw Development Foundation told the Chickasaw Journal. “There were a number of reasons this effort was started, but the most fulfilling part of it is knowing that we’ve given the community something that it clearly and overwhelmingly wanted.”

Petitions to force votes on the issue began circulating in Houston’s restaurants a year ago. To succeed, the two petitions (one for beer and light wine and a second for liquor and spirits) each needed 517 valid signatures or 20 percent of Houston’s registered voters.

“First and foremost, the number one reason we are doing this is economics,” Johnson said in 2018. “The cities of New Albany and Pontotoc have seen their portion (of tourism tax revenue) increase between 50 and 46 percent in the hospitality sector.”

The sale of alcohol in Houston is expected to begin on Labor Day weekend, which begins August 31.



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