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Flaggs ‘cautiously optimistic’ about churches and casinos reopening

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Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. during his live session Wednesday morning. (Photo via VTV screen grab)

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. began his live question and answer session Wednesday by thanking city employees and residents for their patience during the COVID-19 crisis.

“I think we’re still doing everything we can to mitigate this virus,” he said.

With the reopening of casinos and churches resuming in-person services, this is the most critical time of the reopening, Flaggs said, because people will be exposed to one another in large groups.

“We are not out of this, yet,” he said, and continued to advocate social distancing and hygiene guidelines.

The mayor said he is adopting the governor’s guidelines word-for-word to allow in-person services once again in churches and other houses of worship.

“He and I are on the same page,” Flaggs said.

He is “cautiously optimistic” about the churches and casinos reopening but said the next few weeks will tell whether the decisions are good ones.

Flaggs reiterated that the city’s adult curfew expires with the casino openings Thursday morning. The juvenile curfew, from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., remains in effect.

The mayor also said riverboats will resume docking in Vicksburg June 21 or June 22.

Regarding city employees, Flaggs also repeated that he is looking for ways not to lay off workers. He expects to be able to shift jobs and eliminate others through attrition.

The mayor reiterated the need to remain vigilant and cautious during this time.

“I can tell you that the house is burning,” he said. “You have to decide to get out.”

Read Vicksburg’s complete guidelines for churches.

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Vehicle takes out hydrant and utility pole

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Photo by David Day

A single vehicle collision has taken out a fire hydrant and a utility pole on Cherry at Baum.

Photo by David Day

At 10:40 p.m. E-911 Dispatch received a call that a dark blue Kia SUV had impacted a utility pole on Cherry Street near East. The first officer on scene called in that a fire hydrant had also been impacted and that water was gushing into the roadway.

Photo by David Day

Neither the driver or the passenger of the Kia was injured however a man was taken into custody at the scene.

No disruption of utility services in the area was noted and that traffic was flowing smoothly.

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Crime

High speed chase ends in fiery crash

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(photo by David Day)

A high-speed chase Saturday evening that began near the Waffle House in Vicksburg has ended in a crash in Claiborne County and a vehicle in flames.

First reports indicate the incident began around 5:10 p.m. as an argument at the Waffle House at 4100 Pemberton Square Blvd. A man and woman left the scene and stopped at a Shell gas station on U.S. Highway 61 South where the man pulled the woman, who is pregnant, out of the vehicle by her hair.

The man, Bojara O’Quinn of Claiborne County, then fled, leading Vicksburg police officer Michael Battle on a high-speed chase south on 61 South. The chase exceeded 110 mph at times.

The chase ended just inside the Claiborne County line on Shiloh Road in a crash where the vehicle, reportedly a rental with Illinois plates, burst into flames. The crash occurred right at 5:30 p.m.

O’Quinn is in custody and received minor injuries in the crash. The woman involved received very minor injuries and is apparently safe.

Deputies with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Department, and troopers with the Mississippi Highway Patrol assisted in O’Quinn’s capture.

Bojara O’Quinn (photo by David Day)

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Crime

Woman in custody for Friday’s shooting over a parking space

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UPDATE: Akeyah Daniels, 26, of Vicksburg, appeared before Judge Penny Lawson on Saturday in Vicksburg Municipal Court. Lawson set her bond at $50,000 and bound her over to the Warren County grand jury.

Original story:

The woman is in custody in connection with a shooting that occurred Friday, allegedly over a parking space.

The shooting took place around 3:30 p.m. Friday at an apartment building at 2230 Grove St. in Vicksburg.

Akeyah Daniels, 26, turned herself in to Vicksburg police officers at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28. She was arrested at the police station.

Three men were also briefly detained and released in connection with the shooting, according to the Vicksburg police.

Daniels faces one count of drive-by shooting is being held without bond until her initial appearance, which is taking place Saturday.

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