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Flaggs reaches out to President Trump over Military Park damage

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Cemetery Road collapse in the Vicksburg National Military Park.

Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. went directly to the president today in asking for help to repair damage to the Vicksburg National Military Park caused by severe erosion.

Park officials were forced to close roughly 30% of the park indefinitely on Feb. 13, Flaggs said in a letter to President Donald J. Trump.

“Much of the unexpected erosion damage is concentrated in the Vicksburg National Cemetery, the second-largest military cemetery in our nation,” the mayor wrote. “Graves of our American heroes are in jeopardy—some of which are already covered in mudslides from the natural disaster. The area most at risk is an older section of the cemetery where unknown burials from the 1860s took place, and the United States Colored Troops are interred.”

Flaggs said that a team of experts including staff from the National Park Service, archeologists, soil engineers and cultural resource specialists are working “to assess the problems and mitigate further damage.”

“These massive projects will need millions of dollars to complete,” he added.

Flaggs also emphasized the need to keep the “hallowed ground” of the national cemetery safe, along with saving “the most visited attractions in the State of Mississippi.”

During a visit to Vicksburg to dedicate the Thad Cochran Center for Technology & Innovation on Friday, U.S. Sen. Cindy-Hyde Smith expressed the urgent need to make repairs to the site and said she would be reaching out to get the repairs moving.

“I assure you that we will be all over this to try and get things repaired,” Hyde-Smith said. “It is a sacred incident.”

In his letter to the president, Flaggs mentioned Hyde-Smith had seen the damage firsthand and had pledged her support. In closing, Flaggs asked directly for government aid.

“I prayerfully and humbly request any federal assistance you can provide for these emergency projects in Vicksburg,” the mayor wrote.

News

Single vehicle crash sends local man to hospital

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Photo by Thomas Parker

A local man was injured after crashing into a pole Sunday morning.

Vicksburg EMS/Fire and Police were dispatched to a single vehicle crash on Mission 66 near its intersection with Military Avenue at around 7:30 Sunday morning.

The vehicle left the roadway striking a utility pole.

The driver was transported by Vicksburg Fire Medic 40 to UMMC for treatment.  His injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The investigation into this accident is ongoing.

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Fire

Fire at Cato Fashions Saturday evening

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(photo by Thomas Parker)

Vicksburg firefighters were called to a fire at Cato Fashions, 2184 Iowa Blvd., Saturday around 6:30 p.m. near the Walmart Supercenter.

Firefighter checks the HVAC vents. (photo by Thomas Parker)

First reports say smoke could be seen coming from the vents, and firefighters are checking the HVAC system for problems. The situation seems well under control.

The store has been evacuated as are staff and customers in nearby stores. There are no reports of injuries.

Numerous Vicksburg fire and police units have responded including Engines 7 and 8, Ladder 15, Rescue, Fire Medic 80 and Battalion 1 (Tim Love).

The Vicksburg Daily News will provide updates as we receive them.

See our live, on-the-scene report on our Facebook page.

 

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Education

Mississippi native elected as Harvard student body president

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(photo courtesy Noah Harris)

A Mississippi high school graduate has been elected as Harvard University’s student body president.

Noah Harris, a 2018 graduate of Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the first African American to serve in the role at prestigious Harvard University in Massachusetts.

“I’m really grateful that the student body is entrusting me with such a historic and unprecedented moment,” Harris told WDAM. “To make the right moves and to really bring their voices to the forefront. I just never expected that I would be in a position to run for this.”

Harris is a junior and a political science major at Harvard. He served as treasurer on the finance committee in his first two years. His vice president and running mate is neuroscience major Jenny Gan. Both plan on making a difference at the university.

Harris and Gan will be sworn in Dec. 6.

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