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FloodFest 2019 showed who we are



FloodFest 2019 was well organized, well attended and, with any luck, will become an annual event.

The dog days of a Mississippi August summer were met head-on by the desire of Mississippians to love their neighbors. Thousands attended the event.

Local radio and news personality Thomas C. Parker used his experience from his many years as Col. Tom Parker, a promoter for Regional Wrestling Events, to organize and bring together this festival.

Redwood School was the backdrop for the food, vendors and musicians that showed up to help make this event successful. Each of them donated a portion of their proceeds to the 2019 United Way of West Central Mississippi Flood Relief fund. The United Way organized a special committee of trusted community leaders to oversee the collection and distribution of funds.

This event would not have been possible without the support of local businesses who funded the music and the admission.

We will have a separate story on the vendors and their participation.

Following is a pictorial of the day’s events:

Victoria Darden has become the face of the #finishthepumps effort. She was on hand to help explain the issue.

The view from the stage as local musicians The McAllister Brothers perform.

A beautiful cowgirl dances to the music at Floodfest 2019 in front of the items donated for the auction.

Radio stars Dailon Huskey, Chris Burks and Col. Tom Parker prep for the next stage.

An extremely gracious William Michael Morgan speaks with a young fan.

As the afternoon crowd started to wane, the evening crowd started to fill up the area.

A young dancer helped to entertain the crowd towards the back of the show.

Mayor George Flaggs, Col. Tom Parker and South Ward Alderman Alex Monsour take the stage as Dailon Huskey and Chris Burks exit the stage prior to the night’s headliner, William Michael Morgan, is about to perform.

Scott Randall Rhodes and the Mississippi River Band.

This group at the front of the stage had a blast while Scott Randall Rhodes and the Mississippi River Band played.

Col. Tom Parker enjoys a brief moment on the stage.

Three of the performers at Floodfest2019. Martin Pace, William Michael Morgan and Scott Randall Rhodes.


Two taken into custody at Warren Central High School for simple assault.



Photo from the Vicksburg Warren School District

Two youths have been arrested at Warren Central High School for simple assault.


The arrest call came in at 11:43 a.m. Details, including the names of those arrested have not been released at the time.

The Vicksburg Daily News will monitor the story and provide whatever information we can on the story.

A widely distributed video of a fight at another school recently caused a social media uproar. The story was picked up by a TV station in Jackson and ignited emotional comments from concerned citizens.



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Body found in garbage bags belongs to small child; suspect charged with capital murder



Celeste Smith

An autopsy of a badly decomposed body found in a garbage bags last week confirm the remains belong to a small child.

Meridian, Miss., police found the bags Wednesday, Sept. 11, after Celeste Louise Smith, 35, directed officers to the scene in a house basement, reports The Meridian Star.

An autopsy showed the child suffered cracked and broken ribs on both sides and burns.

Smith has been charged with capital murder and child neglect. She was denied bond on the murder charge.

Jakie Toole, 5, a special needs child, had been in Smith’s care, the paper reports. Toole has not been seen since April; however, he was only reported missing Sept. 4. A DNA test has been conducted but may take weeks to verify that the body found is Toole’s.

It is not clear at this time why Toole’s mother did not report her child missing for five months.

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Mississippi schools show a trend of continuous improvement



Photo from the Vicksburg Warren School District website

The Mississippi Department of Education announced that the state’s public and public charter schools are advancing toward an overall goal of achieving C or higher ratings for all schools and districts in the state.

For the 2018-19 school year, nearly three quarters of the state’s schools and 70 percent of its districts will be rated C or higher when the State Board of Education approves accountability scores later this week.

“The grades show a three-year trend of continuous school and district improvement,” MDE said in a statement released today, Sept. 17.

The board set its goal In 2016, and since that time, the percentage of schools meeting the goal has risen from 62.4 percent in 2016 to 73.5 percent in 2019. The number of schools and districts earning an A has more than doubled, with A-rated schools jumping from 88 to 196, and A-rated districts increasing from 14 to 31.

The percentage of districts meeting the SBE goal has increased from 62.2 percent to 69.7 percent since 2016.

Among the 140 districts and five charter schools, 46 increased their letter grade from 2017-18 to 2018-19. Among the state’s 877 schools, 258 increased their letter grade from last year.

“Mississippi schools and districts are achieving at higher levels each year, and their grades demonstrate how well they are serving the children in their classrooms,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, in the release. “I am extremely proud of our students and their families and every teacher, staff member, and leader who work hard every day in our schools and districts across the state. Together, families, communities and educators are preparing students to be successful in college, the workforce and life.”

The percentage of Mississippi schools and districts rated D or F dropped significantly since 2016, from 37.6 percent to 26.2 percent for schools, and 37.8 percent to 29.0 percent for districts.

The unofficial ratings show that the Vicksburg Warren School District has retained its D rating from the 2017-2018 academic year. Schools in the district are rated as follows:

Bovina Elementary SchoolA
Warrenton Elementary SchoolB
Redwood Elementary SchoolB
Bowmar Avenue SchoolB
Beechwood Elementary SchoolC
South Park Elementary SchoolC
Sherman Ave ElementaryC
Warren Central High SchoolD
Vicksburg High SchoolD
Vicksburg IntermediateD
Warren Central IntermediateD
Dana Road ElementaryD
Warren Central Junior High SchoolD
Vicksburg Junior High SchoolF

Mississippi’s A-F accountability system evaluates how well schools and districts are performing each year. Accountability grades are based, in part, on how well students perform and progress from year to year on the Mississippi Academic Assessment Program tests for English language arts and Mathematics. These tests are aligned to the Mississippi College and Career Ready Standards and are administered annually to students in grades 3 through 8 and in high school. Overall, students showed statistically significant gains in both ELA and Mathematics from 2017-18 to 2018-19.

“Student achievement on MAAP reached an all-time high in 2018-19, because teachers are challenging students to achieve at a higher level,” Wright said. “I am a firm believer that students can and will achieve more when they are challenged and supported by great teachers who help them meet higher expectations.”

The statewide district and school grade comparisons from 2017-18 to 2018-19 are as follows:

*Two new charter schools that opened in 2018-19 do not yet have enough data to earn a grade.

Among the 31 A-rated districts, nine districts earned an A for the first time in 2018-19:

The accountability system places an emphasis on the progress students make in ELA and Mathematics from year to year, particularly the lowest performing 25% of students, and factors in how well students perform on science tests in grades 5 and 8, and the progress that English Learners (EL) make toward achieving proficiency in the English language. Accountability grades for high schools and districts include the four-year graduation rate, student performance on Biology, U.S. History and ACT tests, and student participation and performance in advanced coursework such as Advanced Placement and dual credit/dual enrollment courses.


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