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Greg Goldman speaks to us all

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Greg Goldman has achieved almost a rock-star following in Mississippi during the COVID-19 crisis. He even has his detractors who have taken to social media to complain about his shoulder-length curly locks.

The 52-year-old Goldman travels the state to sign for public officials including Gov. Tate Reeves and, more recently, Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr., providing sign language interpretation for deaf and hard-of-hearing Mississippians during the many press conferences.

“My Dad is deaf, so I learned to sign at an early age” Goldman said Thursday prior to Vicksburg’s joint press conference.

“During my teen years, we actually lived in Vicksburg, and I played football under legendary Coach Lum Wright at Warren Central,” he added.

Goldman, who now calls South Jackson home, is employed by the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, which is a division of the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services. He is one of about 200 sign language interpreters in the state, and among only 20 or 30 interpreters who are very skilled.

Ben Wagenknecht, who is himself deaf, is the director of ODHH and has led the agency for the past 12 years. A Massachusetts native, Wagenknect, 45, attended Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., a university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

On Friday, I was able to conduct an interview with Wagenknect with the help of staff member Amy Ainsworth.

Among the issues he is currently addressing is to provide mechanisms for law enforcement to be able to identify and communicate with hearing impaired individuals during traffic stops and other situations, including emergencies. Wagenknect said the cooperation of the State Fire Marshall’s Office has led to advancements in technology available for warning purposes in emergencies.

Wagenknect said there are currently between 10,000 to 20,000 people in Mississippi who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. The World Health Organization puts the national figure at about 35,000, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the national rate at just under 16%, meaning approximately 50 million Americans have some form of hearing impairment.

For more information on the Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing visit www.odhh.org .

To hear the complete interview in audio form click here.

This is a reprint of yesterdays article on Greg Goldman by Thomas Parker.

COVID-19

Reeves puts another 13 counties under mask mandates

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Gov. Tate Reeves during April 22 news conference. (Photo via video screen grab)

Tuesday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced 13 additional counties that have qualified and met certain requirements to be placed under mask mandates with his “Safe Recovery” executive order that is in effect until Dec. 11.

Those additional counties are: Adams, Amite, Coahoma, Franklin, Jefferson, Kemper, Monroe, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Quitman, Scott, Sunflower and Washington. A total of 54 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are now under mask mandates.

“I hope that people believe me when I say this is a time when the virus is extremely present,” Reeves said during a news conference streamed live on Facebook. “It is all around us right now, more than almost any time before. Please continue to be careful and safeguard yourself and your loved ones.”

A copy of the Executive Order can be found here.

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Crime

Handgun stolen in auto burglary

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A handgun was stolen in an auto burglary Monday in Vicksburg.

Monday, Nov. 30, at 10:34 a.m. officers took a report in reference to an auto burglary that occurred at 3133 Washington St.

The victim reported someone stole a SCCY 9-mm handgun from his 2000 GMC Sierra.

If you have any information about this incident, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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Crime

Shooting suspect turns herself in

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Devona Jackson (photo courtesy VPD)

The suspect in a Nov. 25 shooting turned herself in to Vicksburg police investigators Monday.

Devona Jackson, 36, of Vicksburg, was charged with one count of shooting into an unoccupied vehicle in connection with an altercation at the Smoke Break convenience store, 1217 Cherry St., on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Jackson was arraigned in the Vicksburg Municipal Court, where Judge Angela Carpenter set her bond at $15,000 and bound her over to the Warren County grand jury.

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