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Hyde-Smith Announces Candidacy for Ag Commissioner

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by Wally Northway BROOKHAVEN — Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Brookhaven, announced that she will seek the state’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce position. Hyde-Smith and her husband, Mike, are the fourth generation of their family to raise cattle, farm and operate a cattle market auction near Brookhaven. Hyde-Smith noted that the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce position is a large job with many statewide policy decisions, rules and regulations to be made daily. “I have dedicated my entire political career to being a champion for Mississippi agriculture,” she said. “Agriculture is my passion. That is why when I came to the Senate 12 years ago. Hyde-Smith said it is this legislative and policymaking experience, coupled with her background in agriculture that makes her a logical choice for Agriculture Commissioner. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Hyde-Smith was awarded the Farm Bureau Ambassador of the Year Award. She is a member of the Mississippi Cattlemen’s Association, the Lincoln County Cattlemen’s Association, the Lincoln County Forestry Association, the NRA, the American Legislative Exchange Council and serves as the national vice chairman for agriculture of the National Council of State Legislators. Hyde-Smith has received numerous awards and commendations for her legislative work, the most recent being the recipient of the coveted Delta Council Achievement Award. Hyde-Smith is a charter member of the State Agriculture Rural Leader’s Association that has become the nationally recognized organization with the most influence in Washington D.C. Story courtesy Mississippi Business Journal ]]]]> ]]>

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Vicksburg firefighters deployed to assist the coast as Hurricane Zeta nears

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Vicksburg Fire Chief Craig Danczyk deployed two firefighter paramedics to assist Mississippi’s coastal counties in responding to Hurricane Zeta.

The firefighters left Vicksburg at noon Wednesday. Danczyk said coastal emergency management directors made the manpower request through the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

The deployments do not affect the Vicksburg Fire Department’s ability to respond to local incidents, Danczyk said, as manpower levels are such that Vicksburg can render aid to other agencies and communities. He added that the individuals selected for this assignment have a wide skill set and can step in and help wherever needed.

Out of respect for the firefighters’ families, Danczyk would not identify them, but asked that the community keep them and all first responders in its thoughts and prayers as they respond to Zeta.

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Vicksburg recognizes VFD Capt. Jeffery Ross for 30 years of service

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Vicksburg Fire Department Capt. Jeffery Ross was honored by the city for 30 years of service. (photo courtesy VFD)

Friday, the City of Vicksburg recognized Capt. Jeffery Ross of the Vicksburg Fire Department who has served the department for 30 years.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and aldermen Michael Mayfield and Alex Monsour commended Ross for his years of service at the Oct. 23 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting .

“I would like to thank the mayor and aldermen for the recognition,” Ross said. “I would also like to thank my family and friends for staying with me every step of the way.”

Ross graduated from Hinds Community College where he was studying computer programming. He was headed to Jackson State University but changed his career path when he received the news that he was going to be father to a daughter.

He began working as a firefighter Oct. 30, 1990, and has been with the city’s fire department ever since. Ross has shown his support for Vicksburg by being a part of a crew dedicated to keeping residents safe.

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Mississippi reports 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday

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So far in October, more than half of all U.S. states have reported record numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Missouri is the only state that is reporting a significant drop in new cases. With increased cases come increased hospitalizations. Wisconsin, for example, has set up a field hospital at the state fairgrounds. Deaths, which are a lagging indicator, have also increased in the past couple of weeks, but not as quickly as new cases.

In Mississippi, the number of new reported cases hit 1,000 Wednesday, driving the seven-day average up to nearly 800 per day.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported one new COVID-19 case Wednesday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,561, and the county’s death toll is 56.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,000 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 117,617. The seven-day average of new cases is 785, higher by 286 cases — more than a third higher— from a month ago.

Most new cases are seen in younger people recently, and they are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. By far, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are young people from 18 to 29 years old.

MSDH reported Wednesday that 19 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,302. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.8%.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25.

Of the 19 deaths MSDH reported Wednesday, 13 occurred between Oct. 15 and Oct. 27 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Wednesday
Adams 1
Attala 1
Benton 2
Bolivar 1
Chickasaw 1
Desoto 1
Harrison 1
Jefferson Davis 1
Lamar 1
Tippah 1
Yalobusha 2

Six COVID-19 related deaths reported Wednesday occurred between Aug. 19 and Oct. 20 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Bolivar 1
Humphreys 1
Jackson 1
Lamar 1
Washington 1
Wilkinson 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number rose steadily with the rise of new cases in July and August. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations nearly tripled by late July. They leveled off in early August and began noticeably dropping in the middle of the month including critical cases and numbers of people requiring ventilators. Hospitalizations continued to drop in September but levelled off at the middle of the month. They dropped again through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations began rising since then. The have leveled off again this week.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, is 666, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 577 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 89 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 157 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 62 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 101,385 through Sunday, Oct. 25. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 86.9% of the cumulative 117,617 cases reported as of Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Wednesday, Oct. 7, was 1,443, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,387, or about 88.9% of the 1,561 cumulative cases reported as of Wednesday, Oct. 28. The county has an estimated 118 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Saturday, Oct. 17 (the latest testing results reported by MSDH), is 949,085 or about 31.9% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without an updated number of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 16.6% Thursday, Oct. 22, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 6.2%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 132 Wednesday. About 39.8%, or 1,315, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 26 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities.

MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data here. The latest data available is for the week ending Oct. 11.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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