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Look y’all – I can fly!

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Jarad Harvey decked out in paramotor gear. (Photo by Thomas Parker)

Late Friday afternoon, I received a call from Sam Andrews in the Mayor’s office, telling me two people were flying around the area of the hospital on U.S. Highway 61 North, in some form of para-gliding type aircraft. So, I decided to go investigate.

I arrived at the Sherman Avenue School to find two men flying what is known as a paramotor. The small back-pack type aircraft are apparently becoming very popular.

Paramotor is the generic name for powered paraglider, and there are two basic types: foot or wheel launch. The motor allows for the paragliding experience without the need of a high point to jump from or being pulled by a vehicle to launch. Flyers can launch from nearly anywhere. What looks like a parachute is the glider wing that allows for lift, navigation and the ability to glide.

The motor and fan of the paramotor. (Photo by Thomas Parker)

Leon Pugh has owned a paramotor for several years. Recently, he was working on a house he owns near the water tower on Culkin Road when he saw Jarad Harvey flying nearby. Pugh followed Harvey back to his landing zone in front of the school, and the two became friends and flying partners.

Pugh, who is currently on leave from his position in maintenance at Ameristar Casino, is a bit of a technical wizard who enjoys tinkering with things slightly “outside the box.” The younger Harvey is employed at Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station.

Friday afternoon, the weather and wind conditions were just right for a late day flight.

Harvey says when the winds are right, he can take a running start and be airborne in about 30 yards or less. He added that wind conditions are a key factor in flying safely.

Pugh normally enjoys flying in the northern part of the county near Redwood. Unfortunately, right now most of that area is under flood water. Harvey said power lines and trees are also a point of concern during landing and take-off.

Paramotors do not require a license but some training is involved. Harvey said you can take them up about as high as you can stand the oxygen deprivation. The units range in price from a few thousand dollars up to around $20,000 and come in several varieties.

Pugh and Harvey plan to continue flying together as often as their schedules allow. The Friday flights drew quite the crowd of on-lookers. Pugh said at one point during his flight he caught sight of the cooling tower at Grand Gulf.

Videos courtesy Lindsey Blackledge and Leon Pugh.

 

Just Plain Fun

Happy Thanksgiving

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COVID-19

Santa confirms that Christmas is not canceled

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With such an unprecedented year — we’ve been quarantined, adults working from home (or worse, losing jobs), students learning at home, restaurants and many other businesses shutting down, and families unable to visit each other — many children have been worried and wondering if Christmas is going to be canceled, too.

Well, thanks to Facebook and some familiar elves, parents have been able to reassure children that Christmas is indeed coming.

Santa reassured children that Christmas isn’t canceled.

The post, directly from Santa himself, is easing the minds of children everywhere. The elves captioned the photo “Important notice!” and it is going viral.

In the lengthy post, Santa confirms that he will be getting out on Dec. 24, and he, too, has been taking precautions against the pandemic.

Santa wrote: “It has come to my attention that children around the world are being told by their older siblings, parents, others adults, and even friends, that Christmas is not coming this year due to the COVID pandemic.

“This is simply not true. I have been practicing social distancing just as you have.”

Santa went on to say that no one at the North Pole has been infected and safety measures are being taken before his annual deliveries.

“All the toys and other presents will be totally disinfected before and after they are wrapped and put into my sleigh for delivery to your home, or to wherever you will be this year,” he wrote. “Do not worry my friends, I will not be spreading the virus nor will I be getting sick from anyone that has it. Christmas is not canceled.”

The post has racked up hundreds of likes and comments including many from parents praising Santa for his hard work.

Micki May is one of those grateful grandparents.

“My grandson was so worried and kept asking me if Santa Claus could get the ‘rona,” she said. “He was quite relieved when I read him Santa’s Facebook post.”

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Crime

Carson arrested on felony warrants

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Officer Matt Barnes, Horatio Carson, Officer Joseph Stubbs, and Inv. Donnie Heggins (photo by David Day)

Horatio Carson, 34, of 272 Cedars School Circle, was arrested Thursday on a felony warrant for probation violation.

Heggins, Barnes, Carson, Stubbs, Grady (photo by David Day)

Vicksburg police Investigator Donnie Heggins and Lt. Jeff Merritt, and Mario Grady, investigator for the Mississippi attorney general’s office, executed the warrant after Carson was spotted at the carwash on Grange Hall Road.

Stubbs, Carson, Barnes, Grady (photo by David Day)

Carson was indicted in the October session of the grand jury as a habitual offender on charges of possession of a controlled substance and fleeing or evading a police officer.

Horatio Carson and Joseph Stubbs (photo by David Day)

Carson was transported to jail by Officer Joseph Stubbs to await trial.

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