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Mayor and Aldermen review Riverfest cancellation and budgets



The subject of Riverfest, also known as Vicksburgfest, was top of mind for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen at Monday’s meeting.

On Friday, Dean Anderson, 2019 Vicksburgfest board president, announced there are no plans to coordinate the long-running annual festival for 2020. 

“Let me explain to those critics that think I blocked Riverfest,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said at Monday’s meeting. “I emphatically told you, I have nothing to do with Riverfest. That was a (Riverfest) board decision.”

Flaggs said he applauded the board’s decision to cancel the event. 

“I believe in accountability,” Flaggs said. “I believe in performance benchmarks. I think the Riverfest board made the right decision at the right time.”

Flaggs made reference to Jackson having a similar event, Jubilee Jam, that also fizzled out over time due to the event costing more than it was bringing in.

“They stopped their event and reevaluated it,” Flaggs said. 

The Mayor broke down the numbers in yesterday’s meeting to show how much the city invested in Riverfest for the past decade.

“Since I’ve been Mayor, we’ve spent $177,000 on Riverfest,” Flaggs said, adding the city’s contributions from 2013 to 2019, which ranged from a low of $10,000 in 2013 to a high of $84,000 in 2018.

In 2018 the event included bringing well-known Blues singer “Tucka” to Vicksburg.

2018 “was the year it was crowded,” Flaggs said. “It was the best Riverfest we ever had in our history. I heard Tucker was good. I heard people were everywhere, but we didn’t make no money and spent $84,000.”

In 2019, the city decreased involvement significantly and a community board was formed that changed the name from Riverfest to Vicksburgfest. The city gave the newly named event $19,000. 

The Mayor grew frustrated looking at the budget numbers for Riverfest prior to him taking office.

“All the years preceding me becoming Mayor, you were spending $10,000,” Flaggs said. “Now just because I become Mayor, we’re supposed to spend money like a drunken sailor?” Flaggs asked. 

From 2008 to 2011, the city’s annual contribution to the event was $10,000. In 2012, the amount increased to $15,000.

“I am a fiscally conservative person,” he added. “I don’t spend money I don’t have, and I don’t think the city ought to spend money if it’s not being measured or used properly.”

Flaggs has no objection to someone reevaluating Riverfest and bringing it back in better shape. 

“The city stands ready to support any group and all groups that can show me some measurements of how they’re either going to make money or how they will use sponsorships to be effective,” he said.



Vicksburg teenager faces multiple charges after Sunday night incident



Staci Foster (photo courtesy VPD)

A Vicksburg teenager faces multiple charges in connection with an incident that occurred Sunday night.

Police arrested Staci Foster, 18, after the car Foster was driving struck a 21-year-old woman on Grange Hall Road around 11:41 p.m. Sunday. The victim was transported to the University of Mississippi Medical Center for treatment.

Foster was charged with one count of aggravated assault domestic violence, one count of leaving the scene of an accident with injury and one count of reckless driving.

She appeared in Vicksburg Municipal Court Monday before Judge Angela Carpenter who set her bond at $105,000 and bound her over to the Warren County grand jury.

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MS treasurer announces Black Friday giveaway to encourage saving for college



Monday, Mississippi Treasurer David McRae announced a $1,000 Black Friday siveaway to encourage Mississippians to begin saving for college.

College Savings Mississippi, a division of the State Treasury, will be giving one lucky family a $1,000 scholarship when they open a Mississippi Affordable College Savings account between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“With Black Friday as the traditional kick-off to holiday shopping, we’re hoping to remind Mississippians that the gift of a college degree is a gift that will keep on giving,” McRae said in a news release. “Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, consider making a contribution to a loved one’s college savings plan this gift-giving season.”

A tax-advantaged MACS account, which can be opened for as little as $25, offers families maximum flexibility. The money contributed to this account can be used for tuition, books, supplies, and certain room and board expenses, as well as elementary and secondary tuition expenses for younger students.

For the Black Friday Giveaway, any family who opens a new MACS account between Nov. 27 (“Black Friday”) and Nov. 30 (“Cyber Monday”) will be entered to win the $1,000 scholarship. The winner will be drawn at random.

To open an account, visit For complete rules for the giveaway, download this document (PDF).

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Two-vehicle crash on Sherman Avenue



(photo by Thomas Parker)

Warren County Sheriff’s officials responded to a two-car crash on Sherman Avenue at the entrance to Sherman Avenue Elementary Monday around 3:16 p.m.

Initial reports indicated there were injuries, but occupants of both vehicles declined to be transported to a medical facility.

The accident should be cleared by 4:15 p.m.

Culkin Engine 205, Rescue, Fire Medic 30 all responded along with Vicksburg Deputy Fire Chief Trey Martin (FD-2) and Warren County Fire Coordinator Jerry Briggs. Sgt. Silento McMorris, Investigator Stacy Rollison and Deputy Ronnie Fuller from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene as well.

Sgt. McMorris is conducting the investigation into this accident.

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6:41am4:59pm CST
Feels like: 43°F
Wind: 1mph WSW
Humidity: 88%
Pressure: 30.23"Hg
UV index: 0




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