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Mayor ‘cautiously optimistic’ that layoffs will be unnecessary

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Mayor George Flaggs Jr. speaking at June 15 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. (Photo via VTV video screen grab)

Vicksburg’s budget deficit due to COVID-19 restrictions may not be quite as bad as previously thought, allowing the city to avoid employee layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts.

During Monday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. noted that his cutoff for making personnel decisions due to the budget was June 15.

Previously, Flaggs had projected a shortfall of between $2.8 million and $3.2 million.

Monday, he lowered the shortfall projection to $2.2 million.

Flaggs also said he believes the federal government will come through to assist states and municipalities to address their shortfalls based on conversations he has had with Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, further pushing down the budget shortfall.

“Help is on the way,” he said.

“I’m cautiously optimistic that we won’t have to have a massive layoff to be able to make these revenues up,” he added.

Flaggs said that at this time, he does not expect to have any layoffs or salary reductions; however much depends on revenue figures for May, which have yet to be determined. The city will also look closely at any position where an employee retires to determine whether it should be refilled.

“I hope that our employees will become more confident in their work and in their future,” Flaggs said.

This does not mean that the city will be able to operate the way it was before the COVID-19 crisis. One of the ways the city will cut costs is to look closely at every advertising and donation request.

“We will not be able to give you all of your requests or some of your requests,” Flaggs said.

COVID-19

Alabama’s coach Nick Saban and Greg Byrne test positive for COVID-19

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Nick Saban (photo courtesy UA Athletics)

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban and UA Athletic Director Greg Byrne have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said Wednesday in statement from the university. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.”

Byrne also released a statement Wednesday.

“Today, I received notice that my COVID-19 test from this morning came back positive,” Byrne said. “Upon hearing the news, I immediately entered self-isolation and will remain at home and follow all guidelines. We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you.”

No. 2 Alabama is set to play No. 3 Georgia Saturday. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will fill in as interim head coach during Saban’s absence.

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Vicksburg police arrest a knife-wielding suspect for meth possession

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Joshua Lisk (photo courtesy VPD)

A knife-wielding South Carolina man was arrested Wednesday in Vicksburg.

Police officers responded to a report of a man waving a large knife in the 3300 block of Clay Street. They found that Joshua Lisk, of Westminster, South Carolina, was in possession of methamphetamine.

Lisk appeared in Vicksburg Municipal Court Wednesday on charges of meth possession. Judge Penny Lawson set his bond at $50,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

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Ole Miss football team dealing with COVID-19 issues

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Ole Miss Rebels (photo courtesy Old Miss)

Ole Miss football is having problems with COVID-19.

After multiple sources reported the news, head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed it.

“For the first time, we are having an issue with that,” Kiffin said at a press conference. “I’m not going to get into the numbers. It’s very difficult moving people around, and we’re already beat up to from high play count Saturday versus great team.”

The Rebels are scheduled to take on the University of Arkansas Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in Fayetteville, Arkansas. If the game needs to be postponed, it will have to be done by Friday.

Most of the Rebels key players, including quarterback Matt Corral and wide receiver Elijah Moore, were at practice Wednesday, a positive sign for Ole Miss. The Rebels are 1-2 and is are expected to win Saturday’s game if COVID-19 doesn’t force multiple players to sit it out.

An announcement on whether Ole Miss will play this week can be expected no later than tomorrow.

 

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