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MDHS dedicates $47 million in federal COVID-19 aid to child care centers

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The Mississippi Department of Human Services has dedicated $47 million in federal COVID-19 aid to assist child care centers during the pandemic.

Child care providers were hit hard by the onset of the novel coronavirus, causing most centers to suspend operation during the crisis and left many unsure if they would be able to restart. MDHS’ Division of Early Childhood Care and Development took immediate action to help those affected survive the shutdown. One means of doing that was using funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, otherwise known as the CARES Act.

“I often say child care represents the backbone of the workforce,” said Dr. Chad Allgood, deputy director of DECCD, in a statement. “Without child care we couldn’t work. It is extremely important that we understand how important child care is, and the funding we receive is just part of the support that we can throw behind our child care providers.”

Three ongoing avenues of support are:

  • $8.2 million in Emergency Certificates that allow essential and emergency personnel, to receive assistance in paying for child care.
  • $13.9 million in enhanced rates and enrollment-based payments designed to help ensure child care centers survive the pandemic.
  • $7.3 million to pay copayments for parents to further stabilize provider income streams while eliminating an extra expense for families

In addition to these incentives, $4 million has been designated for providing health and safety personal protective equipment for child care centers. MDHS had previously provided personal protective equipment and other supplies to the 12 hardest hit counties in Mississippi.

MDHS is planning to use $13.6 million as one-time cash assistance for child care centers, and that project is in the final implementation phases.

“Parents need to be able to work and contribute to the economic recovery of Mississippi without worrying about whether their children are going to be safe,” said MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson. “Every day we see businesses filing bankruptcy as a result of this pandemic. We are committed to using all resources at our disposal to ensure child care centers survive and thrive.”

To learn more about the Division of Early Childhood Care and Development and how to apply for child care assistance, visit https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/early-childhood-care-development/.

News

18-wheeler in wreck on 61 South in Warren County

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(photo by Thomas Parker)

An 18-wheeler was involved in a single vehicle crash around 6 p.m. Wednesday on U.S. Highway 61 South approximately 1 mile north of the Claiborne-Warren County line.

The truck left the roadway on the northbound side of the highway for unknown reasons.

The driver was transported to Claiborne County Hospital by private vehicle before law enforcement arrived on the scene. His condition is not known at this time.

Traffic has not been affected, but use caution in the area to allow investigators to do their jobs safely.

Warren County deputies Daniel Thomas and Ron Kinard are on the scene, and a trooper from the Mississippi State Police is on the way and will be in charge of the investigation.

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Announcements

Vicksburg named Water Treatment Plant of the Year for second consecutive year

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For the second year in a row, the City of Vicksburg has received the 2020 Water Treatment Plant of the Year Award from the American Water Works Association. The award cites overall water quality, plant improvements, energy efficiency and regulatory conformance as criteria for the selection.

“Having the best water treatment plant in the State of Mississippi for two years in a row is just one more reason why people should move to Vicksburg,” said Mayor George Flaggs Jr. in a statement. “Our philosophy is to provide the best quality service at the least cost to the taxpayers. Today, we’re continuing to deliver on that promise.”

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen hired ESG Operations, Inc. in 2016 to manage and operate the city’s water treatment plant on Haining Road. The plant has received a five-star rating from the State Department of Health for the past four years and has been in 100% compliance with all regulatory agencies.

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Crime

VPD reports auto theft and business burglary for Tuesday

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports an auto theft and a business burglary occurred Tuesday, Oct. 13.

At 5:34 a.m. officers responded to a residence in the 3100 block of Washington Street in reference to a stolen vehicle. The complainant reported that someone stole a 2015 Chrysler 200.

The Days Inn at 90 Warrenton Road was the site of a business burglary Tuesday. Officers responded to the motel at 9:09 a.m. where the victims stated that someone kicked a room door in and stole a Dewalt paint sprayer, two Magnavox paint sprayers, a Minolta hand sander and a Milwaukee reciprocating saw. Two other saws of unknown brands were also taken. The total value of the missing equipment is estimated at $5,500.

If you have information on either of these incidents, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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