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Mississippi Wildlife Federation denies flood victim a booth at its event

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Randy and Victoria Darden

Flood victim and farmer Victoria Darden planned to put up a booth at next week’s Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s annual fundraiser to raise awareness of the historic Backwater Flood. She collected more than $3,000 in donations to print handouts. She had 16 people committed to work the booth and share information with those who would attend the annual MWF “Extravaganza” fundraiser in Jackson.

Friday, the MWF told Darden she would not have a booth at the event.

Bad blood between South Delta residents and the MWF began a few years ago when the MWF came out against completing the Yazoo Backwater pumps. Most flood victims feel those pumps could have prevented, or at least minimized, the impact of this year’s flood that inundated more than 550,000 acres across six Mississippi counties. Backwater flood victims have organized and are working to educate people while trying to influence lawmakers. U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Republican, has been the most vocal supporter of finishing the pumps, appearing at numerous events and giving real hope to those affected by the flooding. The MWF now says it will revisit its stance against the pumps.

US Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith speaks with flood victims at Valley Park, Miss., earlier this month.

Darden, who normally would be farming 1,100 Delta acres with her father, Randy, called the MWF earlier this week to ensure they processed her request for a booth. Her family’s acreage is among the more than 220,000 acres of prime cropland that won’t be planted this year. She received a response from MWF Executive Director Lindsey Lemmons that her request was received and under review. Darden moved forward with organizing the booth. Her goal was to make people aware of the impact of the flooding, especially on wildlife.

Hundreds of human lives have been impacted by the flood. The impact on wildlife has been devastating as well. Predator and prey were forced together onto small patches of land. Starving deer became a common sight, causing the state to approve unprecedented measures including emergency feeding of the stricken animals.

Darden received word Friday that the MWF would not welcome her efforts to educate the public..

Asked why, Lemmons told Darden that it was “… the discretion of the promoter of the event to make those selections.”

Darden challenged Lemmons. “When we talked Friday it seemed all I really had to do was pay my money and send in my application, and y’all only had a few booths left, and it wasn’t a big deal,” Darden recounted to the Vicksburg Daily News.  Tuesday morning, “all of a sudden you had a big wait list,” she said.

Randy and Victoria Darden

“You seemed to mislead me,” Darden said she told Lemmons. “We already raised over $3,000 dollars and (organized) people to come in there and work these shifts.”

In responding to Darden, Lemmons claimed 11 other people put in requests for booths that same day, and she apologized to Darden for making her feel like she was good to go. Lemmons also said she couldn’t sign any contract without approval from the board.

“I’m … highly disappointed that I was turned away. because I was trying to educate the public on the backwater flood affecting the wildlife and the people of the state,” Darden said. “I’m just not sure where Mississippi got so money-driven and political that we can’t stand up or speak out for what’s morally right any more.”

Calls to Lemmons for a response had not been returned at the time this story was published.

A previous, unedited version of this story was published in error.

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A happier ending

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You may recall the incident we reported on September 26 where a younger lady drove her car into the back of a house on Chambers Street.

 

It was one of the more bizarre stories we’ve covered. To hit that porch the car had to travel down a dead end street, turn into a private drive and swerve around a parked car to hit that porch. The homeowner, Taylor Ransone summed it up when he said “she appeared to be confused.” The vehicle left the scene and was not found.

A bewildered Taylor Ransone surveys the damage from the car that struck the back porch of his house.

On Friday Mr. Ransone made contact with the Vicksburg Daily News to give us an update on the story. He announced “Sgt. Bobby Jones with the Vicksburg Police Department told him the driver of the vehicle had contacted the police to confess to the accident.” She had a “medical event and had no memory of crashing into the back of his house” reported Ransone. But after being released from the hospital last week she started to piece it together and called Sgt. Jones.

The car came down the side street, where people are standing, swerved left, missed the grey car parked behind the home and impacted the back porch with enough force to dislodge the pillar.

The lady has insurance and is recovering from her medical event.

Homeowner Taylor Ransone was pleased to say “You never know what people are going through. I am glad she got help and, of course, that she wasn’t seriously injured.”

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Announcing – Q&A with the Mayor

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Ask the Mayor anything.

 

Mayor George Flaggs has agreed to allow the Vicksburg Daily News to host a Question and Answer session – live and online – with you to answer all your questions.

 

The recent meeting with the Police Department has enraged a lot of locals and they are crying for transparency. Mayor Flaggs contacted the Vicksburg Daily News to create and host this event. We decided to waste no time and get it done tomorrow, Tuesday the 15th, at 3:30 p.m.

 

Just post your question here in the comments, message them to the Vicksburg Daily News Facebook page or post them during the live stream tomorrow. The Mayor will not have any of the questions ahead of time and has promised to do his best to answer any and everything.

 

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Police still searching for 3-year-old missing since Oct. 12

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Kamille Cupcake McKinney

The Birmingham Police Department and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency asks for your assistance in locating Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, who is believed to be in extreme danger.

She is a black female, 3 years old, 3 feet tall, weighing 60 pounds with brown eyes and black hair.

Kamille was last seen wearing a pink T-shirt with Minnie Mouse leopard print design, leopard print shorts, and yellow, white, and blue hair bows at a birthday party at the Tom Brown Village housing community around 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, 2019.

Kamille may have been abducted by a man and woman traveling in a dark-colored black or blue SUV, possibly an older model Toyota 4 Runner with rims and a tan protruding bumper.

Reportedly, the vehicle has been found, and WAPT has reported that one person of interest is in custody, but police are still searching for Kamille.

If you have any information regarding this missing child, please contact the Birmingham Police Department at 205-254-0841  or call 911.

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