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Sheriff versus snake

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Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace: snake wrangler. (Photo by David Day)

When Glory Griffin, her daughter and grandbaby got into Glory’s SUV for a trip to Hobby Lobby in Vicksburg Wednesday, they didn’t suspect an unwelcome hitchhiker was making the trip with them.

As they entered the parking lot, Glory’s daughter caught sight of the hitcher. Snatching the grandbaby, all three piled out of the SUV and immediately called 911 for help.

The call came in around 5:45 p.m. A snake was in the car.

Only one man was known to be brave enough to handle the situation: Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

Pace has been known for years as the county’s snake wrangler. He has safely removed snakes from homes and vehicles for years.

Gotcha! Sheriff Martin Pace located the snake in about two minutes. (Photo by David Day)

Sure enough, Sheriff Pace showed up to remove the snake from the SUV. It only took about two minutes to find the beast in the cavernous interior of the vehicle, but he located it under the front seat. Pace then took great pains not to injure the little guy during the minute or so it took to extract it.

“It’s a rat snake,” Pace pronounced, holding the snake after the successful capture. It appeared to be about 3 feet long.

What may have been any one of a half-dozen venomous species turned out to be a snake dangerous only to rodents.

“They’re actually a pretty good pet if you have a kid that likes snakes,” the sheriff said. “So, I’m going to take him out and let him go and let him live happily ever after.”

Folks who watched the snake rescue had a different take about snakes in cars.

“He talking about it ain’t poisonous…. ITS A SNAKE! 😂😂 burn the whole truck,” wrote Shanta Lett.

“Burn it – burn the whole vehicle – surely insurance will understand,” wrote Leslie Hollowell.

Beyond the comments about snakes, however, the consensus is that Warren County is grateful to have Sheriff Pace in charge.

“Martin Pace is the best law enforcement officer in the planet!!!” wrote Paula Lindsey, a sentiment shared by several others.

“We have the best sheriff ever!! Thanks, Martin Pace!!!” wrote Lara Clement.

As of about 10 a.m. Thursday morning, the video has been viewed 66,000 times and shared 744 times.

Pace holds the snake for all to see. (Photo by David Day)

COVID-19

First COVID-19 vaccine approved in the U.K.

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(Illustration by Viruscorona2020 - Own work + L'épidémie au 02/02/2020 - Pr G Pialoux, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87803954)

The United Kingdom has approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

The move marks the first public use of a vaccine for the virus and a major step toward ending the pandemic, The Associated Press reports.

Both the United States and the European Union are evaluating the Pfizer vaccine and another one manufactured by Moderna. A third vaccine from AstraZeneca is also in the pipeline in the U.K.

A total of 58 vaccines are in various stages of clinical trials on humans, and another 87 are pre-clinical, meaning they’re being tested on animals, according to The New York Times.

If approved in the U.S., the Pfizer vaccine is expected to be available to health-care workers and first responders by the third week in December, and to the general public in the spring of 2021.

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COVID-19

Vicksburg COVID-19 proclamation Dec. 2 through Jan. 4, 2021 – full text

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PROCLAMATION REGARDING THE RE-OPENING OF VICKSBURG WHILE MINIMIZING THE RISK OF INFECTION AND TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19, EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 2, 2020, AT 8:00 A.M THROUGH 8:00 A.M. ON MONDAY JANUARY 4, 2021

WHEREAS, pursuant to §§45-17-1 through 45-17-13, and §33-15-17 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, the Mayor is authorized to proclaim that a Civil Emergency exists defined as any natural disaster or man-made calamity resulting in the death or injury of persons to such an extent that extraordinary measures must be taken to protect the public health, safety and welfare; and

WHEREAS, §21-19-3 gives municipalities the authority to make regulations to prevent the spreading of contagious or infectious diseases and to make quarantine laws for that purpose; and

WHEREAS, §33-15-17 authorizes the Mayor to control or restrict egress, ingress and movement within the local emergency area necessary to facilitate the protection of life and property; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to these laws, the Mayor is authorized to issue such orders as he deems necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Vicksburg, Mississippi; and

WHEREAS, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that has spread across this nation is a worldwide pandemic and as of December 1, 2020, the Mississippi Department of Health has reported 154,411 positive confirmed cases and 3,836 deaths in Mississippi, 58 of which were in Warren County; and

WHEREAS, previous emergency orders have required that persons stay at home and that certain businesses be closed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Mississippi has adopted a Safe Return Order in an effort to continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while allowing the businesses to open and persons to return to work; and

WHEREAS, it is likewise necessary for Vicksburg businesses to safely open and Vicksburg citizens to safely return to work.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED BY THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF VICKSBURG pursuant to §§45″17-1 through 45″17-13, §21-19-3 and §33-15-17 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, the following regulations apply:

The following regulations shall continue and be in effect on December 2, 2020, beginning at 8:00A.M:

  1. FACE COVERINGS:
    1. For Retail businesses, including grocery stores, building supply stores, convenience stores, cigar shops, liquor stores or any other store that sells items to the public, the business owner or manager shall adopt and enforce the following measures:
      1. Employees shall wear a face covering, covering the mouth and nose, and shall be required to wear a face covering while on duty, and such face covering shall be cleaned or replaced at least daily.
      2. Customers shall wear a face covering, covering nose and mouth, while inside the retail business.
      3. Hand sanitizer shall be made available to all employees and shall be made available to customers at points of entry and exit, in or near the bathrooms, and at the cashier or payment stations.
      4. Retail businesses shall make all reasonable efforts to maintain 6 feet separation between customers (or parties of customers) at all times, including 6 feet separation while waiting in cashier or payment lines.
      5. Carts and baskets and all other surfaces that are contacted by customers during the course of providing services shall be sanitized after each customer’s use. All other high­ touch areas, including all door handles, shall be sanitized every two hours at a minimum.
      6. Retail Businesses shall post a sign notifying customers that a face covering is required prior to entering the business and shall monitor and enforce the face covering requirement. Business owners and managers are entitled to rely upon the representations of their customers, patrons and employees regarding whether or not they qualify for an exception from the face covering requirement.
    2. FOR ALL OTHER BUSINESSES OR ORGANIZATIONS, EXCEPT MANUFACTURING BUSINESSES, the owner or manager of the business shall require all persons who enter the premises to wear a face covering. Businesses shall post a sign notifying persons who enter that they are required to wear a face covering and shall monitor and enforce the face covering requirement. Business owners and managers are entitled to rely upon the representations of their customers, patrons and employees regarding whether or not they qualify for an exception from the face covering requirement.
    3. EXCEPTIONS TO THE FACE COVERING REQUIREMENTS: Face coverings do not apply to the following:
      1. Any individual who will not come in contact with any other individual (outside of their immediate household members) or who will be able to maintain strict social distancing of six (6) feet apart from any other individual (outside of immediate household);
      2. Any child under the age of eight; however, all children between the ages of two (2) and Seven (7) years old are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
      3. Any individual with a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering;
      4. Any individual who is consuming food or drinks;
      5. Any individual seeking to communicate with someone who is hearing impaired;
      6. Any individual giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience; and
      7. Any individual temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes.
  2. SPECIFIC BUSINESS REGULATIONS:
    1. Retail businesses, including grocery stores, building supply stores, convenience stores, cigar shops, liquor stores or any other store that sells items to the public shall adopt reasonable, good-faith measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including but not limited to, limiting the number of customers in their stores at one time in order to ensure compliance with strict social distancing protocols, and frequent cleaning of high-contact surfaces (such as retail counters, door handles, credit card machines). All of these businesses are encouraged to make hand sanitizer available to their customers upon entry of their stores.
      To the extent possible, all common areas where employees or customers are likely to congregate and interact shall be closed or strict social distancing protocols should be enforced (maintaining a minimum of 6 feet distance between individuals).
    2. Restaurants and bars shall continue to offer in-house (indoor or outdoor) dining subject to strict social distancing and updating floor plans to ensure at least six (6) feet of separation between each party/group and limiting party sizes to a maximum of ten (10) customers per table. Restaurants that do not serve alcohol may offer in-house dining to the public twenty-four (24) hours a day. Restaurants and bars are allowed to have live music. There shall be a minimum of twelve (12) feet of separation between the musicians and restaurant/bar customers. It shall be the responsibility of the restaurant and/or bar to maintain social distancing between customers while live music is being performed.
    3. Any business that sells alcohol for on-premises consumption or allows alcohol to be consumed on the premises, other than those under the jittisdiction of the MS Gaming Commission, shall not sell alcohol or allow cons umption on the premises between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. This includes restaurants, bars, BYOB, or other entertainment venues that sell or allow consumption of alcohol on the premises. The sale of alcohol in bars shall only be allowed to seated patrons. The businesses that sell alcohol or allow conswnption of alcohol on the premises must close by midnight.
    4. Salons, barber shops, spas, massage parlors, and other personal care and personal grooming facilities, tattoo parlors, and pet groomers shall operate subject to the following limitations:
      1. Every employee shall be required to wear a face covering, covering the nose and mouth, while on duty.
      2. All employees must wash hands between serving each customer, and more frequently if necessary. If appropriate for the service provided, gloves are recommended and should be discarded after each customer.
      3. Customers shall wear a face covering, covering the nose and mouth, while inside the facility except when receiving a service that otherwise could not be provided while wearing a face covering;
      4. The number of customers inside the facility shall be limited to ensure a minimum of six (6) feet separation between persons not in the same household; and
      5. Customers shall be screened for illness prior to entry into the facility.
    5. Fitness centers and exercise gyms shall continue to operate pursuant to the limitations in the Proclamation effective May 11, 2020, and amended effective June 15, 2020, with 75% maximum capacity.
    6. Dance studios, Libraries and museums, movie theaters and auditoriums, indoor recreation and places of amusement, outdoor recreation activities and places of amusement shall ensure strict social distancing of a minimum of  six  (6) feet separation  between  persons not in the same household.
    7. Outdoor sports complexes and multi-field facilities shall continue to operate subject to the following regulations:
      1. The number of fans around the field shall be limited to ensure a minimum of six feet of separation between persons not in, the same household.
      2. Concession stands may be  open  subject  to  the  following  limitations:  (i) employees/ volunteers operating the concession stand that come into direct contact with customers shall be provided a cloth mask and required to wear the mask while on duty; (ii) social distancing (of a minimum of s ix feet) shall be observed by customers waiting in line at the concession stand; (iii) customers/guests are not permitted to congregate in the area of the concession stand; and (iv) before beginning their work shift, all concession stand employees shall be screened for any symptoms of COVID-19. “Grab and go” food and beverage services are strongly encouraged, and condiments shall be offered only as single-serve condiments.
      3. Prominent signage shall be posted at all points of entry mandating that attendees shall maintain a minimum of six (6) feet of separation from all persons not in their household, and that attendees shall not enter the venue if they display any symptoms of COVID-19.
      4. Fans are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering, covering their nose and mouth, while attending games.
      5. Every league, tournament, event or facility shall have a dedicated Safety Officer to ensure that all elements of social distancing are enforced. The Safety Officer shall have sufficient staff to ensure that strict social distancing is observed by all players, coaches and fans at all times.
      6. Reception halls and conference centers: Reception halls and conference centers shall ensure strict social distancing of a minimum of six (6) feet separation between persons not in the same household. For seated diruiers only, there shall be six (6) feet between tables and a maximum of ten (10) at each table with strict social distancing.
  1. IN GENERAL:
    1. GROUP GATHERINGS: Unless specifically mentioned in another section, all persons in social gathering/activities shall maintain social distancing of a minimum of 6 feet distance between individuals not in the same household. If indoors, a face covering is required if persons are not able to maintain a minimum of six (6) feet separation.
    2. RELIGIOUS SERVICES: Places of worship are encouraged to follow the Safe Worship Guidelines adopted on May 20, 2020. All persons present are to wear masks. I1is additionally recommended that a list of all attendees be kept. At all times, social distancing and sanitizing or washing hands should be practiced.
    3. FUNERALS: Funerals are encouraged to be grave side services. Funeral services may be held at a Church or funeral home at 11:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m., as long as there is room for social distancing, or held at the City Auditorium at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m. All persons must wear a face covering at all funerals. Upon proof of death due to COVID-19, the cost for the City Auditorium for the funeral shall be one -half (1/2) of the regular auditorium fee.
    4. JUVENILE CURFEW: In order to decrease juvenile gatherings and prevent the spread of COVID-19 among juveniles, preserve the resources of the Vicksburg Police Department, and to keep good order, a curfew will be in place for juveniles 17 and under from 7:30 p.m. until 7:30 a.m. Juveniles should not be on the public streets during this time unless:
      1. the juvenile is traveling to or from work;
      2. the juvenile is with a parent or responsible guardian;
      3. the juvenile is going to or corning from a legitimate school function;
      4. the juvenile is going to or coming from an organized youth sport activity.
  1. BUSINESS SCREENING and CLEANING:
    1. Daily screening of employees shall include the following questions, and any employee answering any question in the affirmative shall be sent home:
      1. Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
      2. Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
      3. Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
      4. Have you had new loss oftaste or smell?
      5. Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
    2. All employees shall be required to report any symptoms of COVID-19 to their supervisor, and any employee who exhibits any of the symptoms of COVID-19 during their shift shall be sent home immediately and advised to consult with their physician.
    3. All employees shall be provided training regarding minimizing the spread of COVID- 19, including reinforcement of proper sanitation, hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, and using PPE.
    4. Break rooms shall be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and the number of employees in the break room shall be limited to allow for strict social distancing (a minimum of six feet between employees and no gathering of more than ten employees).
    5. Appropriate PPE shall be worn by all employees based on their duties and responsibilities. Every employee who comes into direct contact with customers shall be provided a face covering, covering the nose and mouth, and shall be required to wear the face covering while on duty. Such face coverings shall be cleaned or changed at least daily.
    6. Signage shall be posted at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or other symptom of COVID-19 is permitted jn the business.
    7. All high-touch areas, including all door handles shall be sanitized frequently and hand sanitizer available at points of entry and exit.

Individual violations of the face covering regulations will be subject to misdemeanor prosecution pursuant to Sec. 45-17-9 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, Sec. 33-15-7 and Sec. 1-9 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Vicksburg and will be as follows:

  1. 1st offense – warning
  2. 2nd offense – $100.00 fine
  3. 3rd offense and up – $300.00 fine per each separate violation

Violation of this EMERGENCY PROCLAMATION will be subject to misdemeanor prosecution pursuant to Sec. 45-17-9 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, Sec. 33-15-7 and Sec. 1-9 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Vicksburg, including a fine of up to $1,000.00 and 90 days in jail.

THIS PROCLAMATION SHALL BE IN EFFECT BEGINNING AT 8:00 A.M. ON WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 2, 2020, AND SHALL CONTINUE UNTIL 8:00 A.M. ON MONDAY JANUARY 4, 2021, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED HEREIN OR EXTENDED, MODIFIED OR REPEALED BY A SUBSEQUENT PROCLAMATION.

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COVID-19

Reeves puts another 13 counties under mask mandates

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Gov. Tate Reeves during April 22 news conference. (Photo via video screen grab)

Tuesday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced 13 additional counties that have qualified and met certain requirements to be placed under mask mandates with his “Safe Recovery” executive order that is in effect until Dec. 11.

Those additional counties are: Adams, Amite, Coahoma, Franklin, Jefferson, Kemper, Monroe, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Quitman, Scott, Sunflower and Washington. A total of 54 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are now under mask mandates.

“I hope that people believe me when I say this is a time when the virus is extremely present,” Reeves said during a news conference streamed live on Facebook. “It is all around us right now, more than almost any time before. Please continue to be careful and safeguard yourself and your loved ones.”

A copy of the Executive Order can be found here.

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