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Southerland and Harper to receive humanitarian award from In Defense of Animals



Judge Marcie Southerland and Prosecutor Ken Harper.

Warren County Court Judge Marcie Tanner Southerland and Prosecuting Attorney Ken Harper will be receiving awards for their commitment to enforcing Mississippi’s animal protection statutes in connection with a case the Vicksburg Daily News broke in May.

In Defense of Animals, an international animal protection organization operating the Justice for Animals Campaign and Hope Animal Sanctuary in Carroll County, Mississippi, will present the awards Tuesday, July 21, at 2 p.m. at the Warren County Courthouse, 1009 Adams St. in Vicksburg.

“We honor officials who represent the citizens of Mississippi in enforcing humane laws and sharing unabashed compassion for animals who are victim to crime and suffering,” said Doll Stanley, who spearheads In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals campaign.

On June 15, Southerland imposed the maximum allowable sentence on Walter Stewart of Vicksburg, a sentence handed down by Harper on a charge of aggravated animal cruelty, which was a misdemeanor at the time. The sentence included six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. The sentence exhibited the judge and prosecutor’s commitment to the prosecution of animal cruelty.

Stewart had slammed his girlfriend’s young dog on the hood of a truck during a domestic dispute. The dog, Kato, miraculously survived without serious injury.

With the passage of Senate Bill 2658 this 2020 legislative session, Stewart’s crime would be a first offense felony, punishable with up to three years behind bars and a $5,000 fine. Senator Angela Hill and her 13 co-authors will soon be presented with awards for their leadership in bringing Mississippi’s protection for dogs and cats in line with surrounding states.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, Stanley will meet Kierra Buck and her dog, Kato, at Vicksburg Veterinary Hospital, at 1918 Baldwin Ferry Road to admit Kato to be vaccinated and neutered, giving him a healthier and safer future. Kato is now living with Buck’s family. Judge Southerland ordered that Stewart not reside with or be around Kato upon his release from jail.

“Kierra is a sweet woman who loves her dog,” Stanley said. “In Defense of Animals will cover the cost of Kato’s veterinary care for his well-being and to help Kierra through a time of trauma.”

For more information on In Defense of Animals, visit


Martin and Mosher inducted as ERDC Distinguished Civilian Employees



Dr. William "Bill" Martin and Dr. Reed Mosher (photos courtesy ERDC)

The U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center will induct two former employees to the Waterways Experiment Station Gallery of Distinguished Civilian Employees Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. in the ERDC Headquarters Auditorium.

Dr. Bill Martin and Dr. Reed Mosher will join the ranks of more than 100 former employees whose significant career achievements left a lasting impression on both ERDC and the nation.

Martin and Mosher both served as directors of laboratories at the ERDC. Both pioneered technologies that proved to be life saving for American Soldiers and both left behind a remarkable legacy when they retired from federal service.

Each year, the ERDC inducts new members to the gallery, the highest honor bestowed to those who have worked at WES in Vicksburg.

Martin, a U.S. Army veteran, ended his 41-year ERDC career in 2013 as director of the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. In that role, he led a $90 million research program that provided cutting-edge technology solutions to more than 500 projects around the world. Martin was also instrumental in updating the lab’s world-class facilities, including the development of a state-of-the-art Ship Simulator Complex, which allows engineers and pilots to simulate ports, harbors and maritime environments all over the world.

Martin is also remembered for being a leader in addressing complex groundwater issues on military installations, as well as for leading a team that performed emergency modeling of the Sava River in Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of the 1st Armor Division’s peacekeeping role after the Balkan War. His team provided daily river condition forecasts and answered engineering questions for more than 450 consecutive days, which led to the creation of the WES Tele-Engineering Program. Today that program is known as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Reachback Operations Center, which is located in Vicksburg and connects deployed troops in the field to subject-matter experts back home who can help solve engineering challenges for them.

Mosher, who spent 40 years as a federal employee, retired as director of the Information Technology Laboratory  in 2018. Under his leadership, the lab’s staff grew by 108%, becoming the second largest ERDC laboratory. He also oversaw the construction of a 66,000 square-foot expansion to the laboratory, and his vision for a new secure computing facility is under construction and scheduled for completion later this year.

Before his ITL role, Mosher served as the lead technical director for military engineering in the Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory, where he was also directly involved with assessments after some of the world’s most notorious attacks and bombings — Oklahoma City in 1995, the U.S. Embassies in Africa in 1998 and the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the Pentagon. He was instrumental in developing new technologies designed to protect soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from rockets, mortars and other explosives.

Even after their retirements, both inductees are still involved with the ERDC today. Martin is a member and served as the 2019 president of the ERDC Alumni Association, while Mosher is the director of the Mississippi State University Institute for Systems Engineering Research, a partnership initiative with the ERDC.


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Vicksburg police make a drug bust after brief pursuit



James Morris (photo courtesy VPD)

Vicksburg police officers arrested a man Tuesday on drug charges after a brief pursuit.

James Morris, 30, of Vicksburg was arrested shortly after 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, on U.S. Highway 80 just outside the city limits. The officers found that Morris was in possession of crack cocaine.

Charged with one count of possession of cocaine, Morris appeared Tuesday before Judge Angela Carpenter in the Vicksburg Municipal Court for his arraignment. Carpenter bound him over to the Warren County grand jury on a $30,000 bond.

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Williams arrested for two separate burglaries at the Vicksburg Mall



Felix Williams (photo courtesy VPD)

Vicksburg police arrested Felix Williams, 30, of Vicksburg, for two separate burglaries at the Vicksburg Mall.

For a break-in Sunday, Oct. 11, into the mall and Jordan’s, Williams was charged with two counts of business burglary. Williams was also charged with two counts of business burglary and one count of grand larceny for the Oct. 2 burglary at the Sports Addition.

Monday, Oct. 12, Judge Angela Carpenter in the Vicksburg Municipal Court set Williams bond at $400,000 and bound him over to the Warren County grand jury.

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