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State flag commission to meet with or without Reeves’ appointees

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Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, left, and House Speaker Philip Gunn, right, both met the deadline to appoint people to the flag commission. Gov. Tate Reeves, center, has yet to announce his appointees.. (Photo composite from various sources)

The commission tasked with recommending a new state flag for voters to decide on during the Nov. 3 election will hold its first meeting Wednesday, with or without Gov. Tate Reeves’ appointees to the panel.

Lawmakers tasked Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann with appointing three members each to the nine-member commission that will decide the new design. Gunn and Hosemann met the July 15 deadline to announce the appointees, but Reeves still has not announced his picks.

On Tuesday, Gunn and Hosemann announced that their six appointees to the commission will meet at 10 a.m. on Wednesday at the Two Mississippi Museums. It is not clear whether Reeves’ appointees will be announced by then or whether they will be at the meeting.

The law mandates that the Legislature’s two presiding officers call the first meeting.

In late June, lawmakers passed the historic legislation to remove the 126-year-old state flag – the last in the nation to display the Confederate battle cross in its design.

On Monday during a news conference held to provide an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, Reeves, who signed into law the legislation to change the flag, said he had selected two of three appointees, but he has not made those choices public.

He said the pandemic was consuming much of his time.

“I will get to that as soon as we possibly can,” Reeves said.

The law mandates that Reeves appoints one member each from the Mississippi Economic Council, the state Department of Archives and History and the Mississippi Arts Commission.

There were no restraints on the appointees of Gunn and Hosemann, who announced their selections last week, and Reeves has highlighted that restriction in recent days.

The commission has a limited amount of time to complete its work.

It must select a design by Sept. 14, but in reality it might need to have its work completed earlier to ensure the design can be printed on the election ballot. That design will be placed before voters in the November election for an up or down vote. If the voters reject the proposal, the commission will go back to work to develop a new design to be on the ballot in 2021.

The law mandates that the design cannot include the Confederate battle emblem, but it must include the language “In God We Trust.”

The Department of Archives and History already have announced it is accepting submissions from the public. The deadline to make a submission is Aug. 13.


This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

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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COVID-19

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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