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This Day in History – October 31, 2011

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1517 Luther posts 95 thesis on Wittenberg church-Protestant Reformation 1815 Sir Humphrey Davy of London patents miner’s safety lamp 1864 Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state. 1876 A monster cyclone ravages India, resulting in over 200,000 deaths. 1913 Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across United States. 1913 The Indianapolis Street Car Strike and subsequent riot begins. 1917 World War I: Battle of Beersheba “last successful cavalry charge in history”. 1926 Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured. 1938 Great Depression: In an effort to restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public. 1940 Deadline for Warsaw Jews to move into the Warsaw Ghetto 1941 After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed. 1941 World War II: The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors. It is the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by enemy action in WWII. 1944 Dr. jur. Erich Göstl, a member of the Waffen SS, is awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, to recognise extreme battlefield bravery, after losing his face and eyes during the Battle of Normandy. 1950 Collazo & Torresola attempt to kill Truman in Washington, DC 1952 1st thermonuclear bomb detonated-Marshall Islands 1956 1st American to land an airplane at South Pole-Rear Adm GJ Dufek 1956 Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal. 1959 Lee Harvey Oswald attempts to renounce his American citizenship at the US Embassy in Moscow, USSR. 1963 Ed Sullivan witnesses the Beatles & their fans at London Airport 1963 An explosion at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum (now Pepsi Coliseum) in Indianapolis kills 74 people during an ice skating show. The explosion also injures 400. A faulty propane tank connection in a concession stand is blamed. 1968 Vietnam War October surprise: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of “all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam” effective November 1. 1974 Bundy victim (?) Laura Aime disappears in Utah 1980 Julian Nott sets world hot-air balloon altitude record (16,806 m) 1982 Pope John Paul II becomes 1st pontiff to visit Spain 1983 Ron Grant completes a 217 day, 8,316 mile run around Australia 1984 Puerto Rican tanker, San Francisco explodes spilling 2 million gallons of oil as the ship caught fire 1984 Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two security guards. Riots soon break out in New Delhi and nearly 10,000 Sikhs are killed. 1987 1st jockey to win 9 races in 1 day (Chris Antley at Belmont) 1987 A pair in Coventry, England ties the world record for the longest singles tennis match at 80 hrs 21 minutes 1988 1st Monday Night NFL game in Indianapolis, Colts beat Denver 55-23 1994 An American Eagle ATR-72 crashes in Roselawn, Indiana, after circling in icy weather, killing 68 passengers and crew. 1997 19-year-old British au pair Louise Woodward, convicted by a Cambridge, Massachusetts, jury of second-degree murder the day before, is sentenced to life in prison. 1998 Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors. 1999 EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board. 1999 Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted. 2000 A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 operating as Flight 006 collides with construction equipment upon takeoff in Taipei, Taiwan killing 79 passengers and four crew members. 2000 A chartered Antonov An-26 explodes after takeoff in Northern Angola killing 50. 2000 Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been continuously crewed since. 2002 A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas indicts former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his ex-employer. 2003 A bankruptcy court approves MCI’s reorganization plans, essentially clearing the telecommunications company to exit bankruptcy.]]]]> ]]>

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Mississippi Development Authority accepting applications for 2020 Aspire Mississippi program

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From the Mississippi Development Authority:

The Mississippi Development Authority’s Asset Development Division is accepting applications for the 2020 Aspire Mississippi program. The program is designed to help communities become better places to live, work and visit through economic, community and workforce development.

“Participants of MDA’s Aspire Mississippi program master the leadership = community development = economic development model, sharpening their leadership skills to effectively develop their communities, which attracts private capital investment creating new jobs in their communities,” MDA Executive Director Glenn McCullough Jr. said in a statement. “Past participants of Aspire Mississippi demonstrated their commitment to bettering their communities through a variety of proactive projects that will bolster their economic development efforts for years to come.”

Aspire Mississippi provides support to counties as they identify marketable assets, allowing participants to increase industrial and economic development in their counties. The program helps communities develop projects that achieve significant and sustainable community and economic development outcomes. Curriculum focus areas include data-driven decision making and project mapping, as well as community, economic and workforce development.

The location for each session will alternate among the Aspire Mississippi counties. In addition to support from MDA, participants receive guidance from partners at the state’s universities, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and state and federal agencies.

Each Aspire Mississippi team is typically formed through the local economic development office and consists of approximately eight to 10 local stakeholders committed to enhancing their knowledge in key community and economic development areas. Teams from the following counties recently graduated from the 2019 Aspire Mississippi program: Covington, Lawrence, Leake, Panola, Sharkey and Walthall.

The 2020 Aspire Mississippi program begins in April and will conclude in late fall with each team’s project presentations and a graduation ceremony.

The deadline to apply for the 2020 program is Monday, Feb. 3. To apply, go to mississippi.org/aspire. For additional information, contact Ellen Bourdeaux with MDA’s Asset Development Division at 601-359-9333 or [email protected].

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Adopt-a-School training seeks to empower partnerships between churches and public schools

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Pastor Tony Evans, the Urban Alternative

Vicksburg will play host to a unique training designed to help churches partner with local schools to transform individuals, families and communities.

The training, a project of Pastor Tony Evan’s Urban Alternatives organization, is part of a nationwide Adopt-a-School Initiative, which provides attendees “the building blocks for starting or enhancing the delivery of social services to urban youth and their families,” the organization’s website states. “Participants will receive an overview of the process for adopting public schools and creating programs, including school-based mentoring, to meet the vast needs of public-school youth and their families.”

The training is hosted by the Warren County Youth Court and Unite Mississippi, the parent organization of numerous faith-based organizations that have “a desire to make communities whole in a grass-roots way,” said Larry Nicks, deputy director of Unite Mississippi.

Recognizing that churches and faith-based organizations are probably the most influential organizations inside many communities in Mississippi, the Adopt-a-School program seeks to develop partnerships between churches and public schools and offer mentoring to children and families.

“Our prison population is growing, and our school literacy problem is getting worse. If we can tap into the school population at the third-grade level, then we can make a difference in the quality of graduates and, of course, our workforce,” Nicks said.

Mentoring at-risk children at an early age, particularly at the third-grade level, is crucial, he said. If children can’t read by third grade “they’ll never catch up and be on level in college and in life.”

The goal is not to only mentor children but to make the family whole through mentoring, job skills and more. Churches with resources will be partnered with churches with few resources.

The problem of literacy must be addressed before it gets to the justice or penal system, said Judge Marcie Southerland with the Warren County Youth Court.

“We have got to reach these children and their families when the children are … in second and third grade, not when they’re 13, 14 and on up to 17 years of age,” she said, adding, “I know this will work.”

“The kids we’re trying to reach are the kids that, for whatever reason, haven’t had proper mentoring and proper upbringing at home,” said Chip Miskelly, chairman of Unite Mississippi. “These are kids who are falling through the cracks.”

“What we’re trying to do more than anything else, is give these kids a fighting chance,” he added.

“It’s a holistic approach to reach not only the kids, but the families as a whole.”

In this one-day training, attendees will learn how to analyze the needs of the community, engage with a local school, recruit and develop volunteers and how to raise the necessary funds to support the endeavor.

The training is Jan. 23, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the George Oaks Building at the Vicksburg-Warren County Hinds Community College Campus. Lunch will be served, sponsored by Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition of Claiborne and Warren Counties.

Cost of the training is $75 per person, and everyone is welcome. The training is designed for pastors, church and community leaders, and for people who are stakeholders in public schools including parents and teachers, or those who may be interested in becoming stakeholders.

“This is a top-notch training” with a successful track-record of more than 30 years, said Michelle Johnson, a Unite Mississippi board member and Vicksburg coordinator for the training.

For more information or to register, see the Adopt-A-School website or call Bill Collins with Urban Alternatives at 1-800-800-3222, Pastors’ coordinator Pastor James Bowman at 601-529-2044 or Vicksburg coordinator Michelle Johnson at 601-715-0522.

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Vicksburg Chess Club provides a way to exercise the brain for adults and children

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Vicksburg Chess Club

To many, chess is a complex board game that takes time and a great deal of focus to learn and play. It’s also a fun way to pass the time.

Chess is a great way to exercise the brain, too. Research has shown chess helps adults prevent or delay Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and some mental illnesses. In children, it sparks an interest in math and science as it helps them improve critical thinking and abstract reasoning skills, and find solutions to complex problems.

Vicksburg schools understand the benefits of chess and have added the board game to their extracurricular activities with the help of the Vicksburg Chess Club.

“Right now the Chess Club is trying to promote chess in lots of areas,” said Dr. Donald Rathburn, a member of the Vicksburg Chess Club. “We have the grade-school programs. We run chess tournaments. We have a men’s championship and a women’s championship every year. We now have the Chess League that’s been going on for four years and that gives us a championship, and there are more possible tournaments.”

Each Tuesday and Thursday the club meets at the Vicksburg Mall, 3505 Pemberton Square Blvd., at 6 p.m. to play chess and improve their skills. Everyone is invited to join in to watch or play in the matches.

At the weekly club meetings, members and guests have an opportunity to learn different tactics and styles of the game.

“There is a variety of chess,” Rathburn said. “It isn’t just two people playing chess. That is, of course, the most common way to play chess, but it could be two people on two boards or it could be two people on one board. There’s even a thing called random chess.”

The Vicksburg Chess Club also holds monthly chess matches. The next meet is on Jan. 11, 2020, at 10 a.m. in the Vicksburg Mall and as always, the event is free and everyone is welcome. 

For more information or to join the Vicksburg Chess Club and enhance your mind simply join them at their weekly meetings.

“Just come out on Thursday nights to the Vicksburg Mall,” Rathburn said. “We’ll train you and show you how to play chess. I emphasize having a good time. If your ego is involved, I don’t think you should play chess. Accept the fact that when you lose, you’re learning.”

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