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This Day in History – September 29, 2011

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1789 The United States Department of War first establishes a regular army with a strength of several hundred men. 1789 The 1st United States Congress adjourns. Roman Catholic hierarchy is re-established in England and Wales by Pope Pius IX. 1864 American Civil War: The Battle of Chaffin’s Farm is fought. 1885 The first practical public electric tramway in the world is opened in Blackpool, England. 1907 The cornerstone is laid at Washington National Cathedral in the U.S. capital. 1916 John D. Rockefeller becomes the second billionaire. 1941 World War II: Holocaust in Kiev, Ukraine: German Einsatzgruppe C begins the Babi Yar massacre, according to the Einsatzgruppen operational situation report. 1943 World War II: U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Italian Marshal Pietro Badoglio sign an armistice aboard the Royal Navy battleship HMS Nelson off Malta. 1951 The first live sporting event seen coast-to-coast in the United States, a college football game between Duke and the University of Pittsburgh, is televised on NBC. 1954 The convention establishing CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) is signed. 1957 20 MCi (740 petabecquerels) of radioactive material is released in an explosion at the Soviet Mayak nuclear plant at Chelyabinsk. 1966 The Chevrolet Camaro, originally named Panther, is introduced. 1975 WGPR in Detroit, Michigan, becomes the world’s first black-owned-and-operated television station. 1979 Pope John Paul II becomes the first pope to set foot on Irish soil with his pastoral visit to the Republic of Ireland. 1982 The 1982 Chicago Tylenol murders begin when the first of seven individuals dies in metropolitan Chicago. 1983 1st time Congress invokes War Powers Act 1983 Oakland A’s Mike Warren no-hits Chicago White Sox, 3-0 1985 First of 5 cyanide-laced Tylenol victims dies 1988 Space Shuttle: NASA launches STS-26, the return to flight mission, after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The mission logo of STS-26, flown by OV-103. 1990 Construction of the Washington National Cathedral is completed. 1990 The YF-22, which would later become the F-22 Raptor, flies for the first time. 1995 The United States Navy disbands Fighter Squadron 84 (VF-84), nicknamed the “Jolly Rogers”. 2001 The Syracuse Herald-Journal, a U.S. newspaper dating back to 1839, ceases publication. 2004 The asteroid 4179 Toutatis passes within four lunar distances of Earth. 2004 The Burt Rutan Ansari X Prize entry SpaceShipOne performs a successful spaceflight, the first of two required to win the prize. 2005 United States Senate confirms John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States. 2006 US Representative Mark Foley resigns after allegations of inappropriate emails. 2006 Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907 collides in mid-air with an Embraer Legacy business jet near Peixoto de Azevedo, Mato Grosso, Brazil, killing 154 total people, and triggering a Brazilian aviation crisis. 2007 Calder Hall, the world’s first commercial nuclear power station, is demolished in a controlled explosion. 2008 Following the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual, The Dow Jones Industrial Average falls 777.68 points, the largest single-day point loss in its history. 2009 An 8.0 magnitude earthquake near the Samoan Islands causes a tsunami.]]]]> ]]>

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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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