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This Starbucks thing again



Once again the question of a Starbucks coming to Vicksburg has become a thing on social media.

The plans for a Starbucks have been submitted and are sitting on the shelves or desk at the city planning office. The Vicksburg Daily News published them a long, long time ago in internet days.

We took this picture way back in the dark ages of April, 2019.

The opposition to Starbucks in Vicksburg seems to be multifaceted. There are a lot of people who don’t like Starbucks for personal reasons. Reasons all the way from a dislike of Starbucks due to rumors of the CEO saying bad things about our military to rumors of the way police have been treated in their stores. The fact checkers say most of it is bull but that don’t seem to matter a whole lot to the internet.

It seems the big issue for most of Vicksburg is the chosen location. Right next to Chik-fil-a and, more offensively, right next to Cafe Paradiso.

Cafe Paradiso is Vicksburg’s favorite coffee shop according to a recent vote. It sits nestled in the corner of a strip mall that includes the wildly popular FitChef, Gumbo Pot and Atami eateries. The plans for a Starbucks places it right in front of Cafe Paradiso. Add in the rumors that the city was planning to spend a bunch of money for an access road to the fire department right in front of the proposed Starbucks and suddenly all the red flags are in the air.

This random picture of coffee makes you feel good.

For one, we support one another in the South, sometimes. But we really support one another in the South when some big name, out of state, and suspected commie folks come poking around. We’ve been writing songs about that stuff since Jeff Davis was plucking weevils off his mom’s freshly pulled turnip greens. Don’t come round here trying to tell us how to make our coffee. Weevils may or may not be up on some turnip greens, but you get the picture. Merica.

There are other locations. For example, there is a strip mall that could use a big name infusion. There is also a big mall that could use a big name infusion. There are a lot of locations around town at interstate exits that could use a big name infusion. But putting Starbucks  in front of Cafe Paradiso is a really, really bad idea that will cause that Starbucks to be forever scorned by the community.

People are going to go to anything new in Vicksburg. It is how we do things. The opposition to Starbucks can be overcome on all the other issues except the chosen location.

Give us a Starbucks.

Locate it where it won’t directly harm a locally owned coffee shop.


Thanks to you, we had more than 3 million hits this month



Photo by Leslie Smith Hollowell

When we say we are the largest, most read paper in town, we mean it, and we’ve got the numbers to prove it. But before we do that, let me take a moment to thank you for putting us over the 3 million mark for the month of January.

A screenshot of a total of 3 million hits in January as of 6 p.m.

Our website got over 3 million hits in the month of January. We can break that number down to any demographic you want to see, but know this: Vicksburg obviously loves local news done by a locally owned company that is invested in the community.

We live, work and play here. We own property here. We are invested in our community and committed to providing the news—the good and the bad.

If anyone else wants you to advertise with them, make them show you their numbers.

The hard work of Ronni Mott, Keith Phillips, Kami May, Gabrielle Terret, Gordon Cotton, Thomas Parker and Chris Tankesly are greatly appreciated. This team of reporters, interviewers and news hounds/junkies make work fun and help to keep the focus on providing Vicksburg with the most accurate news delivered quickly and with compassion.

We love providing you with the news and we love that you love seeing it.

2020 is going to be even bigger and better. Vicksburg, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

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The significance of 92.6 – Ann Dahl on the Backwater Flood



It has been a while since I put my thoughts down on paper, but I am back. Many of you thought that once the 2019 floodwaters receded you had heard the last of us. You would be wrong. Those of us that survived the historic 2019 Yazoo Backwater flood have been assessing our damages, watching the weather and gathering our strength. The battle to right the injustice of our government’s failure to complete the Yazoo Backwater pumps rages on, and we embrace it and are proud to carry the torch!

The thing that has spurred me into action is the significance of today. Today the backwater level is at 92.6’. For many of you that number might not be significant, so let me see if I can put it into perspective for you.

Last year the backwater level did not reach 92.6’ until February 25th, so on surface value it would seem that we are in worse shape than we were last year.  This year, however, the Mississippi River is expected to crest at Vicksburg tomorrow and we should be able to open the Steele Bayou Drainage Structure around February 1st and start slowly draining the backwater. That certainly will not be an end to our flood woes for the year as we still have spring rains and snow melt to endure. Without pumps, everything hinges on the Mississippi River level getting and staying lower that the Yazoo backwater level so that we can continue draining the backwater from the bathtub the government built around us. The meteorologists cannot accurately predict far enough ahead to know if this year will be a repeat of last year – only God knows that. The Yazoo Backwater Project was not designed to depend on a wing and a prayer to prevent flooding; it was designed to have pumps to drain the bathtub when the Mississippi River floods – just like the twenty-two other federally funded pumps operating within 200 miles of us. But that bit of history does not define the significance of today – read on.

The level the backwater is at today, according to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), is a tenth of an inch higher than it would have crested last year if the pumps had been in operation. The reason this is significant is that after over ten years of claiming that the Yazoo pumps were going to drain and destroy the wetlands within the Yazoo basin, last year the environmental zealots completely contradicted their original premise for opposing the pumps and now claim that based on the USACE findings the pumps would not even work to prevent flooding. (See my Fact vs. Fiction page for references.)

These same so-called environmentalists like to claim that the residents of this area know it is in a flood plain and just need to move. That is where they over simplify the situation and underestimate us. We don’t need anyone to point out to us that we live in a floodplain. Not only are we aware of it, but for the most part we are equipped for it. Our homes are not built below sea level like most of New Orleans. Our homes are built to withstand the typical flooding that occurs every couple of years.

That gets me back to today and that 92.6’ flood elevation. Today, just as it would have been last year if the pumps were in operation, there are no homes flooded and no major highways closed, perfectly demonstrating the ability of the Yazoo pumps to prevent major flooding.

Today there are, however, approximately 354,000 acres are unnecessarily flooded in the Yazoo basin, including 109,000 acres of farm land. We are still at least a month away from planting season and our farmers are cautiously optimistic that they will get most of it drained and planted in time to not repeat last year’s disaster. You see, we get it. For the farmers of this area, this is the life they choose or were born into.

What we don’t get and will not accept is that we are the only backwater basin on the Lower Mississippi River with an incomplete project and no pumps in operation to prevent the most catastrophic of floods from inundating us for up to seven months at a time. So do not think that you will only hear from us when the water enters our homes or an entire season of crops is lost. The battle rages on and we are not going anywhere until the Yazoo pumps are operational.

This opinion piece is by Ann Dahl and is published on her website




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New Year’s resolutions will have you looking forward to reaching a goal



The coming of the New Year means room for new opportunities, new ideas and maybe, a new you.

New Year’s resolutions trace to ancient Roman mythology and the god Janus, where we get January. Janus had two faces. One of the faces looked to the future and the other face looked to the past. Romans believed that Janus could forgive them for their past actions while blessing them for the future. 

Over 66 million people make New Year’s resolutions in the United States, and those personal promises can lead to big improvements. Whether the resolution is to save money, get better grades or work out more often, looking forward to a goal can make each day purposeful. Making a promise to reach the goal makes it more likely that you will get there.

Here are a few tips to making resolutions and sticking to them:

  • Be realistic. Make the goal specific  and achievable. Big goals are great, but don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • Start with one goal, not several.
  • Make a plan. What steps do you need to take to achieve your goal?
  • Tell someone about your goal. Don’t keep it a secret. People will want to support you.
  • Track your progress. Keeping a daily journal is one way to keep the journey real.
  • Celebrate milestones along the way.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. Change is hard, and slip ups are human. Instead of seeing them as failure, try to see them as learning opportunities.
  • Keep trying. Take it a step at a time, recommitting to the goal every day.

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