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Two Virginia USACE Employees Arrested on Bribery, Kickback Charges

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An indictment unsealed Tuesday includes charges of bribery, conspiracy and unlawful kickbacks.

“This indictment alleges one of the most brazen corruption schemes in the history of federal contracting,” said U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen. “These charges are only the beginning of a far-reaching, steadfast effort.” Prosecutors say the defendants steered a contract worth $780 million to a favored Virginia-based contractor in exchange for millions of dollars in kickbacks that paid for Rolex watches, Neiman-Marcus clothing, airline tickets, home renovations and other personal expenses. The two Army Corps employees are Kerry F. Khan, a program manager, and Michael A. Alexander, a program director. Also charged are Khan’s son, Lee A. Khan and Harold F. Babb, the director of contracts for Eyak Technology, a Virginia-based contractor. Khan worked from his home in Alexandria, which stands out because it’s so opulent compared to the houses around it. “It used to look like all the other houses, but they tore it down and built this,” neighbor Eric Cativo said. The FBI is currently raiding eight locations – seven in Virginia and one in D.C. Curry Graham, director of public affairs for the Army Corps, said at least one of the Army Corps employees was arrested at work. He confirmed that search warrants were presented at the agency’s offices Tuesday, but referred other questions to the Department of Justice. “We hold our employees to a high standard, and we cooperate with all federal authorities to make sure that we get to the bottom of all these cases and allegations,” Graham said. See the video report at WJLA.com]]]]> ]]>

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USACE temporarily closes part of Arkabutla Lake campground

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(Photo by Thomas R Machnitzki - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12730385)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District has temporarily closed part of the South Abutment Campground at Arkabutla Lake due to a power outage.

A total of 57 campsites are affected, and repairs to the electrical system are expected to continue into next week. Current campers may move from their original sites during this time. The impacted sites will remain closed to reservations until repairs are completed.

The remainder of South Abutment Campground is open for reservations, as well as Dub Patton Campground. Campsites can be reserved online at www.recreation.gov or by calling 877-444-6777.

For more information, contact the Arkabutla Lake Field Office at 662-562-6261.

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Crime

Robber uses a gun to steal bike from 13-year-old

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports the following incidents occurred Monday, Oct. 26, and Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Monday at 5:52 p.m. officers with the Vicksburg Police Department responded to the area of Fairground Street in reference to a strong-arm robbery. The complainant stated that an unknown black male pushed his 13-year-old son off his bike, and when his son tried to retrieve his bike, the unknown male pointed a gun at him.

On Tuesday at 8:11 p.m. officers responded to the 400 block of Cain Ridge Road in reference to shots fired. According to witnesses, subjects in a maroon sedan fired six shots. One 9-mm shell casing was recovered at the scene. An hour later, officers were dispatched to Domino’s Pizza, 725 Highway 61 South, where one of the delivery drivers reported someone had shot at his car while he was stopped at the intersection of Cain Ridge Road and Columbia Avenue. A bullet hole was found in the trunk of the vehicle.

Tuesday at 8:41 p.m., officers responded to a residence in the 700 block of Fort Hill Drive in reference to an auto burglary. The victim stated that an unknown black male entered his 2008 Hyundai Santa Fe and took less than $10 in loose change.

If you have information on any of these incidents, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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Events

Women leaders invited to Empower Hour on Thursday

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Justice Court Judge Gay Polk-Payton

Women leaders in Vicksburg and Warren County are invited to Empower Hour at noon Thursday at the Warren County Courthouse on the Jackson Street side.

The event is sponsored by Circuit Court Judge Toni Walker Terrett of Mississippi’s Ninth Judicial District, and features Justice Court Judge Gay Polk-Payton from Forrest County as well as trailblazers Gertrude Young and Patricia “Petesy” Peterson Smith.

Seating will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions and be sure to wear your mask.

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