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Vicksburg recognizes Anne Doyle for her service

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Anne Doyle (Photo via video screen grab)

The City of Vicksburg recognized Anne Doyle as its first city employee of the quarter during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting Monday.

Doyle has served the city for the past 25 and a half years as the administrative assistant to the fire chief.

Doyle worked for five fire chiefs during her tenure at the Vicksburg Fire Department from 1994 through 2020 and is still on the job.

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Silver Alert issued for Carthage woman

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Martha Louise Savell (photo courtesy MBI)

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has issued a Silver Alert for 80-year-old Martha Louise Savell of Carthage, Mississippi, in Leake County.

Savell is a white female, 5-feet 2-inches tall, weighing 140 pounds with brown/gray hair and blue eyes.

She was last seen Tuesday, Oct. 13, -at about 4 p.m. near the intersection of Risher Road and Madden Road in Leake County wearing a gray T-shirt, blue jeans, and black and white slip on shoes.

Savell is believed to be in a 2017 blue Nissan Versa, bearing a Mississippi tag of DBM0253 traveling east on Madden Road.

Family members say she suffers from a medical condition that may impair her judgement.

If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of Martha Louise Savell call the Leake County Sheriff’s Department at 601-267-7361.

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Crime

Judges agree on tougher bond conditions in firearm-related cases

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(Photo by Mdesigns from Pixabay)

If you’re accused of a firearm-related crime in Vicksburg, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, you will have new criteria to deal with as a condition of going home until your trial.

Monday, Mayor George Flaggs, Jr. sent a letter to all judges in the Vicksburg and Warren County courts asking for their assistance in curbing crime in the city. Specifically, he asked that they add GPS monitoring devices and a 7 p.m. curfew to any bonds on firearms related offenses.

The judges agreed.

Thursday, Vicksburg Municipal Court Judge Angela Carpenter sent a memo to Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore outlining how the municipal courts will apply the added criteria, effective immediately.

For misdemeanor cases, the court will add a bond amount, and the defendant must pay the bond as a condition of their release. Misdemeanors often are adjudicated without the use of bonds, but this new condition for firearms-related offenses will be made a condition of release.

For all cases, misdemeanor or felony, defendants will be fitted with a GPS ankle monitor before they are released and will need to adhere to a curfew of 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. as a condition of their bond.

Unless bond is denied altogether, felony cases also have bond amounts defendants will need to pay.

After arraignment in municipal or justice court, felons come under the jurisdiction of the county and circuit courts. At that point, a judge could change the criteria or add more to a defendant’s conditions of release before trial.

“They all agree,” Mayor Flaggs said. “It just makes sense.”

“I cannot be more complimentary of the judges,” he added.

With the GPS monitors, defendants who need to be out after 7 p.m. will be able to go to work or get needed medical assistance, but all their movements will be tracked. They will also be charged for the monitors.

Flaggs indicated that more than 70% of violent crimes are committed while defendants are out on bond. Bureau of Justice statistics indicate that about one-third of defendants released on bond commit another crime before trial or failed to appear in court as ordered.

“These are not new criminals,” Flaggs said, and he emphasized the need for tracking repeat offenders while under pre-trial release.

The mayor also wants to see a cross-jurisdictional database developed in Mississippi so that law enforcement and judges can see if a defendant has been issued bond in another city before setting bond on a new charge. Flaggs said he will be asking district attorneys and state legislators to develop such a system.

“We have to do a better job” of tracking repeat offenders, Flaggs said, adding that “you can’t have a revolving door in the courthouse.”

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Education

Hinds CC’s industry partnerships focus on business needs

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Among those participating in a recent tour of the KLLM Driving Academy were, front from left, Kirk Blankenship, vice president of driver resources at KLLM; Jim Richards, CEO and President at KLLM; Hinds President Dr. Stephen Vacik; back, Hinds Vice President Dr. Chad Stocks; Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell, Delta Regional Authority; Umesh Sanjanwala, state director, U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith's office; and Brad Ferguson, field representative for Central Mississippi, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker's office. (photo courtesy Hinds CC)

The federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority took a firsthand look at two of Hinds Community College’s partnerships with industry during a recent tour of the KLLM Driving Academy and Diesel Technology Academy, both in Richland.

The college’s partnerships with the industry leaders, KLLM Transport Services and Empire Truck Sales/Stribling Equipment, grew out of a need the companies had for trained employees. Hinds worked with the companies to craft training structures and time schedules that fit their needs, not traditional academic schedules.

“At DRA, we stress the importance of partnering with regional business leaders to develop workforce programs based on industry-specific needs,” said Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell. “Hinds Community College has done just that with the KLLM Driving Academy and Diesel Technology Academy, and I continue to be impressed by its vision and work to strengthen workforce pipelines in Mississippi.”

Caldwell toured both facilities with representatives of U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

“Everything we do is about workforce,” said Dr. Stephen Vacik, who became Hinds president July 1. “I was talking to Gov. Tate Reeves last week and he said, ‘Everything we do, whether it’s an English class, whether it’s welding and everything in between, it’s about workforce development.’ And I said, ‘you’re right.’

“We have a great team, and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. We’ve got some exciting things on the horizon,” Vacik said.

The KLLM partnership began in 2012 with the current building housing the academy opening in 2014. KLLM handles the training of truck drivers. Hinds handles the coursework.

“We started this driving academy for one reason – to staff our trucks,” said Jim Richards, president and CEO of KLLM Transport Services. “We partnered with Hinds Community College, which brought a lot of credibility to us immediately. They were here on the ground level. They really understood what we were trying to do and jumped in. I never felt trapped by academia in this program. It was all about whatever we needed to do, they were available to help us.”

The KLLM tour concluded with a significant milestone for the Hinds-sponsored Registered Apprenticeship truck driver program when Dr. Vacik presented the 200th apprentice completion certificate from the U.S. Department of Labor to Richards.

Hinds has a similar partnership with Empire Trucks Sales/Stribling Equipment to train diesel technicians and parts specialists. The partners have employed 71 students and 70 other companies have employed graduates.

The partnership began in 2016 when company officials saw the KLLM partnership and said they wanted the same deal as KLLM, said Hinds Vice President Dr. Chad Stocks.

A new cohort of 15 students enters the program every eight weeks if they meet minimum requirements in core subjects either on the ACT or college placement tests. The first 30 credit hours of the program are held at the Raymond Campus with the next 15 credit hours at the Diesel Technology Academy where students focus on either transportation or equipment for a technical certificate. Students have the opportunity to continue the program for an Associate of Science degree in Diesel Equipment Technology.

“We took the model we had at KLLM, we replicated it and modified it to fit the diesel tech industry,” Stocks said. “We spent a great deal of time looking at the whole industry, and not just what the training needs are today.

“The only way to get a great workforce project is listening to industry, having the flexibility of the college to put these practices in place and building a pipeline of qualified graduates so that they have a steady stream of employees into those fields,” he said.

Hinds Community College has received workforce development grants in the past from the Delta Regional Authority, which covers 252 counties and parishes of the eight-state Delta region that includes Mississippi.

Hinds received a grant last summer for $1.3 million to expand workforce development in three distinct areas via the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities grant initiative. Those areas include Advanced Manufacturing, Inland Waterway Maritime and Logger Equipment Operations. Established in 2000 by Congress, the Delta Regional Authority makes strategic investments of federal appropriations into the physical and human infrastructure of Delta communities.

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