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Warren County adopts measures to close bars and limit people in stores and on store property

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(Photo by Billy Hathorn - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41035029)

In a specially called Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting this morning, the board passed an emergency order mandating closure of bars and eliminating loitering on convenience store lots or other retail properties among other measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Following a discussion with Board Attorney Blake Teller as to whether the additional language in the resolution was applicable, the measure passed 4-0. District 4 Supervisor Shawn Jackson was unable to attend this morning’s hastily called session.

The resolution adds provisions in addition to the governor’s executive order yesterday.

District 1 Supervisor Edward Herring said the board conferred with Warren County Emergency Management Director John Elfer and Sheriff Martin Pace regarding certain aspects of the language and scope of the resolution.

Sheriff Pace reported to the Board that the Arby’s located inside the Love’s Truck Stop at Flowers has been in compliance for almost a week. They have closed their dining area and drive through is closed from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. The remainder of the truck stop continues to operate 24/7.

“I commend the Warren County Board of Supervisors for the decisions they’ve made related to COVID-19,” Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said in a statement following the meeting. “The collaboration we’re seeing between the two boards is monumental. Vicksburg and Warren County taxpayers are the real winners when our two boards work together.”

Read the full text of the resolution below:

EMERGENCY ORDER TO CONTROL OR RESTRICT EGRESS, INGRESS, AND MOVEMENT WITHIN THE COUNTY DUE TO THE SPREAD OF THE CORONA VIRUS (COVID -19) AND IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE

WHEREAS, pursuant to§ 33-15-17 of the Mississippi Code of 1972, as amended, entitled Emergency Management Local Organization, authorizes the Board of Supervisors of the County to enter such resolutions and orders as may be reasonable and necessary to control or restrict egress, ingress and movement within Warren County during an emergency to the degree necessary to facilitate the protection of life and property; and

WHEREAS, the President of the United States and the Governor of Mississippi have declared a state of emergency because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the City of Vicksburg and Warren County passed a Joint Declaration of State of Emergency in Vicksburg Warren County on March 16, 2020; and

WHEREAS, COVID-19 has spread across this nation and is a worldwide pandemic resulting in 320 positive confirmed cases and 1 death in Mississippi as reported by the Mississippi Department of Health as of March 24, 2020; and

WHEREAS, the Mississippi Department of Health and the CDC have advised all citizens to practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet apart from one another; and

WHEREAS, the President of the United States, the CDC, the Governor of Mississippi and the Mississippi Health Department have recommended that gatherings of more than 10 people be avoided; and

WHEREAS, extraordinary measures related to the spread of the COVID-19 are necessary for the health, safety, welfare and good order to protect the public.

NOW, THEREFORE, WE, THE WARREN COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN THIS BOARD PURSUANT TO §33-15-17 OF THE MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT LOCAL ORGANIZATION, HEREBY ISSUES THIS RESOLUTION AND ORDER THAT AN EMERGENCY EXISTS IN WARREN COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI DUE TO THE SPREAD OF THE CORONA VIRUS (COVID-19) AND IN THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE, DO HEREBY ORDER THAT UNTIL NOON ON APRIL 6, 2020, UNLESS FURTHER EXTENDED, AS FOLLOWS:

1. Most places that have public assembly such as theaters, churches, places of entertainment, and other places where the public gathers from time to time have already adopted policies of closing, or are already limiting the number of persons allowed inside at the same time. Regardless, there should not be gatherings of more than 10 people at an event. None of the abovementioned places shall allow gatherings of more than 10 people for as long as this resolution and order is in effect.

2. Bars, nightclubs, lounges, and taverns shall close for the duration of this resolution and order.

3. Restaurants shall close dine-in services, but may provide food for pick-up, curbside service, delivery, or drive-through services to the extent allowed by law. There shall not be more than 10 employees and customers on the premises of the abovementioned businesses at any one time. These establishments must close all pick-up, curbside service, delivery, or drive-through services by 11 :00 p.m. and remain closed until 5:00 a.m.

4. Retail and convenience stores shall allow no more than 10 persons inside the store and no more than 10 persons on the parking lot/gas service areas of the premises at any one time.

5. The measures detailed in this Resolution and Order of Warren County (other than those referring to places that are venues of public assembly) apply only to the specific businesses listed herein which are outside the Vicksburg City limits, and are applicable so long as this resolution and order is in effect.

THIS PROCLAMATION SHALL BE IN EFFECT BEGINNING WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2020 AT 12:00 NOON AND CONTINUE TO NOON APRIL 6, 2020, UNLESS EXTENDED BY FURTHER ORDER OF THIS BOARD.

Ronni Mott contributed to this story.

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Alcorn student leader works to advance other students in STEM fields

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Alexandria Williams (photo courtesy ASU)

Last year, Alcorn State University was granted its official charter for the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers Chapter. This year, the organization appointed its first student leader.

Alexandria Williams, a junior computer science major from Detroit, Michigan, was named the first Miss NOBCChE for the Alcorn chapter. The organization assists aspiring STEM students in gathering knowledge about the field and becoming STEM professionals.

Solidifying her leadership role in the chapter is significant for Williams because she feels the chapter can achieve excellence. She’s happy to play a critical role in the chapter’s legacy on campus.

“It’s an incredible honor to be crowned Alcorn’s first Miss NOBCChE,” Williams said. “Alcorn’s chapter is destined for greatness, so this is history in the making. To be a part of this history feels amazing.”

Sonia Eley, NOBCChE adviser and chemistry professor, is confident in Williams’ ability to represent the chapter.

“Alexandria possesses the qualities it takes to lead this chapter,” Eley said. “Her intelligence, rapport with her peers and love for STEM make her the ideal selection for the position. I have faith that she will be an excellent leader whose exceptional decision-making skills would move this chapter forward.”

In her decision making, Williams relies on faith to steer her into her purpose. She’s confident that accepting her leadership role is the right path for her.

“I try to align everything I do with God’s purpose in my life,” she said. “I joined NOBCChE last school year and served as the social media and graphic design chairman. Through my experience, I learned more about my field of study, gained community service hours and made new friends. I had such an amazing experience that when I was presented with the opportunity to represent the organization, I couldn’t resist accepting the position.”

The chapter showcases the talent of Alcorn’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors. Williams applauds NOBCChE for providing a platform for aspiring Black STEM professionals.

“I believe that Alcorn’s NOBCChE chapter is important because the world needs to recognize the power of talented Black STEM students,” she said. “We are capable of being great in this space, and we possess the ability to change the STEM profession’s landscape. NOBCChE is one of many platforms that showcases our talent and worth.”

Ever-changing technological advances inspired Williams to become a computer science major. Watching these advancements fuel her desire to be one of the future’s leading engineers.

“We witness technological advances often. The world is transitioning to a new technological age,” she said. “We have autonomous vehicles, face detection in the palm of our hands and scientists are equipped to reverse paralysis. During this change, the world is searching for people to develop new technologies and introduce them to the world. Those professionals are engineers, and for some time, I’ve been dreaming about becoming one.”

Encouraging younger students to pursue STEM programs and careers also excites Williams. Last summer in her hometown, she created Coder Gals, a four-week program that introduces girls in grades three through five to STEM and coding concepts. Williams prepares a curriculum for the students, hosts workshops, trains mentors and distributes newsletters to parents. The lack of women engineers was Williams’ motivation for starting the initiative.

“I started a chapter in my community because of the lack of female representation in STEM fields. We strive to spark young girls’ interest in coding through fun, creative, and collaborative projects and create the foundation for their future success. We instill in them that they can succeed in any male-dominated field that they choose.”

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USACE publishes mainline levees Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

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Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published its Final Supplement II to the 1976 Final Environmental Impact Statement, Mississippi River and Tributaries Project, Mississippi River Mainline Levees in the Federal Register.

Through evaluation of information and data obtained from levee inspections, seepage analyses, research, studies and engineering assessments, the USACE Memphis, Vicksburg and New Orleans districts collectively identified 143 additional work items along various reaches of the Mississippi River mainline levees  feature of the MR&T project. These work items are remedial measures to control seepage and/or raise and stabilize deficient sections of the existing levees and floodwalls to maintain the structural integrity and stability of the MRL system.

The 143 work items constitute the proposed action for this Final SEIS II and are located across portions of seven states: Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. This document is intended to supplement and, as necessary, augment the 1976 FEIS and 1998 Supplemental EIS to achieve USACE’s primary goals for the MR&T:

  • providing flood risk reduction from the Project Design Flood; and
  • being an environmentally sustainable project.

The Final SEIS II is available online at the USACE Vicksburg District website. The 30-day review period begins Friday, Nov. 13, and ends Monday, Dec. 14.

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Crime

VPD reports a string of burglaries from Tuesday through Thursday

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The Vicksburg Police Department reports that several burglaries occurred this week from Tuesday through Thursday.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 5:58 a.m. officers responded to 1601 North Frontage Road in reference to a residential burglary. The victim advised he discovered the lock on his trailer was broken and multiple power tools valued at $5,000 were missing.

Tuesday at 11 p.m., officers responded to Parts Supply, 2406 South Frontage Road, in reference to an auto burglary. The victim stated he saw a white male wearing a camo jacket run from the cab of his truck carrying his lunch box while the driver was making a delivery to the store.

On Wednesday, Nov. 11, a victim came to the police department at 11:59 a.m. to report an auto burglary. The theft occurred on either Bridge Street or Evans Alley, sometime between Nov. 2 and Nov. 3. A Taurus 9-mm handgun was taken from the unlocked vehicle.

On Thursday, Nov. 12, at 8:41 a.m. a victim came to the police department to report an auto burglary. A black, white and lime green Scott bicycle was stolen off the back of the victim’s 2017 Nissan Altima. The bicycle is valued at around $3,000.

Also on Thursday, officers responded to Tri-State Tires, 2209 Washington St., at 10:19 a.m. for a business burglary. The complainant stated one of the U-Haul transports valued at $9,000 was stolen Tuesday, Nov. 10.

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

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