Online Edition                                         Natchez, Mississippi                                       

 

Natchez News

       by Peter Rinaldi

 

Christmas parades: Area holiday parade schedules include Bude-Meadville, Dec. 4 at 5:30 pm., Jonesville, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m., Ferriday, Dec. 6 at 6 p.m., Natchez, Dec. 6 at 6 pm., Vidalia, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m., Monterey, Dec. 7 at 3 p.m., and Woodville Dec. 13 at 1 p.m.

 

Jobless percentages: While the regional unemployment percentages have improved slightly, joblessness continues to put a damper on the economy. The latest unemployment statistics show Adams County having 7.4% of its workforce without jobs, Franklin 7.8%, Jefferson 12.2%, Claiborne 11.8%, Amite 8.6%, and Wilkinson 8.8%. Concordia Parish reports 11.6% without work, Catahoula 7.6%, and Tensas 9%.

 

Teacher pleads not guilty: Stephanie L. Adams, 39, a former Adams County Christian School teacher, pled not guilty after she was indicted by an Adams County grand jury for touching a child with a lustful purpose. Adams allegedly behaved improperly toward a 17-year-old female student at the school from January-May 2014. She remains free on a $25,000 bond.

 

Christmas in Natchez: The city welcomes tourists and locals to dozens of events during December, including concerts, choral sings, day and evening candlelight tours of decorated homes, a Christmas parade, events with Santa and more. The events are coordinated by the Natchez Convention and Visitors Bureau and include free as well as ticketed events. For more info, log on to visitnatchez.org (800-647-6724) or natchezpilgrimage.com (601-446-6631).

 

Dec. 6 battle: Jonesville mayoral candidates Hiram Evans and Bill Bullock will fight it out for the town’s top post in the Dec. 6 runoff. Louisiana voters will choose either Mary Landrieu or Bill Cassidy for a U.S. Senate seat. In the Fifth District congressional race, Dr. Ralph Abraham or Jamie Mayo will earn the seat now held by Vance McAllister.

 

The winner: Walt Brown earned 57% of the vote in the runoff to beat Patricia Dunmore for Adams County Court Judge. Brown takes office in January.

 

Franklin Supervisors: The Franklin County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing Dec. 2 to consider applying for HOME Investment Partnership grant money. The state funds help low income homeowners repair their properties.

 

Charity begins at home: The Concordia Christmas Charity Fund is soliciting cash donations to purchase food and toys for the needy this Christmas. All branches of Tensas State Bank, Concordia Bank and Delta Bank will accept donations. The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office will repair used bikes and wheeled toys to give to local children. Inmates will repair the bikes. Distribution of the food and toys will be Dec. 20 at 8:30 a.m. at the Ferriday High cafeteria.

 

Natchez City Hall: Natchez aldermen agreed to spend $90,000-$100,000 in emergency repairs to the exterior of city council chambers. Mayor “Butch Brown” announced the Delta Regional Authority will give Natchez a $100,000 grant to help in the planning of the 2016 tricentennial celebration. The city has hired two full-time employees to plan and coordinate tricentennial activities. The city has received another grant, this time $25,000 to help clean up illegal dump sites.

 

Sign up for classes: Registration for the spring semester at Co-Lin Natchez and Wesson continues: Academic, vocational, special interest and online courses are available. A completed two-year course of academic study can lead to a two-year degree, with credits transferable to a four-year state university. Financial aid is available for those who qualify. Student orientation in Natchez is Jan. 6. Classes begin Jan. 7. For more info, call 601-442-9111 or log on to colin.edu.

 

Pleads not guilty: Charles Kevin Nations, 42, pled not guilty, after a grand jury indicted him for allegedly embezzling $165,000 from the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center. He could receive up to 20 years in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

 

Airport work: The Concordia Parish Police Jury will clear a line of trees adjacent to the parish airport in preparation for applying for Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) operation. The IFR designation will allow the airport to receive a $200,000 grant to install an automated weather station.

 

More water: Wilkinson County Supervisors hired a contractor to install a steel T-beam along the Sam Field Spillway at Lake Mary. Locals had complained the water levels were too low. The T-beam will raise the level of the lake by 16 inches.

 

Grand jury: An Adams County grand jury indicted LaVonda D. Jackson, 46, of Natchez, for the July stabbing death of Tere McGraw, 30. She remains free on a $45,000 bond.

 

New cable line: Cableworks of Baton Rouge will begin installing fiber optic cable along the eastbound span of the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge. Completion of the $323,000 project will mean some lane closures and slower than usual traffic along the bridge this month.

 

Ornament contest: Historic Jefferson College is sponsoring a Christmas ornament contest for students in grades 6-12. The handmade ornaments will be on display on the museum’s Christmas trees. Awards for the best ornaments will be given on Dec. 17. For more info, call 601-442-2901.

 

River levels: Typical of late fall and early winter, the Mississippi River at Natchez-Vidalia now stands at 20.9 feet. The river should fall to 16.8 feet by Dec. 19.

 

Alcorn State fees: The state college board agreed to waive out-of-state fees for Alcorn students. Alcorn’s new flat rate tuition for all students is similar to that adopted by Delta State and Mississippi Valley State. The new rate goes into effect for the fall 2015 semester.

 

Salary increase: The Concordia Parish School board increased the salaries of Monterey basketball coaches, considering their season schedules are five weeks longer than the football coaches.

 

Recycling: All Wilkinson County public and private schools now have recycling bins.

 

So poor: While just 13.7% of the U.S. population and 19.8% of Mississippi’s population is below the federal poverty line, Southwest Mississippi remains poverty stricken with 24.4% of Adams County residents defined as poor. The percentages below poverty in nearby counties are: Jefferson 39.2%, Wilkinson 18%, Franklin 20.6%, and Amite 24.4%.  

 

 

 

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