will host its annual July 4 fireworks celebration along the river
shortly after dusk. The 22nd Annual Lake St. John
flotilla will be July 5 starting at
Jobless: Unemployment percentages are falling, a sign the economy is
improving ever so slightly from early spring. The numbers in the
workforce continue to decline, reflecting out-migration of workers.
And the regional economy has lost jobs compared to 2013. AdamsCounty
has 7.6% jobless, Jefferson 14.2%, Franklin 9.0%, and Wilkinson
10.0%. The four-county area employs 19,440 people, down 500 jobs
from a year ago. Concordia Parish reported 9.0% jobless, Catahoula
6.6%, and Tensas
8.8%. The tri-parish area now employs 11,877 workers, 36 fewer than
last year. Statistics are compiled by the Miss. Department of
Employment Security and the Louisiana Department of Labor.
Oil spill: Oil was spilled on about two miles of the Jackson, La.
road in WilkinsonCounty. The sheriff’s
department reported the spill. R.W. Delaney was hired to clean up
the mess, first thought to be the responsibility of Halcon Oil. It
turned out that a Halcon subcontractor was actually responsible.
Sand was mixed with the oil to absorb the contaminant.Unfortunately, the clean-up was not complete, with
supervisors saying mounds of sand were still along the roadside. The
county will contact the parties involved to make sure the clean-up
is finished properly.
Riverland to the good: Riverland Medical Center Administrator Billy
Rucker reported the hospital made just under $290,000 in May, the
fifth time in six months it made a profit. Rucker credited improved
services and his employees’ hard work for the good news.
Rape arrests: Two Natchez
men allegedly raped a 14-year-old female at Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Police arrested Alvion Simpson, 20, and John Sanders, 21. The teen
said she was riding in the car with the men and they provided
alcohol. She became intoxicated and was then raped.
Jury suit: The Concordia Parish Police Jury may file suit against
Plains Marketing for damages to
Kemp Landing Road in Monterey. The oil tanker company has been
using the road for years. Jury president Melvin Ferrington said the
company’s heavy trucks have caused at least $500,000 in damage to
the road. A parish ordinance limits the weight of loaded trucks and
Plains violated this law, he said.
Public hearing:AdamsCounty Supervisors will
hold a public hearing as part of their regular meeting on July 7 at to discuss whether to adopt
specific building codes and enforcement countywide. The legislature
has given boards of supervisors the choice to opt out of the new
regulations, if counties desire to do so. Supervisors could require
all contractors working in the county to be licensed and homeowners
and businesses to secure building permits, inspections and pay fees.
Supervisor Dist. 1 Mike Lazarus said he didn’t think supervisors had
an interest in expanding regulations. The public is invited to the
Horse killer: The Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office is looking for
information leading to the arrest of the person or persons who
randomly shot and killed two horses and wounded another so badly, it
had to be put down. The incidents occurred near
LakeConcordia. If you have
info about the shootings, call 318-336-5231.
Alternative school: Ombudsman Educational Services of Libertyville,
Illinois, will run the
alternative school for a second year beginning this fall. The
district will move the alternative school to the
School, since the facility has extra
Wilkinson news:CountyChancery Clerk Thomas
Tolliver Jr. told supervisors he had spent nearly four days in Houston talking to oilmen interested in
drilling the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation in WilkinsonCounty.
Supervisors expect the number of drilling rigs to increase
dramatically, as will the wear and tear on the county’s roads.
Administrator Bruce Lewis said the county’s recycling program will
begin soon, with recycling cans placed around the county.
Supervisors expect to save as much as $30,000 on trash pickup and
disposal in the coming year, awarding a low bid of $8.25 per month
per customer for residential pickup to Waste Pro and $22 per ton for
disposal to Riverbend Environmental Services.
Deal still in the works: The final agreement for sale of NatchezRegionalMedicalCenter has been delayed as
Community Health Systems of Tennessee seeks a special economic
development designation from the state for its purchase. Such a
designation would help CHS obtain economic development loans and
preferred tax status. A monkey wrench has been thrown into the
negotiations when it was learned that supervisors could not take
some of CHS’s advance tax payments and apply them to the hospital’s
loans and past due bills. Such tax payments would have to be
escrowed for taxes only. That would leave supervisors and Regional
trustees with unpaid millions in debt and past dues. Regional could
amend its bankruptcy filings to not pay unsecured creditors.
Supervisors could also attribute residents’ Homestead Exemption in
payment of the loans, as well as raise property taxes. It’s hoped
that CHS’s economic development status might cycle some state money
into the deal.
MDOT project: MDOT and T.L. Wallace Construction of Columbia, Miss.,
will begin construction to lengthen the HomochittoRiverBridge on Hwy. 33 in FranklinCounty. The lengthening of the bridge is
necessary due to the erosion of the river banks. During
construction, one lane of the bridge may be closed at times. Work
begins this month and should be completed by Oct. 2014.
administrator Charlie Brown, 86, died after a long illness. Brown
was the county’s first administrator and served in his post for 17
years. Vernon Morris White Sr.
also passed. He was Concordia Parish’s civil defense and emergency
preparedness director for 31 years. He was 74.
Up and down: The Mississippi River
at Natchez-Vidalia is at just over 36 feet. Forecasters say the
river will rise to 39.7 feet by July 9 and then begin a slow fall to
32.8 feet by July 23.
schools: The Franklin County School Board has requested an
additional $116,000 from supervisors to fund the local schools in
the coming year. Supervisors will have to adjust their own budget or
increase property taxes to fund the request.
Judge’s rulings: Judge Lillie Blackmon Sanders presided over circuit
court in WilkinsonCounty. The judge accepted
guilty pleas from Keyonda Begettsy and Stephanie Beverly for
introducing contraband to the county prison. They were placed on
probation. William Christopher Woodall had sentence withheld for
also introducing contraband to the prison. Andreius Samuels was
charged with sexual battery and pled guilty to the lesser charge of
contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He was sentenced to six
months in jail but released for time served. Shanell Monqiue Wilson
pled guilty to malicious mischief and was placed on probation.
William Nathan Gardner pled guilty to possession of meth. He was
entered into the drug court program. Kenita Weatherspoon entered a
plea of guilty to a lesser charge of malicious mischief and was
non-adjudicated and placed on probation.
Chief reports: Interim Ferriday Police Chief Derrick Freeman said a
gang fight in town led to shootings. No one was killed or wound, but
seven Ferriday and one
teen were all arrested. Freeman said a group called, “the Swim
Team,” wants to show how tough it is. But the chief promised arrest
any gang lawbreakers to curb violence.
Jonesville water system: In its annual water report, the town of Jonesville reported four
instances of boil water advisories. The town was required to test
two samples per month for coliform bacteria contamination and no
detected results were found. One of the town’s test sites showed
larger than expected amounts of lead, which was probably from the
corrosion of household plumbing systems or erosion of natural
deposits. But the level tested was still low and within the
Brick repairs: Memorial Park in Natchez sidewalks are being repaired thanks to
a $25,000 MDOT grant that provides youth employment for the summer.
Civil War camp: Historic
JeffersonCollege will host a Civil
War camp for children ages 8-12 July 9-11. The program is designed
to help young people learn about the art of Civil War soldiering.
They will fire black powder weapons, learn military drill and
receive lessons in cavalry tactics and the use of artillery. At the
end of the three days, the cadets earn the rank of private first
class and receive a diploma as members of the Jefferson Military
College Avengers. The fee for the program is $35 per child. For more
info and to register your child, call 601-442-2901.