City/county bickering hurts everyone

Now it’s the disaster plan that is the source of disagreement. Mayor Leyens is revising the city’s disaster plan, but apparently feels that a countywide plan would be best for the citizens of Vicksburg and Warren County. He has criticized the county’s disaster plan, and now threatens to go forward with the separate plan for the city unless the county comes to the bargaining table. Admittedly, although our mayor is endowed with plenty of sense, when it comes to diplomatic skills, he is clueless. Does that excuse the apparent lack of cooperation exhibited by county leaders? Absolutely not.  It’s a good bet that a joint plan would cost the taxpayers less, and, in time of emergency, would function more effectively. For the good of all the citizens of Vicksburg and Warren County, the supervisors should consider the gravity of the subject, make allowances for the mayor’s brashness (if that is their hangup), and jointly develop a comprehensive arrangement that makes sense for all of us.


Do you agree? Are there other factors at work here? Your comments are welcomed.

Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 9:43 am  Comments (1)  

Christmas at the City Pound!

Southern Paws (Debbie Lowery) is sponsoring a new celebration this year – “Christmas at the City Pound.” The objective is to give all the puppies, kittens, dogs and cats at the City Pound a month of Christmas – something that has never been done before.  Debbie is asking for donations of canned cat food for kittens and adult cats, canned dog food for puppies and adult dogs, chew bones, cat and dog treats, and toys for cats and dogs. If you would prefer to make a cash contribution, Debbie will buy the items needed.  Food and treats, or your donation, may be dropped off at any of three different locations – Southern Paws, at 1200 Openwood St., Hometown Medical, at 814 Belmont St., or Atwood Chevrolet, on N. Frontage Road. If you prefer to mail a donation, send to “Christmas at the City Pound,” c/o Southern Paws, 1200 Openwood St., Vicksburg, MS 39183.


Vicksburg’s Channel 23 is cooperating in this effort by soliciting donations; their help is indispensible, and greatly appreciated.


Visit a few of the animals at the city pound website:


Most if not all of these animals have only a few days to live. Help make their last hours a happy experience by helping with “Christmas at the City Pound.” Better yet, consider saving one of them through adoption.

Published in: on November 29, 2007 at 10:35 pm  Comments (4)  

Vicksburg’s schools: Preparing for Columbine or Al Qaeda

We at VS were unaware that the local schools are preparing via drills for the possibility of a Columbine-style attack, or even for an incident involving a terrorist. One of our readers, however, was confronted with that fact when his daughter described just such a drill. His post is shown below, and as he allowed, his name is included.

  i am john kirby day. my 6 year old came home today from sherman aveschool she tells me they had a drill at school. iasked her if it was a fire drill; she said ” no, it was in case a bad man was in the school, they had to seeif 23 students would fit in the bathroom.”  i believethat we should know they are having terrorist drillsat our schools. i personally am glad to know they arepreparing our children for real situations that DOhappen in this worldi went to school here in vicksburg in the eighties andwe didnt have to worry about things like that. we hadtornado drills nowadays our schools are about aslikely to have a shooting as they are being hit by atwister      please repost this with my name if you like   by the way i love the forum it is an honestunbiased opinion of the politics that affect me and myfamily directly. thank you for having me 

Your comments are invited.

Published in: on November 28, 2007 at 9:34 pm  Comments (6)  

Should Jeff Bowers have been fired?

One of our readers is very upset with the powers at USM for their firing of football coach Jeff Bowers. She writes



(The following is courtesy of the Vicksburg Post)

Like freshman algebra, Giannini fails miserably with Bower firing November 27, 2007 In the interest of full disclosure, I am a Southern Miss graduate, class of 1996. With the exception of freshman algebra, I never made a mistake at Southern Miss as big as the one the Golden Eagles’ athletic director made on Monday, parting ways with a ridiculously loyal coach who wins games and graduates players. Repeat after me. Jeff Bower wins games. He graduates athletes. He goes to bowl games. He rarely, if ever, attracts the attention of the NCAA, an organization that can find violations for just about everything. Now he is unemployed because, as athletic director Richard Giannini said, the fan base is divided. First off, what fan base? Most of Hattiesburg doesn’t care about the university’s football program. When Brett Favre quarterbacked the Golden Eagles, the stadium was rarely sold out. When the Eagles were ranked in the Top 25, the 33,000 seat M.M. Roberts Stadium had plenty of folks dressed as empty seats. The first game I ever saw in person in 1992 drew an exaggerated crowd total of 14,000. In the next 12 years, the school doubled its attendance per game and earned respect nationally for their willingness to play anyone anywhere. And how did Bower do it? With a shoe-string budget and an ability to attract the best possible athletes to a state that produces some fine talent, but a talent pie cut into too many pieces. Most of the best players this state produces head away, choosing Auburn or Tennessee or LSU. The second-tier, still good players would rather play for the two Southeastern Conference teams in this state. That leaves Southern Miss with the task of traveling the back roads of this state, Alabama, Florida and Louisiana looking for players who can win. And win they did. Every year since 1994 the Golden Eagles have fielded a winning team. Maybe not flashy, but consistent — a mirror of its head coach. So it boils down to this — seven or eight wins a year, every year, just couldn’t cut the mustard. That excuse would work at Alabama or LSU, but Southern Miss? Yes the Bowl is as appetizing as the pizza company that sponsors it, but it is a postseason bowl, and there are a lot of schools that would love to go to a bowl game every year with a team full of players who can read and write. This will be the 10th bowl game in 11 years, by the way. But now, Giannini forced Bower from his post unceremoniously. The man gave his heart and soul to that team only to have it trampled on because of a fractured fan base that never existed in the first place. People in Hattiesburg care little about the school and as long as it is referred to, unofficially, as a commuter school, the students will be hit or miss as well. Giannini now says he will take on the search by himself, trying to find a Band-Aid big enough to rally a fan base that never existed. Meanwhile, a winning coach who stays out of trouble and takes teams to the postseason every year is looking for a job. I imagine there are plenty of athletic directors who will look at Bower’s resume, his salary requirements, his loyalty, his penchant for winning and attracting bonafide student-athletes to a school with no athletic budget and no chance at a national championship, with a quizzical look. They’ll ask, “now why were you fired?” They wouldn’t be the only ones. * 

Sean P. Murphy is sports editor of The Vicksburg Post.


Your comments are invited.


Published in: on November 28, 2007 at 9:32 pm  Comments (11)  

Trent Lott’s replacement

With the announcement that our Senator Trent Lott will resign at year end, speculation as to the identity of his successor has begun. Governor Haley barbour will name Lott’s replacement; could our own Mike Chaney be in the running?

Your comments are appreciated.

Published in: on November 26, 2007 at 12:17 pm  Comments (4)  

Bulldogs crush Rebels

In spirit, anyway. The Mississippi State Bulldogs pulled out a memorable come-from-behind football victory Friday afternoon in Starkville. The Dawgs scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter of the game to best their rivals from Oxford 17-14. Does the victory foretell changes at the schools? For example… Will Sylvester Croom become the winningest coach in MSU history? Will Ed Ogeron survive the wrath of Ole Miss students and alumni? Will 0-8 in SEC conference play become the norm for the boys in blue? Will MSU be SEC West champs next year?

You may wish to share your own thoughts about the game, its outcome, and the consequences (if any). Foul language is forbidden, please.

Published in: on November 23, 2007 at 9:29 pm  Comments (8)  

Adopt a dog or cat from the city pound!

Debbie Lowery has updated the city pound website with photos of abandoned animals which are available for adoption. These helpless and innocent creatures face a very unpleasant future if they are not adopted. Take a look at the website, and consider adopting one today. If you have friends or neighbors who might provide good homes to one or more, make them aware of the website, and encourage them to visit the city pound.

Published in: on November 21, 2007 at 8:19 pm  Comments (3)  

Has a “suspended sentence” taken another life?

The front page of Wednesday’s Vicksburg Post has details of another Vicksburg murder. Solomon “Dewey” Smith is suspected of shooting to death Harold R. Scott in Scott’s own home. Scott was described as a “generous, helpful handyman.” Smith, however, has “…a total of six felony convictions dating to 1985…”


Is this another case where a felon who should have been in prison was instead released via a “suspended sentence?” We do not know. Based on past history, however, it is a distinct possibility. If this is actually the case, every citizen of Vicksburg should be infuriated, and the DA, his deputies, and the judge who suspended the prison sentence should answer for the death.

Published in: on November 21, 2007 at 8:02 pm  Comments (8)  

Mayor Leyens just can’t stay out of trouble

Even though he has a history of similar blunders and should have learned from them, last week the mayor offended the librarians. This week he’s accused of assault. Next week… who knows?


With due respect to our Mayor Leyens for the progress Vicksburg has experienced under his leadership, one has to wonder if he shouldn’t observe the same advice given Hugo Chavez by the king of Spain, i.e., “shut up!”


Your comments are invited.

Published in: on November 20, 2007 at 7:47 pm  Comments (11)  

Purse snatching at Krogers

One of our readers reported a brazen purse snatching in the Krogers’ parking lot Saturday night. At around 7:00 PM a lady was snatched out of her car; her purse was forcefully taken. The snatcher then jumped into his car and drove away.

Published in: on November 19, 2007 at 11:45 am  Comments (6)  

Once again… combine the VPD & Sheriff’s Dept.?

The decision by Mayor Frank Melton to appoint Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillan to the top job at the JPD brings exciting new possibilities to Vicksburg and Warren County. It turns out that this arrangement has been tried in cities across the country (Las Vegas, Jacksonville, FL, Louisville, KY, etc.). Why not Vicksburg, then, where our city police force is far below its authorized strength, the Chief of Police refuses to enforce certain of our laws, and our crime rate is second only to Jackson… Vicksburg and Warren County, where the sheriff’s department effectively handles its duties with professionalism and courtesy?

Sheriff Pace was quoted in the Saturday Post as giving a resounding “No!” to the possibility that he take over both jobs. But Sheriff Pace is an honorable, civic-minded, dependable officer who would probably accept the challenge if the public were behind him.

How do you react to the possibility? Are you for or against the combination? State whether you are a city or county resident.

Published in: on November 17, 2007 at 10:44 am  Comments (14)  

Thanksgiving travel – what are your plans?

With oil approaching $100 per barrel and gasoline $3.00 per gallon, travel has become much more expensive. Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when people and families visit each other, whether by auto, plane, or other modes of transportation. What are your plans this Thanksgiving? Oil may reach $150 a barrel within the next year; gasoline then could be around $4.50 per gallon ($5.00 per gallon in Vicksburg). What are you doing to prepare for that eventuality?


Published in: on November 16, 2007 at 10:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Dog fighting “bust”

Monday’s Post headlined a story about a dog fighting “bust” at the 8500 block of Highway 27. The site was stumbled upon by two game wardens; the Sheriff’s office and the VWHS were notified, and twelve pit bulls were rescued. The site featured a dog fighting arena, “training” devices, and evidence of past fights. No one had been arrested in the case as of that date. Interestingly, the story indicated that there had been only one conviction in the past for dog fighting in Warren County, a 2004 felony in which the felon’s sentence was “suspended.”

If you have any information that might help locate these cruel misfits, please call the Sheriff’s Dept. Your comments otherwise are invited.

Published in: on November 16, 2007 at 7:58 am  Comments (11)  

Does the Vicksburg Post have an agenda?

One of our readers made the following observation regarding the recent election:


“… I am pleased to see that the efforts of the Vicksburg Post to make Ricky look bad didn’t work. The Post used the only bad picture ever taken of Ricky repeatedly, placed his ads poorly and gave favorable comments on Gil. Also they avoided the obvious newsworthy stories not in favor of Gil’s office. The Post has lost its once credible status with the people of Vicksburg. If you doubt that look at the results of this race.”


In your opinion… Is this observation legitimate? Were other candidates treated unfairly by the Post? Do you think the vote for any one of the offices decided in the last election was unduly influenced by the Post? If so, which ones?


Published in: on November 15, 2007 at 7:48 am  Comments (7)  

A new District Attorney… why was Smith elected?

Ricky Smith’s stunningly lopsided (2 to 1) victory over Gil Martin in the race for District Attorney surprised everyone. What, in your opinion, caused the voters to elect Mr. Smith by such a wide margin?


Your comments are invited.

Published in: on November 13, 2007 at 6:00 pm  Comments (16)