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Natchez, Miss.
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Sarah Thomas, 53, of Natchez, died as a result of the gunshot wound she received from her daughter, Shalece Thomas, 36, following an argument at the family home in Natchez Thanksgiving Friday. The mom was airlifted to Jackson for treatment, but doctors could not save her. The daughter was originally charged with aggravated assault, then upped to murder, as well as felony possession of a stolen weapon. Municipal Judge Lisa Dale denied bond. Thomas is also wanted in Dallas County, Texas, for skipping out on a $50,000 bond. She dId not appear in court for possession of dangerous drugs. 

In a deal worked out between the judge, prosecutor and defense attorney, Deven C. Smith, 26, of Natchez, pled guilty to a lesser charge of lustful touching of a juvenile. Smith had been charged with statutory rape for the June 2021 sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl. Circuit Judge Debra Blackwell sentenced Smith to 10 years suspended and 5 years probation. Blackwell said to the teen girl in open court, "Bad things happen to good people and you're just going to have to move on. Mr. Smith took a plea to keep you off the stand, and that's commendable." 

Christmas in Natchez continues through Jan. 7. Special events include The Towers' Jeweled Christmas Tours, Natchez Garden Club's Christmas Tour of Homes, Christmas at Sunnyside, Natchez Festival of Music's "An Elvis Christmas," Downtown Natchez Christmas Parade and Caroling in the Park. For a complete list of events, go to www.visitnatchez.org.

The Concordia Parish Police Jury may employ work release inmates under the control of the sheriff’s office to help pick up trash and litter on roads and in ditches. Jurors admit the parish’s litter problem has grown tremendously. 

Catahoula News photo

The Catahoula Parish Sheriff’s Office received a call from Catahoula Corrections Center in reference to an EMS call. Northeast Louisiana Ambulance Service was requested along with detectives. EMS personnel arrived on scene and confirmed that the victim was deceased. Detectives began their investigation, and it was determined that an inmate had been the victim of a homicide. Six inmate offenders from other parishes being held at Catahoula were arrested and charged with second degree murder of Maintrell D. Rodgers. Detectives learned that two of these inmate offenders had previous history while being held at another facility. When they recognized each other, a fight occurred, during which Rodgers was killed. Inmates Jacquse A. Colton, Javonte J. Lejeune, Daniel L. Ford, Jeffery L. Marks, Sirdarrean L. Fox and Joseph L. Kirklin Jr. have been charged with the homicide.

Natchez aldermen will probably hire an interim police chief by their Dec. 13 meeting, expected to be from the ranks of NPD. The aldermen will hire the person as interim, just in case the appointment doesn’t work out. 

Carmen Drake won the circuit judge runoff for District 6-1 with 54 percent of the vote. She replaces Lillie Sanders starting in January. Sanders is retiring. 

Trinity Medical Center will host a blood drive with the LifeShare bus Dec. 15 from 11 a.m-3 p.m. Each donor will receive a pair of LifeShare socks.

Adams County supervisors have begun repairing and repaving county roads. Supervisors will use the proceeds from an $8 million bond issue and $1 million in already in the bank federal funds for the project. A list of roads to be repaired has not been released. 

Concordia Parish now reports 6,717 people have jobs, up 168 jobs from a year ago. Unemployment has dropped to 3.7 percent. 

Ferriday has Womack and Sons assessing what it will take to repair the sewer lines that have collapsed near Tennessee and Kentucky Streets. Mayor Rydell Turner said the town will also have Womack repair a leaking water line near KFC. Federak funds in-house should pay for the repairs. 

The population of Natchez in 2022 is 14,266. In 2020. It was 14,520, according on the Census.

After the Natchez Planning Commission rejected the school district’s proposal for a new sign at Natchez, school board members agreed to submit a second design that would be more aesthetically pleasing. 

Dorothy McDonald, of Ferriday, has died at the age of 87. Ms. McDonald was the director of the Concordia Council of Aging for 27 years before her retirement. She was known as a  kind and caring person, who was dedicated to improving the lives of seniors citizens.

Former Concordia Police Juror Willie Dunbar complained to the police jury that he did not receive a copy of the map of the parish's district lines as part of his public records request. The Registrar of Voters did not honor the request because it has only one very large laminated map in its possession. That map is on display in the Registrar's office. 

The Vidalia Garden Club will judge homes for its Christmas decorating contest on Dec. 18. Homes are judged in traditional or non-traditional decoration categories. Homes with inflatables are considered non-traditional.

 U.S. District Judge David Bramlette sentenced 11 drug dealers after their convictions. Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten, his deputies, federal investigators and attorneys spent several years of work breaking up, prosecuting a major drug ring that operated in the Natchez area. The work included capturing Kevin Singleton, 45, who dealt in major amounts of cocaine, heroin and meth, and when arrested in 2018 had more than $1 million in cash in his possession. Those sentenced to federal prison and terms of sentence: Kevin Singleton, 45, of Natchez, 35 years; Sammy Davis Wright, 51, of Woodville, 14 years; Jimmy Lee Swearingen Jr., 43, of Mesquite, Tex., 7 years; Wesley Bell, 42, of Natchez, no less than 3 years; Clifford Payne Jr., 52, of Vidalia, 14 months; Gregory Woodard, 37, of Crosby, no less than 3 years; Jerry Lee White Jr., of Gloster, no less than 3 years; Roy Goodrich, of Baton Rouge, no less than 5 years' Denota Thadison, 41, of McComb, 7 years; Thomas Gerome Mitchell, 37, of Victorville, Ca., 5 years; and Justin Chambers, 32, of Victorville, Ca., 3 years. 

The Natchez Community Thanksgiving at the Natchez Convention Center fed 350 people on Thanksgiving Day and The Stewpot fed 300. 

Ferriday's Christmas parade will be Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m. 

Home Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas have donated $8,000 to Natchez-Adams County Habitat for Humanity. 

The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame will honor five recipients of the 2022 NFF Chapter Leadership Awards dinner in Las Vegas. Freddie Sandel of Natchez will be one of award winners. Sandel has been active in promoting the local chapter and its work with young athletes since 2011. 

An unidentified inmate or inmates set a mattress on fire at the Adams County Jail this past week. The inmates were moved and some evacuated as the smoke was cleared from the building. No one was injured. Deputies are reviewing video to see if they can identify the arsonist.

The Dec 10. runoff for Dist. 1 Alderman of Jonesville features June Gayden and Benny Vault Sr.

Franklin County supervisors discussed the upcoming replacement of the U.S. Highway 98 Homochitto River Bridge with county engineer Mike McKenzie, who said the current plan for the project will involve closure of the 1950s-era bridge and rerouting of traffic to Yap and Gloster roads. The engineer believes the high traffic count on Hwy. 98 and the number of heavy trucks using that highway re-routed will damage the Yap and Gloster roads as well as Walnut St. in Meadville, which connects to Gloster Rd.

The Mississippi River at Natchez will rise to 18.4 feet and will drop to 17 feet by Dec. 13.

Jonesville expects to use grant funds to purchase new water meters for its customers. As meters age, they can become less accurate. And some of the town's meters are more than 20 years old.

Wilkinson County supervisors are expected to work with Amite County supervisors to refinance the existing bond on Field Health's new hospital.


The Vidalia Conference and Convention Center is the optimal location for the event to remember. Located along the bank of the Mississippi River in Vidalia, La., directly across the river from historic Natchez, Miss., adjacent to the Clarion Suites Hotel and just north of the Riverfront RV Park. 20,000 square feet of rental space for conventions, parties, exhibits, weddings and special events. For more info, call 318-336-9934.   www.vidaliaconventioncenter.com

LAST WEEK'S NEWS 11/24


Adams County has 9,870 workers with jobs, down 30 jobs from last month but up 80 jobs from a year ago. The jobless rate is now 4.8 percent. 

Vidalia Mayor Buz Craft signed hydro fund rebate checks for residents and businesses. Two thousand checks will be sent out with rebates of $2.8 million in total.

Louisiana has released grades for the state's public schools, including locally, Monterey and Vidalia High receiving a "B", Vidalia Lower Elementary, Vidalia Upper Elementary, Concordia Education Center. and Ferriday High "C", Vidalia Junior High "D", and Ferriday Lower Elementary, Ferriday Upper Elementary and Ferriday Junior High "F". 

In September, Concordia deputies began an investigation into a report that copper wiring had been cut and stolen from the Vidalia Port. During the investigation warrants were obtained and multiple arrests were made. The investigation has also identified wanted subject involved in the crime, Tony Chase Evans, 37,  of Vidalia. Anyone with information regarding the investigation is urged to contact CPSO at 318-336-5231 or submit a tip online through the CPSO mobile app. Arrested were Natalie Pittman, 33, of Ferriday; Britainny Cupstid, 30, of Vidalia; Hugh Hedrick, 34, of Ferriday; Christopher Stephens, 35, of Vidalia; and Kay Harveston, of Vidalia. They were charged with illegal possession of stolen things, theft, criminal trespass and damage to property. Natchez aldermen will meet Dec. 13 to consider their redistricting plan. Like most communities, population shifts revealed in the 2020 Census required a rebalancing of wards and a changing of ward lines. 

Carmen Drake and Lydia Blackmon will be in a runoff for Circuit Judge 6-1 on Nov. 29. The winner will replace Lillie Blackmon Sanders, who is retiring. The district includes Wilkinson County and portions of Adams and Amite counties. Elease Sullivan and Timothy Scott are in the Nov. 29 runoff for school board Dist. 2. in Wilkinson County. Vidalia voters will be choose either Ann Sidall or Hu’Cheryl Walker for City Judge in the Dec. 10 general election. For Alderman Dist. 1 in Jonesville, the ballot features June Gayden and Benny L. Vault, Sr. Early voting is Nov. 26-Dec. 3. 

Three Proposed Constitutional Amendments are on the Louisiana Dec. 10 ballot: (1) Requires U.S. citizenship in order to register and vote in Louisiana; (2) requires Senate confirmation of a governor appointed member of the State Civil Service Commission; and  (3) requires Senate confirmation of certain members of the State Police Commission. 

The CPSO Cyber Crime Unit began an investigation into illegal activity between juveniles and adults, which consisted of the use of narcotics as well as sexual contact. During the initial investigation, numerous juvenile victims were identified, which resulted in the arrest of two subjects involved. It was learned that the activity had been ongoing since fall of last year, when a juvenile victim was introduced to a suspect by way of a close family member. That introduction resulted in two juveniles being supplied with narcotics, then subjected to sexual activity at different locations, one of which being the victim’s residence in Vidalia where they were in the custody of a family member. The investigation has identified a network of subjects involved, who engage in the use and sale of narcotics while using female victims for sexual activity, whether adult or juvenile, as a form of payment or trade. Louisiana law defines such activity as Human Trafficking when a subject knowingly benefits from that activity. Two of the additional subjects are both currently incarcerated after being convicted on charges through a Vidalia Police Department investigation, which involved contributing to the endangerment of juveniles and one was arrested Nov. 17. Anyone with information regarding the investigation is urged to contact Detective Stephen Lipscomb at (318) 336-5231 or submit a tip online using the CPSO mobile app. Arrested were George A. Rice, 48, Jerry W. Brownell, 42, and Jeanette Ratcliff, 70, and Jessica L. Robinson, 38, all of Vidalia, on charges of human trafficking, cruelty to juveniles and attempted sexual battery. 

Adams County supervisors will delay approval of new district lines until Dec. 5. The county’s districts were unbalanced, some with too many residents, some with too few, requiring a redrawing of the lines. Once the new plan is formally approved, some voters will have been moved to different voting precincts. 

The Natchez Planning Commission rejected the application of the school district to place a 25 foot high lighted sign on the Natchez High campus near the road with paid ads on the sign. The Commission viewed the sign as a lighted billboard. City rules have grandfathered in the remaining billboards around town but are not adding new ones. 

Natchez police arrested Damorris Williams, 22, of Natchez, and charged him with aggravated assault and domestic violence. In 2020, he was arrested for attempted murder and car burglary in Vidalia, after he stole a loaded gun from a man’s car and shot at the man, as the victim chased him. The victim was not injured. 

The Christmas parade schedule includes Bude, Dec. 1, 2:30 p.m., Meadville, Dec. 1, 5:30 p.m., Jonesville, Dec. 2, 6 p.m., Natchez, Dec. 3, 6 p.m., Vidalia, Dec. 4, 3:30 p.m., Ferriday, Dec. 10, 5:30 p.m., Gloster, Dec. 11, 4 p.m., Harrisonburg, Dec. 14, 6 p.m., and Sicily Island, Dec. 17, 6 p.m. 

The new Natchez High should be completed sometime in February. Shortages in construction materials have led to delays. 

The Mississippi River at Natchez will rise to 18 feet and then fall again to 13 feet over the next two weeks. 

Bunge Grain caught fire in Jonesville last week. The sheriff’s office went going door-to-door to evacuate people due to concerns about a potential explosion from the elevator. Pam Patten with CPSO said residents of Trinity Park were temporarily evacuated to the Edwards Motel. Responding fire units were able to put out the blaze with no injuries. The grain continued to smolder for several days, indicting there was still concern. 

The Miss. Tax Commission collects sales tax and then gives some of that money back to city and town governments based on actual sales in those communities: Dispersed to the city of Natchez in July-Oct. 2022 was $2,017,000, up 2.8% from a year ago. 

Christopher M. Wimberly, 40, of Natchez, on charges of burglary of a home and petit larceny. Wimberly has been in trouble before. He was arrested in 2017 for the armed robbery of Morgantown Exxon. In 2014, he was arrested for petit larceny in Natchez. In 2009, NPD arrested him for domestic violence for beating Poucha Johnson and Johnson's mother at the Johnson home. 

In a recent published commentary, Mayor Dan Gibson said, "We have seen many new businesses open providing hundreds of new jobs to the citizens of Natchez." The claim that Natchez has hundreds of new jobs is not actually accurate. In 2018, Natchez-Adams had 10,510 jobs. In 2019, 10,370 jobs. In 2020, 9,310. In 2021 9,760, today 9,870. No reliable figures are kept on Natchez alone, but MDES keeps accurate figures on all counties, month by month. The mayor could claim that there are more jobs now than when he took office at the end of the pandemic shutdown. But there are fewer jobs now than in 2018, four years ago. Natchez police arrested 

Wilkinson County School Board members grilled their superintendent, Dr. Chavis Bradford, and his principals over continuing problems in the local schools, including student and teacher absenteeism, the large number of discipline infractions, poor scores on state evaluations and low ACT scores. Board members want changes and results not promises.



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Contact Us

News for Southwest Mississippi and East Central Louisiana, including Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Wilkinson counties and Concordia and Catahoula parishes.

Offices:
15044 Blue Marlin Terrace, Bonita Springs. FL 34135
601-431-2990
missloumagazine@gmail.com

Peter Rinaldi, publisher
Clarisse Washington, editor


Good Garden Clubs

by Peter Rinaldi 

One of the puzzling things about our community is how the Pilgrimage Garden Club, Natchez Garden Club and Auburn Garden Club get a bad rap on occasion. 

Most of the members of these clubs are very interested in the economic vitality of Natchez Adams. They understand that history preserved can mean more tourist dollars, more conventions, more hotel stays, more restaurant visits and more jobs. Well maintained historic properties not only bring tourists but have brought a new generation of well to do out-of-towners who have spent millions of dollars upgrading their antebellum and Victorian homes. And that investment has paid off in many jobs for people of all economic groups and all races. 

There was a time in Natchez, when some connected to the clubs used their platform to try to cement their social position above others, but the time of the so called landed gentry is long gone. I’ve often heard how the garden clubs killed off IP and Armstrong. In fact, the those closures had nothing to do with the clubs. The factories were losing so much money and had serious union problems that meant making a profit unlikely. So the factories closed and the jobs were lost. And many garden club members mourned that economic downturn like the rest of us. 

Remember that some of the old homes are not owned by garden club members. Some are also owned by men. And many of the new generation of old home owners continue to run their properties at an economic loss and do so because they have the extra money to do so and/or are committed to a better Natchez even if it costs them mega cash. Whether you’re a garden club member from downtown, Morgantown or Kingston, all share the same goal: a better city and county with more prosperity for all. Also, you’d might be surprised to know that many garden club members are actually very middle class and some less so. But regardless of wealth, the members share an interest in exterior and interior design, flowers, gardens, architecture, history and historic preservation. 

We should be proud of their contributions to our community. Some also own businesses that have little to do with history. But they understand that successful maintenance of homes and gardens and the marketing of that history and beauty to the outside world is a necessary and important task, even more so because of the decline of our industrial base over the last 35 years. Thank you, ladies of the Pilgrimage Garden Club, the Natchez Garden Club and the Auburn Garden Club. When you think of the garden clubs, think of the economic contributions of their members which is so vital to our present and future.


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Mayor Fibs About 2021 Audit

by Peter Rinaldi

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson recently said the city CPA audit for 2021 showed much improvement for 2021 compared to 2020. He did not tell the truth, as the CPA's negative findings for 2021 continue to show that the city was not following acceptable accounting and bookkeeping practices. Of course, the failure to follow such good standards led to the theft of $36,000+ in funds by two city clerks. 2021 was the Gibson administration's first full year in office. You can't blame former Mayor Grennell for these errors. The responsibility lies with the city clerk and staff, the current mayor and aldermen. They are supposed to follow accepted accounting and bookkeeping principles and regulations. They did not. 

Of the 2021 City of Natchez audit, CPA Silas Simmons said: Bank Reconciliations: Bank Reconciliations were not being properly reconciled to the general ledger or in a timely manner. Accounting Records and Financial Statement: Preparation transactions were not being recorded to the city's general ledger in a timely manner. Interfund Transfers: Due To/From, and Advances lnterfund transactions were not being recorded timely or accurately. Segregation of Duties: During the process of obtaining an understanding of internal control in planning the audit, assessing control risk, and assessing fraud risk, a lack of segregation of duties was noted. Documentation of Adjusting Journal Entries: Adjusting journal entries posted to the general ledger lacked proper and adequate documentation. Single Audit The City's Single Audit was not filed with the Federal Audit Clearinghouse in a timely manner. CPA Silas Simmons then when into detailed analysis and recommendations as to how these re-occurring problems from both 2020 and 2021 should be remedied. 

Several pages of details on what to do were enumerated. If you doubt the truth as presented by both the CPA or myself, you can read the audit findings and make your own judgment. I am used to politicians lying and bull throwing. From a news point of view, I should try to verify the mayor's future claims on all subjects, as those assertions may or may not be truthful. https://www.natchez.ms.us/DocumentCenter/View/1246/2021-Audites 
See pages 85-92.



Stinking City 2020 Audit

by Peter Rinaldi

When completed, the City of Natchez 2020 audit showed that the city did not meet its legal obligation to provide sound and professional accounting of revenues earned and expenditures made. The audit findings reflect the gross incompetence of the city clerk's office under Servia Fortenberry and the lack of care Mayor Grennell and the aldermen showed for their legal responsibilities. That lack of care and oversight allowed Fortenberry and another clerk to steal more than $36,000 in funds during the Gibson administration, according to the state indictment of two clerks. Aldermen discussed this lack of competence during both the Grennell and Gibson administrations but took no action to remedy the illegalities. 

Gibson says the 2021 audit is much better and should be posted online soon. I will report on the 2021 audit as soon as its posted. The 2020 audit reflects activity during the Grennell administration through July 2020 and the Gibson administration from July-September 2020. While the onus falls on Fortenberry, Grennell and the aldermen mostly, the audit did not show any improvements made during the first three months of the Gibson administration. 

2020 Financial Statement Submission to State Auditor: The City's audited financials were not submitted to the Mississippi State Auditor's office by the statutory date required. Bank Reconciliations: Bank reconciliations were not being properly reconciled to the general ledger or in a timely manner. Accounting Records and Financial Statement Preparation: Transactions were not being recorded to the City's general ledger in a timely manner. Interfund Transfers, Due To/From, and Advances: Interfund transactions were not being recorded timely or accurately. Segregation of Duties: During the process of obtaining an understanding of internal control in planning the audit, assessing control risk, and assessing fraud risk, a lack of segregation of duties was noted. General Fund Expenditures Over Budget: The City's General Fund expenditures exceeded its budgeted amount by $1,015,773. Casino Annual Lease Fund Expenditures Over Budget: The City's Casino Annual Lease Fund expenditures exceeded its budgeted amount by $350,490. Compliance with Reporting Requirements of OMB - Single Audit: The City's Single Audit was not filed with the Federal Audit Clearinghouse in a timely manner.



Ferriday's Big, Bad Mess

 by Peter Rinaldi 

Town of Ferriday finances have been in a mess for years, mostly because the town's tax base is not adequate to meet the obligations of minimal government. Additionally, town management, through several mayors and clerks, has not done a very good job of bookkeeping and accounting, with many deficiencies and adverse findings. The town was again late submitting its records to its CPA to publish an annual audit for 2021.

 Some of the more recent problems include: 1) Old past due and non-collectible water accounts were still on the books. 2) Financial statements were not submitted to the state on time. 3) Customer utility deposits were short $22,000. The cause could be inaccurate bookkeeping, stolen or embezzled funds, or deposits may have been used illegally to pay town bills. The CPA noted the shortage but did not conduct a review to determine the exact cause or causes. 4) The town was not in compliance with state safe drinking water standards for more than 10 years, including a failure to pay state mandated fees, which amount to more than $45,000. 5) Town bookkeeping staff did not maintain reserve accounts required by issued bonds. Ferriday should have a debt service fund, reserve fund, and depreciation and contingencies funds noted in its books and balances kept as required by the bond covenants. 

Ferriday's latest audit for the year ending 6/30/21 has not been released. But Mayor Rydell Turner pledged in the last audit that the five major deficiencies noted above would be corrected. The era of bad management continues to plague this poor town. Its citizens deserve better.


Facing Our Obligation

 by Peter Rinaldi 

I have always loved writing news and working on ads for my clients. I enjoyed 35+ years of publishing Miss-Lou Magazine in print and online. In more recent years, I’ve talked to many families, mostly moms and grand moms, who have lost kids and grandkids shot to death by vicious criminals. These tearful conversations have happened far too often since 2010. 

The pain and suffering of these families never ends. And they often have to struggle against a justice system that really doesn’t care whether the murderers are punished or not. There are many things to love or dislike about our communities. But the tragedy of our young men, women and teens shot and killed (nearly all are black young people) is so troubling. I am haunted by the pictures of these kids and their families’ pleas for justice. I find myself going back to the stories and the photos of the murdered kids and again asking God to care for these victims and their crying families. There should be a special place in this universe reserved for the killers with plenty of extra seating set aside for the uncaring law enforcement officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges who do such harm to our victims’ families. 

This is one reason why I have been so adamant about politicians facing the facts about our crime wave. The politicians are supposed to be in charge of public safety. All shooter killers should get life without parole or the death penalty. We should continue to advocate for no bonds and no suspended or light sentences for shooter killers. No exceptions. Justice demands that we take these crimes seriously. We can’t bring the victims back to life. We can’t end the suffering of the families. But we can do what Mississippi and Louisiana law calls for. It is our obligation to do so.


Questions Worth Asking

by Peter Rinaldi 

If Natchez police took 150 illegal or stolen guns off the street in just six months, just how many people were arrested as a result? I haven’t noticed even 50 arrests for such. Did those with two or more guns get arrested on trafficking charges with a more serious penalty as provide by state law?  

While overall incidence of crime in Natchez reached a peak in the early 90s due to the crack epidemic, the city became more violent in recent years again. In 2018, Natchez had 12 murders in the city and 6 in the county. Property crime also increased dramatically. Since then, overall crime has lessened. In 2018, Natchez was in the bottom 1% of safe communities. Today, it is in the bottom 4%. Did Natchez actually solicit its safety award rather than get the award for community safety? The answer to this question is yes. Natchez submitted an application for the award category to the Miss. Municipal League. The award was not given out of the blue because officials around the state overwhelmingly recognized how Natchez was doing so well with safety. The city filled out an application highlighting its success. And the League awards committee then chose Natchez.

I received info from law enforcement last year, that city crime stats had been sanitized and improved at the direction of the former police chief. If true, that would mean the violent and property crime stats submitted to the FBI DOJ could be suspect. At this point, I have no way of verifying whether the allegation or stats are true or untrue. But the whole affair with seizures, the award, and crime statistics makes me somewhat wary. The mayor has already announced that new crime stats will show Natchez is much safer. Are we supposed to accept this announcement as truth or just more political bull throwing? I don’t know. 


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Contact Us 

News for Southwest Mississippi and East Central Louisiana, including Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Wilkinson counties and Concordia and Catahoula parishes.

Offices:
15044 Blue Marlin Terrace, Bonita Springs. FL 34135
601-431-2990

missloumagazine@gmail.com

Peter Rinaldi, publisher
Clarisse Washington, editor

Stanton Hall

Historic Downtown: Between Main and Franklin streets is the hub of Old Natchez with tree-lined streets, old homes, plenty of places to walk and view restored historic properties. Restaurants, antique and gift shops, banks, bars. Very visitor friendly. Call the Chamber of Commerce for specific sites worth visiting, 601-445-4611.

 Vidalia Riverfront: A mile-long river walk and the best views of the Mississippi River highlight this spectacular collage of scenery of new facilities including restaurants, hotels, convention center and amphitheater. The river walk is the perfect place to unwind, relax and get a touch of exercise. 

Delta Music Museum: A restored post office in downtown Ferriday offers a glimpse into the lives of Ferriday's most famous musical natives: Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Jimmy Swaggart, and PeeWee Whittaker. Free admission, 318-757-9999. 

Natchez Visitor Reception Center: Offers an orientation to the area through exhibits, maps, brochures and displays. Located next to the Mississippi River Bridge, the center features The Natchez Story, a good cinematic introduction to the history and culture of the region, 800-647-6724. The Visitor Center and the Convention Promotion Commission operate a tourist-oriented website at www.visitnatchez.org

Duncan Park: Nice tennis facilities and 18-rounds of golf, picnic tables, driving range, handicapped accessible playground, nice biking and walking. Golf just $29 ($24 seniors), cart included. Inexpensive recreation, 601-442-5955. 

Longwood and Rosalie: These homes offer the best of the best tours of pre-Civil War mansions. Longwood, an unfinished octagonal house (800-647-6742), and Rosalie, with its original furnishings and beautiful gardens (601-445-4555), have great family histories. 

Antebellum Home Touring: Natchez Pilgrimage Tours offers individual and group tickets to antebellum mansions year-round. Fall and Spring Pilgrimages offer more than 30 homes on tour, all restored, beautifully furnished with priceless antiques, art and collectibles. Many homes feature exquisite gardens and landscaped grounds, 800-647-6742. 

Magnolia Bluffs Casino: This downtown casino offer Las Vegas-style gambling, dining, and entertainment. Call the 1-888-505-5777 for info. 

Downtown Carriage Ride: The guides know just about every story about every building and the people who lived there during Natchez's historic past. Get tickets from the drivers themselves at the Canal Street Depot. Carriage rides are just $20 per person, $10 for children ages 3-10, a real value when you consider the quality and beauty of the tour. 

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians: A historic site and museum commemorate the Natchez Native American culture. Mounds rebuilt, nature trail, picnic tables, tree-covered grounds. Free admission. School and civic groups welcome, 601-446-6502. 

Natchez in Historic Photographs: Nearly 100 years of Natchez history is captured in photos hung on the walls of Stratton Chapel of First Presbyterian Church. More than 300 photographs from the 1850's-1950's. Free admission, donation requested, 601-442-4751. 

Natchez Museum of African-American History: This museum on Main Street offers more than 600 artifacts that interpret the life, history and culture of black Americans in Mississippi from the 1890's to the 1950's, 601-445-0728. 

Natchez National Historic Park: The park includes two properties, Melrose and the William Johnson House. Melrose is a stately antebellum home built in 1848, situated in a lovely park-like setting. Outbuildings are preserved. Tours are offered. The William Johnson House is a three-story townhouse, once owned by a free black businessman, 601-442-7407. 

St. Catherine Creek Wildlife Refuge: This 25,000 acre refuge, located along the Mississippi River from Cloverdale Road to the Homochitto River, offers a nature trail, fishing, hunting and wildlife watching opportunities, 601-442-6696. 

Natchez City Cemetery: This cemetery was established in 1821 and contains graves dating to the 1700's. Many of Natchez's historic figures are buried here. Tours are available, 601-445-5051. 

Beau Pré Country Club: 18 holes of beautifully landscaped golf, $50-$60 with cart. One of the best courses in the state, grill and lounge, tennis, swimming. Open Tues. through Sun., beauprenatchez.com, 601-442-5493.


 Longwood

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Contact Us 

News for Southwest Mississippi and East Central Louisiana, including Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Wilkinson counties and Concordia and Catahoula parishes.

Offices:
15044 Blue Marlin Terrace, Bonita Springs. FL 34135
601-431-2990

missloumagazine@gmail.com

Peter Rinaldi, publisher
Clarisse Washington, editor

The Questions Fools Don't Ask by Dennis Prager

What would you think of a person who never asked the price of anything he or she bought? You would assume the person was inordinately wealthy. But if the person wasn’t, you would dismiss him as a fool, and you would certainly never ask this person for advice about how to spend your money. 

Yet, for two years, that question — “What is the price?” — was avoided by virtually every political leader in the world as well as the vast majority of epidemiologists and physicians, journalists and editors, college presidents, deans, professors and K-12 teachers. 

They never asked, “What is the price?” with regard to locking down businesses, schools and, in many cases, entire countries. 

That is why so many political leaders, teachers, college presidents, doctors, epidemiologists and other scientists turned out to be fools. 

The handful of scientists — and, of course, the even smaller number of academics or people in the mainstream media — who questioned the lockdowns were labeled purveyors of “misinformation” and “disinformation,” the terms used by the Left to describe all dissent. Indeed, as of January 2023, California physicians who differ from the fools who dominate the American medical establishment will risk having their license to practice medicine revoked. 

The only country in which leading epidemiologists and political leaders asked what price their country, especially their young people, would pay under a lockdown was Sweden. Otherwise, virtually no leaders — in science, media, academia or politics — asked the most important question: What is the price? As a result, economies were devastated, millions of people who owned small businesses had their financial lives ruined, and young people suffered on every level. Fools, led by universities — Harvard shut down in early March 2020, when there were 51 confirmed cases COVID-19 in the entire state of Massachusetts — and followed by virtually every teachers union, ruined countless young Americans’ lives. For nearly two years, young Americans were deprived of an education, deprived of interaction with peers, and masked everywhere they went outside of their homes. One result is that young Americans now have the highest rate of mental and psychological problems recorded in the country’s history, have the highest rates of depression and suicide and are academically at the lowest level for their age ever recorded. This happened because teachers unions are led by fools and because virtually every public health authority is a fool. And because the overwhelming majority of American parents put their faith in fools — and thereby injured their own children. 

Fools led sheep. Parents were sheep; airline heads who went along with the abusive policy of forcing 2-year-olds to wear masks for hours on end were sheep; even the vast majority of priests, ministers, and rabbis were sheep. 

We are therefore faced with two big questions: First, why are most leaders and experts fools? Second, why do most people put their faith in fools? The answers are related. Most experts know a lot about one thing: their narrow area of expertise. They know as much about other areas of life as non-experts. But they think they know a lot. Yet, because experts were never taught to ask, “What is the price?” anyone who ask that question is likely to give better advice than almost any expert. The fact that experts don’t ask the question goes to the heart of the crisis of our time: there is no wisdom-education. At school — from first grade to doctoral programs — wisdom is never taught. Therefore, the people who run our educational institutions are fools, and fools cannot teach the opposite of foolishness: wisdom. 

For nearly a century, Americans — and most others in the Western world — have been told that knowledge is all one needs to make important decisions. Therefore, people assume that experts — i.e., those with a great deal of knowledge in one field — give good advice, design helpful policies and should therefore be followed unquestioningly. Whenever I spoke out against lockdowns — as early as April 2020 (you can look it up), I called the worldwide lockdowns the greatest international mistake in history — respondents on the internet and callers to my radio show said my viewpoint could not possibly have merit because I am not a health expert. Yet, even when I cited physicians, or had physicians on my radio show, who agreed with me, the usual response was either that they represented a minority viewpoint (as if that automatically invalidates a science-based point of view) or that they weren’t really experts because they weren’t epidemiologists! 

Given that expertise is venerated and equated with wisdom, people have ceased thinking. Since they are not experts, thinking is deemed pointless. Obedience is all that’s called for. So, even as parents watched their children — the people they most cherish — get depressed, begin using drugs, detach from human intercourse and regress academically, they never considered questioning, let alone disobeying, the experts. If wisdom had been taught in schools and at home, Americans would have asked, “What is the price?” or, if you prefer, “What is the downside?” Yet schools do not teach this, and most parents, themselves the products of a wisdom-free education, also do not. 

The abandonment  of the question, “What is the price?” has led to terrible consequences in every area of life.  Few young Americans ask, “What is the price?” for delaying marriage or for not marrying at all, or for not having children, or for participating in the “hook-up” culture, just to cite a few examples of self-destructive decisions tens of millions of young Americans have made.

Few people of any age ask “What is the price” of rapidly shifting to wind and solar energy? Then they are shocked at the price of gasoline and, for that matter, everything else, since everything is dependent on cheap energy. They have been indoctrinated into believing that the only price worth considering is the global warming price of using fossil fuels. The experts keep telling them that. Yet, that price is either model-based or far in the future — in either case, a function of foolish experts — while the price of abandoning fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) and nuclear power is immediate and catastrophic. Yet, no matter how much damage obedience to experts has wrought, most people continue to obey fools — because they were taught to assume that there is a linkage between expertise and wisdom. 

The reality is there is none.


OLD SOUTH FEDERAL CREDIT UNION: If you live or work in Adams County or Concordia Parish, enjoy the benefits of membership in our credit union. Free checking for seniors (age 62 and older) & students. Free checking for adults with $100 minimum balance Debit cards linked to checking accounts Savings (share) accounts. Christmas Club accounts, IRA accounts, Personal loans, Share loans, Signature loans, Secured loans for new and used autos, RVs, motorcycles & boats. 24-hour banking. www.oldsouthfcu.com

Electronic statements, direct deposit, notary, payroll deduction services, ATM on premises. Checking accounts subject to ChexSystems approval. Loans subject to credit approval. 

148 North Shields Lane, Natchez, 601-442-4382

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Contact Us 

News for Southwest Mississippi and East Central Louisiana, including Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Wilkinson counties and Concordia and Catahoula parishes.

Offices:
15044 Blue Marlin Terrace, Bonita Springs. FL 34135
601-431-2990

missloumagazine@gmail.com

Peter Rinaldi, publisher
Clarisse Washington, editor

Wood Duck

The Wood Duck by James L. Cummins             

In the early 1900s, wood ducks almost became extinct. This was due to unregulated market hunting for their meat and feathers, and also due to destruction of nesting and brood habitat as bottomland hardwood forests were cleared and drained. Thanks to the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918, and discovery of the wood duck box, the wood duck is now one of the most abundant duck species in the United States. 

Wood ducks are small ducks, weighing from 1 to 1.5 pounds. The male has beautiful long green feathers on its crest, large bright-red eyes and a short red bill with a black tip. The feathers of the wings and body are composed of a variety of colors and patterns. The female is predominantly a dull gray color, with a tear-shaped white streak around the eyes. 

Woodies can be observed in a variety of habitats, but prefer wooded sloughs, creeks and beaver swamps. Their small size, broad wings and tail make them quite adept at twisting and winding as they fly through trees. Many of the Magnolia State's wood ducks are non-migratory and live here throughout the year.

Mississippi has one of the densest populations of breeding wood ducks in North America. Wood ducks are cavity nesting birds...hens naturally nest in cavities in trees. A hen and a drake will pair off on the wintering grounds to breed. In Mississippi, hens have been observed initiating nests as early as the second week of January; however, most nesting begins in March and April. Weather has a great influence on when nesting occurs, and how late hens will continue to nest in the summer. During a cool summer, hens will nest into July and early August. 

A hen will search out a suitable nest cavity in a tree or nest box. She will dig a shallow depression in the bottom sawdust and will lay one egg per day until she has lain approximately 12 to 15 eggs. Once the clutch has been laid, the hen will sit on the nest for 28 to 30 days, leaving only for a short time each morning and evening to feed. Once the eggs hatch, the hen leaves the nest and softly calls her ducklings out of the nest from the ground or water below. 

The incubation period is especially stressful for hens. Predators destroy many nests and hens at this time. Raccoons, bobcats, snakes and woodpeckers are particularly troublesome. Dump nesting (when more than one hen contributes eggs to a nest) causes many nests to fail, especially in a wood duck box. Because of the large numbers of eggs in a dump nest, some eggs do not receive sufficient heat for incubation. However, some dump nests do successfully hatch and can provide extra ducklings to the population.

James L. Cummins is executive director of Wildlife Mississippi.


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422 Highway 61 North, Natchez, Miss.

John L. Sullivan LUTCF   601-445-8868 

jsullivan2@alfains.com

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Contact Us

News for Southwest Mississippi and East Central Louisiana, including Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Wilkinson counties and Concordia and Catahoula parishes.

Offices:
15044 Blue Marlin Terrace, Bonita Springs. FL 34135
601-431-2990

missloumagazine@gmail.com

Peter Rinaldi, publisher
Clarisse Washington, editor

There's an ATM at each of our branches. www.regions.com. Member FDIC. An Equal Housing Lender.

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Contact Us News for Southwest Mississippi and East Central Louisiana, including Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Wilkinson counties and Concordia and Catahoula parishes.

Offices:
15044 Blue Marlin Terrace, Bonita Springs. FL 34135
601-431-2990

missloumagazine@gmail.com

Peter Rinaldi, publisher
Clarisse Washington, editor



DUSTIN C. RINALDI, CFP®, AWMA®, CRPC®

SERVICES 

Financial Planning: Personalized plans from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ to help you reach your financial goals

Investment Management: Custom built investment strategies developed to maximize return depending on your desired risk level.

Tax Strategy: Explore the different ways to manage, reduce, and defer your taxes. 

Business Consulting: Let us help set up the right retirement plan for you and your company. 


Financial Planner

After working for a large bank and a large brokerage firm, Dustin felt these institutions put shareholders before clients. As a result, he opened his own boutique wealth management firm more than 10 years ago, vowing to always put his clients’ needs above all else. This guiding principle was a key to success. Today, he provides wealth management services for more than 200 families. In his spare time, Dustin loves being with his family. Dustin’s wife, Lauren, is a corporate accountant, and his daughter, Jane, is a ball of sunshine. Dustin’s mother, father, brother, nephews, aunt, and uncle have all made Southwest Florida their home. 


Credentials  
  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™
  • Accredited Wealth Management Advisor
  • Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor
  • FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 registrations
  • Former adjunct professor for Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Former Enrolled Agent tax advisor recognized by the Department of Treasury
  • Former expert witness for tax and investment litigation
  • Life, disability, and long term care insurance registration
  • National Social Security Advisor Certificate Holder
  • Certified Notary Public
 Education 
  • Yale CIMA online program Investment Management Theory & Practice
  • Florida Gulf Coast University CFP® program
  • University of Southern Mississippi bachelor's degree in business
  • College of Financial Planning AWMA® and CRPC® programs
 Personal 
  • Community involvement includes Super Kids, Kiwanis, Toastmasters, and the Chamber of Commerce 
  • Enjoys spending time with family, reading, traveling, boating, golfing, and watching documentaries


Rinaldi Wealth Management 

24311 Walden Center Drive, Suite 100, Bonita Springs, FL 34134

Office: 239.444.6111   Fax: 239.444.6112 

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm 

Visit our website: https://rwmadvisor.com


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Miss-Lou Magazine

News for Southwest Mississippi and East Central Louisiana, including Adams, Jefferson, Franklin and Wilkinson counties and Concordia and Catahoula parishes.

Offices:
15044 Blue Marlin Terrace, Bonita Springs. FL 34135
601-431-2990

missloumagazine@gmail.com

Peter Rinaldi, publisher
Clarisse Washington, editor