Aerospace entrepreneurs envision ‘Silicon Valley of the South’ in MS
Tunica is slated to be one of seven sites in a statewide project being billed as “the Silicon Valley of the South.”
The individuals driving the project held a press conference on Wednesday, May 11, at GoldStrike Casino. In addition to area media, guests included local and state elected officials, law enforcement and potential investors.
Donald Green of the Mississippi Delta Council of Farm Workers introduced a panel of speakers which included Dr. Alex Cheng of the University of Mississippi, Bill Blackwelder of the Clarksdale based United Southern UAS, and Dr. Thomas Mensah, a world-renowned inventor. State Senators Robert Jackson and Willie Simmons of Cleveland also offered greetings on behalf of the state.
Cheng, who serves as the Dean of Engineering and a professor of Civil Engineering at Ole Miss, said the university was excited to partner with the project.
Cheng said he recently reminded a graduating class at the university that the world was changing and technology is the force behind many of those changes. He explained that historically, students have graduated from his program only to find jobs outside of the state.
Partnership launches new job prospects for Tunicans
At least 10 Tunica County residents are among 13 trainees who began eight to 10 weeks of basic manufacturing skills and hands on training sessions this week, the culmination of a partnership among county and company officials, Northwest Community College and Florine Miller, who landed in Tunica in 2014 to assist displaced Harrah’s Casino employees.
Miller, coordinator from South Delta Planning & Development for a National Emergency Grant, said Monday that the partnership was “long in the making.” A conversation with Feuer Powertrain about their workforce needs set in motion a cooperative effort that could now expand to serve other manufacturers and businesses.
Miller and Feuer human resources director Wanda McKinnon drew workforce educators from Northwest into the mix, also involving local economic development official Lyn Arnold.
Let Us Pray
Youth Court taps into resources to help heal families, community
Every month, Tunica County’s Youth Court designee Henry Hargrow reports the last month’s activity, bringing the Board of Supervisors and the public up to date. He offers the total number of referrals – 32 in April, 80 total thus far in 2016 – and the underlying cause of each referral, ranging from truancy to assault.
But working with youth isn’t a numbers game. The lives of real people are involved, and Hargrow cares. Last month, he asked supervisors to see and hear beyond the numbers to the families he tries to help.
“Our young people are in trouble,” Hargrow told the Board on May 2. “Some serious stuff is happening.”
Hargrow and his co-workers try to intercept youth in their first brush with the law and redirect them onto a more productive path. They don’t deal solely with the kids but also work to hold the families accountable, in order to help the child.
Referrals to Youth Court, a division of Chancery Court, most often come from the schools, from the Sheriff’s Office, or from parents. Hargrow is the initial contact for most families when there is an issue regarding a juvenile. He serves as the administrator for the court, setting hearing dates, handling paperwork and working directly with the families.
Although Hargrow has been on the job for two years, longtime referee (or judge) Bard Selden retired at the end of 2015. Local attorney Joe Dulaney, who had served as the Youth Court defender since 1998, stepped in as judge. Tom Tucker III replaced Dulaney as the new defender. Lindsay Jones continues as Youth Court prosecutor but now also is the Child Support Master in Tunica County.
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