Winds of change rippling thru county waters
Times, they are a changin’ in Tunica County.
On Friday, Oct. 1, the Board of Supervisors formally acknowledged the retirement of Tax Assessor Betty Gayle Fields. They appointed Ken Murphree to fill the position until county elections are held in November 2011. A resolution honoring Fields’ years of service was read at a reception following the board meeting. (See resolution in next week’s edition.)
On Monday, Oct. 4, supervisors learned that county voting districts may change due to U.S. Census figures. Board attorney Andy Dulaney explained that the census bureau keeps ongoing county population estimates. Based on those, Tunica County will have to redistrict, but Dulaney noted there is a “low threshold” for changes. The official U.S. Census report is slated to be released by April 1, 2011.
Tunica to honor soldier
The life and legacy of Army private William Brandon Dawson will be celebrated by friends and family this weekend.
Dawson’s body will arrive at the Tunica Airport at 9:05 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 8. Sheriff K.C. Hamp will provide an escort from the airport to Henderson Funeral Home. Citizens are asked to line the route and may wave flags to show their support. Groups will gather along White Oak Road, in front of Rosa Fort High School, in front of Tunica Elementary School, and on Main Street in Tunica between 9:20 and 10 a.m.
TES principal proud of improvements
Although Tunica Elementary School has been struggling academically for the past few years, Principal Jeffery Blackmon remains positive as the school posts modest yet steady gains. Their 2008/2009 state test results with a QDI score of 203 points earned the school the ominous “at risk of failing” label. But with a 20 point increase in their QDI and the ability to meet AYP (adequate yearly progress) for 2009/2010, their status was elevated from “at risk” to “academic watch.”
When asked why TES seems to lag behind other elementary schools in the Tunica County School District, Blackmon claims they were handicapped by the previous administration’s failure to promptly adopt the new frameworks proposed by the Mississippi State Department of Education. In other words, they got a late start, Blackmon said. This delayed putting the new curriculum in place, as well as having teachers receive proper training regarding the new curriculum and testing format.
Big River spotlighted in film
Tunica Main Street officials hope everyone will come early and stay late on Sunday, Oct. 10.
The organization will host “The River is Life,” a free movie documenting the experiences of two men taking on the Mighty Mississippi. Ryan Jeanes and Phillip Hullquist, who are featured in the movie, began their adventure in June 2009. Their quest took them along many of the towns and cities where the film is being shown during a three month tour. The film will begin in Tunica at 7 p.m.
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