Wednesday, July 7, 2010 • 50¢ sports Mayor, aldermen reject their pay raises By Steve Sanoski email@example.com brees book N.O. QB opens up on family tragedy B1 In an effort to save a little cash and show they’re not exempt from potential cuts in the forthcoming budget, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday to forgo a scheduled 5 percent pay increase for themselves. “We thought it would have been unwise to give our- Paul Winfield Sid Beauman selves raises at this time, especially when we are unable to give raises to our employees,” said Mayor Paul Winfield of the closed session vote. According to a 2002 ordinance, the mayor Michael and alderMayfield men are to receive 5 percent raises in July of each administration’s second and third years in office. Winfield and the aldermen took office last July. The vote means the annual salaries will remain $81,033.68 for Winfield and $64,827.10 for South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman and North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield. The increase would have raised Winfield’s salary by $4,051.68, and the aldermen’s by $3,421.35 each. “We can’t afford it. Period,” Tonight: Chance of showers; low near 72 Thursday: Chance of showers; high near 95 Mississippi River: 33.5 feet No change Flood stage: 43 feet A7 DEATH • Charlie Roberts Evans By Danny Barrett Jr. firstname.lastname@example.org A7 TODAY IN HISTORY 1846: U.S. annexation of California is proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison. 1865: Four people are hanged in Washington, D.C., for conspiring with John Wilkes John Wilkes Booth to Booth assassinate President Abraham Lincoln. 1898: The United States annexes Hawaii. 1908: The Democratic national convention, which nominated William Jennings Bryan for president, opens in Denver. 1948: Six female reservists become the first women to be sworn into the regular U.S. Navy. 1983: 11-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, leaves for a visit to the Soviet Union at Samantha the personSmith al invitation of Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov. david jackson•The Vicksburg Post Laura Blackledge, 23, has been a Miss Mississippi volunteer since she was 5. Volunteer likes pageant out of the spotlight By Manivanh Chanprasith email@example.com First night As the daughter of a pageant official, Laura Blackledge gets a big sister each time a new Miss Mississippi is crowned. And, after 23 years, she says it’s still a lot of fun. Every summer for the last decade, Blackledge, daughter of David and Jan Blackledge, has volunteered in the Miss Mississippi Corporation’s administrative office to help with errands and odds and ends. She has been to countless rehearsals and might have even See Blackledge, Page A7. The Miss Mississippi 2010 pageant kicks off tonight with the first of three nights of preliminary competition at the Vicksburg Convention Center at 8. The new Miss Mississippi, one of 45 young women competing, will be crowned Saturday night in a show that will be broadcast live on WLBT-TV3. Tickets to the pageant, the 53rd in Vicksburg, are available by calling 601-638-6746 or visiting www.missmississippipageant.com. The Blackledge family poses with Miss Mississippi Myra Barginear in 1997 in Atlantic City. Laura, then 10, is with sister Lindsey, 6, and parents, David and Jan. ROLLING IN INDEX Business................................A5 Classifieds............................. B6 Comics...................................A6 Puzzles................................... B5 Dear Abby............................ B5 Editorial.................................A4 People/TV............................. B4 Call us Advertising....601-636-4545 Classifieds....... 601-636-SELL Circulation......601-636-4545 News................601-636-4545 E-mail us See A2 for e-mail addresses ONLINE VOLUME 128 NUMBER 188 2 SECTIONS meredith spencer•The Vicksburg Post Clouds and rain move up the Mississippi River at Vicksburg Tuesday evening as a storm moved into the area. The National Weather Service, which was predicting COME clear skies and temperatures in the high 80s today, reported this morning that .59 inch of rain fell in the city during the 24 hours ending at 7 this morning. HOPEDALE, La. — In the fallout from the BP oil disaster, they’re almost invisible: deckhands and other day laborers who get paid in cash, don’t receive W2 forms, may not file tax returns and have little or no way of proving they are losing income because of the spill. “We run into them on a daily basis. They’re stuck in limbo,” Tuan Nguyen, deputy director of the Mary Queen of Vietnam Community Development Corp. in eastern New Orleans, said. Nguyen said he has encountered hundreds of workers, mostly deckhands, who lack AFRAID OF ENDOSCOPY? SEE OUR NURSE ANESTHETIST... ASK FOR US...BY NAME...YOU HAVE A CHOICE! 601-638-8801 Values on Warren County’s private and commercial properties grew by 1.9 percent in the past year — within officials’ recent predictions of slower development but not slow enough to force a tax rate hike for 2010-11. A property’s value and the tax rate are both factors in Brighter determining road signs taxes owed, coming along with the rate of assessment. In recent years, Warren County supervisors have kept tax rates almost even, relying on higher values to generate more income for the county. Real and personal property for homes and businesses totaled $3,504,755,820 on the new tax roll tally by Tax Assessor Richard Holland’s office. Development of new commercial property — often a saving grace of sorts for local government to build up values — trailed off this year to just one new hotel and one restaurant. Taxes this year were based in part from a 5.9 percent upshot in total property values, mostly from a On A3 See County, Page A3. Cash-pay workers in limbo after spill By The Associated Press CONTACT US www.vicksburgpost.com See City, Page A7. County expects no hike in taxes MISS MISSISSIPPI WEATHER said Mayfield. In March, the board announced none of the city’s roughly 550 employees would receive any non-merit raises for the foreseeable future. Winfield said Tuesday that policy, whereby employees must achieve a promotion or various accreditations to receive a raise, is still in effect. 1815 Mission 66 the documentation BP needs from claimants seeking a piece of the $20 billion of the oil giant’s aid fund. “It’s a very cash-involved industry,” said Nguyen, whose organization formed after Hurricane Katrina to help the Vietnamese community recover from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “Some of the boat captains or boat owners, they sell fish on the side of the road or directly to families. They don’t have records of that.” Stuart Smith, an attorney handling oil-spill lawsuits, said seeking aid can be intimidating, and some cash See Oil, Page A7. Albert F. Chiempraibha M.D.