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Ceres Continued from Page A1. ous attempts by a number of individuals to maintain and improve the house, none proved to be profitable. In fact, every one has proven to be a dreadful loss...the only thing it can be designated as is a landmark for bankruptcy.” Advising port commissioners, George referred to proposals like the one pitched in February to transform the house into a 19th century

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 cultural village and bed-andbreakfast as “an admirable thought,” however expensive. “But a lot of folks with admirable thoughts usually have empty pocketbooks,” said George, who drew a response from commissioner and former longtime chancery clerk Oren Bailess. “We had that same conversation about 20 years ago,” Bailess said. The house came with the county’s grant-funded purchase in 1986 of the 1,290 acres off the Flowers exit from Interstate 20. Heirs of the U.G. Flowers family

had owned it. Two restaurants occupied the space during the mid-1990s before it became a plant nursery in 1998. It closed in 2007 amid a disagreement between the proprietor and commissioners over who should pay to repair the roof and address other structural issues. All three operated under a rental agreement that allowed the county to evict a tenant in the case of serious interest in the property by a commercial industry. The space has long been eyed by truck stop developers, with none coming to fruition.

On the agenda • Voted to pay a $105,355 judgment to Riverside Construction as part of a jury verdict the Vicksburg-based firm won from the commission in circuit court in April. The suit stemmed from work in 2007 and 2008 to replace the T-dock support platform at the Port of Vicksburg. The area is where solid cargo is unloaded from barges at the port. Damages awarded totaled a fraction of the $992,950 in back-costs the company calculated leading up to the verdict. Two proposals to demolish the house have been tabled by the commission.

Oil

Jones

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He and other federal officials were expected to come under questioning for what the government did — or did not do — to prevent the oil spill, and how they have responded since oil started streaming into the Gulf last month. Salazar, who oversees the federal agency that monitors offshore drilling, was testifying before two Senate committees. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen will testify at separate hearings, and oil company executives are back for a second round of questions. The hearings come amid the first high-level resignation related to the oil spill and a decision by President Barack Obama to name a presidential commission to investigate the cause of the rig explosion that unleashed

millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, where engineers are struggling after three weeks to stop the flow. The presidential panel will be similar to ones that examined the Challenger space shuttle disaster and the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident, said a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been formally announced. The commission would be one of nearly a dozen investigations and reviews launched since the April 20 explosion, although it probably would be the most comprehensive. With BP PLC, the company that owns the well, finally gaining some control over the amount of oil spewing into the gulf, scientists are increasingly wor-

ried that huge plumes of crude already spilled could get caught in a current that would carry the mess all the way to the Florida Keys and beyond, damaging coral reefs and killing wildlife. Researchers at the University of South Florida said Tuesday that oil from the spill has entered or is near the so-called loop current, and could reach Key West by Sunday. The U.S. Coast Guard reported that 20 tar balls were found off Key West on Monday, but said a lab analysis would have to determine their origin. The Florida Park Service during a shoreline survey found balls that were about 3 to 8 inches in diameter. Tar balls found on Mississippi shores were also being tested. Last week, Obama decried what he called a badly failed offshore drilling system.

The Vicksburg Post

recordings, fundraisers, clinics — these last few years was unprecedented and truly remarkable. He had gigs planned through next year” and was to play in New York next week, he added. At last year’s Jazz Awards, Jones was voted pianist of the year by the Jazz Jour-

• Approved re-advertising a contract to mow grass at Ceres. An earlier ad contained conflicting dates, officials said. • Agreed to pay $45,000 in matching funds for an anti-erosion project near the T-dock to shore up supporting soils near the platform. The balance of the $300,000 project would be funded by the Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service. The work is expected to be done by Nov. 6, USDA District conservationist Raymond Joiner said.

Costs to move the structure will depend on how far it’s hauled. An estimate outlined

in the bed-and-breakfast proposal pegged a substantial move at $3 million.

nalists Association among a crowded field of nominees that included such distinguished veterans as Kenny Barron, Cecil Taylor, Ahmad Jamal and Keith Jarrett and newer faces like Jason Moran and Matthew Shipp. With characteristic modesty, Jones declared it “should be

a group award.” “This to me is an honor and also it’s a great incentive to me to do better,” Jones said in accepting the honor. “It’s not the end of things, it’s the end of the beginning for me.” Jones was born in Vicksburg and raised in Pontiac, Mich., near Detroit.

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