Delta faces ruined dreams, rekindled hope
PART 1 of 2
Along Highways 3 and 49 in the north Mississippi Delta, things are bleak. Towns are crumbling and looted of any pleasant veneer. Empty buildings, once home to industry, rot on a landscape known for its fertile soil. People and stray dogs wander aimlessly through sagging shells of towns. The dismal stretches of roadway look bombed out and broken, like they’ve been through war.
Once roads to riches, 3 and 49 have become roads of broken dreams.
County budget trimmed for FY 2011
With gaming revenues continuing to decline, Tunica County has proposed a budget of $33 million in general county funds and $5 million for the road department for the next fiscal year. Last year’s proposed budget was $40 million. The year before, county administator Clifton Johnson presented a budget of $46 million.
According to a budget worksheet prepared by county officials, the greatest portions of funding will be spent by the the Tunica County Sheriff’s Department, the Board of Supervisors, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Paul Battle Arena, the Tunica County Jail, the two local clinics, Tunica National and the RiverPark. Each of these entities will spend over $1 million during the next year.
New terminal set to serve 80,000+
As promised, Tunica Airport officials welcomed guests to the freshly completed terminal on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Airport director Cliff Nash said that two sets of passengers had utilized the facility that morning and more were set to come through the doors with the holiday weekend.
Nash thanked C& M Builders and Allen and Hoshall for their work on the project. He noted that some small details remained before the building was deemed completely finished, but the airport staff was excited to support Harrah’s Entertainment and other casinos using air service to bring in customers. He said the terminal will be “more suited” for passenger use.
Robinsonville making strides
According to the preliminary results released by the Mississippi Department of Education, Robinsonville Elementary School has a good reason to give itself a pat on the back. RES has shown the greatest academic growth of all the schools in the Tunica County district for the 2009/2010 school year. The MCT2 (Mississippi Curriculum Test 2) scores from Robinsonville demonstrate that students met “adequate yearly progress” and No Child Left Behind requirements for both math and language (the only subjects currently tested) in the 3rd through 5th grades.
The high individual test scores translate into a cumulative QDI (qualitative distribution index) label of “successful.” This is a significant improvement over the previous two years, when the school had a QDI label of “at risk.”
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