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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Suspect charged in casino murder

The suspect linked to the April 5 murder at a Tunica County casino made his initial court appearance on Monday, April 16.
Nathaniel Yates III of Collierville was charged with two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping in the death of Brandi Nicole Floyd, also of Collierville, at Hollywood Casino. Bond was set at $10 million for the murder charges and $10,000 for the kidnapping.

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Rivergate Festival: 20 years of Tunica fun


From an event that almost didn’t get off the ground in its first year to one that is highly anticipated throughout the North Delta, Rivergate Festival has a compelling story of invention and reinvention in its 20 year history.
In 1991, then Chamber director Brenda Van Cleave and former mayor Bobby Williams hatched a plan for downtown Tunica to host an annual barbecue and arts & crafts festival in the spring. The two picked the third weekend of the month, April 19-20, for the inaugural festival, with a carnival to start on Thursday, April 18. The Chamber conducted a contest to choose a logo, and eventually, three winners were picked: Page Van Cleave, whose logo graced festival caps. Virginia Kittle’s entry went on aprons, and Paulette Ellison’s, tee shirts.

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Jury convicts Cotton


Seventeen years after losing their mother in a long unsolved homicide, the family of Fannie Burks got closure. Joe Cotton of Tunica was convicted of Burk’s murder in Circuit Court in Tunica County on Wednesday, April 11, after a two day trial.
In a press conference on May 13, 2009, Sheriff K.C Hamp announced a break in Burks’ murder, which had been deemed a cold case. Burks was discovered by a relative at her home in Cottonland Village on April 9, 1995. She had sustained multiple gun shot wounds. At the time, no apparent motive was determined, and no arrests were made.

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