Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Local History: Death on the River, Parts 1 and 2

This week continues a series of history stories by the late Ashley Harris. Part 1 of this story first appeared in the February 16, 1995 issue; Part 2 on February 23.

In 1858 a terrible disaster occurred n the Mississippi River off Ship Island in Tunica County.  The boiler of the steamboat Pennsylvania exploded with great loss of life.  One of those killed was Henry Clemens, the younger brother of Mark Twain.

A few days before the accident Mark Twain and Henry Clemens had sat up until midnight “on a freight pile on the levee” at New Orleans.

Neither of the men had been involved in a steamboat disaster and they discussed how best to cope with one should it happen.

“We doubted if persons not clothed with authority were of much use in cases of disaster and attendant panic,” Twain would later write,”...still they might be of some use; so we decided that if a disaster ever fell within our experience we would at least stick to the boat, and give such minor service as chance might throw in the way.”

It was to be a fateful decision.

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Legal Notices for the Week of March 31, 2017




DECEASED                                                                                     CAUSE NO.:GN2016-110


On the 31st day of January, 2017, Letters of Testamentary have been issued by the Chancery Court of Tunica County, Mississippi in Cause No.:GN2016-110 the undersigned Vickie Lynn Tullos, Executrix of the Estate of Kenneth Quinn Tullos, Deceased, and notice is hereby given to all persons having claims against said estate to have the same probated and registered by the Clerk of said Court within ninety days after the first publication of this notice, and that a failure to probate and register for ninety days will bar the claims.

WITNESS my signature, this the 10th day of March, 2017.

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Bringing Awareness

Tunica County Community Affairs hosted the 5th Annual 5K Alzheimer’s Walk/Run at the Health & Wellness Pavilion, raising $1,750.

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Tunica’s transformation deepened in 2002

“The heritage you have here, the whole world wants. The casinos can’t build this; you’re the real deal.”

- Singer/songwriter

Bobby Freeman

The Tunica Miracle hinted at in 1998 truly arrived in 2002.

There was a lot to celebrate as Tunica County marked the 10th anniversary of gaming: more than ten million were visiting the resort area, gaming taxes kept climbing, and the world was taking note.

“This is mind boggling…the whole thing is mind boggling,” remarked powerful MS legislator Charlie Capps on a county-sponsored tour of the county in May.

Tunica’s prominent role in the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson title fight at Memphis’ Pyramid in June also put the spotlight on the whole region. Tyson may have ended up “down and out” in the ring, but Tunica County and the Mid-South garnered millions of dollars worth of good PR. [Editor’s note: Future president Donald Trump was one of the celebrities who attended the fight.]

Before year’s end, the community hosted two other notable events: the “Big Bang” finale in October to culminate gaming’s anniversary year; and the dedication of the town of Tunica’s Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day, when the keynote speaker was Col. Oliver North.

(The Times published special issues for all three of these historic events. The “Anniversary of Gaming” special edition features interviews with some of the pioneers of gaming.)

The year’s fourth big story was the return to local control of the county’s public school system in March, after five years under state conservatorship.

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