Friday, August 26, 2016
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The Tunica Times • P.O. Box 308/986 Magnolia Street, Tunica, MS 38676

Police urge extra security for homes, cars

A string of residential and auto burglaries that began in early December has Town of Tunica residents on edge.

Nine burglaries of homes and one business along Beat Line Road, Shady Lane, and Edwards Avenue that occurred from December 3 to December 24 are under investigation by the Tunica Police Department.

Police Chief Richard Veazey distributed a map to town aldermen on January 5 showing the location of each incident. Veazey said Koonce, Erwin & Wilkes, at 1246 Edwards in the downtown area, had experienced two burglaries during the three week time frame. Missing were several electronic items and cash, Veazey said. A residence at 1012 Edwards reported three entries or attempted entries, he said. Again, electronics and cash were the targets.

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Slow Fall

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North Tunica FD in funding crisis

Over a year ago, North Tunica County Fire District commissioner Stanley Jones warned that the fire station in the resort area would be forced to cut staffing if the district continued to be underfunded.

Now, those warnings have proven prophetic. As of January 1, 2016, the district cut the number of firefighters on duty from four to three. The move jeopardizes the district’s fire rating, which stands at seven currently but could be revised by the Fire Ratings Bureau within the Mississippi Insurance Commission. Any downgrade to the rating would adversely affect the cost of insurance for property owners in North Tunica County.

“It seems like the county is taking public safety and putting it on the back burner,” Jones said in an interview this week.

The North Tunica County Fire Protection District provides emergency services to homes and businesses in a defined section of the county. The district includes all of the casino properties; several large apartment complexes: industrial properties Schulz and GreenTech Automotive, with Feuer about to come on line; the outlet mall; and Tunica National Golf & Tennis Center. North Tunica firefighters also respond to car accidents in the north part of the county. The district has mutual aid agreements with other departments in the area such as the Tunica Fire Department and departments in Eudora and Walls, but assistance from all of those departments is at least 15 minutes away.

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County credit rating downgraded to BBB

On January 6, 2016, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lowered its rating three notches to BBB from A on Tunica County’s general obligation debt. S&P also placed the county on “CreditWatch with negative implications.”

“The downgrade is based on our view of the county’s deteriorating financial position, reflected by its very weak budgetary flexibility and budgetary performance, as well as vulnerable financial management practices,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Oscar Padilla. “The CreditWatch action follows repeated attempts by Standard & Poor’s to obtain timely information of satisfactory quality to fully access our rating on the securities in accordance with our applicable criteria and policies.”

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