Aldermen honor longtime minister, civil rights activist with street naming

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 24, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; A longtime minister and civil rights activist was honored by the Natchez Board of Aldermen Tuesday night with the naming of a street in his honor.

Aldermen voted to rename Georgia Street after the Rev. Shead Baldwin, who was also played a key part in the revival of the local NAACP chapter in the mid 1960s.

Alderman Theodore &uot;Bubber&uot; West said he couldn’t think of a better candidate for such an honor. &uot;He stood up at a time when other people would not stand,&uot; West said.

Email newsletter signup

In retaliation for his efforts during the civil rights era, two of Baldwin’s churches were burned to the ground, said Alderman Ricky Gray.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, City Attorney Walter Brown announced that he received earlier that day a proposed agreement from Emerald Star Casino and Resort.

The agreement would include options on four parcels of riverfront property for development of a casino and other related developments.

&uot;But I haven’t had a chance to look over it yet,&uot; Brown said at the meeting. The issue will probably be taken up during the Board of Aldermen’s next meeting.

And aldermen authorized Mayor F.L. &uot;Hank&uot; Smith to sign a letter to members of the area’s congressional delegation, asking them appropriate funds for north Natchez drainage improvements.

The city had asked Congress for a $7.638 million grant for the project. However, Congress only approved $25 million for drainage projects in the Corps’ Vicksburg District.

That was only enough money for the first six projects on the district’s prioritized list. Natchez was eighth on the list.

But it might be raised to seventh, since Jefferson County could probably not find enough funds to provide a match even if its project was approved, according to City Engineer David Gardner.

With that in mind, city officials are asking businesses and residents in north and downtown Natchez to also write letters to the area’s congressional delegation, asking them to raise the $25 million cap by $8 million for the Natchez project.