Wages are increasing at the Alcorn County Regional Correctional Facility.

The Board of Supervisors on Monday approved a $2 per hour increase for hourly workers effective from June 1. That will put the starting pay for correctional officers at $13 per hour.

According to Sheriff Ben Caldwell, the facility has felt the pinch of the labor shortage and needs an increase in order to be competitive.

“We’ve got to do something or we’re not going to have any employees,” he told the board.

The increase also includes the juvenile detention facility.

Some fast food restaurants have increased pay and are offering bonuses upon hiring.

In other business, the board approved three requests for use of the courthouse grounds for events, including one aimed at bringing the community together in October for what is hoped to be a post-pandemic time of healing.

“One of the initiatives we are taking on for the next year is to look at helping all citizens heal and recover from the post-COVID mental health issues,” said Lane Yoder, executive director of the Commission on the Future of Alcorn County.

It is planned for Saturday, Oct. 2, and is expected to include a mass choir singing event and a picnic on the grounds.

“Singing and food are great ways for people to regather and reconnect,” said Yoder.

The singing will likely include five songs chosen by a community poll, and all church denominations will be encouraged to participate. The group is tentatively looking at 11 a.m. as the start time.

Chancery Clerk Greg Younger suggested the county observe the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the United States with an event on Sept. 11. The third event is a rally/block party organized by Christ Center Church on Saturday, Sept. 4, from 4 to 9 p.m.

The board cautioned that ongoing construction on the courthouse grounds could pose an obstacle to the events.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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