The 70th Delta Council annual meeting is Friday, May 6, and will include a salute to the Mississippi River. An acclaimed historian who wrote about the 1927 flood of the river and the director for the nation's flood control and navigation projects will be the featured guests at the meeting.

Author John Barry, who wrote Rising Tide, and Major General Don Riley, director of civil works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will share the platform at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University, Cleveland, Miss.

“The Mississippi River, from both a geologic and economic standpoint, is responsible for the early settlement and most of the development of the Mississippi Delta, and indeed it is the thread that connects us in our special region,” said Delta Council President Ken Murphree of Tunica, Miss.

“Our speakers have a unique perspective on this massive resource. John Barry will chronicle how the 1927 flood on the Mississippi River had a profound impact not only in the Lower Mississippi Valley, but across the political landscape of the United States. Major General Don Riley's message is one of the stewardship and management of this resource.

“Nowhere in the country is this message more understood and relevant today than the Mississippi Delta, and we are pleased that these two prominent men will address Delta Council members and guests.”

For the fourth consecutive year, Delta Council will honor top achievers from high schools throughout the 18 Delta and part-Delta counties of northwest Mississippi. Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck will recognize the students, selected for this honor by school administrators in their respective school districts.

Delta Council will also recognize Deltans who have made significant contributions in critical areas of life in the Delta.

The 2005 Good Middling Lady will be awarded to Sally Carson of Marks, Miss., for her contributions to the region.

The Delta Council annual meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. Riley and Barry's keynote addresses are scheduled to conclude at noon, when Delta Council members and guests will move to the university quadrangle for a fried catfish lunch on the grounds.

The 70th annual meeting is sponsored by BankPlus, Delta Regional Medical Center, KBH Corporation, Land Banks of Mississippi, Morgan Keegan, and Jimmy Sanders.