Mississippi Reports First West Nile Virus Death for 2017, Nine New Human Cases

JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first West Nile virus (WNV) death in a Mississippi resident for 2017. The resident was from Grenada County. Additionally, MSDH is reporting nine new human cases in the last week (incudes the reported death), bringing the state total to 19 for 2017. The newly reported cases are in Forrest (2), Grenada, Hinds, Jones, Lincoln, Madison, Rankin and Scott counties. So far this year cases have been reported in Covington, Forrest (4), Grenada, Hinds (4), Humphreys, Jones, Leflore, Lincoln, Madison, Perry, Rankin (2), and Scott counties. The MSDH only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public. In 2016, Mississ

City of Hattiesburg accepts bids for Mt. Carmel Baptist Church demolition

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A good portion of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church's property was damaged by the 2013 tornado. City officials closed down North Main Street and East 5th Street a couple of weeks ago to protect citizens from the possibility of the church collapsing, and are now accepting bids to demolish building b of the church. Chief Administrative Officer, Ann Jones said, "What this process would do is to mitigate this liability long-term with the removal just of the dilapidated structure." The public hearing will be on August 15. If the city moves on with this process, bids would be open for review on September 4. "We have tried to address this and make sure that we have addressed every aspe

BREAKING: Collins mother and daughters found safe in Texas

COLLINS, MS. - A 29-year-old mother and her two daughters have been found safe in Texas Tuesday according to Collins Police Chief Joey Ponder. "U.S. Customs located the family near the Mexico border in Laredo, Texas. They were found safe and okay" said Chief Ponder. Nicole Sanford and her two daughters Jasmine Menjivar, 8, and Alexis Menjivar, 6, were reported missing by Sanford's employer Thursday afternoon. The daughters' father is from Mexico. "We believe the family was going to see the daughter's father in Mexico" Chief Ponder said.

HGTV Home Town season two kicks off

Laurel, Miss. - The second season of HGTV's 'Home Town' kicked off filming Monday in Laurel. Laurel's two stars, Ben and Erin Napier, are HGTV's leading duo with their renovation historic home show in Southern Mississippi. Erin Napier posted to instagram to announce season two filming started today. The release date for the second season is not set.

USM Honored as School of Distinction for Online Degree Programs

This is a press release from University of Southern Mississippi. Hattiesburg, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi has been honored as a School of Distinction by online resource guide BestColleges.com. The inaugural list recognizes colleges and universities that lead the way in online education through a diverse selection of accessible and rigorous academic programs. Of the more than 3,500 not-for-profit colleges and universities nationwide, more than 2,100 offer online degree programs; of these, only 115 schools qualified for the site’s Schools of Distinction list. These top-performing institutions are consistently represented across the site’s program rankings for their academic

Laurel man arrested, burglary

LAUREL, Miss. - One Laurel man has been arrested for burglary. Laurel Police said Waushekia Davis, 21, committed a burglary early Saturday morning at the Trustmark Bank located on Audubon Drive. Police located and arrested Davis shortly after the crime. Nothing was stolen. Davis faces one count of burglary.

Non-profit organization gives over 700 backpacks away

LAUREL, MS. - A non-profit organization, Eternity Action Alliance (EAA) passed out over 700 backpacks and supplies to families in Laurel at St. Elmo Baptist Church Friday. The organization received the backpacks and supplies through donations. Public Relations Rep. Katherine Parker of EAA said many Pine Belt families struggle financially to prepare their children. “Sometimes just the money is not there, you never know what a family is going through" said Parker. She added, "There could have been a death in the family, mom or dad get laid off, there is no telling what takes place in a family.” According to Parker families say it costs around $150 to prepare a child with supplies for the upcom

William Carey's College of Osteopathic Medicine building reopens

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The devastating EF-3 tornado that hit William Carey University in January damaged 49 of its 50 buildings, including the College of Osteopathic Medicine. But, now, the building is up and running again. "The leadership of the university, Dr. Tommy King and the Board of Trustees led an effort to get us back in here within seven months. And to be built back and ready to go at this point is just truly amazing. We're actually better off than we were before the tornado," said Dr. James Turner, Dean of College of Osteopathic Medicine. After the tornado happened, students and faculty members were unsure what was going to happen. "We really didn't know where we were going to be. A

MS tax free weekend underway

PINE BELT, MS. - The state's tax free weekend started Friday. Certain clothing and shoe items totaling under $100 will be free from the 7% state tax. The holiday weekend ends Saturday at midnight. See the following information below: Eligible: The exemption applies to many articles of clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item (or pair), including but not limited to: Baby clothes Gym suits and school uniforms Hosiery Nightgowns and nightshirts Veils Work clothes and uniforms Not eligible: Single items or items sold as a unit with a sales price of $100 or more are not eligible for the exemption. In addition, the exemption does not apply to rentals of clothing or footwear. Other no

Hub City man and his girlfriend arrested for robbing Taco Bell

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A man and a woman were arrested this week for an armed robbery that happened in Hattiesburg. Hattiesburg Police said William Jackson, 30, and his girlfriend, Angela Simmons, 37, displayed a handgun and stole an undisclosed amount of money from the Taco Bell at 4908 Hardy Street on Saturday, July 22. Simmons turned herself into authorities on Wednesday, and is charged with hindering prosecution in connection to armed robbery. Jackson turned himself in Thursday, and is charged with one count of armed robbery. No injuries of the armed robbery were reported.

Perry County man arrested for shooting a person in the head

PERRY COUNTY, Miss. - One man has been arrested for a shooting incident. Perry County Deputies said Cyrus Street, 26, shot a man in the head Thursday on Forrest Lake Road. The victim was transported to Forrest General Hospital, and is in stable condition. Deputies arrested Street, and he is charged with aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Head-on Collision Traps Driver, Airlifted To Hospital

JONES COUNTY, MS. - The following is a press release from the Jones County Volunteer Fire Department. A two vehicle head-on collision early Thursday morning left one driver trapped in her vehicle with injuries. At around 5:30 a.m., Soso and Calhoun Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the scene of the accident on Feed Mill Road near Highway 28. Initial units to arrive on scene found two heavily damaged vehicles blocking the roadway. The white SUV involved had extensive damage, mainly to its front-end, and the Ford F-150 had damage to its front-end and driver's side. A Sheriff's deputy reported that the adult female driver of the pickup truck was trapped in the vehicle and extrication woul

Jones County structure burns for second time in less than a year

JONES COUNTY, MS. - The following is a press release from the Jones County Volunteer Fire Department. A home-converted-storage building burned for the second time in less than a year Thursday morning. Glade, Powers, M&M and Ovett Volunteer Fire Departments responded to the scene of what was reported to be a house fire on George Boutwell Road off of Highway 15 South. Initial reports stated that no occupants were inside of the home, and later stated that this was the same structure that had caught fire in 2016, some 8 months ago. Initial firefighters to arrive on scene stated that the structure was fully involved, fire was spreading into nearby woods and a camper trailer was exposed to the int

Spectrum Center Board President, Dennis Cowles weighs in on transgender ban

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - President Donald Trump recently stated he wants to ban all transgenders from the U.S. Military. And with little time wasted, leaders across the country have voiced their thoughts. White House Deputy Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "Obviously it's a very difficult decision. It's not a simple one, but the president feels it's the best for the military." New York Representative, Sean Patrick Maloney said, "Today, a president who never served is attacking thousands of heroes who do." Dennis Cowles, Board President of the Spectrum Center disagrees with President Trump's ban, and does not understand why he wants this to happen. "The American Medical Association h

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