State Board Selects Semifinalists for State Board Student Representative Program

Jackson, MS – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) has selected 10 semifinalists to serve as the SBE junior student representative in the 2020-21 school year. The SBE student representative program includes one high school junior and one high school senior who serve as non-voting SBE members and provide input on policy decisions that affect Mississippi public schools. The current junior SBE representative, Omar Jamil of DeSoto County Schools, will serve as the senior representative in 2020-21. The eligible applicant pool for the rising junior representative included 23 students. Student representatives are responsible for attending monthly SBE meetings and any standing committees o

Mississippi COVID-19 Update: 30 new cases in 21 counties

This morning MSDH is reporting 30 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, in 21 counties. Among the counties with their first #coronavirus cases are Adams, Franklin, Lee and Tippah. The state total now stands at 80, with one death. Full details of all Mississippi cases along with preventive steps to take against COVID-19 are online at New cases reported March 20, 2020 County Cases Deaths Adams 1 0 Coahoma 1 0 DeSoto 2 0 Franklin 1 0 Hancock 1 1 Harrison 1 0 Hinds 1 0 Holmes 2 0 Humphreys 1 0 Jacks

State Games Postpones Netfest, Other Announcements

Meridian, MS — The State Games of Mississippi is monitoring the ongoing concerns regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are committed to the health and well-being of our staff, board, volunteers and athletes and will be taking the necessary steps to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe during the State Games events. The State Games of Mississippi is following the recommendations and directives of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Governor’s office. We will follow their guidelines in terms of the continuation of events. Should they mandate events be canceled, State Games of Mississippi will provid

Health Officials Confirm First Coronavirus Death in Mississippi

Jackson, MS – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first death from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Mississippi. The case was a male 60-65 years old from Hancock County with chronic underlying conditions. He died in a Louisiana hospital. “As the coronavirus outbreak began claiming lives across the world, we knew this would eventually hit Mississippi. But that doesn’t make it any easier for Mississippi to lose one of our own. Elee and I are praying for all their loved ones and their community as we all deal with this tragic loss,” said Governor Tate Reeves. Currently, Mississippi has reported 50 positive cases. A total of 602 have been tested by the MSDH Public Health

SBE Votes to Suspend Assessments, Accountability, Waive Missed School Days

Jackson, MS – The Mississippi State Board of Education (SBE) voted today to suspend all federal and state assessments for the 2019-20 school year and to submit a waiver request to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for exemption of those federal requirements. As a result of the suspension of federal and state assessments, districts will retain the accountability grade for the 2020-21 school year that they received in the 2019-20 school year. Additionally, the SBE affirmed Gov. Tate Reeves’ executive order today to close schools statewide through April 17 in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). As a result, the SBE voted to allow school districts to forego the require

Vitalant, FGH schedule blood drives in Hattiesburg

Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, is scheduling a series of blood drive in Hattiesburg. Schedule your appointment by visiting or by calling, toll free, 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

Mississippi COVID-19 Update: 16 new cases

This morning the Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting 16 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi in 12 counties. Seven counties have their first coronavirus case: Holmes, Jones, Smith, Walthall, Wilkinson, Winston and Yazoo. The state total now stands at 50, with 602 individuals tested. Full details of Mississippi cases and preventive steps to take against COVID-19 are online at Mississippi COVID-19 Cases New cases reported March 19, 2020 County Cases DeSoto 1 Forrest 1 Harrison 3 Holmes 1 Jackson 1 Jones 1 Pearl River 3 Smith 1 Walthall 1 Wilkin

Laurel Little Theatre postpones scheduled performances

(The following is a press release from Laurel Little Theatre.) Because of the latest CDC guidelines for public events, Laurel Little Theatre's spring production of the Southern-Fried Trailer-Park comedy “DOUBLEWIDE, TEXAS" has been postponed. Originally planned to run the next two weekends, LLT will reset performances for later this spring or summer as public gatherings are once more safe to schedule.

Jones College postpones graduation

(The following is a press release from Jones College.) ELLISVILLE – Jones College is complying with the restrictions on event sizes recommended by the White House due to the global, Covid-19 Corona Virus pandemic and has postponed spring commencement ceremonies. The college is planning to mail diplomas to graduates and is also considering opportunities for in-person ceremony options later this summer for the May graduates who want to participate. “Jones College’s administrative leaders recognize how cancellations and changes associated with the virus have created uncertainty and disappointment,” said Jones College President, Dr. Jesse Smith. “However, the success of managing any crisis is t

Hattiesburg Half Marathon officials altar plans ahead of April 4 event

(The following information comes from officials of the Hattiesburg Half Marathon. Visit or like for more details.) Thank you for allowing us time to make decisions regarding the Hattiesburg Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k previously scheduled for April 4, 2020. The well-being and safety of our race participants is our top priority, and we have been monitoring travel and event restrictions regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. With that being said we are changing the Pinebelt regions BIGGEST one day fundraiser benefitting 14 charities to the HATTIESBURG HALF MARATHON, 10K, and 5K VIRTUAL RUN. Since this run is a fundrai

Vitalant holds blood drive in Laurel

Coronavirus fears are impacting blood supplies here are home and across the U.S. Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services, will hold a blood drive March 24th at The Cameron Center, located at 710 N. 10th Avenue in Laurel. Blood donations will be accepted from noon until 6 p.m. Schedule your appointment by visiting or by calling, toll free, 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825).

South Central Regional Medical Center unveils new policy after first positive case of the Coronaviru

(The following is a press release from SCRMC.) With Mississippi now having a growing number of presumptive cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), hospitals across the state are starting to limit patient visitation. “South Central Regional Medical Center implemented a revised visitation policy today at 2 p.m. to be proactive. This policy will remain in place until further notice,” according to Teresa Camp-Rogers, MD, Chief Quality Officer at South Central. At 4 p.m. today, South Central received notification from the Mississippi State Department of Health that the hospital had it’s first case with a positive result. The patient was from Jasper County and did not require hospitalization. “Patien

Senate Passes Legislation Allowing Local Entities to Pay Employees Administrative Leave During Emerg

Jackson, MS — The Mississippi Senate unanimously supported a bill giving counties, cities, and schools the ability pay employees who are placed on administrative leave during a State of Emergency Declaration. On March 14, 2020, the Governor issued a State of Emergency recommending the closure of school districts for one week due to the presence of or threat of the presence of COVID-19. Other local and state governmental agencies have adjusted hours and other working conditions because of the virus. Under current law, state agencies may pay state employees when they are placed on administrative leave because of an emergency declaration. House Bill 1647 (companion Senate Bill 2925) extends t

MSDH: 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Perry, other counties

(The following is a press release from the Mississippi State Department of Health.) This morning MSDH is reporting 13 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi in eight counties. Counties with their first #coronavirus cases are Bolivar, DeSoto, Madison and Perry. The state total now stands at 34, with 513 individuals tested. With the increase of COVID-19 cases across the state, preventive actions become more important for everyone. Avoid large gatherings, keep your distance in public, keep hands clean, and stay home if you are sick.

PRCC extends Spring Break, planning for online classes

(The following is a press release from Pearl River Community College.) POPLARVILLE, Miss. -- PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood reports that all Pearl River Community College campuses will be extending spring break for students during the week of March 23rd-27th. • All supervisors, administrative office personnel and department chairs should report to their offices on Monday, March 23rd at 8:00 a.m. for further instructions. Faculty and staff will be notified by their respective department chair or supervisor for specific reporting instructions. • Academic classes will be transitioning to an online format beginning March 30th for the remainder of the spring semester. Academic students will re

MSDH Announces Operations Changes Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) announces today that the agency will continue to offer core public health services with some slight changes amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The Mississippi State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory has been and will continue to operate seven days a week running test samples. The distribution centers for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program will remain open but will be limiting visits to two clients at a time inside the warehouse. County health departments will remain open with current business hours. However, anyone with fever and a cough or difficulty breathing should not come inside the county health departme

MS Education Superintendent Wants To Suspend State Tests

The coronavirus may have a lasting impact on this school year… The Mississippi superintendent of education says state and federal testing requirements should be suspended. The growing number of coronavirus testing could be halting academic testing. State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright is recommending to the state board of education that a half dozen assessment and accountability requirements be deferred. Those tests include the “Mississippi Academic Assessment program” and the “A-C-T” for high school juniors. Doctor Wright calls it an “unprecedented time in our state and country.” She is also recommending the state board may need to waive attendance, promotion and graduation policies if


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