Good morning, Mississippi editors.
The news editor is Brian Schwaner (1-504-523-3931). The AP photographer is Rogelio Solis. If you have contributions for or questions about the Mississippi report, call 1-601-948-5897. To report technical problems: 1-800-469-1362. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (877-836-9477).
JACKSON, Miss. — Former Democratic Mississippi congressman Gene Taylor will stay on the Republican primary ballot opposing incumbent U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo. After a closed meeting of the state Republican executive committee on Wednesday, Chairman Joe Nosef said members voted 25-10 to certify Taylor's place on the June 3 ballot. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 512 words.
JACKSON, Miss. — Teacher pay raise proposals gained momentum Wednesday at the Mississippi Capitol. Senators unanimously passed a plan that would give teachers an additional $1,500 this July 1 and another $1,000 a year later. After that, teachers could become eligible for merit raises. The House passed its own teacher pay raise plan in early February. The two Republican-controlled chambers must agree on a single plan before anything can go to Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who has said he generally favors increasing teachers' compensation. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 515 words, photos.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi House of Representatives is considering a package to restrict some union organizing and picketing practices, as well as local laws that might benefit workers. The House could give final passage to the bills, sending them to Gov. Phil Bryant for his consideration. By Jeff Amy. SENT: 450 words by 5 p.m. CST.
JACKSON, Miss. — A gay-rights group is asking Mississippi legislators to specify that a religious-practices bill won't open the way for discrimination if it becomes law. A lobbying group for the Mississippi Baptist Convention, on the other hand, is urging lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 2681, titled the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 575 words.
XGR-FREEDOM SUMMER HONOR
JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi lawmakers are honoring civil rights activists as the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer approaches. Hundreds of college students from across the nation converged on the state in 1964 to help local people challenge what was then a strictly segregated society. They registered black voters, established schools and did other projects to help people who were struggling with generations of poverty and racial oppression. By Emily Wagster Pettus. SENT: 311 words.
UNDATED — A second baby born with the AIDS virus may have had her infection put into remission and possibly cured by very early treatment — in this instance, four hours after birth. Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. The girl was born in suburban Los Angeles last April, a month after researchers announced the first case from Mississippi. By Chief Medical Writer Marilynn Marchione. SENT: 529 words.
AP Photo NY475.
JACKSON, Miss. — Total Environmental Solutions Inc. and Utility Services LLC have agreed to address violations of the Clean Water Act, including effluent violations and unauthorized overflows of untreated raw sewage at 18 sites in Mississippi. The Department of Justice announced the consent decree Wednesday in lawsuit filed by the Environment Protection Agency and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. SENT: 299 words.
GREENWOOD, Miss. — Leflore County and Balkamp, a NAPA parts distributor who closed down its Greenwood distribution center in 2009, have settled a lawsuit over the deed, lease and taxes on its former building. County supervisors have voted to void tax sales on Balkamp's former home in the Greenwood-Leflore Industrial Park, bringing to an end several years of legal wrangling. SENT: 340 words.
MISSISSIPPI NEWS IN BRIEF
WASHINGTON CO. JAIL
GREENVILLE, Miss. — The Washington County Board of Supervisors is advertising for bids on a new camera system for the jail. Assistant chief sheriff's deputy Percy Miles, the jail's interim warden, said the current system, which utilizes still cameras, is not up to the task. UPCOMING: 293 words at 3:20 a.m. CST.
GAUTIER, Miss. — The city of Gautier is undertaking a self-funded $3.2 million project to transition from manual- to radio-read water meters and to retrofit interior lighting of all city buildings. The project will also retrofit pole lighting at George Martin City Park and City Hall. UPCOMING: 130 words at 3 a.m. CST.
CALEDONIA, Miss. — The town of Caledonia is spending $5,000 on an annexation study. Mayor Bill Lawrence says Oxford-based firm Bridge & Watson Inc., conduct a comprehensive study on what would happen if Caledonia's town limits were expanded. UPCOMING: 125 words at 3:27 a.m. CST.
GREENVILLE, Miss. — The City of Greenville is spending $10,845 to determine the competitiveness of its current salary levels for city workers. John C. Stennis Institute of Government will conduct the study. UPCOMING: 271 words at 3:38 a.m. CST.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG RING
GULFPORT, Miss. — A Georgia doctor and three Mississippi men have been indicted on federal charges of illegally distributing painkillers. At a news conference Wednesday in Gulfport, federal authorities announced the arrests of Dr. Sanjay Sinha, 49, of Woodstock, Ga.; Biloxi residents Robert Thornton II, 36, and Joshua Locke, 36; and John Mattina, 44, of Ocean Springs. SENT: 245 words.
LONG BEACH PIER
LONG BEACH, Miss. — Harrison County officials say they spent $174,000 to repair the Jim Simpson Pier in Long Beach with the understanding the Federal Emergency Management Agency would reimburse them. The county has been notified by the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency that no reimbursement is coming. SENT: 279 words.
GREENWOOD, Miss. — Leflore County is beginning the installation of eight new warning sirens. The original grant paperwork listed incorrect locations for eight of the 11 sirens — in flood plains, on private property or under power lines — and approval from the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency was needed before hooking them up in a new location. SENT: 121 words.
JONES FAMILY CEMETERY
OXFORD, Miss. — The Lafayette County Planning Commission has halted further development on a site located in Lafayette Springs due to graves found on the west side of the land. The commission gave the OK to still continue development on the east side. The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors has approved the portion of the Welch Farms development project that does not involve the cemetery. By Jerra Scott. Upcoming: 900 words by 3:28 a.m. CST
ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia looked to solidify a bye to the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament when it hosts Mississippi State, a team UGa beat by 20 points on the road in their first meeting. By Sports Writer Paul Newberry. SENT: 700 words, photos.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas has climbed into the NCAA tournament picture by winning seven of its last eight games. The Razorbacks look to continue their winning ways when they host Mississippi, which has won four straight in Fayetteville, on Wednesday night. By Sports Writer Kurt Voigt. SENT: 700 words, photos.
DULUTH, Ga. — Jessica Jackson and No. 11 seed Arkansas face Valencia McFarland and No. 14 seed Ole Miss in the opening round of the SEC women's tournament. SENT: 150 words.
DULUTH, Ga. — Bri Kulas and No. 12 seed Missouri face Martha Alwal and No. 13 seed Mississippi State in the opening round of the SEC women's tournament. SENT: 150 words.
The AP-Jackson, Miss.
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