PRISON CONTRACT CHANGE
Miss. chooses new firm to run Woodville prison
WOODVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi officials have picked a new company to run the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.
Utah-based Management and Training Corp. announced Friday that the Mississippi Department of Corrections has chosen it to run the 1,000-bed prison starting July 1, the Natchez Democrat reports.
Corrections Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tenn., had run the prison since 1998. MTC says it will keep "the vast majority" of employees.
MTC will get a 5-year contract to run the prison with two 1-year options. Last year, officials chose MTC to take over East Mississippi Correctional Facility, the Walnut Grove Correctional Facility and the Marshall County Correctional Facility from the GEO Group. MTC won 10-year contracts for each.
CCA still runs the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility and the Adams County Correctional Center in Mississippi.
MVSU PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH
College Board starts MVSU presidential search
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - After failing to attract a temporary leader for Mississippi Valley State University, the College Board has decided to look for permanent president for the Itta Bena school.
College Board President has named five board members, led by Shane Hooper of Saltillo, to look for a new leader for Mississippi's smallest public university.
Valley has been without a president since October, when the College Board declined to renew Donna Oliver's contract after four years.
Alfred Rankins Jr., the College Board's associate commissioner for academic and student affairs, has been acting president since. The board tried to hire an interim president in January, but the candidate backed out. After that, board members said they were in no hurry to name a permanent president at Valley, saying the school needed administrative reforms.
MVSU gets approval for $11 more for gym expansion
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Another $11 million has been added to the budget to expand and renovate Mississippi Valley State University's gymnasium complex.
The College Board approved plans Thursday to raise the budget for the overhaul of the R.W. Harrison Health, Physical Education and Recreation Complex to $17.5 million. The complex includes the 5,000-seat gymnasium where Valley's basketball teams play. Plans call for an addition that will host academic assemblies and athletic events. The College Board had approved earlier plans with the understanding that more money would be added from a legislative bond issue.
The $17 million will pay for the first phase of planned work. A second phase to renovate the swimming pool and provide support space for academic functions of the school's health, physical education and recreation department would come later.
Moss Point man found drowned after going overboard
MOSS POINT, Miss. (AP) - The body of a drowned fisherman has been found in the Escatawpa River.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says the body of Timothy Gordon Sr. of Moss Point was found about 12 p.m. Saturday, the Mississippi Press reports.
Gordon and companion Curtis Coleman, a Grand Bay, Ala., resident were fishing on the Escatawpa River about 5 p.m. Friday when their boat hit something and both men were thrown overboard. Gordon was not wearing a life preserver.
Another boater rescued Coleman and called police. Moss Point Fire Chief Clarence Parks says authorities searched for Gordon until about 11:30 p.m. Friday and resumed the search Saturday morning.
Local agencies and the Department of Marine Resources marine patrol aided in the search.
Observer predicts speedy confirmation for Brown
TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown.
If confirmed, Brown would become the state's first black female district judge.
Carl Tobias, a professor at Virginia's University of Richmond, tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that Brown is "well-qualified, noncontroversial and diverse," like many judicial nominees by President Barack Obama. Tobias predicts a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing this summer and the full Senate vote in the fall.
Northern District Chief Judge Michael P. Mills says Brown's nomination is "good news" considering that the district has had no judge based in its Greenville courthouse since Allen W. Pepper Jr. died in January 2012. Since then, the two district judges, two senior judges and magistrates have shouldered larger numbers of cases.
Miss. mayoral candidate: Radical or mainstream?
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A lawyer who was active in a black nationalist group decades ago is running for mayor of Mississippi's capital city.
Can he persuade voters that he's a mainstream politician concerned about a diverse swath of people?
That's a big question as Chokwe Lumumba (SHOW-kway Lu-MOOM-bah) faces businessman Jonathan Lee in Tuesday's Democratic primary runoff in Jackson.
The Democratic nominee is expected to become mayor. Three lesser-known independent candidates are on the June 4 general election ballot.
In the May 7 Democratic primary, Lee was first, Lumumba was second and current Mayor Harvey Johnson was third.
Lumumba says there's no reason people should be concerned about his work with the Republic of New Afrika, which he says advocated "an independent predominantly black government" in the South.
Wesson dedicating veterans memorial
WESSON, Miss. (AP) - The city of Wesson was breaking ground Saturday for a veterans memorial that could eventually serve as the gateway to a new town park.
The Daily Leader reports that Wesson received a grant to pay for landscaping, walking track, lighting and perhaps part of a pavilion for a town park.
Mayor Alton Shaw says veterans memorial feature a brick walkway, benches, a fountain and flagpoles.
Shaw says the city was looking for something that could be a cornerstone entrance to the park.
He says the city will purchase the needed bricks for the memorial and a city employee who can lay brick will construct it.
The memorial, however, may stand alone for a while. Shaw doesn't expect work on the park to begin until next spring.
City snuffs smoking ban expansion
MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - The McComb Board of Selectmen has voted down a proposed ordinance that would ban smoking in all public workplaces in the city.
The Mississippi Tobacco Free Coalition had proposed the ordinance. The Enterprise-Journal reports that the board voted 5-0 this week against the ordinance.
The city already has an ordinance on the books that bans smoking in most public places. Restaurants and bars that have smoking sections must keep them separate from non-smoking dining areas and have a separate air filtration system.
Selectman Ted Tullos says the decision was for the benefit of local businesses.
Mayor Whitney Rawlings, who was out of town, says he was disappointed by the decision. He says being a healthy community is very important and the ordinance would have spoken to that.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.