VICKSBURG MILITARY PARK DAMAGE
Officials respond to damage at Vicksburg battlefield park
VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — The mayor of Vicksburg says federal officials are responding to his call for attention to road and erosion damage that have closed nearly a third of Vicksburg National Military Park after a winter of heavy rains. The Vicksburg Post reports that a National Park Service incident management team is expected to be at the park this week to stabilize areas and plan for more permanent repairs. The park is the site of one of the Civil War's most significant battles and a linchpin of tourism. Flaggs wrote a letter to President Donald Trump warning about damage to the park and Vicksburg National Cemetery.
HISTORIC BUILDING DEMOLITION
Historic building to be torn down after loose bricks found
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A 140-year-old building in north Mississippi will be torn down after city inspectors concluded its brick walls can no longer hold it up. The Oxford Eagle reports that well-known chef John Currence was renovating the building just south of the Oxford square when a city inspector discovered a load-bearing wall has loose bricks. On Friday, a city preservation commission issued a demolition certificate to building owner Tim Smith. Currence tells commissioners he still intends to still build a New Orleans-themed restaurant and rum bar at the site. A sidewalk and a lane of South Lamar Boulevard have been closed since problems were discovered Wednesday.
RACIST GRAFFITI-FRAUD ARREST
Man arrested on fraud charge after reporting racist graffiti
SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — A north Mississippi man has been charged with insurance fraud and evidence tampering after he reported racist graffiti had been spray-painted on two vehicles. Trumaine Foster was arrested Friday by Southaven police. DeSoto County jail records show the 35-year-old remains jailed Sunday without bail. Local news outlets report Foster on Feb. 4 told police he awoke to find a pickup truck and car vandalized. WREG-TV reports Southaven police stopped short of explicitly saying Foster is responsible for the graffiti. A woman at Foster's home ignored questions Friday before leaving in the car that had been spray-painted. The graffiti had been removed.
HOSPITAL WHISTLEBLOWER LAWSUIT
Verdict in hospital whistleblower lawsuit delayed
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge delayed the end of six-week trial over Medicare fraud in Mississippi after saying he felt faint. U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate on Thursday put off closing arguments in the trial in Gulfport until Monday. The Sun Herald reports it was later determined that Wingate was dehydrated, The judge blames too much exercise and not enough water. Ted and Julie Cain and two business associates are charged in a civil lawsuit with defrauding Medicare of $13 million for work at Stone County Hospital. If jurors find for the government, the Cains could be forced to pay $39 million.
1 of 2 inmates who died recently at Mississippi prison ID'd
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Authorities have identified one of two inmates who died recently at a Mississippi prison that's under U.S. Justice Department investigation. One of the deaths occurred Thursday and the other Friday at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. The state Department of Corrections said 61-year-old Timothy R. Sharpe, who was serving 20 years for sexual battery and child molestation, died Friday at Parchman's prison hospital. A coroner said Friday that there was “no evidence of foul play” in either death. Officials didn't identify the other inmate pending notification of relatives. At least 21 inmates have died in Mississippi prisons since late December, some during outbursts of violence.
Petal teacher only Mississippi Milken Educator winner