Mississippi gov says he should have worn mask at funeral
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves says that because of the coronavirus pandemic, he should have worn mask during a big funeral. Hundreds of law enforcement officers attended services Wednesday for 77-year-old Simpson County deputy James Blair. He was shot to death Friday while taking a man to a mental health facility. Reeves said Thursday that emotions were “very, very high” at the funeral and he was focused on supporting Blair’s family. The Health Department says Mississippi has had more than 21,000 cases of the new coronavirus and more than 940 deaths from it.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT-OLE MISS
Confederate monument at Ole Miss to be moved to cemetery
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Confederate monument that’s been a divisive symbol at the University of Mississippi will be moved from a prominent spot on the Oxford campus to a secluded Civil War cemetery. The state College Board voted Thursday to move the monument, but didn’t say when it will happen. The decision comes amid debate over Confederate symbols as people across the U.S. protest racism. The University of Mississippi was founded in 1848, and the marble statue of a saluting Confederate soldier was put up in 1906. It’s one of many Confederate monuments erected across the South decades after the Civil War.
Southeastern Conference pushing Mississippi to change flag
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Southeastern Conference is considering barring league championship events in Mississippi until the state changes its Confederate-based flag. Commissioner Greg Sankey released a statement Thursday, saying it’s past time for Mississippi to change its flag. He says students deserve an opportunity to learn and compete “inclusive and welcoming” environments. The NCAA already said it would not schedule postseason events in Mississippi because of the flag that has the Confederate battle emblem in the upper left corner. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeve says if the flag is going to be redesigned, it should be done by voters in a statewide election.
Senators block ex-lawmaker’s nomination to education board
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi Senate committee is blocking Gov. Tate Reeves’s nomination of a former lawmaker to the state Board of Education. He chose Nancy Collins of Tupelo in January, during his final days as lieutenant governor. She was a Republican state senator from 2012 to 2016. Collins had a confirmation hearing Thursday. Democratic Sen. Hob Bryan asked the Education Committee to table the nomination. The Republican-controlled committee agreed, and killed the nomination. Reeves said of Collins that “her only sin was being a conservative.” Bryan says the current lieutenant governor should get to nominate someone to the Board of Education.
Mississippi man pleads guilty to counterfeiting charges
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man has pleaded guilty to making counterfeit money and using it at yard sales. Federal prosecutors say 33-year-old Purvis Dustin Ward, of Rankin County, was caught in November after police got several complaints and one seller sent police a photo of Ward’s car and license plate. A news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Jackson says he pleaded guilty Thursday before District Judge Carlton Reeves and is scheduled for sentencing Sept. 15. The maximum penalty would be 40 years in federal prison and $500,000 in fines.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISSISSIPPI-OPEN CARRY
Judge rules Mississippi city can’t put ban on open carry law
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled Mississippi’s capital city cannot restrict the state’s open carry law as it did following the shooting deaths of two children during the coronavirus pandemic. The consent decree between the city of Jackson, its mayor and a state representative was filed Friday. It says the city can’t restrict open carry unless state or constitutional law is changed first to allow it. The ban was issued in April after the mayor said the open carry law contributed to gun violence in Jackson. The state representative filed a lawsuit shortly after. The mayor then allowed the ban to expire days later.