MayorRobertSmithCOLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – The state Ethics Commission has imposed a $500 fine on Columbus Mayor Robert Smith after finding that he violated a Mississippi Open Meetings Act last year. The Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1Tithix) reports the penalty stems from a complaint the newspaper sent to the commission last year after Smith sent a letter to the president of the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors regarding the operation and management of a firing range.

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) – The Warren County Board of Supervisors has accepted a $100,000 check for reimbursement of a bond on former Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley Palmertree. Palmertree is currently serving a five-year prison sentence in the Central Mississippi Satellite Facility for women in Flowood for embezzling $12,000 from her office’s civil and criminal accounts in 2012.

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) – A National Transportation Safety Board investigator says a plane that crashed Monday in Mississippi dropped parts of its exhaust system on a runway as it was taking off. Millicent Hoidal said Tuesday that debris was recovered when the runway at Tupelo Regional Airport was swept. She says pilot Henry “Jack” Jackson radioed the airport’s tower twice seeking to return, reporting smoke in the cockpit.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Biloxi has pleaded guilty to fondling a boy. The Rev. Jose Vazquez pleaded Monday before Jones County Circuit Judge Dal Williamson in Laurel. Williamson is sentencing Vazquez to 10 years in state prison, followed by deportation to his home country of Mexico.

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