Lockheed-Martin remembers deadly shooting anniversary

July 19, 2013 in News, Statewide News, Top Stories

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the July 8, 2003 workplace shooting at the Lockheed Martin plant in Meridian, where Douglas Williams, 48 shot 14 co-workers, killing six of them before committing suicide.

The memory of that event is still fresh for investigators with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office who responded to the call.

“We were living the nightmare all law enforcement agencies have,” Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said. “Every year I relive this event. I can see the fleet of TV trucks that showed up from all over the nation. I can see the faces of the relatives of those who died. It isn’t a good memory.”

CertainTeed restarting production in Meridian

June 5, 2013 in Business, News, Statewide News, Top Stories

CertainTeed joined local and state officials Monday to announce the company is restarting its ceiling tile manufacturing operations in Meridian, in the same facility it purchased in 2005.

The project represents a $24 million company investment and will create 110 new jobs by 2016.

Production is expected to resume during the second quarter of 2014. Once operational, the facility will produce a range of ceiling tiles and acoustical wall panels used in commercial construction applications.

Noose hung at Meridian mayoral candidate’s office

May 6, 2013 in News, Statewide News, Top Stories

Someone hung a noose with a stuffed animal outside the office a Meridian mayoral candidate.

Meridian police tell WTOK-TV they found a hooded baby blanket with a stuffed dog’s head hanging by a noose Thursday morning. It was outside the insurance office of Percy Bland, a Democratic candidate for mayor. Bland is black.

The Meridian Police Department characterizes the incident as a hate crime and sent evidence to the FBI for analysis.

Feds, Miss. school reach deal over punishment

March 27, 2013 in Top Stories

) The U.S. Justice Department said Friday that it has reached a deal with a Mississippi school district to end discriminatory disciplinary practices in which black students face harsher punishment than whites for similar misbehavior.

The agreement comes after a lengthy federal investigation that found that black public school students in Meridian are five times more likely than whites to be suspended from classes and often got longer suspensions for comparable misbehavior.

Ex-Meridian softball coach indicted on sex crimes

February 27, 2013 in Local Sports

A former Meridian high school softball coach has been indicted on eight charges alleging inappropriate contact with students under the age of 18.

The indictment filed Feb. 11 in Lauderdale County Circuit Court, charges former Clarkdale High School coach Ricky Roberson with three counts of exploiting a child and five touching a child lustfully.

Meridian bank VP going to jail for identity theft and bank fraud

September 21, 2012 in Buzz Report, News, Statewide News, The Buzz, Top Stories

The former vice president and branch manager of a bank in Meridian has been sentenced to 51 months in prison for bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Sharon Monroe, 57, of Lauderdale, pleaded guilty to the criminal charges against her on Feb. 3, 2012, and was sentenced this month by U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves….