News Briefs From Across The State
Police found wreckage
Grenada police said two men were killed early Monday morning after their truck reportedly hit a guardrail on Meadowbrook Road. The Grenada Star said Kevin Bradley George, 39, and Jeffrey Scott Yeoman, 41, were traveling in a 2003 Ford F-250 pickup when they hit a bridge guardrail about 2 a.m., Dec. 26.
Authorities said the truck then went airborne over the water and landed upside down on the other side of the creek bed.
Police happened upon the wreckage while responding to another call about 2:30 a.m. Both men were reportedly pronounced dead at the scene.
Police have yet to determine the cause of the accident and toxicology reports have been ordered to see if alcohol may have been a factor.
Woman killed in head-on collision
A head-on collision about three miles south of Lucedale left a local woman dead and a man in serious condition.
Master Sgt. Johnny Poulos of the Mississippi Highway Patrol said on Christmas Eve, a Ford Explorer veered into the southbound lane of the highway striking a Nissan Altima head-on.
The driver of the Altima, 20-year-old Nicole Cochran, of Lucedale, was pronounced dead at the scene and the driver of the Explorer, John Holyfield, of Moss Point, was taken to Singing River Hospital in Ocean Springs, where he was listed in serious condition.
Investigator accepted into FBI Academy
The chief investigator of the Jackson County District Attorney’s Office will attend the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
District Attorney Tony Lawrence said that Scott McIlrath is the second district attorney investigator in state history and the first active DA investigator from Jackson County to be nominated and accepted into the academy.
The only other district attorney investigator in the state to attend the FBI National Academy Program was from DeSoto County.
The FBI National Academy offers advanced management, fitness and investigative training for selected officers with a proven track record as professionals within the law enforcement community.
New year brings higher garbage fees
The new year will bring higher garbage fees in Neshoba County.
The monthly fee will increase $2.50 per household – from $10 to $12.50 – in January. The county has a $150,000 annual deficit in its sanitation department.
The Neshoba Democrat reported that the proposal would disallow any “new” exemptions from the monthly fee previously granted for those 65 or older and the disabled after Dec. 29, 2011. Supervisors said those exemptions granted before that date would remain in place.
Supervisors also said the exemptions in 2011 alone cost the county about $231,240. The increase is expected to bring in an additional $86,750 for the sanitation department. Homeowners are billed quarterly for once a week garbage pickup.
Neshoba County does not levy any taxes to support its sanitation department.
Trial set in sheriff’s killing
The Jackson County District Attorney’s office said the capital murder trial of two people accused in the July 21, 2010, killing of George County Sheriff Garry Welford is now scheduled for May in Adams County.
According to the Sun Herald, a special judge appointed to the case agreed to change the venue to ensure Brandy Nicole Williams and Christopher Baxter receive a fair trial. The defense asked to move the trial because of extensive pretrial publicity that could affect a jury in George County.
The two are accused of running over Welford during a vehicle pursuit as he was reportedly laying spike strips. They have pleaded not guilty and have remained jailed since their arrests.
Health officials OK medical projects
The Mississippi Department of Health has approved a $4.18 million project in Tupelo for providing positron emission tomography services.
Image Center at BridgePoint LLC sought approval to provide PET services in Tupelo. PET scans work with a radioactive injection to trace blood flow throughout the body. Some medical groups believe the scans can provide a more accurate Alzheimer’s/dementia diagnosis.
Health officials also approved a $2.67 million project for St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital to renovate space for what is known as a “hybrid” operating room. In a hybrid operating room, doctors are able to use imaging technology while surgery is being done.
Also approved was a $808,367 project to locate a 10-station satellite End Stage Renal Disease facility in Clay County. RGA-West Point will lease and renovate space for the facility.
Prosecutors want delay in mayor’s sex assault case
Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to delay the trial of Grady Sims, who is the mayor of Walnut Grove and a former jail warden accused of sexually assaulting an inmate and trying to cover it up.
Sims, former warden of Walnut Grove Transition Center, was indicted in October. The indictment says the eight-term mayor sexually assaulted the inmate in November 2009. Sims also is charged with telling the inmate to lie to investigators in March 2010.
Trial was set for Jan. 9, but prosecutors asked for a delay Friday because “the parties continue to discuss a potential disposition of this case.”
Sims was freed on a $10,000 bond after a hearing in U.S. District Court in Jackson.
Grand jury could soon get priest killing case
A Mississippi grand jury could soon get the case of a man charged with killing a Catholic priest and taking his car for a Disney vacation.
Jeremy Manieri is charged with killing the Rev. Ed Everitt of Hammond, La. Authorities say Everitt was robbed and shot in July at a beach house in Waveland, Miss. Manieri did construction work at the house.
Crosby Parker, a Hancock County prosecutor, says the investigative report is being finalized. He’s hopeful it will go to a grand jury in the near future.
Manieri’s attorney, Brian Alexander, says he has “serious reservations” about his client getting a fair trial in Mississippi because a political commercial for Attorney General Jim Hood referred to Manieri as a cold-blooded killer.
Alexander filed a complaint with the Mississippi Bar.