News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Future sheriffs can “fire at will”
Alcorn County supervisors will not support Sheriff Charles Rinehart’s proposal to support legislation to create a civil service system for his employees.
The Daily Corinthian reports that a motion Tuesday by Supervisor Gary Ross to support the proposal died for lack of a second.
Rinehart had said he would not pursue the change without the board of supervisors support.
Supervisor Tim Mitchell says it would be difficult to remove an employee.
Rinehart says the system would prevent a new sheriff from firing employees without a legitimate reason. As it stands now, he said employees serve at the will of the sheriff, and a sheriff can fire an employee because of a personal disagreement.
Supervisor Dal Nelms says it should either be done for all county employees or for none.
Police: 416 pounds of marijuana found at car lot
The owner of a used car dealership in Jackson and two other men have been charged with possessing with intent to distribute 416 pounds of marijuana.
An affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in Jackson says Jeremy Lee Stambaugh owns Paradise Auto Sales. He was arrested there last week with Johnny Earl Course and David E. Jones.
The affidavit from a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Agent says investigators were acting on a tip when they went to the dealership. The court filing said they found “unwrapped bales of marijuana” in a building.
Court records said Course tried to run while handcuffed but was quickly caught.
A preliminary hearing was scheduled Thursday. The men are being represented by the public defender.
Trial set in sex offender register case
A federal judge has set an April 9 trial date for a man charged with failing to register as a sex offender.
Federal court records in north Mississippi indicate that the 46-year-old man named Judge David Ervin was indicted in January on a charge that he didn’t register as a sex offender in Mississippi from Nov. 15 to Dec. 13, 2011.
The trial is scheduled to take place in U.S. District Court in Oxford.
Ervin was convicted in 2001 on a charge of touching of a child or a mentally defective, incapacitated or physically helpless person for lustful purposes. His previous address in the sex offender registry was the Cook County Jail in Chicago.
He pleaded not guilty to failing to register on Feb. 16.
January casino revenue figures down
Revenue figures show the new year got off to a slower- than-average start for Mississippi casinos.
January’s $87.8 million revenue at the 11 coast casinos was down $10 million from a year ago, according to Mississippi Department of Revenue figures.
The decline was about $3 million at the 19 riverside casinos, to $89.2 million.
Revenue for January totaled $176.9 million, down 10.5 percent below January 2011. The casinos took in $186 million in December.
Casino revenues for all of 2011 totaled $2.23 billion.
The figures do not include the state’s Indian tribal casinos, which are not required to report their winnings to the public.
The casino revenue figures do not include hotel, restaurant or bar revenues generated by the resorts.
Indianola preparing for entertainment district
WABG is reporting that plans for developing an entertainment district are moving forward in Indianola.
The Indianola Board of Alderman has appointed members to serve on the Entertainment District Commission. The commission met this week for the first time where members discussed hotel development. While the project remains in its early stages, planners are focusing on two areas as the potential site for the district including the area near the intersection of Highways 49 and 82, and the 4 blocks surrounding the B.B. King Museum.
Jackson County supervisors to borrow $2.5M
Jackson County supervisors have voted to borrow $2.5 million in a five-year note to complete multiple projects.
The Mississippi Press reports about $1.2 million will go toward site work on the new Adult Detention Facility and $430,000 will fund a Highway Patrol building on Miss. 57.
Another $430,000 will go to improvements at the overcrowded West Jackson County Court Complex, while $278,000 will go to purchase golf carts.
Any leftover money will go toward a bridge project near the Pascagoula River Audubon Center.
Supervisors decided against including $100,000 for improvements at the animal shelter in the borrowing. Instead, Supervisor John McKay said, the county will fund projects in the new fiscal year’s budget.
The county’s fiscal year runs Oct.1 to Sept. 30.