News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
One survivor found clinging to boat
Authorities are looking for two men missing after a boating accident on Long Lake near Vicksburg.
The Post reports that divers and officials with the Warren County Sheriff’s Department and Vicksburg police and fire departments have been searching for the missing men.
Three men, whose names have not been released, were fishing in a boat when the boat capsized around 6:40 p.m. Friday, according to Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.
Pace said the survivor said he swam back to the boat but the two others could not. The sheriff says deputies found the surviving man clinging to the overturned boat.
Conviction in Tippah sex crime case upheld
The Mississippi Supreme Court has upheld the sex crimes conviction of Hugh Roger Dale Green.
Green, now 58, was sentenced in 2009 in Tippah County to life in prison on each of two counts of sexual battery and 15 years each on two counts of touching a child for lustful purposes. The sentences run consecutively.
Prosecutors say the case involved Green’s 10-year-old stepdaughter. The girl had reported the incidents in 2008 to her teachers and the school nurse who notified authorities.
On appeal, Green argued jurors should not have heard testimony from other alleged sexual victims.
The Supreme Court says the testimony showed a pattern of behavior that, over the course of five decades, Green had engaged in the sexual abuse of female family members in a similar manner.
Body found in burned Greenville warehouse
The Mississippi fire marshal is assisting the investigation of a fire at a warehouse where a man was found dead.
The fire occurred Sunday night inside a warehouse in the 1300 block of Mississippi Highway 1 North. Preliminary reports say the deceased was living inside a recreational vehicle that was parked inside the warehouse.
Police said the man had suffered a gunshot wound, although it was unclear whether that caused his death. Officials estimate the man to be around 80 years old. His name and age have not been released.
Whitfield fondling conviction stands
The Mississippi Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal from Donald Whitfield who was convicted of fondling in Monroe County.
Whitfield, now 39, is serving is serving 32 years in prison after he was convicted at trial of fondling and sexual battery in July of 2010.
According to court records, the victim was a minor under the age of 14.
Whitfield claimed prosecutors didn’t prove his guilt.
The state Court of Appeals Court had upheld his conviction last November.
Thunderstorms in Mississippi knock out power
A line of severe thunderstorms hit the Jackson area last Thursday, knocking out electricity to 11,465 Entergy Mississippi customers in Hinds, Madison and Rankin counties.
The National Weather Service says the rain came after another system Wednesday dropped 1.8 inches near the Jackson airport.
Meteorologist Latrice Maxey told The Clarion-Ledger the most of Thursday’s rain had shifted east. In addition to downed utility lines, Maxey says wind gusts of up to 60 mph are likely responsible for downing several trees in Terry, Madison and Leflore counties. State officials also received reports of straight-line winds in Bolivar County that moved through the Delta, damaging some homes and a business.
More storms are expected this week.
Hattiesburg school board adopts sex ed policy
The Hattiesburg Public School District Board of Trustees has voted to implement a sex education policy of abstinence-only for sixth- through eighth-graders and abstinence-plus for ninth- through 12th-graders.
The board’s vote came after Superintendent James Bacchus recommended the policy at a board work session in May.
A state law passed by the Legislature in 2011 requires school boards to choose between abstinence-only education and abstinence-plus education by June 30. School Board president Marcus Cathey tells the Hattiesburg American he believes the board’s decision was the right choice for the district.
He said the board’s decision to vote for abstinence-plus for the high school was based on input from the Hattiesburg community and district parents.