News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Accident under investigation
Two people were injured including a Hattiesburg Police Department officer when an 18-wheeler flipped Wednesday night on Interstate 59.
On June 20, HPD Officer Chris Hensley’s K9, Nero, was killed in the wreck that happened on the northbound side of the interstate just below the U.S. 98-I-59 interchange. Hensley, a member of the department’s interdiction team, and the driver of the tanker were both transported to a local hospital. Details on their injuries were not available.
Officials said the 18-wheeler was hauling a half tank of freon.
Tenn. man to be sentenced for avoiding tobacco tax
A Tennessee man will be sentenced July 30 for his role in routing tobacco through Mississippi to avoid taxes, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports.
Randy Benham of Cordova, Tenn., pleaded guilty in 2009 in U.S. District Court to fraud, false statements and money laundering.
Benham, along with Jerry G. Burke of Tupelo helped run a scheme to dodge state and federal taxes. Others involved included a New York tobacco importer and a South Carolina warehouser.
By diverting cigarettes illegally through their Tupelo business, those involved underpaid taxes of $5.4 million to the state of New York and others, and $800,000 to South Carolina.
In late 2010, Burke was sentenced to 34 months and ordered to forfeit nearly $2 million and an airplane.
3 inmates hospitalized after Yazoo jail brawl
One inmate was left with serious injuries after a fight last Thursday at the Yazoo County Correctional Facility.
Authorities told WAPT that 30 inmates took part in a fight that began about 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Reportedly, the fight was between gangs, and officials believe inmates were copying recent disorder at two prisons.
Fights at the Wilkinson County Correctional Facility injured 23 inmates Tuesday. A prison guard was killed last month when a riot broke out at the Adams County Correctional Facility.
Officials say two inmates were taken to King’s Daughters Medical Center in Yazoo City, where they were treated and released. A third inmate suffered serious injuries and was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
His condition improved by Thursday.
City revives new farmers’ market
Oxford officials have asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow the city to operate a new farmers market.
The Oxford Eagle reports when the USDA gave the city money for a farmers market plans were made for the Oxford Park Commission to operate it.
Legislative approval was needed but a bill failed in the 2012 session.
After that city officials starting looking for other ways to operate the market.
City attorney Pope Mallette told aldermen this week that an old market statute allows cities to run a farmers’ market or to contribute to an existing market.
Aldermen voted to ask the USDA to transfer the grant to the city.
Funds being raised for Greenville animal shelter
Animal lovers are trying to raise the funds to pay for an animal shelter approved in April.
The Delta Democrat Times reports about $120,000 has been raised so far but that at least another $100,000 needs to be found before construction can start. The design for the new Animal Welfare League Shelter was approved in April. AWL and Animal Relief and Rescue Fellowship are working on raising the money.
The idea for a new shelter came after years of complaints with the more than 55-year-old shelter in Leland, said Kathy Day, a volunteer at AARF.
“It’s truly a misnomer — it’s a place where dogs are held. It’s not even a shelter,” Day said. “Leland’s (shelter) needs to be shut down, it’s completely inadequate.”