News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Law being reviewed by Department of Justice
Mississippians could make up 10 percent of all Americans impeded from voting by new voter identification laws.
The Brennan Center for Justice estimates that 48,000 low-income Mississippians could have trouble obtaining a government-issued photo identification in order to vote, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports.
Overall, the center estimates that 500,000 people across 10 states could face challenges from “restrictive'' voter ID laws.
The study comes as the new photo ID law is still awaiting approval by either the U.S Department of Justice or the federal courts to ensure that it does not negatively affect minority voting. Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann has said he doesn't expect approval in time for the November general election.
New police chief named in Gautier
Capt. Dante Elbin, who has been serving as interim police chief at Gautier, has become the city's new police chief.
Elbin was sworn in Tuesday during a city council meeting.
The 43-year-old Elbin has 20 years' experience in law enforcement with 13 years at the Gautier Police Department. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1999 and captain in 2003.
Elbin was named interim police chief after Edward Williams announced his retirement from the position.
Williams cited ongoing medical issues as a reason for his retirement effective June 29. Williams had served as chief of police for Gautier since April 5, 2007, and had spent 25 years with the Gautier Police Department.
The police department has 53 officers and 35 reserve officers.
Southaven names new animal control director
The city of Southaven has a new director of animal control. For the past six years, Perry Mason has been an animal control officer with the Southaven Animal Shelter. This week, the 53-year-old Mason was promoted by city officials to serve as the new director of animal control, a position the city has not filled for several years.
Mason tells the Commercial Appeal that his promotion means he can hire another animal control officer. He now oversees a staff of four.
Mason says whoever he hires has to be compassionate and willing to work hard because it is not a 9-to-5 job.
Mason and animal control officer Cindy Stewart alternate working a seven-day week. Last year, they answered more than 2,100 calls.
Corinth airport to enclose hangars
Local officials have accepted a grant of $204,520 to improve aircraft accommodations by enclosing hangars.
The Daily Corinthian reports that Alcorn County and Corinth officials agreed to funds for work at the jointly owned airport.
Corinth-Alcorn County Airport officials say the project would be completed in 2013.
Airport Board of Directors Chairman Waco Epperson says some aircraft have been damaged because the T-hangars are open to the elements.
Epperson says with enclosed hangars filled to capacity, the airport could generate almost $30,000 in additional income each year and bring additional people into the Corinth area.