Scruggs to be released from prison Dec. 12

News Briefs From Across The State

By Monica Land

Scruggs charged with bribery

Federal prison officials say Richard “Dickie” Scruggs will be released Dec. 12.

Scruggs will be granted a release on $2 million bond while he appeals a 2009 guilty plea that he improperly influenced then Hinds County Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter.

Scruggs says his contacts with DeLaughter were political speech, not bribery. The former attorney, who won a huge settlement against the tobacco industry, was also convicted for conspiring to bribe Circuit Judge Henry Lackey. That sentence is ending, reports the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

U.S. Senior District Judge Glen Davidson granted bond after Scruggs argued that it would be wrong for him to serve more prison time if his current appeal were granted and his conviction overturned.

Scruggs has been imprisoned in Montgomery, Ala.

McComb man loses appeal

The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear an appeal from a McComb man convicted of dealing in drugs.

Rodney Tirrel Hills pleaded guilty in 2009 in Pike County to seven counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute within 1,500 feet of a church, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and three counts of sale of cocaine within 1,500 feet of a church.

Circuit Judge David Strong sentenced Hills to 50 years, with 14 years suspended.

City to pay more for health insurance

The city of Philadelphia will pay 13 percent more for health insurance in 2013.

The Neshoba Democrat reports that dollar amount of the increase will be $51,000 for the calendar year.

The city currently pays about $400,000 annually for employee health insurance. The city pays 100 percent of the employee premium while employees pay for the family coverage they want.

Aldermen say the increase will not be passed down to the nearly 100 city employees.

Alderwoman Janice Payne says the city should absorb the increase to help offset the city not being able to grant employee salary increases for 2013.

New sports complex at Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain College was scheduled to break ground Monday on its new sports complex.

The property, about one-half mile north of the BMC campus, will be the site of a baseball field, softball field, golf practice range, intramural soccer field, sand volleyball court, and running track.

BMC President Barbara Childers McMillin says the sports complex is important as the school prepares to join the Southern States Athletic Conference in the fall of 2013.