News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
“Legal uncertainty” led to Bryant’s decision
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant said he’s withdrawing his nomination of anti-abortion activist Terri Herring to the state Board of Health.
Bryant’s decision came Monday after The Associated Press questioned whether Bryant was fulfilling requirements of a state law that specifies the board’s 11 members must come from certain parts of the state.
Bryant spokesman Mick Bullock says the law is unclear, but the governor is withdrawing Herring’s nomination to “avoid any legal uncertainty.”
Eight Board of Health members must come from congressional districts — two from each of the four districts. Three must come from state Supreme Court districts—one each from northern, central and southern.
There are already enough board members from central Mississippi, where Herring lives. But the board would be one member short from the north.
Hattiesburg residents sue city for services
Residents of a community in Hattiesburg have filed a lawsuit against the city that alleges the community isn’t getting its fair share of services.
The lawsuit alleges the Palmer’s Crossing community of about 3,000 residents is not seeing its share of infrastructure improvements since being annexed more than 20 years ago.
The Hattiesburg American reports that the suit seeks to halt new construction and the issuance of bonds in the city.
Residents Nathan Jordan and Chester Johnson filed a complaint for injunctive and other equitable relief in Forrest County Circuit Court.
Jordan, a minister and member of the Palmer’s Crossing Community Action Team, has qualified to run as a candidate for mayor of Hattiesburg.
He says Palmer’s Crossing gets overlooked, but residents still pay their share of city taxes.
Miss. traffic stop leads to $100K cocaine bust
A traffic stop on Interstate 20 in Mississippi led to the discovery of $100,000 worth of cocaine and two arrests.
Othor Cain with the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department told WLBT deputies pulled over a vehicle shortly after midnight, on March 12.
Cain said deputies became suspicious while talking to the men in the vehicle and obtained a consent warrant to search the vehicle.
Cain said authorities discovered the drugs in a hidden compartment.
He said 49-year-old Santos Martinez-Rodriquez, of Reading, Penn., and 47-year-old Josue Melendez-Vasquez, of Elizabeth, N.J., were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute.
Police believe the two men were passing through Hinds County on the way to Pennsylvania from Texas.
Lawyer wants dismissal charges
over water tests
A defense lawyer is asking a federal judge to dismiss charges against the owner of environmental laboratory accused of falsifying records on industrial wastewater samples.
Tennie White, owner of Mississippi Environmental Analytical Laboratories Inc., was indicted Nov. 7 in U.S. District Court in Jackson. She’s charged with making false statements and obstruction.
The indictment says Borg Warner Emissions Systems Inc. hired White to test wastewater discharge at its car parts plant in Water Valley.
The indictment alleges that White created three reports in 2009 that indicated testing had been done, when it had not.
White’s lawyer filed a motion to dismiss in late March. The motion says the documents referred to in the indictment are not criminal because they were not signed and not submitted to a government agency.