News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Andrea “Shelly” Guider was a nurse at River Region
A Vicksburg man has been sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for aggravated driving under the influence in a wreck that killed a nurse in 2012.
The Vicksburg Post reports that Julius Hebron was sentenced Friday on two counts of aggravated DUI causing injury or death. Hebron pleaded guilty in March.
Authorities say Hebron ran a stoplight and struck the driver’s side of a car driven by Andrea Michelle “Shelly” Guider, a nurse at River Region Medical Center. Guider was pronounced dead at the scene.
Prosecutors say tests showed Hebron had a blood alcohol level of 0.20 percent. The legal limit in Mississippi is 0.08 percent.
Hebron was sentenced to 20 years in Guider’s death and a concurrent five years for injuring a passenger in Guider’s car.
Jury finds State Farm committed fraud
A federal jury has found State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. committed fraud against the federal government and submitted a false record to support fraud after Hurricane Katrina.
The Sun Herald reports the verdict came after the eight-member jury deliberated for three hours in a whistleblower lawsuit. The decision potentially opens for examination thousands of post-Katrina flood claims State Farm adjusted and paid before reimbursement by the National Flood Insurance Program.
Before opening their case to other claims, former insurance adjusters Kerri and Cori Rigsby first had to prove State Farm committed fraud involving one property.
The newspaper reports State Farm is expected to file a motion asking the federal judge in the case to overturn the verdict or grant a new trial.
Southaven offers warrant amnesty program
For the second year, Southaven police are giving people who have outstanding misdemeanor warrants a second chance.
The Commercial Appeal reports the department began its warrant amnesty program called “Southaven’s Safe Surrender” in which people with outstanding municipal warrants can come in and clear them.
Under the amnesty program, those facing contempt of court violations or a probation violation on infractions such as traffic tickets and other misdemeanor charges can come in during the two-day event and pay 50 percent of what they owe. Judge B.G. Perry will then dismiss the warrant, and municipal court officials then set up payment arrangements for the balance owed.
Police say the department offered the program again because last year it helped the department clear 250 old warrants off the books.
ACLU-MS announces new executive director
Jennifer A. Riley-Collins has been named executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Mississippi.
Riley-Collins, a native Mississippian, is a graduate of Alcorn State University and the Mississippi College School of Law. She also has a masters’ degree in criminal justice from Central Texas College.
She is a former Hinds County Youth Court public defender. Riley-Collins is a former staff attorney with Southern Poverty Law Center and former Juvenile Justice Fellow at Mississippi Center for Justice.
The announcement was made by James Powers, chairman of the ACLU-MS Board of Directors.
Riley-Collins succeeds Nsombi Lambright.
Vicksburg JCPenney to close in August
Vicksburg will be without a JC Penney when the department store closes in August. The Vicksburg Post reports that 25 people will be out of work.
the company announced it would close 47 stores and cut about 5,500 jobs in hopes of returning to profitability.
The store opened in downtown Vicksburg in 1930s. In 1984, JC Penney moved to its current location, in what was then the Pemberton Square Mall. In 2010, the shopping center was renamed the Vicksburg Mall. For 29 years, the store has been one of the four anchors – along with Dillard’s, Goody’s and Belk – at the mall.
Mall general manager Mike Carlisle says management learned of the retailer’s plans to close in Vicksburg about three weeks ago.