News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Funeral services held Thursday
Officials in Greene County have found the bodies of 6-year-old twin boys who fell into the Chickasawhay River last Saturday.
Greene County Emergency Manager Trent Robertson told WLOX-TV in Biloxi that one of the boys was found late Sunday night and the other around 5:30 a.m. Monday.
James Scott and Isaac William McGowan, who lived in the St. Ellen community in Leakesville, disappeared Saturday in the Chickasawhay River, on the southern part of Greene County. Robertson said a friend of the family saw the two boys stepping into a deep part of the river and being swept away by the current.
The boys’ tragic death has been called an accidental drowning.
Numerous agencies were involved in the search and rescue effort.
Funeral services for the boys were scheduled for July 3 at Freeman Funeral Home with a visitation preceding the service.
Tillman elected Jackson City Council president
By a 4-3 vote, the Jackson City Council has elected Councilman Charles Tillman president, replacing former President Tony Yarber, who received the other three votes.
The Clarion-Ledger reports the 80-year-old Tillman accepted the nod earlier this month and made a plea for unity, one of new Mayor Chokwe Lumumba’s campaign themes.
After Tillman’s remarks, Councilman Melvin Priester Jr. unanimously was elected vice president, just a day after he was sworn in for the first time as a new councilman.
Tillman served as vice president last year.
Council votes down mayor’s choice for fire chief
The Biloxi City Council has voted against Mayor A.J. Holloway’s choice of Anthony Shook as fire chief.
Councilman David Fayard, a retired firefighter, said after a 5-2 vote that he didn’t feel Shook was qualified to do the job.
The Sun Herald reports it was the first meeting for five new council members, and a vote to table the appointment to give them more time to research Shook’s qualifications failed.
Councilman Paul Tisdale said it was important to take action quickly because as long as there is a vacancy, different camps will form for and against a candidate.
Holloway said he has another candidate in mind and probably will submit a name at the next meeting in two weeks. Until then, Mark Dronet will continue as acting fire chief.
Greenville schools to offer more free meals
The Greenville School District will offer breakfast free to students beginning in August.
Officials tell the Delta Democrat Times that the school system wants to increase the number of students eating breakfast.
School officials say they believe the free program will help improve student achievement.
Of the district’s nearly 6,000 students, 5,157 receive free lunch, 188 students eat lunch at a reduced cost and 342 students pay the full price.
Half of the district’s elementary-school students ate breakfast at school this past year; only a third of middle school and high school students did so.
Officials say the service is instituted as a pilot program, and, if successful, will be extended so that the district can offer free lunch.