The Associated Press
Here are some news and notes — and an interesting photograph — from around Mississippi this morning:
Council upset over possible fraud in gas card use
In Hattiesburg, City Council members are upset that they only recently learned of a six-month-old city police investigation into possible misuse of city vehicle gas cards.
The police launched an investigation in June into the gas cards, which are issued by Pine Belt Oil for the purpose of city business. Councilman Carter Carroll said Tuesday that he only got wind of the investigation because of a suspicious $9,800 expense on a city record.
Carroll cited one gas card, assigned to a vehicle, which racked up $413 in just one day in November.
The Hattiesburg American reports that Mayor Johnny DuPree said he only learned of the investigation on Friday. DuPree then informed Carroll and City Council President Kim Bradley of the investigation on Monday.
Group to display crosses on Natchez bluff
In Natchez, the Board of Aldermen has voted to allow a group to place crosses on the Natchez bluff as part of an anti-abortion protest.
The Natchez Democrat reports that Tuesday’s approval came despite concerns of Mayor Butch Brown.
Brown asked Virginia O’Beirne of Pro-Life Natchez-Adams County if her group would consider a one-week display or a different location on the bluff so as not to interfere with weddings that are sometimes held at the bluff’s gazebo.
Brown said his request was an effort to be conciliatory to those that disagree with the display.
O’Beirne said the group has used the gazebo’s electrical hookups for sound equipment for their vigil and that shortening the display would complicate volunteer efforts to set it up and take it down.
Lafayette County passes vicious dog ordinance
Lafayette County has passed its first vicious dog ordinance
County residents who own a dog that’s known to be vicious will be required to carry insurance and keep the dog inside their home or on a leash.
The law goes into effect 30 days after its Monday approval by the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors, according to The Oxford Eagle reports.
Supervisor Chad McClarty said the county began discussing the ordinance about two months ago. He noted three dog attacks that have been reported in the county, two involving children.
“One girl was attacked getting off a school bus,” he said.
McClarty said the new law was written with the help of attorney David O’Donnell, the Oxford-Lafayette Humane Society, the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department and other county officials.
According to the law, all dogs deemed vicious must be secured indoors or in a secure enclosure unless on a leash. All owners of vicious dogs must display signs indicating a vicious dog is on the property. The owner will also be responsible for having liability insurance of no less than $100,000 that provides coverage for injuries or death caused by the animal.. All vicious dogs must have a microchip and be registered with the county.