March Mississippi gambling take dips as river casinos weaken
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Gamblers lost less money at Mississippi casinos in March, as continued gains at Gulf Coast gambling halls couldn’t overcome a steep decline at casinos along the Mississippi River.
State Department of Revenue figures show casinos statewide won $198.3 million from gamblers in March, down 4.7 percent from $208 million in March 2014.
The 11 coastal casinos won $107.3 million, up 2.4 percent from March 2014. The 17 river casinos won $91 million, down 12 percent from last year.
March is traditionally the strongest month for Mississippi’s casinos. But while revenues at Gulf Coast casinos rose 2.6 percent over the previous 12 months, river casinos are still dealing with fallout from the closure of Harrah’s in Tunica County.
The numbers exclude Choctaw Indian casinos, which don’t report winnings to the state.
Mississippi highway department removes political signs
COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi Department of Transportation employees have removed as many as 70 signs from state rights of way in Lowndes County.
MDOT superintendent Kirk Sudduth tells The Commercial Dispatch several candidates for local, state and national office are finding out the hard way where they are allowed to place their signs.
MDOT has the power to remove political signs from state rights of way to prevent visual hazards for drivers or obstructions for roadside workers. Sudduth says it’s also an effort to keep state land from becoming an endorsing ground for political candidates.
He says removed signs must be kept at an MDOT facility for at least two weeks to allow candidates to retrieve, after which the department can discard them.
JACKSON WATER PROBLEMS
Jackson council votes against mayor’s emergency declaration
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Jackson City Council has voted down Mayor Tony Yarber’s new infrastructure emergency declaration.
The declaration gives the city power to make emergency repairs without going through the bid process.
The Clarion-Ledger reports Yarber initially declared an infrastructure emergency March 27. It expired after seven days. Yarber then signed a second, 30-day emergency declaration, but it requires City Council support.
The declaration has been on hold for the last two weeks as the City Council didn’t take it up.
Near the end of Tuesday night’s meeting, the council voted against Yarber’s new declaration.
The city is having problems with its century-old water lines. In the last few weeks, there has been an increase in boil water notices and water line leaks.
87-year-old cyclist dies on Natchez Trace Parkway
MATHISTON, Miss. (AP) – An elderly Wisconsin man riding a bicycle along the Natchez Trace Parkway has died.
According to park rangers, 87-year-old De Loyd E. Stertz, of Altoona, Wisconsin, was riding his bicycle Monday on the parkway just south of U.S. Highway 82 when he was overcome by exhaustion and fell off his bicycle around 1:30 p.m.
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1GjKciM ) Stertz lost consciousness and could not be revived by emergency responders.
Choctaw County Corner Keith Coleman pronounced him dead on the scene. The cause of death is still under investigation.
Belhaven professor to address Women in the World Summit
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Elise Turner, an associate professor of Nursing at Belhaven University in Jackson, has been invited to speak at the sixth annual Women in the World Summit 2015 in New York City.
On Thursday, she will share the stage with actress Helen Mirren and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the three-day event.
Belhaven Dean of Nursing, Dr. Barbara Johnson, says Turner is a recognized expert in the areas of maternal-child health and issues of population, victims’ rights and forensics. She says Turner has been a consultant for the Department of Justice and is a great asset to the school’s nursing program.
Turner’s panel will discuss the rise of maternal mortality in the U.S.
FLESH EATING BACTERIA
Man loses leg to flesh eating bacteria; still in hospital
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) – An Ocean Springs man is fighting for his life after losing his leg to a deadly flesh eating bacteria.
WLOX reports Gregory Bru Sr. had his left leg amputated just below the knee at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula on Monday.
Bru’s son, Gregory Bru Jr., says his father contracted the life-threatening infection while on a fishing trip to Horn and Chandeleur Islands on April 11.
Dr. Okechukwu Ekenna, an infectious disease specialist at the hospital, says the bacteria thrives in salty brackish waters and that the organisms generally enter a person’s body through open wounds.
People who are immune compromised are at a higher risk of serious complications.
Bru’s son says his dad, who is still in the hospital, is showing more signs of improvement.
Longtime 10th Circuit Judge Robert Bailey to retire in June
MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) – A longtime judge in east central Mississippi has announced his plan to retire.
Sixty-nine-year-old Circuit Judge Robert Bailey says in a statement that he will step down from the bench on June 30 after serving the 10th Circuit District, which includes Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper and Wayne counties, for more than 27 years.
Bailey, who earned both an undergraduate and law degree from the University of Mississippi, was in private practice for 17 years before being appointed to the Circuit Court in 1988.
Bailey says he is looking forward to spending time with his wife, their two children and their five grandchildren.
Hattiesburg council approves appointment of new attorney
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) – The Hattiesburg City Council has approved Mayor Johnny DuPree’s candidate for city attorney.
The Hattiesburg American reports council members spent about 25 minutes Monday evening talking about the appointment and it took a few minutes Tuesday to approve Annie Amos as the eventual replacement for City Attorney Charles Lawrence Jr.
Amos said she wasn’t certain of an exact start date but that she expected to be consulting with Lawrence before he steps away in June.
Her approval leaves two positions requiring council approval still open: police chief and city clerk.
The mayor and city council members have been in a running legal battle over the council’s job of approving the appointments.