Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment

SEVERE WEATHER-MISSISSIPPI

Severe weather strands boaters, damages art festival

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) – A waterspout stranded more than a dozen people on Petit Bois Island, and thunderstorms slammed down tents at an art festival and canceled the annual re-enactment of explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville’s landing in 1699.

The boaters were rescued and, though art was damaged Saturday at the ColOHR Fest in Biloxi, no serious injuries were reported.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell tells WLOX-TV that witnesses reported that a waterspout had capsized two anchored boats, stranding the people who rode out in them.

Artists at the festival in Biloxi say winds broke pottery and glass, and rain damaged paintings and frames. Artist Dani Davis says most artists hunkered down in a building.

The Mississippi Press reports that the storm blew apart huts built as a setting for d’Iberville’s landing.

BILOXI KIDNAPPING

Man jailed on kidnapping charge following attack on woman

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) – A man has been arrested and jailed on a kidnapping charge.

The Sun Herald reports Biloxi police responded to a report of kidnapping and domestic assault on Pass Road at 2:35 a.m. Saturday.

Police Lieutenant Christopher De Back says a woman said a man, 32-year-old Andrew Brent Brown, had assaulted her.

De Back says the woman reported being forced into a home on Stone Circle, where Brown tied her hands and hit her repeatedly.

The woman later escaped and walked to a nearby Wal-Mart for help.

Brown was found at the Stone Circle home and taken into police custody.

He is being held at the Harrison County Adult Detention Center on a $200,000 bond.

CHASE STANDOFF

18 officers, 4 agencies to end chase, 45-minute standoff

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) – Hancock County authorities say a high-speed chase on Interstate 10 ended with a car mired in a muddy median and a passenger holding a gun to his own mouth.

The Sun Herald reports that the man first said he was going to kill himself or make police kill him, but authorities say he surrendered peacefully after about 45 minutes Sunday morning.

Eighteen officers from four agencies surrounded the vehicle.

Capt. John Luther of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office says the chase began after Gulfport and Hancock County officers identified the vehicle as a possible getaway car in an armed robbery earlier at a Long Beach gas station.

He says two men and a woman in the car were arrested. They were not immediately identified.

DESOTO SOLAR

Location chosen for Entergy’s pilot solar project in DeSoto

HUGHES, Miss. (AP) – A location has been selected for a pilot solar project in DeSoto County.

The Commercial Appeal reports vacant land at the northwest corner of U.S. 61 and the North Harrah’s casino entrance will serve as one of three testing sites for widespread solar power generation.

The project was announced by Entergy Mississippi, a publicly owned utility that supplies power to most of DeSoto.

Mara Hartmann, an Entergy spokeswoman, says the DeSoto project will be established at land Entergy already owns along the DeSoto-Tunica County line near casino row along U.S. 61.

The land was originally intended for a power plant, says Don Arnold, an Entergy spokesman.

Hartmann says the solar panels won’t take up all the property and that construction is expected to begin in about a month.

TEENS KILLED

Trial May 12; woman accused of providing alcohol to teens

 

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) – A May 12 trial date is set for a woman accused of providing alcoholic drinks to six teenagers, three of whom died in a car wreck.

The Hattiesburg American reports Kristi Morris, of Purvis, is scheduled for trial in Lamar County Justice Court on six counts of letting minors possess or consume alcoholic drinks on her property. A law called the Social Host law makes that illegal.

Morris was arrested Dec. 17, after an investigation of the wreck in September.

She also is charged with six counts of providing beer or light wine to someone under 21 years old and one of possessing such drinks in a dry county.

The charges carry total maximum penalties of 21 months in jail, $9,500 in fines and 30 days community service.

FEEDING HOMELESS DISPUTE

Business community, churches dispute over feeding homeless

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The business community and local churches in Jackson are at odds over feeding the homeless at Smith Park.

The Clarion-Ledger reports some local businesses have been complaining of trash and other debris left behind on the weekends at the park.

Ben Allen, Executive Director of Downtown Jackson Business Partners, says various churches in the area are showing up with food trucks to feed the homeless but don’t have permits.

Matt Hopkins of Why Not Now Ministries says they have been serving meals at Smith Park since 2011 and clean up any debris they have.

Jackson’s Downtown Neighborhood Association president, Michael Rejebian, says groups are trying to figure out a solution that works for everyone and that pooling resources is the best way to help.

PASCAGOULA RIVER BLUEWAY

22 miles of Pascagoula River designated blueway: water trail

LUCEDALE, Miss. (AP) – Twenty-two miles of the Pascagoula River in Mississippi’s George County have been named a blueway, or water trail.

The Clarion-Ledger reports boaters can fish, explore, swim, and camp along the trail starting in Merrill.

Judy Steckler, executive director of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain, says the blueway is a good way to acquaint people with what’s in their backyard.

The trail will offer several campgrounds with automobile access and barbecue grills. Other amenities include kayak and canoe access points, freshwater springs, various lakes and sandbars, and birding locations.

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks says blueway users must have a Wildlife Management Area user permit.

This blueway is the second on the river. Another 10-mile blueway was previously established in Jackson County.