Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment


2015 shrimp season opens Wednesday

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) – Fresh Mississippi shrimp can be caught beginning Wednesday.

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources says in a news release that fishermen can trawl state waters beginning at 6 a.m.

MDMR officials say all boats engaged in catching or transporting shrimp from Mississippi waters must be licensed or permitted by the MDMR before beginning operations.

Recreational and commercial shrimp season north of the Intracoastal Waterway will close at midnight on Dec. 31, 2015. In areas south of the Intracoastal Waterway, shrimp season will close at midnight on April 30, 2016. Live-bait shrimping is open year-round in designated areas.

Wednesday’s opening is 15 days earlier than the MDMR allowed fishermen to catch shrimp in 2014.


DOJ opposes some parts of schools consolidation plan

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Justice is questioning a merger plan for the Starkville and Oktibbeha County school system that preserves a “one-race, African-American” school already comprised mostly of minority students.

After a state takeover of Oktibbeha County schools, lawmakers passed legislation merging the system with Starkville School District effective this summer.

The Commercial Dispatch reports the government’s filing comes after school officials proposed a new desegregation order in March for the upcoming consolidated district.

The two schools have been operating under federal oversight since 1970.

The case is before the U.S. District Court in Aberdeen.

The government says the plan preserves East Oktibbeha County Elementary School as “a virtually one-race school,” with a 94 percent African-American projected enrollment.

The Justice Department says it wants that changed.


Boeing picks MSU for Composite Research Center

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi State University and the Boeing Co. have announced the school will be the host for a research center that will lead development on composites the company will eventually use to build its aircraft.

The Stitched Resin Infused Composite Research Center will be located at the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. The University of Southern Mississippi will serve as a technology incubator of next-generation composite material systems.

The announcement was made Thursday in a news release from Boeing, MSU, Gov. Phil Bryant and U.S. Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, both R-Miss.

Officials say the center will provide students with research opportunities and is intended to aid in accelerating advances in stitched resin infused composite structures and manufacturing technologies.

Boeing will provide equipment and two full-time engineers.


2 men plead guilty to killing Greenville WWII veteran

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) – Two Greenville men have pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of a World War II veteran who was also known as the Delta region’s first “Hot Tamale King.”

The Delta Democrat-Times reports a Washington County judge sentenced 20-year-old Geblonski Murray to 45 years and 21-year-old Edward Johnson to 35 years in the 2013 killing of 87-year-old Lawrence Thornton.

Police say Murray and Johnson assaulted Thornton in his driveway during an apparent robbery attempt. Thornton died in a hospital two days later.

Thornton was known in Greenville for having opened a tamale restaurant in 1984. He served as the “Hot Tamale King” at the city’s inaugural Delta Hot Tamale Festival in 2012.


Dog saves deputy: K-9 partner stops attack at rest stop

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A deputy sheriff was attacked with a box cutter at a highway rest stop in Mississippi, and officials say his K-9 partner came to his rescue.

Hancock County Chief Deputy Don Bass says assailants beat and cut Todd Frazier when he stopped to check on a parked car Monday in Pearlington, near the Gulf Coast bordering Louisiana.

Bass says Frazier managed to release his dog, a black Belgian Malinois named Lucas, from the patrol car during the attack. Lucas then attacked the men who had gone after Frazier. Bass says the dog broke some teeth and suffered scrapes and cuts from being dragged around the pavement but was able to save the day.

Frazier is at home recovering, and Lucas is being treated with medication.

No one has been arrested.


SEC increases permanent home-and-home rivals in basketball

Kentucky and Florida will play twice a season every season in the Southeastern Conference’s new basketball schedule format that includes three permanent home-and-home opponents.

The SEC announced the tweak to its scheduling Thursday.

Each of the 14 SEC teams will play at each other at least once, and also have five home-and-home opponents. Three will be the same every season and two others will rotate.

Previously, SEC basketball schedules were built around one permanent home-and-home rival with the other four rotating yearly.

Kentucky’s three permanent home-and-home opponents will be the Gators, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Florida also will play Georgia and Vanderbilt every season.