Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment


Floods delay some planting, forces other farmers to replant

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) – Recent flooding has caused some Northeast Mississippi farmers to delay planting while forcing others to replant when the rain clears.

The Daily Journal reports crops were flooded again following another rainy week.

Mississippi State University Extension agronomy agent Charlie Stokes says the most problematic crop for farmers with the rain this year will be soybeans.

Besides the loss of their crops, Stokes says farmers have lost valuable time in the fields to tend to their planted crops that need fertilizing.

Ross Loftin is county director at Lee County USDA Farm Service Agency. He says most farmers in the area have USDA crop insurance, which covers losses on traditional crops such as cotton, corn, and soybeans due to natural disasters including flooding and drought.


traffic tape2 Tenn. seniors killed in Miss. traffic accident


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Authorities say two seniors who attended a West Tennessee high school were killed in a traffic accident in Mississippi.

According to The Commercial Appeal, the accident occurred around 6:30 a.m. Sunday on U.S. 78 in Marshall County just past the DeSoto County line.

Killed in the crash were Rachel Lynch and Maddie Kruse, both students at Briarcrest Christian School in Eads, Tennessee. Two other girls in the vehicle were treated for injuries at area hospitals.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash, but the girls’ vehicle was reportedly struck by another car.

According to the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, the driver of that vehicle has been arrested and DUI is suspected. The driver has not been identified.

A memorial service is planned at the school on Monday.


Man accused in waiter’s death scheduled for trial Monday


PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) – A Pascagoula man accused in the fatal shooting of a popular waiter at a Gautier restaurant is scheduled for trial Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court.

The Sun Herald reports 25-year-old Nicholas DeMorst is charged with capital murder.

Authorities say 26-year-old Hunter Miller was shot to death Jan. 14, 2014, in Gautier. Miller worked at The Hook Up restaurant on Biloxi’s Back Bay.

Police say investigators believe Miller was killed in an attempted prescription-drug deal. Miller died of a gunshot wound in the back.


Ex-bus driver indicted for molesting child


OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) – A former Ocean Springs school bus driver has been indicted on sex crime charges involving a student who rode his bus.

The Sun Herald reports 64-year-old Sergio Eduardo Sandoval remains free on bond.

A Jackson County Grand Jury indicted Sandoval on four counts of touching of a child for lustful purposes and one count of sexual battery.

The alleged crimes occurred on various occasions between Sept. 15 and Oct. 7.

Ocean Springs police first arrested Sandoval on Oct. 9, on one count of unlawful touching. They tacked on an additional 32 charges after further investigation.

The Ocean Springs School District fired Sandoval on Oct. 8.

Police reports indicate Sandoval was driving the bus when he allegedly sexually violated the girl on different occasions.


Vincent name superintendent in Moss Point

MOSS POINT, Miss. (AP) – Shannon Vincent has been hired as superintendent of the Moss Point School District.

Vincent is currently the principal of Pascagoula School District’s Opportunity Center, the district’s alternative school for middle and high school students. She took on that job in July 2012.

School officials say Vincent was selected from a field of five finalists who were interviewed by the board earlier this month.

Vincent is expected to start work on July 1.

Former Moss Point Superintendent Maggie Griffin notified the board in January that she wanted to retire June 30 after a more than 35-year career in education.

Griffin had replaced Greg Ladner, a retired superintendent from Pearl Public School District who was tapped as interim superintendent when former boss Kim Staley’s contract expired June 30, 2011.


Bond set for 9th suspect in deaths of 2 police officers

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) – A ninth person is being held under a $90,000 bond after his arrest in connection with the shooting deaths of two Mississippi police officers who were killed during a traffic stop earlier this month, authorities said.

According to local media reports, prosecutors told Forrest County Justice Court Judge Wes Curry on Friday that 25-year-old Broderick Kendell Varnado allegedly handled and helped dispose of the weapon used to shoot the officers. Varnado is charged with accessory after the fact of capital murder.

Police say Hattiesburg patrolmen Benjamin Deen and Liquori Tate were fatally shot May 9 after pulling over a speeding car.

Marvin Banks is being held without bond on two counts of capital murder. He also was charged with grand larceny and possession of a weapon by a felon.


Lee County schools plan security upgrades


TUPELO, Miss. (AP) – The Lee County School District is adding cameras, door access systems and other security upgrades this summer.

Funding comes from a $70,000 grant provided through the state Department of Education.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports projects include new camera systems at Shannon Elementary, Shannon Middle and Plantersville Middle and additional indoor and outdoor cameras on eight other campuses.

Verona Elementary and Saltillo Elementary each will receive a door access control system. Doors across campus will remain locked, and teachers will be able to unlock them and access buildings by using their ID badges.

Mooreville Elementary and Saltillo Primary also will receive keyless access to a couple of doors on campus.

Shannon Elementary also will get motion and fire detectors and new wiring for its gym/activity building intercom.


CLW raising residential rates


COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – Columbus Light & Water’s residential customers will pay an additional $1.77 a month beginning Oct. 1.

CLW director Todd Gale tells The Commercial Dispatch the utility’s revenue will increase revenue by $200,000 annually.

CLW serves about 12,500 customers, including roughly 9,400 households

Gale says the residential customer charge will increase from $10.21 to $11.98 a month. He says it is a “base rate” for all residential bills. It is not tied to usage.

Gale says CLW’s residential customer rate is the second lowest in Mississippi among utilities who purchase power from the Tennessee Valley Authority. Only Tupelo’s is lower.

Gale says without an increase CLW would begin dipping into reserve funds by 2018.