Health

Governor Reeves ends state of emergency for Jackson water crisis

Governor Reeves has issued an executive order officially ending the state of emergency surrounding the city of Jackson’s water crisis.
Jackson and surrounding areas of Hinds County that receive water from the O.B. Curtis water treatment plant will no longer be under the emergency order effective 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 22.
Reeves initially declared the situation a state of emergency on August 29, with a nearly month-long boil water alert in place, and the two primary raw water pumps at O.B. Curtis previously removed for repairs and out of commission.
Now, the Environmental Protection Agency has now determined that the water from both the O.B. Curtis Water Treatment Plant and the J.H. Fewell water Treatment Plant safe to drink.
“I’m incredibly thankful to the folks at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Mississippi State Department of Health, and the Mississippi National Guard who worked tirelessly to restore clean water to the residents of Jackson and respond to this emergency situation. They have made countless repairs, brought in new equipment, and done heroic work,” Governor Tate Reeves said. “The only remaining imminent challenge is the city’s refusal to hire routine maintenance staff, and that cannot constitute a state emergency. We need new leadership at the helm so that this crisis of incompetence cannot continue.”
Further, the Jackson City Council has unanimously approved an agreement with the federal government regarding appointing a third-party administrator to operate the city’s water system.
“It is also clear that the federal government is working to ensure that Jackson political leadership does not have the authority to mismanage the water system any further. That process needs to be completed, and it needs to be completed quickly,” Reeves added. “As the justification for an emergency under state statute no longer exists and in order for that momentum to continue, we need to stick with our deadline to end our State of Emergency and our operating of the city’s water system for them. I am hopeful that the federal government’s efforts to take control away from incompetent hands will wrap up swiftly.” […]

Health

Former Noxubee County sheriff and deputy indicted for bribery

A federal grand jury has returned indictments charging the former sheriff of Noxubee County and one of his deputies with receiving bribes.
Court documents show that former sheriff Terry Grassaree and former deputy Vance Phillips are charged with using facilities in interstate commerce, namely, the internet and a cellular phone, for the purpose of committing the offense of bribery.
Grassaree is also charged with lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The cases are set for trial on January 9, 2023.  If convicted, Grassaree faces a maximum penalty of ten years in prison and Phillips faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case and assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Purdie is prosecuting the case. […]

Health

Columbia’s Winter Wonderland event to kick off with ice skating rink grand opening

After months in the making, Experience Columbia’s annual Winter Wonderland event is officially set to begin this upcoming weekend, featuring an entire month of Christmas-themed festivities.
Starting Saturday, November 26, attendees will be invited to enjoy activities throughout Downtown Columbia, with one of the newest additions including an ice skating rink.
Construction on the rink first began in September, with festival officials holding the soft opening on November 19. Kristian Agoglia, owner of Looks Great Services & Helanbak, explained that although planning for the event continues throughout the entire year, physical construction for this year’s festival began in August.
“We tried to get started early this year because of what we wanted to try to accomplish with the event this year,” Agoglia said on Good Things with Rebecca Turner.
The official opening for the new ice skating rink will be this weekend, along with Columbia’s famous “Lighting of Downtown” event. To purchase tickets for the rink, click here.
Over 300,000 visitors from across the state are anticipated to attend the festival, as the annual winter event is widely known for its unique display of Christmas lights throughout the holiday season.
“The first year we saw it, the crowd, when they turned the lights on for the courthouse, the whole crowd gasped because it really was a beautiful sight with the dome and the lights on it,” Lori Watts, President of Marion Co. Development Partnership, stated. “I think from the moment the lights went on, we were like, ‘We’ve got to keep this up,’”
Other activities that will be available on Saturday includes the Candyland Express, Gingerbread Train, Ornament Ball, Icy Bumper Cars, and the Mega Tree.
Details regarding this year’s Mega Tree — which is also a new addition to the month-long festival — have not been released at this time, but the tree is expected to be decorated with hundreds of thousands of lights.
Here’s the full list of events scheduled until the start of the new year:

Saturday, November 26: Nativity Presentation, Lighting of Downtown
Thursday, December 1: DJ Don King – Dancing Through the Decades – 80s
Friday, December 2: Nativity Presentation
Saturday, December 3: Walt Massey Parade of Lights, Famous Christmas Coca-Cola Truck
Thursday, December 8: DJ Don King – Dancing Through the Decades – 90s
Friday, December 9: Nativity Presentation
Saturday, December 10: Nativity Presentation
Thursday, December 15: DJ Don King – Dancing Through the Decades – 00s
Friday, December 16: Nativity Presentation
Saturday, December 17: Nativity Presentation
Thursday, December 22: DJ Don King – Dancing Through the Decades – Finale
Friday, December 23: Famous Christmas Coca-Cola Truck, Nativity Presentation
Saturday, December 24: Nativity Presentation
Saturday, December 31: New Year’s Celebration […]

Health

Gulfport City Council to vote on new police chief on Tuesday

The Gulfport City Council will consider a new police chief come Tuesday night.
Last week, Mayor Billy Hewes announced that he had chosen Adam Cooper as the city’s new police chief, following the upcoming retirement of Chief Chris Ryle.
Cooper, who has served as the Gulfport Police Department’s Chief of Operations since 2018, has been with the department for 27 years.
“After a thorough nationwide search with highly-qualified internal and external candidates, I am proud to announce Adam as our next Chief of Police,” Hewes said. “He has committed his professional career to public safety and serving this city. His dedication, internal knowledge, and integrity make him the perfect fit to lead our police force moving forward.”
If ratified by the City Council, Cooper’s official start date as chief will be May 1, 2022.
Gulfport is Mississippi’s second-largest city with a population of 72,926. […]