Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment


Cellmate charged in jail death of Choctaw tribal politician

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) – The cellmate of a Philadelphia man has been charged with murder in his death in the Neshoba County jail.

Sheriff Tommy Waddell says 34-year-old Justyn Schlegel was arrested this week in the death of Rexdale Wayne Henry. Waddell says Schlegel was in the cell with Henry when Henry died.

The 53-year-old Henry, a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, was found dead about 10 a.m. on July 14.

Waddell says Henry was jailed for failing to pay old fines.

Final autopsy results are pending. Waddell declines to say what happened in the cell pending further inquiry by the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

Waddell says Henry’s family and Choctaw officials have been told about the arrest.

Henry recently ran for the Bogue Chitto community seat on the tribal council.


MUW summer graduation ceremonies Saturday

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) – Dr. Pamela Lacy, a Columbus obstetrician/gynecologist, will be the keynote speaker Saturday at Mississippi University for Women’s summer graduation ceremony.

The commencement is 10 a.m. in Rent Auditorium in Whitfield Hall on the Columbus campus.

MUW officials say about 200 students will receive degrees.

Lacy is medical director of obstetrics and chairwoman of the Department of OB/GYN at Baptist-Golden Triangle Regional Hospital.

She received her bachelor of science degree in pre-med/biology from Mississippi State University in Starkville. She earned her doctorate from MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine in Philadelphia.


Barnett Reservoir deer hunt draw begins

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Pearl River Valley Water Supply District begins taking applications Friday for deer hunts at Ross Barnett Reservoir.

The application deadline is Aug. 13.

Hunts will take place from Oct. 1 to Jan. 21 and are archery only. Hunters chosen in a drawing will pay $300 for hunts below the spillway and $200 in the Pelahatchie Bay zones.

Hunts during the first week will be limited to four days because the season begins on a Thursday. Later hunts will begin on Tuesdays and end on Sundays.

Hunters may kill a total of three deer including two antlerless deer and one buck with either a 15-inch inside spread or an 18-inch main beam minimum.

Hunters may bring one guest, who may be non-resident, but must be legally licensed.


Court will not review sexual battery conviction

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal in an Itawamba County sexual battery case.

The court issued the decision Thursday in the appeal of Timothy Sharp.

WTVA-TV in Tupelo reports Sharp was convicted of sexual battery and fondling of a 10-year-old in 2001 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In his appeal, Sharp argues the victim recanted the testimony in an affidavit written in September of 2012.

Court records show the woman signed another affidavit later the same year claiming she recanted because of pressure from family members to have the charges dropped.

The Mississippi Court of Appeals earlier found a judge properly decided not to overturn the conviction after an evidentiary hearing.


Starkville employee pay tied into raises for aldermen, mayor

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) – The Starkville Board of Aldermen has voted to increase the minimum worker pay rate by tying the issue with a salary increase that will boost salaries for the next administration.

The Commercial Dispatch reports Starkville’s lowest-paid employees will earn at least $10 per hour starting July 2017. Aldermen’s annual pay goes from $15,000 to $20,000, while the mayor’s salary jumps from $71,500 to $75,000.

Starkville has about 60 employees earning below $10 per hour, and 40 of those workers will remain below the threshold once a previously approved 3 percent raise is implemented Oct. 1.

The plan passed Tuesday with a 4-3 vote of aldermen.

Mayor Parker Wiseman asked aldermen to wait until work was completed a separate plan on wage increases and workforce development.


Street named for retiring DeSoto school superintendent

HORN LAKE, Miss. (AP) – Horn Lake officials have renamed a street running in front of a new vocational technical center for retiring DeSoto County Schools Superintendent Milton Kuykendall.

The Commercial Appeal reports the new vo-tech center will open when classes begin next week.

Kuykendall Lane is about a mile long and runs past the vo-tech campus.

Kuykendall is retiring at the end of the year after 12 years as the head of what has grown into Mississippi’s largest public school district.

The 67-year-old Kuykendall was a basketball coach at Horn Lake in the mid-1980s, later becoming principal and serving about 15 years before being elected superintendent. The district has about 32,000 students on 42 campuses countywide.

The school system also operates a vo-tech facility in Olive Branch for students in eastern DeSoto County.