Missing man called in late for work; never showed

Twenty-eight-year-old Jose Refugio Lopez was last heard from on Feb. 11 when he called in to say he’d be late for work. Tupelo authorities are currently looking for him.

News Briefs From Across The State

Man last seen on Feb. 11

Tupelo police are looking for a man that hasn’t been heard from since Feb. 11.

According to detectives, 28-year-old Jose Refugio Lopez called Las Magaritas by the mall to say he would be late for work, and that he’d be in about 2 p.m.

He never showed up.

Lopez who stands five feet five inches tall and weighs 150 pounds has not been seen or heard from by his family or friends.

Anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-773-TIPS.

Lavinghouse named Moss Point interim fire chief

Mayor Aneice Liddell says Moss Point Fire Inspector Capt. Robert Lavinghouse will serve as interim fire chief when Chief Mike Dale retires at the end of the month.

The Board of Aldermen voted last week to offer the interim position to Lavinghouse.

Liddell said Friday Lavinghouse expected the job.

Liddell tells The Mississippi Press it will take at least three months to hire a full-time chief.

Lavinghouse has been working for the department since 1984, where he began as a firefighter and worked through the ranks of lieutenant and shift captain. He became a fire inspector in 2008.

Dale recommended Lavinghouse as interim chief. Dale, who began working at the department in 1979, has been chief since 2006.

Man pleads guilty in child porn case

A south Mississippi man has plead guilty to child pornography charges.

An indictment in federal court charged Clifford Lawrence with five counts of possessing illegal images of minors in November 2008 in Pearl River County.

Lawrence plead guilty on Feb. 29 in U.S. District Court in Gulfport, and sentencing is set for May 25. Lawrence faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Holmes County supervisor indicted

Holmes County Supervisor Norman Cobbins has been indicted by a federal grand jury for mail fraud, bribery and making a false statement.

U.S. Attorney John Dowdy and others said the indictment alleges that the 61-year-old Cobbins, of Lexington, from January 2002 through January 2011, carried out a scheme to defraud the county by submitting false invoices and requisitions to the county and converting the money to his own personal use.

If convicted, Dowdy says Cobbins faces up to 35 years in prison and a $750,000 fine.

MOEK settlement brings money to Mississippi

Mississippi’s share of a settlement from a minority partner in BP’s blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico will go into the state’s Pollution Emergency Fund. The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality supervises the fund.

Attorney General Jim Hood said that MOEX Offshore will spend another $5 million in Mississippi on coastal protection projects.

The agreement, filed in federal court in New Orleans, calls for MOEX to pay $45 million in civil penalties to the federal government and $25 million to the Gulf states affected by the spill. The company also agreed to pay $20 million for coastal protection projects in those Gulf states.

Cameras installed to combat illegal dumping

A warning for those illegally dumping trash in Moss Point: police have begun installing hidden cameras to catch and punish violators. Moss Point citizens and city leaders hope the extra eyes watching out will help keep the city clean.

Moss Point resident Jeramey Anderson tells WLOX that it frustrates him to see trash dumped all over the city because it paints an ugly image of his hometown.

Anderson believes people tend to throw their trash anywhere in Moss Point because they think they won’t get caught.

Chief Keith Davis says the high-tech cameras will be hidden in the city and roll 24 hours a day.

Davis says if the cameras catch folks dumping or littering, they could pay up to $1,000 and possibly face jail time if convicted.

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