News Briefs From Across The State
By Monica Land
Employees can no longer smoke in vehicles
Municipal workers in Houston, Miss., can smoke, just not in city-owned vehicles.
The new city policy – which applies to cigarettes, cigars and pipes as well as chewing tobacco – was adopted by the board of aldermen in August.
Employees who violate the ban will be reprimanded and those who violate it three times can be terminated, according to the policy.
The city has had a “no-smoking” policy in city buildings for the public and employees for several years.
Officials say the policy is for public health reasons, safety reasons and a desire by the city to endorse a healthy lifestyle in the community.
Drug court headed to Attala County
Attala County has agreed to be the hub for a new drug court in the Fifth Circuit Court District.
The board of supervisors heard earlier this month from Circuit Judge C.E. Morgan III.
Drug courts seek to rehabilitate drug-using offenders through drug treatment and intense supervision with frequent court appearances and random drug testing. Morgan says other counties have had success with drug courts.
The drug court would be at no cost to the county and would be funded by the state.
No violent offenders are allowed in the drug court program.
The 5th Circuit Court District is made up of Attala, Carroll, Choctaw, Grenada, Montgomery, Webster and Winston counties.
Man pleads guilty to gun violation
Federal court records say a man has pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a gun.
Brandon Keith McCalpin was charged with the offense in Tupelo in 2010. He pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Oxford.
Court records say he had a .25 caliber pistol in November 2010 after he had been previously convicted of a felony. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
Man loses effort to file post-conviction claim
The Mississippi Supreme Court has declined to hear a post-conviction appeal from a man convicted in the 2003 death of an Olive Branch woman.
Mario Dockery pleaded guilty to murder in 2007. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Dockery was one of three men charged in the death of Anna “Maxine” Andrews. Prosecutors say duct tape was wrapped around her face and head causing her to suffocate. She was killed at her home in Olive Branch.
Dockery wanted to attack the validity of his sentence and the performance of his attorney. Both of which were denied by a DeSoto County judge last year.
The state Court of Appeals denied the petition in February.