2 held in stabbing death of Brandon soldier

Police say a soldier who had recently returned to Camp Shelby from Afghanistan was killed in a fight during the early morning hours of June 2 outside a Hattiesburg bar.

Lt. Jon Traxler tells The Hattiesburg American 23-year-old Holden Hughes was stabbed in an altercation at about 12:40 a.m., outside Benny’s Boom Boom Room.

Traxler identified the suspects as 23-year-old Aaron Dement and 31-yeaer-old Derrick Valdez, both of Columbia. Both were taken to the Forrest County Jail and charged with homicide. […]


Liddell makes no apologies for time away

If you have tried to reach Columbus Schools Superintendent Martha Liddell at her office this school year, there’s a one-in-three chance you were told she was not in the office. In fact, there’s a one-in-three chance that Liddell wasn’t even in town.

So far during the 2012-13 school year Liddell has taken 21 trips that kept her out of the district for at least 60 of the 180 school days this year. Her contemporaries in Starkville, Lewis Holloway, and Lowndes County, Lynn Wright, have made 17 trips between them and have been away from their districts a combined 23 days.

And in a school year in which the superintendent put all “non-essential spending” on hold in January, Liddell’s extensive travels have cost the district $8,058, twice as much as Holloway has spent ($4,037 on 11 trips) and roughly four times as much as Wright has spent ($2,177 on six trips). […]


Sex education in Mississippi classrooms

The teen pregnancy rate in Mississippi is one of the highest in the nation.

As the Columbus and Lowndes County school systems move forward with teaching state-required sex education in the classrooms, educators, students and their parents have very different opinions on the effectiveness of the fledgling program. […]