HATTIESBURG, Mississippi (AP) — The ROTC program at the University of Southern Mississippi will survive at least another two years. The Army told Mississippi elected officials on Wednesday that it’s delaying a decision about whether to close the program on the Hattiesburg campus. The program will be put on probationary status during that time. The […]
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — The U.S. Senate on Monday confirmed Jackson attorney Debra Brown for a federal judgeship in north Mississippi, and she will become the first black woman to be a U.S. district judge in the state. A swearing-in ceremony will be set later. President Barack Obama nominated Brown in May for a judgeship […]
JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — A lawyer asked a federal judge on Friday to delay the October trial of a Mississippi man charged with sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials.
Kenneth Coghlan filed the motion Friday in the federal case of James Everett Dutschke, a former martial arts instructor from Tupelo. Dutschke is charged with sending ricin-tainted letters on April 8 to Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland…
During the FBI’s ongoing investigation into letters containing ricin addressed to President Barack Obama, Senator Roger Wicker, and a Mississippi judicial official – Sadie Holland – evidence collected by the FBI from the former business, Tupelo Taekwondo Plus, located on Rankin Boulevard Ext. in Tupelo, Mississippi, tested positive for trace levels of ricin.
Because public safety is always the FBI’s first priority in any investigation, that location was immediately sealed off and appropriate public health authorities were notified. The FBI is now conducting further forensic examination for the purpose of identifying trace evidence, residues, and signatures of production that could provide evidence to support the investigation.
Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. Ricin poisoning can occur when the substance enters the body through ingestion, inhalation, or injection. To date, the FBI is not aware of any illness as a result of exposure to these letters.
Federal authorities have produced scant evidence linking a Mississippi man to the mailing of ricin-laced letters to the president and a senator, his attorney says.
Christi McCoy said after a court hearing Friday that the government has offered no evidence to prove her client, Paul Kevin Curtis, had possession of any ricin or the seed from which it is extracted – castor beans. An FBI agent testified during the hearing that he could not say if investigators had found ricin at Curtis’ home, and McCoy said the evidence linking the 45-year-old to the crime so far has hinged on his writings posted online.
He is adamant that he did not do this, and she said she has seen nothing to prove him wrong.
Aurora Flight Sciences Chief Executive Officer John Langford, Senator Roger Wicker and Representative Alan Nunnelee attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the company’s new 30,000-square-foot facility at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport in Columbus.
The new facility, which will allow the company to increase its commercial composites manufacturing operations, represents a corporate investment of $17 million and is creating 250 new jobs.