2 teenagers die in Lee County traffic accident

News Briefs From Across The State

By Monica Land

Alcohol may have been a factor

Two teenagers died in a Sunday morning traffic accident in Lee County. Lee County Coroner Caroline Green identifies them as Gage Fidram, 17, and Jesse Witt, 17, both of Saltillo.

Sheriff Jim Johnson told WTVA that Witt was driving south on Busy Bottom Road when he left the roadway and collided with a tree.

Authorities say the accident occurred at approximately 4:38 a.m. It took more than an hour to extricate both individuals from the vehicle, Johnson says.

The sheriff says it’s too early to tell whether alcohol played a factor in the wreck and indicated toxicology results should help answer that question when those findings come back from the state medical examiner’s office later this month.

The accident remains under investigation.

Governor signs bill for Leflore private prison

Gov. Phil Bryant has signed bill to allow the state to contract with the federal government to house federal inmates in Leflore County in a now closed private prison.

However, Mississippi corrections officials say budget cuts at the Bureau of Prisons have put the process on hold.

Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps says in a news release that Senate Bill 2547 paves the way for the former Delta Correctional Facility to reopen should a company succeed in a bid to the federal government to operate a minimum security prison that would house up to 1,600 inmates.

Management and Training Corporation, based in Centerville, Utah, submitted a bid to the federal government last summer. It proposed to use the DCF, which has been closed since January 2012.

Lee E911 board supports $7.5M radio


Lee County E911 Board of Commissioners has voted to recommend a $7.5 million communications radio system to the county Board of Supervisors.

Choosing between two different options, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the board voted for a system made by Motorola, which costs about $150,000 more than a Motorola system that used another company’s radios.

Lee County Administrator Sean Thompson said he supported the more expensive option because a single company responsible for the entire system would ensure more accountability related to any future repairs.

Last week, Lee County supervisors authorized intentions to pay for the radio upgrade.

The upgraded radio system will cover all of Lee County, which the current one doesn’t.

5 face unemployment with closing of Tupelo tower

Despite a temporary reprieve, Doug Metz and his four co-workers still face unemployment.

Metz is the air traffic control manager at Tupelo Regional Airport, where the tower is among 149 across the country being closed by the Federal Aviation Administration on June 15.

An air traffic controller with more than 30 years of experience, Metz has been working in Tupelo since the tower first opened in 1999.

Last year, The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports Tupelo Regional Airport had more than 51,000 operations. One operation is recorded when an aircraft takes off and lands

Through the first three months of this year, the airport had recorded more than 13,000 operations.

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