Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. CDT

September 19, 2018 - 12:00 am

GRANT TAKEN BACK

City takes back $8,400 from charity linked to councilwoman

(Information from: The Meridian Star, http://www.meridianstar.com)

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi city is taking back $8,400, at least for now, that it gave to a charity run by the husband of a city councilwoman.

The Meridian Star reports the Meridian City Council voted Tuesday to take back the money given to Youth Excitement Team. Councilwoman Kim Houston is an unpaid director of the group, run by her husband Gary Houston.

The council typically removes groups that may pose a conflict for one member and votes on them separately. Kim Houston denies any wrongdoing and says lack of a separate vote was an oversight.

Councilwoman Fannie Johnson also runs a charity, Love's Kitchen.

Youth Excitement Team provides afterschool programs seeking to aid education and parental involvement. The organization's most recent tax filing shows Gary Houston was paid $16,500 in 2016.

___

SNAKE IN WAFFLE HOUSE

Man wears snake on his neck in a Waffle House in Mississippi

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) — A man wore a live snake around his neck inside a Waffle House in southwestern Mississippi.

Cellphone video shows that when a guard confronted him, the man removed the snake, stepped toward the officer and yelled, "Let's do it!"

Onlookers scattered, and they did not smother their screams.

The Enterprise-Journal reports the confrontation happened early Saturday at in McComb. A local resident posted video to Facebook.

The officers escorted the man and the snake out of the restaurant. The newspaper reports it was not immediately clear whether any charges were filed.

PRISON STAFFING SHORTAGE

Workers at understaffed state prison pull 24-hour shifts

(Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com)

LEAKESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Workers are pulling double and triple shifts at a state prison in Mississippi that has less than 60 percent of its staff positions filled.

WLOX-TV reported Tuesday that the severity of understaffing issues was discussed during the first meeting between a citizens' advisory committee and the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville. Greene County Emergency Management Director Trent Robertson says 24-hour shifts are "disturbing."

Part of the prison closed late last year due to the lack of staff, and 400 inmates were moved to another state prison. Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall said then that the closure was hopefully temporary as the agency was "aggressively recruiting."

Hall has said the starting salary for correctional officers is nearly $25,000, which is too low to attract people to a sometimes-dangerous job.

___

EMPLOYEE EMBEZZLEMENT

Ex-Mississippi nursing home worker pleads to embezzlement

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former Mississippi nursing home office manager has pleaded guilty to stealing money from nearly 100 residents and was ordered to reimburse more than $5,000.

Attorney General Jim Hood says in a Monday release that 40-year-old Christy Moulds entered the plea last week to charges of embezzlement and exploitation of a vulnerable person.

Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge Charles Wright sentenced Moulds to pay full restitution totally nearly $5,500 to Poplar Springs Nursing Home in Meridian. Hood says Moulds falsified Trust Fund Cash Request Forms and took the money from the facility's Resident Trust Account over four months, resulting in 91 patients having funds stolen.

Wright also suspended a two-year prison term, ordered five years of probation for Moulds and ordered her to pay a $5,000 fine.

EXPORTING INMATES

Vermont out-of-state inmates to move to Mississippi prison

WATERBURY, Vt. (AP) — Vermont's out-of-state inmates being housed in Pennsylvania will be moved to a prison in Mississippi, after complaints about treatment, medical care and several inmate deaths.

The Vermont Department of Corrections announced the move on Wednesday. The 228 inmates will be moved to the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility in Tutwiler, Mississippi, in October.

The prison is run by CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America.

Corrections officials say the two-year contract allowed for Vermont to include adherence to its laws, rule and policies as part of the agreement. Officials say among the service that CoreCivic has agreed to provide is comprehensive medical and mental health care without a co-pay fee.

Prisoners' rights advocates oppose the move, saying the inmates will be going farther away from their families and support systems.

BARGE CONTRACT

Mississippi shipyard gets $78M contract for crew barges

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi shipyard is getting a $78 million contract to start building barges for U.S. Navy crews to live aboard when their ships are being repaired or overhauled.

VT Halter Marine was awarded the contract Monday by the U.S. Navy. The Navy has the option to buy four more barges and other services from Halter. If the Navy does, the contract could eventually be worth $244 million.

The announcement says the majority of work will be done at Halter's Pascagoula shipyard. Other work would be done in Mandeville and Metairie, Louisiana; Gautier, Mississippi; Billerica, Massachusetts and Boca Raton, Florida.

Halter beat out Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana, for the deal.

The government of Singapore, through its Temasek Holdings investment firm, owns 53 percent of Singapore Technologies Engineering, which owns Halter.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()