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

September 22, 2018 - 12:00 am

BURNED WOMAN

Retrial set for man accused in woman's burning death

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A second trial is set to begin Tuesday for a man accused of killing a Mississippi woman by setting her on fire.

Jurors couldn't reach a verdict last year in the first trial of Quinton Tellis, charged with capital murder in the 2014 death of Jessica Chambers.

Prosecutors say cellphone locations, videos, a keychain and Tellis' statements link him to Chambers' death. The government has also subpoenaed a new witness, a woman who says she picked up a man the night Chambers was burned. There's a dispute, though, about how precisely she can identify Tellis.

The defense emphasizes that multiple emergency personnel heard the dying Chambers say someone named "Eric" or "Derek" attacked her.

Tellis faces another murder indictment in Louisiana in the torture death of Meing-Chen Hsiao in Monroe.

HIGHWAY WORKER SAFETY

Mississippi officials urge safety after road worker injuries

(Information from: WLBT-TV, http://www.wlbt.com)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — State transportation officials are urging drivers to be more careful in work zones after six road workers were hit on job sites this week.

WLBT-TV reports three workers were treated for injuries after a produce truck rear-ended a Mississippi Department of Transportation pickup Monday on U.S. 49 in Florence.

Two contract workers were injured near Hattiesburg and hospitalized Tuesday. A sixth worker was injured in metropolitan Jackson.

Department of Transportation Executive Director Melinda McGrath urges drivers to slow down and move over when work crews are present. The department also urges people to avoid distractions such as cell phones and eating while driving.

The department lists 45 highway workers killed on duty since 1951.

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INDUSTRIAL PARK GRANT

Feds gives $1.5M to improve water service at industrial park

CORINTH, Miss. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding $1.5 million to a northeast Mississippi city to improve water service at an industrial park.

The department's Economic Development Administration said Friday that the city of Corinth will use the money to extend a large water main at the Northeast Mississippi Waterfront Industrial Park.

The park is along the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway in Burnsville, east of Corinth. Federal officials say the improved water service is projected to attract 250 jobs and $158 million in private investment.

The park is owned by the Yellow Creek Port Authority and includes 907 acres (367 hectares) with a barge dock and a planned railroad spur.

BAYOU REROUTING

City seeks to stop erosion from claiming bridge, power lines

(Information from: The Vicksburg Post, http://www.vicksburgpost.com)

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Officials looking to rebuild a collapsed bridge in a Mississippi city have another problem — the underlying waterway is trying to change course.

The Vicksburg Post reports Hennessey Bayou began cutting a shorter channel to the Mississippi River after the river's 2011 flood.

Engineers say river water that backed up the bayou and quickly receded undermined a bridge that collapsed in 2017. More erosion could undermine a second bridge, plus electrical transmission towers that carry power from an Entergy Corp. plant.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making a plan to stabilize the bayou's bank. The city and the Corps are splitting the study's $75,000 cost.

Vicksburg is seeking a $1.6 million federal grant to pay for stabilizing the erosion. Vicksburg and Entergy would pay for a $550,000 match.

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CRAFT CENTER-WALLER

Ceremony to honor craft center renaming for late governor

RIDGELAND, Miss. (AP) — The state is naming a building for late Mississippi Gov. Bill Waller Sr., but it's not in downtown Jackson.

Instead, a ceremony on Saturday will honor the renaming of the Mississippi Craft Center in Ridgeland for Waller, governor from 1972 to 1976.

Legislators passed a bill this year naming the building for Waller, who died in 2011.

A supporter of Mississippi-made crafts, Waller named the first director of the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi in 1973. The guild now operates in the state-owned building opened near the Natchez Trace in 2007.

Waller's only daughter, an artist named Gloria, died in 1981.

Survivors include four sons, Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., Robert O. Waller, Edward C. Waller and Donald E. Waller, all of Jackson.

OLE MISS JOURNALISM-RACIST COMMENT-THE LATEST

The Latest: Faculty ask donor to remove name from school

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — University of Mississippi journalism faculty have met amid calls that the university remove a donor's name from its journalism school following a social media post criticized for an "unjustified racial overtone."

Journalism Dean Will Norton says faculty didn't vote Friday to ask the university to remove Ed Meek's name from the school. Norton says he's trying to reach Meek and that school leadership may prepare a report or statement for faculty.

Meek wrote a Facebook post with photos of two black women in short dresses, suggesting they exemplify problems that cause real estate values to fall. Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter condemned the racial overtone of the post as "highly offensive." It has since been removed.

The school's student newspaper on Friday editorialized for Ole Miss to "entirely cut ties" with Meek.

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