Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT

September 28, 2018 - 12:00 am

ELECTION 2018-SENATE-MISSISSIPPI-THE LATEST

The Latest: MPB cancels plan to air US Senate debate

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Public Broadcasting says it is canceling plans to carry a U.S. Senate campaign debate on its statewide TV and radio networks.

MPB executive director Ronnie Agnew announced the decision Friday after a second candidate withdrew from the debate.

Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith had already said she would not participate in campaign debates if she needs to be in Washington. Democratic challenger Mike Espy said Friday he would not debate without Hyde-Smith.

That left two challengers, Republican Chris McDaniel and Democrat Tobey Bernard Bartee, in the Oct. 4 event sponsored by MPB and Millsaps College.

Agnew says a two-person debate would not provide "civic engagement" by giving a statewide audience a chance to hear from all candidates.

McDaniel says Hyde-Smith and Espy are showing "political cowardice at its worst."

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BURNED WOMAN-MISSISSIPPI

Jurors see interview videos of man accused in burning death

BATESVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Prosecutors are playing hours of interrogation videos in the trial of a man charged with burning a Mississippi woman to death.

The videos were played Friday in the capital murder retrial of Quinton Tellis, accused of killing Jessica Chambers in 2014. A jury couldn't reach a verdict in Tellis' first trial last year.

The interrogations of Tellis came while he was jailed in Monroe, Louisiana, in relation to another killing for which he was eventually indicted. They show how the 29-year-old changed his story about when he was with Chambers the day she was burned when confronted with more evidence.

Also Friday, a forensic DNA analyst testified about DNA present on Chambers' keys. She says male DNA present could belong to Tellis, though she can exclude 99.7 percent of men.

MIKE PENCE-NAVAL AVIATORS

Vice president's son completes Navy training in Mississippi

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

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — The son of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has graduated from naval aviator training in Mississippi with his father looking on.

The Meridian Star reports 1st Lt. Michael Pence was among seven pilots pinned with golden wings Friday at Naval Air Station Meridian in Mississippi.

The vice president presented each graduate with a challenge coin. Both Pences declined interviews.

The class spent longer than the normal year at the base because U.S. Navy training jets were grounded for a time during 2017. That's because pilots reported episodes of oxygen deficiency, including shortness of breath and disorientation.

Base commander Capt. Brian Horstman says the graduates are "kind of special to us because they were here twice as long."

Graduates include one U.S. Marine Corps pilot and one from the French navy.

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STEPSON SHOOTING

Stepfather arrested in shooting death of stepson

(Information from: WTVA-TV, http://www.wtva.com)

RIPLEY, Miss. (AP) — A stepfather is accused of killing his stepson in northeast Mississippi.

WTVA-TV reports that Ricky Childers has been charged with the murder of 24-year-old Derrick Glass.

Glass was found shot dead in a driveway Thursday morning on a rural road near Ripley. Initial reports say the shooting followed a fight.

Investigators haven't said why they believe Childers shot Glass.

Childers is jailed on $200,000 bail. It's unclear if he has a lawyer.

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FURNITURE WAREHOUSE FIRE

Officials: Blaze at Mississippi furniture plant was arson

PONTOTOC, Miss. (AP) — Investigators say a Wednesday fire at a northeast Mississippi furniture plant was arson.

Pontotoc Police Chief Randy Tutor told local news outlets Friday that officers worked with the state Fire Marshal and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to reach the determination.

No arrests have been made. The owners of Washington Furniture and the state are offering a $15,000 reward for information.

Also Friday, the fire rekindled while workers were cleaning up.

Plant owner Lyle Harris says two-thirds of the company's facilities in Pontotoc were destroyed, but he adds the company is converting an undamaged warehouse with the goal of restarting production within three weeks.

The company, owned by Behold Home of Smithville, has promised that its more than 400 workers won't miss a paycheck.

WEDDING RING FOUND

Check the couch: Governor's wedding ring back after decades

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi's governor has his original wedding ring back on his finger nearly three decades after he lost it.

Clay Chandler, a spokesman for Gov. Phil Bryant, says Jeff Maher called the governor's office in recent days to report he had found a gold wedding band inside a couch that he claimed from a roadside outside the house of a cousin of first lady Deborah Bryant.

The ring had the initials of Phil and Deborah Bryant and their wedding date — Dec. 31, 1976.

The Bryants gave the cousin the couch in 1989. Chandler says the Republican governor doesn't know when he lost the ring, but thinks it was sometime in 1989.

Bryant met Maher Friday in Copiah County, posting pictures to social media thanking him and wearing the ring.

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