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November 24, 2018 - 12:00 am

ELECTION 2018-SENATE-MISSISSIPPI-THE LATEST

The Latest: Dem touts 'diversity' in Mississippi Senate race

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A black Democrat running for U.S. Senate in Mississippi says he would bring experience of "diversity" and "inclusion" to the job, and he thinks the Republican he's trying to unseat has a different background.

Democrat Mike Espy spoke Saturday about how he and his twin sister were among the 17 black students who integrated the all-white Yazoo City High School in 1969, graduating in 1971.

An independent newspaper, the Jackson Free Press, reported late Friday that Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith attended a white private school founded in 1970, the year many Mississippi public high schools integrated. She graduated from Lawrence County Academy in 1977.

Hyde-Smith campaign spokeswoman Melissa Scallan responded to the report about Hyde-Smith's high school attendance by saying, "the gotcha liberal media has taken leave of their senses."

KELLY-TROOPS-THANKSGIVING

Mississippi congressman spends Thanksgiving with troops

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Congressman Trent Kelly says he was honored to help serve Thanksgiving Day lunch to the troops stationed at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

Kelly led a bipartisan delegation to the Middle East where more than 4,000 members of the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team of the Mississippi National Guard have been deployed for seven months in support of Operation Spartan Shield.

In a news release Saturday, Kelly said he knows it's difficult to be away from family and friends, especially during the holidays. He says he was glad to be able to let the soldiers know how proud he was of their service and sacrifice.

Members of the 155th are expected to return home in 2019.

MALL SHOOTING-MISSISSIPPI

Man shot in hand during argument at Mississippi mall

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — A suspect is in custody after a shooting at an east Mississippi mall.

News outlets report Meridian Police Sgt. Dareall Thompson says it happened about 3:30 p.m. Friday in the parking lot at the Bonita Lakes Mall. Authorities say a man was shot in the hand during an argument and taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Thompson says the victim and the shooter apparently knew each other. He says the victim told detectives he was with friends and other people outside the mall when members of his group got into an altercation, and he was shot.

The mall is currently open and operating normally. General Manager Renee Williams says additional security and more police were patrolling the area because of Black Friday and more will be on hand as a result of the shooting.

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This story has been corrected to fix location of mall.

ELECTION 2018-COURT OF APPEALS

2 Court of Appeals races set for Mississippi ballots Tuesday

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Voters in western parts of Mississippi will decide two state Court of Appeals runoffs on Tuesday, after two candidates fell just short of winning outright majorities on Nov. 6.

Deborah McDonald of Fayette led the race in the 2nd District, which includes the Mississippi Delta and parts of Jackson. She will face runner-up Eric Hawkins of Greenville. McDonald cites experience as a municipal court judge and lawyer for governments. Hawkins has been a prosecutor in Greenville.

David McCarty will face fellow Jackson resident and Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill Sr. in the 4th District. It includes parts of Jackson and southwest Mississippi. McCarty led the race, while Weill finished second. Weill was a Republican on the Jackson City Council. McCarty points to his experience as an appellate lawyer.

OFFICER-FATAL WRECK

Mississippi officer dies in wreck while responding to call

(Information from: Neshoba Democrat, http://www.neshobademocrat.com)

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) — A 23-year-old Philadelphia police officer responding to a call for help from Neshoba County Sheriff's deputies has died after her patrol car hit a light pole and flipped several times.

The Neshoba Democrat reports Officer Leann Simpson died as a result of the single-car wreck shortly after 2 a.m. Saturday.

Philadelphia Police Chief Grant Myers says sheriff's deputies were on a traffic stop on Mississippi 16 and 911 communications could not make contact with them so she was responding to a call to check on them.

The cause of the wreck is under investigation but Myers says weather was a factor.

Myers says Simpson had been with the department for 15 months. He says she was an "outstanding young officer with a promising career."

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OBIT-O'HARA

Shawn O'Hara, perennial candidate in Mississippi, dies at 60

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man who ran dozens of eccentric and unsuccessful races for governor, U.S. senator and other offices under different party labels has died at age 60.

Shawn O'Hara was found dead Tuesday at home in Hattiesburg, according to Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict.

Benedict said Friday that the date of death was not immediately known, but O'Hara died of natural causes.

O'Hara was known for low-budget campaigns consisting of little more than hand-written flyers with promises to legalize marijuana, lower gas prices or establish a series of snow-cone stands to fund state services.

His most recent election loss was on Nov. 6, when he ran as a Reform Party candidate for U.S. Senate. O'Hara received less than 1 percent in a race won by Republican incumbent Roger Wicker.

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