Monthly Archives جولای 2020

Retired Hattiesburg judge tapped for trial in killing of 2 Mississippi officers

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BROOKHAVEN — A retired judge will preside over the capital murder trial of a man charged in the 2018 shooting deaths of two Mississippi police officers.

Judge Richard W. McKenzie of Hattiesburg was appointed Thursday by Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Randolph. Two circuit judges, Michael M. Taylor and David H. Strong Jr., recused themselves from the case July 24.

A spokeswoman for the state court system said Friday that a trial date has not been set for Marquis Flowers. District Attorney Dee Bates has said he will seek the death penalty.

More: A rental car owner wanted to help police solve a drug crime. Instead they took his car.

Brookhaven Police Department Cpl...

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The Civics Project: In the age of COVID, who needs a political party convention anyway? | Opinion

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Question: With all the concern over in-person political party conventions due to the coronavirus pandemic, do we actually need to have the big confabs?

Answer: Given that both Republican and Democratic parties have essentially canceled the biggest in-person parts of their conventions, the answer is, “probably not.”

Party conventions are an historical part of our presidential candidate selection process that dates back to the 19th century, when our parties were establishing themselves. Originally, conventions were working meetings where decisions were actually made...

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COVID-19 in Mississippi: Record 52 deaths, 1,168 new cases reported Friday

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The Mississippi Department of Health reported 52 new coronavirus deaths and 1,168 new cases Friday, bringing the state total to 58,747 cases and 1,663 deaths.

Friday’s 1,100-plus cases marks the fourth day this week of more than 1,000 cases, and the record number of deaths tops the previous high of 48 reported Thursday. 

Last week was a record-breaker for new cases. The state surpassed 50,000 total cases July 25. The department reported more than 1,000 confirmed cases on all but one day of the week. July 23 was the only day below 1,000, with a reported 982 cases.

More: Mississippi on the front lines as COVID-19 vaccine, treatment trials come to Hattiesburg

Outbreaks at long-term care facilities, which care for th...

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DeSantis’ popularity plummets amid widely-panned coronavirus response

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In the span of a few months Gov. Ron DeSantis has gone from one of the most admired state leaders in America to one of the most disparaged, with an approval rating that has dropped precipitously as coronavirus cases surged.

A pair of recent polls indicate more Floridians now disapprove of the job DeSantis is doing than approve. The latest was released Friday by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy. It shows that 49% of Florida voters disapprove of the governor’s job performance, compared to 45% who approve.

That’s a 17 percentage point drop from the 62% of Florida voters who approved of DeSantis in a Mason-Dixon poll from last year.

The stunning turnaround is another example of how politicians often are defi...

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Man dies after being shot multiple times inside vehicle, Jackson police say

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The Jackson Police Department is investigating a fatal shooting that occurred Friday morning. 

JPD said the unidentified man was found dead in the 700 block of Erie Street at about 7:30 a.m. 

He was shot multiple times inside a vehicle, JPD said. 

No suspect information or motive is currently known.

The death marks the city’s 62nd homicide since the year began.

This story may be updated. 

Contact Justin Vicory at 769-572-1418 or [email protected] Follow @justinvicory on Twitter.

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Note to FLORIDA TODAY readers about possible delivery delays due to Hurricane Isaias

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Note to readers:

FLORIDA TODAY continues to follow the developing and shifting track of Hurricane  Isaias and will be tailoring its production and delivery of the newspaper to the storm’s potential impacts. That may result in changes to staffing and thus shifting delivery times and possible delays in some areas.

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UPDATE: Crash victim identified as 18-year-old who had finished first day on job

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A man killed in a wreck Thursday evening near the South Laurel exit off I-59 northbound has been identified as Daonte Trotter of Jasper County.

Jones County Coroner Burl Hall said Friday that Trotter, 18, had just finished his first day on the job at Howard Industries when he was killed. Trotter died of multiple blunt force trauma. His funeral service will be handled by Brown’s Mortuary of Laurel.

According to Laurel Police Officer Michael Reeves, witnesses said the driver of the white Ford Mustang  was merging from the on-ramp to get on I-59 North. The vehicle hit an 18-wheeler near an active construction zone of the South Laurel exit.

“At some point, they made contact with an excavator and came to rest where it hit ...

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Brevard shelter workers on standby, just in case of changes in path of Hurricane Isaias

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Brevard County officials say are prepared for Hurricane Isaias, but there are no current plans to open hurricane shelters.

Brevard County Communications Director Don Walker said the county has shelter workers on standby, with community centers that could be used as shelters ready to be supplied if needed.

“But, based on the latest forecasts, we don’t anticipate we’ll have to go that direction,” Walker said this morning.

Walker said those forecasts indicate Brevard County will get 3 to 5 inches of rain, and winds of 30 to 40 mph, with gusts of 55 to 65 mph.

Walker emphasized that things could change, depending on developments later today and into Saturday related to the storm track and intensity.

At this point, the county’s...

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Autopsy: Human remains confirmed as missing Picayune man Willie ‘Chill’ Jones

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Human remains found in Hancock County mid-July have been confirmed to be those of Willie “Chill” Jones, who was last seen July 6, when he left his home with an acquaintance.

Pearl River County Coroner Derek Turnage said Friday the state medical examiner’s office was able to identify Jones through his fingerprints, instead of DNA results, which would have been available next week.

Turnage said Jones’ remains were released to his family Thursday. 

Autopsy reports determined Jones died of gunshot wounds to the chest, Turnage said. 

The acquaintance, 24-year-old Dustin Gray, and another man, 18 year-old Austin Brookshire, were charged with his murder...

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Hurricane Isaias: What to expect in Brevard County

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Hurricane Isaias is barreling toward Florida and could become a Category 2 storm before all is said and done.

For Brevard County, that means we could start seeing conditions deteriorate Saturday night, according to data released by the National Hurricane Center at 5 a.m. Friday.

More: Update: Hurricane Isaias forecast to become Category 2 storm; east coast of Florida in forecast path

The storm could start impacting the peninsula around Miami Saturday morning, working its way up the coast and arriving with strong winds in Brevard County around 8 p.m.

Brevard County is 72 miles long — the longest county in the state — so impacts will be seen in the south area earlier than other areas.

As of the Friday 5 a.m...

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