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Saturday, April 10, 2021


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Thank you for joining us tonight.

Columbus police share some new statistics when it comes to the city's crime rate// one highlight is a steady drop in felony arrests from 2015 to 2019.

Scott martin breaks down the numbers for us and shares what police think is the reason for the downturn.

Murder...armed robbery..and assaults.

These are crimes that have seen a steady decline in the last half decade.

"my officers are out there doing their job, they have integrity, they're doing the right thing, they're making things happen and the statistics show it."

When chief shelton took over as the top cop he said his plans were to make the department more effective, efficient, and proactive.

One way that's happened shelton says is having more eyes on the city.

"our officers our more visible.

They're doing foot patrols, business checks.

They're coming in contact with the community more.

And what's happening there is information is being shared that helps us solve a crime or can help prevent a crime."

In 2016 columbus had ten murders.

That number has dropped down to two this year.

Armed robberies have went down from it's highest of 50 to seven this year.

Another perk on the downward trend police believe is the city having it's own crime lab.

"just the face that you're not waiting a year to get results back, your finger print identification back.

You're waiting two or three weeks then you're getting that individual off the street and hopefully preventing them from committing whatever crime they're inclined to commit."

Crime lab director austin shepherd says they're working on a regional database that in the long run could have a bigger impact in solving crimes.

"criminals, people who commit crimes typically aren't locked in to one area.

They're going to move from city to city, place to place.

In this instance it's good to be able to search a database of individuals from say starkville, west point, aberdeen, or tuscaloosa."

Community involvement has also played a major factor.

The old "see something, say something" we hear chief shelton preach..he says had paid off in a big way.

The downfall in crime is something both shelton and shepherd say is something that the entire friendly city should be proud of.

"it's the officers, but it's the community.

The community is standing up and getting behind the department and working with us."

"everyone's taking a part.

They're interacting with law enforcement, we're leveraging technology, we're learning new way to solve and prevent crime.

It's really an achievement for the entire city and county."

Police did see an increase in auto burglaries, but added that about 90-percent of those involved cars that were left unlocked.

They stress that especially during the holiday shopping season, make sure your cars are locked.

Take gfx off top the grandmother of a lowndes county child that drowned in a pond has been indicted.

A grand jury indicted 51-year- old tammy brooks on the charge of contributing to the neglect of a child.

Bond for brooks was set at 75 hundred dollars.

A tentative trial date is set for february 24th.

Five-year-old annabelle bush was found in a small pond, just off old new hope road, on september 2nd.

The property owners found the little girl.

Coroner greg merchant says bush died at the hospital a short while later.

Bush was placed in her grandmother's custody by dhs after her mother and her mother's boyfriend were arrested.

Britney brooks was recently indicted on five counts of contributing to the neglect of a child.

Alejandro martinez is facing four counts of the same charge.

Back in july, neighbors found a naked two- year-old was found walking on robin circle about 2 am.

At the time, deputies told wcbi the living conditions were deplorable.

Martinez also has a hold placed on him, by immigrations and custom enforcement.

Wipe to vo the mississippi bureau of narcotics director must repay the state more than 30 thousand dollars.

State auditor shad white alleges john dowdy was paid for compensatory time better known as comp time.

Mbn must get permission from the commissioner of public safety to pay employees for comp time, instead of giving paid time off.

White says dowdy was paid for comp time without permission and over the objection of mbn staff.

The director is given a clothing allowance that, by state law, can only be used by law enforcement officers.

Dowdy is not a certified law enforcement officer.

Auditors also claim dowdy circumvented the fair labor standards act and the internal controls designed to prevent unauthorized buy backs.

The findings were found in a routine audit.

First look stinger summary: we're watching 2 disturbances over the next week that will give our area the chance of more rain and even a few storms. the first one comes friday with the second one coming late monday into tuesday.

At this time no strong or severe weather is expected.

Thursday night: variably cloudy during the evening with overcast conditions taking over late.

Showers are possible by sunrise.

Lows in the 40s.

Winds se 2-5 mph.

Friday: mostly cloudy with areas of rain.

A few embedded storms are also possible.

Rainfall totals between 1/4" and 3/4" may occur.

Highs top out in the 50s.

Southerly winds become northerly between 5 and 10 mph.

The month of december is known to be the happiest time of the year, but for college students it means one thing..finals!

Students spend weeks buried in their books studying for tests.

Our stephanie poole joins us with more on what one local church is doing to help them out..

Preparing for all of those tests can be hard to handle.

Starkville first united methodist church is making sure students get through their finals with peace of mind.

Flash-cards,highlighters, and coffee.

For many, finals week means cramming and pulling all- nighters in hopes of raising final grades.

In starkville, first united methodist church is hosting exam slam to help relieve some of the stress before the tests.

For junior trey dilly, it just makes makes studying sense..

" it's real good.

Like the library they do have some quiet spaces but those are generally reserved for certain groups or you have to go all the way to the fourth floor of the library.

But we got a few rooms that you can go into for group studying or we got the main area that's just perfectly quiet and you can hear a pen drop."

Butt sots together "generally i show up at 9 and stay all the way till midnight because they're open it's a quiet place to study, free food, so why not."

Event coordinator elizabeth williams says around 100 students come per day.

" we want to sustain the students studying.

We offer three free meals a day and we have snacks and plenty of coffee."

Williams says community donors are stepping up to help.

" we have about 12 local businesses that are helping with the food and so that helps out a- lot but truly it is a church wide village effort.

Everyone in college sometimes has to worry about their budget and we want to reach those students were this can be a really big help."

" they just want the best for us and for our exams because they know that we're crazy stressed and they'll provide all this food and this great study place and it's quiet and just the environment is really nice.

" exam slam is located in the first united methodist church connection facility.

It'll be open to students december 5th through the 11th from 9a.m.

To midnight.

Vo off top some starkville area businesses are also making accommodations for studying students..

Strange brew coffee house in starkville is extending their normal business hours to 24 hours.

Barista kaci campell says it gives an additional place to study, and a little extra fuel for those cram sessions..

" students are always looking for a place to study besides the library they're really isn't any where else for them to study during finals week and here they can come and study somewhere else besides the library get a little more of atmosphere if they like more of a lively area.

" strange brew will be operating extended hours from december 8th until the 11th.

Wipe to vo mississippi university for women and the community it calls home celebrate their partnership today..

The annual town and tower luncheon was held on the w campus..

Members honored two people who shine a positive light on the community and the campus... the campus award went to gale griffith director of the university's wesley foundation.

Renee sanders, executive director of united way, was honored with the group's community award..... m-u-w president nora miller was also surprised with an award from the mississippi national guard..

As general boyle said the first day that the institution had signed up for the guard fight free tuition.

The very next day i called him and said "how do we do this we want to be a part of this and so in recognition of that they gave me this beautiful medal and i'm just so pleased and so surprised and it's quite an honor.

Back in may, the w signed ont agreement ensuring free tuition to undergraduates in the mississippi national guard and those on active duty in the army who are enrolled full time.

Wipe to vo seniors from across lowndes county came together for the 29th annual senior citizens christmas gala.

The gala is hosted by the columbus recreation department to thank the seniors who participate in programs throughout the year.

Guests were treated to lunch and music performed by columbus high school students.

Director greg lewis says events like this one give the seniors something to look forward to.

"i've always said in my career that when you provide things with something to do it enhances and increases longevity, it gives them a sense of usefulness.

And like i said, we try to allow them to participate and be, you know, good stakeholders, so we try to do the things they want to do, but i think that it really makes them more active and even enhance their lives."

Over a hundred seniors came out to the event.

Stinger some of your favorite characters are coming to town..

We take you to the ácoolestá show around when we come back..

Best friends.

Big adventure.

And even true love.

That can only mean that disney on ice is back in tupelo.

Our allie martin is live at the bancorp south center with all the details.

Stinger i have signing the way get it.

This is the coordinator for disney on ice, johnson city, the city may several years the city with what has the money for sleep ... .

We love to politely immobilized here below hello hello hello ... my favorite princess is rapunzel beat her.

So yeah wow that's awesome mickey and minnie are looking for their favorite memories.

Finding tory ... montecito to ... summary: we're watching 2 disturbances over the next week that the chance of more rain and even a few storms. the first one comes friday with the second one coming late monday into tuesday.

At this time no strong or severe weather is expected.

Thursday night: variably cloudy during the evening with overcast conditions taking over late.

Showers are possible by sunrise.

Lows in the 40s.

Winds se 2-5 mph.

Friday: mostly cloudy with areas of rain.

A few embedded storms are also possible.

Rainfall totals between 1/4" and 3/4" may occur.

Highs top out in the 50s.

Southerly winds become northerly between 5 and 10 mph.

Friday night: mostly cloudy.

Lows in the 40s.

Saturday: mostly cloudy overall but some sun can't be ruled out.

Highs mainly in the 50s.

Saturday night: mostly cloudy.

Lows in the 40s.

Sunday: mostly cloudy.

A few isolated showers are possible.

Highs should top out in the 60s.

Monday: mostly cloudy with rain and a few storms developing during the afternoon and evening.

Highs top out in the upper 60s.

Tuesday: mostly cloudy with lingering showers.

Much cooler highs in the 40s to low 50s.

Follow @wcbiweather on facebook, twitter, instagram, and the wcbi news app stinger tonight, mississippi state men's basketball /, back in action/, playing host to louisiana tech it's been ten days since the bulldogs last played msu head coach ben howland saying the bulldogs originally front loaded the schedule in hopes of guard nick weatherspoon returning sooner from suspension although the original plan didn't work out howland saying msu made good use of the time off, the bulldogs specifically trying to get better defensively i think we rebound the ball extremely well, especially on the offensive end.

We want to be as dominant on the defensive end as we are on the offensive end.

We've got to improve in that area.

I think we're becoming a good defensive team.

The one game that we've had a poor defensive showing was the game that we lost against a very good team .

I think we're a very unselfish team.

I like how hard we play and how unselfish we play.

We're physical, and we're big."

Our state championship previews continue with the big boys...previewing the 5a and 6a title games... starting with the áthree-timeá defending champion, the west point green wave, looking to make it four straight it'll come down to the two best teams in 5a all year...west point and picayune the maroon tide are undefeated, having dominated from the start...and boasting the top offense in the state....averagin g almost á500á a game head coach chris chambless says ball control will be the difference "they do a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage.

I think the key to the game is, its going to be nip and tuck.

I think the team with the fewest turnovers, the team that takes advantage of its opportunities with turnovers or controlling the line of scrimmage up front on both sides of the ball.

That's going to be huge in this game, its going to be a key."

"for me its emotional because its my last game, since i've ben in high school i've been watching the team going to the state championship, so it ain't nothing new.

Since we've been little, we've been talking about going to the state championship in high school and now we're here.

It's a big accomplishment and a good feeling."

One more chance / for oxford to bring home its first ever state championship oxford coming off a win over rival starkville in the north half final.....looking to put another losing streak to bed the chargers have competed for 3 championships this decade, coming up short in three straight they'll have to go through a talented oak grove team that is fresh off a title loss in 2018 head coach chris cutcliff says his team will have to match the energy of a hungry oak grove squad "playing a team that's been in this situation a good bit.

A really good program in 6a.

One of the best ones that have been in this situation a lot even last year.

They probably have a little bit more experience in a championship game than we do.

We got to try to match their intensity and energy."

"oxford is known for being able to go state and not finish so this year our main goal is to just finish.

It's a big step especially for coach cut.

He knew and had faith in us.

He always told us each year that he wasn't going to feel differently from the team.

He's always going to push us to be great and keep going."


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