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Monday, April 12, 2021


Credit: WCBI
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Thanks for joining us..

At this hour .... leaders in columbus are talking about "policing."

A virtual town hall meeting is taking place at the muncipal complex... this comes in light of a judge this comes in light of a judge dismissing a manslaughter charge against a former columbus police officer.... as well as the events in minnesota... our quentin smith is at the muncipal complex.

He joins us live with the latest..

Joey... that meeting has been underway for roughly 30 minutes now... this group is discussing key issues such as the police department's use of force policy.... as well strengthening community relations... police chief fred shelton says he plans to implement a new policy called "deputy intervene" and what that means is... if an officer sees another officer using excessive force or doing something out of line... regardless of rank..

The officer must step in and break-up the situation... since the officer involved shooting nearly five years ago... city leaders and police have worked hard to restore trust within the community.... and tonight... they're looking to continue building on that trust.... by having honest conversations and working to resolve these key issues... " if everything is done through transparency and everything is put on the table, i believe most people are reasonable and they feel like if all of the evidence is put out there and everybody knows what's going on, i really don't think he will have a problem with most people.

It's only when it seems like there is a cover-up that people get up in arms about things" "i see this as a growing opportunity now since we have the momentum and people are asking for change, now this gives me an opportunity to make real change while it's still on the table, while it's still hot, and at the end is to make the department more active, efficient."

The mayor, police chief, district attorney, and representatives with the justice for ricky ball organization.... are a few who are speaking tonight.

Due to the coronavirus the public is not allowed to attend the event... instead you can stream it on online by going to the mayors facebook page.

Reporting live....quentin.

Smith....wcbi news centred up there could be a move in the state legislature to change mississippi's flag.

Mississippi today is reporting that a bipartisan group of house lawmakers is drafting a resolution to change the state flag.

Suspending the rules to consider the change would require two-thirds of the house to move forward.

If approved, the legislation would move on to the state senate where it faces an unknown fate.

The online news publication says this resolution would replace the current state flag with what is known as the stennis flag.

House speaker phillip gunn and lt.

Governor delbert hosemann have both expressed support for changing the state flag.

Governor tate reeves believes mississippi voters should have their say on the flag at the ballot box.

This past weekend, demonstrators in columbus marched from the police department to the lowndes county courthouse.

The rally focused on things like racism and equality, but some spectators couldn't help but notice the confederate statue on the courthouse lawn.

Some call it an "ominous, looming figure."

Our cash matlock has more on the growing call to have the statue removed.

He joins us live from outside the lowndes county courthouse.

Joey... this historic marker is the topic of many online conversations.

Over years, it's even been brought up in a few board meetings among county supervisors.

Some people say it's time to remove the statue..

Others say it's a piece of history that should be preserved... and some believe if you look at the statue just right... it's actually a tribute to the ku klux klan.

"if you look at this monument at a certain angle, it looks like a figure head of a klu klux klan."

District 5 supervisor leroy brooks says he's been bringing up the issue with the confederate monument outside of the lowndes county courthouse for years now.

"i've brought it up at different junctions to the board of supervisors and it kind of fell on deaf ears, and you know, i don't really know what kind of historical value it serves."

But brooks isn't the only one upset about the statue.

Recently, several conversations have cropped up online.

Some advocating for the removal of the monument..

Others wishing to preserve it.

Brooks says talking about the issue online isn't enough.

"if you're really that strong about it, come to the board.

I don't know if the board has the sole authority to move it or not, but at least there needs to be some discussion and debate about the validity of maintaining this statue."

Brooks says many in the african american community do not look on the confederacy fondly.

"it's not something we cherish.

For many african americans, we do not see the civil war, as we've read it and studied about it, as something... it was the whole issue of maintaining slavery.

So, it's not something that we'll go around and pound our chest about."

He says before the statue can be removed, there has to be a conversation.

"let's find out who has the authority to move it, what it's going to take to move it, what kind of opposition is out there and find out what can we do?"

"i'm sure there are things that we could put here in this spot that pay homage to all americans, all citizens in lowndes county and columbus..."

At the moment, the board of supervisors does not intend to discuss the monument at their next meeting; however that could change.

Earlier this week the university of alabama took down memorials to confederate soldiers as well as plaques honoring students who served in the confederate army.

Reporting in columbus, cash matlock, wcbi news.

First look stinger summary: a cold front will sweep out the tropical humidity and rain showers wednesday morning.

The end of the work week is going to be warm but humidity levels will be much lower than what we've been accustomed to of late.

Tuesday night: partly cloudy during the evening with a chance of a few showers and storms after midnight.

Muggy all night long with lows in the mid 70s.

Winds ssw 10-20 mph.

Wednesday: clouds and showers are possible early with a clearing the city of macon lifts its curfew.

Aldermen recently approved the measure.

City leaders first approved a curfew on april 7th, in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The noxubee county town is still asking people to continue to social distance and wear a mask in public.

This week, the mississippi state department of health reported its largest single- day increase covid- 19 cases.

Those new cases brought the state's total to over 17 thousand.

Our bobby martinez talks to a doctor and a sheriff about why folks should still be taking this virus seriously.

He joins us live in the studio with what they had to say.

As mississippians slowly adapt to the state reopening and what will be the new norm..

There is still no cure for the virus..

And health experts say you should continue to follow guidelines to prevent the spread of covid- 19... a message to all mississippians... "we have to respect the virus."

Dr. james woodard of allegro family clinic says the virus still poses a threat.

"we're all still vulnerable to get this.

Unless you have had it and recovered.

Or unless you have had a vaccine.

Which there isn't a vaccine available yet."

And with the increase of amount of people in social gatherings... dr. woodard says wearing a mask is crucial... "people are getting out and about and mixing and mingling and that's where you are going to pick it up.

You cough or sneeze the droplets are in the air i don't have a mask on and then i inhale those droplets then i can get the virus."

The mississippi state department of health reports... at least 134 positive cases, along with 4 deaths in clay county... something sheriff eddie scott says is still a cause for concern... "right now is everybody knows the case number are still going up on a daily basis.

Yesterday was one of the highest days that we had so that it itself shows that it is a major problem to be dealt with so we have got to continue to use common sense."

Scott says clay county will remain under curfew until july 9th.

"the curfew has worked fairly well most people understand again there's a lot of essential travel.

If it is essential travel after 10 o'clock that's not an issue.

As far as people going out having a block party, clubs and this kind of stuff that is a major area where this stuff can be spread.

And this has been told to us by the cdc.

So our board of supervisors have decided to continue the curfew for july 9."

For more ways to learn how you can help prevent the spread of covid-19.

You can visit the mississippi state department of health website.

Take vo in monitor each year camp rising sun allows kids with cancer to have some normal events... go swimming, fishing, and camp out.

This year... that's not possible.

But, the camp is finding a way to reach campers..

Our stephanie poole explains.

Summer camp summer camp activities for camp rising sun look a bit different this year.

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, directors decided to meet virtually to keep campers safe and healthy.

áso today we're going to make lanternsá " we're grateful to have the opportunity to see them at least on the screen and interacting."

Co-director allison kizer says nearly 40 campers log in every day.

" we tried to craft a camp that would follow our regular activities as much as we could.

But clearly we can't have swimming and archery and those kinds of things so we tried to come up with some other ideas."

Nick and ellen taylor have attended camp rising sun for 9 years.

They say despite this year's changes, they're enjoying spending time with counselors and fellow campers.

" we've been super engaged and having fun and like keeping the energy and enthusiasm.

I miss the people and so it's been good to see them again."

The brother and sister are learning about art and making souvenirs.

" we've never really done anything like that before, well we've done stuff like that but it's just something we could do here that we normally wouldn't at normal camp."

To make sure each child is able to participate, counselors delivered supply boxes to each camper.

" we tried to keep our traditional activities like arts and crafts, we're going to have a talent show just like we always do, we're going to have a dance and they're going to have some line dances and going to be taught things like that to make them more interactive.

Probably interactive than camp itself because you get 1-1 time with them."

Reporting in columbus,stephani e poole,wcbi news.

Take vo in monitor directors plan to resume in-person camp in june 2021.

Stinger "okolona city leaders are asking lawmakers in jackson to pass a bill that would allow the town's electric company to offer broadband electric service to its customer.

That story an area city is wants the legislature to clear the way for local electric companies to offer broadband internet service to customers.

Allie martin has more on the process and what city leaders say is at stake.

Okolona electric would like to be able to offer broadband internet service to its customers, but electric companies owned by municipalities can't do that unless lawmakers in jackson step in.

"i live in the county and i can't get internet service unless i get satellite."

Mattie gates is a customer of okolona electric and says she would gladly sign up for broadband service if it were offered.

That's why city leaders have teamed up with lawmakers to get a bill passed that would allow the city owned electric company to offer broadband service.

The electric company serves more than 5 thousand customers in a four county area.

Okolona mayor sherman carouthers says the need for reliable internet has become even more apparent in the wake of shutdowns over covid 19.

"schools and universities, telemedicine, all those things are key components in 2020 and there's no reason for anyone to be disenfranchised at this point in 2020."

As economic liaision for the city of okolona, patsy gregory has been working to try and get the legislation passed since last year, when lawmakers allowed electric cooperatives to offer broadband service.

She says lawmakers know the need is dire.

"some of our industries are using hotspot phone in the windows to get internet service, it is hampering our economic development needs, and also some of our chickasaw offices are in van vleet mississippi and they do not have adequate internet service.

" in the wake of covid 19 and school shutdowns, there has been an even bigger push to get chromebooks or tablets into the hands of every public school student in mississippi, but people also say, without reliable internet service, it wouldn't make much of a difference.

In okolona, allie martin wcbi news mayor carouthers says senators ben suber and chad mcmahan have helped push the bill on the senate side.

It should go before the full senate this week and it is currently in a house committee.

Stinger wx open summary: a cold front will sweep out the tropical humidity and rain showers wednesday morning.

The end of the work week is going to be warm but humidity levels will be much lower than what we've been accustomed to of late.

Tuesday night: partly cloudy during the evening with a chance of a few showers and storms after midnight.

Muggy all night long with lows in the mid 70s.

Winds ssw 10-20 mph.

Wednesday: clouds and showers are possible early with a clearing trend taking over by midday.

The afternoon will be mostly sunny and warm with highs in the mid to upper 80s.

Winds sw to nw 10-20 mph.

Wednesday night: clear and comfy.

Lows around 60.

Thursday: sunny.

Highs in the low to mid 80s.

Thursday night: clear and pleasant.

Lows in the upper 50s to lower 60s.

Friday-sunday: mostly sunny and warm.

Highs in the upper 80s to around 90.

Lows in the low 60s.

Early next week: partly cloudy and warm.

Highs around 90 with lows in the mid to upper 60s.

Follow @wcbiweather on facebook, twitter, instagram, and the wcbi news app stinger a former crimson tide receiver will join mike leach and the air raid offense.... more from the transfer portal, stinger a former crimson tide receiver will join mike leach and the air raid offense.... more from the transfer portal, next in sports... spx open the transfer portal has been unkind to mississippi state for the past month or so....but the bulldogs able to pickup a big addition to the receiving corp thanks to the portal alabama wide receiver tyrell shavers officially joining mississippi state....the grad transfer has two years of eligibility remaining a consensus 4-star receiver coming out of high school, the 6-foot- 6 inch receivers recorded one catch for 20 yards with alabama, and also recovered a blocked punt for touchdown in 2019 before the college baseball season was cut short, ole miss was tied atop the best record in all of collegiate baseball...16-1, longest wing streak in the country and one shy of a program record while the 2020 season will always be a "what- if"...the rebels' skipper gets nationally recognized for the performance collegiate baseball naming mike bianco it's national coach of the year.....bianco becoming the first ole miss head coach to receive the national honor bianco is ole miss baseball's all-time wins leader, and the third winningest coach in sec history icc soccer pair of luz elena acosta and brittany mathis sign with belhaven university tupelo-native acosta started 34 games in two years at icc as a defender....and pontotoc-native mathis scored 15 goals with 10 assists as a forward...both playing a part in icc's historic 2019 campaign, setting the program record of 17 wins nascar is set to allow some fans back to the racetrack for races at homestead-miami speedway and talladega superspeedway this month 1-thousand florida service members to attend the cup series race this sunday nascar will allow up to 5000 guests to attend the talladega race on june 21st.... fans will be screened before entering, required to wear face coverings, and mandating social distancing at six feet last look stinger last


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