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Coroner: Inmate dies, found hanging at a Mississippi prison

PARCHMAN, Miss. (AP) — A coroner says an inmate has died after being found hanging at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, which was a focus of recent deadly unrest. Coroner Heather Burton said in a statement Sunday that Gabriel Carmen was found hanging the previous evening by officers, who reported the inmate had been irate and throwing feces earlier. The Sunflower County coroner's statement said the inmate was last seen during a Saturday evening security check. Between Dec. 29 and Jan. 3, five inmates were killed and an undisclosed number of others were injured in violence inside the prisons that has posed a challenge to authorities.


Mississippi funding fence to keep animals off runways

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi will pay $3 million for a fence to keep wild animals off the runways of a military base. A Navy official says Mississippi Development Authority has offered a grant to pay for the barrier at Naval Air Station Meridian. The new chain-link fence would be built inside an existing fence surrounding the base, and bottom of the new fence will be buried deep. Deer, cattle, hogs and coyotes have reached the property in recent years. Pigs have a low center of gravity and can cause a plane to lose control if they are hit by the nose wheel.


To fight crime, Hattiesburg mayor pushes for camera system

HATTIESBURG, Ms. (AP) — The mayor of Hattiesburg is moving forward with a plan to install a camera surveillance system across town as a way to reduce crime. WDAM reported that Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker brought up the idea during a Facebook video message to his constituents during which he also discussed a recent crime spree that has seen four shootings over the weekend. He said the city could move forward with a partnership with Project NOLA. That's a New Orleans-based organization that works with cities and towns, organizations and individuals to put cameras and gunshot detectors in needed areas. The information is transmitted to a center in New Orleans where an analyst provides information to officials on the ground.


US VP Pence honors Martin Luther King Jr. at church service

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence spoke at a church service Sunday in Tennessee in remembrance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Pence attended the service at the Holy City Church of God in Memphis on Sunday, the day before the federal holiday named after the civil rights leader. Pence says King touched the hearts of millions of Americans and his words continue to inspire. Pence acknowledged the nation's deep divide and says Americans must rededicate themselves to the ideals that King advanced. Before the service, Pence toured the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where King was fatally shot on April 4, 1968.


Pumps acquired to help drain lake, ease pressure on dam

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Pumps to help take some of the pressure off a dam that's perilously close to failing are on site to help drain Oktibbeha County Lake. The Starkville Daily News reports the pumps arrived Friday after a contract for their rental was agreed upon. It was authorized Thursday in anticipation of Saturday's forecasted rain. The area near the dam could receive one-fourth of an inch of rain, though watershed from an 18-mile radius will also contribute to rising water levels at the lake. A breach of the dam would endanger about 130 properties and nine highways downstream.


Lab owner gets 18 months for faking water quality results

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A lab owner hired to insure water quality for dozens of Mississippi towns has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for faking his test results. The U.S. attorney for Mississippi's Northern District says in a news release that 44-year-old John Couey of Greenville falsified more than 1,000 lab reports sent to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. He was sentenced Thursday, about eight months after pleading guilty to five felony counts of falsifying documents required under the Clean Water Act. The judge imposed an 18-month sentence on each count but set them to run simultaneously.