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This Hour: Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment

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WEST NILE-MISSISSIPPI

1 new West Nile case confirmed in Hinds County

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi health officials have confirmed one new case of West Nile virus, in Hinds County. That brings the state's total so far this year to 25 cases.

The total includes three deaths previously reported.

The Mississippi State Department of Health says Hinds County has had the most West Nile virus cases so far in 2014, with seven. Forrest and Rankin counties have had four each. Adams County has had two.

Bolivar, Covington, Harrison, Lauderdale, Madison, Newton, Yazoo and Wilkinson counties have had one case each.

The deaths occurred in Forrest, Madison and Yazoo counties.

In 2013, Mississippi had 45 West Nile virus cases, with five deaths.

COLUMBUS-NEW PORT DIRECTOR

New director chosen for Columbus port

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) - The Columbus-Lowndes County Port Authority's board of directors has named Will Sanders the port's new director.

Board president Roger Bell tells The Commercial Dispatch that the former vice president of Sanders Oil Company was chosen unanimously to replace John Hardy, who retired in June.

Bell says Sanders' administrative and business management experience made him the best choice for the position.

The port has six major facilities that generate about $1 million in taxes to the city of Columbus and Lowndes County. The port authority takes in about $350,000 in taxes annually for its own operations.

NEW HOPE-FIELD HOUSE

Field house approved for New Hope school

NEW HOPE, Miss. (AP) - The Lowndes County School District will spend about $2 million to build a new field house at New Hope High School.

The Commercial Dispatch reports the building will have about 16,000 square feet of space. The district's board approved the construction plan on Friday.

The firm JBHM Architects will oversee construction of the building.

GREENWOOD-LEFLORE AIRPORT

Greenwood airport joint agreement vote coming

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - A proposed joint operations agreement for the Greenwood-Leflore Airport Board appears on its way for quick approval by a majority of the Greenwood City Council this week.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports the proposed agreement, which cleared the Leflore County Board of Supervisors last week would provide for the airport board - jointly appointed by the city and the county - to approve routine business, including the approval of leases, contracts and repairs, without seeking approval from the council and the supervisors.

City Council President Ronnie Stevenson says the airport board appears to be working well and should be able to conduct limited business without the council acting. He also said grants or contracts could be lost because of the requirement of city and county approval.

MERIDIAN-HEALTH INSURANCE

Meridian council to vote on health insurance plan

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) - Meridian city officials could choose a different carrier for employees' health insurance when the city council meets on Tuesday.

The mayor and council have heard recent proposals from the city's existing carrier, Fox-Everette and from United Healthcare.

Fox-Everette representatives told the council their prices are competitive and there was a cost-saving measure for dialysis that could save between $35,000 and $40,000 on claims each month.

United Healthcare representatives said they could save the city at least 8 percent in costs.

Of the approximately 550 full time employees, The Meridian Star reports 431 have the city's health policy.

JACKSON CO BUDGET

Jackson Co. sheriff's budget higher for 2015

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Jackson County's proposed budget to run its sheriff's department and jail for the 2015 fiscal year is several million more than last year.

But when comparing the individual line items and accounting for a new Adult Detention Center opening this year, the budgets are relatively flat.

The Mississippi Press reports the proposed 2015 budget is $19.2 million, which includes $10.5 million for the sheriff's department and $8.7 million for the jail.

Last September, the county adopted a 2014 budget that allocated a total of $15.9 million, or $9.6 million to the sheriff's department and $6.25 million to the ADC.

County Comptroller Josh Eldridge says the 2015 budget calls for 10 new vehicles for the sheriff's department and one for the ADC, which is comparable to last year.

WINTER CLOSINGS

Corps to close recreational areas

DENNIS, Miss. (AP) - The Army Corps of Engineers says several recreational areas along the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway will be closed for the fall and winter.

WTVA-TV reports that starting Nov. 15 at 5 p.m., the Piney Grove Campground and Loops 2 and 3 at Whitten Campground will close. Whitten Campground's Loop 1 will remain open during the seasonal closing on a first-come, first-served basis.

Restrooms at all picnic areas, overlooks and boats ramps from Amory to Scruggs Bridge at Mississippi Highway 25 also will be closed, as will the gates at the Paden Park Overlook, Piney Grove picnic area and West Damsite picnic area.

Gates to all boat ramp areas will remain open.

The Army Corps says the areas will reopen on March 1, 2015.

TRAVELING COURT

Appeals court to convene on college campuses

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Court of Appeals will begin its fall schedule of college campus visits Sept. 24 at the Poplarville campus of Pearl River Community College.

A three-judge panel will hear oral arguments in a criminal case at 1:30 p.m. at the Ethel Holden Brownstone Center for the Arts.

The Court of Appeals will convene on the Hattiesburg campus of the University of Southern Mississippi on Nov. 14 and will hear cases Nov. 18 at Mississippi State University in Starkville.

The court periodically schedules oral arguments on college campuses and other locations as a teaching tool for students and the public.

The Sept. 24 session will be the court's first at the Pearl River Community College campus.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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