Miss. auditor asks court to release MDMR records
GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi State Auditor Stacey Pickering is asking a federal court to authorize the release of Mississippi Department of Marine Resources records that are being sought by a Gulf Coast newspaper.
Pickering's motion, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Gulfport, is in response to an order by Harrison County Chancery Judge Jennifer Schloegel.
Gulf Publishing and the Sun Herald newspaper have been fighting Pickering for the records. On Wednesday, Schloegel ordered the auditor's office to produce the documents by Monday.
Pickering had argued that a federal subpoena prevented his releasing documents seized from MDMR during a corruption investigation.
Pickering's motion Thursday also said he would like guidance from the federal court because the records had been used for a federal grand jury.
Allain to be buried in Mississippi-made mausoleum
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Former Mississippi Gov. Bill Allain will be buried in Natchez City Cemetery in a one-person mausoleum. It has a black granite front engraved with the state seal and a symbol for justice.
The piece was being delivered to Natchez on Thursday from the company that made it on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Faith Magallanes, owner of Fortress Personal Mausoleums, says Allain is the first governor for whom the company has manufactured a final resting place.
Allain was attorney general from 1980 to 1984 and governor from 1984 to 1988. He died Monday at a Jackson hospital. He was 85.
His body will lie in repose from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the state Capitol rotunda, followed by a memorial service there. The funeral is Saturday in Natchez.
Judge won't review restitution order
ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected a request from a former school superintendent to reconsider a requirement to $75,000 lump sum restitution payment in a bribery case.
Former Greenville Public School District superintendent Harvey Franklin was sentenced Nov. 18 to 76 months in prison for taking more than $270,000 in bribes to influence the school board to use a reading program for children.
He also was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to the U.S. Department of Education - with the first $75,000 due in mid-January.
Franklin's attorney, Lisa Ross, filed a motion on Nov. 21 asking U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock for a review of Franklin's assets, saying they have been all but depleted.
Aycock ruled this week that Franklin has the ability to pay the $75,000.
WARREN CIRCUIT CLERK
Mediation ordered in circuit clerk's case
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A judge has ordered parties involved in a dispute over $671,751 in excessive salary and fees involving Warren County Circuit Clerk Shelly Ashley-Palmertree to take the matter to mediation.
The Vicksburg Post reports that Hinds County Chancery Judge Dwayne Thomas issued the order Wednesday.
Thomas was asked to figure out whether Palmertree owed $671,751 in excessive salary and improper subcontractor fees to her father and predecessor in office, Larry Ashley, from 2006 to 2011. Separately, about $156,500 in overages for 2012 have been demanded of the clerk by county supervisors.
Two counts of embezzlement against Palmertree were dropped Nov. 25 by the attorney general's office over a docketing error in an indictment filed in August. The attorney general's office can presenting a case to a future grand jury.
Southwest pulling out of Jackson
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Southwest Airlines is closing down operations at Jackson-Evers International Airport on June 6, 2014.
Southwest began service to Jackson-Evers International in 1997.
The airline made the announcement Thursday in a news release.
Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, says the level of local demand no longer allows Southwest to profitably serve Jackson.
Jordan says Southwest employees will have the opportunity to move elsewhere within the airline, after operations cease next year.
Over the next six months, Southwest will operate its full schedule at Jackson. Southwest provides four daily nonstop departures a day to Chicago (Midway), Houston (Hobby) and Orlando, Fla. The airline employees 31 people in Jackson, according to company figures.
The airline is also pulling out of Branson (Mo.) Airport and Key West International Airport.
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