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

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Margaritaville Casino announces Monday shut down

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - The end came a bit earlier than expected for a Gulf Coast Casino.

Margaritaville Casino in Biloxi had already announced plans to shut down by this coming Friday.

But casino officials announced that the casino was shutting down Monday night.

Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Gaming Commission, told the Sun Herald that they were informed the casino was to close at 10 p.m.

Mike Cavanaugh, the attorney for MVB Holdings, which operated the casino, said employees would be paid through Sept. 19.

Cavanaugh said the company was unable to come to an agreement with the landlords to build a hotel on the property, which the management said is needed for the casino to stay in business.

The casino opened in 2012.


Lee County passes $27.4M budget

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Lee County property owners will keep paying current tax rates for county government operations for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the Lee County Board of Supervisors passed a $27.4 million budget Monday to pay for general government operations, along with upkeep for roads and bridges for the 2015 fiscal year.

A Lee County property owner with a property assessed at $100,000 will pay about $330 to fund local government. It would be lower with a homestead exemption, and doesn't include taxes related to school or city taxes.

Law enforcement, courts, personnel, administration and other county-related services have $20.8 million planned to pay expenses. The budget set funding for road expenses at $4.5 million, while bridge funding reached $2.1 million.


Adams County approves $3M loan for hospital sale

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Adams County leaders have signed a $3 million loan to help finalize the sale of Natchez Regional Medical Center.

Board of Supervisors attorney Scott Slover tells The Natchez Democrat the loan will pay administrative fees to close out the sale of the county-owned hospital and fulfill a requirement of a plan submitted to the bankruptcy court.

Community Health Systems, the owners of Natchez Community Hospital, has agreed to purchase Natchez Regional Medical Center.


Bond set for 2 men accused of murder

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - Bond has been set at $1 million each for two men charged with the shooting death of 20-year-old Johnnie Cooper of Hattiesburg.

The Hattiesburg American reports 28-year-old Pedro Alvarez and 24-year-old V'nell Miskell, both of Hattiesburg, made their first appearance in Hattiesburg Municipal Court on Monday, where Judge Jerry Evans set their bonds on the murder charge.

Miskell also is charged with burglary of an automobile. Evans said bond on that charge will be set Wednesday.

Cooper's body was found around 8:45 a.m. Thursday in a ditch at the ball fields at Timberton Softball Complex.

Police spokesman Lt. Jon Traxler said investigators brought Alvarez and Miskell in for questioning on Friday and the two were arrested.

It was unclear if they have attorneys.


Suspect in Moss Point shooting turns himself in

MOSS POINT, Miss. (AP) - The suspect in a shooting that wounded a Moss Point man early Sunday as he was on his front porch has turned himself in.

Police arrested 27-year-old Jackson County resident Kelvin Johnson on an attempted murder charge.

Authorities tell The Sun Herald the wounded man is hospitalized in critical condition.

Police identified Johnson as the suspect Monday and asked the public's help to find him. He was considered armed and dangerous.

Police said Johnson turned himself in late Monday afternoon after hearing that police were looking for him.

Johnson is being held on a $100,000 bond.

It was unclear whether he has an attorney.


Compromise made in tax hike for Pascagoula

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - The Pascagoula City Council and Pascagoula School District have reached a compromise on a property tax hike and the city approved its $62 million budget for 2015 -- just three hours before the midnight deadline.

The Sun Herald reports it's a tale of two taxing entities clearing a common hurdle -- decreased revenues and increased operating costs.

In the end -- and after four meetings throughout Monday -- the city council approved a 3 mill increase in property taxes, which includes a 0.49 mill increase for the school district.

That 3 mill means property owners will pay an additional $45 a year in taxes on a $150,000 house.


7 face more charges over stolen guns from dealer

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Six men and a woman face more charges in a new federal indictment involving weapons stolen from the home of a licensed federal firearms dealer in Moss Point.

Federal court records show the seven had each been given two separate deadlines to accept a plea agreement in the case, which involves 48 weapons including fully-automatic machine guns and silencers stolen May 13. Most of the weapons have not been recovered.

They were first indicted June 24. The new indictment was filed Sept. 9.

The Sun Herald reports the seven, held with no bond, were arraigned Monday.

They are LaKeith Dentrell Smith, Damian O'Neil Towne, Theodore Dempsey Towne, Aubrey Knox, Princeton Scott Knox, Kenneth O'Neal Knox, and Catina Henderson Towne.


Ingalls delivers Cutter Hamilton to Coast Guard

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Ingalls Shipbuilding has delivered its fourth national security cutter of the Legend class to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Sun Herald reports the Coast Guard took possession of the Cutter Hamilton Monday and the crew of 110 members moved onboard the ship to begin training.

Construction on the ship began three years ago. The ship is 4,500 tons and is 418 feet long.

The ship cost about $500 million to complete.

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

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