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

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NEWTON JAIL DEATH

Inmate dies in Newton County jail

DECATUR, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is looking into the death of an inmate at the Newton County jail.

Newton County Sheriff Jackie Knight tells WTOK-TV in Meridian the body of Cedric Holliday was found hanging in his cell Monday night. Knight says Holliday left a note but declined to say what was in it.

Knight says Holliday had recently been convicted of gratification of lust on a minor and was awaiting sentencing.

SILVER AIRWAYS-MISSISSIPPI

Silver to stay in Mississippi for now

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered Silver Airways to remain in Meridian, Hattiesburg and Tupelo until a replacement airline is found.

Transportation officials made a similar announcement last week for Greenville. It announced the order for the other three airports on Tuesday.

Silver Airways began service to those airports in October 2012, following Delta Air Lines' decision to end flights.

Silver Airways on April 9 announced it had informed the Department of Transportation that it would be discontinuing service to the four Mississippi airports as well as in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

The airline is receiving a $7 million annual subsidy through the federal Essential Air Service program to serve the five cities.

TRAIN FATALITY

Man run over by train, killed

CORINTH, Miss. (AP) - Corinth police say a man has died after being hit by a Norfolk-Southern train.

Detective Capt. Ralph Dance tells The Daily Corinthian the victim, 38-year-old James Michael Becht, died at the scene. An autopsy is being conducted.

Danced says police got a call at 6:26 p.m. Monday that a pedestrian had been hit by a train. Dance says train officials told investigators they saw the man lying on the tracks but were not able to stop before hitting him.

PHARMA PAC

Kemper Co. official: Pharma Pac headed for closure

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Kemper County drugmaker has laid off most of its remaining employees, making it likely that it will shut down while owing the state economic development money.

A notice filed with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security reports Pharma Pac laid off 84 employees from its DeKalb facility on March 7.

Kemper County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Craig Hitt says about 20 former employees were hired back on a temporary basis to close out the business.

Pharma Pac is required under an agreement giving it $500,000 from the state to employ 179 people through Sept. 30.

Hitt says his group is trying to find new tenants for two buildings. One is owned by Kemper County and the other is owned by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

TUPELO POLICE

New police department talks continue in Tupelo

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - The Tupelo Police Department is one step closer to getting new headquarters after a city council work session.

WTVA TV reports Police Chief Bart Aguirre and an architect from JBHM met with the council on Tuesday to lay out preliminary plans and costs for the new multi-million dollar building.

The current headquarters was built in 1966.

The city plans to build the new facility on a four acre lot, and it will cost just under $10 million.

The total square footage of the new facility will be 38,150, which comes with all the essentials like a crime lab, evidence room and a work-out facility for officers.

HOSPITAL BANKRUPTCY

Board approves tax credit for buyer of hospital

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Natchez Aldermen have agreed to give a potential buyer of Natchez Regional Medical Center a tax credit to help pay the bankrupt hospital's debt.

The Natchez Democrat reports the city's move on Tuesday was crucial to a proposed deal to sell the county-owned hospital to a private company.

Natchez Regional Board Attorney Walter Brown made the request before the city board. Brown explained that the hospital was finalizing an asset-purchase agreement.

Details of the proposed sale have not been released.

Mayor Butch Brown told the board after the unanimous approval that the city's involvement would help the potential sale move forward.

JACKSON MAYOR ELECTION

Tony Yarber new Jackson mayor

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Eight weeks after Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba (SHOW'-kway Lu-MOOM'-bah) died not even a year into his term, Councilman Tony Yarber will be sworn in as his successor.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Yarber could take the oath of office as early as Wednesday.

Jackson voters elected councilman over the late mayor's son Tuesday in a runoff to the April 8 special election. Another special election will have to be set to fill Yarber's seat on the council.

Within two hours of the polls closing, Yarber had secured enough votes to be declared the winner over attorney Chokwe Antar Lumumba.

Complete, but unofficial, returns from Tuesday's election show Yarber received 20,463 votes to Lumumba 17,545 votes.

GULFPORT HIGH SCHOOL

Gulfport council authorizes school bond election

GULFORT, Miss. (AP) - The Gulfport City Council has authorized a special election May 27 for voters in the city school district to decide if up to $41.2 million should be borrowed to build a new Gulfport High School.

It is estimated the owner of a $100,000 house would pay about $50 more per year in taxes to pay back the debt.

The Sun Herald reports the city school district plans to update the campus so it will better meet educational needs, provide more security and accommodate technological advances such as wireless Internet.

After Tuesday's council meeting Superintendent Glen East said classrooms also could be added at a number of schools that are now overcrowded.

TEACHER'S PLEA

Teacher pleads guilty to sex charges

TYLERTOWN, Miss. (AP) - A Walthall County teacher has been sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for having sex with four teenage students.

Authorities say 40-year-old Nolana Thornton Griffin of Tylertown pleaded guilty this week to four counts of sexual battery against children under the age of 18 by a person of trust or authority.

Griffin was given 25 years, with 10 suspended and five years of post-release supervision on each count to run concurrently.

Prosecutors say affidavits filed in the case show that Griffin allegedly engaged in sexual activity with one 15-year-old student, one 17-year-old student and two 16-year-old students.

The incidents allegedly occurred between Oct. 1, 2013, and Feb. 14, 2014.

Griffin was a teacher at Salem Attendance Center.

KAYAK LAUNCH

Pascagoula to seek grant for kayak launch

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - The Pascagoula City Council has agreed to apply for a grant to build a kayak launch.

The grant from the Land and Water Conservation Fund would require a match from the city. Estimated cost to build it is $200,000, and the most likely site will be on Comynie Bayou.

The Sun Herald reports the deadline to apply is May 20.

City Manager Joe Huffman said Tuesday the city looked at several sites. Other possibilities included the Spanish Fort location on Krebs Lake and Lighthouse Park.

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

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