BC-MS--Mississippi News Digest,2nd Ld-Writethru,ADVISORY, MS

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Associated Press

Posted on February 27, 2013 at 3:00 AM

Good evening, Mississippi editors.

The news editor is Brian Schwaner (1-504-523-3931). The AP photographer is Rogelio Solis. If you have contributions for or questions about the Mississippi report, call 1-800-222-0046 or 1-601-948-5897. To report technical problems: 1-800-469-1362. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, can also be obtained from http://www.apexchange.com. Reruns are also available from the Service Desk (877-836-9477).

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS

XGR-INDUSTRY TAX BREAKS

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi House on Tuesday approved tens of millions of dollars' worth of tax breaks for businesses, but it's unclear if the proposals will survive the Senate. A top budget writer, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson, says the proposed tax breaks are a big problem. The Republican from Poplarville says the $5.5 billion state budget is already stretched thin. But, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jeff Smith says he's not trying to deplete the budget. The Republican from Columbus says when businesses get incentives, they can create jobs. He says that boosts the economy and creates more revenue. By Emily Wagster Pettus.

OTHER TOP STORIES

XGR-KEMPER SETTLEMENT

JACKSON, Miss. — Gov. Phil Bryant has signed bills codifying a settlement between the Public Service Commission and Mississippi Power Co. over the company's Kemper County power plant. Bryant told The Associated Press Tuesday he supports both measures. Tuesday was the last day for Bryant to act without the bills becoming law without his signature. By Jeff Amy.

XGR-PRESCHOOL MISSISSIPPI

JACKSON — A group of preschool operators is adding to the push for state funding to educate 4-year-olds. Members of the Mississippi Early Childhood Association said at a Tuesday rally at the state Capitol that they support House and Senate proposals to use state money to pay for such classes. The members say that private childcare operators who have been critical of some parts of the proposal don't speak for them. By Jeff Amy.

AP Photos

XGR-MISSISSIPPI BUDGET-HOSEMANN

JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Senate approved $695,000 in for the secretary of state to defend the state's new voter ID law. Funding for the secretary of state's office was rejected last week in a Senate vote, but several senators were absent from the chamber at the time. By Laura Tillman.

MISSISSIPPI PRISON RIOT

JACKSON, Miss. — An inmate pleaded guilty Tuesday to participating in a deadly riot at a prison for illegal immigrants in Mississippi, authorities said. One guard was killed and 20 people were injured in the May 20 riot at the privately-run Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez. The prison holds illegal immigrants convicted of crimes in the U.S. Yoany Oriel Serrano-Bejarano pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Natchez. Serrano-Bejarano will be sentenced June 4. He faces up to 10 years in prison. By Holbrook Mohr.

BLACK COLLEGES-LOANS

ATLANTA — Ariadne Partlow dreamed of graduating Spelman College and moving on to medical school, but instead of studying biology this semester, she worked at a fast-food Chinese restaurant. The Jackson, Tenn., native was among thousands of students who unexpectedly either had to stay at home, transfer to a less expensive school or find new money when the U.S. Department of Education quietly changed how it evaluated the credit of parents applying for a federal PLUS loan. By Brock Vergakis.

AP Photos LAGH103, LAGH102, LAGH101.

GULF OIL SPILL-TRIAL

NEW ORLEANS — A high-ranking BP executive says the London-based oil giant and its contractors shared the responsibility for preventing blowouts like the one that killed 11 workers and spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill in 2010. Lamar McKay was president of BP America at the time of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. He is the first BP executive to testify at a trial over the spill. By Michael Kunzelman.

AP Photos NY602, NY603, LAGH102, NY107, NY614, LAGH105, SOR107, LAGH104.

MISSISSIPPI NEWS IN BRIEF

DAVIS APPEAL

LEAKESVILLE, Miss. — A Greene County man who had been on death row for 20 years has been resentenced to life in prison without parole. Jeffrey Keller Davis, 52, was convicted in 1992 of capital murder for shooting and stabbing Linda Hillman.

LAUDERDALE JAIL-CONTRABAND

MERIDIAN, Miss. — Five people, including two inmates, have been arrested on charges related to attempting to sneak contraband in to the Lauderdale County jail. Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun says the five were trying to bring marijuana, tobacco or other items into the jail.

NASA-UM SEEDLINGS

OXFORD, Miss. — NASA's second SpaceX mission to the International Space Station will carry an experiment developed by a University of Mississippi biologist. The launch is scheduled for Friday from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral in Florida. The experiment, by John Z. Kiss, dean of the Ole Miss Graduate School, involves seedling growth.

CHICKASAW CO SLAYING

HOUSTON, Miss. — Bond has been denied a Chickasaw County man during his initial court appearance on a charge of murder in the death of his wife. Will Porter made an initial appearance in Chickasaw County Justice Court on Monday and was formally charged with murder.

XGR-MISSISSIPPI GUNS

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday that would make it difficult to get information on weapon permits, including concealed carry permits. The bill would exclude the permit information from the state public records act. A court order would be required to obtain the data.

VULNERABLE ADULT CASE

CHARLESTON, Miss. — A Tallahatchie County woman has pleaded guilty to one count of exploitation of a vulnerable adult. Attorney General Jim Hood says in a news release that 37-year-old Heather Cox was sentenced Monday to five years with four years suspended.

TERREBONNE SLAYING

HOUMA, La. — A Mississippi woman has been booked with first-degree murder after a man's body was found in a south Terrebonne Parish swamp near Dulac. Ciegie Brown Cheramie, of Ovett, Miss. also faces charges of armed robbery and obstruction of justice.

LEWIS-HONKY TONK

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A new club being opened on Memphis' famous Beale Street will bear rocker Jerry Lee Lewis' name. The Jerry Lee Lewis' Cafe and Honky Tonk is scheduled to open May 1.

PARKER-WHITE HOUSE

GREENVILLE, Miss. — Greenville, Miss., activist Joyce Parker is one of 10 people being honored Tuesday at the White House for her work to promote education in the Mississippi Delta.

NURSE-FRAUD CHARGE

MERIDIAN, Miss. — A 36-year-old Lauderdale County nurse has been arrested on a charge of illegally obtaining drugs from the nursing home where she was working.

TROOPER-BEATING ALLEGATIONS

OXFORD, Miss. — Ex-state trooper Christopher Gary Hughes has pleaded guilty to stomping a woman in the Lee County Jail more than five years ago.

OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL

OXFORD, Miss. — Framework is in place and brickwork is progressing on the new Oxford High School. Officials say the project's January 2014 opening target is still doable.

JACKSON-STREET BONDS

JACKSON, Miss. — The Jackson City Council has overwhelmingly rejected a $10 million bond issue for street repaving, a stinging rebuke of Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.'s agenda in the waning months of his current term.

CROWBAR ATTACK

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — A 29-year-old Hancock County man has been ordered to serve nine years for hitting a longtime friend in the head with a crowbar during an argument over a woman.

INMATE DEATH

PASCAGOULA, Miss. — Sheriff Mike Byrd says a Jackson County jail inmate died while in custody at the county's maximum-security jail. Pascagoula police had arrested John Morris Lee Jr. on a felony shoplifting charge on Dec. 5, 2012.

PIKE CO JUVENILES

MCCOMB, Miss. — Pike County is testing the use of ankle bracelets to electronically monitor juvenile offenders. The county and ADAPTS Electronic Monitoring agreed this past week to test the devices for a month.

SAND DRYING PLANT

POPLARVILLE, Miss. — A Pearl River County judge has ruled against a group of residents who sought to block development of five acres near the construction site of a sand drying plant in Pearl River County.

BANK ROBBERY CHARGES

OXFORD, Miss. — A federal judge has delayed the trial of an Alabama man charged in the robberies of four north Mississippi banks. U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers agreed to a defense request to have more time to prepare for the trial of Brian Perry Jones. The trial, which had been set for March 4, is now scheduled for April 1.

MEMBER EXCHANGE

DOWNTOWN BOONEVILLE

BOONEVILLE, Miss. — New businesses and professional offices polka-dot downtown Booneville as local leaders seek ways to energize the city's historic shopping area. An old pool hall echoes with memories of a 1950s concert by future music icons Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. By Patsy R. Brumfield, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

SPORTS

MISSISSIPPI OUTDOORS

JACKSON, Miss. — When James Allen of Crystal Springs caught his 15.4-pound behemoth largemouth at Calling Panther Lake in 2011, what some anglers had thought for several years became crystal clear to them: The next state record bass would be caught there. But two years later, Allen's fish is still the lake record and since then, Jeff Foster of Tupelo landed a 17.34-pound monster at Davis Lake near Tupelo, coming close to the 18.15-pound state record caught by Anthony Denny at Natchez State Park in 1992. By Brian Albert Broom, The Clarion-Ledger.

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The AP-Jackson, Miss.

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