Mississippi at 5:50 p.m.
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).
MARTIN LUTHER KING PAPERS
JACKSON, Miss — A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling that allows a Mississippi television anchor to keep documents and other material tied to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. King's estate sued Howard Ballou, an anchor for WLBT-TV, in September 2011 in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss. The estate wanted to take possession of the material. By Holbrook Mohr.
JACKSON, Miss. — Lawmakers may never have to debate payday loan interest rates again. The state Senate gave final approval Friday to a bill that deletes the requirement that lawmakers periodically renew authorization for the loans. The bill, which passed 31-13, goes to Gov. Phil Bryant for his consideration. Many consumer advocates attack payday loans for their high interest rates, saying they trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. But supporters of the bill say that no matter how distasteful, they're one of the few options for desperate people to borrow small amounts of money. By Jeff Amy.
JACKSON, Miss. — A former Mississippi police chief pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he detained and arrested people and demanded money or property in exchange for their release. An attorney entered the plea for former Mendenhall Police Chief Donald "Bruce" Barlow during a brief hearing in U.S. District Court in Jackson. By Holbrook Mohr.
ARLINGTON, Va. — A century and a half after the Civil War ship the USS Monitor sank, two unknown crewmen found in the ironclad's turret will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Friday's ceremony will include Monitor kin who believe the two Union sailors are their ancestors. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is scheduled to speak.
MISSISSIPPI NEWS IN BRIEF
BILOXI, Miss. — The body of a missing kayaker may have been found, 10 days after he and his father went missing. The state Marine Patrol says it fished a man's body from the Mississippi Sound Friday afternoon more than four miles south of Biloxi. An agency news release says the body appears to be 23-year-old Nick Rainer, missing since Feb. 27.
JACKSON, Miss. — Cities and counties will be barred from raising minimum wages in their localities, if Gov. Phil Bryant approves. The state Senate gave final approval Friday to a bill that bars localities from raising the minimum wage on their own, by a vote of 42-10.
FORMER TEACHER CHARGED
NEW ALBANY, Miss. — A former baseball coach and algebra teacher at Myrtle Attendance Center has been charged with two counts of touching a child with lustful purposes and one count of enticement of a child.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Lowndes County man for sale of cocaine. Freddie Webber is serving 30 years in prison after a jury found him guilty during a trial in September of 2011.
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. — The Mississippi Department of Transportation has declined a request from Hancock County to install new traffic lights at the intersections of U.S. Highway 90 and Lakeshore and Lower Bay Roads.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear an appeal from Moses Leon McBride, a Maben man sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty in the slaying of his wife and another woman. McBride pleaded guilty to two counts of capital murder in 2009 in Oktibbeha County.
GREENVILLE, Miss. — Retired Air Force Col. Noel Cumbaa, who flew combat missions in World War II and was commander of the Air Force Base in Greenville where pilots were trained for the Korean War, has died. He was 96. Officials of Boone Funeral Home in Greenville say Cumbaa died Thursday at Kings Daughter's Hospital.
JACKSON, Miss. — Two Mississippi students have been named 2013 Horatio Alger Scholarship winners. The $20,000 award can be used over four or five years of undergraduate education. Connor Holeman of Brandon and Damonta Morgan of Clarksdale are among 106 high school seniors to win the national scholarships this year.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — The city of Hattiesburg is asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit by a group that says the city's redistricting plan dilutes black voting strength. The U.S. District Court lawsuit asks for a court injunction against the use of the plan in municipal elections.
GULFPORT, Miss. — A jury in Harrison County has convicted a former official of the federal Transportation Security Administration in Mississippi of murder in the 2011 death of a co-worker. Ruben Orlando Benitez (beh NEE' tez) was convicted Thursday for the fatal stabbing of Stacey Wright, who was killed in her home.
LONG BEACH, Miss. — The University of Southern Mississippi will lead Mississippi's Center for Gulf Studies, which will use money from penalties paid in the 2010 Gulf Oil spill to protect the Gulf of Mexico and its resources. Gov. Phil Bryant on Thursday attended a news conference at USM's Gulf Park Campus at Long Beach. He said USM has been designated as a Research Center of Excellence for funds from the legislation known as the RESTORE Act, which steers BP penalty money to affected Gulf states.
PONTOTOC, Miss. — A Thaxton company has been awarded a $319,000 contract to construct four "whistle stops" along the Tanglefoot Trail in north Mississippi. Hooker Construction Company will build "whistle stops" at Ingomar, Ecru, Algoma and Houlka.
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — Clarksdale school officials are going forward with a reorganization plan that will designate separate schools for some grades. The reorganization, approved Wednesday by the municipal school board, will not close any schools or eliminate teaching jobs.
HOLMES CO RESTITUTION
LEXINGTON, Miss. — State Auditor Stacey Pickering has delivered a check for $25,000 to the Holmes County Board of Supervisors. Pickering says in a news release that the money is restitution paid by former Supervisor Norman Cobbins.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court declined Thursday to hear an appeal from a man sentenced to 22 years for a hit-and-run that killed a child. Dominic Gebben was convicted in 2010 in Jones County on manslaughter and felony fleeing charges. His conviction was upheld last year by the state Court of Appeals.
MR JOHNSON'S BARBER SHOP
GREENWOOD, Miss. — The Barber Shop is a small, four-wall establishment with few identifying features. There is no classic red-and-white-striped barber pole nor is there the familiar cursive writing begging customers to enter. But the bare-bones building was during the 1950s and 60s much more than a stop for a hot towel shave and a buzz cut. By Jeanie Riess, Greenwood Commonwealth.
JACKSON, Miss. — Jasmine Bush scored a game-high 23 points, grabbed eight rebounds and Southeast Lauderdale held on to defeat Charleston 63-59 in the girls Mississippi 3A state championship game. It's the Lady Tigers' first state title since 2008 and fourth in school history.
JACKSON, Miss. — Moses Greenwood scored 15 points as Velma Jackson edged Booneville 45-44 to claim the boys Mississippi 3A state championship at Mississippi Coliseum on Friday afternoon. Velma Jackson (27-8) trailed by seven points going into the fourth quarter, but rallied for the first state title in school history.
JACKSON, Miss. — Pontotoc faces Bay High for the Mississippi Girls 4A state championship at the Mississippi Coliseum. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m.
JACKSON, Miss. — Amanda Elzy faces Corinth for the Mississippi Boys 4A state championship at the Mississippi Coliseum. Tipoff is 8 p.m.
The AP-Jackson, Miss.