Good afternoon, 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 1-601-948-5897. 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).
JACKSON, Miss. — The Republican runoff for Senate on Friday rumbled toward its first weekend, quickly shaping up to be a high-stakes proxy contest between national tea party activists' nuts-and-bolts campaign infrastructure they offer and establishment-minded figures who are dispatching presidential-level advisers to help the endangered incumbent. By Philip Elliott and Emily Wagster Pettus. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 4 p.m.
— BC-SENATE-MISSISSIPPI-COURTHOUSE INCIDENT
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling rejecting a man's request to get documents related to his sexual battery conviction, saying they did not exist. In the 6-3 ruling Thursday, the Supreme Court said Timothy Pryer's request was properly denied by an Itawamba County judge. The state Court of Appeals had ruled the same last year. By Jack Elliott Jr. UPCOMING: 400 words by 4 p.m.
RAPE SUSPECT DEAD
PICAYUNE, Miss. — Authorities said a sex offender wanted on a rape charge in Picayune has been found dead in a vehicle. Pearl River County Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said the body of the 50-year-old Washington was found Wednesday night in Picayune. SENT: 310 words.
ROUND ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
PASCAGOULA, Miss. — Pascagoula leaders are considering how to make up a funding gap and complete the interior restoration of the Round Island Lighthouse, a last step before the beacon can be opened to the public. SENT: 371 words.
DOLE FOODS-PORT OF GULFPORT
GULFPORT, Miss. — Dole Foods Chairman and CEO David Murdock says he won't sign a new lease with the Port of Gulfport until he sees more progress on the $570 million West Pier restoration, an expansion funded by federal Hurricane Katrina relief money. Murdock, 91, was on the Mississippi coast Thursday for the celebration of Dole's 50th anniversary at the port. SENT: 377 words.
NATCHEZ, Miss. — A portion of the former International Paper property is now under option with a major player in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Natchez Inc. Executive Director Chandler Russ says the transaction comes with the promise of 20 jobs. SENT: 341 words.
OXFORD, Miss. — The city of Oxford and Baptist Memorial Hospital will share the cost of a noise buffer at the site where Baptist is building a new medical center. SENT: 218 words.
GREENVILLE, Miss. — Three airlines are vying to provide service to Greenville Mid-Delta Airport. The three are seeking to replace Silver Airways, which is ending service to and from Greenville. SENT: 127 words.
MISSISSIPPI NEWS IN BRIEF
JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has been elected president of the National Association of Attorneys General. The group held is summer meeting this week in Mackinac Island, Michigan. Hood, a Democrat, has been attorney general since 2004. UPCOMING: 88 words at 3 p.m.
CLARKSDALE, Miss. — Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed C. Kent Haney as county court judge of Coahoma County. A vacancy will occur when Judge Thomas W. Allen, who has served since 2002, retires effective June 30. Haney will be sworn in on July 1. UPCOMING: 121 words at 3:27 p.m.
JACKSON, Miss. — Former NAACP leader and civil rights pioneer Julian Bond will join actor and activist Danny Glover and activist and comedian Dick Gregory at a banquet in Jackson to close out the Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary celebration. UPCOMING: 115 words at 3:48 p.m.
TUPELO, Miss. — Starting Saturday, alcohol can be sold until one a.m. in Tupelo restaurants and bars. The city council approved the ordinance a month ago and people in the area are still weighing in on the change. SENT: 102 words.
ONLINE FINE PAYMENTS
HATTIESBURG, Miss. — Receiving a traffic citation in the city of Hattiesburg has become a little less painful. Rather than having to stand in line at the police department to pay the ticket, offenders can take care of the matter with a few clicks of a computer mouse or a smartphone. SENT: 127 words.
GULFPORT, Miss. — A former Gulfport resident faces trial on charges she distributed synthetic drugs in Harrison and Jackson counties and elsewhere. Roslyn Demetrius Chapman, who now lives in California, was arrested May 7 and released on a $20,000 bond after a federal court appearance in San Diego. SENT: 125 words.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Supreme Court has declined to take a second look at an appeal from Jason Lee Keller, who was sentenced to death for the 2007 fatal shooting and robbery of a Harrison County convenience store owner. The Supreme Court upheld Keller's conviction in February. On Thursday, it denied Keller's petition to look at his appeal again. SENT: 126 words.
NATCHEZ, Miss. — A renovation of historic Melrose will be ready to help visitors chime into history by the end of this year. Repairs and replacements will be made to the existing bell call system in the house throughout the year with an undetermined completion date. The bell call system is made up of a contraption of wires, pivots, swivels, cranks and pull-cords that resulted with a bell ringing and alerting slaves that they were needed somewhere in the house. By Mary Kathryn Carpenter, The Natchez Democrat. SENT: 429 words.
UNDATED — There's a big banner in Louisiana-Lafayette's locker room that celebrates the program's only trip to the College World Series in 2000. The Ragin' Cajuns hope to add another one to the collection after this weekend. They host Mississippi on Saturday in the first game of a best-of-three Super Regional series in the NCAA tournament. By Sports Writer David Brandt. SENT: 601 words.
AP Photo LAJB107, LAJB104, MSRS123, MSRS120.
The AP-Jackson, Miss.