Archives for April 2013

MPACT future

The future of MPACT, the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program, will be discussed today during a meeting of the state board that oversees it. The program allows families to prepay a student’s college tuition but new enrollment was halted last year after an audit indicated it was facing a deficit of 94-million dollars.

Ricin letters court appearance

Another hearing is scheduled for later this week in the case of the Mississippi man accused of sending letters laced with the poison ricin to President Obama, Senator Roger Wicker and a judge. Tupelo resident James Everett Dutschke made a brief court appearance Monday. A public defender has been appointed to represent Dutschke.

Gas price update

Gasoline prices fell again last week, although oil prices went up and down, reflecting good and bad news on the U.S. economy. Triple-A is predicting little change in pump prices this week as the market remains volatile. The statewide average price of regular gas in Mississippi is three-27 a gallon, down two cents from a week ago. In Grenada, according to Gas-Buddy-dot-com, the price of regular ranges from three-33 to three-49.

2nd ricin-letters arrest

A person of interest in the case of poison-laced letters sent to President Obama and others is now a person under arrest. 41-year-old James Everett Dutschke was arrested early Saturday at his home in Tupelo. Dutschke faces federal charges of making and possessing ricin for use as a weapon.

Medical Center legislation signed

Govenror Phil Bryant has signed legislation that allows the University of Mississippi Medical Center to take over Grenada Lake Medical Center. The hospital is owned by the county, which has been trying to sell it since last summer and recently announced an agreement with UMMC to take over management.

New House member

During Friday’s special session, Democrat Lataisha Jackson of Como was sworn in as the newest member of the Mississippi House, representing District 11, which includes parts of Panola and Tate counties. Jackson won an April 16th special election runoff to succeed the late Joe Gardner of Batesville, who died in February.

Drug Take-Back Day

Tomorrow is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day; unwanted, unused or expired presciption and over-the-county medications can be dropped off at Whittington Park/Bulldog Stadium in Greenwood, the Webster County Sheriff’s Office, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department, the Walgreens on Highway 51 North in Batesville and the University of Mississippi police department. Hours are from 10 AM to 2 PM.

Poisoned letter probe

A lawyer says her client is cooperating with an FBI investigation of poisoned letters sent to President Obama, U.S. Senator Roger Wicker and judge. Itawamba County Sheriff Chris Dickinson said Thursday that his department is helping the FBI search for Everett Dutschke. But Dutschke’s lawyer says authorities know where her client is and there is no warrant for his arrest.

Execution scheduled

A man convicted of killing two Mississippi State University Students in 1992 is scheduled to be executed on May 7th. The state Supreme Court ordered the execution date for Willie Jerome Manning on Thursday. Manning received two death sentences for the murders of Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller.

Another ricin search

Federal investigators on Wednesday searched a martial arts studio in Tupelo once operated by a man suspected in connection with ricin-laced letters sent to the president and others. 41-year-old Everett Dutschke said that, the day before, they spent hours tearing through his house.