Archives for March 2014

Railroad bill approved

The state Senate on Monday approved a bill that would help buy the Grenada Railway, which covers 187 miles from Southaven to Canton. An alliance of officials from Grenada, Carroll, Holmes, Montgomery, Panola, Tate and Yalobusha counties has sought to purchase and reopen the railroad. The next step is to get the signature of Governor Phil Bryant.

Murder conviction overturned

A Mississippi death row inmate is getting a new trial. On Monday, the state Supreme Court reversed the capital murder conviction of Michelle Byrom. In 2000, Byrom was found guilty of hiring a hit man to kill her husband, Edward Byrom Senior. Their son, Edward Junior, repeatedly said that he killed his father but jurors never heard his confession.

Gas price update

The price of gasoline continued to rise over the past week and Triple-A says factors include an increase in consumer spending and fears of a supply disruption resulting from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Nationwide, the average price for a gallon of gas is three-dollars-55-cents, up two cents from the week before. The statewide average in Mississippi is three-31, up three cents. In Grenada, gas-buddy-dot-com reports the price of regular ranges from three-34 to three-42 a gallon.

Oxford’s literary events

Oxford is the site of two literary gatherings this week. One is the 21st annual Oxford Conference for the Book, bringing together writers, journalists, artists, poets and more to the city and the Ole Miss campus, already underway and continuing through Friday. The other is the Southern Literary Festival, which begins today at the university and runs through Saturday. 25 colleges and universities are involved.

Cochran endorsed by NRA

U.S. Senator Thad Cochran has picked up an endorsement from The National Rifle Association. The NRA cites the Mississippi Republican for having what it calls “an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues.” The organization also said that Cochran’s influence on the Appropriations Committee is–quote–“a valuable tool in the fight agains the Obama Administration’s gun-control agenda.”

Musgrove appointment

The former Batesville attorney who became governor of Mississippi has a new job. US Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced Tuesday that Ronnie Musgrove has been appointed to serve on the National Assessment Governing Board. The Board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as The Nation’s Report Card.

MPACT to reopen

MPACT, the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program is going to once again be open to new participants. The State College Savings Board voted Monday to reopen MPACT this fall. It was closed 18 months ago after going into the red and its investments failed to pan out.

Gas prices high

Gas prices remain at their highest level since September, amid tightened ethanol supplies, tension between Russia and Ukraine, and typical spring factors. That’s according to Triple-A, which says the statewide average for a gallon of regular in Mississippi today is $3.27, up three cents from a week ago. Gas-buddy-dot-com reports the price in Grenada is also around $3.27.

Execution scheduled this week

A female Mississippi death row inmate is scheduled to be executed this Thursday. 57-year-old Michelle Byrom would be the first woman executed in Mississippi in 70 years. Byrom was convicted the June 1999 murder of her husband. Letters written by her son admitting to killing his father were barred from being introduced at her trial.

Fred Phelps dead

Controversial Mississippi-native Fred Phelps died Wednesday night in Kansas at the age of 84. Phelps founded the Westboro Baptist Church, known for picketing military funerals, claiming that military deaths, the 9-11 attacks and other tragedies are God’s punishment for America’s tolerance of homosexuality.