Archives for April 2015

Grenada teen shot, killed

An investigation is underway into the shooting death of a Grenada teenager. The Grenada Star reports it happened Tuesday afternoon on at a house in the 1000 block of Fox Street on the city’s east side. Police identified the victim as Tony Davontez Booker. Chief Ben Williams said Booker was shot in the head at close range. Four witnesses were held for questioning but there were no immediate arrests.

Layoffs at Viking Range

Viking Range, the upscale kitchen appliance manufacturer based in Greenwood, laid off 18 workers this week. According to the Greenwood Commonwealth, the cuts reportedly affected workers in a number of the company’s divisions. The paper says that officials at Viking and its parent company, The Middleby Coperation, did not return messages and emails seeking comment.

Disappointment over MDA closing

The decision to close the Greenwood office of the Mississippi Development Authority announced last week came as a disapointment to local officials. The Greenwood Commonwealth reports that Bill Crump, chairman of the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation, says he’s hoping they can convince the incoming director of the MDA to keep the office open.

Ole Miss assualt suspect sought

University of Mississippi police are looking for a sexual assault suspect. A female victim says that, early Saturday morning, she caught a ride to the Ole Miss campus from a man who then he got physical with her. She said she managed to escape and told police the suspect was possibly Hispanic and drove a Dodge Ram truck with an extended cab.

MDA regional offices closing

Regional offices for the Mississippi Development Authority including one in Greenwood are about to shut their doors. MDA officials say they plan to close eight offices and cut 11 jobs in an effort to streamline operations. The regional offices were used to work with local economic development agencies and the state’s various chambers of commerce. The northwest regional office has been located at 115 Fulton Street in Greenwood.

Mississippi unemployment down

Mississippi is seeing a dip in unemployment, but it’s still one of the highest in the nation. The U.S. Labor Department says Mississippi’s jobless rate dropped from seven percent in February to six-point-eight-percent in March,.

Greenwood cop suspended

A Greenwood police officer has been suspended. According to the Greenwood Commonwealth, Officer Randy Powell is the subject of an internal investigation into his actions during an arrest earlier this month. On April 7th, Powell arrested Greenwood resident and lieutenant governor candidate Jelani Barr as Barr was shooting video of a traffic stop. Barr’s cellphone video does not appear to support the charges against him of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.

Tourism official resigns

The Grenada Tourism Commission is looking for a new executive director. According to the Grenada Star, Samantha Hilmus resigned from her position last Monday during the tourism commission’s meeting at the Chamber of Commerce. The tourism commission accepted Hilmus’ resignation in closed session.

Accused killer released early

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports that a man charged with killing his girlfriend in February was released from state prison after serving just half of his sentence for a manslaughter conviction. 46-yeaar-old Ben Meeks the Third is accused of killing 27-year-old Reshunda Moore. He had been sentenced to serve 25 years for the 1998 beating death of his then-girlfriend, who was pregnant. But Meeks was freed in 2011 after 12 and a half years. He could have been returned to prison last year when he was arrested for domestic violence, but local authorities failed to notify the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

Ex-deputy arrested again

FBI agents have again arrested a former Leflore County Sheriff’s deputy. The Greenwood Commonwealth reports that 35-year-old Mark Head allegedly threatened to start shooting at the sheriff’s department and said he would then kill himself. Head was previously arrested by the FBI and indicted on a drug charge: conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.