YP – Governor Reeves gives an update on COVID in Mississippi – 2/23/21

Governor Tate Reeves held a press briefing to give an update on the current situation of COVID-19 in Mississippi and discuss the state’s ongoing strategy to limit transmission.

Reeves announced that starting on March 1st teachers and school employees, along with first responders could begin receiving the COVID vaccine.

MSDH daily COVID-19 reporting

YP – Speaker Gunn unpacks income tax phase out plan at Capitol press conference

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn (R) held a press conference on Tuesday to discuss the particulars of HB 1439, the plan that would phase out the state’s income tax over 10 years.

YP – Tennessee Democrat Congressman Cohen asks President Biden to stop Byhalia Pipeline benefiting North Mississippi

A Tennessee Democrat Congressman is asking President Joe Biden to direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rescind its recently issued nationwide permit to Valero Energy and All Plains American for its proposed Byhalia Connection Pipeline that would run through southwest Memphis and north Mississippi.

Congressman Steve Cohen said in a release on Monday that the pipeline cuts through historic, predominantly Black neighborhoods and crosses over the Memphis Sand Aquifer which could potentially irreparably contaminate the City of Memphis’ source of drinking water…

…The Byhalia Connection Pipeline is a crude oil pipeline system that will run nearly 49 miles from Memphis to Marshall County, Mississippi.  Supporters and company officials say this will help strengthen the region’s economic vitality and America’s energy independence.

YP – Bill of the Day: Citizens for Economic Development Act

A bill originating in the Senate would give local municipalities or counties the ability to impose a special sales tax on all already taxed items in operating within that area. The intent of this increase is to help with local projects that need additional funding.

According to the language of SB 2506 the tax could not be greater than 1% on any goods already taxed at the 7% state sales tax rate. The city or county would be required to issue a statement as to when the tax will begin, how much the tax will be and what projects it is to go towards.

YP – Wicker, Hyde-Smith commend Corinth & Petal students picked for 2021 U.S. Senate Youth Program

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today commended Jacob Pearson of Corinth and Weston “Archer” Taylor of Petal on their selection to represent Mississippi at the 59th annual United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP).

Wicker and Hyde-Smith will meet virtually with Pearson and Taylor as part of their participation in the program. The students will also attend the first-ever, fully virtual 2021 USSYP Washington Week, March 14-21. Each will receive a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship from the non-profit Hearst Foundations, which fund the program.

YP – Auditor: Rawle is Guilty of Embezzlement, Ordered to Serve Maximum Prison Sentence

State Auditor Shad White announced former City of Columbus Chief Financial Officer Milton Rawle, Jr. has been convicted of embezzlement in Lowndes County Circuit Court. The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Scott Colom in Judge Lee Coleman’s court chambers. The guilty plea and sentencing were recorded yesterday.

Rawle was arrested by Special Agents from the State Auditor’s office in August 2020 after being indicted. He embezzled nearly $300,000 by transferring public money to his own bank account. A $354,896.27 demand letter was issued to him upon arrest.

WLOX – ‘Let Mississippi Vote’ continues push for another flag referendum

‘Let Mississippi Vote’ continues push for another flag referendum

But an initiative is aiming to get more choices for the flag on the next statewide ballot, including the 1894 flag.

“The idea here is to give the people of Mississippi a chance to vote among multiple options,” Sen. Chris McDaniel said. “The legislature only placed one option on the ballot, and frankly, that’s just not the way elections are supposed to be held. So the people got together, they started this ballot initiative process called Let Mississippi Vote.”

McDaniel said the initiative needs 100,000 signatures by Dec. 12 to get the flag choices on the 2022 ballot. He said it currently has 15,000-17,000 signatures.

WTVA – U.S. Attorney for Northern District of Mississippi announces resignation

The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi announced his resignation Tuesday.

William Lamar has served nearly 30 years for the United States Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorneys Office. His last day in office will be Feb. 27.

The Justice Department did not provide further details about the reasoning behind his resignation.

“It has been a privilege and honor to serve as an AUSA and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi and in the town where I was raised,” Lamar stated. “While I leave with a bit of a heavy heart, I’m so proud of the accomplishments, past, present and future, of our office. It will be left in good hands.”