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Mississippi Edition

Airs weekdays at 8:30 a.m. on MPB Think Radio

In a continued effort to provide relevant, interesting and engaging programming to our statewide audience, MPB Think Radio provides Mississippi Edition, a weekday news magazine program. Mississippi Edition, hosted by Kar
Latest Episode7/10/2020

7/10/20 - Gov Tightens Restrictions | Ed Budget Bill | Mask Up | NEH Chairman Jon Peede

The Governor announces upcoming restrictions on a number of targeted counties, and defends his legislative vetoes.Then, leaders at UMMC urge residents to take personal responsibility for keeping themselves and others safe from COVID-19.Plus, how the National Endowment for the Humanities is helping Mississippi institutions during the pandemic.Segment 1:Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves is tightening restrictions in 13 counties with significant spikes in coronavirus cases.Reeves made the announcement yesterday during a press briefing after hinting tighter restrictions could come as cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. The restrictions are a response, in part, to a health care system under stress due to widespread community transmission.Reeves also defended his decision to veto certain legislation, including two prison reform bills and the education budget.Reeves took exception to a part of the education budget that redirects money from the School Recognition Program into the MAEP.Reeves stood by his characterization of the program cut as a pay cut for teachers.Kelly Riley is Executive Director of Mississippi Professional Educators.She says the education budget bill cuts funding of the MAEP. Segment 2:Medical professionals in Mississippi are warning that the state is in 'the eye of a hurricane' for COVID-19 hospitalizations.This comes as the state experiences a two-week period of record case numbers.Dr. LouAnn Woodward is Vice Chancellor of the University of Mississippi Medical Center.She says the state went from shelter-in-place to wide-open, and now is the time for residents to find a healthy middle ground.Segment 3:The National Endowment for the Humanities is receiving $40.3 million in new CARES Act economic stabilization grants to support essential operations at more than 300 cultural institutions across the country. In Mississippi that includes the B.B. King Museum and the Mississippi Museum of Art.NEH Chairman Jon Parrish Peede is a native of Brandon, Mississippi, with a master's in Southern Studies from the University of Mississippi.He shares what the CARES Act funds means for the humanities in Mississippi.
7/9/2020

7/9/20 - Gov. Addresses COVID Hospitalization and Vetoes Legislation | Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba | Book Club: Po' Monkeys

The Governor cautions residents, vetoes legislation and defends monuments.Then, the Mayor of Jackson describes the measures the capital city is taking to fight the trend of rising COVID cases.Plus, in today’s book club, the history of an iconic blues lounge chronicled through photos in the book, “Po’ Monkeys.”Segment 1:Mississippi's current hospitalization rate is now the third highest in the country - trailing only Arizona and Texas.The state has seen cases of COVID spike in the last two weeks, causing hospitalizations to reach their highest levels since the first case was reported March 11th.Governor Tate Reeves says the strain on the hospital system is no longer a hypothetical.Reeves began easing restrictions in May with hopes to reopen the state fully on July 1st.State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says the high levels of transmission are not unexpected.Reeves also discusses legislation and efforts to remove confederate statues.Segment 2:Hinds County, home of the capital city, has been the hardest hit county in the state during the coronavirus pandemic.This has prompted the Mayor of Jackson to take strong action that is often more restrictive than state-wide orders.Chokwe Antar Lumumba joins us to discuss the ordinances and safety measures he has enacted to keep residents of the state's largest metro-area safe.Segment 3:Along a dirt road surrounded by farmland in the Mississippi delta is a place that was a mecca for blues fans.This little shack-like lounge welcomed music lovers for more than 50 years before closing in 2016.In the book, “Po’ Monkeys: Portrait of a Juke Joint,” photographer, Will Jacks, shares more than 70 black and white photos that illustrate why Po’ Monkeys was a mandatory stop on a blues pilgrim
7/8/2020

7/8/20 - Hospital System Under Stress | Burl Cain (Part 2) | Conversations for Change

Public Health officials report record hospitalizations and describe a system strained of resources.Then, how new Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain plans to repair Parchman and rehabilitate inmates.Plus, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, a University of Southern Mississippi student from Oxford is using an online platform to encourage Conversations for Change.Segment 1:Mississippi's hospitals are caring for more COVID-19 patients than at any prior point during the coronavirus pandemic - this is according to the latest data from the Mississippi Department of Health.During a briefing yesterday, State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said the strain the virus is having on hospitals means certain counties will have to suspend elective procedures because beds are in short supply.The stress to the system is a result of a two week period of record case numbers.Previously, Dobbs indicated the rise was caused by widespread community transmission - mainly among 18-29 year olds.He says now those cases are making their way up the age ladder.Segment 2:Parchman State Penitentiary has long been a target of admonishment for those seeking comprehensive prison reform in Mississippi.The facility has buildings with reportedly inadequate water supplies and no electricity prompting reform advocates to call for its closing.But new Department of Corrections Commissioner Burl Cain wants to keep Parchman open.In part two of his conversation with our Desare Frazier, Cain lays out his plans for Parchman and rehabilitation.Segment 3:Southern Remedy Health MinuteSegment 4:In the wake of the May 25th death of George Floyd, a freshman psychology major and Honors College student at the University of Southern Mississippi felt compelled, like many of her peers, to seek solutions to better her community.So Klaria Holmes, at home in Oxford, organized an online platform with panelists to facilitate a discussion, with input from local residents, on the issues of racial injustice and its intersection with policing.Holmes joins us to share how the events in Minneapolis inspired her to start Conversations for Change.
7/7/2020

Gov. Reeves Blames Protests for Rise in Cases | New MDOC Commissioner | Meet 1A Host Jenn White

As health officials manage a potential outbreak at the Capitol, the Governor assigns blame for the rising cases to protests in early June.Then, he’s been selected to lead the reform in Mississippi’s prison system. A conversation with the new Commissioner of Corrections.Plus, meet Jenn White, the new voice of 1A.Segment 1:Coronavirus cases in Mississippi are rising at an unprecedented pace for the state, cueing more words of caution and concern from state officials.This comes as multiple members of the Mississippi House of Representatives have tested positive for the disease, including House Speaker Philip Gunn.Gunn, who attended a signing ceremony for the flab bill at the Governor's mansion last week, says he is now isolating for the recommended 14 days.This visit to the mansion has also prompted Governor Tate Reeves to quarantine while he and his family await test results.In a Facebook Live video yesterday, Reeves says the scare at the capitol is a reminder of how contagious the virus can be.Reeves also used part of the nearly 15 minute video to reiterate his message that protests in early June are, at least, partly to blame for the recent rise in cases.Reeves initially made the suggestion in a Twitter post Sunday.Yesterday he continued to push the narrative. Reeves' position on the matter runs contrary to that of the State's Health Officer.During their last joint press conference last week, Dr. Thomas Dobbs responded to questions about a potential link between high cases and protests by saying the data doesn't support it.Segment 2:In late May, Tate Reeves nominated former Angola State Prison Warden Burl Cain for the position of Commissioner of Corrections.Cain, who has fought against past allegations of impropriety, was confirmed by the Senate last month.In part one of our two part conversation, the new MDOC Commissioner joins our Desare Frazier to discuss those allegations and his vision for reform.Segment 3:If you listen to MPB Think Radio in the evenings, you might have noticed a new voice on the WAMU produced 1A yesterday.That voice belongs to Jenn White and she is taking over full-time hosting duties following Joshua Johnson's move to cable news.So, who is Jenn White?We learn more about the new host in a conversation with our Michael Guidry.
7/6/2020

7/6/2020 - COVID Infiltrates House | Rep. Resigns | Mississippi Center for Justice | Flag Commission: MEC

COVID-19 infiltrates the state House as multiple members, including the Speaker, test positive.And,another House member announces his resignation.Then, we examine what comes after the flag change with the Mississippi Center for Justice.Plus, the role the Mississippi Economic Council will play in presenting a new flag design for voters.Segment 1:The State Department of Health is putting the Mississippi House of Representatives on notice that it is investigating several cases of COVID-19 among chamber members.In a letter to the House, State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs told members they have potentially been exposed to the virus and recommended testing as well as a 14-day isolation period. House Speaker Philip Gunn is one of the confirmed cases.He took to Facebook Sunday to share his test results.As members of the House negotiate the threat of COVID within their ranks, one seat in the chamber is now vacant.District 66 Representative Jarvis Dortch submitted his resignation last week.Dortch was in the first year of his second term serving the District.He tells our Desare Frazier, a new opportunity with the Mississippi Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union allows him to pursue policy goals with a different approach.Segment 2:The retiring of the 1894 state flag, adorned with the confederate battle emblem, was a celebrated move for many advocates of social justice and equality.For The Mississippi Center for Justice, it marked a step in the right direction for more needed change.But, as President and CEO Vangela Wade tells us, there is still more work to do.Segment 3:In November, voters will get an up or down vote on a design for a new state banner.That design, approved for public vote by the legislature, will be developed and presented by a nine-person commission.One stipulation of the bill that retired the 1894 flag was that a member of the Mississippi Economic Council be represented on the commission charged with designing the new flag.In part two of our three part series, President and CEO Scott Waller tells our Kobee Vance what it means for his organization to be a part of this endeavor.
7/2/2020

7/2/2020 - Rising COVID Cases | 1894 Flag Retired | Book Club: Vicksburg | Fireworks Safety

State officials expresses concern over rising COVID cases, and asks residents to do their part.And, the 1894 flag is lowered from above the capital for the final time.Then, in today’s Book Club, how the siege at Vicksburg sealed the fate of the confederacy.Plus, fireworks safety for the Independence Day weekend.Segment 1:Mississippi has seen over 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 this week, corresponding with a trend of rising cases across the nation.In addition to cases, hospitalizations continue to rise.During a press briefing yesterday, Governor Tate Reeves shared his concerns over the viability of the the health care system.State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs has been warning of the impending risks to the system.He says the virus causes a strain on hospitals because severe cases can often need weeks of care.Yesterday's press conference was the first time Governor Reeves appeared publicly since the bill to remove the state flag was passed and signed.He likened the weeks leading up to the move a difficult family conversation, and spoke to those who feared a flag change might lead to the removal of monuments.Leaders of the legislature were on hand at the capitol for the final lowering of the 1894 flag that flies above the grounds.During a brief ceremony, flags were presented to Reuben Anderson, President of the Board at the Department of Archives and History.Anderson was also the first black judge to serve on the Mississippi Supreme Court. House Speaker Philip Gunn, called the moment historic.Segment 2:The battle at Gettysburg is often cited as the civil war’s most important battle but it was Vicksburg that ultimately sealed the fate of the confederacy.In his book, “Vicksburg,” author and historian, Donald L. Miller chronicles the warfare in all its phases, both land and water – the siege, the mine, the assault, the bombardment, sickness, captivity and, famine.Segment 3:The coronavirus pandemic has shutdown many Independence Day celebrations across the country.State Fire Marshall Mike Chaney thinks that could lead to more people celebrating with fireworks at home and in their communities.He joins us to discuss safety when dealing with fireworks this Fourth of July weekend.
7/1/2020

7/1/20 - Gov. Reeves Signs Bill to Retire Flag | Lt. Gov Hosemann | Southern Remedy Health Minute | Derrick Johnson (Part 2)

The Mississippi flag is officially retired as Governor Tate Reeves signs the historic bill.Then, Lt, Governor Delbert Hosemann reflects on the role legislative leadership played in ushering in a moment of change.Plus, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, COVID-19 and recent episodes of police violence have revealed systemic disparities for black communities. Part Two of our conversation with NAACP President Derick Johnson.Segment 1:Mississippi's state flag, adopted in 1894 and emblazoned with the confederate battle emblem, is officially retired.Governor Tate Reeves signed House Bill 1796 last night, which removes the current state flag and establishes a commission to design and present a new flag.Mississippi has faced increasing pressure in recent weeks to change its flag as national protests against racial injustice have focused attention on Confederate symbols. By a bipartisan vote on Sunday, lawmakers passed legislation to change the flag.Early in his address, Reeves emphasized the need for unity and a vision forward.He also spoke to those concerned that changing the flag would led to stronger scrutiny of confederate monuments and statues.During his nearly nine minute speech, Reeves never directly addressed the history of violence and racist oppression associated with Confederate battle flag - this despite impassioned speeches from both chambers over the weekend reflecting on the image's history of such.Reeves, who campaigned on the promise of giving voters the decision to change that flag, did, however, explain why he changed his mind regarding issue.Segment 2:In a three-week span, the issue of Mississippi's state flag went from non-starter to national spotlight.In the days following the largest protest to descend upon the capital city since the Civil Rights Movement, momentum for lawmakers to take action on the flag swelled so much that when he rapped the gavel to adjourn on Sunday, the emotion of the moment seeped from Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann.He shares more about that moment and the build-up to it with our Michael Guidry.Segment 3:Southern Remedy Health MinuteSegment 4:The COVID-19 pandemic is hitting communities of color disproportionately hard, amplifying cracks in a health care system that leaves many uninsured or under-insured.It has also brought economic hardship on small businesses and rural communities.In Part Two of his conversation with MPB's Desare Frazier, NAACP President and CEO Derick Johnson discusses some of the systemic issues challenging black communities.