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11/16/20 - Rising COVID Transmission | State Party Chairs on Election | Schools Switch to Virtual

As the holiday season nears, state health leaders evaluate the rising trends in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

 Then, with the election in the rear view mirror, we hear from the state chairmen from both major parties on the lessons learned and next steps forward.

 Plus, heightened community COVID-19 transmission is compelling more schools to switch to distance learning. We talk to one district about its decision to shift one of its largest schools to virtual.

Segment 1:

Health officials continue to sound the alarm as coronavirus cases in Mississippi surge. For the majority of last week, the seven-day rolling average remained around 1,000 new coronavirus cases per day. Hospitalizations and ICU occupancy also continue to rise. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says during this time of heightened transmission, the threat of infection is closer than many would assume. Increased community spread of the virus has led to transmission in school classrooms, causing some schools to return to virtual education. Health officials fear the increased transmission is a result of out-of-balance priorities.

Segment 2:

It has been nearly two weeks since the 2020 General Election, but the tremors from the contentious national contest are still being felt. President Donald Trump has refused to concede to challenger Joe Biden, and has leveled unsubstantiated claims of fraud against the election process in a number of key states. The races in Mississippi, however, are settled and the President's party maintains its stronghold on the state's Congressional seats. All of the GOP's incumbents won re-lection, and the state went strongly for the Trump-Pence ticket. State GOP Chair Frank Bordeaux shares the lessons the party learned from this election.

For the state's Democrat Party, 2020 signaled an opportunity to shift the state "purple" - picking up a key Senate seat. But for the second time in as many years, challenger Mike Espy was not able to win against Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith. Retired Judge Tyree Irving is chair of the state party. He reflects on the hard fought campaign.  

Segment 3:

More and more schools across the state are shifting to virtual learning as transmission of the coronavirus soars. While state health officials attribute the rising numbers to community spread, Dr. Thomas Dobbs says they're starting to trace some infections to schools. He is encouraging schools to consider the virtual option. One school shifting to a virtual learning is Germantown High School in Madison County. Gene Wright is Director of Communications for Madison County Schools. She says the decision is a result of the protocols put in place before students reported to campus in September.

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1/20/2021

1/20/21 - Case for Medicaid Expansion | Lawmakers Encourage Vaccination | Southern Remedy Health Minute | Mississippi Science Scholar

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1/19/2021

1/19/21 - Bolstered Vaccine Effort | State Lawmakers Weigh in on Potential Threats | Grant for Humanities in MS Prisons

As COVID-19 deaths climb following the holiday surge, state officials continue their push to make more coronavirus vaccines available to eligible residents.Then, with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden approaching, state capitals are under heightened security.We hear from state lawmakers on the insurrection in Washington and the challenge of working in an charged political climate.Plus, a new grant brings more humanities courses to Mississippi's prisons.Segment 1:State officials say they have improved the process for scheduling coronavirus vaccines amid a boom in demand from eligible recipients.Last week, Mississippians overwhelmed the state's scheduling apparatus causing long delays and website crashes.Governor Tate Reeves says many of those problems have been addressed, and says the recent surge in demand is resulting in Mississippi rising in the nation's performance metrics for vaccine distribution. Officials still acknowledge the demand for the shots outnumbers the state's supply of doses. Reeves says there will continue to be some limitations as the state moves to inoculate more residents in the coming weeks.Segment 2:Tomorrow's Presidential inauguration is being enveloped in unprecedented levels of security following the violent insurrection on Capitol Hill earlier this month. The FBI has urged officials at all 50 state capitols to be on heightened alert, citing threats they've uncovered following the January 6th riot. Some Mississippi state legislators say they feel confident law enforcement is prepared to handle any threats in Jackson this week. MPB's Desare Frazier speaks with Senators Dean Kirby (R) and John Horhn (D).Segment 3:Three Mississippi Community Colleges are receiving funds through a recent grant to support humanities education in state prisons.The Mississippi Humanities Council says The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's “The Future of Higher Learning in Prison” program will support humanities courses taught by Hinds, Northeast Mississippi, and Mississippi Delta Community Colleges for the next two years as part of a new Community College Prison Education Consortium.Stuart Rockoff is Executive Director of the Mississippi Humanities Council.He says the grant allows the Council to create a more substantial program for inmates seeking higher education opportunities.
1/18/2021

1/18/21 - Coronavirus Transmission & Vaccine Roll-out | Stennis Rocket Test | Flonzie Brown Wright Remembers MLK

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