Mississippi Edition

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11/17/20 - Mask Mandate Includes New Counties | Homeland Security Chairman | Emma Walton Hamilton

The Governor extends mask requirements and social gathering restrictions to seven new counties while administrators at the state's only Tier I trauma facility express concern over resources.

 Then, the Trump administration is stonewalling the Biden transition team's ability to receive vital intelligence briefings. We hear from the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

 Plus, the University of Southern Miss presents the 2020 Kay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival.

Segment 1:

Community transmission of the coronavirus continues to rise in Mississippi. Since Friday, the department of health has reported nearly 3,000 new cases of COVID 19. The weeks-long trend is also adversely affecting hospital capacity as COVID-related hospitalizations and ICU occupancy are also trending up. Yesterday, Governor Tate Reeves cited the rising numbers as he announced the extension of his executive order to seven new counties.

Administrators of Mississippi's only Tier I trauma facility are also expressing concern over the rising numbers. LouAnn Woodward is Vice Chancellor of the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She says hospitals are starting to see the second-degree effects of the recent surge in cases. Dr. Alan Jones, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs at UMMC, says the fall and winter season is always a challenge for hospitals in the greater Jackson area.

Segment 2:

The 2020 general election was two weeks ago, and former Vice President Joe Biden has projected the winner. Traditionally, the President-elect's transition team would begin working with the outgoing administration to ensure a smooth and peaceful transfer of power. But President Donald Trump is refusing to concede - claiming the election was fraudulent without any substantial evidence - and the White House has been stonewalling the Biden transition team's access to key intelligence briefings. Democrat Bennie Thompson represents Mississippi's second Congressional district and chairs the House Homeland Security Committee. He examines the security of the recent election and explains the procedures needed to protect the homeland during this period of transition. 

Segment 3:

Emma Walton Hamilton is a best-selling and award-winning author, editor, stage and television writer/producer, performer and arts educator. Together with her mother, Julie Andrews, she has co-authored over thirty books for children and adults, nine of which have been on the New York Times best-seller list. This week, she is serving as a speaker at the Kay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival, hosted by the University of Southern Mississippi. She shares how her childhood household shaped her own creativity. 

More Episodes

1/20/2021

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

The coronavirus pandemic is revealing more about the financial security of Mississippi's rural hospitals.We examine efforts to expand Medicaid in the state.Then, state lawmakers encourage eligible Mississippians to get vaccinated.Plus, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, a Mississippi teen is recognized as a top science scholar.Segment 1:Mississippi's rural hospitals were facing challenges before the coronavirus pandemic began last year.Questions regarding their viability surfaced regularly, and some, like North Oak Regional Medical Center in Tate County shut down due to mismanagement.Now, the current pandemic is adding new financial obstacles with limitations on elective surgeries and an influx of un or under-insured patients.For years a collection of health professionals and state lawmakers have sought to solve this problem by advocating the expansion of Medicaid.Supports say the federal program would inject over a billion dollars into the state's health care system.We talk to Tim Moore of the Mississippi Hospital Association and Sen. Hob Bryan (D).Segment 2:Two weeks into the the new legislative session, a Mississippi lawmaker has tested positive for the coronavirus.Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann's office says it’s been notified one senator has tested positive for COVID 19.Last summer an outbreak occurred at the Capitol that left over 30 lawmakers, included Hosemann infected with the virus.The notification of the new case came as legislators and their families have been getting vaccinated at the Capitol.Hosemann tells our Ashley Norwood vaccinations are the state's path to normalcy.Segment 3:Southern Remedy Health MinuteSegment 4:A Mississippi Teen is being recognized as a top science scholar by the Society for Science.Michael Lu, a senior at the Mississippi School for Math and Science was named one of 300 scholars in the 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search - the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.Lu shares his journey and interest in bio-medical technology research with our Michael Guidry.
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

State health officials expect more doses of vaccine in the coming weeks, but distribution will still be limited.Then, it was the first rocket test of its kind in decades, but it was shut down after just over a minute. We look at what last weekend’s test at the Stennis Space Center means for project Artemis.Plus, a local civil rights veteran recalls her experience with Martin Luther King Jr.Segment 1:Mississippi's officials are making mass vaccination a goal as the state begins to feel the strain and loss following high transmission during the holiday season.The state is averaging over 40 deaths per day since the new year began, and hospitals continue to operate at capacity.State Health Office Dr. Thomas Dobbs says his office is hopeful a steady decline is on the way.Governor Tate Reeves says the state is trending in the right direction, but the numbers are still significantly higher than surge last summer that stressed hospital.He agrees the vaccine provides some optimism and believes the state is improving in that regard as well.Segment 2:For the first time since in decades, four rockets designed with enough power to launch a shuttle into space were tested at Hancock County's Stennis Space center.For a little overa minute, the four engines generated 1.6-million pounds of thrust. It was the most powerful test at Stennis since the Saturn V stages were tested here in the 1960s.But then one of the engines failed. Gary Benton is director of safety and mission assurance at Stennis Space Center.He talked to us prior to the test about the role the Space Center and the Test plays in Artemis Mission.Segment 3:Flonzie Brown Wright was a champion of voting rights in Mississippi during the 1960's and 70's.The first African American female to be elected to Madison County Election Commissioner pre and post-Reconstruction, Mrs. Brown Wright helped register thousands of Mississippians during the Civil Rights Movement.She also worked directly with Dr. Martin Luther King during the Meredith Marches.In observation of this Martin Luther King Jr. Day, she shares her experience fighting for change with the Civil Rights icon.