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1/7/21 - Vaccine Rollout | State of the State: Part 1 | Book Club: "Nick"

Health officials lay out plans to expedite vaccines to Mississippi’s oldest residents.

Then, the new state flag moves one step closer to becoming official as the Senate ratified the November vote. But a recent poll indicates nearly 40 of voters still believe Mississippi is heading in the wrong direction.

Plus, in today’s Book Club, Mississippi author, Michael Farris Smith, creates a backstory for “The Great Gatsby’s” narrator, Nick Carraway

Segment 1:

With a coronavirus vaccine now limitedly available, the Department of Health is expanding vaccine availability ahead of schedule to residents age 75 and older. State health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says he wants the current allocation of vaccines to go to who needs them - especially those in the most vulnerable age groups. 

Segment 2:

The Magnolia State is a Governor's signature away from officially having a new state flag. The Senate ratified the results of the November initiate yesterday. Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann says he wants the vote to be a stepping stone to more comprehensive solutions. But despite the state's progress in adopting a new banner, many Mississippians - nearly 40 percent - believe the state is headed in the wrong direction. That's according to the latest State of the State Poll conducted by Chism Strategies and Millsaps College. Nathan Shrader is the Chair of the Department of Government and Politics at Millsaps. In part one of his conversation with our Michael Guidry, Shrader breaks down how voters view the direction of the state, and its leadership's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Segment 3:

It’s fair to say that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” sits high on many lists of the greatest American novels. Mississippi writer, Michael Farris Smith, says he was fascinated by the book’s narrator, Nick Carraway. In his new novel, simply titled “Nick,” Farris Smith creates a back story for Carraway. He tells us he wasn’t a big fan of The Great Gatsby when he first read it.

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.