Mississippi Edition

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3/20/20 - School Closures | Rep. Bennie Thompson | COVID-19 & the Incarcerated

The Governor extends school closings into April. What it means for teachers, students, and testing.

Then, a conversation with Congressman Bennie Thompson about the federal response to the coronavirus.

Plus, a coalition of civil rights groups is demanding Republican Governor Tate Reeves do more to protect incarcerated men and women from exposure to the coronavirus.

Segment 1:

Public schools will remain closed in Mississippi until April 17th to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Governor Tate Reeves announced the closures at a State Board of Education meeting on Thursday, and recommended the board waive requirements regarding attendance and state testing. The State Board of Education has voted to suspend state testing for this school year, and has requested a waiver from the federal government to exempt those requirements. State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright State explains.

Segment 2:

The federal government is ramping up its response to assist vulnerable Americans as the economy slows during the period of social distancing required to flatten the curved of coronavirus transmission. Earlier this month, Congress passed a supplemental budget request to provide more funding to federal response agencies. This week, they passed the Familes First Coronavirus Response Act. Democrat Congressman Bennie Thompson joins our Michael Guidry to discuss the legislation and how the federal government is handling the threat.

Segment 3:

As the coronavirus continues to spread, a coalition of civil rights groups are demanding the Governors of Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi do more to protect incarcerated men and women from exposure. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

More Episodes

5/27/2020

5/27/20 - Economic Forecast | Gulf States Newsroom Round-table: Restaurants | Southern Remedy Health Minute | COVID Dreams

The Governor asks for continued resilience from Mississippians, and the Senate Appropriations Committee gets an economic forecast.Then, we look at the phased reopenings of restaurants in the region in our latest Gulf States Newsroom Round-table.Plus, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, dreaming in the time of COVID.Segment 1:Cases of COVID-19 are trending toward the 14,000 mark this week, signifying that the fight against the coronavirus is far from over.During his daily press briefing yesterday, Governor Tate Reeves addressed the need for continued resilience.As cases remain steady, the state looks to its financial recovery.The Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing yesterday in which they were briefed by Commissioner of Revenue Herb Frierson and State Economist Darren Webb about the state's financial situation.Webb says nationally, the forecast is for a deeper than expected recession.Segment 2:The coronavirus pandemic has caused more job and revenue losses in the restaurant industry than any other sector in the US. Even as states reopen their economies, many restaurants remain closed and food services employees are still without work. WWNO in New Orleans speaks with reporters from the Gulf States Newsroom to compare notes on the restaurant scene and phased reopenings.Segment 3:Southern Remedy Health MinuteSegment 4:Unemployment; reduced work hours; depleted savings; health anxieties; home-schooling - all concerns heightened, for many, during the coronavirus pandemic to levels of disturbed slumber and sleep deprivation.For Michael Nadorff, an associate professor of psychology at Mississippi State University, the pandemic's effects on dreams has become a point of study.He joins us to discuss the psychology of dreams, and how the stressors of COVID manifest themselves within them.
5/26/2020

5/26/20 - Loosened Restrictions on Sports and Entertainment | Dr. Alan Jones | Plasma Donations

More Mississippi businesses are opening this week as the Governor eases restrictions on outdoor sports and entertainment.Then,health experts in the state remain guarded as the number of coronavirus cases increase.Plus, find out how those who have fully recovered from COVID 19-- can help patients currently fighting the virus.Segment 1:Amusement parks and outdoor entertainment facilities are back in business after more than two months of being closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.Governor Tate Reeves' new executive order loosening restrictions on those establishments went into effect yesterday morning. Mississippians remain under the state's safer at home order for another week--until June 1. The Governor extended his previous order that expired yesterday. He says the order is necessary to continue flattening the curve while safely getting people back to work.Segment 2:The number of total confirmed coronavirus cases in Mississippi has soared past13 thousand with more than 600 deaths since the state's first case back in March. There's also a slight uptick in the number of patients hospitalized with cases of COVID 19. Dr. Alan Jones is chairman of Emergency Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He tells our Michael Guidry that Mississippians need to remain vigilant, because there are still a lot of positive coronavirus cases in the state.Segment 3:Mississippi Blood Services is looking for people who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to donate plasma. Hospitals throughout the state are using that plasma to help treat COVID-19 patients. Researchers believe it contains antibodies that can fight the infection. Merle Eldridge with the nonprofit Mississippi Blood Services says as of last week they’ve only collected about 10 units of plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients in the past month - and the need is growing. She spoke with MPB's Ashley Norwood.
5/22/2020

5/22/20 - Holly Springs Church Fire | Churches Re-open | New Corrections Commissioner

Governor Tate Reeves condemns a church fire that's being investigated as an arson.And Some Mississippi churches are reopening their doors this Sunday, but with some changes.Then, a profile on Burl Cain—former Warden of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison and nominee for Mississippi’s Corrections Commissioner.Segment 1:Governor Tate Reeves says he is heartbroken” and “furious” after a church in Holly Springs was burned down from a suspected arson fire.First Pentecostal Church burned on Wednesday, about a month after it filed a lawsuit challenging city restrictions on gatherings amid the coronavirus pandemic. Reeves offered support to the church and says investigators are working to figure who’s responsible.Many Houses of Worship across the state have been conducting drive thru services for the past two months.Some---even in their homes through online services or other methods.Now- this Sunday--some churches in Mississippi are ready to reopen their doors for regular service using the new guidelines Governor Tate Reeves outlined earlier this week in an eight page document.Suggested changes include---contactless offerings, reduced seating and smaller choirs or soloist.Carlous Smith is Pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Braxton.He tells our Kobee Vance that his church reopened this past Sunday using existing guidance from the CDC and State Health Department.At New Horizons Church in Jackson, Bishop Ronnie Crudup (Crew-dup)says it's been an adjustment not having Sunday service, but understands the need to keep his congregation safe.Segment 2:After a months-long national search, Governor Tate Reeves is tapping former Angola State Prison Warden Burl Cain to lead the reform efforts within the Mississippi Department of Corrections.The first-term Governor inherited a prison crisis that came to a fever pitch late last year as violence spread throughout the system.Reeves says he chose Cain based on his record of reform at the Louisiana prison.Cain left his position at Angola prison in 2015 amid accusations of side business dealings, misspent funds and wrongful use of inmate labor. In introducing Burl Cain, his nominee for Commissioner of Corrections, Reeves says he has every confidence in his appointee to change the culture in Mississippi prisons. Maya Lau and Gordon Russell were investigative reporters with The Advocate during Cain's later years at Angola.Burl Cain's nomination as Commissioner of Corrections was the result of a months-long national search that began soon after Tate Reeve assumes the governorship.He picked self-proclaimed friend and Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs to lead the search.Flaggs shares how Burl Cain rose to the top of the candidate list despite the allegations with our Desare Fraser.