Mississippi Edition

Share

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

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.