Mississippi Edition


ME 1/24/20 - Gov. Reeves Implements MDOC Changes | Millsaps/Chism State of the State Survey | Inside the Senate Trial

The Governor implements changes to the Department of Corrections.Then, a recent state of the state survey reveals what issues Mississippi voters’ value most.Plus, a first hand account of the Senate impeachment trial.Segment 1:Governor Tate Reeves is taking immediate steps to restore order at the State Penitentiary at Parchman.After visiting the prison, Reeves says maintenance teams are working to improve conditions. All wardens have been placed on 12 hour shifts and they're cracking down on contraband cell phones. The governor says the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agent on site at the prison is screening guards for gang affiliations.He is also considering relocating some inmates to Walnut Grove a facility that was closed in 2016 but is in better shape.Sharon Brown is with the Mississippi Prison Reform Coalition.She tells MPB's Desare Frazier the cellphones aren't the problem.Segment 2:Making health care more accessible and affordable in Mississippi has overtaken infrastructure repair and public school funding as the most important priority for Magnolia State voters.That's according to the most recent Millsaps College/Chism Strategies Poll.Dr. Nathan Schrader is the Chair of the Department of Government and Politics at Millsaps College.He explains the poll results with our Michael Guidry.Segment 3:The impeachment trial enters its third day of arguments as the House Managers present their case against President Donald Trump.Due to Senate rules for this impeachment trial, many viewers' access to this historic moment is limited to a single fixed camera.But, reporters on site have a different experience.Adam Ganucheau is a political reporter with Mississippi Today.He tells MPB's Michael Guidry the atmosphere of the Senate chamber has been calm and reverent.

ME 1/23/20 - Senate Impeachment Trial | Mission Readiness and Nutrition | Book Club: "Race Against Time"

The House Managers continue presentation of their case against President Donald Trump.We breakdown the Senate impeachment trial.Then, retired military leaders emphasize the importance of federal nutrition programs and the connection between child nutrition and national security.Plus, in our Book Club, "Race Against Time".Segment 1:The impeachment trial continues in the Senate today as House Managers resume the presentation of their case against President Donald Trump.The Senate will consider two articles of impeachment charged to the president by the House of Representatives: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.Matt Steffey is a professor of law at the Mississippi College School of Law.He talks with us about the Senate's role as arbiters of justice.Segment 2:A panel of officials from across the state are discussing ways to make sure young Mississippians are living healthy lifestyles. Mission Readiness is a national effort by retired Generals and nutritional experts to work to make a healthy generation that is ready and able to serve in the US Military. Retired Major General Leon Collins is a former adjutant general of the Mississippi National Guard.He tells MPB's Kobee Vance having a larger pool of potential recruits is important for national security.Officials say part of the battle is making sure Mississippians have access to healthy and affordable food. The other part- is making sure families know how to cook and prepare that food into meals. Sylvia Byrd of the Mississippi State Extension service tells our Kobee Vance low-resource families share the same nutrition concerns as affluent families.Segment 3:Decades ago, Reporter Jerry Mitchell watched a screening of the film, “Mississippi Burning.”It was the fictionalized true story of three civil rights workers who were killed by Klansmen in Neshoba County during the civil rights movement.When Mitchell learned that the state of Mississippi refused to prosecute any suspects he was on the case … a case now very very cold.Other cold cases followed: the assassination of Medgar Evers, the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama that killed 4 little girls and the firebombing of Vernon Dahmer’s home that led to his death. Jerry Mitchell chronicles his investigations into these four cases in his new book, “Race Against Time.”In our conversation with him, he begins by telling us how to investigate a cold case …

ME 1/22/20 - Prison Lawsuits | Early Childhood Collaboratives | Southern Remedy Health Minute | Blood Services Crisis Status

Lawsuits against the Mississippi Department of Corrections emerge following recent prison violence .Then, a push for a stronger investment in early childhood education.And, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, Mississippi Blood Services designates a critical need.Segment 1:An investigation is underway into the beating deaths of two more inmates at a Mississippi prison. Thirty-five year old Timothy Hudspeth and 36-year old James Talley died from their injuries at Parchman Tuesday.This follows five other inmate deaths stemming from the recent wave of prison violence.Attorney Carlos Moore, a Managing Partner with the Cochran Firm, has filed two lawsuits on behalf of inmates and families alleging inhumane treatment in the Mississippi prison system. He says following the recent altercations at Parchman, inmates were moved to a unit without electricity and running water. Moore also tells MPB's Desare Frazier some guards are involved in the violence that's taken place at the facility.Segment 2:Education advocates are lobbying legislators to put more funding into early learning collaboratives.Rachel Cantor is the Executive Director of Mississippi First. She tells MPB's Desare Frazier the 18 existing collaboratives only reach 8 percent of four-year olds statewide, and that their success warrants more investment from the legislature.Republican Senator Brice Wiggins of Pascagoula, the new vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee , shares his support.Segment 3:Southern Remedy Health MinuteSegment 4:A critical blood shortage has Mississippi hospitals and donation centers in Crisis Status. Blood banks are nearly out of every type of blood they need to serve hospitals across the state. Emily Austin is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Mississippi Blood Services. She tells MPB's Kobee Vance every two seconds someone needs blood.

ME 1/21/20 - House Unrest Over PERS | Sentencing Reform | Day of Racial Healing

Less than a month into the 2020 legislative session, there is unrest in the State house between the Speaker and a group of retired lawmakers.Then, the Mississippi Supreme Court upholds a 12 year sentence for contraband cell phone.Plus, the William Winter Institute’s Day of Racial Healing.Segment 1:Four freshmen members of the Mississippi House might have to give up their legislative seats if they continue to serve andreceive state retirement.A new regulation adopted by PERS--the Public Employees Retirement System allows retirees to collect their pensions while serving in the legislature.The regulation changed is based on an opinion written by then-Attorney General Jim Hood. But, House Speaker Phillip Gunn has advised the House Management Committee to disregard the new PERS regulation over questions of statute.Representative Billy Andrews of Lamar County is one of the four freshmen lawmakers. He tells MPB's Michael Guidry the AG opinion influenced his decision to run for office.Representative Jason White of Holmes County is the Speaker Pro Tempore.He tells MPB's Desare Frazier he believes the law is clear-- that elected officials can not serve in the legislature and draw state retirement.Segment 2:The Mississippi Supreme Court's confirmation of a 12-year prison sentence for an African American man who carried his mobile phone into a county jail cell is shining further light on the need for sentencing reform.Willie Nash was given the twelve year sentence by a trial judge in August of 2018.A 2012 Mississippi law sets a sentencing range of three to 15 years for inmates found with deadly weapons, cellphones or components of cellphones in state jails and prisons.Cliff Johnson, Director of the MacArthur Justice Center at the University of Mississippi tells our Michael Guidry the court's decision highlights the need to look at the prison crisis holistically.Segment 3:Today marks the fourth annual National Day of Racial Healing; a day to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. The William Winter Institute will present an afternoon of Mississippi-based programming today at the Two Mississippi Museums.Portia Espy is the Executive Director of the Winter Institute.She tells us its a day to bring people together.

ME 1/17/20 - MDOC Commissioner Search | Fmr. Sen Trent Lott on Political Climate | MLK Weekend at Two Mississippi Museums

Governor Tate Reeves launches a national search for the next Department of Corrections leader.Then, part two of our conversation with former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott.Plus, a special weekend honoring Martin Luther King Jr. at the Two Mississippi Museums.Segment 1:Governor Reeves is appointing a team to conduct a nationwide search for a new commissioner for the state's embattled corrections department.Former commissioner Pelicia Hall resigned this month. Recent violence and the death of five inmates have shed light on the need for reform.As one of his first official acts as governor, Reeves emphasizes this appointment cannot be rushed, and tapped Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs to lead the search committee.Segment 2:All 100 U.S. Senators have taken their impartiality oath for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.The proceedings will resume Tuesday. The impeachment process has been saturated with partisanship, which former Senate Majority Trent Lott attributes partly to the rise of social media.In part two of our conversation, he discusses leadership and the current political climate with our Michael Guidry.Segment 3:The Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson is celebrating the life and influence of Martin Luther King Jr by offering free admission to the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum.Rachel Myers is Deputy Director of the Two Mississippi Museums.She tells us that the museums are an appropriate way to celebrate MLK weekend.

ME 1/16/20 - Fmr. Sen. Trent Lott on Impeachment | FCC Frequency Changes | Book Club: Fortunate Son

The House of Representatives send the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for action.We talk exclusively with former Majority Leader Trent Lott about the trial process.Then, local television networks are changing frequencies.We talk to the FCC about how to stay up to date with the change.Plus, in a new Book Club, Brooks Eason, “Fortunate Son: The Story of Baby Boy Francis.”Segment 1:The articles of impeachment advance to the Senate today following a formal vote in the House Wednesday.This is the first impeachment trial the Senate will judge since the 1999 hearing against President Bill Clinton.Former Mississippi Senator Trent Lott served as Senate Majority Leader during Clinton impeachment.In part one of our two part conversation, the Senator join's MPB's Michael Guidry to reflect on his experiences during the trial process.Segment 2:Viewers who watch over-the-air television with an antenna will need to rescan their television sets to continue to receive local TV channels that change their frequencies. Stations nationwide are changing frequencies to help open up airwaves for new high-speed wireless service.Jean Kiddoo is Chair of the Federal Communications Commission's Incentive Auction Task Force.She tells us the frequency changes are part of an effort to use the nation's airwaves efficiently.Segment 3:Brooks Eason was born in June of 1957 in New Orleans. He didn’t know who his mother was until decades later … and the reason he found out about her at all was because of a nation-wide search for HIM.Today, in our Book Club, Brooks Eason tells us about his familial journey in “Fortunate Son: The Story of Baby Boy Francis.”

ME 1/15/20 - Flooding Concerns | Governor Reeves' Inaugural | Southern Remedy Health Minute | Lawmaker Response

We address the flooding concerns.Then, Tate Reeves addresses the state during his inauguration as Mississippi’s 65th governor. We take a close look at his vision for the next four years.And, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, lawmakers respond to the new governor’s call to action.Segment 1:The recent heavy rains throughout state are causing flooding concerns in many Mississippi communities.Joining us now is MEMA Director Greg Michel.Segment 2:Tate Reeves took the oath of office on Tuesday, officially becoming the 65th governor of the state of Mississippi.Highlighting his theme of leading an administration for all Mississippi, Governor Reeves stressed the importance of economic growth through job readiness.MPB's political analysts Austin Barbour and Brandon Jones were with our Desare Frazier during the inaugural address.Barbour is a Republican analyst; Jones is a former Democrat member of the House.Both men agree that Mississippi has the people and the programming to make job readiness a reality.Segment 3:Southern Remedy Health MinuteSegment 4:Lawmakers were on hand at the capitol Tuesday to offer their response to Governor Reeves' address.John Polk is Republican Senator from Hattiesburg.He tells MPB's Kobee Vance he believes Governor Reeves' leadership signifies a continuation of the conservative policymaking of the last sixteen years.Democrat Senator David Jordan from Greenwood has been serving in the state legislature since 1993.He echoes the need to work together to address Mississippi's key issues, but wishes the governor prioritized health care more in his address. Dana Underwood McLean is a Republican member of the House from Columbus. She says she was pleased to see education emphasized in the governor's speech.

ME 1/14/20 - Inauguration Preview | Education Appointments | Simon and Garfunkel Story | Jim Hood

Mississippi's 65th governor is inaugurated.We take a look at his agenda.And, education is a top priority this legislative session.What do state-wide advocacy groups think of the first changes made by new leadership?Then, a new concert event gives context to the songs of Simon and Garfunkel.Plus, part two of our conversation with former Attorney General Jim Hood.Segment 1:Officials at the state capitol are preparing to inaugurate Mississippi's 65th governor.Tate Reeves, who has served as Lt. Governor fortwo terms will officially be sworn in as governor today.Reeves recently talked about his priorities as the state's next governor.Senator Philip Moran served in the Senate during the eight years Reeves presided as Lt. Governor.He says he expects today's inaugural address to be about moving Mississippi forward.Segment 2:Education is a priority being vocalized by many members of the House and Senate this young legislative session.Lt. Governor Hoseman assigned Senate committee leadership last week naming Republican Dennis DeBar Jr., chair and Democrat David Blount, Vice Chair. Governor-elect Tate Reeves has also made his nominations for appointed positions, tapping former state Senator Nancy Collins for the State Board of Education and Madison businessman Bill Billingsly for the Charter School Authorizing Board.Nancy Loome is the Executive Director of the Parents Campaign.She tells us that her organization is optimistic about the Senate committee leadership and hopes the legislature will focus on what improves the quality of education.Segment 3:The internationally-acclaimed hit theater show "The Simon & Garfunkel Story" will stop by Bologna Performing Arts Center on January 15, during the coast to coast U.S. tour. The immersive concert-style theater show chronicles the amazing journey shared by the folk-rock duo, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.George Clements plays Paul Simon.He tells us that the show has given him the opportunity to grow as a singer-songwriter.Segment 4:Jim Hood served as Mississippi's Attorney General for 16 years.After a hard-fought campaign for governor in 2019, Hood is stepping away from state office.In part two of our conversation, Hood reflects on the gubernatorial campaign, the issues he's passionate about, and what lies ahead.

ME 1/13/20 - Senate Committee Appointments | Medical Marijuana 2020 | Byte Size Tech | Jim Hood

Lt. Governor Hosemann makes committee assignments.Plus, a ballot initiative on medical marijuana.Then, after Byte Size Tech, a conversation with Jim HoodSegment 1:Mississippi's new Republican lieutenant governor is putting together a bipartisan leadership team in the state Senate. Delbert Hosemann announced Senate committees Friday naming Republicans as chairmen of the two committees most-directly responsible for taxpayer dollars.W. Briggs Hopson of Vicksburg will chair Appropriations and Josh Harkins of Flowood will chair Finance. Hosemann also named Republicans to lead the Education Committee and the two Judiciary Committees.Democrat Juan Barnett of Heidelberg was selected to lead the Corrections committee.Barnett tells MPB's Desare Frazier that he is excited about the opportunity.After serving on the Education committee for 12 years, Democrat David Blount assumes a leadership role as Vice Chair of the committee.He tells our Desare Frazier teacher pay is his top priority.Segment 2:Medical Marijuana will be on the ballot when Mississippi voters head to the polls this November. The proposed amendment would allow licensed physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with debilitating medical conditions. Advocates for medical marijuana, like Jamie Grantham of Mississippians for Compassionate Care, say it can help thousands of people with chronic pain.She explains the Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign with MPB's Michael Guidry.Dr. Thomas Dobbs is a state health officer with the Mississippi Department of Health.He tells our Michael Guidry that the proposed amendment presents a number of challenges.Segment 3:Byte Size TechSegment 4:Jim Hood served as Mississippi's Attorney General for 16 years.After a hard-fought campaign for governor in 2019, Hood is stepping away from state office.He joined us to reflect his tenure as the state's attorney in part one of our conversation.