Mississippi Edition


5/29/20 - Safe Return | Prepared to Care Campaign | Duality of Reformer Burl Cain

The state enters the last weekend of Governor Reeves’ Safer at Home Order. We look at what’s next.Then, clinics and hospitals across Mississippi are seeing a reduction in elective procedures and care. We talk to the Medical Association about the impact of the pandemic on the state’s health professionals.Plus, a closer look at the touted reformer tapped to clean up the department of corrections.Segment 1:Governor Tate Reeves' weeks-long Safer at Home Order expires Monday.The series of Executive Orders, which replaced a prior shelter in place order, have gradually allowed businesses to reopen under specific health guidelines throughout the month of May.A new order, which Reeves is calling the Safe Return Order, takes effect Monday and allows all Mississippi businesses to open.During his daily press briefing yesterday, Reeves thanked the people of Mississippi for their cooperation. Reeves also says that the Executive Orders, which provide specific health guidelines, are as enforceable as state laws.When asked about how these measures will be enforced, Reeves indicated it must be a balance between local law enforcement and personal responsibility.Segment 2:The Mississippi Hospital Association and Mississippi State Medical Association are encouraging patients to seek care in the state’s clinics and hospitals, especially Mississippians who have chronic illnesses or need emergency care. Clinics and hospitals throughout the state have experienced steep declines in outpatient visits during the COVID-19 pandemic, with many Mississippians delaying or avoiding medical treatment - a potentially dangerous choice according to Dr. Clay Hays, President of the Mississippi State Medical Association.He joins us to discuss the "Prepared to Care" campaign aimed at informing Mississippians about their range of safe options for seeking medical treatment.Segment 3:After a months-long national search, Governor Tate Reeves has tapped former Angola State Prison Warden Burl Cain to lead the reform efforts within the Mississippi Department of Corrections.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.Cain says the allegations are baseless. Maya Lau and Gordon Russell were investigative reporters with The Advocate during Cain's later years at Angola.They share their insight on the curious duality of Burl Cain, and the narrative of Cain as a pioneer in prison reform.The next official step in Cain's confirmation process is a hearing with the Senate's Corrections Committee.Democrat Juan Barnett of Heidelberg chairs that committee. He tells our Desare Frazier he is satisfied with the Governors' selection as the process moves forward.

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.

5/26/20 - 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.

5/22/20 - 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.

5/21/20 - New Corrections and Public Safety Commissioners | Casinos Re-open | Book Club: Mississippi Witness

The Governor announces his nominees for Corrections and Public Safety leadership.Then, casinos reopen their doors today. We look at how the two month shutdown impacted Mississippi’s gaming industry and what patrons can expect when they return.Plus, in our Book Club, the photographs of a Neshoba county woman that illuminate the galvanizing events of the Jim Crow era in Mississippi.Segment 1:Governor Tate Reeves is nominating new chiefs for the state’s Corrections and Public Safety agencies.Reeves announced the nominations during his daily press briefing yesterday.The first term Governor inherited a prison crisis that came to a fever pitch late last year as violence spread through the system.Reeves addressed the crisis, saying the it highlighted the systemic problems within the department of corrections. Before introducing his pick for the new Commissioner of Corrections, Reeves suggested that many of the department's problems were the result of poor leadership. Reeves is nominating Burl Cain, formally of Angola State Prison in Louisiana to be the new commissioner.Governor Reeves is also nominating Mississippi Court of Appeals Judge Sean Tindell of Gulfport as the new public safety commissioner.Tindell says his first 90 days in office will help him lay the foundation for the direction of the department.Segment 2:Mississippi casinos on the Gulf Coast and along the Mississippi River from Natchez to Tunica have been shuttered for two months, dealing an economic blow to casino workers and associated businesses.Over 20,000 workers state wide have been furloughed, and the shuttered gambling halls have cost the state valued tax revenue.But, that could change today as casinos reopen their doors.Larry Gregory is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Gaming and Hospitality Association.He joins us to explain the impact of the shutdown on the gaming industry, and what patrons can expect when they return.Segment 3:Few may remember Florence Mars, a white woman in Mississippi who picked up a camera to depict the Jim Crow era.It was the murder of three civil rights workers in Neshoba county, her county, that motivated her.A hundred of her photographs, most taken in the decade between 1954 and 1964 are included in the book: “Mississippi Witness: The Photographs of Florence Mars.”Co-editor, James Campbelltells us about his conversations with Mars who died in 2006.

5/20/20 - Guidelines for Churches | Case-free County | Southern Remedy Health Minute | New HIV Prevention Drug

Governor Reeves announces guidelines for churches to resume in-person services, while the Health Department is pressured to release more information regarding the outbreaks at long term care facilities.Then, one Mississippi county has no reported cases of COVID-19. We look at how Issaquena has stayed case-free.Plus, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, a new preventative HIV medication.Segment 1:For nearly two months, churches across the state have held services in parking lots; or virtually through streaming video or conference calls.Now, Governor Tate Reeves is issuing eight pages of guidelines for churches to resume in-person gatherings.Reeves announced the move during his daily press briefing yesterday. Reeves recommends churches deep clean their spaces before welcoming members back.He also suggests they close coffee stations and suspend collection and offering plates.He emphasizes that these are guidelines, and he is leaving it to Mississippi's pastors to determine when to resume in-person gatherings.The guidelines come as the state eclipses 11,700 cases of COVID-19, and while seven Mississippi counties are under enhanced scrutiny due to concerns over public transmission.Hospitalizations, as well as ICU and ventilator utilization, have remained steady since the beginning of May, with no trends of reduction in the data released by the department of health.Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says cases may not decrease if Mississippians do not accept a new normal.Segment 2:Out of 82 Mississippi counties, only one has no confirmed cases of COVD-19 - south Mississippi Delta's Issaquena County.With a population estimate of 1,327 from the U.S. Census Bureau, it is the least populated county east of the Mississippi River.The county has only recently started testing - at the health clinic in the county seat of Mayserville.So far, no positive cases have been reported.Delta Health Center’s Chief Program Planning and Development Officer Robin Boyles explains some of the reasons why with our Alexandra Watts.Segment 3:Southern Remedy Health MinuteSegment 4:The HIV Prevention Trials Network or HPTN is announcing the results of a global randomized, controlled, double-blind study of an injectable HIV prevention drug.The study shows that CAB LA lowers the HIV incidence in certain tested population groups.Dr. Ben Brock is an Assistant Professor of Infectious Disease at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.He tells us more about HPTN and what this study means in the long fight against HIV.

5/19/20 - Lt. Gov. Hosemann on CARES Act and Budget | Tattoo Parlors Re-open | State Treasurer and MPACT

A look how the legislature is managing a budget deficit, and what’s next with the CARES Act funds.Then, tattoo parlors are open again. We check in with owners to see how they’re adapting.Plus, open enrollment for the MPACT college savings account is extended. We hear from State Treasurer David McRae.Segment 1:The Mississippi Legislature is set to resume on May 26th, and when they do, appropriation of the remaining CARES Act funds will be a top priority.The $1.25 billion pot of federal aid is designated to help states recover from the financial challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.Last week, lawmakers passed a $300 million small business program.That bill is awaiting signature from Governor Tate Reeves.Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann says the next step for the available CARES Act funds is making sure counties municipalities, and hospitals are solvent.He joins us to discuss those priorities and how the legislature plans on managing a potential budget deficit.Segment 2:Tattoo parlors in Mississippi are reopening after being closed for nearly two months.The shopswere closed as part of Governor Tate Reeves’s executive order to slow the public transmission of the coronavirus. Christian Cornin, owner of Carnivale Tattoo in Biloxi, says he is excited to reopen, but worries about customers' anxiety over cleanliness.He tells our Kobee Vance, even though he has always practiced strong shop hygiene, he knows people are apprehensive. Dani Shives is with Oxford Social Club.She says she's eager for the shop to return to its busy ways.Segment 3:State Treasurer David McRae is extending the open enrollment period for the Mississippi Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Plan or MPACT program to July 15. This College Savings Plan allows families to lock-in tuition rates and pre-pay their child's tuition.McRae, who began his first term in January, tells our Michael Guidry his first few months in office have been challenging, but he's excited about providing this opportunity to Mississippi families.

5/18/20 - Tattoo Parlors & Casinos | Hosemann on Small Business | MCJ Lawsuit | Keeping Travelers Safe

Tattoo parlors and casinos get the green light to reopen.And, we talk to the Lt. Governor about the Small Business grant programs.Then, the Mississippi Center for Justice files suit against two state prisons.Plus, we look at how the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority is keeping travelers safeSegment 1:More Mississippi businesses are expected to reopen this week.After a number of phases allowing retail stores, salons and barber shops to resume business, tattoo parlors and casinos are now getting the green light to open their doors.During his daily press briefing Friday, Governor Tate Reeves announced the new Executive Order. The order allows tattoo parlors to open once health restrictions are put in place.Casinos are set to reopen May 21st. Reeves says he is allowing businesses to reopen because he believes personal responsibility is better than government order.He also calls efforts to delay until a vaccine or more reliable treatments are available, counterproductive.The announcement allowing tattoo parlors and casinos to open capped a busy week of relief for Mississippi's small businesses.Last week the legislature passed a $300 million package for those businesses with federal funds provided through the CARES Act.This followed a heated battle between Governor Reeves and leaders in the legislature over who would control the appropriation of the $1.25 billion of relief money.Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann joins our Karen Brown to share his thoughts on clash, and what the legislature has planned for the rest of the CARES Act funds.Segment 2:Concerns over transmission of COVID-19 in long-term care and high density facilities are growing.This includes prisons, where Governor Tate Reeves and other officials say the spread of the coronavirus is relatively contained.But Mississippi Center for Justice and partners think the state can do more, and have filed a class action lawsuit against the department of corrections.Paloma Wu, an attorney with the Center for Justice says they want the state's two largest prisons, which are in Rankin and Green Counties, to follow CDC guidelines for correctional facilities to prevent Covid 19 infections.Segment 3:The Jackson Municipal Airport Authority is working with its air service providers to share new safety policies at the state's busiest airport.The new policies are issued by Delta, American, and United Airlines – all of which provide legacy air service at the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. LSherie Dean is the Public Information Officer with JMAA.She shares what the airlines and the authority are doing to keep travelers safe.

5/15/20 - Small Business Relief | Nursing Homes | Gibbs-Green Revisited | GSN Round-table: Hurricane Prep

Mississippi businesses react to the grant program passed by the legislature.And, what nursing homes are doing to fight high transmission rates.Then,we hear from a survivor of the 1970 Green-Gibbs murders at Jackson State.Plus a Gulf States Newsroom round table on hurricane preparedness.Segment 1:A $300 million dollar relief package for Mississippi small businesses is one step away from becoming a reality.The two-part program passed through the legislature Wednesday night and is awaiting the signature of Governor Tate Reeves.After a week-long clash with lawmakers over the power to appropriate CARES Act funds, state leaders settled down to address the growing concern of small business owners.During his daily press briefing yesterday Reeves addressed the bill and the relief that comes with it.A Mississippi business organization says the grant program just passed by the legislature is needed to help small businesses recover from the pandemic. Dawn Starns is with the National Federation of Independent Businesses. She says some small businesses don’t have large cash reserves and operate on thin profit margins. Starnes tells our Desare Frazier, as owners work to reopen, the funds available through the program will help meet expenses.Segment 2:Mississippi’s long term care facilities are home to nearly half of the state’s COVID-19 related deaths. MPB’s Kobee Vance reports on what nursing homes are doing to slow the spread of disease and keep family members informed during the crisis.Segment 3:In May of 1970, Gailya Porter was a sophomore majoring in Sociology at what was then called Jackson State College. The campus was home to mounting racial tension.At the time, Lynch Street was a main thoroughfare that went through the campus, and Porter says students were routinely harassed by white motorists passing through.Some students started fires on campus in protest, after a false rumor spread of the death of civil rights activist Charles Evers.The National Guard was placed on standby and Jackson Police closed off entrances to the campus. It was just before midnight when highway patrol officers and Jackson police marched up Lynch Street, and at some point opened fire near Alexander Hall - where Gailya Porter lived.When the gunshots ended, two African-American men were dead at least a dozen others injured - including Porter.She shares part of her experience with our Ashley Norwood.Segment 4:Hurricane season starts June first. That’s nothing new for those who live along the Gulf Coast. What is new this year is the fact hurricane season is happening during the coronavirus pandemic. We hear about how emergency officials are preparing from reporters in the region. MPB's Evelina Burnett and Tegan Wendland of W-W-N-O in New Orleans join the discussion. Andrew Yeager of W-B-H-M in Birmingham kicks things off.