Mississippi Edition

All Episodes

2019-11-14

ME 11/14/2019 - Remembering Billy McCoy | Youth Offenders | Gulf South for Green New Deal | Book Club

A longtime colleague remembers the service of the late Mississippi House Speaker Billy McCoy. Also, the alarming trend of trying youth offenders as adults in Mississippi. And environmental advocates are talking about a Gulf Coast version of the Green New Deal. Plus, novelist Margaret Wilkerson Sexton is in our Book Club.


Segment 1:


A longtime House Democrat is remembering the public service career of former Mississippi House Speaker Billy McCoy, who died Tuesday.  Representative Steve Holland of Plantersville says his fellow Democrat was instrumental in passing the state's current education funding formula, but will be most remembered for legislation creating a four-lane state highway system. Holland spoke with MPB's Ezra Wall.


Services for Billy McCoy will be Friday afternoon at 2 at Gaston Baptist Church. He was 77.




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A new report out today shows, nearly five-thousand children in Mississippi have been charged as adults in the last twenty-five years. Of those, three out of four are African American. It's part of an online story available today from the public radio show, Reveal. Reporter Ko Bragg talks about her findings with MPB's Ezra Wall.

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An environmental initiative is being launched that focuses on helping communities of color on the Gulf Coast.  The Gulf South for a Green New Deal is a plan crafted by community leaders, indigenous peoples, farmers, and small business members.  Gordon Jackson is the Chair of the Environmental and Climate Justice Committee for the Biloxi NAACP.  He tells MPB's Kobee Vance, while the Green New Deal is a good idea, it need to be tailored to fit the needs of the Gulf South. Fifty groups across five southern states have co-sponsored the initiative , and more than 100 organizations have endorsed the policy.




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In her debut novel, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton told the story of three generations of a black New Orleans family in World War 2, the 1980s and post-Katrina. That book, “ A Kind of Freedom” was met with high praise and a nomination for the National Book Award. Now, Wilkerson Sexton is out with her next book, “The Revisioners.” It’s the story of a former slave and her neighbor in 1924 and then her descendant’s relationship with her white grandmother. The themes are similar. But was that intentional? Margaret Wilkerson Sexton tells us.

2019-11-13

ME 11/13/19 - Impeachment | DACA | Health Minute | Espy vs. Hyde-Smith

Mississippi Edition for Wednesday, November 13, 2019:

Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson previews impeachment-related hearings in the House later today. Then, the federal immigration program known as DACA is before the U.S. Supreme Court. Mississippi advocates and immigrants weigh-in. And after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, Democratic challenger Mike Espy says he's ready to go another round against U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.

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Segment 1:

The Washington version of must-see TV makes its debut with the first public hearing in the impeachment inquiry. Cameras are in place in a House office building just south of the Capitol for the opening session this morning. Witnesses are expected to provide evidence about President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. MPB's Ezra Wall spoke with Congressman Bennie Thompson. The Mississippi Democrat talks about what he's expecting to hear during today's testimony. 

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Immigrants rights advocates are speaking out following a hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday that threatens the legal status of thousands of young immigrants. The immigrants are part of a program designed to help people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It's called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals - or DACA. The Trump Administration has tried to rescind the program, only to have the lower courts block his action. Patricia Ice of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance talks with MPB's Desare Frazier.

Jesus is a food service worker. We're not using his last name to protect his identity. The aspiring restaurant manager says the DACA program allowed him to seek the education he will need to achieve his goals.

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Segment 3: Southern Remedy Health Minute - Rash

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Segment 4: 

Democrat Mike Espy says he wants a rematch against Cindy Hyde-Smith for the U.S. Senate seat. Espy lost last year's special election for the two remaining years of retired Senator Thad Cochran's six year term. He says in spite of Democrats losing the recent gubernatorial election, he sees a path to victory in 2020, as he explains to our Kobee Vance.

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PHOTO: AP Photo

2019-11-12

ME 11/12/19 - Winter Weather | Mitch Landrieu | StoryCorps | Veterans Day

Mississippi Edition for Tuesday, November 12, 2019:

Mississippians are waking up to some frigid temperatures this morning. But how long will the cold last? Plus, the states top for official has a warning about improperly heating your home. Then, a new report looks at how race and racism continue to plague the Deep South more than a hundred years after the end of Reconstruction. And after a Mississippi StoryCorps, a Gold Star Mother remembers the kids and service of her son.

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Segment 1:

Most Mississippians woke up this morning to temperatures far below what they were the last couple of days. And forecasts show tonight's temps could drop even more, with much of Mississippi reaching well below freezing. MPB's Ezra Wall spoke with meteorologist Anna Wolverton of the National Weather Service in Jackson.

The state's top fire official is Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who is also the state Fire Marshal. While some of us might be tempted to add a little warmth to the house by lighting a fire or using a space heater, Chaney says it's important to use those items properly. 

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Segment 2: 

Mississippians and other southerners are still deeply divided on issues of race and the perceptions surrounding them. A recent report called "Divided By Design" shows wide differences in the perceptions of white and black southerners. Mitch Landrieu is the former mayor of New Orleans and is a principal in the report. He talked about it with MPB's Ezra Wall.

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Segment 3: StoryCorps

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Segment 4: 

Families who have made the ultimate sacrifice were honored during a recent Veteran's Day ceremony. MPB's Kobee Vance has more on a Mississippi gold star family.  

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Photo: AP Photo

2019-11-8

ME 11/8/19 - ICE Raids Hearing | Ransomware | #SavedByTheScan

Mississippi Edition for Friday, November 8, 2019:

A U.S. Congressional hearing on the Mississippi ICE Raids is held at Tougaloo College. We'll hear from Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson and others. And after a school's computer system is hijacked with ransomware, find out how you can protect your devices at work and at home. Plus, experts say a simple quiz could help save your life from long cancer. Learn more.

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Segment 1:

A Mississippi Congressman is collecting information about a series of immigration enforcement raids during a congressional hearing in Jackson. Seven Mississippi-based poultry plants were raided and nearly 700 people arrested in August. Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson chairs the House Committee on Homeland Security. During yesterday's testimony, he questioned Jere Miles from Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE. Miles heads the agency's Homeland Security Investigations team.

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Segment 2: 

Computers in the Lincoln County School District have fallen victim to ransomware. That's when a computer virus is used to encrypt your files, keeping them out of your hands until a ransom is paid. The FBI is working with the school district to solve the issue. Michelle Sutphin is the Special Agent in charge of the FBI in Jackson. She gave MPB's Kobee Vance some advice for anyone caught up in a ransomware attack.

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Segment 3: 

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in the country.  And according to the American lung association lung cancer claims more lives than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined.  But detecting lung cancer early could save your life. Dr. Jacob Sands is a spokesperson for the American Lung Association. He says a low dose screening test is used to detect lung cancer early. He spoke with us, along with cancer survivor, Millie Wilson.

2019-11-7

ME 11/7/19 - Republican Power | March of Dimes | Emmett Till | Sesame Street

Mississippi Edition for Thursday, November 7, 2019:

With Republicans gaining control of every statewide office, we're asking the question: Can a Democrat ever win a major office in Mississippi? And we'll take a look at the latest March of Dimes report card. Then, the newest version of a troubled Emmett Till historical marker is already drawing the wrong kind of attention. And what's at the intersection of Memory Lane and Sesame Street? This week's Book Club, of course.

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Segment 1:

Mississippi Republicans are strengthening their dominance by winning all all eight statewide elected offices in Tuesday's election. MPB's Desare Frazier takes a look at what it means for Democrats.

In other news:

Last year in Mississippi, 14.2 percent of all births were premature. That means babies are being born too early - before the 37th week of pregnancy. That's just one of the details contained in this year's March of Dimes Report Card. We're joined by Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of the March of Dimes. She says the problem of premature births and other child-bearing problems are not just in Mississippi - they're nationwide.

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More than sixty years ago, Mamie Till-Mobley made the bold choice to have an open casket funeral for her 14 year old son. His body was unrecognizable after being beaten, lynched and thrown in a river. Years later, Emmett Till’s name remains in the news.  Recently, People carrying a white nationalist flag were recorded on security cameras trying to film in front of a new memorial erected in Till's honor. As MPB’s Alexandra Watts reports, activism by Till’s family continues decades later.

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Segment 3: 

Fifty years ago this coming Sunday, a cultural phenomenon came to television. “Sesame Street” introduced us to Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Cookie Monster and, of course, Kermit the Frog. In her book, “The Inside Secrets of Sesame Street,” Lucille Burbank takes us behind the scenes of the longest running children’s show in the history of broadcasting.

2019-11-6

ME 11/6/19 - 2019 Election Wrap-Up

Mississippi Edition for Wednesday, November 6, 2019:

The results are in, and for the first time Republicans will control every statewide elected office in Mississippi. We'll hear from the incoming Governor, Tate Reeves, and his opponent, Attorney General Jim Hood. And after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, the incoming Lieutenant Governor, Delbert Hosemann. And hear from Lynn Fitch, the first woman who will serve as state Attorney General.

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Segment 1:

For the first time, all statewide elected offices in Mississippi will be controlled by Republicans. By a percentage vote of 52% to 46%, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves defeated Attorney General Jim Hood to become the Governor-elect of Mississippi. As Attorney General, Hood had been the last remaining Democrat to hold statewide office. During his acceptance speech, the Republican Reeves talked about his victory, often striking a more conciliatory tone than during the campaign. 

Attorney General Jim Hood spoke to his supporters earlier in the evening. He says there are some parts of private life he is looking forward to.

Austin Barbour and Brandon Jones offered analysis as the numbers were coming in. Austin is a Republican national strategist, and founding partner of the Clearwater Group. Brandon is an attorney, and a former Democratic member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. After all the races had finally been called, the two had a chance to reflect on what it means for the state. 

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Segment 2: Southern Remedy Health Minute - OCD

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Segment 3: 

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann will have a new roll in the new year. The Republican has been elected Mississippi's next Lieutenant Governor, defeating House Democrat Jay Hughes. The Lieutenant Governor presides over the activities of the state Senate, guiding legislation and appointing committee leaders and members. Through the years, many have remarked that the Lieutenant Governor could actually be the most powerful person in Mississippi government. 

The Republican sweep of the every statewide office in Mississippi was not the only history being made in yesterday's elections. For the first time, a woman will become the state Attorney General. The current State Treasurer, Lynn Fitch, defeated civil rights attorney and military veteran Jennifer Riley Collins. Speaking to supporters, Fitch says she stands on the shoulders of other women in Mississippi politics, like Evelyn Gandy, the former Lieutenant Governor.

2019-11-5

ME 11/5/10 - Election Day 2019

Mississippi Edition for Tuesday, November 5, 2019:

Voters are at the polls this hour, in the process of selecting the next governor of Mississippi. We'll hear from both candidates from the campaign trail yesterday. And after a Mississippi StoryCorps, a conversation about polarity in Mississippi politics, and how it often boils down to the state's racist past.

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Segment 1:

Mississippians are at the polls today selecting a new Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and more. Every statewide seat, several state commissions and every seat in the legislature is on the ballot today.  At a campaign stop on the Gulf Coast yesterday, Vice President Mike Pence rallied hard for the Republican candidate for governor. In this segment, we hear from both major party candidates for the top job.

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Segment 2: StoryCorps Mississippi - Transracial family

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Segment 3: 

As Mississippians heads to the polls today, they'll be casting their ballots in one of the most competitive governor's races since 2003. Jackson State University Professor D'Andra Orey talked with MPB's Desare Frazier about the campaign, politics in Mississippi, and the connection with the state's racist past.

Before we leave you:

More than 1 point 9 million Mississippians are registered to vote in today's statewide election. MPB's Kobee Vance reports on what voters need to know as they head to the polls.

2019-11-4

ME 11/4/19 - Trump in Tupelo | Byte Size Tech | SOS Candidates Watson and DuPree

Mississippi Edition for Monday, November 4, 2019:

President Donald Trump visits North Mississippi to go on the offensive against impeachment proceedings, and stump for Republican candidate for Governor, Tate Reeves. Then, hear from the two candidates for Secretary of State: Democrat Johnny DuPree and Republican Michael Watson.

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Segment 1:

President Donald Trump makes a campaign stop in Mississippi to shore up support for the Republican candidate for governor with a rally in Tupelo. As MPB's Desare Frazier reports. 

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Segment 2: Byte Size Tech (from Everyday Tech)

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Segment 3: 

Tomorrow is election day in Mississippi. Voters will go to the polls to choose who will represent them in every statewide office, several state commissions, and every seat in the Mississippi legislature. Secretary of State is one of the many offices that is guaranteed to have a new leader. The two candidates running are Republican Michael Watson, a state Senator from the Gulf Coast, and Democrat Johnny DuPree, the former Mayor of Hattiesburg.  

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Photo: President Donald Trump gestures to the audience during his address on a number of topics, including his administration's successes and poking fun at his critics, during a Keep America Great Rally in Tupelo, Miss., Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, days before the Nov. 5 general elections in Mississippi. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

2019-11-1

ME 11/1/19 - Hobnob | Attorney General and Treasurer Candidates

Mississippi Edition for Friday, November 1, 2019:

Candidates gather to see and be seen at one of the states biggest political events. We'll tell you about it. Then, as our candidate interview series continues, hear from the people running for attorney general and state treasurer. 

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Segment 1:

The major party candidates running for Mississippi governor are making their final pitches for votes before Tuesday's election. MPB's Kobee Vance Reports.

In our ongoing series of campaign interviews, we're hearing next from Jennifer Riley Collins. She's the Democratic candidate for Attorney General. Collins was head of the Mississippi ACLU until she began her campaign. She also had a lengthy career in the U.S. Military. She talks with us about her qualifications and why she's running for the office.

Republican candidate Lynn Fitch is the current State Treasurer. We were not able to work out an interview time with Fitch, but at yesterday's Hobnob event, she talked about why she wants to be the next Attorney General of Mississippi. State Treasurer Lynn Fitch is the Republican candidate for Attorney General. She faces the Democratic candidate, Jennifer Riley Collins on Tuesday's ballot.

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Segment 2: 

David McRae shares his well-known name with the former McRae's department store. The Mississippi-based company spend nearly a hundred years in operation before being sold in the mid-90s. McRae invokes the company's name, reputation, and even its logo, in his bid for state Treasurer. The Republican nominee talks with us about seeking what would be his first public office. 

The Democratic candidate for State Treasurer is Addie Lee Green. She had a long corporate career, which included years of union advocacy. It's experience, she says, that will help her look after the people's money. She faces Republican David McRae in Tuesday's election.