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This Hour: Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment

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DEATH PENALTY APPEAL-BYROM

Lawyers discuss bond in death penalty retrial

IUKA, Miss. (AP) - Former death row inmate Michelle Byrom's attorney says a judge could consider whether to release her on bond while she awaits her second trial in her husband's death in 1999.

But David Calder of Oxford tells The Clarion-Ledger that Byrom could not post even a $10,000 bond.

Byrom was sent to the Tishomingo County jail after the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned her capital murder conviction on March 31, ordering a new trial.

Calder says her health problems include lupus, arthritis and hip troubles, and she uses a wheelchair.

Longtime defense lawyer John White of Iuka says that counties historically have not wanted to pay medical expenses for seriously ill people who don't pose a threat to society. He says keeping Byrom in jail would be expensive.

MEDICAL KICKBACKS SCHEME

Retrial ordered in Tri-Lakes scheme

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge has ordered a new trial on some charges against two men convicted in 2011 for a kickback-bribery scheme at the Tri-Lakes Medical Center in Batesville.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the order was issued this past week by U.S. District Court Judge Neal B. Biggers.

Biggers ordered a retrial for Lee Garner on three counts of fraud and one count of bribery. He ordered a new trial for businessman Ray Shoemaker on two counts of fraud and one count of bribery.

Biggers says new trials are necessary because the government didn't make public the indictment of their star witness until the trial was essentially over.

Shoemaker is currently serving a 55-month sentence on other counts in the scheme.

Garner has not been given jail time.

LOWNDES CO FATALITIES

3 die in weekend accident in Lowndes County

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) - Three people have died and two have been injured in a weekend accident in Lowndes County.

Coroner Greg Merchant says the one-vehicle accident occurred between midnight and 1 a.m. Sunday on a county road.

Merchant says three people were pronounced dead at the scene. They were 22-year-old Tyler Nelson Thompson, 32-year-old Dontay Orlando Evans and 40-year-old Eddie Lee, all of Columbus.

Two other passengers were transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Columbus. Merchant says the injuries are not life-threatening.

Authorities say the car missed a curve, ran off the road and hit a tree.

The accident is under investigation.

GAUTIER VETERAN HONORED

Aug. 9 honors planned for injured Gautier veteran

GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) - A city-wide celebration is in the works in Gautier (go-shay) for a veteran who lost both legs and an arm in the war in Afghanistan.

WLOX-TV reports that Gautier High School graduate Anthony McDaniel was injured in 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device.

Several Gautier citizens said he needed to be honored with a special day in his hometown. So, they partnered with Gautier leaders and The American Legion Post 1992 to plan a big celebration.

The event will be held at a park where McDaniel played sports.

McDaniel, who joined the Marines after high school, currently lives in California. He plans to return home for the Aug. 9 celebration.

ELLISVILLE ELECTION

3 seek alderman seat in Ellisville

ELLISVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Three candidates will be on the ballot Aug. 12 in a special election to fill a seat on the Board of Aldermen in Ellisville.

WDAM-TV in Laurel reports the seat became vacant when James Holifield retired from the board in June 30.

The candidates are Lynn Buckhaults, Reggie Richardson and Danny Shows.

A runoff if needed would be Aug. 26.

MCCOMB WATER RATES

City water rates to increase

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - The city of McComb is increasing water rates for the second time in a year.

The Board of Selectmen approved a 2.25 percent monthly increase this past week. It will take effect Oct. 1.

The Enterprise-Journal reports selectmen raised rates by 4 percent in September.

Last year, public works director Phillip Russell recommended a large increase the first year followed by smaller increases the next five years.

At that time, city administrator Quordiniah Lockley said the rate increases were necessary to cover projected expenses.

WASHINGTON CO SPORTSPLEX

Project supervisor hired for sportsplex

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - The Washington County Board of Supervisors has hired Hooker Engineering Services Inc. to take charge of completing construction of a multi-sport, multi-field complex on 90 acres south of the local convention center.

Sportsplex Foundation Vice President Britt Virden told the supervisors this past week that Hooker's hiring will help the project move forward. Plans are to open by the fall.

The Delta Democrat Times reports the county will continue to oversee sportsplex leasing while Hooker Engineering will handle everything else.

Officials say Hooker Engineering has been working on the sportsplex since 2008, mostly voluntarily.

The project is to include 17 soccer fields, 10 baseball fields, concession stands and parking areas.

Officials say the $20 million project is expected to attract a large number of teams and fans.

'GET ON UP' TOUR MAP

Natchez CVB working on 'Get On Up' movie tour map

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Natchez officials are developing a tour map to take visitors to locations where the James Brown biopic "Get On Up" was filmed.

Natchez Convention and Visitor's Bureau Interim Director Creda Stewart tells The Natchez Democrat the tour is designed as a self-guided walking tour.

"Get on Up" was filmed in 21 locations in Natchez. Stewart says the brochures will have a combination of historic information and also trivia from the filming of the movie.

Stewart says the tour is aimed at visitors looking for something to do and see around Natchez, but the tour could grow depending on feedback.

Carol Ann Riley is designing the brochure. She says locations would be finalized once she knows what is actually in the movie, which will be released nationally on Aug. 1.

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