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Alcorn State searching for two new basketball head coaches



Alcorn State University will part ways with Montez Robinson and Courtney Pruitt after five seasons of their coaching basketball.

Robinson is the head coach of the men’s team, and Pruitt was head coach of Alcorn’s women’s team for the past five seasons. Both teams have struggled over the past few years and the school has announced that their coaching contracts will not be renewed.

“We fully recognize and appreciate the commitment they made to Alcorn. These were very difficult decisions especially considering how they were both great mentors to their student-athletes. I thank them for their service and wish them the best in their future endeavors,” said director of athletics Derek Horne in a statement. “We have very high expectations for our basketball programs and will begin a national search immediately to identify their successors.”

The search for new coaches will start immediately.


905 new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday in Mississippi; hospitalizations rising quickly



Mississippi’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases remained above 1,000 cases per day Tuesday, with more than 900 cases reported. The total number of new cases reported so far in November (15,643) exceed all of those reported for the month of September and, at just barely over the half-month mark, the total is about 50% of the 31,500 cases reported in July, the peak of the summer surge. Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves brought the number of counties under masks mandates to 22.

As expected, when case counts go up, hospitalizations go up. Mississippians hospitalized for the virus stands at about 72% of summer’s peak.

Hospitals across the country have seen a 46% rise in COVID-19 patients in the past two weeks, following an 82% rise in new cases and leading a 40% rise in deaths. The seven-day average for new cases nationally is more than 155,000 per day.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported three new COVID-19 cases Tuesday and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,663, and the county’s death toll is 56.

Statewide, MSDH reported 905 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 135,803. The seven-day average of new cases is 1,095, about 328 higher than the seven-day average a month ago, and on par with numbers in late July and early August.

At the beginning of the crises, the age group with the most COVID-19 cases were those over 65. Now, most new cases are seen in younger people who are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. In September, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi were 18 to 24 years old. That has shifted to a slightly older group. In November, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are from 25 to 39 years old followed by those 50 to 64 years old.

MSDH reported Tuesday that 36 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,581. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.6%. This rate has dropped slightly as the number of cases are going up faster than the number of deaths at this time.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25.

Of the 36 deaths MSDH reported Tuesday, 19 occurred between Nov. 10 and Nov. 16 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Tuesday
Alcorn 1
Bolivar 1
Chickasaw 1
Desoto 1
Forrest 2
Jackson 4
Jasper 1
Jefferson Davis 1
Lee 1
Madison 1
Marshall 1
Panola 1
Rankin 1
Tate 1
Tippah 1

Seventeen COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Sept. 23 and Nov. 11 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified on death certificate reports
Copiah 1
Desoto 3
Greene 1
Grenada 1
Hancock 1
Harrison 3
Jackson 2
Leflore 1
Marshall 1
Panola 2
Simpson 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number rose steadily with the rise of new cases in July and August. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations tripled by late July.

Hospitalizations then steadily dropped through Oct. 3 when they began rising again along with increased cases. The last week in October, hospitalizations began levelling off; however, since Nov. 4 hospitals have seen a steady rise in COVID-19 patients once again.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, was 868, about 72% of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 775 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 93 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 201 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 93 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 116,683 through Sunday, Nov. 15. It represents about 85.9% of the cumulative 135,803 cases reported as of Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Tuesday, Oct. 27, was 1,560, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,504, or about 90.4% of the 1,663 cumulative cases reported as of Tuesday, Nov. 17. The county has an estimated 103 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Saturday, Nov. 14, is 1,165,593 or about 39.2% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. MSDH reports statewide test results once a week. Without daily updated numbers of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average); however, the rate was 18.8% Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 10%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 154 Tuesday. About 38.6%, or 1,382, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 26 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities.

MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data by provider here. The latest data available is for the week ending Nov. 1.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Couple wanted for kidnapping in Copiah County



Donald Free and Monica Barnett (photos courtesy CCSO)

Donald James Free, 25, and Monica Denise Barnett, 30, are wanted for the commission of a kidnapping in Copiah County in connection with an incident that occurred Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Authorities believe they are traveling in a white 2001 Nissan Altima 4-door sedan with Mississippi license plate JCA2783.

Free and Barnett are considered armed and dangerous.

If you come in contact or know the whereabouts of Free or Barnett, please contact the Copiah County Sheriff’s Office Investigations unit at 601-892-2023.

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Warren County had a 71% turnout on election day – election results



(Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash)

With all the votes now counted in Warren County, the results are quite different from those on Election Day.

When 4,689 absentee and affidavit ballots were added to the preliminary machine totals available on the evening of Nov. 3, the county switched from a Republican victory to a Democratic one.

The results also show record-breaking numbers. Of the 29,782 registered voters in Warren County, 21,170 cast ballots in the election for a whopping 71% turnout.

“It’s amazingly good,” said Sara Dionne, chair of the county’s election commission, of the turnout. In comparison, 63% of voters turned out in 2016 and 57% in 2012.

The numbers of absentee ballots set another record, more than doubling the number cast in 2016. Of 4,133 absentee ballots received in the county, 4,106 were accepted. In 2016, absentee ballots totaled 1,792.

This year, in every national race, Democrats won in Warren County.

In the race for U.S. House in District 2, incumbent Bennie Thompson, the Democratic incumbent, beat Republican challenger Brian Flowers 10,396 to 10,280. He remains the lone Democrat in Mississippi’s congressional delegation.

For the U.S. Senate seat, Democratic challenger Mike Espy won over Republican incumbent Cindy Hyde-Smith 10,853 to 9,912.

In the presidential race, the Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won over the incumbent GOP slate of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence 10,442 to 10,365.

Among the seven other challengers for the office of the presidency, no one garnered even 100 votes. The closest candidate was Libertarian Jo Jorgensen, who eked out 93 votes. Rapper Kanye West got 46. A total of 246 votes were cast for the seven third-party candidates.

The county tally has been sent to the secretary of state’s office for final certification.

See the final vote tally for Warren County (PDF).

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