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City council gives quick OK to Margaritaville Casino




BILOXI — The Biloxi City Council didn’t want to wait another week to advance plans for Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Casino & Restaurant Biloxi. The first reading of the proposal came during the 1:30 p.m. meeting yesterday, and once that adjourned, the council opened a special meeting and approved the plan. The design calls for a seaplane hanging from the ceiling and a shrimp boat and volcano in the bar. The developer’s attorney, Mike Cavanaugh, tells The Sun Herald he hopes in about a month to take the project to the Mississippi Gaming Commission, the last step before construction. If work can begin by April, Cavanaugh said, the developers should be able to meet their goal and open Margaritaville by or before New Year’s Eve this year.]]]]> ]]>

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801 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Mississippi; seven-day average a third higher than last month



New COVID-19 cases remain high in Mississippi, with the seven-day average one-third higher than it was at this time in September.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported five new COVID-19 cases Wednesday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,532, and the county’s death toll is 55.

Statewide, MSDH reported 801 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 112,123. The seven-day average of new cases is 758, higher by 253 cases, about one-third, from a month ago.

Most new cases are seen in younger people recently, and they are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. By far, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are young people from 18 to 29 years old.

MSDH reported Wednesday that 21 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,223. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.9%.

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 21 deaths MSDH reported Wednesday, 12 occurred between Aug. 11 and Oct. 19 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Wednesday
Forrest 1
Hinds 3
Jackson 2
Jones 1
Lauderdale 1
Lincoln 1
Panola 1
Pearl River 1
Washington 1

Nine COVID-19 related deaths occurred between Aug. 19 and Oct. 14, identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Clarke 1
George 1
Issaquena 1
Jones 1
Lauderdale 2
Perry 1
Washington 1
Itawamba 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20. 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 nearly tripled by late July. They leveled off in early August and began noticeably dropping in the middle of the month including critical cases and numbers of people requiring ventilators. Hospitalizations continued to drop in September but levelled off at the middle of the month. They dropped again through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations have been showing a rise since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, is 653, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 541 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 112 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 151 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 70 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 97,675 through Sunday, Oct. 11. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 87.1% of the cumulative 112,123 cases reported Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Wednesday, Sept. 30, was 1,418, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,363, or about 89% of the 1,532 cumulative cases reported as of Wednesday, Oct. 21. The county has an estimated 114 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 Thursday, Oct. 15, is 900,479 or about 30.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average) was 17.8% Tuesday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5.5%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 127 Tuesday. About 40.1%, or 1,293, 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 here. The latest data available is for the week ending Oct. 4.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Mississippi’s absentee voting in 2020 outpacing 2016



The number of requested absentee ballots this year has already outpaced the number of absentee ballots cast in 2016.

In the last presidential election, Mississippians requested 110,812 ballots. Circuit clerks sent out 110,810 ballots and received 102,915. Of those, 101,339 were accepted.

This year, as of Sunday, Oct. 18, voters requested 120,253 absentee ballots and 115,848 ballots have been sent. Clerks have received 89,499 absentee ballots according to Secretary of State Michael Watson.

The in person absentee voting deadline is Saturday, Oct. 31, at 5 p.m. All mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, and received within five business days of the election to be counted.

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Investigator Carlton Phillips is Deputy of the Quarter for Claiborne County Sheriff Department



Claiborne County Sheriff Edward Goods and Carlton Phillips (photo courtesy CCSO)

Investigator Carlton Phillips with the Claiborne County Sheriff Department has received the Deputy of the Quarter Award for the first quarter of 2020.

This award recognizes department employees who have provided exemplary service to the community or performed in a manner worthy of recognition. This award is the result of a peer nomination and action by the supervisory and leadership team of the Claiborne County Sheriff Department.

Phillips started his law enforcement career with the Port Gibson Police Department in June 2018. He attended the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy in September 2018 and graduated in November 2018 with top scores. Phillips started working with the Claiborne County Sheriff Department as a part-time deputy. A short while later Phillips was promoted to investigator

Investigator Carlton Phillips is the recipient of this award for the first quarter of 2020 due to his diligence, tenacity, professionalism and self-motivation investigating felony incidents that occurred during the first quarter of 2020, according to Sheriff Edward Goods. In addition, Investigator Phillips is being recognized for his proactive approach to crime prevention.

During the first quarter of 2020, Phillips was recognized for the following incidents:

  1. Investigator Phillips conducted an auto burglary investigation involving a local citizen. Phillips’ rapid response and immediate investigation identified a suspect and subsequently resulted in locating the vehicle.
  2. While conducting a self-initiated special attention check, Investigator Phillips observed a large crowd that had gathered in the parking lot behind the police after a party. Upon further investigation, Phillips saw a male inside a vehicle with the alarm going off. After Phillips tried to stop the suspect, he fled on foot. Phillips gave chase and apprehended the individual. At the time of the arrest, Investigator Phillips recovered large amount of drugs from the suspect and was able to contact the owners of vehicle. Investigator Phillips’ actions demonstrated true courage and selflessness in protecting our community
  3. While working with the Mississippi Agricultural Theft Bureau, Investigator Phillips along with Investigator Major Troy Kimble recovered several stolen vehicles and heavy-duty equipment.

“The Claiborne County Sheriff Department is proud to recognize Investigator Carlton Phillips with this award,” said Deputy Chief Christy Sykes in a statement. “In addition to the noteworthy actions and incidents listed above, Investigator Carlton Phillips excelled in conducting self-initiated investigation activities that have resulted in preventing crime and improving community relations with those we all are proud to serve and protect.”

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