Connect with us


House will sue Gov. Reeves over vetoes, setting up another clash between GOP leaders



MIssissippi State Capitol. (Photo by formulanone from Huntsville, United States [CC BY-SA 2.0 (

Members of the Mississippi House are expected to file a lawsuit, as early as Wednesday, challenging Gov. Tate Reeves’ partial veto of a bill spending federal COVID-19 relief funds.

Legislative sources said lawmakers also are considering reconvening in Jackson as early as next week to consider overriding some of Reeves’ five vetoes he issued in early July, including his partial veto of the K-12 education budget.

The looming lawsuit and return to Jackson sets up yet another clash between Republican legislative leaders and the Republican governor.

Earlier this year, Reeves sparred with House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, who presides over the Senate, over who should get spending authority of $1.2 billion in federal coronavirus relief funds. The Legislature prevailed. Lawmakers also bucked the will of Reeves when they voted to remove the state flag in June.

Reeves’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Legislators have been waiting for Reeves to call them back in special session to deal at least with Reeves’ partial veto of the education budget and to pass a budget bill for the Department of Marine Resources. DMR was not funded before the Legislature left July 1 because of a disagreement between the House and Senate over Reeves’ authority to spend millions in Gulf restoration funds.

The Constitution gives the governor sole authority to call a special session. But this year legislators passed a resolution giving Gunn and Hosemann the authority to reconvene the Legislature to take up COVID-19 issues. Once in session, if approved by two-thirds of the members, legislators could take up essentially any issue. A two-thirds vote also would be required for any veto override.

There has been speculation about whether Reeves’ partial veto of a bill appropriating federal funds to hospitals and other healthcare providers is constitutional.

The state Constitution gives a governor some line-item veto power, but the parameters of that power have been debated for years and the subject of legal challenges in past administrations. The state Supreme Court has ruled that those line-item veto powers are limited.

“I would want to more thoroughly research it … but when I read the bill with that in mind, it seemed the veto  was unconstitutional based on the latest precedent in the Leflore County private prisons case,” said Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory. Bryan was referring to an early 2000s case when the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional a partial by then-Gov. Ronnie Musgrove of money going to private prisons.

Bryan, chair of the Senate Public Health Committee, was one of the key architects in the final days of June as legislators finished their work and adjourned after passing the bill to spend $130 million in funds to help health care providers, such as hospitals, and other entities, such as food pantries, with their work fighting the coronavirus. The money was part of $1.25 billion the state received in the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Reeves vetoed $2 million lawmakers directed to the shuttered North Oak Regional Medical Center in Senatobia and $6 million earmarked to the MAGnet Community Health Center to study and try to combat health disparities, such as combating the high impact COVID-19 has inflicted on the African American community. The spending was part of a $130 million bill directing CARES Act money to Mississippi health care and hospitals.

Reeves argued the hospital should not receive the money because it was closed and thus not dealing with coronavirus patients. He also said he was not familiar with the group receiving the funds to try to curb health disparities.

The money for the Senatobia hospital would only be available if reopened before the end of the year. The hospital is located in the district of Republican House Ways and Means Chairman Trey Lamar, who over the years has been at odds with Reeves over numerous issues, dating back to Reeves’ terms as lieutenant governor.

In the early 2000s, Musgrove vetoed a portion of the appropriations bill for the Department of Corrections that provided money to operate a private prison in Leflore County.

The court, in a 5-2 ruling, said the governor could not veto restrictions on how those funds were spent. In a complex legal opinion, the Court ruled that Musgrove would have had to vetoed the entire section of the bill providing funds for the Greenville prison.

Bryan was a plaintiff in the 1990s when the Supreme Court ruled then-Gov. Kirk Foridice unconstitutionally vetoed portions of both appropriations and bond bills issuing long-term debt for the state.

This article first appeared on Mississippi Today and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.


Kevin Roberts opens his second Fit Chef store in Madison



Kevin Roberts and his new Fit Chef store in Madison. (photos courtesy Kevin Roberts)

Vicksburg resident Kevin Roberts is opening a new Fit Chef location in Madison, Mississippi, next week.

The new Fit Chef is Roberts’ second location. The store promotes a healthy eating lifestyle and offers healthy prepared meals and catering. The grand opening of the new Fit Chef is Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 111 Dees Drive in Madison.

The first Fit Chef is located at 3401 Halls Ferry Road in Roberts hometown of Vicksburg and is popular among local residents.

Roberts has plenty to keep him busy. He is also the owner of The Chopping Block, an axe throwing arcade located at 1504 Washington St. in downtown Vicksburg, which he opened earlier this year.

Roberts is hoping that his second Fit Chef location will have as much success as the first one as he continues to expand the Fit Chef brand.

Continue Reading


Mississippi reports 1,212 new COVID-19 cases Saturday as U.S. sets new one-day high



Mississippi’s cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 115,000 Saturday, with another day of more than 1,000 cases reported.

On Friday, the U.S. reported 83,757 new cases, a new one-day high, according to Johns Hopkins University. At the peak of the summer surge, the U.S. reported 77,362 new cases of COVID-19 on July 16, reports USA Today. Nearly every state in the union is reporting increased cases, and experts predict that this surge could be more deadly and last longer than the summer surge because the virus circulates easier in colder weather.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported five new COVID-19 cases Saturday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,548, and the county’s death toll is 55.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,212 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 115,088. The seven-day average of new cases is 726, higher by 244 cases 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 Saturday that 17 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,255. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.8%.

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 17 deaths MSDH reported Saturday, 13 occurred between Oct. 19 and Oct. 23 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Saturday
Adams 1
Benton 1
Coahoma 1
Covington 1
Harrison 1
Leake 1
Lee 1
Monroe 1
Panola 1
Pontotoc 1
Tallahatchie 1
Wayne 1
Yazoo 1

Four COVID-19 related deaths reported Saturday occurred between Sept. 22 and Oct. 17 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Lauderdale 1
Madison 1
Pearl River 1
Prentiss 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. 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 rising since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, is 701, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 597 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 104 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 158 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 84.9% of the cumulative 115,088 cases reported Saturday, Oct. 24.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Saturday, Oct. 3, was 1,428, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,373, or about 88.7% of the 1,548 cumulative cases reported as of Saturday, Oct. 24. The county has an estimated 120 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, Oct. 10, is 900,479 or about 30.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without an updated number of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 16.6% Thursday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5.8%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 133 Saturday. About 40.1%, or 1,304, 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. 11.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

Continue Reading


Happening today: Turn in your unused prescriptions on Take Back Day Saturday



The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday, Oct. 24, at locations across the country.

In Vicksburg and Warren County, event locations will be staffed by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office or the Vicksburg Police Department from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

  • Outlets of Vicksburg, 4000 S. Frontage Road
  • Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 3341 Halls Ferry Road
  • WalMart, 2150 Iowa Blvd.

The nationwide event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.

Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

“The initiative – now in its 10th year – addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea in a statement. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Together with our partners, we are not only holding National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, but offering other ways to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications.”

Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors at any time throughout the year. Search for those sites at

DEA also encourages the public to reach out to their local law enforcement to find out if they have any permanent drug disposal locations throughout their local community.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms. DEA will also accept vape pens or other electronic cigarette devices from individual consumers, only after the batteries are removed from the devices. If the battery cannot be removed, individual consumers can check with large electronic chain stores who may accept the vape pen or e-cigarette devices for proper disposal. Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find other collection sites near you, visit

Continue Reading

7:15am6:19pm CDT
Feels like: 61°F
Wind: 5mph WNW
Humidity: 85%
Pressure: 30.01"Hg
UV index: 2




Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!