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What Are You're Voting On? (Initiative 27)




clicking here. Initiative 31, known as the “Eminent Domain Amendment,” will amend the constitution to further limit the government’s ability to force you from your land.  Learn more by clicking here. The last initiative we will look at, the last one to look at, is… Initiative 27 – The “Voter ID” Amendment This amendment would require the presentation of some form of government issued photo identification at your polling place. Proponents of the initiative claim that it will all but eliminate fraudulent votes from being cast in state, county and local elections by requiring the use of an identification card to cast your ballot. Opponents of the legislation claim that it will place an undue hardship on some people, mainly those living on limited or low income, racial and ethnic minorities, and the elderly.   Opponents also argue that requiring an ID will disenfranchise many black voters, citing the fact that blacks have been prevented from voting in past Mississippi elections, especially in the 1960’s and earlier. To retort those claims, proponents point out that the amendment will provide exceptions for certain residents of state-licensed care facilities and religious objectors from being required to show photo identification in order to vote.  The state will also provide, at no cost, an identification card to any person who applies.  This is where the cost of the amendment comes into play. The State of Mississippi stands to lose about $2 million if Initiative 27 passes.  Those figures are based on the fiscal analysis prepared by the Mississippi Legislative Budget Office.  There were just over 107,000  photo identification cards issued to Mississippians of voting age in 2010.  Each ID costs the recipient $14.oo and is dispensed to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety.  Should this initiative pass, the state will lose that revenue because the DPS will no longer be able to assess the cost of the ID to the recipient. The fiscal analysis prepared by the MLBO only lists about $1.5 million in lost revenue, but factoring in the actual cost of the ID minus the $14 assesment leaves a total of $3.92 that the state pays for each ID.  When the actual cost of the ID ($17.92) by the number of those IDs issued, you come closer to the actual cost of the initiative which we estimate to be approximately $2 million. The main pro initiative website is: We could not find a website dedicated to opposing the initiative, but would like you to read the op-ed piece posted by ___ of the Jackson Free Press. Find that article by clicking here. Click here to read the actual text of the initiative and selected arguments for and against the proposed amendment.]]]]> ]]>

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Zeta expected to reach hurricane strength before making landfall



Source: NOAA / NHC

The unnamed system located south of Cuba last week is now Tropical Storm Zeta. It will very likely be Hurricane Zeta before making landfall on the Gulf Coast later this week.

The storm will bring hurricane-force wind and rain to Mexico’s northern Yucatan peninsula Monday night and into Tuesday. Zeta is then expected to accelerate toward the Gulf Coast, including Mississippi, by Wednesday.

Zeta is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength when it approaches the northern Gulf Coast Wednesday, and there is an increasing risk of storm surge, rainfall and wind impacts from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle. Residents in these areas should monitor the progress of Zeta and updates to the forecast.

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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.

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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.

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