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Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves to retire

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Col. Kevin Reeves (photo source: LSP)

Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the retirement of Col. Kevin Reeves from the Louisiana State Police after 30 years of service. Reeves has been planning his retirement since last year and it will be effective Friday, Oct. 30. A replacement will be named in the coming days.

“I am deeply grateful to Col. Reeves for his decades of dedicated service as the consummate law enforcement professional committed to serving and protecting the people of Louisiana. Public safety has always been his highest priority,” Edwards said in a statement. “I have appreciated his partnership and counsel for the past several years as superintendent, especially as Louisiana has navigated cybersecurity incidents, natural disasters, peaceful protests and the COVID pandemic. Throughout his career with Louisiana State Police, from his early time on motorcycle patrols to his promotion to superintendent, Col. Reeves has been a model of professionalism. His experience made him a steady and strong leader in trying times, and I personally thank him and, on behalf of the state of Louisiana, I wish him and his family well in his much-deserved retirement.”

“It has truly been an honor to serve as superintendent of the Louisiana State Police and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Public Safety,” Col. Reeves said. “I am forever grateful to Gov. Edwards for having the faith and confidence in me and, more importantly, for the support he provides the men and women of the Louisiana State Police. As humbling as this opportunity has been, my greatest professional accomplishment remains the title of trooper, a title I have the honor of sharing with the over 1,100 men and women who wear our badge. Throughout my career, I have advocated for the men and women of the Louisiana State Police and the heroic work they do each and every day. They will always be family. As I reflect on my career, one thing is for certain, none of this would have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, and I look forward to heading back to north Louisiana and spending more time with them.”

Reeves was appointed the 25th superintendent of the Louisiana State Police in March 2017. Reeves’ career with LSP started in 1990 as a trooper on motorcycle patrols for Troop A in Baton Rouge. His career in the State Police brought him to Troop F in Monroe in 1993, where he served as a squad leader for the mobile field force and as a case agent and undercover agent on many narcotics investigations and operations for the Bureau of Investigations. In 2008, he was promoted to troop commander of Troop F before assuming the role of command inspector of patrol operations and commander of statewide mobile field force team in 2013.

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Mississippi VA announces changes to its annual Wreaths Across America ceremonies

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(photo courtesy MSVA)

This year, both State Veterans Memorial Cemeteries at Newton and Kilmichael will host private ceremonies for families with loved ones buried at both locations. The events will be held Saturday, Dec. 19, at 11 a.m.

“We must do our part to ensure that we keep as many Veteran families as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, and unfortunately, that means cutting back on the number of attendees at this year’s events”, said Mississippi VA Executive Director Stacey Pickering in a statement. “However, we feel that it is important to honor our resting heroes and allow their families to spend quality time at these hallowed grounds.”

Close to 1,260 Veterans and their families have chosen the State Veterans Memorial Cemeteries as their final resting place. For more information on both State Veterans Memorial Cemeteries, click here.

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‘Check Your Charity’ helps you be an informed giver

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(Photo by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Mississippians are known for their generosity, especially during the holiday season. During the last reporting year, Mississippi charities brought in roughly $1.7 billion. As we creep closer to Christmas, it’s important to remember the wisest giver is an informed giver. The annual “Check Your Charity” campaign encourages Mississippians to check the validity of a charity or organization on the secretary of state website before making a donation.

“Our Check Your Charity campaign aligns with one of our agency’s missions to make government more transparent,” said Secretary of State Michael Watson in a release. “We are committed to providing as much information as possible to shield Mississippians from scammers, not just during the holiday season but all year-round. This has been an incredibly challenging year for many families, and I am incredibly proud of the work our Charities Division is doing to protect Mississippians’ hard-earned money.”

All charitable organizations are required to register with the secretary of state’s office and renew yearly. Certain types of organizations are exempt from registration but are nevertheless required to file a notice of exemption with the secretary’s office.

Each year, the secretary’s office publishes a “Report on Charitable Organizations in Mississippi” to provide transparency and keep citizens informed of critical financial information regarding Mississippi charities. The annual report includes information such as total revenue, fundraising expenses and charitable purpose expenses.

Click here to view the 2020 Report on Charitable Organizations in Mississippi.

Mississippians should keep the following in mind when making decisions regarding charitable donations:

  • Check your charity. Use the “Charity Search” portal on the secretary of state website to verify the charity is registered with the State. Ask questions before giving and be sure to ask for answers in writing. Legitimate charities will always welcome your inquiries.
  • Avoid pressure tactics. You do not have to make a donation immediately; take time to evaluate the information provided by the charity.
  • Watch for similar names. Many charities have similar names. Often, scam artists intentionally use names resembling those of respected groups. Take a few extra minutes to research the charity online so you can be sure your donation goes to the right place.
  • Be wary of telephone calls. Always get the name of the person calling and the exact name and spelling of the charity. Ask if the caller is a professional fundraiser, and if they are, ask how much of your donation actually goes to the charity.
    • Consumer organizations recommend at least 65% of a charity’s total expenses be spent on program activities directly related to the charity’s purpose.
  • Verify mail solicitations. Be wary of mail containing novelty items you can keep “if you contribute.” Federal law states that unless you ordered the item, you can keep it without contributing.
  • Always get receipts. Receipts are vital for tax deductions and provide a tracking mechanism for donations. To be safe, always donate by credit card or check (directly to the charity).

Taking these extra steps will not only protect you, it will also ensure your donation goes to those who need it most. For more information, contact the Charities Division at 601-359-1599, or click here to send an email to one of the Charities team members.

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COVID-19

MS Health Department: Avoid social gatherings

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Due to the rapidly rising burden of COVID-19 cases, excessive hospitalizations and the high risk of COVID-19 infection in the community, the Mississippi State Department of Health  is issuing the following Public Health Guidance.

All residents of Mississippi should avoid any social gathering that includes individuals outside of the nuclear family or household. MSDH recommends that Mississippians only participate in work, school or other absolutely essential activities.

MSDH recommends that all Mississippians protect themselves and their families by avoiding public or social gatherings such as the following:

  • Social events or parties
  • Family gatherings outside of the household or nuclear family
  • Weddings
  • Funerals (other than close family and preferably outdoors)
  • Sporting events
  • In-person church services

MSDH reported nearly 2,500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with 28 in Warren County. Cases and hospitalizations are setting new records daily in Mississippi, with a new spike in deaths sure to follow.

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