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MDOC moving inmates to privately owned facility

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Story by Michelle Lui, Mississippi Today

The Mississippi Department of Corrections is moving state inmates to a privately operated prison in Tallahatchie County following recent outbursts of deadly violence in multiple Mississippi prisons.

Sources in the law enforcement community confirmed the transfers to the Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility to Mississippi Today.

The number of prisoners who have been moved and when the transfers began are unclear.

Officials with the corrections department and Gov. Phil Bryant’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday morning.

Nashville-based CoreCivic currently owns and operates the prison, located in the town of Tutwiler, south of Clarkesdale. A spokeswoman for CoreCivic referred questions about the matter to the state department of corrections.

(Editor’s note: Mississippi Today board member and donor Charles Overby has served on the CoreCivic board of directors since December 2001.)

Mississippi’s beleaguered corrections system has garnered increased scrutiny in the new year as reports surfaced of deadly fights among prisoners at several facilities, including Parchman and South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville. Several civil rights groups and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson have requested a U.S. Justice Department investigation into the prison system.

CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America, has owned the facility since 2000. The company is one of the country’s two largest correctional firms and the company has prospered in recent years as President Donald Trump has promised a tough-on-crime agenda, including immigration and immigrant detention.

The facility began housing federal immigration detainees in the summer of 2018.

In 2013, CoreCivic (then CCA) lost its contract with the state of Mississippi to operate the 1,000-bed Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. The contract was awarded to Utah-based private operator MTC instead, then the only prison contractor for state-owned facilities.

CoreCivic has donated to the campaigns of both Bryant and his incoming successor Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves in recent elections. In 2015, the company donated $1,000 to each campaign. Last year, CoreCivic contributed $1,000 to Reeves’s gubernatorial campaign; the company did not contribute to the campaign of Reeves’s Democratic opponent, Jim Hood, per records from the National Institute on Money in Politics.

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Vicksburg Firefighters quickly extinguish apartment fire

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Firefighters at the Shadow Cliff Apartment fire. (Photo by Tommy Parker)

Vicksburg firefighters quickly extinguished a stove top fire at the Shadow Cliff Apartments on Alcorn Drive Monday Night.

 

At 10:08 p.m. a fire was reported at the apartments that sit between the New Main apartments and Greater Grove Missionary Church. Alcorn Drive was shut down as firefighters worked to supply water to the fire.

The resident, who is visually impaired, smelled smoke and did exactly what firefighters and Chief Danczyk recommend – if you smell smoke call 911.

The resident had left something on the stove and it burned, creating the smoke.

“I always take fire calls seriously. Several years ago I answered a call where there were children still in a house. I had to put them out of a window then follow them out. This one turned out well in that no one was injured. Don’t hesitate if you think you have a fire. Dial 911 and get out!” explained a passionate Eric Paymon, Adam 3 with the Vicksburg Police Department.

Battalion 1, Platform 1, Ladder 3, Rescue, Fire Medics and numerous Vicksburg police officers including Adam 3, responded to the fire.

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China Grove temporarily closed due to an accident

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The Kia Forte and utility pole. (photo by Tommy Parker)

At 9:06 p.m. Monday night, a call came into the 911 call center of a single vehicle accident at 2060 China Grove Road. The impact took out power to the area and created a hazardous situation with power lines on the ground.

 

The area between Gibson Road and Nine Mile Cutoff will be closed while the wreck is cleaned up.

A utility pole was knocked down by the impact of the vehicle that ended up on its roof. Power to the immediate area is out and there are power lines on the ground. About 10 homes are without power according to Entergy.

The Kia Forte with full air bag deployment with electric wires on it. (Photo by Tommy Parker)

The driver of the grey Kia Forte suffered only minor injuries. He was checked out by first responders and released at the scene.

Daniel Thomas is working the accident for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office being assisted by Deputies Cordell Watkins and Thomas McBride . Responding to the accident were Fire Boss Jerry Briggs, Fisher Ferry Chief Mitch Lange along with Tim Wood and Robin Knighton of the Fisher Ferry fire department who worked the accident scene from Engine 303.

First responders and Warren County Fire Boss Jerry Briggs are requesting you avoid the area until the accident scene is deemed safe.

 

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City says gas smell poses no danger

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(Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay)

Numerous Vicksburg residents have reported a strong odor similar to natural gas in the city.

City officials say the smell is apparently due to a release on the harbor, and that it poses no danger.

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Vicksburg
30°
Clear
6:47am4:58pm CST
Feels like: 30°F
Wind: 1mph E
Humidity: 100%
Pressure: 30.26"Hg
UV index: 0
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55/32°F
63/45°F
55/39°F

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