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Silver Alert issued for West Point man

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James Kelly Unger III (photo courtesy MBI)

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has issued a Silver Alert for 68-year-old James Kelly Unger III of West Point, Mississippi, in Clay County.

Unger is a white male, 5-feet 9-inches tall, weighing 185 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes.

He was last seen Tuesday, Nov. 3, at about 4:30 a.m. in the 600 block of Grove Street in Clay County.

Unger is believed to be in a 2012 white Ford Escape bearing Mississippi license plate CYB6331 and traveling in an unknown direction.

Family members say he suffers from a medical condition that may impair his judgement.

If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of James Kelly Unger III contact the West Point Police Department at 662-494-5154.

Crime

Arrest made in Friday night homicide on Elizabeth Circle

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Cornell Miles, (photo courtesy of Vicksburg Police Dept)

Vicksburg police have made an arrest in the Friday night slaying of 19-year-old A’Treio Makis Richards on Elizabeth Circle.

Cornell Antonio Miles, 32, was taken into custody at 11:18 a.m. Monday at Tyson Foods, 1785 Interplex Circle.

Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace along with several deputies and Vicksburg Police officers arrested Miles at the plant, and he was transported to the Vicksburg Police Department. Miles’ vehicle was seized as potential evidence in the investigation.

Police were called to Richard’s shooting in the 100 block of Elizabeth Circle at 8:50 p.m. Friday. When they arrived, they found Richards had been fatally shot in his upper left chest and was lying in the street. The deputy county coroner pronounced him dead at the scene.

Police say the shooting came about as a result of a fight at LD’s Kitchen that occurred Oct. 6. Whether it is connected with the shooting that happened at LD’s that night has yet to be determined. Three people were shot at LD’s and one, Wade Carter Jr., died as a result of his wounds. The suspect wanted in connection with the LD’s shooting, James Earl Winters, 29, is still at large.

Miles is charged with one count of first degree murder in connection with the Richards homicide and will be arraigned in Vicksburg Municipal Court Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 1 p.m. He will remain in custody until that time.

Miles was convicted in 2010 of aggravated assault and sentenced to three years in the Mississippi Department of Corrections by Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick for a 2006 incident that also occurred in Vicksburg.

Investigator Tillman Clifton has been the lead investigator on this case for the Vicksburg Police Department. Lt. Johnnie Edwards, CID Commander, credits Crime Stoppers tips for the information that lead to Miles’ arrest. No additional arrests are anticipated at this time.

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COVID-19

Pfizer says its vaccine is 90% effective in early testing

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(Image by Felipe Esquivel Reed, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=87846813)

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, located in New York City, and its German partner BioNTech announced Monday that their COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be 90% effective in large-scale early testing.

The testing involved more than 43,000 people in the U.S. and other countries. No safety concerns have been observed, according to a press release from Pfizer. Some study participants received a placebo instead of the vaccine, and the results indicate those who contracted the virus during the testing period were given the placebo.

The company expects to submit its Emergency Use Authorization application to the federal Food and Drug Administration during the third week in November.

“Today is a great day for science and humanity. The first set of results from our Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial provides the initial evidence of our vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19,” said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO in the release. “We are reaching this critical milestone in our vaccine development program at a time when the world needs it most with infection rates setting new records, hospitals nearing over-capacity and economies struggling to reopen. With today’s news, we are a significant step closer to providing people around the world with a much-needed breakthrough to help bring an end to this global health crisis. We look forward to sharing additional efficacy and safety data generated from thousands of participants in the coming weeks.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the results “really quite good. I mean extraordinary,” according to The Washington Post.

The FDA requires at least 50% effectiveness for an EUA, while Fauci said he wanted to see 70% to 80% effectiveness in a COVID-19 vaccine.

Pfizer, which says it will provide the vaccine for free, expects to have some 50 million doses of the vaccine available this year for worldwide distribution, and another 1.3 billion doses in 2021, reports The Hill magazine.

Public health officials will be providing vaccines to highest-risk groups first, including health care workers, first responders and the elderly, who are most susceptible to dying from the virus. The consensus is that general distribution may not occur until well into 2021.

The Trump administration is taking credit for breakthrough, although a top scientist with Pfizer said the company did not take part in the administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” program, which provided funds to several companies for vaccine development.

“We were never part of the Warp Speed. We have never taken any money from the U.S. government, or from anyone,” Kathrin Jansen, the company’s vice president for vaccine research, told The New York Times.

Although Pfizer did not take any government funds for developing the vaccine, it did reach a manufacturing and distribution deal with the administration for $1.95 billion “for large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States following the vaccine’s successful manufacture and approval.”

COVID-19 is spiking across the nation and around the globe. The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. reached 111,775 cases per day Monday, and nearly 240,000 Americans have died from the virus. Worldwide cumulative reported cases are over 50 million with more than 1.2 million deaths.

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COVID-19

Mississippi’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is over 900 Monday

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Mississippi’s seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases is over 900 cases daily as of Monday.

Nationally, new cases of the virus continue to rise with 103,657 reported Sunday, pushing the cumulative total over 10 million. The national seven-day average for cases is 111,175, up by 59% over the previous two-week period, and deaths are up 14% with a seven-day average over 800.

In Warren County, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported one new COVID-19 case Sunday and three Monday, and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,618, and the county’s death toll is 56.

Statewide, MSDH reported 804 new COVID-19 cases Sunday and 516 cases Monday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 127,205. The seven-day average of new cases is 905.7, about 317 cases higher than 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 Sunday that 10 more Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. No new deaths were reported Monday. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,443. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.7%.

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.

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6. 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 tripled by late July.

Hospitalizations then steadily dropped through Oct. 3 when they began rising again along with increased cases. The last week in October, hospitalizations began levelling off.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, was 710, well over half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 619 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 91 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 177 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 74 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 105,839 through Sunday, Nov. 1. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 83.2% of the cumulative 127,205 cases reported as of Monday, Nov. 9.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Monday, Oct. 19, was 1,521, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,465, or about 90.5% of the 1,618 cumulative cases reported as of Monday, Nov. 9. The county has an estimated 97 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, Nov. 7 (the latest statewide testing results reported by MSDH), is 1,105,638 or about 37.2% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without daily updated numbers of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 15.8% Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 8%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 105 Monday. About 39.1%, or 1,347, 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. 25.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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