Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 4:20 p.m. CDT


Virus: Some critical of Reeves handling of state's response

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Not everyone is happy with how Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is managing the state's response to the new coronavirus outbreak. The former director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, told The Sun Herald he can't believe what Reeves has and has not done in following the Trump administration's lead in the crisis. Lee Smithson says he's frustrated and believes the governor's decision not to impose a shelter-in-place order will force health care providers to decide who lives and who dies because there won't be enough bed space as the state's number of infections and deaths continue to rise.


Living outside lockdown: Barbers, beauty shops still open

ELGIN, S.C. (AP) — While much of the United States is living on lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, several Southern states are resisting. Governors in Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina have refused to issue stay-at-home orders even as leaders in the biggest city in each state passed ordinances closing everything but essential businesses like grocery stores. But even in those places, the rules cause confusion. In Charleston, South Carolina, dry cleaners and animal groomers are essential businesses while nail salons, barber shops and gyms are not. Small businesses considered nonessential say the governors are the only thing between them and financial ruin.


Missing man’s body found in Mississippi lake

TCHULA, Miss. (AP) — Authorities have pulled the body of a man reported missing from a Mississippi lake. Holmes County Deputy Coroner Ruby Redmond says 35-year-old Anthony Lee Taylor was found in Tchula Lake on Thursday. Taylor had been missing since March 18. Authorities say his death is being investigated as a homicide.   Anthony Lee Taylor, 35, was found in Tchula Lake on Thursday, said Taylor was reported missing March 18


Reeves announces disaster aid for February severe weather

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi businesses and residents who were hurt by Pearl River flooding in February are now eligible to receive disaster assistance. Gov. Tate Reeves, in a news release Thursday, said the U.S. Small Business Administration approved his request to make low-interest loans available to those affected by flooding from Feb. 10 through Feb. 14. The declaration covers Attala, Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds, Holmes, Leake, Madison,  Rankin, Scott, Simpson, Warren and Yazoo counties. Applicants may apply online or call the SBA's help center.


Mississippi eases graduation and third-grade rules for virus

Mississippi's education leaders moved to ease the way for seniors to graduate and third graders to move on to fourth grade in the face of closed schools. The state Board of Education already voted last week to halt all state standardized tests and make schools keep their same A-to-F ratings as last year. High school students will earn graduation credits for incomplete courses, and seniors will be allowed to graduate if they meet other typical requirements. The board also agreed Thursday that third graders won’t have to pass a standardized test of reading skills and can advance to fourth grade if they meet other requirements.


Fears for civil rights mount amid fight against coronavirus

CHICAGO (AP) — Growing numbers of Americans say state and federal governments are starting to trample civil rights in the name of public health during the coronavirus outbreak. Those already making that case include a church-goer in New Hampshire who filed a lawsuit arguing that prohibitions against large gatherings violate her religious rights. Most civil libertarians are concerned but aren't yet sounding alarm bells. Public health lawyer Larry Gostin says measures to date aren't draconian. But he says he fears leaders could resort to increasingly harsh methods that cross constitutional bounds if the crisis drags on.