Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 3:20 p.m. CST


Physician wins special election to become Pascagoula mayor

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — A family physician has been elected mayor of a city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Dr. Steve Demetropoulos defeated two candidates Tuesday in Pascagoula. They ran in a nonpartisan special election. Demetropoulos will be sworn in Feb. 18 to finish a four-year term that ends June 30, 2021. Former Mayor Dane Maxwell stepped down after being elected to the Mississippi Public Service Commission.


Grand jury clears officers in shooting of wanted felon

BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (AP) — Deputies involved in the shooting death of a wanted felon in Mississippi last year have been cleared of any criminal conduct. News outlets reported Tuesday that Hancock County deputies acted appropriately when they fatally shot 29-year-old Lawrence Bottoms in April. He had jumped from a second-story window after authorities deployed tear gas into the Bay St. Louis home where he was located. Officers opened fire after he ran into the woods and pulled out a handgun. Bottoms had been wanted on a charge of being a felon in possession of a gun out of East Baton Rouge Parish in Louisiana.


Police in Mississippi announce plan to reduce gun violence

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — Police in a Mississippi city plan to take more steps to reduce gun violence. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports the police chief of Tupelo says officers will increase searches of individuals and conduct safety checkpoints to get guns off the streets. There have been nine homicides in the city in the last 11 months. The city averaged about two homicides a year in the past 25 years. The plan comes after a 17-year-old girl who was an innocent bystander during a street fight was shot and killed. Police say safety checkpoints helped them seize over 200 guns in the first six months of 2017.


Ethics group: OK for board to invite some to closed session

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi ethics group says government boards can invite some members of the public to attend closed meetings. The Commercial Dispatch filed a complaint against the Lowndes County school board in November. That happened after the board held executive sessions to interview people who wanted to become the superintendent of schools. The board asked 15 members of the public to attend the closed meeting. On Friday, the Mississippi Ethics Commission dismissed the newspaper's complaint. The commission says that under the Open Meetings law, a public board may invite some people into executive sessions if board members think their presence is needed.


Asian carp roundup in Kentucky opens new front in battle

GOLDEN POND, Ky. (AP) — A roundup of Asian carp on Kentucky Lake using 1,000-foot-long  nets is opening a new front in a 15-year battle to halt their advance. The invasive fish threaten to upend aquatic ecosystems, starve out native fish and wipe out endangered mussel and snail populations along the Mississippi River and dozens of tributaries. The Associated Press found that state and federal agencies together have spent roughly $607 million to stop them since 2004. Until recently most of the effort was focused on keeping them out of the Great Lakes. Now Southern states are becoming more active. Projects in the works are expected to push the price tag to about $1.5 billion over the next decade if Congress provides funds.


Possible jurors questioned in Mississippi case of 8 killings

HERNANDO, Miss. (AP) — Attorneys have been questioning potential jurors for the death penalty case of a Mississippi man accused of killing eight people. Tuesday was the second day of jury selection in the trial of Willie Cory Godbolt. Investigators said he went to his in-laws' home in May 2017 and argued with his estranged wife and her family over the couple's two children. A deputy was called. A witness said Godbolt shot and killed the deputy, Godbolt's mother-in-law and two other people. Police said Godbolt then shot and killed four other people at two other homes. Godbolt has pleaded not guilty.