Monday, August 7, 2017
There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them:
- The Westin Hotel in downtown Jackson officially opened on Thursday, Aug. 3, when city, county and state leaders gathered to cut the ribbon to the entrance of the new 203-room property located on South Congress Street across from the federal court building.
- Workers at a Nissan auto assembly plant in Mississippi began voting Thursday on whether they want the United Auto Workers union to bargain for them.
- Investigator Lee McDivitt, of the Mississippi attorney general's office, discovered previously unseen footage of Christopher Butler putting a large amount of marijuana in an ottoman in his home, seeming to disprove Hinds District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith's contention that the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics had framed Butler.
- The Governor's Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force released its recommendations Wednesday, Aug. 3, to help Mississippi curb the number of overdoses and death that the opioid epidemic is causing.
- Even with the ACA intact, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is still concerned for Mississippians with certain plans that would see rate increases in 2018, despite the ACA's fate.
- The Jackson City Council unanimously confirmed Letitia Simmons Johnson, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s first school-board appointee, on Tuesday. That means JPS again has a quorum.
- The second trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith kicked off at 9:03 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, with a jury of seven women and five men who did not seem all that happy to be there.
- State Auditor Stacey Pickering is driving a bi-partisan approach to Medicaid fraud that stands in stark contrast to legislation the Republican supermajority in the Mississippi Legislature passed this past session.
- The Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers Airport received a federal grant last week to complete necessary improvements to the airport's runway.
- Christopher Butler, who has played a significant role in the state's trial against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, was convicted of marijuana possession late last week and sentenced to 30 years in prison and $500,000 without fines because he is a habitual offender.
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