Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT


Mississippi legislators to consider virus aid to businesses

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators are returning Thursday to consider helping businesses hurt by the coronavirus outbreak. Leaders made the announcement Tuesday but didn't give details. The legislative session has mostly been on hold since mid-March. Legislators worked Friday, voting to assert their control over spending pandemic relief money. Mississippi is getting more than $1 billion from the federal government. Republican Gov. Tate Reeves calls that a power grab by the the Legislature. He says he's still intends to hire consultants to ensure the money is properly spent. Mississippi has more than 8,200 confirmed cases of the virus and more than 340 deaths from it.


Saints emails, lawsuits could be buried in church bankruptcy

A bankruptcy filing by New Orleans’ Roman Catholic archdiocese freezes sexual abuse lawsuits and could help bury the details of alleged cover-ups of predator priests and thousands of internal emails documenting a behind-the-scenes alliance with the New Orleans Saints.  Attorneys for those suing the church say last week’s Chapter 11 filing was a veiled attempt to keep church records secret and deny victims a public reckoning. Among the legal battles in limbo is a fight over a cache of confidential emails describing the behind-the-scenes PR work the Saints did for the archdiocese to contain fallout from clergy abuse scandals.


2 inmates die after falling ill at Mississippi prisons

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Department of Corrections says two inmates have died in hospitals after becoming ill in state prisons. Autopsies will be done. Darryl Swanier died Monday at Delta Regional Medical Center in Greenville. The 58-year-old had been taken there from the state penitentiary at Parchman. He was serving life sentences for capital murder convictions in 1982 and 2002. On Saturday, 60-year-old Rodney Brown died in the Greene County Hospital. He had been taken there from South Mississippi Correctional Institution. He was about 12 years into a 60-year sentence for a 2006 crash that killed two members of the Alaska National Guard.


Workers want virus protections before casinos reopen

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Casino workers across the country want their employers to provide them with protective equipment and adopt tough new cleaning and social distancing policies before the gambling halls reopen during the coronavirus outbreak. Union leaders and workers from casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, New Orleans and Biloxi, Mississippi, on Tuesday called for all casino workers to be tested at the casinos’ expense before returning back to their jobs. The call came as New Jersey lawmakers proposed millions in tax breaks for Atlantic City's casinos to help them survive the virus outbreak.


Police: Mississippi girl riding bike killed in hit-and-run

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Police say an 11-year-old Mississippi girl was killed and her mother injured after being struck by a car that fled the scene. The Hattiesburg American reports the child, Leighton Hill, was killed Saturday night as she was riding her bike down the street in Hattiesburg. Leighton was pronounced dead at the scene while her mother, Shannon Posey, was taken to a hospital to be treated for her injuries. Posey was walking beside her daughter when the hit-and-run happened. Hattiesburg police have not provided a description of the vehicle or identified a suspect in the case.


U.S. officials award $5.5M for Gulf Coast train service

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — Plans to restore passenger train service along the Gulf Coast are getting a big boost. Members of Congress from Mississippi announced Friday that the Federal Railroad Administration had awarded just under $5.5 million to support operating costs for the first three years of the Amtrak service. It stopped after Hurricane Katrina damaged tracks in 2005. Republican U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith and two other members of Mississippi's Congressional delegation say the grant to the Southern Rail Commission will allow Amtrak to run two daily round trips from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama with stops in four Mississippi cities. Actual train service is still likely years away.