WCBI New at Six - 08/17/2020

Video Credit: WCBI
Published on August 18, 2020 -
WCBI New at Six - 08/17/2020

WCBI New at Six - 08/17/2020

Roll vo in monitor in college towns across the south, the students have returned.

A picture of a large crowd gathered in starkville has gone viral.

An executive order from the governor prohibits outdoor gatherings of more than 20 people.

It's an issue that's happened outside city limits too.

Our stephanie poole speaks with law enforcement officers about what they're doing to tackle the issue.

She joins us in the studio with more.

Joey, this is a problem officers are not taking lightly.

éé their departments are monitoring gatherings to keep safety rules enforced, even if that means issuing citations.

éé this is just one post of an image gone viral of starkville's cotton district....it's similar to this picture in tuscaloosa just the other day.

The large overflow is leaving restaurant owners, like tyler klass, with more questions that answers.

"at some point, someone has to come and help us enforce this because there's only so many of us.

During the summer it was easy, but now there's an extra 20-thousand people here and without the help of the city it's just going to get worse."

Butt sots "you come out here on a saturday and it's jam-packed, not a-lot of concern.

Definitely just needs to be regulated better because we have six employees here and we only have two that work here at night."

Starkville police chief mark ballard says this incident rose very quickly.

But, after a few minutes, officers dispersed the but, after a few minutes, officers dispersed the over-crowded bar.

" that was one business of several that chose to violate or not enforce the mask enforcement.

For that night, we had a detail that was actually out doing other compliance checks.

Once that picture was made aware to the police department we went back over took enforcement action on that business."

Ballard says since july, over 70 citations have been issued under the enforcement program.

" we can't enforce our way out of this.

It has to be an individual responsibility.

It's got to be inherently taken up by the business owners and the managers.if you want to service and the businesses are holding the line there that's where you're going to get the best compliance possible."

Oktibbeha county sheriff steve gladney says deputies had reports of sheriff steve gladney says deputies had reports of gatherings outside city limits too.

" when we get a call and then we get there and there's 200 or 300 people there.

It's small with a small number of deputies but we were able to handle it over the weekend and we broke up a-lot of large parties all over the county."

Gladney and ballard are urging citizens to remember public heath regulations.

" wear the mask, be smart.

We certainly don't want this thing to start going back up to large numbers."

Roll vo in monitor starkville mayor lynn spruill says quote " we take this very seriously and are working through our code enforcement and police to educate and inform those who have now gotten back from the spring and summer sabbatical to our community.éé i expect it to be an ongoing process that will take continued efforts to address" end quote.

éé the number of new covid-19 cases in mississippi drops but hospital numbers remain about the same.

Health officials report 276 new cases, along with 11 deaths.

One thousand one hundred 26 people remain hospitalized that are confirmed or suspected coronavirus patients.

There are 321 people in icu, of those 176 are on a ventilator.

In the golden triangle, one icu bed is available at baptist golden triangle and two are open at north mississippi medical center - west point.

Och regional medical center does not have any available.

North mississippi medical center in tupelo has 19 beds available.

Based on the state's presumed recovered numbers, there are 13 thousand 740 presumed active covid-19 cases currently in the state.

Governor tate reeves announces the expansion of telehealth services for mississippi schools// as kids start to go back to school, the state's leading health experts want to make sure teachers and students have access to a doctor or physician// state health officer doctor thomas dobbs said today, 220 mississippi schools were reporting coronavirus cases// 245 teachers have been diagnosed with the virus along with 199 students, across the state// on top of offering telehealth services, covid-19 testing will be available for all mississippi teachers.

Sot "in terms of the telehealth that's going to open up opportunities for kids that are on campus to get those services.

With respect to testing, teachers aren't getting tested on campus cause that'll be disruptive, even though many campuses have nurses that can do testing, some of that is going on.

We're setting up an opportunity for any teacher to get tested" the mississippi the mississippi division of medicaid is a big part in helping launch the telehealth services.

Teachers will have three locations to get tested including the jackson testing site at ummc// first look stinger first look summary: conditions will remain seasonably warm over the coming week but it won't be as bad as it otherwise could be for august.

A few spotty storms are possible tuesday with a weak frontal boundary.

Additional showers and storms are likely later in the week and weekend as moisture levels increase.

Monday night: clear, quiet, and comfortable.

Lows in the mid 60s.

Calm wind.

Tuesday: partly cloudy and warm.

Highs in the low 90s.

A few showers and storms are possible but we're wcbi continuing coverage monitor intro school administrators are taking on another challenge from the governor.

An executive order limits attendance at k-12 extracurricular activities, including fall sports.

And it's up to the school districts to figure out how to make that work.

Our bobby martinez talked with the interim superintendent of noxubee school district...about ways they plan on executing their own plan..

He joins us live in the studio with more... that is right joey..

Only two spectators per game.

That is the limit each student athlete is aete is allowed to have in attendance..

And in noxubee county..

The transition might pose several challenges..

But ensuring safety is their main focus.... dealing with challenges on the playing field... "what's good for us to have home field advantage if there is no real home field advantage?"

And in the school's budget.... rodriguez broadnax - interim superintendent noxubee county schools "if we don't have enough in our gate sales you know our receipts, that will make for an entirely different year coming for the 2021 2022 school year as it relates to our athletic budget.

As for the districts plan?

Here's how it works..

Rodriguez broadnax - interim superintendent noxubee county schools "student athletes will be allowed to name 2 other persons, preferably family members, to be able to attend the games.

And athletic teams or school personnel security will closely monitor the numbers."

Broadnax says safety for all in attendance will be their top priority... rodriguez broadnax - interim superintendent noxubee county schools "the district would adhere to all cdc guidelines.

As we are doing now with the opening of schools where masks are required, temperatures are taken hand sanitizers available.

Just to make sure that everybody is social distanced and if there are folks who have covid-19 symptoms they cannot enter the game."

And for those who can't come to the games... rodriguez broadnax - interim superintendent noxubee county schools "one of the things we will have to try and communicate with the local media or those people that run social media to see if we can stream those games for those parents and community members that cannot be in the stands.

" broadnax says the day before each game.

Student athletes must notify the coaching staff who they will have in attendance stinger "a bizarre fake kidnapping case lands both the allegedy victim and suspect in jail.

We'll have that story coming up on wcbi news."

Centered up lowndes county supervisors move forward with a plan to relocate the confederate monument at the courthouse.

Supervisors approved the new location of the statue at the request of the mississippi department of archives and history.

If approved by archives and history, the statue will be moved to friendship cemetery in columbus.

The supervisors most also post a notice of public intent and show a plan to move the statue with no damage to the structure.

The original vote to move the statue failed in mid june.

But just two week later, the board voted again, this time agreeing to remove the statue from in front of the courthouse.

A lowndes county man previously convicted of murder, now faces three counts of aggravated assault.

Walter james lee was also indicted by a lowndes county jury for a possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

He is being prosecuted as a habitual offender.

Deputies allege lee came out of his house and fired a rifle at a car in june 2018.

Three people were inside the vehicle, including a one- year-old child.

No one was injured.

Top the suspect in a starkville stabbing is now charged with murder// 63-year-old johnny harris was originally charged with aggravated assault// the victim, elbert vaughn passed away from his injuries over the weekend// the stabbing happened back in june at 603 south montgomery street// the charge against harris was updated today// starkville police are still investigating the incident// one person is being questioned following a hostage situation in tupelo this morning.

Tupelo police officers responded to the incident at the oaks apartments around 9:30 this morning.

Investigators say a male suspect was holding one or more people inside a unit.

They believe the incident was domestic in nature.

Officers were able to resolve the situation within an hour.

No one was injured.

The investigation continues.

Intro we've all had days that we've wanted to disappear.

But two men in lee county are accused of taking it to the extreme... by faking a kidnapping.

Wcbi's allie martin has more on this bizarre story... the case began thursday when the lee county sheriff's department was contacted by a virginia resident who said they got a facetime call showing their son, tied up to a tree, with a gun to his head.

Lee county sheriff jim johnson says the call was made from this guntown property and it was all orchestrated to get money to cover a drug debt.

That initial phone call was the first of several, as the parents in virginia thought their son was at the mercy of a kidnapper, who was demanding a 500 dollar ransom.

"after about 12 hours of negotiating back and forth, the parents received a telephone call from who they believed to be their son begging for his life, and heard what they thought was a gunshot, at that point they assumed the kidnapper had killed their son."

Eventually, the parents got a call from their son saying he was still alive, but the kidnapper would kill him the next time.

Text messages were then received, threatening more harm to their son.

"they set a timeline every ten minutes they would send photos of body parts that were being removed , they received after a specific amount of time, several photographs of a hand that had damage to it, to the point it had a nail driven through the finger."

Sheriff johnson says the parents did not believe the photo was of their son's hand.

At that point, investigators , acting as the parents, took over negotiations and set up a time for the kidnappers to get the ransom money at a lee county western union location.

Investigators arrested 24 year old andrew blake hawks as he was at the counter, trying to collect the ransom money, which by then had dropped to 200 dollars.

His accomplice, 36 year old david g fisher was also arrested.

Both are charged with extortion.

The sheriff says it was all a ruse to cover drug debts.

"you get involved in the drug cartel and don't pay your debt, to that bunch, you will do almost anything to keep from losing your life, may lose it anyway, because debt still hasn't been paid, drug deal is still owed, he's pretty safe where he's at right now."

Hawks is being held on a 150 thousand dollar bond, fisher's bond was set at 100 thousand dollars.

Both are still in jail.

In lee county, allie martin, wcbi news johnson says hawks is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Stinger 2-shot weather open summary: conditions will remain seasonably warm over the coming week but it won't be as bad as it otherwise could be for august.

A few spotty storms are possible tuesday with a weak frontal boundary.

Additional showers and storms are likely later in the week and weekend as moisture levels increase.

Monday night: clear, quiet, and comfortable.

Lows in the mid 60s.

Calm wind.

Tuesday: partly cloudy and warm.

Highs in the low 90s.

A few showers and storms are possible but we're keeping the rain chance at just 20% for now.

Winds sw/nw 3-8 mph.

Tuesday night: mainly clear and quiet.

Lows in the mid 60s.

Wednesday: partly cloudy with a 20% chance of a shower or storm.

Highs in the upper 80s to around 90.

Thursday-sunday: variably cloudy, warm, and humid.

Highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s.

Scattered pop-up showers and storms are possible each day.

Lows in the upper 60s.

Tropics: there are two items of interest that need to be watched closely.

One is approaching the caribbean sea and another one is out in the open atlantic.

Both features are drifting back to the west and could develop over the next few days.

Stinger the final week of the high school football tour kicks off with the west point green summary: conditions will remain seasonably warm over the coming week but it won't be as bad as it otherwise could be for august.

A few spotty storms are possible tuesday with a weak frontal boundary.

Additional showers and storms are likely later in the week and weekend as moisture levels increase.

Monday night: stinger the final week of the high school football tour kicks off with the west point green wave...see the preview, next in sports spx open the college football season sits on the horizon about six weeks away finally, we have a glimpse of what season openers for both mississippi state and ole miss look like mike leach will get his mississippi state head coach in death valley as the bulldogs open the season on the road against the defending national champions, lsu meanwhile, ole miss will stay in oxford as lane kiffin begins his career with the rebels playing host florida and head coach dan mullen inside vaught-hemingway stadium there are two schools tied for the most state championships in mississippi.

South panola and you guessed it....west point.

The green wave enter 2020 fresh off a 4-peat with 11 state titles and have their sights set on another one.

West point is stop #57 on the high school football tour.

Nat pop 3 sec the four peat is complete.

The drive for five begins.

The west point green wave secured a 4th straight state championship last season after defeating picayune 38-26.

Now the green wave look to join elite company as they try for a 5th consecutive title.

The only school to ever accomplish that, south panola.

"our players and our coaches know what's on our shoulders.

We play for our community, our pride, and our school.

That's not gonna change."

"go harder.

When everybody look up, we know we got to put on."

"we got to get them.

We got to keep them state championships rolling in."

The green wave have to replace key pieces from last season's backfield that featured brandon harris, dantaryius cannon and jimothy mays.

But west point has embraced and mastered the art of re-tooling year in and year out.

A challenge that head coach chris chambliss uses to keep the team motivated.

"it's a driving force for us to try to prove ourselves each year.

I tell our seniors every year our expectations remain the same, but people change.

What are you gonna do to lead our program in the right direction?

We're gonna go as our seniors go.

If our seniors lead us in the right direction, then we're gonna be ok."

"we got a couple guys coming back.

A couple who are going to learn, but we'll get there."

Despite the difficult off- season, chambliss praises his senior group for their work in leading this team.

A group that wasted no time in preparing for next season's grind.

"our leadership so far has been great even though it's been tough on them to lead us in the locker room, lead us on the field, lead us in the weight room.

They've done a great job of doing when we return...chief meteorologist keith gibson will have a last look at your forecast.

You are watching wcbi news at six.

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