Are there manatees in Bernard Bayou? July 30 Local Headlines:

The Highway Patrol is still investigating the death of a 55-year-old Lucedale woman whose car was knocked over the side of a bridge and into the Pascagoula River. Ladonna Rich was headed east on I-10 Sunday morning when traffic slowed for a wreck - and an 18-wheeler rear-ended her car, pushing it off the bridge. Investigators say the car hit a concrete piling as it fell, throwing the woman out. Someone in a boat recovered her body.

Still no confirmation that there are manatees in the Bernard Bayou Waterway, but officials with the IMMS keep checking.  The presence of manatees would be rare at this time of year, and they’re hard to spot because they only surface for a second before they go back under.  Manatees are known to visit our area, but usually just during the winter. 

Do your best to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.  There are now 7 confirmed cases of West Nile in MS, five new cases since last Monday.  While none have been reported along our coast, it’s a good idea to wear bug spray when you’re outside, and remove any standing water from your yard. 

The state is working to find more foster families in Mississippi. The Department of Child Protection Services says temporary homes for the more than 52-hundred kids in state custody tend to be clustered in certain counties. And the department is trying to recruit foster families in every community so children don't have to move to a different school and away from their friends. The state has a partnership with churches called Rescue 100 - and it's been holding a series of orientation sessions aimed at encouraging families to take in a foster child.

The Secretary of the Army is coming to Camp Shelby this week. Doctor Mark Esper will meet with Congressmen Trent Kelly and Steven Palazzo, Mississippi Adjutant General Durr Boyles and Camp Shelby commander Colonel Bobby Ginn on Thursday. He'll tour the post, watch helicopter gunnery training and will hold a town hall meeting with soldiers. Esper has served as Secretary of the Army for less than a year.

The Red Cross is offering Amazon gift cards to folks that donate blood or blood platelets through the end of August.  The nation is facing a severe mid-summer shortage of all types of blood.  Summer is a challenging time for donations because people that usually donate are traveling.

You might have taken advantage of our states Sales Tax Holiday to save a little money over the weekend.  In Louisiana, it’ll be years before they have a state sales tax holiday.  That’s because state lawmakers accidentally ended the scheduled tax breaks for at least 7 years when they drew up the new fiscal year budget.  They won’t be coming back until 2025, if then.  


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