Another round of severe weather has some Mississippians in recovery mode.

As storms swept through South Mississippi on Thursday, April 18, 2019 there were a few reports of minor tree damage across the area. However, the majority of storm reports and storm damage occurred just to the north across the Pine Belt, north into central and northern Mississippi.

Another round of severe weather is leaving a lot of folks in Mississippi in recovery-mode from damage caused by high winds and flooding. At least two deaths have been attributed to the bad weather yesterday. The Neshoba County coroner says a driver was killed on Highway 15 South when a tree fell on his car several miles outside Philadelphia, while the coroner in Amite County says 24-year-old Kendrick Magee was killed when his car crashed during a storm. Possible tornadoes were reported in Hinds, Scott, Smith and Rankin counties with several homes reportedly destroyed in north Morton. 

The lights were out for a lot of people in Mississippi during Thursday's storms, and some may still be without power. Entergy Mississippi alone reported that upwards of nearly 30-thousand of its customers were left without electricity yesterday, that number dwindling to around 20-thousand by early last night as a last line of storms moved through the state. The bulk of the outages stretched from the Louisiana-Mississippi state line south of Vicksburg, through Jackson and then north of the capital city.

Hancock Whitney Bank, with headquarters in both Gulfport and New Orleans, is taking a financial hit after being caught up in an alleged 810-million-dollar Ponzi scheme. The Advocate reports the illegal activity involved DC Solar, a California-based mobile solar power generator manufacturer. Hancock Whitney was among the firm's creditors ahead of the company's bankruptcy filing in February that followed a raid by federal investigators. As a result, the bank lowered its first-quarter earnings by more than ten-million-dollars and saw its stock value drop by almost two-percent per share on Wednesday.

Get ready to dig deeper to pay for a higher education in Mississippi. The state's College Board gave the green light yesterday for the eight public universities to hike tuition rates this fall by an average of four-percent. In dollars, that's a two-semester increase averaging just over 300-dollars for full-time, in-state students. The new average total tab, including fees, climbs to more than 81-hundred-dollars.

It's official now. Southern Miss leaders yesterday introduced Jay Ladner as the university's new men's head basketball coach. He's succeeding Doc Sadler who announced his retirement from coaching late last week. Ladner calls his hiring, "the greatest thing in the world," and his "destination job." He's spent the last five seasons as head coach at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Pier 1 Imports plans to close more stores. The struggling home decor retailer says it could shutter as many as 145 locations after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results. Pier 1 closed 30 stores during the fiscal year that ended in March. The news follows Bed Bath & Beyond's announcement last week that it will close up to 40 stores this year. Pier 1 operates about 970 stores nationwide.  

Investigators say it could be weeks before they determine what caused the fire at Notre Dame [[ no-tra dahm ]] Cathedral, but it appears an electrical short-circuit might be to blame. The investigation is limited because some areas of the 850-year-old cathedral are still not safe.  

The New Jersey man who police say walked into St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan with gasoline and lighter fluid is scheduled to appear in court today. Marc Lamparello was arrested Wednesday night and faces attempted arson, reckless endangerment and trespassing charges. Cops say Lamparello was arrested two days earlier when he refused to leave Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark. That was as the world was focused on the massive blaze that devastated the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Police say he purchased a plane ticket for Italy before the incident at St. Patrick's and had been scheduled to fly out last night.  

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to introduce new legislation to raise the national smoking age. He made the announcement in his home state of Kentucky. The Republican lawmaker plans to introduce his bill next month. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly nine out of 10 cigarette smokers first try smoking by 18. A dozen states have already passed similar laws.

It turns out women are much better at hiding their cheating ways than men. A new study published in Royal Society Open Science claims women can easily spot men who are likely to cheat, but both men and women struggle to identify women who do so. Researchers at the University of Western Australia showed 15-hundred people photos of men and women and asked them to identify the cheaters just based on how they looked. Both were very successful at identifying the men, but failed at doing so the women. One reason is it may be getting harder as the number of women is increasing. One expert said that about 20 percent of men cheat, and that number is fairly constant. The number of women cheating, however, is now at 15 percent. That's a 50 percent increase during the past 20 years.

A Democratic state representative Texas is pushing a bill to eliminate Confederate Heroes Day as a state holiday. Jarvis Johnson calls the holiday, which is set on January 19th, "offensive" to people of color, especially since it sometimes coincides with Martin Luther King Day. 

A neighborhood in Cherry Hills Village just outside Denver is changing its name from Swastika Acres. The subdivison was once home to the Denver Land Swastika Company, which had that name before German Nazis adopted the swastika as their symbol. The village's council voted unanimously on Tuesday to change it to Old Cherry Hills. 

 

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