Mississippi is getting its very own Space Force

Mississippi is getting its very own Space Force. Speaking at a press conference yesterday at Infinity Science Center, Bryant signed an executive order creating the Mississippi National Guard Space Directorate. Its purpose will be to attract investments from the Department of Defense that support President Trump's new Space Force, which was created in February as an extension of the Air Force. Bryant also announced an economic development project called Space Initiative, which will attract space companies like California-based Relativity. The company is investing nearly 60-million-dollars at Stennis Space Center and will print 3D rocket engines there. The governor said the projects will position Mississippi as a leader in space protection, commercialization, and exploration. 

One of the new state laws that took effect yesterday is the one that gives Mississippi teachers a 15-hundred dollar pay raise. But the Mississippi Association of Educators says, unfortunately, teachers will barely notice the difference. And it's hoping the new legislature that's being elected this year will be more supportive of a significant teacher pay raise. When they return to the Capitol in January, lawmakers will have to come up with more money to take care of this year's raises after a miscalculation by the Department of Education resulted in a funding shortfall.

A Harrison County man involved in a standoff with law enforcement north of Diamondhead will face charges after he undergoes a hospital evaluation. Hiram Smith finally surrendered yesterday after briefly holding some hostages and refusing to come out of a house for about seven hours in what started out as a domestic dispute.

A Jones County man says he panicked after accidentally shooting his hunting partner, and left his body on a bridge and drove off in the victim's car. But Stephen McLaurin is now facing a second degree murder charge. He told investigators that he and Michael Tyson were hunting alligators near Ellisville last week when his gun jammed and then went off, killing Tyson. McLaurin is scheduled to go before a judge this afternoon.

About half of the 90 young women rescued in human trafficking investigations in Mississippi in the last few months were younger than 18. And under a new state law, someone like that who's been forced into the sex trade can't be charged with prostitution. Law enforcement officers are now authorized to make sure those young women wind up in a safe place where they can get the services they need instead of sitting in a jail cell.

Three Mississippi lawmakers are retiring before the end of their four-year term. Yesterday was officially the last day in office for Senator Tommy Gollott of Biloxi, Senator Bob Dearing of Natchez, and Representative David Myers of McComb. All three are retiring six-months before the term ends, and say they will not seek re-election. Gollott is the longest-serving state lawmaker in Mississippi history. The 83-year-old first took office in 1968 as a Democrat before becoming a Republican in 2007. 

On this July 2nd edition of "Gulf Coast Mornings with Kelly Bennett and Uncle Henry", we also discussed the top national stories and other oddities that made their way into this mornings news:

 

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