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This Hour: Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment

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McDaniel delays announcement on election lawsuit

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel will take at least one extra day to decide whether to try to revive his lawsuit that challenged his Republican primary loss to Sen. Thad Cochran.

McDaniel campaign spokesman Noel Fritsch says Monday that McDaniel will take until Wednesday to decide whether to ask the Mississippi Supreme Court to overturn the lawsuit's dismissal. McDaniel's camp originally said he'd announce a decision Tuesday.

Judge Hollis McGehee dismissed the lawsuit Friday, saying McDaniel waited too long to file it.

The lawsuit asked the judge to either declare McDaniel the winner or order a new runoff. It claimed the runoff was spoiled by voting irregularities.

Certified results show six-term senator Cochran defeated the tea party-backed McDaniel by 7,667 votes.


Arts center proposed for National Register

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - Natchez is nominating a local arts center for landmark status on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Margaret Martin Performing Arts Center was built in 1927 as Natchez High School. The Gothic Revival style building was designed by architect P.J. Krouse and is already designated as a Mississippi Landmark.

The school opened in the fall of 1928, with the first class graduating in 1929. The final high school class graduated in 1963. It was converted to Margaret Martin Junior High School, named after a longtime teacher and principal. The Natchez-Adams School District closed the center in 1989.

The building currently houses the Natchez Festival of Music, Natchez Ballet Academy, the Natchez Gymnastic Association and was featured in the recently released movie about James Brown, "Get on Up."


Jackson police find car connected to missing teen

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Jackson police say they have found a car that authorities believe was used in the possible kidnapping of 17-year-old girl.

Jackson Police Department spokeswoman Colendula Green says officers continue searching the area where the 2009 Nissan Altima was found Monday morning in west Jackson, near Hawkins Field airport. The car has a Greene County license plate.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert on Sunday night to report that Katelyn Beard had been missing since Sunday morning. The alert said she was last seen with 19-year-old Dewayne Thompson.

Jackson police said in a news release Sunday that Beard was shot before she was taken away.

The car was found less than a mile from where Beard was reported taken.


Manning case back before Miss. Supreme Court

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Willie Jerome Manning doesn't agree with a judge who ruled that he got a fair trial when he was convicted in the slayings of two women in 1996 and sentenced to death.

He is appealing his conviction to the Mississippi Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for Oct. 27 in Jackson.

Manning was convicted of killing 90-year-old Emmoline Jimmerson and her daughter, 60-year-old Alberta Jordan, in Starkville. The women were beaten and their throats slashed during a robbery attempt in 1993 at their apartment. Manning was sentenced to death.

Manning argues prosecutors withheld evidence during his trial and also presented false evidence. He also says he was denied effective counsel at trial and on appeal.

Oktibbeha County Circuit Judge Lee Howard ruled against Manning on all three issues in 2013.


Marine agency chief questions 2010 land purchase

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - The current chief of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources says the agency should not have bought a residential lot in 2010 from the parents of a woman who was then a manager in the agency.

DMR executive director Jamie Miller tells The Sun Herald there are still questions about the propriety of the land purchase.

The lot in Pascagoula is now covered with weeds and bushes. It's at the dead end of a street overlooking Krebs Lake and the Pascagoula River.

The lot was purchased from the parents of Tina Shumate with a $245,000 grant from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, which Shumate headed. Her attorney says Shumate avoided the transaction.

Shumate is among the former DMR employees who left the agency after an investigation into spending practices.


McComb will take bids on new fire station

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - City officials have agreed to seek bids to replace its only fire station in east McComb.

The Enterprise-Journal reports Fire Station 3 was condemned and abandoned earlier this year.

Fire Chief Stephen Adams says renovation of the station would cost more than building a new station.

Adams says the proposed station would be built on Elmwood Street and is essential for fire protection in east McComb.

The new station would be built behind the old one on a city-owned tract.


Sculptures unveiled at Southern Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - The work of five artists is featured at the University of Southern Mississippi's outdoor sculpture exhibition.

The display will run through February 2016.

The program includes lectures by the artists as well as art walks for anyone wishing to learn more about the sculptures.

The first sculptures - by Ray Katz and Carl Billingsley - have been installed on the Hattiesburg campus.

On Tuesday, works by Jim Buonaccorsi and Adam Bodine will be unveiled.

The final work, by Joni Younkins-Herzog, will be installed Sept. 13.


Port of Gulfport dredging to begin

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - The ship channel leading to and from the Port of Gulfport is around 33 feet deep, three feet less than its authorized depth of 36 feet, but that's about to change.

Port Director Jonathan Daniels says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their contractor on Tuesday will be mobilizing to commence the dredging work.

He says a deeper channel means more tonnage to ship to and from the Port of Gulfport.

WLOX-TV in Biloxi reports the dredging is also good news for existing tenants like DuPont, whose operation has been hindered by the shallow channel.

Officials say the companies have had to offload some of their cargo before they can come in. They say after the dredging the ships can come in fully laden.


Courthouse work proceeding in Pearl River Co.

POPLARVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Pearl River County officials are hoping for a $600,000 state grant to conduct Americans with Disabilities Act compliance upgrades to the local courthouse.

County Administrator Adrain Lumpkin tells The Picayune Item grant will fund about 88 ADA improvements to the courthouse. Some of the enhancements will be made to the bathrooms and in the courtroom, where he said the witness stand is elevated.

The Mississippi Development Authority officials say a decision on funding should be made after Sept. 25.

Lumpkin says a final list of ADA modifications will be created if the grant is awarded.

The courthouse is a historical landmark so the architect's proposed plans will be sent to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for approval.

After MDAH approval, the county can solicit bids for construction.

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