U.S. Corps of Engineers open Steele Bayou gates

The gates on the Steele Bayou Control Structure were opened Friday for the first time since mid-March.

  Rain expected overnight, flash floods possible

  Mississippi-based restaurant chain increases minimum wage for employees

  Forrest County taking bids for Glendale Community Center rebuild

  With weekly COVID cases increasing slightly in Miss., vaccine hesitancy remains a concern

  DPS Commissioner discusses changes approved during legislative session

  Jefferson Davis County to begin growing industrial hemp

Continued Coverage

  Scammer posing as Petal Fire Department

  Two USM esports teams heading to postseason play

Retired Geauga County, Ohio, Sheriff, K9 partner die on same day

  ‘Right Way To Throw Away Day’ set for Forrest, Lamar counties

Mississippi law will ban shackling inmates during childbirth

  Forrest General Hospital celebrates Donate Life Month

Tuition to go up at most Mississippi public universities

Jackson State University is the only institution that did not request to increase its tuition.

First Pine Belt Music Festival set for April 22-24

The first Pine Belt Music Festival is set to be held at the Forrest County Multipurpose Center from April 22-24.

New Augusta, Mahned community under boil water advisory

Residents are recommended to boil all water for one minute before it is consumed.

FOUND SAFE: Missing girl last seen March 29

Bailey Michelle Smith was last seen at Caribbean Villas Apartments in Brandon on March 29.

  2 dead, 6 rescued, search on for 11 others after boat capsizes south of Louisiana

Participants needed for USM, Tougaloo COVID-19 impact study

Budweiser is offering free beer for COVID-19 vaccine recipients

Participants needed for COVID-19 impact study by USM, Tougaloo researchers

216 new COVID-19 cases, 12 deaths reported in Miss. Fri.

  COVID-19 in Mississippi: 292 new cases reported Sat.

Alabama prosecutors want inmate stimulus checks to go to crime victims

Alabama inmates were potentially paid millions in the newest round of stimulus payments. Prosecutors say inmates who are court-ordered to pay their victims should not receive stimulus money.

  JCSD welcomes first full-time female deputy in patrol division

Deputy Reagan Smith started her patrol duties this week with the department.

  You can donate blood after a COVID-19 vaccine, doctors say

About 250-300 donors are needed each day to keep the supply up but there are less than 200 donations daily, Mississippi Blood Services says.

  Pair of high jumpers taking Southern Miss to the top

It’s not often your toughest competition in the field is right in your backyard.

Fort Jackson suspends sergeant accused of assaulting Black man in SC neighborhood

Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Pentland faces assault charges.

  Friday starts dry before evening showers, storms

Friday will start dry and end with evening showers and storms.

  Congregation breaks ground for new church after Easter 2020 storms

On Easter Sunday, members helped carve a cross in the ground for the groundbreaking of the new church.

  West Jasper School District continues state testing through April

This year, schools were given a larger testing window by the state

  Millions in federal dollars help boost Mississippi’s broadband expansion

Broadband is getting a big boost from federal money.

  Doctor speaks about HIV prevention, treatment for Minority Health Month

Dr. Lara Otaigbe wants to get the word out and raise awareness about HIV treatment and prevention.

  Shelby museum staff react to opening of National WWI Memorial

The museum, at Camp Shelby, has an extensive exhibit on Mississippi’s role in that conflict.

  Perry County School District partners with Kamp Joy to boost emotional wellness

The Perry County School District is partnering with Kamp Joy to host events that promote both social and emotional well-being in kids.

  Hattiesburg Zoo to open new giraffe exhibit May 15

The Hattiesburg Zoo has announced the date it will open a major new exhibit that will have some very tall tenants.

  Mississippi Association of Broadcasters Day held at USM

The event provided the students with an opportunity to engage in one-on-one sessions with the broadcast leaders.

Miss. Black Caucus calls for Gov. Reeves to rescind declaration of Confederate Heritage Month

The Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus is speaking out against Confederate Heritage Month.

Three Hattiesburg men sentenced for drug trafficking

Three Hattiesburg men have been sentenced on federal drug charges after pleading guilty in November.

  Jury finds man guilty of 2017 murder in Marion Co.

Handy Anthony Willis Jr. was convicted of murder Thursday.

Hattiesburg native provides support to COVID-19 vaccination effort

Petty Officer 3rd Class Cody West is a 2016 graduate of FCAHS.

‘I feel like I’m drowning,’ mother of missing crewmember waits for answers

Mother of missing crewmember waits for answers after the lift boat disaster.

MSDH to close all 81 WIC food distribution sites

The new eWIC cards will allow clients to have the choice of where to purchase food and infant formula.

Tim’s Two Cents: JC women’s basketball coach Missy Bilderback

Tim chats with Bilderback about this season and competing for a national title.

MEMA releases April 9 severe weather damage report

Marion County submitted preliminary damage reports to MEMA.

Divers to examine capsized lift boat off La. coast

Divers have arrived to examine the lift boat that capsized off the coast of Port Fourchon, La., Tuesday, April 13, the United States Coast Guard confirmed to WAFB Thursday, April 15.

Two Miss. colleges, one university gets ‘Retool Your School’ grant from Home Depot

Jackson State University, Tougaloo College, and Coahoma Community college will receive the grant.

Brett Favre says politics are ruining sports; protests are ‘more turmoil than good’

Favre, in a recent interview on The Andrew Klavan Show, says politics are ruining sports and that most people are tuning out because of it.

410 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths reported in Miss. Thurs.

One death was reported from the Pine Belt.

Body found in Miss. River identified as missing LSU student

Officials confirm the body found in the Mississippi River in Reserve, La. on Tuesday, April 13 is that of missing LSU student Kori Gauthier.

  Bay Springs man rescues cousin from burning shed

A man was injured in a Bay Springs fire Tuesday, but the quick action of a cousin may have saved his life.

  Rain expected overnight and into Thursday

Thursday will start with showers and storms.

  Officials say connection between social media and eating disorders is likely

Over the past few years, the conversation regarding both mental health and body image has become more prevalent in society.

  White House COVID advisors speak with WDAM about vaccine concerns

White House experts on COVID-19 are concerned that too many people in Mississippi are choosing not to get the vaccines.

  Men sentenced in Wayne Co. assault, victim not happy with plea deal

A high-profile assault case out of Wayne County has ended, but the victim says he isn’t pleased with the outcome.

  Mississippi Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Initiative 65 challenge

The ballot initiative process that got medical marijuana on the ballot and eventually in the state constitution is in question.

  Miss. lawmakers increase funding for Early Learning Collaboratives

The funding will mean increased access to quality education and opportunities for the state’s pre-kindergarten kids.

  Celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Appreciation Week

This week celebrates dispatchers who often provide life-saving help behind the scenes during emergencies.

  Laurel Housing Authority hosts job fair

Georgia-Pacific, Sanderson Farms and the Ellisville State School were just some of the many companies present at the job fair.

Coronavirus not stopping the Neshoba County Fair this year

Mississippi’s Giant House Party is returning July 23-30 after the coronavirus put a hold on last year’s event.

MDOC commissioner taps new superintendent for state’s largest prison

Former CMCF superintendent to head up private and regional facilities under MDOC purview.

  Covington County supervisors seek company to run jail kitchen

Supervisors are advertising for bids over the next two weeks.

HPD help seize weapons, arrest 3 on felony charges Tuesday

Metro Narcotics Task Force and MDOT assisted in the arrests.

Miss. requests major disaster declaration for February winter storm

Two Pine Belt counties are a part of the 31 counties included in the Public Assessment request.

Parents can schedule online COVID-19 appointments for 16 or 17-year-olds in Miss.

The Mississippi State Department of Health says parents can now make vaccination appointments for teens at the department’s free drive-through sites.

275 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths reported in Miss. Wed.

In the eight Pine Belt counties, 33,218 COVID-19 cases and 677 deaths have been reported.

Miss. Supreme Court to hear challenge to Initiative 65 Wed.

Oral arguments begin Wednesday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

  ‘Young, healthy’ South Mississippi man suffers stroke hours after receiving J&J vaccine

When the news broke about the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Tuesday, one Coast family was already living with a tragedy they believe was caused by the vaccine.

  CDC updates guidance for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces

The CDC recently changed its guidance for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

  Psychologist discusses signs of autism, tips for parents

For Autism Awareness month, Dr. Dannell Roberts tells what to look for and how parents can help children with autism.

  Pause on J&J vaccine not expected to have drastic impact on vaccination rates in Miss.

None of the cases of J&J complications have been identified in Mississippi.

  Experts say roughly 15 to 18 million children in US are nearsighted

Doctors say myopia’s impact on children has increased over the past one to two years.

  Covington Hospital suspends J&J vaccines, continues Moderna shots

Covington County Hospital has discontinued administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

  Miss. Bureau of Narcotics warns of counterfeit drugs circulating in Pine Belt

The Hattiesburg District Office of the Bureau of Narcotics suspects at least eight overdose deaths from the last 50 days.

LSU police awaiting word on body found in St. John Parish

LSU police are working with authorities in St. John the Baptist Parish to determine whether a body found in the Mississippi River in that parish is tied to the case of missing LSU student Kori Gauthier.

CORRECTION: COVID death in Miss. was not vaccine-related

[This article is correcting a previous error by WLBT.]

Court date set for mother and son allegedly involved in largest embezzlement scheme in state history

The duo will be tried as co-conspirators, according to the Hinds Co. District Attorney's Office.

Gulfport murder suspect arrested after fleeing the county

A murder suspect wanted for the shooting death of a 20-year-old Gulfport man is behind bars in North Mississippi.

Prescribed burn to cover 2,285 acres in Jones, Wayne counties

The Chickasawhay Ranger District will be continuing its prescribed burn program Tuesday about six miles southeast of Ovett, Miss.

MSDH: Daily COVID-19 cases surge past 300 mark

MSDH reported Tuesday that nearly 621,500 had been vaccinated fully against COVID-19.

JSU student advances to top 12 on American Idol

The university is asking everyone to help Goncalves win the singing competition by voting for him.