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Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT


Mississippi lawmakers honor pastor who won ‘The Voice’

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi pastor who won “The Voice” has serenaded state lawmakers with “Amazing Grace.” Todd Tilghman appeared Thursday at the state Capitol. He was honored with resolutions in the House and Senate. New outlets report that he also met later with Gov. Tate Reeves and his wife, Elee. Tilghman is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Meridian. At 42, he became the oldest winner of the singing competition on NBC. He was honored with a parade in his hometown last month.


Charges dropped against woman who said parents were racist

PETAL, Miss. (AP) — Charges have been dropped against a Mississippi woman whose parents received death threats after their daughter accused them of being racist. Attorney Carlos Moore told The Associated Press on Thursday that 21-year-old Kaileigh Schmidt, of Petal, was charged Wednesday with two counts of obscene communication but the charges were later dropped. In a Facebook post June 5, Schmidt labeled her parents racists and alleged her mother hit her. Authorities say she then shared her parents’ personal information in an effort to have her parents “go viral” instead of calling the police. Thousands of people commented on the post and shared it across social media.


Chief: Officer fired for using racial slur, captain demoted

MERIDIAN, Miss. (AP) — An officer accused of using a racial slur has been fired from a police department in Mississippi. News outlets report Meridian Police Interim Chief Charles Coleman says K-9 supervisor Joey Lawn was fired June 3. The chief says Lawn was determined to have used a racial slur against a black officer in 2018. The incident resurfaced earlier this year and Lawn had been placed on leave without pay. In addition, John Griffith was demoted from captain to lieutenant. The chief says Griffith failed to perform his supervisory role in regard to the incident involving Lawn.


Senate panel advances Mississippi appeals court nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced a federal appeals court nominee from Mississippi, despite Democratic objections over derisive comments he made about former President Barack Obama and his signature health care legislation. The GOP-led panel endorsed Mississippi Appeals Court Judge Cory Wilson on Thursday on a 12-10, party-line vote. The nomination now goes to the full Senate. Wilson is a former Republican state legislator who has been on the state appeals court for 16 months. He was nominated by President Donald Trump for a seat on the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Cruises halted by virus plan return to Mississippi River

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus have further delayed the return of cruises along the Mississippi River. The Vicksburg Post reports American Cruise Lines announced this week that it would resume operations on the river July 11. It was previously expected to resume in late June. The company’s American Harmony cruise liner is now set to arrive in Vicksburg on July 13. And, the American Queen Steamboat Company is now expected to make its return to the Mississippi on July 20. The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau had projected a record year for riverboat traffic before the coronavirus pandemic.


Mississippi man pleaded guilty to killing his wife

BOONEVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man pleaded guilty to murdering his estranged wife and was sentenced to life in prison. Mike Brian Rutledge pleaded guilty Tuesday to capital murder in the 2017 death of 35-year-old Laura Ann Rutledge. Authorities said 25-year-old Mike Rutledge admitted to killing his wife and dumping her body. Rutledge said he grabbed his wife, tied her hands behind her back, and stabbed her multiple times before he hit her in the head with a stick. Laura Rutledge’s body was found on July 27, 2017 in a wooded area close to her apartment. She died from blunt force trauma and stab wounds to the head and upper body.

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