I am the online content coordinator for Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04). I'm working on a recipe for bacon-flavored coffee, which would solve all the world's problems.

Connect with Author

  • Stories Written by Brad Locke

    other_crime_alt1By Brad Locke

    Daily Journal

    HOLLY SPRINGS – A man has been arrested and charged with murder in connection to a Saturday night shooting that left one dead and two injured.

    Sanchez Holloway, 29, of Holly Springs, faces one charge of murder and two charges of aggravated assault. He also had a previous trespassing warrant.

    Police arrested Holloway at approximately 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of Greenbriar Circle and Moss Avenue. He is currently in the Marshall County Correctional Facility. Holloway will be arraigned Thursday.

    The shooting took place at a gas station on Martin Luther King Drive shortly before 9 p.m. Saturday, sending three men to the hospital. Justin Bennett, 24, of Hickory Flat, died from his injuries Monday morning.

    Officers were able to identify Holloway after watching surveillance tape and recognizing him, as he has been in the system previously.

    news_investigation_greenBy Brad Locke

    Daily Journal

    HOLLY SPRINGS – A juvenile is in critical condition after an attempted break-in led to a shooting.

    According to Sgt. Elijah Wilson of the Holly Springs Police Department, two juveniles attempted to break into the Stop & Shop on Van Dorn Avenue at approximately 1:37 a.m. Monday. After the youths broke some glass, one of the store’s owners fired a gun and struck one of the juveniles.

    The injured juvenile was transported to the Med in Memphis.

    Wilson said no arrests have been made yet, and officers continue to investigate the incident.

    North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson (second from right), who's also played with the Black Crowes, leads a guitar workshop at the 2013 Hill Country Picnic. (Candise Kola)

    North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson (second from right), who’s also played with the Black Crowes, leads a guitar workshop at the 2013 Hill Country Picnic. (Candise Kola)

    Hill Country Blues Picnic founder Kenny Brown performs at last year's picnic. (Candise Kola)

    Hill Country Blues Picnic founder Kenny Brown performs at last year’s picnic. (Candise Kola)

    By Sheena Barnett

    Daily Journal

    WATERFORD – Fan favorites and fresh faces are all performing at this year’s Hill Country Picnic.

    The annual music festival and non-profit celebrates hill country blues with two days of concerts and a guitar workshop. Organizer and blues musician Kenny Brown said the annual festival is a good way to hear favorite artists and discover new favorites.

    “Every year I’m glad to see these people; they’re friends of mine,” he said.

    This year’s lineup includes Rocket 88, Rev. John Wilkins, Cary Hudson, Duwayne Burnside Band, Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory and Bill “Howl N Madd” Perry.

    The guitar workshop is the day before the festival starts, and instructors are Garry Burnside, Eric Deaton and Cary Hudson.

    The festival also includes a raffle.

    “Luther (Dickinson) donated a notebook with song lists and notes, and we have a guitar donated,” Brown said. “We have paintings and a lot of cool stuff.”

    The money raised at the raffle goes to a local cause. Last year, the proceeds paid for bluesman T. Model Ford’s funeral and tombstone. This year, Brown said, the money will go toward tombstones for members of R.L. Burnside’s family.

    Because the festival’s outdoors, fans should bring along sunscreen and bug spray. Coolers are allowed, but glass isn’t.

    For a complete list of details, visit

    Brown is proud of how the festival has grown. This year, the festival celebrates its 9th anniversary.

    “It’s looking better every year,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the 10th.”



    What: Hill Country Picnic

    When: June 27-28, plus guitar workshop on June 26

    Where: Waterford, at a picnic site about 15 miles south of Holly Springs on Highway 7.

    Cost: $25/Friday or Saturday’s concerts; $150/Early bird VIP tent, $15/camping, $65/weekend packet, $100/guitar workshop. There are also fees for coolers and a shuttle between the picnic and Oxford.




    Kenny Brown Band, Stringbean & the Stalkers, Bill “Howl N Madd” Perry, Blue Mother Tupelo, George McConnell & the Nonchalants, David Kimbrough Band, Duwayne Burnside Band, The Bush League, Little Joe Ayers, Robert Belfour, Tate Moore, Rocket 88, Eric Deaton Trio, Rev. John Wilkins, Robert Kimbrough, Cary Hudson, Cedric Burnside Project, Garry Burnside Band, Hill Country Kings, Solar Porch, Bill Abel, Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, Alvin Youngblood Hart’s Muscle Theory




    There are few things more American than baseball and steaks, and if you can’t get enough of cowhide and cow meat, then Omaha is your kind of town.

    I found out last year that it’s certainly my kind of town.

    Omaha, Nebraska, is known for doing two things especially well: steak, and the College World Series. After spending two weeks covering Mississippi State’s run to the 2013 CWS finals, I can assure you that Omaha’s reputation in both areas is well-earned.

    Ole Miss fans will get their education beginning this weekend, when the Rebels – making their first CWS appearance since 1972 – open the tournament against Virginia tonight. If all you do when you’re there is grab a chair at TD Ameritrade Park and then grab a table at The Drover, that makes the trip worthwhile.

    Let me hit the pause button and emphasize something: You need to eat at The Drover. It’s expensive, but if you want the best steak you’ve ever had, you’ll pony up. Got it? Good.

    As for the ballpark, it’s first-rate, and not just from a sports writer’s point of view. There isn’t a bad seat in the house, and watching the sun set as the best baseball teams in the country go at it is a scene that sticks in your mind.

    OK. The baseball, the food, that’s all awesome, and it’s what you expect out of Omaha. And yet, that town has a way of sneaking up on you, in more ways than one.

    It’s a sprawling city nestled against the Missouri River/Iowa border, and it’s surrounded by a whole lot of nothing. One minute you’re driving through pastoral western Missouri, next thing you know you’re navigating a pleasantly hilly downtown Omaha.

    Several parts of Omaha aren’t distinctive or especially appealing, but the closer you get to the ballpark, the more charming it becomes. The downtown/ballpark area has a good night vibe. It’s a nice city to walk in, and I did plenty of walking last year.

    When you’re there, I hope you soak in every part of the city and the experience that you can. Some of you can only go for a game or two, some will stay for as long as the Rebels are playing. However long you’re there, you’ll leave a small piece of your heart behind.

    I have no loyalties, but I do selfishly hope Ole Miss will be in Omaha as long as MSU was last year. Those teams succeeding on a national stage is good for my state, and frankly, it’s good for my employer’s business.

    I doubt it’ll be 42 years before the Rebels get back to the CWS, but you never know. My suggestion is you gobble up all the steak and baseball that you can.

    Brad Locke ( is the online content coordinator for He covered Mississippi State for five years.



    By Robbie Ward

    Daily Journal

    TUPELO – Rodney Lowery will likely never ignore another tornado warning for the rest of his life.

    He sat on his couch Monday afternoon playing Candy Crush on his cellphone, ignoring text message warnings of impending danger, a tornado warning.

    He couldn’t have cared less.

    Lowery’s girlfriend, Nikki Gates, called downstairs to him, yelling that a tornado had been spotted near The Mall at Barnes Crossing, just more than a mile from their Park Hill community apartment in north Tupelo.

    He still didn’t care, recalling all the times warnings led to little more than anticipation.

    Not convinced of danger to his family’s lives, he walked outside and found mortal fear and nature’s violence.

    He could barely see from sheets of debris surrounding him. Taking a few steps back from his home, objects shook and flew all around.

    “I felt the wind just trying to take me away,” said Lowery, 41. “I ran back inside the house.”

    But he took one more look outside and saw something unimaginable two buildings away.

    “When I was looking, I saw the roof come up and off that other place,” he said.

    He saw shingles from buildings fly into car windshields.

    In a panic, he yelled for his girlfriend to bring their 1-year-old daughter and 2-year-old niece downstairs to take cover with him. Gates also felt a panic over her family’s lives.

    “I was just trying to find somewhere safe,” she said, sitting in the living room where they took cover.

    Gates, 30, shielded the young children with her body as Lowery held close to them. It seemed like forever but lasted about five minutes.

    After the tornado passed through, rain continued. Upstairs, Lowery found his ceiling ripped open and rainfall spewing down. His upstairs bedroom collected about a half-foot of water.

    Damage to the home seemed unbelievable to the family, but it still didn’t compare to single moms hovered in closets with their children in nearby buildings, structures with roofs yanked off.

    None of the buildings in the immediate area appeared habitable. Lowery and his family will spend time with his mom in Verona and other relatives until they find another place to live.

    The storm system caused estimated millions of dollars of damage in the area and was responsible for a single death just outside the city limits. Nearly everyone in the Tupelo Housing Authority neighborhood said they still felt shock and disbelief from the traumatic experience, losing most possessions but keeping their lives.

    Lowery experienced the tornado’s life-threatening brute force hopes to never encounter anything like it again. If he does, the former dangerous weather skeptic will pay attention to text message warnings to take cover.

    “I bet I won’t push ignore on my phone again,” he said.



    By Emily Wagster Pettus

    Associated Press

    JACKSON – Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant says he looks forward to signing a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks, the midpoint of a full-term pregnancy.

    House Bill 1400 passed the House and Senate on Tuesday.

    The bill has exceptions. Abortion would still be allowed at or after 20 weeks if the pregnant woman could die or face permanent injury, or in cases of severe fetal abnormality.

    Mississippi’s only abortion clinic says it stops doing abortions after 16 weeks’ gestation.

    The Health Department says 2,176 abortions were done in Mississippi in 2012. Two were listed at 21 weeks or later, and 382 were unknown gestational age.

    Several states have a 20-week ban, including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.

    Craig Sword has led Mississippi State in scoring each of his first two seasons. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    Craig Sword has led Mississippi State in scoring each of his first two seasons. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    By Logan Lowery

    Daily Journal

    STARKVILLE – Craig Sword has been Mississippi State’s leading scorer in each of the past two seasons.

    The 6-foot-3, 193-pound guard earned SEC All-Freshman honors in 2012-13 averaging 10.5 points and followed up by scoring 13.7 points per game as a sophomore.

    But with 64 collegiate games under his belt, Sword wants to take more of an ownership role on the Bulldogs roster entering Year 3.

    “I’m trying to be a leader going into my junior year,” Sword said. “I want everybody to follow me, but that means now I’ll have to put in more work so that everybody will know I can be the go-to guy at the end of the game if they need me.”

    Sword, affectionately known to his teammates and coaches as “Chicken,” led MSU in assists (88) and steals (60) but also in turnovers (96). That is one area the Montgomery, Ala., native is hard at work at to correct this offseason.

    “I’ve got to cut down on my turnovers,” Sword said. “I’ve got to work on my ball handling in the offseason. As a team, we’ve just got to work on staying together and finishing games. We’ve got to come out in our individual workouts and get better. Every individual has to get better every day.”

    Still growing

    Sword was one of three high-profile recruits, along with Gavin Ware and Fred Thomas, signed by Rick Stansbury and inherited by Rick Ray as freshmen in his first season. That trio has been the nucleus Ray is building his team around for the future.

    “You’ve got to keep in mind that these guys are still young basketball players,” Ray said. “We’ve relied on freshmen and sophomores these past two years to really be the bell cows for our guys. When we have juniors and seniors in our program, those guys are going to be really good players and will be guys we can rely on in the future.”

    The Bulldogs ended the regular season on a 13-game losing skid but turned things around in the SEC tournament playing three solid halves of basketball before bowing out to Ole Miss in the second round.

    “I think for 60 minutes in the SEC tournament we showed how good we can be and how bright our future is,” Ray said. “Once we get some depth in our program and get some guys through some maturation process I think you’ll see we’ve got a lot of talent in this program.”

    J.B. Woodman scores for Ole Miss under the tag of Alabama's Justin Kamplain in Saturday's game. (AP Photo/, Vasha Hunt)

    J.B. Woodman scores for Ole Miss under the tag of Alabama’s Justin Kamplain in Saturday’s game. (AP Photo/, Vasha Hunt)

    By Parrish Alford

    Daily Journal

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – A three-run rally in the seventh had Ole Miss ahead 4-2 and counting outs Saturday night, but Alabama countered against the Rebels’ bullpen.

    Ole Miss relievers Josh Laxer and Wyatt Short combined for six walks and a hit batsman, and the Crimson Tide got a walk-off single in the 10th to defeat the No. 13-ranked Rebels 6-5 before a crowd of 4,001 at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

    The second one-run win of the weekend for Alabama (18-8, 5-3 SEC) gives the the Rebels (21-7, 4-4) their third straight loss and their second conference series loss in three weekends.

    One of Short’s four walks was intentional. After Sikes Orvis’ RBI hit put the Rebels ahead in the top of the 10th, Short walked his first batter and hit his second in the bottom half.

    The runners were bunted forward, and Alabama tied the game with a sacrifice fly and won it when Hunter Webb singled to left.

    It was the only hit allowed by Short in 2.2 innings of work.

    “It’s been a bad week for the bullpen starting down at Pearl,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “The last three games we’ve lost we’ve had the lead.”

    After Ole Miss starter Christian Trent and reliever Preston Tarkington issued no walks over seven innings.

    Trent went 6.1 innings, and Tarkington fanned the only two batters he faced to get Ole Miss to the eighth with a lead.

    Bianco said Trent felt good but was about at the “limit” of how deep he pitches with success.

    “There have been times we’ve pushed him and tried to squeeze some more out of him, and it wasn’t good,” Bianco said.

    It wasn’t only about walks.

    Freshman shortstop Errol Robinson committed errors in the first and eighth innings, and both baserunners came home to score.

    After a poor throw put the leadoff man aboard in the eight, Laxer gave up a basehit and a walk to load the bases, then walked home the third run and kept the bases full for Short.

    The Tide got a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4, and Short got out of the inning with a 5-3 double play.

    After trailing the first six innings Ole Miss scored three times in the seventh on two hits – one of them a two-run single by Braxton Lee – a walk and an error. All the action came with two outs.

    “We’ve got to be better. We’ve got to be better out of the bullpen, and we’ve got to be better in the field,” Bianco said. “We’ve got to make plays at the end of the game to win the game.”

    county_alcorn_greenBy Lena Mitchell

    Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

    CORINTH – The Alcorn County Board of Supervisors isn’t making any changes to public comments procedures at its meetings in response to questions from county Tax Collector Larry Ross.

    Ross, who said he was speaking as a private citizen, asked the board at its meeting last week to clarify rules on when public comment is allowed.

    During the March 3 meeting, District 1 supervisor and board president Lowell Hinton denied Ross’ request to speak while supervisors were discussing a motion before taking a vote.

    “I still am a citizen, and a concerned citizen,” Ross said.

    Hinton told Ross at the March 17 meeting that he was well within state law that governs county board meetings in denying Ross’ request to speak while a motion was on the floor.

    “That was a time for the board to discuss the matter among themselves,” Hinton said, “and unless a member of the public is invited, they are not to speak.”

    County attorney Bill Davis confirmed the board of supervisors controls the agenda during the course of the meeting.

    Hinton said, as he did in the March 3 meeting, any member of the public who wishes to speak must be placed on the agenda, as Ross was for this meeting.

    Ross said his concern was that the matter being discussed was of concern and interest to the entire county – the sale of 129 acres of county property formerly designated as a potential site for a rubbish landfill.

    The matter was not on the regular agenda and was brought up for discussion by District 3 Supervisor Tim Mitchell. Hinton made a motion, seconded by Mitchell, that the property be sold at auction and proceeds used to offset the deficit in that budget line item. The motion passed by a 3-2 vote.

    Ross said the matter was not urgent and should have been placed on a future regular agenda so any member of the public with an interest could ask to speak to the issue. Ross said he heard incorrect information being shared among supervisors during the discussion and wanted a chance to address it.

    Hinton said he felt Larry Ross’ family relationship with District 4 Supervisor Gary Ross played a part in his position on the subject, a statement that both Larry Ross and Gary Ross vigorously denied. Larry Ross is Gary Ross’ uncle.

    Board members did not agree to Larry Ross’ request that in the future matters of a non-urgent nature be placed on the agenda of the next regular meeting if the issues were brought up after the regular agenda items were completed.

    news_business_greenBy Dennis Seid

    Daily Journal

    TUPELO – Robert Mann thinks he’s hit on a great idea – offering grocery delivery to customers in Tupelo.

    Mann has started Tupelo Grocery Delivery, and will offer the service from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week.

    For a fee, he’ll fulfill any grocery order, small or large, at any grocery store in Tupelo, and deliver it.

    The fee is a percentage up to $100; purchases more than $100 are charged a flat rate of $22.50.

    For now, he’ll accept only cash or checks, but plans to add a credit card option later as the business grows.

    His target audience includes busy families, the elderly, parents taking care of sick kids, people who don’t want to go shopping, folks who may have forgotten something – essentially anyone who prefers someone else to do the shopping for them and to deliver it.

    “You can call even if it’s just a couple of items. … I can deliver it that day or the next day, whatever works for you,” Mann said.

    While he’s still working out the details and logistics of the business, Mann said the service will be limited to Tupelo for now. If it grows, he can expand his delivery area.

    In addition, he’s considering making treks to Memphis to Whole Foods Market and/or The Fresh Market if there’s interest in that.

    “But that’ll be down the road – I want to establish this idea first and see how it goes,” he said.

    Mann can be reached at (662) 397-3818 or at