Diversity complaint leveled at sheriff
Ripples continued to spread from the rehiring of Robert Hall as Tupelo’s deputy police chief.
Members of the Coalition of African-American Organizations on Monday criticized Sheriff Jim Johnson for a lack of diversity in his department and later said they would file a complaint with the Department of Justice.
Johnson countered that they were harassing him because of his role as chairman of Board of Law Enforcement Standards and Training, which would have to recertify Hall.
Hall, who is black, had lost his certification when he resigned from the force in 2007 after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges. He returned in March and now serves in an administrative capacity.
Johnson also said Mayor Jack Reed Jr. had demanded that the board recertify Hall. Reed acknowledged two conversations on the matter but considered them “confidential conversations.”
Airport accepts 65 percent solution
Airport officials had wanted a longer runway, and that’s what they’ll get. It just won’t be the 1,000 feet they had hoped for.
The Tupelo Regional Airport Authority on Tuesday approved an extension of 650 feet to the north toward West Jackson Street Extended.
But a second part of the extension – 350 feet to the south – didn’t make the cut after consultants said it would be too expensive.
The extra 650 feet will cost about $8.1 million, with the federal government paying $7.7 million and the state and city splitting the rest.
Disaster relief tops $1M in area
More than $1 million in disaster aid has been approved for Northeast Mississippians as a result of the deadly weather that hit late April and early May.
Statewide, said the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, some $4.6 million in grants and loans have been approved.
Alcorn County, which sustained major flooding, has received almost $607,000, the most of the seven Northeast Mississippi counties. In Benton County, where two people were killed by a tornado, the total is $163,000.
During the last weekend in April and first weekend in May, 16 weather-related deaths were reported across the state.