News Briefs April 27, 2009

Fire department to receive equipment after board approval
– ECRU – Fire Chief Phil Stokes received approval from the Ecru Board of Aldermen to purchase several pieces of equipment needed by the fire department. The board authorized the purchase of all the equipment, which totaled $1,176.69.
Closing arguments today for two accused of plot to kill DA
– JACKSON – Closing arguments are scheduled today in the trial of two men accused of a prison plot to hire a Detroit hit man to kill the Grenada County district attorney.
Testimony ended Friday in the week-long trial of Charlie Gavin and Charles McCullough, who are charged with racketeering. Both were in the federal prison in Yazoo City when they allegedly arranged have District Attorney Doug Evans murdered.
Gavin allegedly agreed to pay a supposed hitman $22,000 through a third inmate, who would get $500. Prosecutors say the third inmate worked with investigators. McCullough allegedly passed on the supposed hit man’s number to a woman who called and gave him instructions.
U.S. District Judge David Bramlette dismissed charges against that woman and a second woman on Friday.
Media outlets ask judge to unseal AG settlement
– JACKSON – A political Web site and three television stations are asking a federal judge to unseal a settlement agreement between Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and the insurance company that sued him after Hurricane Katrina.
State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. and Hood reached an agreement after the insurer sued Hood, claiming he violated a January 2007 agreement to end a Katrina investigation.
Hood has said the lawsuit was thrown out because it was baseless, but the judge has confirmed in court records that an agreement was reached by saying it would remain sealed.
Jackson New Media Inc. and its Web site Y’ filed a motion Thursday in federal court seeking to have the records opened. TV stations joining the request were WLBT, WDAM, WLOX.
Ole Miss to throw party for outgoing chancellor Thursday
– OXFORD – University of Mississippi students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends are throwing a party Thursday for retiring chancellor Robert C. Khayat.
Weather-permitting, the party will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. in The Grove.
Refreshments will be served.
In case of rain, the party will move to the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum.
Sue Keiser, Khayat’s assistant for 11 years, said that her retiring boss “didn’t want anything formal or expensive, so we’re just going to serve lemonade and cookies, and are inviting all our students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends – past and present – to show up.”
Khayat became Ole Miss’ 15th chancellor in summer 1995 and retires June 30.

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