News Briefs May 30, 2009

ITAWAMBA COUNTY
Autopsy confirms burning death as suicide
– FULTON – An autopsy has confirmed the death of Itawamba County resident Micha “Kim” Curtis to have been self-inflicted.
According to Sheriff Chris Dickinson, the autopsy of Curtis’ body revealed the cause of her death to have been smoke inhalation, consistent with burning. No signs of foul play were found.
Curtis, 76, of 6789 Hopewell Keyes Road in the Van Buren Community, was discovered in her back yard by a neighbor about 3:30 p.m. on May 15. Deputies with the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Department reported Curtis dead on arrival.
Deputies originally suspected suicide, as Curtis reportedly had been giving away possessions and burning personal items a few days prior to her death.
According to Dickinson, Curtis’ body had been completely burned with signs of having been doused in gasoline.

HINDS COUNTY
Drug sweep nabs more than 150
– JACKSON – The Mississippi Narcotics Bureau and several local law enforcement agencies have made 152 drug arrests in 28 counties during a three-day sweep across the state.
The arrests began Tuesday and raids continued into Thursday.
MNB Director Marshall Fisher says the majority of the arrests were street-level drug dealers.
Confiscated as of Thursday were 4.3 pounds of crack and powder cocaine, 101 pounds of marijuana, and $97,773 in cash.
Fisher says more arrests and raids are expected.
NEWTON COUNTY
Veterans cemetery reaches milestone
– NEWTON – The State Veterans Affairs Board has received permission from the Veterans Administration to solicit for construction of Mississippi’s first state-operated cemetery for military veterans.
The Mississippi State Veterans Memorial Cemetery, once constructed, will be located on 75 acres between Newton and Hickory. The $7 million site is just off Interstate 20 on land donated by Mississippi State University.
The cemetery’s first phase will have enough space for 5,000 conventional burials and cremations. Construction is expected to begin this fall and open in the spring 2011.
LEE COUNTY
Reed gets endorsement of former rival Presley
– TUPELO – Former Tupelo mayoral candidate James R. Presley has endorsed his one-time opponent, Jack Reed Jr., in the race for the city’s highest office.
During a press conference Friday afternoon at Mid-South Machinery, where Presley works, the former candidate said Reed will do the best job for the city. Both men are Republicans.
“In the primary, Jack and I ran positive campaigns based on the issues as we saw them,” Presley said in a press release, “and I respect him for that. I am endorsing his candidacy for mayor of Tupelo because I think he will do the best job for our city.”
Reed faces Democrat Doyce Deas in Tuesday’s general election. The winner will take office in July and serve a four-year term.

NEMS Daily Journal