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PRISON UNREST-MISSISSIPPI

Coroner: 2 new Mississippi inmate deaths were from beating

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A coroner says two inmates were beaten to death in an understaffed Mississippi prison that has been shaken by deadly violence in recent weeks. The state Department of Corrections says the two were injured Monday night in a fight with other prisoners. Sunflower County Coroner Heather Burton says the men died early Tuesday of “blunt force beating injuries.” The department said the deaths appear not to be a “continuation of the recent retaliatory killings” in the prison. Five inmates were killed and others injured in Mississippi prisons in late December and early January. Three of those deaths were at Parchman.

AP-US-SLAIN-FOOTBALL-PLAYER-ALABAMA

Ex-Mississippi State football player found dead in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Authorities say the death of a former Mississippi State football player whose body was found in an Alabama home Tuesday is being investigated as a homicide. Birmingham police told news outlets that 25-year-old De'Runnya Wilson was found unresponsive inside a south-side home by a relative Tuesday evening. Police say Wilson's death is being investigated as a homicide. A cause of death wasn't immediately released. Wilson played football for Wenonah High School in Birmingham. He went on to become a wide receiver at Mississippi State from 2013 through 2015, finishing his career with 22 touchdowns. He left school early to enter the NFL draft but went undrafted. The investigation is ongoing.

AP-MS-SUPER BOWL PARTY SHOOTING

5 Mississippi men charged with murder in 2018 party killing

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Five men in Mississippi have been indicted on murder charges in what authorities described as a deadly, gang-related home invasion during a 2018 Super Bowl party. The Sun Herald reported the men were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. Fabian Dwight Dailey was killed and two others injured by gunshots after masked intruders broke into a home where people were playing cards and watching the football game. An FBI agent said in a sworn affidavit that police interviewed a man who allowed Watts to borrow a semi-automatic handgun used in the assault and killing. Defense attorneys have criticized prosecutors and law enforcement officials for reportedly failing to collect any fingerprints or physical evidence to tie the suspects to the crime.

PROTECTED TURTLES-LAWSUIT

Lawsuit filed to protect turtles in Mississippi, Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two environmental groups have sued the Trump administration, saying it has failed to protect two species of turtles found in Mississippi and Louisiana under the Endangered Species Act. The Center for Biological Diversity and New Orleans-based Healthy Gulf want endangered or threatened status for the Pearl River map turtle and the Pascagoula map turtle. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says both are endangered. The U.S. Justice Department says it's reviewing the suit. Map turtles are also called sawbacks because their shells have a central ridge that sometimes develops saw-like points.

CHARTER BUS FIRE

College students scramble to exit bus fire in Mississippi

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) — Dozens of college fraternity students had to scramble for safety after their charter bus burst into flames on the side of a Mississippi highway. News outlets reported the bus was carrying University of Alabama students who attended a fraternity formal in New Orleans and returning home Sunday afternoon. First responders say the bus driver ran over something in the road that sparked the fire on Interstate 59 near Hattiesburg. After the bus driver evacuated the 29 passengers, flames engulfed the bus, with thick black smoke shooting into the sky. Only a burned-out shell of the bus remained after fire crews extinguished the blaze. No injuries were reported.

WINTRY WEATHER-DEEP SOUTH

Cold air invades South, bringing below-freezing temperatures

A blast of cold air drove temperatures below freezing in many southern states. In Atlanta, the weather system brought temperatures down to the mid-20s early Tuesday and prompted a warming shelter to open. In the north Georgia mountains, the temperatures were even more frosty: A U.S. Forest Service weather station near Brasstown Bald, the state's highest peak, recorded a low temperature of 16 degrees early Tuesday morning. In Alabama, Auburn was among the coldest cities in the state early Tuesday with a low temperature of 22 degrees just before dawn. Forecasters said it was 23 degrees in Birmingham and 24 in Huntsville as the sun was coming up.