Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT


Governor: Mississippi not 'dictator' on limits during virus

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves says he's rejecting “dictator models like China” to strictly control people's movements to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Mississippi reported four new deaths Wednesday, bringing the state total to five. But, testing remains limited, so it's unclear whether the outbreak has caused other deaths without being identified as the reason. Reeves issued an executive order Tuesday telling restaurants to close their dining rooms. Several other governors have issued stay-at-home orders, but Reeves hasn't. Some cities and counties in Mississippi are setting their own restrictions, including curfews.


Possible twister: Damage reports at Mississippi-Alabama line

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — A suspected tornado heavily damaged a store in northern Mississippi and other structures along the border with Alabama as a severe storm system crossed the Deep South. Preliminary damage reports from the National Weather Service showed the apparent tornado touched down Tuesday evening near the Mississippi town of Tishomingo. Tishomingo Police Chief Mike Kemp told broadcast outlet WTVA that some minor injuries were reported and a dollar store in the community sustained major damage. Severe weather watches were posted for other parts of the South, including parts of Tennessee and Georgia.


Man found dead in tractor at North Carolina recycling site

HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Police say a man was found dead in the driver's seat of a tractor at a North Carolina recycling site, but foul play is not suspected. The Winston-Salem Journal reports High Point police said the facility manager saw the truck arrive to pick up a load from the loading dock, but when he couldn't make contact with the driver. he checked inside the cab and found 66-year-old Jerry Wayne McCuller of Tupelo, Mississippi, dead in the cab, Officials don't know how McCuller died, but an autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death.


Mississippi governor bans most gatherings of 10 or more

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has issued an order further restricting people's interaction to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. He's not mandating that people stay home. The order Tuesday does not specify enforcement. Reeves says he wants employers to let people work from home where possible. People are ordered to stop gatherings of 10 or more until April 17. They're also ordered to stop visiting nursing homes and other places people are more likely to become sick. Reeves says he thinks the state's only abortion clinic should stop doing elective surgeries. Mississippi has at least 320 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.


Man charged in officers' deaths moved to a county jail

BROOKHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man awaiting trial in the shooting deaths of two police officers has been moved to a different detention facility. Marquis Flowers is now in the Adams County jail. He's being held on a contempt of court charge for an incident that happened before the 2018 killings of Brookhaven officers Zach Moak and James White. Flowers was moved to the jail Friday from Central Mississippi Correctional Facility. After he was arrested and charged in the killings of the officers, Flowers was sent to the state prison system to finish serving a sentence for a vehicle burglary conviction.


Former court clerk sentenced for embezzlement conviction

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) — A former court clerk in Mississippi has been sentenced to two years in prison and five years of probation after she was convicted of embezzlement. Karen Refre was the municipal court clerk in Philadelphia. State Auditor Shad White said in a news release Tuesday that Refre manipulated accounting software to steal more than $11,000 from the city over two years. She was arrested by agents from the auditor's office in August after a grand jury indicted her. She was recently convicted in Neshoba County Circuit Court and was sentenced Friday by Judge Mark Duncan.