Mississippi Edition


4/13/20 - Emergency Declaration & Executive Orders | Bonnet Carre Spillway | Online

The Governor issues a series of Executive Orders and a Declaration of Emergency.

Then, the Mississippi Sound is still recovering from last spring’s opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Now the spillway is open for the third year in a row. We talk to Secretary of State Michael Watson.

Plus, how a lack of resources creates challenges for online college classes.

Segment 1:

Governor Tate Reeves has issued a Declaration of Emergency following the severe weather that passed through the state on Easter Sunday. The declaration enables all state agencies to ramp up coordination of their emergency responses with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and enable them to fast-track coordination at all levels of government in Mississippi. Greg Michel is the Executive Director of MEMA. He tells MPB's Alexandra Watts the early damage assessments are extensive. MEMA's initial report confirms 11 weather-related deaths in 6 counties. An estimated 72,000 are without power and at least 100 people are currently displaced.

The Governor has also issued a series of Executive Orders related to the state's COVID-19 response. He announced these new measures at a press conference on Friday. In total, the Governor has issued six new Executive Orders this month, beginning with the shelter-in-place order on April 1st.  

Segment 2:

The Bonnet Carre spillway, which lies on the western edge of St. Charles Parish in Louisiana, was built, in part, as a response to the great 1927 flood that decimated the lower Mississippi. The 5.7 mile chain of locks, traditionally opened at a frequency of once every ten years, is now open for the third consecutive spring. As Secretary of State Michael Watson tells our Michael Guidry, it is causing geological and economic damage to the Mississippi Sound.

Segment 3:

Universities and Colleges in Mississippi have transitioned to online distance learning to continue educating students during the Coronavirus pandemic. But, for some, transitioning to online instruction has not been easy. After professors convert all their materials to online resources, some students still may not have access to it. Sade Turnipseed, Assistant Professor at Mississippi Valley State University, tells MPB's Kobee Vance half of her students don’t have internet access.

Andy Harper is an Instructional Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi. He says the challenges for professors is figuring out how to transition their classes to an online platform. He also believes a healthy compromise is essential when determining how to issue grades. 

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