Mississippi Edition


Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

On today's show: The fight to establish a labor union at the Nissan plant in Canton is being reignited with an upcoming rally. Then, after a StoryCorp conversation from Mississippi, find out where free legal help is now available to Mississippians recovering from last month's devastating tornadoes.

More Episodes


8/12/20 - College Football | Lawmakers Respond to Veto Override | Southern Remedy Health Minute | Biloxi Superintendent

The Governor throws his support behind a fall college football season.Then,lawmakers respond to the first veto override since 2002.Plus, after a Southern Remedy Health Minute, cases of COVID-19 are popping up in schools. We talk to a superintendent on the coast about how his district has managed the first week of school.Segment 1:For many in the south, fall means football.But that reality could be shattered as two of college football's premiere conferences are suspending athletic activities.The Big 10 and Pac 12 both announced yesterday their member schools would not be participating in fall sports due to concerns over the coronavirus.The Southeastern Conference - home of Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi - has modified its football schedule, but has not yet announced any plans to suspend play.Governor Tate Reeves says football can and should be played.Segment 2:Governor Tate Reeves is claiming victory after his veto of the education budget bill was overridden earlier this week.It was the first veto override since 2002.Reeves says he vetoed the bill to compel lawmakers to fund the School Recognition Program. Representative Kent McCarty, a Republican from Hattiesburg, serves as Vice Chair of the House Education Committee.He tells our Desare Frazier lawmakers felt it prudent to return to address the veto. Senate Minority Leader Derrick Simmons calls the override historic. He says legislators responded overwhelmingly to educators concerns.Segment 3:Southern Remedy Health MinuteSegment 4:Around 100 students at a Mississippi Gulf Coast high school are quarantining after a teacher reported COVID-19 like symptoms.District administrators say the Gulfport High School students were sent home out of an abundance of caution.The episode is one in a handful of examples of what the new normal like is for school communities. In neighboring city Biloxi, students returned to class last week.Biloxi Public Schools Superintendent Marcus Boudreaux says its been a great start to the year, even as students adapt to new policies designed to prevent school-wide transmission.

8/11/20 - Veto Override & Unemployment Benefits | Pediatric Cases Rise | Constitutionality of Executive Orders

The House overrides a budget bill veto and the Governor weighs in on President Trumps Executive Order on unemployment benefits.Then, over 97,000 pediatric cases of COVID-19 were reported during the second half of July.We examine the factors of pediatric transmission.Plus, President Trump issued a series of Executive Orders over the weekend, including a payroll tax deferment.But how constitutional are they?Segment 1:Mississippi Legislators are making their voices heard by overriding Governor Tate Reeves' veto of an education budget bill.Reeves said he vetoed parts of the bill because it changed a teacher pay bonus program. The House voted 109-7 in favor of the bill.The Senate, likewise, voted by a two-thirds margin to override the veto.Governor Reeves responded to the lawmakers' action yesterday during a press briefing.As mitigation efforts against the coronavirus continue, attention is also on the widespread unemployment caused by the pandemic.While the numbers have improved slightly in recent months, many Mississippians are still jobless.Exacerbating that condition is the expiration of the $600 federal supplement of unemployment benefits.With Congress deadlocked on a solution, President Trump issued an Executive Order under the Stafford Act to provide continued assistance.But, as Reeves explains, the added benefits could put undue strain on the state's Unemployment Security Trust Fund.Segment 2:Nationwide, over 97,000 pediatric cases were reported in the second half of July - setting the stage for an uncertain fall semester as school administrators plan for the pandemic.Dr. John Gaudet is the President of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.He discusses the rapid increase in pediatric cases, and the factors that lead to transmission in older children.Segment 3:Congress is currently deadlocked in negotiations for pandemic relief bill.Democrats are reportedly seeking a three trillion dollar package while Republican leaders want to cap the bill at one trillion.While talks stall, President Donald Trump is using the power of the Executive Order to present relief options - including a continuation of the federal unemployment supplement and a payroll tax deferment.Matt Steffey, Professor at Mississippi College School of Law answers the fundamental question: are they constitutional?

8/10/20 - Lawmakers Plan to Return | Hospital Surge | Testing in Holmes County

Lawmakers return to the capital to address the Governor’s education budget bill veto and other matters.Then, nearly two weeks after soaring highs in COVID-19 case numbers, lagging indicators like hospitalizations and ICU occupancy are catching up to the hospital system. We hear how the the state’s only Tier One trauma hospital is preparing.Plus, the CDC and Health Department visit Holmes County for a widespread community testing initiative.Segment 1:Lawmakers are expected to return to the Mississippi capitol today to handle some unfinishedbusiness. The legislature adjourned early last month, sending a number of bills to the desk of Governor Tate Reeves for signature.Reeves would end up vetoing some of them, including the education budget bill - now at the center of a lawsuit between lawmakers and the Governor.Leaders reserved six days of the regular session to return- in order to appropriate the remainder of the CARES Act funds. But soon after dismissing, at least 40 capital personnel tested positive for COVID-19, creating uncertainty as to when members would be able to return to address the series of vetoes.Reeves has said he would not call the legislature back into session until he feels it is safe. Robert Johnson is the Democratic Leader in the House. He tells our Desare Frazier the lawmakers' return is necessary right now.Segment 2:Mississippi’s seven-day rolling average of coronavirus infections is trending down following a month of the state’s highest rates of community transmission. But the data suggests the worst could still be yet to come for those lagging indicators like hospitalizations, ICU occupancy, and ventilator utilization - all of which remain at or near their highest levels. Dr. LouAnn Woodward is the Vice Chancellor of Health Services at the University of Mississippi Medical Center - the state’s sole Tier I trauma facility. She tells our Michael Guidry those record high case numbers from two weeks ago are just starting to manifest in the hospital data.Segment 3:Holmes County is a major hotspot for the coronavirus in Mississippi, despite having a relatively small population.Now, a partnership between the Mississippi Department of Health, CDC, National Guard and University of Mississippi Medical Center is working to test every resident in the town of Lexington for the coronavirus. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says he hopes this focused testing initiative can slow the spread of the virus by catching asymptomatic carriers.