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7/23/20 - Hospital System Under Stress | JPS Superintendent | Book Club: "Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe"

The continuing trend of high cases and hospitalizations keeps Mississippi’s health care system under stress.

Then, how the state’s second largest school system is preparing for the new school year.

Plus, in today’s Book Club, a real ghost town in Mississippi is the setting for “Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe.”

Segment 1:

Governor Tate Reeves is calling on hospitals to implement surge plans, to make room for coronavirus patients in their facilities. For the second consecutive day, the Mississippi Department of Health reported over 1,500 new cases of the coronavirus. High hospitalizations rates associated with the virus also continue to press the health care system. Governor Tate Reeves says the central region of the state only has two ICU beds available, which creates a real danger for anyone in need of critical medical care.

As the state inches closer to crisis state, Health Officer Dr. Dobbs is transparent about what will happen to the level of care if hospitals are pushed to that extent.

Segment 2:

Reaching every corner of the capital city, Jackson Public Schools is the state's second-largest school district. With over fifty school sites and nearly 24,000 scholars, the district has many factors to consider when preparing for the new school year. Superintendent Dr. Errick Greene says his team's plan is based on feedback from the community, and the health safety guidelines of public officials. 

Segment 3:

About 40 miles north of Meridian is a ghost town called Electric Mills. There’s not much left except some overgrown sidewalks and pillars. In today’s Book Club, author, Jo Watson Hackl, takes readers to a fictionalized version of Electric Mills in her adventure, “Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe.”

More Episodes

4/19/2021

4/19/21 - J&J Pause & Effects Monitoring | Vaccinating Rural Communities | Your Vote, Your Voice: Part 4

With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still on pause, health officials examine vaccination rates and the hesitancy factor.Then, from the Gulf States Newsroom, how partnerships with community health centers are reaching rural residents in the region.Plus, in part four of You Vote, Your Voice, we explore how those with felony convictions lose access to the ballot.Segment 1:The vaccination in Mississippi continues despite an unexpected bump in the road.Last week the state put a pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in accordance to CDC guidelines after a small number of rare blot clots were attributed to the shot.State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, in a roundtable with leaders of the Mississippi Medical Association, called the decision wise.The pause raised two immediate questions - how will distribution be affected and will hesitancy in ALL vaccines grow.Dr. Dobbs says some logistical adjustments are being made to compensate for the temporary sidelining of the J&J, but doesn't think long-term goals will be affected.Segment 2:About two in five Americans live in rural areas across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Many of these residents are people of color, low-income and uninsured – communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden Administration has given billions in funding to community health centers in its mission to get vaccines to those populations. But for much of the rollout, these providers were underutilized. From the Gulf States Newsroom, Shalina Chatlani reports.Segment 3:In thirty-seven states, those who lose their right to vote due to felony convictions, have those rights restored immediately upon release.That, however, is not the case in the Magnolia State where it is estimated that ten percent of potential voters have lost access to the ballot. In Mississippi, a conviction of any of twenty-three felonies results in permanent disenfranchisement. We talk to Nshombi Lambright, Executive Director of One Voice Mississippi and Pauline Rogers of RECH Foundation about the challenges of disenfranchisement.
4/16/2021

4/16/21 - Parole Eligibility Bill Waits | Initiative 65 Hearing: Underlying Factors | Poetry Out Loud 2021

Community leaders urge Governor Reeves to sign a parole eligibility bill that’s been sitting on his desk since the end of the legislative session.Then, while the arguments in the case against Initiative 65 focus on process, under the surface the subject of the matter - medical marijuana - is playing a significant role.Plus, this year’s Poetry Out Loud competition might look different, but the result is familiar.Segment 1:A bill to expand parole eligibility in Mississippi is waiting to be signed into law by the Governor.It's a measure advocates say could reduce prison overcrowding, reduce corrections spending, and help reconnect families.Yet, since being passed with bi-partisan in the legislature weeks ago, the bill has remained in limbo awaiting a signature.Pastor C. J. Rhodes of Mount Helm Baptist Church in Jackson advocates for prison reform in Mississippi. He tells our Kobee Vance the bill provides the opportunity to restore families. Russ Latino, President of Empower Mississippi, says the bill would ease overcrowding, and free up needed resources to focus on those who actually pose a danger to communities.Segment 2:Initiative 65 - the constitutional amendment ballot referendum establishing a medical marijuana program in Mississippi - hangs in the balance following a Supreme Court hearing this month.It is one of many ballot referendums - some successful, some not - that have gone through the same process outlined by the Mississippi Constitution.Mississippi's Voter ID law passed the same way.Others - like the personhood amendment or Initiative 42 to fully fund the MAEP - failed but made it to the ballot in similar fashion.But 65 - with the controversial subject of medical marijuana lying under the surface - drawing the eye of scrutiny over the initiative process.Matt Steffey is a professor of Constitutional Law at the Mississippi College School of Law.In part two of his conversation with our Michael Guidry, Steffey argues once you look past the narrow argument of constructionist interpretation, the underlying factors behind the case rise to the surface.Segment 3:This year's Poetry Out Loud competition had a different feel to it due to the coronavirus pandemic.Contestants, who usually compete together in regional and state finals, presented their recitations alone - in front of cameras.But, rising to the top of a crowded field of 947 students was a familiar name and voice to the Mississippi Poetry Out Loud community - Morgan Love, who you just heard.The senior from the Mississippi School for the Arts followed her 2020 win by capturing this year's title.She shares more on her experience and what lies ahead with our Michael Guidry.
4/15/2021

4/15/21 - Clinics Adjust to CDC Pause of JnJ | Initiative 65 Hearing: Legal Arguments | Book Club: No Common Ground

Clinics adjust to the temporary pause in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.We examine how the new CDC guidance could effect the vaccination effort in the Magnolia State.Then, the fate of medical marijuana is in the hands of the Mississippi Supreme Court following yesterday's oral arguments.We break down each side of the debate.Plus, in today's Book Club, a historian lays out the history and motives behind erecting monuments in homage to the Confederacy.Segment 1:Clinics across Mississippi are adjusting their coronavirus vaccination plans as the state puts a temporary pause on the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.Health officials say nearly 42 thousand doses of the single shot JnJ vaccine have been given in Mississippi, - that's around 3 percent of the nearly 1.5 million doses administered in the state.The pause is due to a number of JnJ recipients developing a rare form of blood clots.At the Healthworks Immunization Clinic in Hattiesburg, Dr. Rambod Rouhbakhsh says the clots need to be fully investigated. He tells our Kobee Vance, the pause will effect health providers' vaccination efforts differently, and the CDC's decision is an example of the robust monitoring all the vaccines are receiving.Segment 2:The fate of Initiative 65 - the constitutional amendment ballot referendum establishing a medical marijuana program in Mississippi - rests in the hands of the Mississippi Supreme Court.And while the subject of the widely used plant may be controversial, the debate over 65 boils down to a legal argument over constitutional language. To better understand yesterday's hearing, our Michael Guidry joins Matt Steffey - professor of Constitutional Law at the Mississippi College School of Law.In part one of their two part conversation, they break down the legal arguments presented to court.Segment 3:Before Confederate monuments began coming down in recent years,to the consternation of some and the jubilation of others, the history of when they began to go up is long.In her book, "No Common Ground," Karen L. Cox talks about heritage versus history and how women took the lead to erect the largest number of monuments before the turn of the 20th century.