Articles by Emily Wagster Pettus

FEMA Questions Mississippi City’s Spending of 2014 Tornado Recovery Grant

A division of the federal government says the city of Louisville, Miss., should repay a $25.4 million grant awarded for recovery from a 2014 tornado. However, state Auditor Stacey Pickering said he is working with federal and local officials to …

Mississippi Insurance Agent Charged in Prison Bribery Case

An insurance agent from Jackson, Miss., is the latest person indicted in a corruption case tied to the former head of the Mississippi prison system. Guy E. “Butch” Evans, 61, appeared Aug. 24 in U.S. District Court in Jackson and …

Louisiana Governor: Flood Damage at Least $8.7B

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says his state had more than $8.7 billion in damage from catastrophic flooding in August, and the figure will increase as officials finish assessing damage to roads and other public infrastructure. The governor’s office on …

Major Storm System Causes Widespread Flooding in Mississippi

As the Leaf River rose north of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 26-year-old Rebecca Bruce and her fiancé grabbed what they could and left the shed where they live. The water was more than 2 feet deep indoors when they left, she said. …

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner to Run Unopposed in November

State election officials removed the Reform Party candidate for Mississippi insurance commissioner from the Nov. 3 ballot, saying it was impossible to know whether he had lived in the state long enough to run. The decision leaves Republican Mike Chaney …

Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Being Challenged in Upcoming Primary

Second-term Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is being challenged in the Republican primary by John Mosley, a body shop owner who says insurance companies have gotten away with paying for less-than-perfect replacement parts to repair damaged vehicles. Chaney supporters criticize …

2 Small Weekend Earthquakes Shake Central Mississippi

State emergency officials said no injuries or major damage were reported Saturday night as two small earthquakes briefly shook central Mississippi – a part of the state where quakes are unusual. The U.S. Geological Survey said both occurred in Madison …

Mississippi Approves $17M for Tornado Recovery

The Mississippi Legislature met in a three-hour session Thursday approved $17 million to help pay for recovery from disasters, including tornadoes that recently pounded the state. Republican Gov. Phil Bryant signed the funding measure, Senate Bill 2001, and it became …

Mississippi Governor to Sign Religious Practices Bill Opposed by Civil Rights, Gay Groups

Mississippi lawmakers on Tuesday passed the final version of a bill that says state and local governments cannot put a substantial burden on religious practices, a measure that sparked debate about possible discrimination against gay people and other groups. An …

Maker of 3-Wheeled Vehicle Seeks Exemption from Mississippi Helmet Law

A company that plans to make a three-wheeled vehicle is seeking a change in Mississippi’s helmet law. Elio Motors wants Mississippi to specify that a helmet won’t be required in its “autocycle,” an enclosed motorcycle with two wheels in front …