Articles by Emily Wagster Pettus

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 …

Workers’ Compensation Called Bar to Ex-Felons Getting Jobs in Mississippi

Mississippi lawmakers say they want to reduce the number of former inmates who return to prison after serving time. However, one state representative said ex-felons could have trouble finding jobs because of workers’ compensation insurance policies that companies carry. Many …

137,800 in Mississippi Fall in Health Insurance ‘Coverage Gap’

A new study shows 137,800 low-income Mississippians fall into a health insurance “coverage gap.” They’re currently uninsured. They earn too much to enroll in Medicaid but too little to qualify for government subsidies that would reduce their cost of buying …

Mississippi Insurance Chief Sues to Halt Flood Insurance Rate Hikes

The Mississippi Department of Insurance has filed a lawsuit against the federal government to try to block rates from increasing Oct. 1 in the National Flood Insurance Program. State Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney said that unless something changes, some customers …