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This Hour: Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment

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INFANT DEAD

Miss. probing death of infant whose parents fled

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi authorities say it could be weeks before they know what caused the death of 7-month-old Alyssa Harris, whose parents fled to Georgia after the grandfather called emergency workers to try to help the unresponsive baby.

Police captured the parents - 34-year-old Donald Boyd Harris and 31-year-old Allison Studdard - early Thursday in Sylvester, Ga., about 170 miles south of Atlanta.

Authorities say Harris and Studdard are being held on felony drug warrants, and deputies are heading Friday to Georgia to bring them back to Mississippi.

Mississippi issued an Amber Alert on Wednesday for the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Maliah Harris, after Donald Harris and Studdard fled with her. She was with them and unharmed when they were captured. Authorities released Maliah to the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services.

SEVERE WEATHER

Severe storms loom across central US this weekend

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A large section of the Midwest and South are at risk for strong tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flash flooding this weekend.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., on Thursday advised residents to be aware that dangerous weather is on the way and to make sure that they can receive weather warnings during their weekend activities.

Strong upper-level winds are forecast to move in from the west and merge with moist air moving north from the Gulf of Mexico, creating conditions that are favorable for tornado development.

Large hail and rain of up to several inches are also expected.

The storms are forecast to start Saturday from Nebraska to Texas and move eastward through Monday.

TOP TEACHER-MISSISSIPPI

Top administrator also named

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - New Albany High School English teacher Mary Margarett King has been selected as Mississippi's Teacher of the Year by the state Department of Education and the Mississippi Teacher Center.

King has spent her entire nine-year teaching career at her alma mater, where she teaches juniors and seniors.

King also will represent the state in the National Teacher of the Year competition in Washington D.C.

Gulfport High School Principal Michael Lindsey also was recognized on Wednesday as the Mississippi Administrator of the Year.

Lindsey is in his eighth year of leading Gulfport High. Lindsey began his teaching career in Natchez, where he was also a baseball coach. He came to the Gulfport district 13 years ago as a coach.

King and Lindsey were honored Wednesday in Jackson.

KEMPER-HEARING DELAY

Hearing delayed on Mississippi Power Kemper costs

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Upcoming hearings on whether Mississippi Power Co. should be able to get customers to pay for its Kemper County power plant have been postponed.

The Mississippi Public Service Commission Thursday delayed prudency hearings from May 19 until at least August.

The Public Utilities Staff sought the delay. Staff Executive Director Virden Jones says he wants to discuss a settlement of whether the unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. spent prudently and also of Mississippi Power's seven-year rate proposal to recover costs.

Monitors say some spending was imprudent, which could lead regulators to charge costs to Mississippi Power.

Jones says there wasn't enough time to prepare for hearings, and delaying should allow the Mississippi Supreme Court to rule if it's constitutional for Mississippi Power to recover costs before the plant is running.

OKTIBBEHA CO-NIGHTCLUB RULES

New nightclub ordinance draft adds teeth

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) - Oktibbeha County intends to put tough rules on local nightclub operations.

The Commercial Dispatch reports the county plans to curbing overcrowding and requiring unobstructed emergency exits.

County officials began drafting the ordinance after a March shooting injured five people at Club Rock, an establishment located a few miles outside of Starkville.

An Oktibbeha County judge has issued a temporary injunction that keeps the bar closed until a hearing on a nuisance claim against owner Larry Fair. No date has been set for a hearing.

County Fire Coordinator Kirk Rosenhan said the provisions are still a work in progress and fall well short of stricter rules set by national fire safety standards.

SOUTH LAMAR INDUSTRIAL PARK

Grazing, planting weighed for Lumberton site

LUMBERTON, Miss. (AP) - Lamar County is looking for a way to get something use out of the South Lamar Industrial Park near Lumberton, which has sat unoccupied since 2010.

Supervisor Warren Byrd is suggesting the land to be leased for cattle grazing or planting on the 290-acre site.

Byrd says the site is overgrown and a magnet for illegal activity.

The Hattiesburg American reports the park is formerly known as the North Lumberton Industrial Park. It was created in 2004 but part of the original property contained environmentally-sensitive wetlands and two cemeteries, which led to development and certification issues.

In April 2010, the ribbon-cutting took place for the South Lamar Industrial Park.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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