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MISSISSIPPI LOTTERY

Mississippi gets about $16M from new lottery since November

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi has collected about $16 million from a state lottery that started operating in November. The Mississippi Lottery Corporation said Monday that it deposited nearly $8.4 million into the state treasury on Feb. 20. That is the net proceeds from lottery games played during January. The state received $7.6 million from lottery games played during December. For the first 10 years, the first $80 million a year from Mississippi lottery revenue will go to infrastructure needs. After the $80 million benchmark is hit, the rest goes to education.

PRISON UNREST-MISSISSIPPI

Autopsy set for another Mississippi inmate who dies

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A woman has become at least the 22nd inmate in just over two months to die in a Mississippi prison system that's under federal scrutiny. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating violence and poor living conditions. The Mississippi Department of Corrections says 68-year-old Patricia Wilhite died Monday at Baptist Medical Center in Jackson.  She had been in nearby Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, serving life without parole. Wilhite was convicted of murder in 1998. The corrections department says “no foul play is suspected” in her death, and an autopsy will be done. Some of the deaths in Mississippi prisons have happened during violent outbursts.

DIET ADVICE BANNED

Ban on paid weight loss advice leads to Mississippi lawsuit

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A personal trainer who studied nutrition in college has sued a Mississippi agency after health officials told her only registered dietitians could charge to give advice how to lose weight. Donna Harris says her website pointed out she was not a registered dietitian and planned to give basic, personalized advice to healthy people for a $99 fee. But The Clarion Ledger reports that the Mississippi Department of Health sent her a letter threatening jail time and fines if she continued. So Harris shut down her site, refunded $7,000 to customers and on Friday sued several members of the Department of Health. The agency did not comment.

RURAL BROADBAND-MISSISSIPPI

Eastern Mississippi co-op considering offering broadband

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi electric utility cooperative is considering whether to provide its customers with broadband internet. The decision by 4-County Electric Power comes more than a year after a state law allowed co-ops to offer the services. Leaders with 4-County plan to meet over the next several weeks with consultants who prepared three feasibility studies. Executives say the goal is to make sure the company has the best information possible before moving to provide the service to its 49,000 customers in the eastern central portion of the state. The projected cost of the broadband project could be as much as $110 million.

DECLARED DEAD

Mississippi man appeals death sentence in girl's slaying

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The fate of a Mississippi man facing a federal death sentence for the slaying of a 12-year-old girl now lies with three appeals court judges.  Thomas Sanders left his Mississippi family in 1987 and had been declared legally dead. Then he was found and arrested in Gulfport, Mississippi, in 2010 in connection with the death of Lexis Roberts of Las Vegas. Defense attorneys argued Monday at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that his death sentence should be reversed. They said he should have been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial _ noting a history of brain injuries and hallucinations.

COUNCILMAN ARRESTED

Mississippi councilman, wife charged with simple assault

D'IBERVILLE, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi city councilman and his wife have been arrested on assault charges stemming from a domestic situation over the weekend. D'Iberville Police Chief Wayne Payne confirmed Sunday that the department responded to the home of councilman Robby Ellis and his wife, Chelse Ellis, on Saturday night. Payne says an officer noted that there were “signs of domestic violence occurring on both sides." He didn't offer additional information. The Biloxi Sun Herald reports both spouses were charged with misdemeanor simple assault and released with a no contact order between them. It's unclear whether either suspect has an attorney who can comment on their behalf.