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Wednesday, 4 August 2021

WCBI News at Six 04/23/2020

Credit: WCBI
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WCBI News at Six 04/23/2020
WCBI News at Six 04/23/2020
WCBI News at Six 04/23/2020

Thank you for joining us..

Over 60-thousand unemployment claims have been filed in alabama this past week.

59-thousand of those claims were covid-19 related.

Pickens county has 162 new unemployment claims., while lamar county has 102.

The majority of those claims came from manufacturing, accommodation and food services, and retail industries.

Mississippi - like alabama - has taken a big hit in the accommodations business - hotels are seeing a big impact.

Shelter in place orders naturally mean fewer people travelling.

And hotels depend on those travelers to keep their doors open.

Our quentin smith speaks with two local hotels experiencing fewer bookings.

He joins us live with more.

Aundrea, i'm here at the days inn hotel in columbus.

They're used to seeing rooms filled with guests ...but empty rooms like this one are now the common thing... slow business is impacting hotels throughout the area, causing some workers to be laid off and empty lobby....empty bedrooms...and not much going on at the front desk... this has become the new normal for staff at days inn.

" honestly speaking business has been really dull.

We usually have the occupancy of about 60 or 70% during this time of year, but because of the covid-19 we have about 30% of the occupancy."

Netri patel works at the front desk and says this weekend was going to be a big moneymaker because of people coming into town for graduation.

" we were booked for the weekend and we had some people call in just to have their names down so if the rooms get canceled they can have their rooms, but because of the coronavirus the ceremony got canceled and they all just canceled their reservation."

But this hotel isn't alone, the holiday inn is also feeling the impacts of covid-19.

" it hurt us a lot, we had to lay employees off, things we normally would do we couldn't do anymore like the breakfast and things like that."

But just because business is slow, staff members are still working hard to keep themselves and their guests safe.

Workers are wearing ppe, constantly wiping, and cleaning the rooms and building.

" the buttons for the elevator, we would normally wipe down once or twice a day, but now we are having to wipe it down every hour or so.

Anywhere the guest or staff is going to have contact, we're wiping down multiple times a day."

At days inn, patel says he's taking those same preventative measures.

In fact, employees members are encouraged not to leave the hotel just so they won't put anyone at risk " we have a couple of workers who have been staying here for over a month.

It's good for us to keep them safe because if they go out and bring it in it's going to be harmful for us and the guest at the same time."

Both hotels say this is their busy time of year with graduation, college athletics, and several local events that were set to take place in the coming weeks.

The hotels will remain open and practice safety measures.

But in the meantime.... workers say things will likely remain this way until the economy re-opens.

Reporting live in columbus.

Quentin smith.

Wcbi news.

Take vo off top many airports are also seeing a decline in travelers due to the coronavirus.

But, a new order is ensuring air travel continues.

The federal government is requiring airlines to maintain a certain number of flights per week if they're receiving money from the cares act.

This allows airports to provide a minimum level of service to their communities.

It'sa tough time for our country.

It's walking a fine line between keeping the system open and the financial aspect of it.

We're glad to see that we are still getting some air service, and we expect to see it continue to grow back to where we were as our economy grows.

For the first two weeks in may, executive director mike hainsey says they'll cut back to one flight a day.

After that, he says they'll gradually increase flights as the economy re- opens wipe to vo you're getting more gas for your buck at the pump lately.

In recent weeks gas prices have steadily decreased here in mississippi.

Fair oil company president johnny fair says covid-18 is impacting the prices.

And says the reason is because there aren't too many places to go.

"you seen a lot of prices fall at the pump over the last few weeks obviously because people staying at home and not driving much you know there's a lot of people that their car probably hadn't moved much in the last month so that's had an affect on things."

Fair also says once this pandemic is over, there's a possibility that gas prices will go back up.

First look stinger first look summary: another batch of showers showers and storms may affect our area friday evening/night but they are expected to weaken as they move in.

Aside from the chance of a few morning showers saturday the weekend is looking great for a change.

A cold front next tuesday night looks to bring our next batch of heavy rain and storm chances.

Thursday night: partly cloudy and quiet.

Lows in the low 50s.

Winds wnw 3-10 mph.

Friday: mostly sunny to partly cloudy.

Afternoon highs in the upper 70s to around 80.

Winds variable 5-10 mph.

The mississippi state department of health is reporting 259 new covid-19 cases and eight additional deaths.

Statewide numbers now stand at 5,153 positive tests, with 201 deaths.

Monroe county has the most cases and most deaths in our area.

109 people in the county have the virus.

Eight of the nine people that have died there were in a long- term care facility.

Calhoun, chickasaw, lafayette, lee, and oktibbeha all have more than 40 cases.

Lowndes county is has 36 cases.

Winston has 37.

Women and african americans have the highest number of cases in the state.

Of the cases investigated, nearly 21 percent required the person to be hospitalized.

More than 53 thousand people have been tested.

Mississippi businesses and manufacturers are stepping up in the fight against covid-19.

Governor reeves spent much of his briefing today highlighting what several companies are doing that is helping keep mississippians safe.

Some of those included "cathead distillery" where they're making hand sanitizer.

Blue delta in tupelo is making facemasks for people and healthcare personnel.

A number of other businesses are making an impact as we continue to battle the coronavirus.

"we are all in this fight together.

When we stand united nothing will hold us down.

When we stand united we emerge stronger as a state and when we stand united we emerge stronger as a people."

The governor also urged mississippians that even with loosening restrictions, people still need to practice social distancing, wear facemasks when out, and to stay home if you can.

Business owners across the area are doing what they can to keep their doors open during the shelter in place order.

Allie martin has more from two businesses in monroe county that are managing to weather the economic storm.

Although there's no foot traffic inside the blue owl in downtown aberdeen, owner shelly bowen has put anti bacterial covers on the door knobs.

The housewares and gifts store re opened this week with curbside only service.

"people have been contacting me through facebook, or giving me a call, text , people just pull up and i take it out to them and it's been working great, had a lot of support from that and it's very much appreciated."

Bowen opened "the blue owl" in october, and had a big christmas season.

But the coronavirus shuttered her store for six weeks and she is glad to be easing back into business.

"we do need to be able to open up, of course we don't want to do it too soon, we want to keep everybody as healthy as we can, but for small businesses it's been a struggle, and we still have bills to pay and a lot of us haven't gotten a stimulus yet, or any kind of funding, i think the sooner we get opened the better it will be."

Standup bridge in amory, businesses along main street are adapting, "the coffee pot' is opened three days a week for curbside service only and business has been steady.

"since we missed our beloved railroad festival this year i was asked by many of our customers could we do a flair of that someway, so i pulled out as many recipes as i could, for the last three weeks we've been doing a different railroad festival special."

Erin reeves owns "the coffee pot" and across the street, "amped nutrition," which makes healthy shakes and energy teas.

Reeves says the past six weeks have taught her a lot about running businesses during a national crisis.

"we have really boosted our social platform media, that has been a big deal, learning how to market your business.

Through marketing our business and changing up our menu a little bit, giving people a different taste of what they wanted and we plan to continue this throughout our business until forever."

"reeves is making business plans for the future, "the coffee pot' and " amped nutrition' will soon be under one roof, in a vacant building on the other end of main street.

In amory, allie martin, wcbi news business owners say they look forward to having customers back inside their stores and restaurants when shelter in place orders are eased.

Stinger empty streets are proving to be a temptation to some drivers.

And an area police department is trying to slow them down..

We're off to the races when we come aberdeen police are cracking down on reckless drivers.

In a facebook post today, the department listed several muscle cars in the notice to the public.

The agency says it is not targeting or stereotyping those vehicles but officers will be watching for those vehicles and others causing a problem in the city.

Fines for reckless driving and other offenses, along with towing costs are listed in the post.

Apd says those prices will so go up.

Officers say this is to warn people and prevent any accidents from happening.

Several people commented on the post and disagreed the decision.

The choctaw county sheriff's office is asking for your help finding a teenager.

Police say 16-year- old marissa reed left her parents house in mathiston on april 21st.

She was last seen wearing a gray t- shirt, shorts and birkenstock sandals.

Anyone with information is asked to call the choctaw county sheriff's office// bond is set for the man arrested in a deadly columbus shooting.

A judge set tyler blackwell's bond at 150 thousand dollars.

The 18-year-old is charged with murder.

Columbus police chief fred shelton says the shooting remains under investigation.

The deadly shooting happened monday afternoon on 5th street south.

This is video from the scene where 20-year-old xavier johnson died.

Lowndes county coroner greg merchant says preliminary autopsy results could be complete today.

Chief shelton says the shooting happened after an argument.

When police got to the scene, they found several shell casings johnson in the street.

Shelton says no other arrests are expected, at this time.

Wipe to gfx in an unrelated shooting... 32-year-old corey rice is wanted for aggravated assault.

Columbus police were called to 22nd street south and bell avenue on april 11th.

Investigators believe an argument led to the shooting.

Columbus police chief fred shelton says rice was supposed to turn himself in to officers this week but has not shown up.

The victim had serious injuries after the shooting.

Wipe to gfx webster county deputies arrest two men in connection with a burglary.

Austin williamson and justin richardson are charged with burglary of a commercial business and malicious mischief.

The alleged crimes happened on april 12th.

The sheriff's department's facebook page did not release any additional information about the alleged crime.

Williamson and richardson are both out of jail on bond.

Stinger wx open summary: another batch of showers showers and storms may affect our area friday evening/night but they are expected to weaken as they move in.

Aside from the chance of a few morning showers saturday the weekend is looking great for a change.

A cold front next tuesday night looks to bring our next batch of heavy rain and storm chances.

Thursday night: partly cloudy and quiet.

Lows in the low 50s.

Winds wnw 3-10 mph.

Friday: mostly sunny to partly cloudy.

Afternoon highs in the upper 70s to around 80.

Winds variable 5-10 mph.

Friday night: a chance of showers and storms. while a few strong storms may occur in eastern arkansas and nw mississippi, we expect whatever develops to our west to be in a weakening phase as it approaches our area.

Lows in the upper 50s.

Saturday: a small chance of early day showers with developing sunshine and breezes as the day wears on.

Highs in the mid 70s.

Wnw winds 10-20 mph.

Saturday night: mainly clear and cooler.

Lows in the upper 40s.

Sunday: picture perfect.

Mostly sunny with highs in the low 70s.

Sunday night: clear and cool.

Lows in the mid 40s.

Monday: partly cloudy.

Highs in the mid 70s.

Tuesday: partly cloudy with evening storms possible.

Highs in the upper 70s.

Wednesday: areas of morning rain and storms. afternoon clearing.

Highs in the upper 70s.

Follow @wcbiweather on facebook, twitter, instagram, and the wcbi news app stinger okolona-native cam smith has battled through injury and adversity to keep his dreams alive....next stop?

D-1 basketball hear his story, next spx open if you played any sport growing up, then you probably remember the dreams of playing in college and maybe even on the professional stage.

That's an accomplishment not many reach in a lifetime.

One local hoops player refuses to give up on that dream.

Wcbi sports' courtney robb, reports.

"because i'm from okolona, i have to find an edge on people.

I'm not extremely athletic, i'm not extremely strong, i'm not extremely fast.

I have to find an edge on everything i do."

Dreams of making an nba roster are born in towns like okolona, mississippi.

A community with less than 3,000 people.

A school and a few stores is all you'll find.

It's where pearl river forward cameron smith first held a basketball in his hands.

However, it's not where he plans for his hoops career to end.

"once i got good, i felt like it was my way out.

I want to provide for my family through the game of basketball.

That was it."

After battling a broken kneecap and multiple surgeries, one infecting down to the bone, smith wasn't always sure he would've the chance to play college ball.

Smith never lost hope.

Twenty-two staples later, he dawned a jersey with that same number and went on to have a strong senior season, finally signing to continue his career with pearl river community college.

"i was always on myself so hard.

I took it upon myself to get up at 4, 5 a.m., and just run.

I used to break down crying by myself, just trying to get back into it.

I knew what type of player i could be."

Two years later, smith now finds himself on a division i roster after committing to play for california state university: bakersfield.

The next step on the road to making it to the pros.

"i know i can do it.

It's just a matter of time and who sees me and where at.

I feel like the location of la is the back door scouts.

If i go up there and handle my business like i should, i should be pretty good."

A glance at the ice on his hand hints at #22's resume.

The next one, the future roadrunner, looks to add: an ncaa championship ring.

"march madness is self-explanatory.

You play your best ball in march.

If i'm playing my best ball in march, i will have a scout."

When smith hits the hardwood as a roadrunner, he says he expects to take the best player out of the game.

Reporting in okolona, courtney robb wcbi sports.

Smith will play for former ole miss men's basketball coach rod barnes at csu-bakersfield mississippi state rising senior abdul ado will throw his name into the 2020 nba draft process....but will maintain his eligiblity reports say its highly likely ado will return to campus in 2020.....the process is similar to what reggie perry and other did in 2018....receiving evaluations from nba scouts while still being able to return to college ado averaged 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks for the bulldogs this past season live sports are back!

All eyes will be on the nfl draft tonight....the three-day event kicking off tonight with the first round for fun....let's do some mock drafting, seeing where the stars from saturdays will end up on sundays this mock draft comes from cbs sports..... no mississippi state or ole miss projections for the first round --cam dantzler to the rams in round 2 --willie gay to the bengals in round 3 -- tyre phillips to the seahawks in round 4 --next round, ole miss dt benito jones to seattle in round 5 --msu o-lineman darryl williams to the chargers in round 6 --pair of bulldogs in the seventh...brian cole projected to miami, and chauncey rivers to the falcons --all projections...that' s the fun part...we'll find out more on how things will shape up tonight starting at 7 stinger last look last look last look last look

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