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Tuesday, 2 March 2021


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Mississippi has hit a record for new cases of coronavirus.

The state department of health is reporting 2,457 new cases today and 15 deaths.

In our area, lee county has the most new cases with 109.

Lowndes is reporting 58.

Other high counts include pontotoc with 39, winston with 32, monroe 30, and oktibbeha county with 29 new cases.

There are 1,057 covid-19 patients being treated in hospitals across the state.

250 are in icu and 142 on ventillators.

Many industries say they're return to normal has been slow as the pandemic continues.

But one is bouncing back better than you may have expected.

Casinos aroundthe state were totally shut down for a couple of months at the start of this pandemic.

So, there were obviously lost dollars because of that.

But as courtney ann jackson explains, covid-19 hasn't seemed to put much of a damper on the desire to gamble.

In contrast to some industries- gaming has come back from its shutdown stronger than before.

June- september's gross gaming revenues in the state were better than last year's numbers for those months combined.

"we're not where we want to be but i would say we're not that far behind based on all the circumstances we've had to deal with."

Sports books in particular have rebounded well.

"october of this year was a record for us.

I think it was $60 million in legal spots wagers placed at the casinos which is of a bug last year.

So, that's a good sign."

As you might guess-the majority of those wagers were on football.

And a look at the taxable revenue alone-shows a 2.3 million dollar increase over last october.

"i believe we felt the effects.

People are playing sports and if there's a sport out there to be played, there will be someone willing to wager on it.

Even in the middle of all this."

One thing that could be ahead of the state is another option for placing those sports wagers.

The senate gaming committee held a hearing on mobile sports betting wednesday.

"we feel like on the coast the illegal betting has dropped because were so close to being able to go and actually place a bet.

It would drop tremendously more with the use of this.

Just simply the convenience of it."

Currently-it's illegal to place mobile sports bets on an app off-site from a casino.

But lawmakers are learning how it would work to add an option for folks to log-in and place bets at a casino without ever stepping foot in the building.

"and mississippi faces , as director godfrey mentioned, competition retail from arkansas mobile, from tennessee and soon to be from louisiana."

Any action on mobile sports betting would take time.

It would have to first go through the legislative process and the legislature doesn't return until next month for the 2021 session.

First look stinger first look summary: areas of rain will develop thursday and continue into friday.

Between 1/3- 1" of rain is possible.

Drier air is going to win out for the weekend and most of next week.

Wednesday night: increasing clouds.

Not as cold.

Lows in the low to mid 30s.

Winds e 2-6 mph.

Thursday: cloudy with a 40% chance of rain showers.

Highs in the low 50s.

Winds ese 5-15 mph.

The state's largest hospital has no room for critical care patients.

In fact 31 people have been admitted to the jackson hospital - but have no place to go.

All adult icu beds are full.

All medical and surgical beds are full at the university of mississippi medical center in jackson.

In fact, dr. louann woodward, vice chancellor for u- m-m-c says the number of hospitalized covid patients in mississippi is at a new high.

And, woodward says the medical resources including nurses and therapists and beds are limited.

She says the staff is exhausted from the surge of seriously ill patients.

Mississippi's chief health officer, dr. thomas dobbs says the state is still heading to the worst of the cases.

His recommendation - stay home.

No weddings.

No funerals.

No social gatherings of any kind.

"so we are way higher in our daily case counts and our hospitalizations are going at a rate that is absolutely terrifying.

Um so where is this going to end?

Its not going to end at least for weeks if we keep everything perfect today its going to be a week or two before we even see an impact because we are still going to be processing everyone who has been exposed and who are going to get sick and who are going to die so without a doubt i think we are headed into the darkest period of the coronavirus for mississippi."

The recommendation to avoid gatherings was sent as an alert today from the department of health to doctors, hospitals and clinics.

The record- breaking surge of covid-19 cases in mississippi comes at the same time as temperatures drop and we enter into cold and flu season.

That's why winston medical center is preparing their respiratory clinic to be one of the busiest clincs at the center.

Ceo paul black says the clinic is across the street from their main building and is a separate clinic just for people who come in with cold and flu symptoms. since symptoms like like fever, aching and coughing are shared by the flu, cold and covid- 19...patients at the center are tested for the coronavirus.

"they go through there and get tested for covid so they don't get in the general population of our clinics...the drop in the temperature, people are going back inside, getting closer together, not spreading out..that's what we're going to get."

Black says he hopes mask wearing and other social distancing habits will reduce the number of regular flu cases this season.

For the past 23 years...sonya baldwin has worked at the hardee's here in columbus and became well known for her incredible smile and ability to brighten anyone's day.

So members of the community decided to return the favor, presenting her with a certificate for a spa day and nearly two thousand dollars this morning.

Wcbi news reporter stephen pimpo was there to witness it and brings us the heartwarming story.

Hardee's employee sonya brown is famous in columbus for bringing joy to everyone she meets.

And with the holiday season well underway...a group of her satisfied customers decided it was time they return the favor.

"i cannot think of a person that is more deserving than she is."

Over 100 people came together to raise enough money to give sonya a spa day as well as 17 hundred dollars.

A group gathered outside the resturaunt wednesday morning to surprise her with the gifts.

"i didn't have no idea.

Espescially $1700?

I didn't have no idea.

The spa was what i needed but this is just icing on the cake."

Su: sonya has manned this drive through window for over 20 years...helping the people of columbus start their mornings with a smile.

"it's just hard to find people like that.

That touches everybody they come in contact with."

Columbus resident kathy perritt came up with the idea after seeing so many people on social media talking about what a special person sonya is.

"never in a million years did i think it would take off like it did."

Sonya left with tears of joy after receiving her gifts,which included all the wonderful things people had to say about her on social media.

"she's so kind and put a smile on my face real quick...she's just the most precious soul.

I mean, it just goes on and on."

I just can't believe it."

"the world needs more people like sonya."

In columbus...stephen pimpo...wcbi news to give you an idea of exactly the type of person sonya is...she told us that she plans on using at least some of that money to bless someone else in need.

Serving others.

That is at the heart of the job done by law enforcement officers.

Today, starkville police officers talked about taking that service mindset into the community.

This is the spd intelligence led policing conference.

Held for the next two days at plymouth bluff, officers are talking about keys to service minded leaders.

Trust, diversity, and mentoring are all part of the job.

Reserve captain brian locke shared his leadership experience with other officers.

"you go through your day-to-day operations and you just start working and you forget about some of those things that are so important to you to make a good police officer, make a good leader.

So getting them out of their element, getting them in a different location is just a perfect opportunity to just remind folks.

And normally when you come out of a two-day conference like this, a lot of folks are just rejuvenated and you're just ready to go again."

Speakers talked with officers about integrity, courage and service above self, all part of building service minded leaders.

Stinger wx open summary: areas of rain will develop thursday and continue into friday.

Between 1/3- 1" of rain is possible.

Drier air is going to win out for the weekend and most of next week.

Wednesday night: increasing clouds.

Not as cold.

Lows in the low to mid 30s.

Winds e 2-6 mph.

Thursday: cloudy with a 40% chance of rain showers.

Highs in the low 50s.

Winds ese 5-15 mph.

Thursday night: areas of showers.

Milder lows in the 40s.

Friday: a 40% chance of showers, especially during the morning.

Mostly cloudy.

Highs in the upper 40s to around 50.

Friday night: turning partly cloudy.

Lows in the mid to low 30s.

Saturday: mostly sunny and pleasant.

Highs in the mid 50s.

Saturday night: mostly clear.

Cool lows in the low 30s.

Sunday: clouds & sun.

Highs in the mid to upper 50s.

Early next week: abundant sunshine.

Highs in the 50s, low in the 20s and 30s.

Follow @wcbiweather on facebook, twitter, instagram, and the wcbi news app stinger coming up after the break, dr. pam sykes joins us for another health talk with baptist.

Don't go anywhere.

Summary: areas of rain will develop thursday and continue into friday.

Between 1/3- 1" of rain is possible.

Drier air is going to win out for the weekend and most of next week.

Wednesday night: increasing clouds.

Not as cold.

Lows in the low to mid 30s.

Winds e 2-6 mph.

Thursday: cloudy with a 40% chance stinger coming up after the break, dr. pam sykes joins us for another health talk with baptist.

Don't go anywhere.

Cash 3 lottery gfx goes here a newborn baby with a fever can be a scary thing... and how do you know when the fever is great enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room?

We talk about that and more in tonight's health talk with baptist.

Take a look.

No script billboard attached stinger stinger ever is greater than 100.4 is bad in a baby younger than two months fever can indicate an infection and should be taken to the doctor when to seek medical care for ac hild this aged pends on the symptoms join us next time on health talk with baptisthead coach niki mc-cray and mississippi state host new orleans highlights from the game next in sports spx open before having to hit the road to take on a tough south florida team, hail state women's hoops tipped off tonight in the hump!

This time around with fans in the house as the bulldogs look to become 2-0.

Myah taylor and the bulldogs taking on new orleans.

1st quarter....jessika carter misses the mid range shot, sidney cooks makes the putback...9-4 msu new orleans getting it going from the perimeter....erin randle knocks down the 3 ball....16-9 msu msu on the fastbreak....beauti ful ball movement ends with catterion thompson hitting the corner 3...21-9 msu 2nd quarter...aliyah matharu drives and euro steps by the defender...beautifu l finish...27-11 msu state on the break again....jamaya mingo-young with the nice crossover...blow by and layup.....29-16 msu by and layup.....29-16 msu then dump down pass to carter...she does the rest....msu leads by 29 at half bulldogs win score 106-51 the drive for five continues for west point as the green wave prepare for a 5a title game with south half champs west jones.

It's hasn't been easy-peezy for west point.

A couple bumps in the road along the way losing back to back district games in the regular season to lake cormorant and grenada.

But it's something about the post season that brings the best out the green wave.

Now the team looks to cap the season off on a high note with a win over the mustangs.

"one thing about it, our guys have never stopped working hard.

There's no give up in us.

Our guys have that refuse to lose attitude and our practices show it.

We've had some really good practices.

Really physical practices.

A lot of teams this time of year worry about getting hurt.

I know the saying that if you worry about getting hurt, you'll get hurt.

It's business as usual.

I know our guys have done a great job responding throughout the year and getting better every game."

Kick off with west jones is set for saturday night at 7pm.

For calhoun city, the class 2a north half champs have come a long way to reach this point in the season.

The wildcats entered the season with first year head coach m.d.

Jennings calling the shots!

The young team struggled at the start....dropping their first 2 games of the season.

But now!

The city boys are winners of 10 straight.....most recently defeating east union 22-14.

Coach jennings credits their success to the team trusting not only in himself and his staff....but trusting in one another as a team.

"once the kids realized i was going to try my best to put them in positions to be successful and once i gained the trust of the kids, they'll start to understand and they'll listen.

That was probably the biggest obstacle."

"he has a relationship with all the guys.

A really good relationship.

He'll tell you what to do.

He's been at the highest level so you're really going to listen to him and what he says.

It's really been great from there."

I would definitely agree jackson!

The wildcats kick-off against taylorsville saturday afternoon at 3pm.

Another team making the trip to jackson this weekend.....the noxubee county tigers!

Helping lead the way is our player of the week, senior running back bobby shanklin!

You would have thought bobby's last name was brown instead of shanklin the way he was dancing on the field friday night.

Shanklin rushed for 100 yards....3 rushing touchdowns and a 52 yard receiving td!

He gives props to the big guys up front for his big night!

"i couldn't do it without my o-line.

They did a good job that night.

We had threats at receiving so that opened up the running lanes for me.

A good game plan coming into it.

The plays for their defense for the offense to open up run lanes for me to capitalize off of.

I'll just remember that i had a good game for my last game on that field right there!"

That you did bobby!

Noxubee county plays for the 3a state title at 11 a- m friday still to come..

Chief meteorologist keith gibson returns with tonights last look.

You are watching wcbi news at ten.


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