Rain has been falling steadily over almost all of the Magnolia State since yesterday. And there seems to be no end to it any time soon. Next comes the flooding. And with us this morning to talk about conditions across the state is Lee Smithson -- executive director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. Welcome, Mr. Smithson.
The Mississippi Department of Health reports that between 2004 and 2013 the number of people who died from heart disease in the state declined nearly twenty percent. The greatest decrease in these deaths was among black women. About seven thousand Mississippians die every year and it's preventable. Doctor Myrna Alexander-Nickens at the University of Mississippi Medical Center says outreach efforts are having an impact. She encourages adults to teach their children to eat healthy foods and exercise. Alexander-Nickens spoke with MPB's Desare Frazier.
The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation partner each year with the Mississippi Arts Commission to support Poetry Out Loud, a contest that encourages Mississippi students to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation. This program helps students master public speaking skills, build self-confidence, and learn about their literary heritage. And this year we have a new winner -- Lawson Marchetti a junior at Jackson Preparatory School in Flowood. His winning performance was of "Fishing On The Susquehanna In July" by Billy Collins. Marchetti spoke with MPB's Maura Moed.
The spirit of volunteerism can start at any age. And two Mississippi students are being recognized nationally for their volunteering. Lindsey Meyer -- seventeen -- of Pass Christian and Jameshia Attaway -- twelve -- of Indianola, have been selected as Mississippi’s top youth volunteers this year for the Prudential Spirit of Community Award. As state honorees, each will receive a one thousand dollar award, an engraved silver medallion, and a trip to Washington, D.C., for the program’s national recognition events April 30 through May 3. MPB's Evelina Burnett spoke with Meyer about the honor -- and about her unique idea that won her the recognition.