Authorities are continuing to investigate the arson and vandalism of Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, where the words "Vote Trump" were spray painted on the exterior of the church. Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson represents the 2nd Congressional Distrcict, where the church is located. He tells MPB's Paul Boger crimes like this are shocking -- particularly when a church is attacked.
Construction is underway on the new $1.45 billion Continental Tire Plant in Western Hinds County. State leaders joined officials from Continental Tire to officially break ground on a new manufacturing facility yesterday morning. When the plant becomes fully operational it is expected to bring about 2500 jobs to the area . Governor Phil Bryant tells the crowd at the groundbreaking, the plant will help lift Mississippi's economy. Also speaking is Nikolai Setzer -- who leads worldwide development for the German tire company.
The number of premature births increased slightly in Mississippi in 2015, according to the 2016 March of Dimes Premature Birth Report Card. The state received an F grade on the annual report. Premature birth rates among African American mothers in the state are much higher than the rest of the population. We spoke with Dr. Mary Currier -- state Health Officer -- about the report. And about what can be done to reverse the trend. She says Mississippi historically has a large number of preterm births.
Next Tuesday is Election Day. In addition to voting for president, Mississippians will have a chance to cast votes for the state's four congressional seats and state Supreme Court. We have talked to candidates in the Northern District and Central District races for Supreme Court. Today, we move to the Southern District, where Dawn Beam is the incumbent.