As Mississippi's Republican leaders pitch their support behind presidential candidate Donald Trump, former U.S. Senator Trent Lott says it's a bizarre campaign year. Lott served 35 years in Congress for Mississippi. The 74-year-old Pascagoula native retired eight years ago, but says he's still plugged into politics. His pick for president was Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who dropped out of the race yesterday. Lott told MPB's Desare Frazer, Trump needs to make some changes to win the presidential race. Lott also said he's been keeping busy since he retired from the Senate.
The newly formed Department of Child Protection Services is working to change the image -- and the actuality -- of the state's broken foster care system. As part of that job, the division has rolled out a new ad campaign against child abuse. The TV spots feature Gov. Phil Bryant and First Lady Deborah Bryant, as well as former Ole Miss running back Deuce McAllister. The effort is part of the state's federally mandated response to a lawsuit filed to shed light on the foster care system's lack of effectiveness. MPB's Mark Rigsby spoke with David Chandler -- the former state supreme court justice who now leads the division. Chandler said he wants Mississippians to know the state is taking seriously the care of its most vulnerable citizens.
The state is advising swimmers to stay out of the waters of the Mississippi Sound in nine areas in Harrison County due to high bacteria levels. Bacteria blooms often happen after the kind of heavy rainfall the Gulf Coast got last week. MPB’s Evelina Burnett spoke with Marc Wyatt -- director of the Department of Environmental Quality's Oil Spill Restoration division. Wyatt said heavy rains and the streams that flow into the Sound affect water quality. He also said some of the state's BP oils spill money is being used to improve the water quality near the beach.
With Memorial Day approaching, barbecue season is soon upon us. In his new book, The One True Barbecue, author Rien Fertel looks at a particular class of barbecue -- the art of cooking the whole pig. More than a culinary journal, Fertel's book shines light into the Southern culture around whole pig barbecue. Race, politics and storytelling are all examined in the course of telling the story. Fertel told us he uses barbecue as a way to look at the South from a variety of angles.