Law enforcement, fire, emergency management and other first responders are still at the scene of an explosion in Pascagoula. Last night shortly before midnight, emergency officials responded to a call at the BP Gas Plant on Stennis Boulevard in the Gulf Coast town. There were no injuries or evacuations. Earlier this morning MPB's Sid Scott spoke with Lieutenant Doug Adams of the Pascagoula Police Department.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision is overturning a law that could have potentially closed Mississippi's last abortion clinic. In 2012, lawmakers approved legislation requiring abortion providers in Mississippi to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. While the law was immediately put on hold by a federal judge in Jackson, if fully enacted, it would have likely stopped abortions across the state. But, a five to three ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday struck down that law and others like it around the nation. MPB's Paul Boger spoke with Shannon Brewer, administrator at the Jackson Women's Health Organization -- the state's last abortion clinic. She said the Supreme Court Decision is welcome news.
Mississippi's "Religious Accommodations" law is facing a new obstacle following a federal judge's decision. U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves' ruling yesterday says allowing clerks to recuse themselves from issuing same sex marriages may conflict with the Supreme Court's decision that the marriages are constitutional. Supporters of the law -- also known as House Bill 1523 -- say it is not unconstitutional. Attorney Roberta Kaplan with Campaign for Southern Equality argued against the law in federal court. She spoke with MPB's Desare Frazier.
Farm equipment theft costs Mississippi farmers half a million dollars each year. The Secretary of State's Office recently formed a farm equipment theft task force to fight the crime. It's designed to make it difficult for thieves to sell scrap metal for cash -- and to help authorities track them down. Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann tells MPB's Mark Rigsby a recent case shows the program is working.