JACKSON -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has ordered an "extensive and thorough review" of a foreign exchange program that has been used by U.S. businesses as a source of cheap labor and exploited by criminals to import women to work in the sex industry. In the latest debacle for the J-1 Summer Work Travel visa, a federal indictment unsealed last week accuses the mafia of using the cultural exchange program to bring Eastern European women to work in New York strip clubs.
The trial of a man accused of killing two men at a downtown Columbus bar began today in Lowndes County, despite a motion for change of venue.
This year's Christmas parade in downtown Columbus has been canceled due to rain. It will not be rescheduled. Amber Brislin, director of Main Street Columbus Inc., made the announcement shortly before 3 p.m. today, saying the decision was made in an effort to "keep everyone safe and healthy this Christmas season."
OKOLONA -- The city of Okolona has placed a 60-day moratorium on nightclubs while it mulls a permit request from a Nettleton businessman to open a topless bar.
MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. -- Travis Palladeno, a veteran charter fishing captain on Florida's Gulf Coast, flips through his appointment book and bemoans the blank pages. Restrictions on some of the most popular -- and tasty -- sport fish are so strict right now, fewer people want to go out.
JACKSON -- People who want to carry a gun to the courthouse, on a college campus or in a bar in Mississippi may now be able to do that by taking an eight-hour course and getting a concealed carry permit.
GULFPORT -- A longtime community leader in south Mississippi has received the Gulfport Branch of the NAACP's highest award -- the Medgar W. Evers Lifetime Achievement Award.
Changes to the grant guidelines for community events will make the process more competitive, a member of the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors said Thursday at a special meeting to approve the changes.
STARKVILLE -- Mayor Parker Wiseman hopes to officially begin the search for a tax-neutral financing for the the ongoing municipal facilities plan Tuesday. Wiseman said Friday that the Board of Aldermen could discuss a request for project proposal to test the market for companies interested in striking a public-private partnership. Wiseman believes a renovated and remodeled City Hall could be an attractive space for urban development, with the possibility of leasing newly created office space to help offset the project's price tag.
Linda Nail, her husband Jerry, and a handful of others have attended the Columbus Christmas parade each year for around 30 years. And they don't plan to stop this year.
New MUW president's job is to direct, not dictate.
Depending on the outcome of a couple pending motions, the Elbow Room murder case will go to trial this week, the final week of the current Lowndes County Circuit Court session.
A Columbus teacher was among five inducted into the Mississippi Hall of Master Teachers at Mississippi University for Women Friday.
Duane Hughes is still trying to get his feet wet in his new position. Hughes took over as Columbus Fire and Rescue chief of training in June, but still comes in on Fridays, typically a day off for salaried city employees, to get a better grasp of his position.
The Dispatch's website, cdispatch.com, has long encouraged online readers to leave comments at the bottom of each article. Though the paper still receives some letters to the editor by mail, most people now either email letters to us or simply post a comment at the end of a story.
North Columbus residents are taking action and formed a neighborhood watch group. The group held a meeting Thursday at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library and 60 residents discussed a number of topics such as "peddlers" hanging around streets, people knocking on doors and recent burglaries that affected some group members.
A Caledonia man accused of child abuse was sentenced to eight years in prison. Gerald Melvin Fink III, of 2036 Anderson Grove Road Lot 1 in Caledonia, was sentenced Nov. 16 by Circuit Court Judge James Kitchens to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
Mayor Robert Smith said if he were king for a day, he would improve the city's infrastructure. The difficulty of being mayor, not king, is the mayor has to have the votes and the money to get it done, Smith said. However, he pledged his No. 1 goal as mayor is improvements in street paving and storm drainage, water and sewer lines.
1. On the streets: Friday night with CPD COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
3. Heiselt leaving Starkville school board, recommends Myles to post STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY
4. Wait joins Dispatch staff as new MSU reporter COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY
5. Marriage ruling will expand insurance coverage STARKVILLE & OKTIBBEHA COUNTY