• 75°

New Mississippi laws target dogfighting, left-lane driving

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Several new laws are taking effect Sunday in Mississippi. They are listed with bill numbers used during the legislative session.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE — House Bill 387 requires Mississippi officials to study sentencing disparities and juvenile detention. It lowers some criminal penalties and says courts can’t imprison people for failing to pay fines they can’t afford. It also lets judges impose lesser sentences on some third-time felons.

LEFT LANE DRIVING — House Bill 80 says that on any road with at least four lanes, a vehicle should not impede traffic in the left lane. Punishment would be a fine of $5 to $50. The new law specifies drivers should only use the left lane for passing, unless the right lane is closed, is in disrepair or is otherwise impassable. Drivers could also use the left lane for a left-hand turn or left exit.

EMERGENCY VEHICLES — House Bill 1202 , the “Kaelin Kersh Act,” requires emergency vehicles, including law enforcement, to use their lights when going 30 miles over the speed limit. It is named for a Mississippi State University track athlete who was killed soon after she graduated in May 2017 by a state trooper who was speeding without lights flashing. The Mississippi Highway Patrol is paying $500,000 in a lawsuit filed by Kersh’s survivors and two women who were in the car with Kersh and were injured in the crash.

ALCOHOL IN DRY COUNTIES — House Bill 192 says people may carry unopened containers of alcohol, wine and beer through dry areas on a state or federal highway, without penalty.

DISTILLERIES — House Bill 995 allows visitors to buy alcohol directly from distilleries.

DOGFIGHTING — Senate Bill 2934 says people who promote, stage or bet on dogfights, own a dog with intent to enter it into a fight or own dogfighting paraphernalia could be sentenced to between one and five years in prison. Repeat offenses are punishable by fines of $5,000 to $10,000, and prison sentences of three to 10 years. Spectators could also face felony charges and fines, and up to a year in prison. Democratic Sen. Bob Dearing of Natchez filed the bill in response to a November bust of a dogfighting operation in his hometown.

POLICE DOGS — Senate Bill 2091 says ambulances may transport police dogs that are injured on duty, but only if there are no people requiring medical attention or transport at the time.

ISRAELI INVESTMENTS — Senate Bill 2051 says the Mississippi treasury may invest up to $20 million in bonds issued by Israel. The state may use excess general funds to invest in Israeli bonds. Investments must be made in U.S. currency. State treasury Chief of Staff Michelle Williams says the treasury invests most of its excess funds into state banks, then into the U.S. Treasury.

COVID-19

Monday update: State reports new COVID-19 cases, deaths

News

Supervisors hire new County Administrator

News

Adams County extends mask mandate through September

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez-Adams School District moves first day of school

BREAKING NEWS

Adams County taps county comptroller to be next county administrator

News

Dead bodies are stacking up in this Mississippi county, here’s why

COVID-19

Sunday update: Mississippi health department reports new COVID-19 cases, deaths

News

NASA astronauts on SpaceX capsule make first splashdown in 45 years

News

The Dart: Local shut-ins are nothing but fun

COVID-19

Concordia Parish records 16 new COVID-19 cases since Wednesday

COVID-19

COVID-19 cases in Mississippi continue to rise

News

Photo gallery: Natchez alderman hosts drive-thru barbeque

News

Crime reports: Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

News

Updated 2:08 p.m.: Adams County Sheriff’s deputies investigating scene of fatal shooting

BREAKING NEWS

Balloons will fly; music events, other festivities canceled for balloon fest 2020

News

Sunday Focus: Local doctors debunk myths about COVID-19

News

Home Ministry: Catholic youth spend summer helping community

News

Donations sought for Gayrage Sale encore

News

Someone to look up to: Merrill sworn in for second term as Vidalia police chief

News

Alderman to offer free drive-thru barbecue Saturday

News

Former Sen. Bob Dearing dies at 85

News

City mask mandate extended

News

Man leads officers on high-speed chase

COVID-19

Mississippi breaks single-day record for new virus cases