Conversation with author Kathleen Wickham and Jerry Mitchell Thursday at Lemuria

Kathleen Wickham and Jerry Mitchell will engage in conversation about Wickham’s “We Believed We Were Immortal: Twelve Reporters Who Covered the 1962 Integration Crisis at Ole Miss” at Lemuria bookstore Sept. 21 at 5 p.m.

Read the Story from The Oxford Eagle Here. Read Mississippi Today’s coverage of the Mississippi Book Festival, where Wickham discussed her book on the Mississippi History panel:

Heritage and history afford Mississippi unique place in literary landscape

Taking care of Business for 100 years at Ole Miss

The University of Mississippi School of Business Administration kicked off its centennial celebration Sept. 8 with a reception for faculty, staff and alumni at Holman Hall. In honor of the centennial, the UM Foundation has created the 1917 Order, a fund-raising effort to recruit faculty, provide scholarships and increase class offerings, among other initiatives. Membership begins with a gift of $25,000 or greater, with pledges scheduled over five years. Two additional events will continue the centennial celebration throughout the fall.

Mississippi’s flag case is subject of Washington Post story

The Supreme Court set a Sept. 28 deadline for a filing by attorneys for Gov. Phil Bryant to defend Mississippi’s position on the state flag and The Washington Post has weighed in with a report. Read the story here. Read Mississippi Today’s state flag coverage:

Mississippi state flag case rockets to the national stage

Memo to GOP: Changing state flag would put party on right side of history

Work at Windsor Ruins site improves safety, accessibility

The Mississippi Department of Archives and History is erecting temporary metal fencing around the historic Windsor Ruins site in Claiborne County to protect visitors from falling debris. More than a century of exposure to the elements has caused erosion to the 45-foot-tall masonry columns and fracturing of the cast iron capitals. “Windsor Ruins is iconic, and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History is committed to preserving the site’s integrity,” said MDAH director Katie Blount. MDAH’s improvements at Windsor include cutting back trees and foliage that were encroaching on the columns, clearing the overgrown area between the site and the road, and the installation of new signage. A study commissioned by MDAH includes plans to repair and conserve the 23 columns and five partial columns.

Columbus must open its municipal meetings

Governmental bodies cannot set up meetings of less than a majority of public officials to evade the state’s Open Meetings Act, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. In a suit filed by The Columbus Dispatch news organization, the court ruled 9-0 that the city of Columbus was wrong to set up pairs of meetings with the mayor and three city council members apiece in 2014, avoiding the city council’s quorum of four members. Those meetings were to discuss an agreement between the city and an economic development agency and maintenance of public buildings, according to the Associated Press. After being excluded from the meetings, a Dispatch reporter filed an ethics complaint and the state Ethics Commission ruled that such “piecemeal” quorums were illegal. In an appeal by the city, Chancery Judge Kenneth Burns also sided with the Dispatch.

West Nile cases continue to rise

The Mississippi State Department of Health reports four new human cases of West Nile Virus, bringing the state total to 45 this year. The new cases were in Calhoun and Clay counties and two cases in Lee County. So far this year, cases have been reported in Bolivar, Calhoun, Clarke, Clay (2), Covington, Forrest (4), Hinds (8), Humphreys (2), Jones, Lauderdale, Leake, Lee (2), Leflore, Lincoln (2), Lowndes, Madison (4), Monroe, Noxubee, Perry, Rankin (6), Scott, Wilkinson, and Yazoo counties. Two deaths have been reported in Forrest and Humphreys counties. In 2016, Mississippi had 43 WNV cases and two deaths.

Faculty, students call for moving Confederate statue on Ole Miss campus

Faculty and graduate students of the University of Mississippi English Department urge Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter to immediately move the statue of the Confederate soldier in the Lyceum Circle to the Confederate cemetery on campus. In a letter to Vitter published in The Oxford Eagle, the group states,  “… the statue of the Confederate soldier in the Lyceum Circle very clearly warns African Americans to stay off campus and continues to alienate many members of the UM community.” The letter goes on to say, “Campus and statewide groups are likely to begin calling for the statues to be removed. If you allow this to become a drawn-out, public debate, UM may very well find itself in a similar situation to that of Charlottesville and UVA.”

Governor heads to India

Gov. Phil Bryant is leading a state business trip to India, the Associated Press reports. A spokesman confirms Bryant will take part in the trip Sept. 11-15 sponsored by the Mississippi Development Authority. MDA says participants will meet with potential buyers, agents, distributors and joint venture partners.