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10 Local Stories of the Week

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith (pictured) is back on trial for trying to quell the prosecution of Christopher Butler in two separate incidents. The DA is also out on bond for charges of domestic violence, robbery and stalking of a former girlfriend in Rankin County.

Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith (pictured) is back on trial for trying to quell the prosecution of Christopher Butler in two separate incidents. The DA is also out on bond for charges of domestic violence, robbery and stalking of a former girlfriend in Rankin County. Photo by Imani Khayyam.

There's never a slow news week in Jackson, Miss., and last week was no exception. Here are the local stories JFP reporters brought you in case you missed them:

  1. The Westin Hotel in downtown Jackson officially opened on Thursday, Aug. 3, when city, county and state leaders gathered to cut the ribbon to the entrance of the new 203-room property located on South Congress Street across from the federal court building.
  2. Workers at a Nissan auto assembly plant in Mississippi began voting Thursday on whether they want the United Auto Workers union to bargain for them.
  3. Investigator Lee McDivitt, of the Mississippi attorney general's office, discovered previously unseen footage of Christopher Butler putting a large amount of marijuana in an ottoman in his home, seeming to disprove Hinds District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith's contention that the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics had framed Butler.
  4. The Governor's Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force released its recommendations Wednesday, Aug. 3, to help Mississippi curb the number of overdoses and death that the opioid epidemic is causing.
  5. Even with the ACA intact, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney is still concerned for Mississippians with certain plans that would see rate increases in 2018, despite the ACA's fate.
  6. The Jackson City Council unanimously confirmed Letitia Simmons Johnson, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s first school-board appointee, on Tuesday. That means JPS again has a quorum.
  7. The second trial of Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith kicked off at 9:03 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, with a jury of seven women and five men who did not seem all that happy to be there.
  8. State Auditor Stacey Pickering is driving a bi-partisan approach to Medicaid fraud that stands in stark contrast to legislation the Republican supermajority in the Mississippi Legislature passed this past session.
  9. The Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers Airport received a federal grant last week to complete necessary improvements to the airport's runway.
  10. Christopher Butler, who has played a significant role in the state's trial against Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith, was convicted of marijuana possession late last week and sentenced to 30 years in prison and $500,000 without fines because he is a habitual offender.

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