Mississippi briefs

July 17, 2014 

Owner of Elvis attraction found dead

JACKSON -- The owner of a private Elvis Presley museum in Mississippi was found dead early Thursday, two days after authorities said he shot and killed a man who forced his way into the attraction.

Marshall County Coroner James Richard Anderson said Paul MacLeod, 71, was found slumped in a chair on his porch. Anderson said it appears he died of natural causes but an autopsy will be performed. The Graceland Too museum is in Holly Springs, south of Memphis. It also was MacLeod's home.

His death comes two days after police say MacLeod killed Dwight Taylor, 28, at the museum. Police questioned and released MacLeod. No charges had been filed.

MacLeod attorney Phillip Knecht said Taylor forced his way inside, demanding money. He said the two fought before the shooting.

-- Associated Press

Meridian attorney dies after collapsing in court

MERIDIAN -- Meridian attorney Henry Palmer, 66, died Wednesday evening after collapsing in court.

Lauderdale County Coroner Clayton Cobler said Palmer was taken to a local hospital and transferred to UMC in Jackson, where he died. Cobler said Palmer suffered an aortic aneurysm.

Palmer was an attorney with the law firm of Barry, Palmer, Thaggard, May & Bailey LLP in Meridian.

He was also the attorney for the Meridian Civil Service Commission. He was a former district attorney, and later a judge, for the 10th Judicial District.

-- Associated Press

A little William Faulkner for everyone

OXFORD -- The 41st annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference will look at author William Faulkner' writings about people who are saturated in history and have an undeniable sense that the past is still with them shaping their outlook on life.

The conference begins Sunday in Oxford. It ends July 24.

Keynote lectures and panel sessions are free and open to the public.

Throughout the conference, the University library will display Faulkner books, manuscripts, photographs and memorabilia.

Faulkner, a native of New Albany, bought Rowan Oak in Oxford in 1930 and it became his home until his death in 1962.

Faulkner's "A Fable" won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954. Another of his works, "The Reivers," won the Pulitzer Prize in 1962. Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1950.

-- Oxford Eagle

Madison board OKs raises for administrative staff

CANTON -- Administrators and support staff at Madison County schools will receive a 3 percent pay raise this year, but one administrator did not accept the extra cash.

Board members voted unanimously Monday to award Madison County Schools Superintendent Ronnie McGehee a pay raise, but McGehee requested his salary be kept at its current level.

District finance director Debbie Jones said the pay raises are retroactive to July 1.

McGehee took home over $149,000 last year, making him the 20th-highest-paid superintendent in the state. The Madison County School District enrolls 12,182 students and is rated an A district by the state Department of Education.

School board secretary Sam Kelly said administrators and support staff were given a raise after going several years without one.

-- Clarion-Ledger

Jackson State seeks to buy apartment complex

JACKSON -- Jackson State University wants to buy a 444-bed apartment complex adjoining its campus.

The College Board voted Thursday to move toward leasing the complex while keeping open options to buy it.

Michael Thomas, the university's vice president for business and finance, said Jackson State needs more housing to accommodate an increasing number of students wanting to live on campus.

Thomas said Wells Fargo & Co. owns the apartments and seeks to sell them.

Last year, the university began leasing a 240-bed motel near the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. Thomas said JSU will retain that motel this year, and is continuing with plans to build a new 628-bed housing complex, a 650-seat dining hall and a conference center. That complex was projected to cost $47.3 million when the College Board approved it.

-- Associated Press

Habitat home dedication today in Jackson

JACKSON -- Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area is dedicating a new home in Jackson as part of this year's Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity partnership.

The collaboration is a multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership between Habitat for Humanity International and Thrivent Financial through which Habitat affiliates and Thrivent members volunteer to build, rehabilitate or repair homes.

The home will be presented to Rosalyn McGowan and her three children. McGowan said in a news release she will become the first in her family of six siblings to own a home.

-- Associated Press

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