Robert McKeithen, the lottery and the race for governor: Last week on the Coast

Missed some big stories last week? We’ve got you covered.

Funeral for Biloxi officer Monday

The funeral for Robert McKeithen, the Biloxi police officer who was shot and killed in an alleged ambush, is set for Monday, May 13.

McKeithen was shot and killed May 5. He was shot multiple times in the back outside of the Lopez Quave Public Safety Center. Five people have been arrested in connection with his death, including alleged shooter Darian Atkinson.

McKeithen was a 23-year veteran of the department. Several fundraisers this month are honoring McKeithen and raising money for his family.

Officials open major spillway on Mississippi River for second time this year

The Bonnet Carré Spillway opened the second time this year Friday as heavy rains fed the swelling Mississippi.

It is the first time in the spillway’s nearly 90-year history that is has been opened twice in one year, Newsweek reports.

The spillway diverts flood waters from the Mississippi into Lake Pontchartrain. It was opened for the first time this year in late February and was closed April 11.

In late April, Mississippi officials suggested the freshwater diversion brought on by the opening of the spillway could have killed dolphins, sea turtles and oysters in the Mississippi Sound. However, Louisiana officials are disputing those claims and federal scientist are withholding judgment, according to The Advocate.

Reeves raises more money in Governor’s race

Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has $6.7 million in campaign fundraising accounts — much more than any of his Republican or Democratic counterparts in the 2019 Governor’s race, the Clarion-Ledger reports.

Attorney General Jim Hood, a Democrat, has close to $1.2 million to spend, and Republican Bill Waller Jr., a former Mississippi Supreme Court chief justice, launched his campaign two months ago and has brought in $580,000.

Mississippi names first head of lottery system

The Mississippi Lottery Corporation announced last week that Thomas N. Shaheen will be its first president.

Shaheen, 66, has previous experience working for lotteries in several different states including the North Carolina Education Lottery and the New Mexico Lottery, reports the Associated Press

Mississippi was one of six states without a lottery until lawmakers met in a special session in August and voted to start the lottery to generate money for transportation.

Mississippi could be selling tickets by the end of the year.