Posts Tagged ‘Willie Simmons’

Indictment: Prison boss Chris Epps took bribes for contracts

JACKSON — Former Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Christopher Epps, who resigned abruptly this week, has been charged with accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a Rankin County businessman connected to several private prison companies. Epps is accused of receiving more than $700,000 from 2008 to 2014. The 49-count federal indictment, unsealed Thursday in U.S. […] [...]

Corrections Commissioner Epps resigns due to apparent federal investigation

JACKSON — Mississippi’s corrections commissioner suddenly resigned yesterday in the face of an apparent federal investigation. Christopher Epps had led the state prison system for 12 years. Gov Phil Bryant named Deputy Commissioner Richard McCarty as the interim leader of the state prison system until a permanent commissioner is selected. Epps did not return a […] [...]

State’s bad bridges continue to raise concerns among officials

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Mention highway safety and people have all sorts of ideas of what that means. To the Highway Patrol, it suggests expanding the ranks of state troopers. For the Mississippi Department of Transportation, it’s a well-maintained road system. For Mothers Against Drunk Driving, getting intoxicated drivers off the roads is the highest priority. […] [...]

Economist: State’s economy expanding, but jobs are not

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The state’s economy is gradually growing stronger, but the state still has 44,000 fewer jobs now than it did before the recession, state economist Darrin Webb told legislative budget writers Friday. Employment numbers in the state have been up in some months and down in others. “What you see is sort of […] [...]

Transportation task force provides no funding answers

JACKSON — A transportation study task force has concluded that the state does not generate enough money to take care of its highway needs. But the task force, which completed its work yesterday, offered no funding solution. Senate Transportation Chairman Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, who headed the task force, had hoped that the panel would reach […] [...]

Business community has questions about proposed highway tax

JACKSON — Business groups still aren’t ready to raise Mississippi’s taxes to repair and build highways and bridges. In August, Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, proposed a $700 million menu of taxes and asked other members of a study committee examining road needs to offer their own alternative revenue and spending plans. Highway […] [...]

Transportation study group leader proposes $700M tax for roads, bridges

JACKSON — The leader of a Senate transportation study committee proposes the state should levy $700 million in new taxes to support road maintenance as well as some other non-transportation related projects. Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, said yesterday that the proposal, which would be the largest state tax increase in more than 20 years, is […] [...]

Special panel ready to explore funding for road and bridge maintenance

A Senate study committee made up lawmakers and citizen representatives will convene June 12-13 in Jackson to look at ways to fund upkeep of the state’s roads and bridges. Sen. Willie Simmons, a Cleveland Democrat who chairs the Senate Highways and Transportation Committee, will lead the panel. It will continue to meet through the summer […] [...]

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