lafayette county

Cancer Institute to

officially open Thursday

OXFORD - Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi will celebrate its new Cancer Institute and Diagnostics Center Thursday.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at the newly completed $21 million facility on Azalea Drive in Oxford.

The center will offer chemotherapy and radiation therapy for cancer patients, as well as diagnostic procedures like mammograms and ultrasounds.

The diagnostic center will also have a CT simulator, a linear accelerator and a PET scanner, which allows physicians to study metabolic changes in the body.

mississippi

Health officials find six

more West Nile cases

JACKSON - The Mississippi State Health Department said Tuesday it has identified six more people with West Nile virus, including cases in Bolivar and Coahoma counties where the virus had not previously been found.

There are now 28 people in Mississippi infected with the West Nile virus, the health department said. Fifteen are classified as confirmed and 13 as probable.

One new case was found in Bolivar County and two in Coahoma County. The other new cases were found in Hinds (two) and Scott counties.

Other counties where human cases have been found are Forrest, Hancock, Jackson, Lincoln, Pearl River, Pike, Rankin, Tallahatchie and Yazoo.

Programs might speed child support payments

JACKSON - Department of Human Services officials announced new programs Tuesday that they hope will speed child support payments.

One of the programs, designed to alleviate a staffing shortage that delays payments, will allow law students at Mississippi College to handle child support cases as DHS interns, said Janice Broome Brooks, the agency's executive director.

Starting this fall, the interns will help 28 staff attorneys at DHS handle cases in Hinds County, Brooks said. Statewide, DHS is handling about 325,000 child support cases.

"This will be the first time we've used interns in child support cases," said Alsee McDaniel, director of the Division of Child Support Enforcement. "We think they can give us some assistance."

Children's Defense Fund spokeswoman Latisha Latiker said any program to help speed child support payments, which can be delayed by "weeks to months," is a welcome improvement as long as the quality of legal care is not compromised.

Supreme Court lifts

suspension of judge

GULFPORT - The Mississippi Supreme Court lifted its suspension of Harrison County Judge Wes Teel, who was acquitted of embezzlement charges in June.

The ruling Tuesday comes after the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance recommended to the state's high court last week that Teel be reinstated.

At the request of the commission, the court suspended Teel from his duties in February until embezzlement charges filed against him were resolved. Teel agreed to the suspension.

A Harrison County jury acquitted Teel of 13 misdemeanor and felony charges after a four-day trial. State and county authorities accused him of failing to pay vendors for about $3,700 worth of goods and services after he was reimbursed by the state.

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