Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi gov seeks to help unemployed amid virus outbreak

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Confirmed coronavirus infections have climbed to more than 200 in Mississippi. Meanwhile, the governor announced plans to provide quicker access to unemployment benefits for residents affected by the outbreak. A single COVID-19 death has been reported in the state. Gov. Tate Reeves on Saturday signed an executive order instructing the Mississippi Department of Employment Security to expedite payments to unemployed workers and relax collection requirements on employers. The city of Vicksburg is implementing a city-wide curfew beginning Monday from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.

UNDER THE CAPITOL DOME-ANALYSIS

Analysis: Mississippi wise to close Capitol because of virus

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi legislators might restart their session April 1. Or they could wait longer if that's what the state health officer recommends. They left the Capitol last week to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Even before the virus became a big concern, the state Capitol was a hub for exchanging germs and viruses. Hundreds of people work in the building. On any given day, there could be thousands of visitors, including high school students and groups advocating for various causes.

AP-US-VIRUS-OUTBREAK-OIL-SPILL-MEMORIES

Coronavirus rekindles oil spill memories along Gulf Coast

The coronavirus pandemic is rekindling decade-old memories of the BP oil spill along the Gulf Coast. Bars and restaurants are shut down or mostly empty, and condominium and hotel reservations are falling off as some people stay home. Some beaches are closed to limit crowds. An oil well blew out in the water off Louisiana in 2010, causing pollution that scared away visitors and virtually shut down the seafood and hospitality industries in places. Just like then, Alabama real estate manager Bill Brett is worried about paying hundreds of employees because of a disaster beyond his control.

TUPELO-CITY BUILDING

Tupelo building new fire station, renovating reception hall

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) — A city in northeast Mississippi is working toward building a new fire station and renovating a facility that is rented out for wedding receptions and other activities. The Tupelo City Council has unanimously approved contracts for architecture firms. One firm will work on the fire station. The other will work on the Bel Air Center. The reception site is surrounded by a golf course, and it is the old Tupelo Country Club.

HOT GREASE CONVICTION

Court affirms conviction in hot-grease injuries to wife

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Supreme Court has affirmed the conviction of a man who injured his wife by pouring hot grease on her. Justices handed down a unanimous decision Thursday in the appeal of 42-year-old Kendall Woodson of Greenwood. Woodson was convicted in 2017 of domestic aggravated assault and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He is in the Holmes/Humphreys County Correctional Facility in Lexington. The assault took place in 2015. Investigators said Woodson injured his wife after the couple argued and she said she was planning to leave him.

MISSISSIPPI LOTTERY

Mississippi collects more than $27M from lottery in 3 months

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Revenue from the Mississippi Lottery continues to increase. The state has collected more than $27 million from the lottery that started operating in November. The Mississippi Lottery Corporation said Friday that it deposited $11.6 million into the state treasury. That is the net proceeds from lottery games played during February. The state received $8.4 million from lottery games played during January and $7.6 million from lottery games played during December.  For the first 10 years, the first $80 million a year from Mississippi lottery revenue goes to infrastructure. After the $80 million benchmark is hit, the rest goes to education.