Thursday, November 3, 2005

Local News Briefs

Unemployment rate rises in state, goes down in county
The state’s unemployment rate rose to 9.1 for September, and it is the highest September rate recorded since 1988, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security.

The number of employed Mississippians dropped by 87,000, while the number of unemployed rose by 22,400.

Sixty-one counties reported unemployment rates equal to or less than Mississippi’s 91. percentage rate, with DeSoto County showing the lowest rate of 3.5, followed by Lafayette at 4.1 and Rankin at 4.3.

Only 18 out of the 82 counties posted double-digit unemployment rates for September, with Harrison the highest at 24.2 percent and Hancock second highest at 23.1 percent. Jackson County was at 23.0 percent.

“The devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina in the latter part of August, especially along the coastal counties, will continue to have a negative effect on the labor force conditions,” said Wayne Gasson, chief of Labor Market Information.

Marshall County’s rate was 6.4, down from 10.7 in August, and Benton County’s was 8.1, down from 12.9 in August.

Holly Springs, West Union fire departments get grants
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has awarded grants to two north Mississippi fire departments, federal lawmakers said Wednesday.

U. S. Rep. Roger Wicker and Sens. Thad Cochran and Trent Lott said the money comes from the Assistance to Firefighters Program approved by Congress to directly assist the nation’s firefighters and the services they deliver. It is administered by the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate at DHS.

The Holly Springs Fire Department will get $272,080 and West Union Volunteer Fire Department will receive $52,250. Both grants will be used to enhance operations and safety procedures.

The program provides funds to increase the effectiveness of firefighting operations, boost health and safety programs, vehicle acquisition, and to establish or expand fire prevent programs across the U.S.

Holly Springs police officers investigate auto burglaries
Two auto burglaries were reported for the week ending October 31.

A Panasonic CD player valued at $150 was reported missing following an auto burglary in the 200 block of Martin Luther King Drive on October 28.

A second auto burglary the same day in the same block of MLK Drive was reported. Missing from the vehicle was a wallet containing $100, two, 12-inch speakers valued at $320, a Pioneer Radio valued at $280 and an Alpine 1,000 watt amp valued at $280.

Anyone having information regarding these burglaries is asked to notify the police department at 662-252-2122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-729-2169.

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