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WLBT’s things to know 1/14/22: COVID-19 testing scam, Natchez killing, Senate passes marijuana bill and money for bridges

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 9:48 AM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you missed a few of the most important headlines and need to play catch up, no worries. WLBT has gathered some of the top stories from our website to get you up to speed.

1. Need a COVID-19 test? Watch out, there’s a scam for that

Need a COVID-19 test? Watch out, there’s a scam for that
Need a COVID-19 test? Watch out, there’s a scam for that

If you can imagine, scammers have figured out a way to sell unapproved, COVID-19 tests. And the US Food and Drug Administration is warning people not to fall prey to fake tests, vaccines, and treatments. Since the arrival of the Omicron variant, the increase of testing for COVID-19 has become a big concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Scarcity can lead to potential scams for a product that doesn’t exist, the compromise of personally identifiable information, or the increase of deceptive advertising. Here are 5 tips to avoid falling prey to vaccine-related scams.

2. 58,000 rapid COVID-19 tests now available, Dobbs says

58,000 rapid COVID-19 tests now available, Dobbs says
58,000 rapid COVID-19 tests now available, Dobbs says

As the omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads, the demand for more tests grows. State health leaders are introducing more testing options to meet that demand. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says 58,000 rapid antigen tests are now available for use in schools and other congregate settings. The state is also expecting to receive 300,000 at-home rapid tests soon, and they’re working on a plan to distribute those tests. See the full story here.

3. Man shot, killed in Natchez, found lying on the sidewalk

A crime scene
A crime scene(WLBT)

One man is dead and another man is in the hospital after a shooting in Natchez. Police say shots were fired around 9:45 p.m. Thursday on North Union Street. Officers found 35-year-old Antonio Foster lying dead on the sidewalk from multiple gunshot wounds. Investigators also say a second victim, 32-year-old Wayne Hammett, was also shot and transported to a hospital by a private vehicle. Hammet was later rushed to UMMC in Jackson, but there’s no word on his condition. Police gave no other details about what happened or who’s responsible. Natchez Police Chief Joseph Daughtry is asking anyone with information on this shooting to call police at 601-445-5565 or CrimeStoppers at 888-442-5001.

4. After spirited debate, Mississippi Senate passes medical marijuana bill

After spirited debate, Mississippi Senate passes medical marijuana bill
After spirited debate, Mississippi Senate passes medical marijuana bill

A long morning of questions leads to the first hurdle cleared for medical marijuana at the State Capitol. The bill passed with only five no votes. But that does not mean it was free of a spirited debate. Before the questions started rolling in, senators were passing joints and bags of hemp as part of an attempt from Sen. Kevin Blackwell to give examples for what the allowable amounts would look like. “The amount of marijuana that we’re going to allow, this is a packet before everybody flips out, this is only hemp. And the other samples I have are only hemp. But this is three-and-a-half grams of flour. So basically under our formula, what we’re gonna do is allow people to have one unit, which would be one of these, and we’re gonna allow them to purchase seven in a week. So it’s basically one of these a day.” Blackwell passed around a 3.5-gram bag, one-ounce bag and hemp joint. Read the full story here.

5. Mississippi to receive $225M from DOT for bridges

Bridge Out
Bridge Out(WAFB)

Mississippi will soon receive $225 million for bridges, compliments of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Friday, U.S. Department of Transportation launched the historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program). A total of $5.3 billion is headed to states across the nation. Mississippi will receive $225 million under the new program to address highway bridge needs. The funding will help improve the condition of about 1,170 bridges in poor condition and to preserve and improve more than 5,690 bridges in fair condition in the state.

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