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Mississippi man charged with stealing car that had a baby inside; baby found safe

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Mississippi man charged with stealing car that had a baby inside; baby found safe


Jul 10, 2024 08:06 AM IST

Mississippi man charged with stealing car that had a baby inside; baby found safe

JACKSON, Miss. — A Mississippi judge on Tuesday set bond at $300,000 for a man accused of stealing a car with a 7-month-old baby inside.

Mississippi man charged with stealing car that had a baby inside; baby found safe
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James Wilson, 44, of Rankin County, was arrested Monday at a hotel in Jackson and charged with auto theft and kidnapping.

The Mazda sedan was unattended with its motor running when it was stolen Saturday evening from a gas station near Interstate 55 in north Jackson, police said. The car was found that night at a shopping center a few miles away, with the unharmed baby still inside. Police said she received a medical check as a precaution.

Wilson told news outlets Monday that he did not steal the car. Police said he is on probation for prior auto theft convictions.

Tommie Brown, public information officer for the Jackson Police Department, told The Associated Press he did not know whether Wilson is represented by an attorney. The also left a phone message for Jackson city court services seeking that information.

A detective testified during a Tuesday court hearing that one video showed Wilson near the gas station and another showed him parking the car near a grocery store and other shops in Fondren neighborhood and walking away, news outlets reported.

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Jackson Police Chief Joseph Wade said officers will talk with Child Protection Services and the Hinds County district attorney before deciding whether to bring any charge against the baby’s mother. Wade said parents should never leave children unattended in a running vehicle.

“You can not replace that baby,” he said.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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Get ready for hunting season: Jackson metro to have two outdoor shows this weekend

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Get ready for hunting season: Jackson metro to have two outdoor shows this weekend



The Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza and the Mississippi Ag and Outdoor Expo will both happen this weekend and will offer just about anything you need to enjoy the outdoors.

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If you’re into the outdoors, you have a big weekend ahead. Not one, but two outdoor shows are scheduled to take place in the metro area this weekend and will feature the latest in hunting, fishing and agriculture equipment.

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Each has more than 100 vendors and lots of things to choose from to gear up for hunting season. After all, it’s almost here. Alligator season is only weeks away followed by dove season, early waterfowl opportunities in September, archery and small game in October and then gun season for deer in November.

And no matter what you hunt, the season will probably be here before you know it and this weekend is a great time to get ahead of the game.

Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza

The Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza will be held in Pearl and Ashlee Ellis-Smith, CEO of conservation organization Mississippi Wildlife Federation which hosts the event, said it’s going to be the best in a decade.

“People who have gone in the past I think will be very pleased because this show will harken back to the days of old,” Ellis-Smith said. “We have the best vendors we’ve had in 10 years.

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“They are all hunting, fishing and outdoors and there’s tons of stuff for the kids. There are 139 vendors not counting the various kids’ activities.”

Highlights of the event include a 3-D archery tournament, hand-grabbing catfish for kids, turkey calling championship, the Big Buck Contest and chances to win guns every hour.

“There’s a gun giveaway every hour on the hour,” Ellis-Smith said. “You just have to be present to win.”

More: Copperheads smell like cucumbers, don’t they? Ten myths about snakes explained

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What to know about the MS Wildlife Extravaganza

  • Dates: July 26-29
  • Hours: Friday, 12-8 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Location: Clyde Muse Center, 515 Country Place Parkway, Pearl
  • Cost: Adult day pass $15 Adult weekend pass $30 Kid day pass $7 Kid weekend pass $14 Kids five and under free Friday is Kid’s Day, 12 and under get in free
  • For more information visit www.mswildlife.org.

More: Play, relax and cool off at these 5 Mississippi state parks

Mississippi Ag and Outdoor Expo

The Mississippi Ag and Outdoor Expo is presented by Jack Fisher of the Louisiana-based Great Southern Expos, and Fisher said this year’s event will be bigger than in past years.

“This year we not only have the Trade Mart full, we have the Coliseum,” Fisher said. “With that space we have room for campers, more ATVs than we’ve had before and more entertainment for adults and kids.

“We have about 150 vendors and about 300 booths with lots of bulk space. That’s where we display tractors and ATVs.”

The event features guides and outfitters, boats, tractors and agriculture equipment, hunting and fishing equipment and more. Other attractions are a 3-D archery tournament, Dock Dogs Jumping Competition, axe-throwing and mechanical bull riding.

As an added feature, Fisher said Tower Loans will be onsite offering interest-free financing for up to two years for those bigger purchases.

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What to know about the MS Ag and Outdoor Expo

  • Dates: July 26-29
  • Hours: Friday, 12-7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Location: Mississippi Coliseum and Trade Mart, 1207 Mississippi Street off High Street, Jackson
  • Cost: Adults, $15 Kids six through 12, $5 Kids five and under, free Sunday all kids get in free
  • For more information visit www.mississippioutdoorexpo.com.

Do you have a story idea? Contact Brian Broom at 601-961-7225 or bbroom@gannett.com.



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Mayfield appointed to Mississippi Advisory Commission on Marine Resources – SuperTalk Mississippi

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Mayfield appointed to Mississippi Advisory Commission on Marine Resources – SuperTalk Mississippi



Matthew Mayfield is the newest member of the Mississippi Advisory Commission on Marine Resources (Photo courtesy of MACMR)

Gov. Tate Reeves has appointed Matthew Mayfield to the Mississippi Advisory Commission on Marine Resources (MACMR) representing commercial fishermen.

Mayfield was sworn in at an MACMR meeting last week, with his appointment going into effect immediately. His first term will end on June 30, 2026, with the Mississippi Senate’s approval.

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In 2021, Mayfield founded Eagle Point Oyster Company. He is also the owner of Tays Barbeque with locations in Moss Point and Pascagoula. A chef by nature, he also co-wrote On the Coast, a cookbook that shares Gulf Coast-based recipes and essays showing the relationship between the food industry and residents.

After graduating from Pascagoula High School, Mayfield attended Mississippi State University. He continued his education at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Mayfield currently resides in Ocean Springs with his wife and two daughters.

“Commissioner Mayfield is a great addition to represent commercial fishermen on the MACMR,” Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Executive Director Joe Spraggins said. “I look forward to working with each of our commissioners to ensure that we enhance, protect, and conserve the marine interests of Mississippi.”

The MACMR is composed of five members appointed by the governor representing the following areas: commercial seafood processors, nonprofit environmental organizations, charter boat operators, recreational fishermen, and commercial fishermen.

Stay up to date with all of Mississippi’s latest news by signing up for our free newsletter here

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Copyright 2024 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.





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A Mystery Solved And A Life Recreated At Mississippi Museum Of Art

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A Mystery Solved And A Life Recreated At Mississippi Museum Of Art


It ate at Noah Saterstrom. How his old, well-to-do Natchez, Mississippi family, obsessed with its lineage as it was, could have such a conspicuous hole. His great grandfather: Dr. David Lawson Lemmon Smith (1891–1965).

The mention of him stopped Saterstrom’s grandmother Margaret, Dr. Smith’s daughter, dead in her tracks. He was an optimist was all she’d say. A photo of the man spent decades on her desk, but details never escaped her lips.

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What was she hiding?

Why?

Even as a boy, Saterstrom (b. 1974), who grew up in Natchez as much as anywhere, could sense there was something “off” about this. A feeling that ripened with age. His curiosity ripened along with it.

In 2017, Saterstrom embarked on a years-long search of state, local, and private archives for information about Dr. D.L. Smith. He’d find a great deal, including why Dr. Smith had been expunged from the family record. That year, while in Jackson, Saterstrom found himself at the Mississippi Department of Archives.

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In a leather-bound ledger that hadn’t been opened in who knows how long, Saterstrom found the name he was looking for: “Dr. David Lemmon Smith, Claiborne County.”

The book recorded admissions to the Mississippi Insane Hospital in Jackson, as it was then called.

Cue the dramatic music.

Aided by the state’s librarian, Saterstrom pieced together a remarkably detailed account of his great grandfather’s life prior to institutionalization in 1924. Newspaper clippings. Personal correspondence. Court records.

Revealed is a husband, a father of four, an itinerant optometrist around Mississippi and Louisiana. A man who most definitely lost touch with reality as he progressed into his 30s. Dr. Smith’s letters increasingly displayed classic paranoid personality disorder and schizophrenia. Then there was the accusation of rape by a 15-year-old girl and his near lynching as a result. His languishing in jail. His escape, making it all the way to Washington, D.C. where he received a meeting with President Calvin Coolidge before being apprehended and sent back to Mississippi.

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Dr. Smith’s mother, Minnie, pleading with the court for her son to be deemed mentally unfit, which he was, negating the need for a trial and necessitating his admission to the State Hospital for the Insane. He didn’t go willing, but later in life, would pass on opportunities for discharge.

Dr. Smith spent the last 41 years of his life at the state hospital in Jackson and its successor, Whitfield. No one from the family claimed the body when he passed despite being notified, as was customary for wards of the state. Saterstrom isn’t sure where his great grandfather is buried.

This life erased and Saterstrom’s attempts to come to grips with it unfold in epic fashion during “What Became of Dr. Smith” through September 22, 2024, an exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson centering Saterstrom’s 6-foot-tall, 122-feet-long, 732-square-foot painting of his ancestor’s life composed of 138 2-feet-square canvas panels. Monet’s Orangerie Water Lilies meets Huck Finn. What Became of Dr. Smith envelopes onlookers in characters and vignettes, eerie and mysterious.

A Family History

Saterstrom’s connection to mental illness, sadly, runs deeper than his great grandfather’s writings. He fought it himself. A terrible bout of dissociation in his mid-20s.

According to the Mayo Clinic: “Dissociative disorders are mental health conditions that involve experiencing a loss of connection between thoughts, memories, feelings, surroundings, behavior and identity. These conditions include escape from reality in ways that are not wanted and not healthy. This causes problems in managing everyday life.”

The artist pulled himself out over a course of years through therapy and by making art. He doggedly painted hundreds of family photographs carefully assembled chronologically in albums. Doing so returned his memories to him. A tether to reality.

He’d stare at the pictures for hours and then paint them for hours more. A kind of therapy. A kind of meditation. His mind came back.

Art saves lives.

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Oh, by the way, Dr. Smith’s father, Noah Saterstrom’s great-great-grandfather, was institutionalized at the Louisiana State Asylum in 1898.

Like many medical conditions, family history is a leading indicator for mental illness. Resources to learn more and for help are available online.

Asylum Hill Cemetery

As with any great Southern epic, right when you think the story has reached its apex, you realize it’s only begun. So it goes with Dr. Smith and the State Hospital for the Insane which operated from 1855-1935.

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A 2012 discovery by a construction worker at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson unearthed unexpected burials. On what was the last remaining undeveloped area of campus, the State Hospital for the Insane cemetery had been found.

In response, Ralph Didlake, UMMC professor of surgery, vice chancellor for academic affairs and director of the Center for Bioethics and the Medical Humanities, convened the Asylum Hill Research Consortium, a group of scholars and advisors tasked with crafting a long-term solution to the cemetery challenge: assembling an archaeological crew to excavate the area.

“(UMMC) is a very important institution for the health of Mississippians, so they need the land,” Jennifer Mack, lead bioarchaeologist for the Asylum Hill Project at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, told Forbes.com. “There were a lot of conversations with the administration and bioethicists and anthropologists, heavy discussions about weighing the needs of the living and respect for the deceased, and it was finally determined that as long as (excavation) was done respectfully, and in consultation with known direct descendants, it would make sense to remove people from the cemetery.”

The Asylum Hill Project is undertaking the work of exhuming the bodies and researching who these people were. Asylum for the institution that once stood there, hill for the prominence it occupies.

In late 2022, exhumations of individuals began and will likely continue through the end of the decade. As of July 19, 2024, 486 bodies had been removed. Remote sensing indicates there’s somewhere between 4,000 and 7,000 graves within the 12-acre cemetery.

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At one point, all the graves were clearly marked with wooden markers that deteriorated over time. Some families funded stone monuments for their relatives buried there.

“Each of these wooden markers was painted with the name of the deceased, the date of death, and then the county the person came from,” Mack explained. “Letters to the family (were written) saying the grave is carefully marked and if you ever want to come lay flowers on the grave, we can show you.”

Excavations thus far have revealed graves laid out in neat, orderly rows. All deceased were buried clothed in at least a pine box. No mass graves have been found.

Children were found, a fact Saterstrom didn’t realize prior to the completion of his painting. Upon learning this, he added one to a panel depicting the Asylum Hill cemetery. Look for her when inspecting the artwork. She’s about eight-and-a-half, nine years old.

How does a cemetery containing thousands of graves become forgotten? It was never forgotten, per se, but its scale was. When the Asylum Hill facility closed in 1935, Mississippi and the country were in the depths of the Depression. Then came World War II. People move on. They get old. Memories fade.

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Vegetation grows fast in this part of the world; without regular upkeep, the gravesite would have been covered over entirely in a year. Nothing happened on the site for decades until all the old state hospital buildings were eventually demolished and UMMC opened in 1955. The cemetery site was unused for nearly 80 years.

Who’s Buried On Asylum Hill?

The state of Mississippi began keeping official death records in November of 1912. From that time until Asylum Hill’s closing, presumably, everyone who died there will have a death certificate filed with the state giving the place of burial. Researchers have created a database of around 4,300 individuals who were buried in the cemetery during that period; for the 57 years the cemetery was in use prior to the official death records, accounts are spotty.

Extant patient records, admission records, discharge books, newspaper accounts, court records, census records, and family histories are being used to help identify individuals. Anything predating the Civil War was destroyed in the war.

“One goal of the bioarcheological part of the project that really aligns with what Noah was doing in his painting is trying to humanize the experience, help people who haven’t thought of it to see that these are individuals, and individuals are suffering with mental illness today,” Mack said. “They had whole lives before they were institutionalized, and within the institution. As with people who are at Whitfield today, they have lives in an institution, they form friendships and relationships, have activities; your life doesn’t end just because you’re ‘locked up.’ It wasn’t just a nameless, faceless mass of people in the asylum. Descendants want us to be able to identify their ancestors. They’re hoping that through bioarcheological analysis and DNA, we’re going to be able to say, ‘Okay, this set of human remains is your great-great-grandmother.’”

Contradicting Stereotypes

Approximately 30,000 people were treated at the Mississippi Insane Hospital in Jackson over its 80-year existence. Many of those people were admitted multiple times making an accurate number of patients hard to come by. The site also housed a nursing home and drug treatment center

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The care shown with burials indicates the facility was not the nightmare factory of “insane asylums” from horror movies and ghost stories.

“The popular media makes everyone think, ‘Oh, it’s a dungeon and people are forced in this.’ It’s important to remember that it was a hard decision for families to send a loved one here, not just because–even at the time–people probably viewed it as not a great place to end up, but just because it’s hard to let go of your loved one,” Mack said. “We have stories from one family in particular who would say every time we went to see her, she was further and further away. As much as families would want to bring their loved one home, people with severe mental illness just couldn’t reach a point where they could be discharged. It’s never easy to send someone you love away, but if you can’t care for that person at home (what choice do you have)?”

The state hospital was staffed by medical professionals, doctors and nurses. Remember, too, when it opened, Mississippi was a wealthy state thanks to “King Cotton.” The facility was actually a source of pride.

“This was a great philanthropic venture and it was intended to improve the lives of Mississippians,” Mack continued. “Part of the impetus was that there were people rotting away in jails, under no charge, just because there was no other place to put them and (citizens) thought that was wrong.”

Dr. Smith was jailed with mental illness, residing between the courts and medical care. In a tragic echo of the past, incarceration is increasingly being used across America as a “solution” for a rampant mental illness problem.

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“People look at the old asylum and think, ‘Oh, they probably did terrible things there,’ but I would caution them to think about how well are we doing today with the same issues,” Mack said.



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