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This Hour: Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment

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Gov is U Mississippi commencement speaker

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) - The University of Mississippi says Gov. Phil Bryant will be the main speaker at its 161st commencement on May 10.

He will speak to graduating students, their families and other guests at 9 a.m. This year's graduating class includes about 2,650 spring candidates for undergraduate and graduate degrees and about 1,000 August 2013 graduates.

Chancellor Dan Jones says Bryant has given the state valuable leadership for nearly 25 years in both the legislative and executive branches.

Bryant is Mississippi's 64th governor. Before he was sworn in Jan. 10, 2012, he spent four years as lieutenant governor. He also served as state auditor and served five years in the Mississippi House.

The ceremony will be in the Grove unless there's rain. Bad weather would send it indoors, into Tad Smith Coliseum.


Ballroom dance club creates Elvis dance festival

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - Next weekend, the Tupelo Ballroom Dance Club will go all-Elvis.

Since Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, the club is holding a new festival called Dancing with the King.

It includes a variety of workshops and competitions. A shuttle will run between the festival and Presley's birthplace.

Tickets are $10 to $50 a day; contestants pay entry fees from $25 to $75 per couple.

Dances are not limited to Presley's swivel-hipped style. But whether contestants waltz, foxtrot, rumba or tango, it must be to an Elvis vocal.

Organizer Rubye Del Harden tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that she learned to dance to Presley's music. And she asks, "If you can't dance to Elvis, who can you dance to?"


Agent: collecting evidence in Magnolia can case

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - The State Auditor's office is continuing to investigate the alleged embezzlement of public money by Magnolia's former city grounds and street keeper.

Special Agent David Oubre tells The Enterprise-Journal that investigators are contacting witnesses and collecting evidence about allegations against Willie Bowen.

The city fired Bowen in February after learning that he allegedly kept $51.51 from recycling cans that he and work-release inmates picked up from city roadsides in January.

Oubre said he has not yet interviewed Bowen.

It is unclear if Bowen has an attorney.

The Associated Press could not reach Bowen for comment Sunday because there is no telephone listing for him in Magnolia.


Pascagoula LNG terminal working on export permits

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - A Pascagoula shipping terminal opened in 2011 to import liquefied natural gas now is working to become an export terminal.

The nationwide shale boom has greatly imports since the $1.1 billion Gulf LNG terminal opened near the Bayou Casotte Ship Channel.

Gulf LNG got U.S. Department of Energy approval in 2012 to export 11.5 million tons of LNG a year to countries approved under the Free Trade Agreement, including Australia, Canada and some in South and Central America.

Kinder Morgan Inc. spokesman Richard Wheatley tells The Sun Herald that the Pascagoula terminal is seventh on the list for a permit to export to other countries.

He says there's no estimate on how long it would take to convert the terminal after getting such approval.


Construction on schedule for new Choctaw hospital

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (AP) - Despite a few weather-related delays, work is back on schedule for the new Choctaw Health Center, set to open in spring 2015.

The hospital is being built on the eastern side of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians reservation near Philadelphia.

Project manager Stephen Hockins tells The Neshoba Democrat crews lost about 15 days to bad weather.

Hockins says the current schedule will see construction complete by Dec. 30. The hospital is expected to open by spring 2015.

Once complete the facility will be over twice the size of the current Choctaw Health Center.

Opened in 1976, the current Choctaw Health Center was built for a Tribal population of 4,000.

It now serves the 10,000 plus members of the Tribe, as well as eligible non-members.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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