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UPDATE: Former coach gets 30 years in sex abuse trial
Hancock County Sheriff's Deputy Leroy Cospolich on Monday escorts Leslie Danielle DeWitt to an awaiting patrol car shortly after DeWitt was found guilty of two counts of touching a child for lustful purposes.

A Hancock County Circuit Court jury on Monday found Leslie Danielle DeWitt guilty of having inappropriate sexual contact with a then 16-year old student whom she coached while at Hancock High School in 2009 and 2010.
The jury determined DeWitt was guilty of two counts of unlawful touching a child for lustful purposes, but not guilty on two counts of sexual battery.
After Monday's verdict, Judge Lawrence Bourgeois sentenced DeWitt to a total of 30 years in prison, 15 years on each of the counts, to run consecutively.

Oct 18, 2016, 18:07

Man dies in motorcycle accident in Waveland
A Gulfport man was killed Saturday after he crashed his motorcycle on Highway 90 near McLaurin Street.
Waveland Police Chief David Allen said Saturday that Roy Mitchell, 49, was pronounced dead at Hancock Medical Center on Saturday.
According to Allen, Mitchell was traveling west on Highway 90 when his bike was struck by a Chevy Aveo that was traveling east on the highway.
Mitchell was thrown from the bike during the crash, officials said.
He was transported to Hancock Medical Center, but later succumbed to his injuries.
Allen said no charges have been filed in the case, but the accident is still under investigation.

Oct 18, 2016, 18:06

Trapani takes oath of office with Commission of Marine Resources
Lucille Morgan, CSR, (right) administers the oath of office Tuesday to Jolynne Trapani,(left) the newly appointed commissioner to the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources. Echo staff photo by Cassandra Favre

Jolynne Trapani, Bay St. Louis resident and co-owner of Trapani's Eatery, took the oath of office Tuesday and assumed her new role with the Commission of Marine Resources.
Trapani will serve the unexpired term of CMR commissioner Ernie Zimmerman, who died in July. That term is expected to last until June 30, 2018.

Oct 18, 2016, 18:05

Small airplane makes faulty landing at Kiln
The pilot of a Piper Mirage airplane made a “belly landing” at Stennis International Aiport on Friday, meaning he landed without the landing gear extended. The incident is under investigation.

Hancock County Emergency teams had an unusual task late Friday evening at Stennis International Airport when a small plane made a gear-up landing, temporarily suspending all flight operations on the runway.
At around 7 p.m. Friday, officials said, a single engine Piper Mirage airplane made its landing without any wheels on the north end of the airport's runway.
It is unclear at this time whether the pilot of the aircraft had known the wheels were stuck and radioed the tower in preparation for an emergency landing.
Officials said in a press release Tuesday, “The incident is still under investigation by the FAA and we will limit our comments until such time as they make a finding.”

Oct 18, 2016, 18:04

BWSD Board of Trustees hear how education impacts economic development
Members of the Bay-Waveland School District Board of Trustees on Monday heard a presentation from former board member Dr. Sherry Ponder about the "Positive Status of our Schools in our Communities Economic Development and Growth."
Oct 18, 2016, 16:17

Bay native would not let breast cancer stop her life
Gwyn Ross of Bay St. Louis is a breast cancer survivor and didn't the diagnosis slow her down. Echo staff photo by Cassandra Favre

According to the Susan G. Komen website, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the U.S. In 2016, it is estimated that about 40,450 women and 440 men will die from breast cancer. Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed and one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, the website states.

Oct 18, 2016, 16:07

Kiln man jailed for molesting 10-year-old girl
Alex Pearson

Officers of the Hancock County Sheriff's Office on Thursday arrested a Kiln man and have charged him with 23 separate counts in the alleged sexual abuse of a 10-year-old girl multiple times over more than a year.
"It's very, very disturbing," Chief Deputy Don Bass said Friday. "The facts are so disturbing at this point, 90 percent of it, you probably couldn't print."
Court records show that Alex Jackie Pearson, 66, has been charged with 21 counts of sexual battery, one count of touching a child for lustful purposes and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The girl's mother apparently reported the case to the sheriff's office after finding a sex toy, which her daughter didn't want to speak about.
"It is so sensitive that we're reluctant to give out any details because they'd be so graphic," Bass said.

Oct 14, 2016, 22:06

Waveland okays tax abatement ordinance
The Waveland Board of Aldermen on Thursday met in a recessed session to approve a proposed tax abatement ordinance designed to help revitalize the ailing Coleman Avenue District.
The ordinance was the brainchild of Mayor Mike Smith's economic development committee.
"The only thing we are abating are the (taxes) on improvements to the properties," Cami Cornfoot, chairwoman of the economic development committee, told aldermen in a meeting last week.
In other words, she said, the ad valorem taxes the city currently collects on properties would still find their way to city coffers; potential business owners would just be offered the possibility of saving money on additional investment.

Oct 14, 2016, 22:05

Third teen arrested in locker room break-in
The Hancock County Sheriff's Office on Friday announced the arrest of a third student who allegedly stole several items from the Gulfport locker room during last Friday's Hancock High School football game.
Chief Deputy Don Bass said Friday that Robert Washington, Jr., had turned himself in.
"We had a warrant on him," Bass said.
Washington, 18, was apparently in Atlanta when the warrant was issued and a family member drove him home to answer the charge of burglary of a commercial building. He was later released on a $15,000 bond, Bass said.
Two juveniles were arrested in the case on Monday.

Oct 14, 2016, 22:04

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