Runoffs tomorrow, progress on MS lottery, and more...

The candidates in tomorrow's runoff elections in Mississippi plan to get in some last minute campaigning today. Most of the attention is focused on the Republican showdown for governor between Tate Reeves and Bill Waller Junior. But there's a runoff in the race for another statewide office tomorrow, as Lynn Fitch faces Andy Taggart for the Republican nomination for attorney general.

Mississippi once again has the cheapest gas in America. Triple A says the state's average price at the pumps has dropped about four cents in the past week and the auto club says our price is now slightly below what drivers in Louisiana are paying. For three weeks, our neighbor to the west had the cheapest gas. In Mississippi, the average price is now about 2-20 a gallon, 17 cents less than a month ago. And if you want to look back even further, a year ago, Triple A says we were paying about 34 cents more for gas than we are now.

As lottery officials in Mississippi prepare to launch scratch-off games in December, they're hoping to have at least 15-hundred retailers signed up by the first of October. The Mississippi Lottery Corporation says that's not a deadline but getting their background checks and credit reports completed and their surety bonds posted by October gives those retailers a good shot at being among the first to sell tickets. The lottery launches on December 1st.

Charities across Mississippi are being told not to open emails that appear to be from the Secretary of State's office. They're scams. And they could be an attempt to steal personal and financial information from the charities. The Secretary of State regulates charities but says it didn't send those emails which have gone out at least three times since late June. The most recent version, emailed last week, claimed it was a message from the Secretary of State "sharing financial information" with the charities. State and federal investigators are looking into the scams.

Thousands of AT&T workers are on strike throughout the Southeast. More than 20-thousand walked off the job Friday after the Communications Workers of America union says contract negotiations over health care and wages fell apart. The union also objected to a new demand for employees to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Striking workers include technicians and customer services reps. The company says it was prepared for a work stoppage. The strike is taking place in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Officials with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources say they may lift a water advisory on parts of South Mississippi beaches because of a decrease in the presence of blue algae. A spokesperson says the algae, caused by fresh water runoff, has stopped blooming thereby reducing the toxicity level tenfold. The Department says it could lift the advisory by Labor Day weekend.

The 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi National Guard's largest unit, changed commanders Sunday. According to Adjutant General Jason Boyles, the appointment of Col. Jason Nelson is a history making event. Nelson's appointment to lead the 155th means that for the first time in history, national guardsmen from two states will merge in joint training operations. National Guard units from Kansas will travel to Mississippi to function as one team.

The case of a Mississippi toddler who died after being left in a hot car for several hours, is now in the hands of a grand jury. Police in Booneville say evidence against Seth Dodds, the child's father, will be presented to a Prentiss County grand jury to determine if any criminal charges should be brought against him. Dodds claims he forgot to take the child, identified as 21-month-old Lincoln Dodds, inside the Mighty Cubs Daycare Center in Booneville on August 16th. The boy was found hours later unresponsive inside of the car. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

A prominent Mississippi hotel owner and Trump family real estate partner, is now facing charges of stealing luggage from the Memphis airport last week. Authorities say Dinesh Chawla, the CEO of Chawla Hotels, admitted to stealing several bags of luggage from the airport's baggage claim last week. Investigators found the bags containing thousands of dollars worth of items in his car. Chawla was arrested last Thursday and charged with felony theft of property.

A second case of West Nile virus is being reported in Forrest County. And that bring the statewide total this summer to seven scattered across central and southern Mississippi. Last year, by the end of August, the State Health Department had reported 29 cases of West Nile and we finished the year with 50 cases.

Following an investigation into possible rules violations, the NCAA has placed the Mississippi State University football and basketball teams on three years probation. The action comes after the University self-reported that a part-time student tutor had completed coursework in chemistry for 10 football players and one men's basketball player in an online class. The University has also been ordered to pay an unspecified fine.

Jackie Seavey, the executive sous chef at Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, has won first place in the World Food Championship's Final Table Competition in New Orleans. The competition took place in May, but the announcement wasn't made until this weekend during the airing of the final episode on network television. Seavey won out over 491 other teams to win the top spot.

Louisiana is celebrating its first-ever Little League World Series championship. The kids from River Ridge, Louisiana crushed Curacao [[ KER-ah-sow ]] 8-0 in Sunday's title game. They are also the first team ever to win the championship after losing their first game in Williamsport. 

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For their unique take on the top news of the day, here's behind-the-scenes video of this Aug. 26th edition of "Gulf Coast Mornings with Kelly Bennett and Uncle Henry":

 
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