Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann visits the Coast


Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and some other state lawmakers were in Pascagoula today and like Sally, the direction of the meeting with Mississippi’s top politicians and local heroes and first responders in Jackson County took a turn for the better.

Leaves gently swaying in the breeze, a county worker exiting the Jackson County EOC, pillow in hand, this: the calm after the storm. Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said, “We thought we’d have a very difficult day, but a lot of prayers were answered and a lot less damage, and we’re really excited about that.”

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But the past few days, it’s been all hands on deck here and all Coastal Mississippi counties as Sally made her way to land. Senator Brice Wiggins said, “That’s the stuff that I don’t think people see. I don’t think they see that our first responders, law enforcement, and our operations workers are out here working on this. They’ve been up here for three days straight without any sleep.”

These local heroes stayed up for a few extra hours longer in the final stretch thankful that, like Sally, the direction of the lieutenant governor’s visit changed focus, from damage assessment to current needs moving forward. Senator Jeremy England said, “When we get an event like this come through it puts our first responders right on the front lines. We take notice of them more. It really draws our attention to what needs to be done. We talked with Director Etheridge about what we need to do there with fire departments. We talked with Sheriff Mike Ezell about what they could use. We learned where they are handcuffed by legislation in some areas. When we get to hear from, meet with them, we have Lieutenant Governor with us, we’re able to go back and do what needs to be done so that we are better prepared next time and for any other disasters in the county.”

Lt. Gov. Hosemann said, “Last year our Senators here devoted about $4.5 million dollars to volunteer fire departments. I expect a similar amount this year. We’re replacing the trucks and what not, and we’re talking to them about additional equipment they need in addition to trucks. It should be part of that legislation.”

Until then, these local heroes will finally be going home and getting some rest at least until the next time.

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Toni started at WXXV News 25 in December of 2013, just three months after the news was launched. She has served as Assignment Editor, anchored for nearly two years, worked as a reporter for several years and hosted Coastal Connections for more than four years. Toni graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi where she was editor of the Student Printz. She then did an internship on Capitol Hill, working for a U.S. Senator, then returned to Mississippi as a reporter at WDAM in Hattiesburg. After that, she moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, working as a reporter for FOX 25 in Biloxi, then crossing city lines to work at WLOX-TV news in Biloxi, starting out as a producer, then working as a photographer, reporter, weekend assignment editor and weekend anchor. She was among the station team that won the Edward Murrow and Peabody awards for coverage during Hurricane Katrina. Toni moved to the Lone Star State where she worked as the morning and noon anchor, investigative reporter and live shot reporter for KZTV Action 10 News, then KRIS TV News in Corpus Christi, Texas. Toni moved back to the Magnolia State to be with and take care of her family, working as a multi-media journalist and fill-in anchor at WDBD Fox 40 news in Jackson. After almost completing a second degree in filmmaking at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, Toni transitioned back to news at News 25. Toni is blessed to have a wonderful support network of close family, friends and mentors, and she hopes to pay it forward. She has a three-legged chiweenie named Rocky Balboa because of his fighting spirit. She loves writing and has completed a novel that has been adapted into a screenplay, and has just finished another screenplay called "Delta Rose." She's currently working on a new legal thriller called "Fall From Grace." Stay tuned.... If you’d like to book a live in studio interview on News 25 Today, just email: These interviews can have up to two guests, last about two minutes and showcase community events, non-profit organizations and things of interest to people in our area…and they’re FREE! Just send information about your event, including date, time, location, contact number and/or website for viewers wanting more information, along with the proper name and titles of the person or two people who will be interviewed, and Toni or producer Porsha Williams ( will get back with you via email in a timely manner to book a date. Typical interview times are daily at: 5:45, 6:45, 7:45 or 8:45 am. Guests are asked to arrive about 30 minutes beforehand. You can also ask about booking a live shot on location for news events for our 6 and 7 am newscasts. We look forwarding to having you!


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