Top Five Stories of 2021 in South Mississippi

2021 was a year punctuated by COVID, masking up, the delta variant and the omicron variant, vaccines, and boosters.

But there were a lot more stories in South Mississippi that made the news and WXXV is taking a look at its top five.

We begin our year in review with the story about former Moss Point Mayor Mario King. He was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charges stemmed from money solicited to fund a gala to benefit mental health programs in the city. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Among those we lost in 2021, two people who touched the hearts of South Mississippians were Abby Bosarge and Lt. Michael Boutte.

Abby, an 18-year-old from Pass Christian, lost a 17-month battle with leukemia. Abby made the most of her time, graduating from high school, having a wedding, taking a trip to Disney, and going to a Harry Styles concert.

Lt. Boutte, a Hancock County sheriff’s deputy, was killed by a suspect when he responded to a disturbance call. Lt. Boutte, an Air Force veteran, had been in law enforcement eight years. The suspect in his death has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

We also remember La’Mello Parker, a four-month-old baby boy who was injured during a police chase that started in Louisiana after his father was involved in a domestic incident. That chase ended in gunfire near Woolmarket in South Mississippi. La’Mello later died from his injuries.

Three people died and nine more injured after a portion of Highway 26 collapsed in George County in August. The road collapse was caused by a landslide triggered by heavy rains from Hurricane Ida. The road reopened in November.

On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida blew ashore as a category four storm with winds up to 150 miles an hour, causing widespread damage in Laplace, Louisiana and sweeping through South Mississippi and tearing a path through the state toward the Tennessee line.

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