News Briefs

MSMA Names Director

Claude Brunson, MD, will be the new executive director of the Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA).

After a nationwide search, the board of trustees of MSMA approved Brunson to be the full-time professional voice for Mississippi’s physicians. Brunson will take over the job full-time on April 1, but he begins transitioning immediately.

MSMA is an organization more than 160 years old with nearly 5,000 physicians and medical students throughout Mississippi. Brunson made history in 2013 when he was the first African American physician elected president of the association, and he makes it again now as the first African American executive director. He will lead a staff focused on advocating on behalf of physicians.

“Physicians in Mississippi are on the front lines in the fight to make Mississippi a healthier state, and I am excited to be able to focus every day on supporting my colleagues through our state medical association,” Brunson said. “MSMA has for decades been a vital advocate for healthcare in Mississippi, and that role is more important today as we all face a rapidly changing healthcare environment.”

MSMA Board Chair Dr. Jennifer Bryan said Brunson’s experience as a physician, an administrator, a regulator, a business executive, and his roles on multiple public policy entities made him the ideal choice. “All of the state’s physicians know, today, they have one of their own at the helm. He knows medicine and he knows Mississippi,” Bryan said.

An anesthesiologist and educator since 2010, Brunson has been senior advisor to the vice chancellor and led the external affairs division at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. He previously served UMMC as director of the office of Government Affairs from 2015 to 2018.


County Wants Authority

The Madison County board of supervisors approved a request to send a letter to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to give county patrols the authority to enforce traffic laws, rules and regulations on state highways.

Madison County currently employs three certified law enforcement officers as county patrol officers.

However, these officers are excluded from having the authority “to enforce the traffic laws, rules and regulations of this state, or any related laws upon any highway of the state highway system.”

Officers Albert Cary Jones III, Kyrie Laron Lucas and Michael Everett must have authorization from the DPS to do so.

The board approved a letter that requests county patrol officers to be authorized and empowered to enforce traffic laws on highways 16, 17, 22, 43 and 51.

The board voted unanimously to approve the request.



Approve Plat

The Madison County board of supervisors approved the preliminary plat for the Villas at Bridgewater.

The development will have 63 lots on 25.01 acres at Lake Caroline.

“You really need to change the name,” said District One Supervisor Sheila Jones. “It’s going to be confusing for 911.”

The development is named after the road it is located on.

“That’s going to be a problem,” Jones said. “Ambulances are going to go to the wrong place.”

The preliminary plat was approved with a 4-1 vote, with Jones voting “no.”




IN the  February 7 story on the Jackson Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport takeover lawsuit, the Sun should have reported that the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority and city of Jackson must file a response to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals order by February 15, and the governor’s office must respond by March 31. The Sun regrets the error.


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Bragging rights for another year are on the line tomorrow night, as St. Joseph Catholic School takes on St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, in a storied matchup formerly dubbed “The Holy War.”