Top 2019 news stories on

New Albany MS Thomas Wholesale furniture 3
Thomas Wholesale Furniture building burning at 2 AM June 26.
January 2nd, 2020     Featured General News

What could be one of the top northeast Mississippi news stories of 2019 started the morning of the last day of the year. Two days into the New Year public officials have still not released any details about what happened.

It is known that Highway 15 between New Albany and Blue Mountain was completely closed down for about two hours on Tuesday, Dec. 31. It is confirmed that multiple Mississippi Highway Patrol vehicles were chasing a black SUV near the Tippah-Union County line during that time. Multiple shots were fired by state troopers. A wrecker truck was seen hauling away a wrecked black SUV Tuesday afternoon, December 31st, after Highway 15 was reopened.

However, normally forthcoming law enforcement officials are refusing to even say whether anyone was killed or injured during or after the high-speed chase and shooting, which reportedly went through three counties on narrow, two-lane Mississippi Highway 2.

One motorist reported that the black SUV passed her on Highway 2 with “about five state troopers behind him.”

Elected officials will only say that they can say absolutely nothing at all until the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) releases more information at an unspecified time in the future. reporters have seen tight lids clapped on incidents in which lawmen have fired their weapons. However, for whatever reasons, the secrecy about the December 31 shooting incident near the Tippah-Union County line is pretty close to absolute.

The public will apparently know what the MBI wants it to know when and if the MBI wants the public to know anything. posted 699 news stories during 2019. Following are some of the other top 2019 news stories that drew strong reader interest:

Walmart store shut down by red tail hawk:
On just the second day of the New Year, Wednesday, January 2, 2019, a single bird closed down the Walmart store on the southwest side of Interstate 22 for an hour and a half. A red tail hawk with a three-foot wingspan was spotted inside the store about 2 p.m. that rainy afternoon. The story was read by 7,441 readers on

Drug raids on April 11th resulted in more than 30 arrests:
About 60 law officers from five different law enforcement agencies started raids at 5:30 a.m. The raids resulted in the arrest of 32 individuals by 9 a.m. of the same day. Known as “Operation Ice Crusher,” the operation was the result of many hours of undercover investigations by several agencies. Just under 9,000 followers read this story.

Three die in crash of private jet in Union County in April:
Three people died in the crash of a private jet in Union County on Saturday, April 13, 2019. The Rockwell Sabreliner jet crash in southeastern Union County at about 5 p.m. on that date. The flight had originated approximately 20 minutes earlier at the University/Oxford Airport. Immediately before the crash the pilots reported to Air Traffic Control Memphis that they were having electrical problems. There was turbulent weather in the area at the time.

Huge fire on June 26th drew thousands of readers:
A spectacular fire after midnight on Friday, June 26th, burned over a million square feet of a former factory building three miles north of New Albany on Highway 15. published the first photographs of the fire, while it was still burning out of control about 3:30 a.m. that morning. Formerly the home of Piper Industries, the building housed a company called Thomas Wholesale Furniture at the time of the blaze. The state fire marshal determined that an “accelerant” was used and that the fire had been started deliberately. The blaze is apparently still under investigation. No arrests are known to have been made. Stories about the blaze were read on this website by more than 12,000 readers.

Man shot dead after fleeing police officers on July 1st:
A man who fled law enforcement officers in Union County was shot to death in Pontotoc County by a Union County deputy and a Mississippi Highway Patrol officer. During the early evening hours of Monday, July 1, a Union County deputy attempted a traffic stop in the Lone Star community on County Road 102. The driver, Terry Payne, age 52, emerged from the vehicle, pointed a gun at the deputy and then returned to his car and fled to Pontotoc County.

Dog may have saved human family from death in New Albany house fire on July 30:
A family dog may have saved its human family serious injury or death in a house fire on Barksdale Drive in New Albany.

Board of Aldermen rescinds mayor’s raise in September:
The New Albany Board of Aldermen voted September 12 to rescind a $2,530 annual raise,which it had approved two days earlier for Mayor Tim Kent. The raise would have increased the mayor’s salary to $86,862 per year for FY 2020.

Magnolia Civic Center problems addressed during FY 2020 city budget development:
The New Albany Board of Aldermen acted in September to remedy its dissatisfaction with the operations of the city-owned Magnolia Civic Center (MCC). Concerns included the overall management of the theater complex and handling of its fiscal affairs. The board put management of the MCC into the hands of Billye Jean Stroud, the city’s director of Community Development and Tourism. Stroud’s work to impose order on a somewhat chaotic situation at the MCC will continue well into 2020. More than 4,500 readers have followed the MCC story on

October thunderstorm causes major damage, power outages in New Albany and Union County:
A fall thunderstorm struck New Albany and Union County about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26th. Although no serious injuries were reported, many electrical power customers were without power.

Tornado strikes Alpine community Monday, Dec. 14:
An EF-1 tornado struck the Alpine community in eastern Union County the evening of Monday, Dec. 14th. There was widespread damage and many roads in that part of the county were closed because of fallen trees. Remarkably, there were no deaths although one person did suffer leg lacerations.

Law enforcement chase and shooting incident near county line:
Following is the link to the very little was able to report during 2019 about the police chase and shooting incident on December 31st.

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