- Associated Press - Thursday, September 7, 2017

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Latest on the death of former Mississippi lawmaker H.L. “Sonny” Merideth Jr. (all times local):

3:40 p.m.

Funeral services are this weekend for a former Mississippi lawmaker who helped open the way for casino gambling in the state.

H.L. “Sonny” Merideth Jr. of Greenville served in the Mississippi House from 1960 to 1992. He was 86 when he died Tuesday at his home in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Boone Funeral Home in Greenville says services are 9 a.m. Saturday at Avon United Methodist Church.

In 1990, other lawmakers filed a bill to legalize gambling on boats cruising the Mississippi River. Merideth was chairman of a subcommittee that removed a few words from the bill to allow gambling on riverboats that were docked.

Some lawmakers said Merideth was vague in explaining the change when the bill passed the House. Dockside gambling developed into a strong tourist attraction along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast in the 1990s.

____

12:03 p.m.

A former Mississippi lawmaker who helped open the way for casino gambling in the state has died.

H.L. “Sonny” Merideth Jr. of Greenville served in the Mississippi House from 1960 to 1992.

A spokesman for Boone Funeral Home in Greenville says 86-year-old Merideth died Tuesday in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Funeral arrangements were pending Thursday.

In 1990, another lawmaker filed a bill to legalize gambling on boats cruising the Mississippi River. Merideth was chairman of a House Ways and Means subcommittee that removed a few words from the bill to allow gambling on riverboats that were docked.

Some lawmakers said Merideth was vague in explaining the change when the bill passed the House. Dockside gambling developed into a strong tourist attraction along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast in the 1990s.


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