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THE POLAR EXPRESS — Batesville train ride turns magical with holiday trip to Santa North Pole

By NASH NUNNERY Most people might recognize “The Polar Express” as a popular book and animated film written by Chris Van Allsburg. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, the 2004 movie stars Tom Hanks and features human characters animated using the live action performance capture technique. But come November, there will be a real Polar Express train in north Mississippi. Operated by Premier ...

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Automotive conference puts state in forefront

By LISA MONTI The Mississippi Automotive Manufacturers Association is hosting the annual Southern Automotive Conference Oct. 5-7 at Beau Rivage in Biloxi. MAMA Executive Director Don Stoegbauer said the conference will be an opportunity to put the state group “front and center” among fellow automaker groups from Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. About 650 participants are expected to attend, up ...

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LAW ELEVATED — The Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Revolution

The race is on for the commercialization of Autonomous (driverless) Vehicles (AV’s) – Google hopes to get there by 2020. You have probably noticed the almost daily news stories and television segments about AV technology. The reality is that the technology is here (subject only to being fine-tuned), but the regulatory scheme is causing some delays. In other words, our ...

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MDOT recognizes Hinds County employees

The Mississippi Department of Transportation recently recognized residents of Hinds County for their service to MDOT. Honored were, front row, from left, Jessica Dilley, Bonnie Sides, Lisa Kennedy, and Dejuana Parker; Back Row, MDOT Chief Engineer Mark McConnell, James Eggleston, Ron Rester, Byron Flood, Paul Greene and MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath.

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Lobbyists see roads, bridges as priority for Mississippi

By ZACHARY OREN SMITH During this year’s legislative session, the Mississippi Economic Council made a lobbying push for $375 million in additional revenue to address the state’s immediate transportation needs. Alongside the MEC stood several lobbyist groups that similarly prioritized the maintenance and expansion of Mississippi’s infrastructure system. Scott Waller, executive vice president of the Mississippi Economic Council, led the ...

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MDOT hires producer

Kevin Perez recently joined the Mississippi Department of Transportation as media producer in the Public Affairs Division. Perez previously worked as a photojournalist at 16 WAPT News and as a director of photography at Red Squared Productions. Perez completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Jackson State University in May 2015, specializing in media production and graphic ...

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Mississippi plans $22M bridge to replace washed out span

The Mississippi Department of Transportation is planning a new U.S. 51 bridge over the Coldwater River after the old one was washed out by March floods. Officials tell WHBQ-TV that they will raise the roadbed on approaches by three feet and raise the bridge 10 feet to prevent future flooding and let more water flow under the bridge. Residents and ...

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Mississippi on track for fall 2018 completion of I-269

Dirt and bridge work for the entire Mississippi portion of Interstate 269 is finished, and the Mississippi Department of Transportation said the project remains on track for a fall 2018 completion. Jason Scott, MDOT public information officer, tells The Commercial Appeal the next phase of work involves two paving projects, the largest of which has begun. Scott says I-269, the ...

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Transportation Commission recognizes Woodcock

The Mississippi Transportation Commission recently recognized Joel D. “Woody” Woodcock for his service to the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the State of Mississippi with a resolution. Woodcock represented MDOT for more than 12 years, beginning in 2003, as a Special Assistant Attorney with the Mississippi Office of the Attorney General. Pictured from left: Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert; Assistant Attorney ...

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MDOT appoints Ratliff

The Mississippi Department of Transportation has appointed Brian Ratliff as District 5 Engineer. Ratliff will oversee the operations in 10 central Mississippi counties including the Jackson Metro Area and the counties along Interstate 20 eastward towards Meridian. Ratliff began working for MDOT as an Engineer in Training in 1996 after graduating from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science ...

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