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Spillway opening Friday to safeguard New Orleans levees

The Mississippi River is so high that a spillway north of New Orleans must be opened to safeguard the city’s levees, an Army Corps of Engineers official announced Thursday. That will make an unprecedented third straight year, and the sixth time this decade, that the Bonnet Carré Spillway has been opened. It was used twice last year and once each in 2018, ...

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Louisiana spillway may open for record 3rd consecutive year

A major flood control structure on the Mississippi River may have to soon be opened up to ease pressure on New Orleans levees, federal authorities said Tuesday. The river is expected to crest above 17 feet (5.2 meters) at a key New Orleans gauge as early as Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said in a news release. That ...

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Mississippi wildlife agency: Nearly 100 turkeys poached

At least four people were arrested following an 11-month investigation that determined nearly 100 turkeys had been poached, according to wildlife officials in Mississippi. The group was believed to have trespassed on 15 properties in Claiborne, Copiah, Franklin, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties, according to a news release from the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks. About 280 wildlife violations were issued ...

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Regions Foundation announces $25,000 grant for Mississippi flood recovery

The Regions Foundation on Thursday announced a $25,000 flood-recovery grant to help people in Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties affected by the recent Pearl River floods. Additionally, Regions Bank announced disaster-recovery financial services, including loan payment assistance, to help people and businesses during the recovery. “While several communities were spared the worst of the flooding, we must remember that many ...

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UPDATED — Few businesses untouched by concerns about COVID-19 virus

By BECKY GILLETTE As of March 3, the total number of people in the U.S. who had tested positive for the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) was 22, with three of those travel-related and nine believed to have spread person-to-person. The country had experienced its first two deaths. Those numbers don’t include the three cases from Americans who had traveled to Wuhan, ...

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Former Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality executive director rejoins Butler Snow

Gary C. Rikard has rejoined Butler Snow after a five-year stint as executive director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Rikard will practice with the firm’s regulatory and government group in Ridgeland, Miss. Rikard began his career as an environmental engineer at the MDEQ. After earning his Juris Doctor, he worked as a staff attorney for MDEQ. Rikard ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Flood spotlights need for strategic policy thinking

Politicians tend to be adept at tactical political thinking. How do I win the next election? How do I get this project my financial backers want approved? How do I keep special interest groups on my side? And so on. Strategic policy thinking to solve systemic and long-term problems, well that’s another story. Effective government, however, cannot be singularly driven ...

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Effective management allows for sustainable shark fishery

As some of the top predators in the ocean, sharks fill vital roles by regulating food web dynamics and maintaining balance in their ecosystems. The Gulf of Mexico is home to more than 40 different species of sharks that vary in size (3 feet to 15 feet) and habitat distribution (inshore, coastal waters versus offshore, open waters). Large shark species ...

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Higher red snapper ‘target’ for charter boats now permanent

After Gulf of Mexico charter boat captains stayed within federal limits for red snapper, regulators are making permanent a rule that lets them catch more of the fish. The rule initially was to be just for one year. The change will likely mean that the 2020 charter boat season for red snapper is seven or eight days longer than it ...

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BP oil spill cash rebuilds eroded Louisiana pelican island

A Louisiana island that provides a crucial nesting ground for pelicans and other seabirds is being restored to nearly its former size after decades of coastal erosion and the devastating blow of an offshore oil spill 10 years ago. About 6,500 brown pelicans and 3,000 smaller seabirds cram their nests every summer onto Queen Bess Island, which shrank from 45 ...

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