Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT

October 14, 2018 - 12:00 am

MAYOR-MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Gulf coast mayor backs medical marijuana at petition event

(Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com)

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) — A mayor on Mississippi's Gulf Coast hosted a weekend event to collect signatures for an effort to legalize medical marijuana.

WLOX-TV reports that Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson hosted Saturday's gathering at the Mary C. O'Keefe Cultural Center to support the petition drive for the Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign.

For a legalization measure to appear on the November ballot, 86,185 registered voters in Mississippi must sign petitions in favor of the initiative.

Dobson has been very open about his support for the legalization of medical marijuana. He says he is not in support of legalizing recreational marijuana.

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VERTEX-CONTRACT

Mississippi aerospace firm shares in $25.5 billion contract

MADISON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi aerospace company will share a contract worth up to $25.5 billion to provide parts for military vehicles over the next 10 years.

The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama, announced the contract with Vertex Aerospace and six other companies on Thursday.

Vertex, based in Madison, overhauls and distributes parts for military aircraft and ground vehicles.

Private equity firm American Industrial Partners of New York bought Vertex in July from L3 Technologies for $540 million.

Vertex has more than 1,000 employees in Mississippi. Worldwide, Vertex has 4,200 workers with yearly revenue of $1.42 billion.

CAL-MAINE PURCHASE

Nation's largest egg producer buying Texas egg farm

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The nation's largest producer of fresh eggs is buying a Texas egg producer.

Cal-Maine Foods of Jackson, Mississippi, announced Wednesday that it would buy Featherland Egg Farms.

Featherland has 600,000 egg-laying hens and a feed mill and other facilities near Marion, Texas, outside San Antonio.

No price or other terms were announced. Cal-Maine says it expects to complete the purchase in coming weeks.

Chairman and CEO Dolph Baker says Featherland was attractive in part because it's near other Cal-Maine facilities and major markets in south Texas. He says the acquisition will give Cal-Maine greater market reach.

Cal-Maine has 42 egg-producing facilities in 15 states, mostly in the South and Texas.

FURNITURE FIRE

Another fire at Mississippi furniture company

(Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com)

PONTOTOC, Miss. (AP) — For the second time this year, a large fire has torn through American Furniture Company in northern Pontotoc County.

Pontotoc County Fire Coordinator Adam Patton tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that the fire was reported around 6 a.m. Saturday.

Firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments battled the fire, which began in a warehouse/shipping area of the large manufacturing facility. Fire crews had to shuttle water from area fire hydrants to the fire.

More than 21 fire departments fought a massive fire at the same facility in January. That fire destroyed a large portion of the warehouse, sewing department and production development space. More than 35,000 pieces of furniture inventory was lost.

The cause of both fires is unknown.

American Furniture employs more than 700 workers.

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DOLPHIN FOUND-MISSISSIPPI

Rare dolphin found at Mississippi beach

(Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com)

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — A stranded rough-toothed dolphin apparently became separated from its mother and was hunted by deep-sea fishermen before it was found on a Mississippi beach.

The Sun Herald reports the juvenile female dolphin — about 6 feet, 10 inches long and weighing about 140 pounds — is a rare find along coastal waters off the Gulf of Mexico.

Moby Solangi, a veterinarian and executive director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, tells the newspaper the dolphin has pneumonia and is in serious but guarded condition. She also had a large hook in its mouth, indicating a deep-sea fishing crew had tried to catch her.

Neal Peterson of Biloxi found the dolphin Friday while walking on the beach just east of the old Broadwater Marina.

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HOUSING DISCRIMINATION-MISSISSIPPI

Mississippi landlord to pay couple for discrimination

(Information from: The Clarion Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A federal agency says a Mississippi landlord will have to pay an undisclosed amount in a settlement to an interracial couple because he evicted them from an RV park.

The Clarion Ledger reports that the Department of Housing and Urban Development reached the settlement Tuesday.

Erica Hoskins is Hispanic and Native American, and her husband, Stanley, is African-American.

In 2016, they rented at an RV park in the north Mississippi town of Belden, with Erica Hoskins giving a check to the landlord, Gene Baker. She says Baker evicted them after learning her husband is black.

Erica Hoskins says Baker told her that his church members don't approve of black and white people living together.

The newspaper reported Baker could not immediately be reached for comment about the settlement.

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