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Early crashes at Phoenix leave many frustrated

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Two multi-car crashes within 10 laps damages 17 cars and frays emotions

By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM February 27, 2011 5:47 PM, EST
AVONDALE, Ariz. — Carl Edwards was standing a few yards from his battered No. 99 Ford, lamenting an early end to his day Sunday, when suddenly the garage area at Phoenix International Raceway began filling up with wrecked race cars. Before the Subway Fresh Fit 500 was even an hour old, no fewer than 10 mangled machines littered the garage, with crewmembers feverishly working either to repair them or make sure they would at least fit into the hauler.

Wild 10 laps

In the span of 10 laps, 17 cars were involved in two multi-car accidents leaving many in the garage scratching their heads. Edwards gets squeezed Vickers starts 13-car pileup
And it all occurred in a span of 17 laps. Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne found the Turn 1 wall on Lap 49, crunching in the rear end of his No. 21 Ford. Then Kyle Busch and Edwards touched on Lap 60, setting off a multi-car incident that also collected Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick. Edwards, who had led 21 laps, felt like he let an excellent chance at victory slip through his fingertips. “That’s the car to beat, right there, sitting in the garage,” said Edwards, pointing back at his damaged ride. “That’s the fastest car here. That thing’s unreal. I was just cruising out there, screaming fast. It’s just too good of a race and too good of a race car to be sitting here, watching.” Edwards still wasn’t clear on exactly how the wreck began, even after watching a television replay. “My first impression was that Kyle was just frustrated that Ryan got by me and he turned down,” Edwards said. “But I looked at that and it looked like he might have just gotten loose. I’ll talk to him about it. “Regardless of what caused it, that wreck took the fastest car out of the race. That car is so fast, you guys. It was a joy to drive. I was having a blast. We took two tires and we were screaming, four tires and we were screaming. The thing was just awesome, I feel bad.” Edwards seemed shocked to be on the sidelines so early, especially with a car he thought was the class of the field. “I was just out there with a smile on my face, having fun,” Edwards said. “I didn’t see that coming at all. Kyle’s too good a race car driver to slide across like that. But I did just watch the tape and I can’t tell if it was just a misjudgement on his part or just frustrated. It’s just racing. Man, it’s just so frustrating.” Just as Edwards completed his final thought, the race restarted and more mayhem ensued. Brian Vickers cut a tire coming out of Turn 2 — perhaps from contact with Matt Kenseth — and at least 12 other cars were involved, with some suffering heavy damage. The race was red-flagged for 14 minutes to clean up the track.
Jeff Burton (Autostock)
“I’m not pointing fingers at anybody. We all race. Certainly if people are wrecking, it’s too aggressive, there’s no doubt about that. … I thought we had a car that could win this race and we’re sitting here in the garage. It’s real disappointing” — JEFF BURTON
Cars that either made it to the garage under their own power or on the back of a wrecker included Jamie McMurray, Burton, Clint Bowyer, Robby Gordon, Andy Lally, David Reutimann and Travis Kvapil. Vickers was able to get his No. 83 Toyota back to the garage, where the crew began replacing the rear axle. Vickers said some of the impatience stems from not wanting to give up precious track position on the tight, flat 1-mile oval. “It’s a difficult place to pass,” Vickers said. “Track position is very important and all the cars are very even. People just are not willing to give up that spot, and we haven’t had a long run either. “When you have double-file restarts, yeah, five laps into a run you don’t want to budge from your spot. Twenty-five laps into a run, you get single-file and you start realizing who’s fast and who’s not. We just had a bunch of short runs right here at the beginning of the race.” Vickers said starting side-by-side on a tight track like Phoenix might have been a contributing factor. “We used to not start double-file. I don’t have a problem with any of the rules. I think they make it exciting for the fans. But, you know, yeah, you’re going to create other situations because of it.” Burton was one of those caught up in the melee, and felt drivers were too aggressive, particularly that early in the race. “I guess you’d have to say yes,” Burton said. “It’s really frustrating for us. I thought we had an incredibly fast car. It seems like we just can’t do anything right right now. We’ll keep our heads up and keep digging.” McMurray explained what he saw and felt. “It looked like [Vickers] cut a tire down and it’s really tight back there, a bad place to have a wreck because there’s nowhere to go,” McMurray said. “I was the guy who got slowed down and whoever was behind me wasn’t able to. Once you get hit from behind that hard, you’re just along for the ride.” Was it too early to be that aggressive? Burton’s answer was yes. “It’s too hard if people are wrecking,” Burton said. “I’m not pointing fingers at anybody. We all race. Certainly if people are wrecking, it’s too aggressive, there’s no doubt about that. “I can’t control other people; I can only control us. I’m real proud of how we ran [Sunday]. I thought we had a car that could win this race and we’re sitting here in the garage. It’s real disappointing.” But McMurray wasn’t sure that incident was caused as much by aggressiveness as by the unusual number of short green-flag runs. “Normally at Phoenix you get those long runs and it calms down,” McMurray said. “But when you get different pit strategies and guys on different sets of tires, there’s a big discrepancy in speed. The restarts are when you get your passing done. “That was one of those deals where [two cars] got together and cut the No. 83’s tire down. They were in the first four or five cars and it was just a big wreck. I don’t know that it was from people being overaggressive.” Burton was able to return to the track on Lap 98, followed by Robby Gordon, Bowyer, Reutimann and Edwards approximately 25 laps later.]]]]> ]]>

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Business

Kevin Roberts opens his second Fit Chef store in Madison

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Kevin Roberts and his new Fit Chef store in Madison. (photos courtesy Kevin Roberts)

Vicksburg resident Kevin Roberts is opening a new Fit Chef location in Madison, Mississippi, next week.

The new Fit Chef is Roberts’ second location. The store promotes a healthy eating lifestyle and offers healthy prepared meals and catering. The grand opening of the new Fit Chef is Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 111 Dees Drive in Madison.

The first Fit Chef is located at 3401 Halls Ferry Road in Roberts hometown of Vicksburg and is popular among local residents.

Roberts has plenty to keep him busy. He is also the owner of The Chopping Block, an axe throwing arcade located at 1504 Washington St. in downtown Vicksburg, which he opened earlier this year.

Roberts is hoping that his second Fit Chef location will have as much success as the first one as he continues to expand the Fit Chef brand.

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COVID-19

Mississippi reports 1,212 new COVID-19 cases Saturday as U.S. sets new one-day high

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Mississippi’s cumulative number of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 115,000 Saturday, with another day of more than 1,000 cases reported.

On Friday, the U.S. reported 83,757 new cases, a new one-day high, according to Johns Hopkins University. At the peak of the summer surge, the U.S. reported 77,362 new cases of COVID-19 on July 16, reports USA Today. Nearly every state in the union is reporting increased cases, and experts predict that this surge could be more deadly and last longer than the summer surge because the virus circulates easier in colder weather.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported five new COVID-19 cases Saturday in Warren County and no new deaths. The cumulative number of cases in Warren County to date is 1,548, and the county’s death toll is 55.

Statewide, MSDH reported 1,212 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, bringing the total cumulative confirmed cases in Mississippi to 115,088. The seven-day average of new cases is 726, higher by 244 cases from a month ago.

Most new cases are seen in younger people recently, and they are more likely to survive the virus than those 65 and older. By far, the age group reporting the most cases in Mississippi are young people from 18 to 29 years old.

MSDH reported Saturday that 17 additional Mississippians died of COVID-19 statewide. The cumulative number of deaths in the state is 3,255. The state’s rate of deaths to confirmed cases is about 2.8%.

Deaths are a lagging indicator. While July saw the highest number of new cases since the crisis began, August saw the highest number of deaths. The highest number of deaths in any one day was 67 reported Aug. 25.

Of the 17 deaths MSDH reported Saturday, 13 occurred between Oct. 19 and Oct. 23 in the following counties:

County Deaths reported Saturday
Adams 1
Benton 1
Coahoma 1
Covington 1
Harrison 1
Leake 1
Lee 1
Monroe 1
Panola 1
Pontotoc 1
Tallahatchie 1
Wayne 1
Yazoo 1

Four COVID-19 related deaths reported Saturday occurred between Sept. 22 and Oct. 17 and were identified from death certificate reports.

County Deaths identified from death certificate reports
Lauderdale 1
Madison 1
Pearl River 1
Prentiss 1

New cases and deaths were reported to MSDH as of 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. MSDH usually reports statistics on the COVID-19 coronavirus each day based on the previous day’s testing and death reports.

The primary metric concerning state health officials are the numbers of people hospitalized, and that number rose steadily with the rise of new cases in July and August. On June 6, the number of Mississippians hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 was at 358. Hospitalizations nearly tripled by late July. They leveled off in early August and began noticeably dropping in the middle of the month including critical cases and numbers of people requiring ventilators. Hospitalizations continued to drop in September but levelled off at the middle of the month. They dropped again through Oct. 3; however, hospitalizations have been rising since then.

The number of Mississippians hospitalized for the virus as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22, is 701, more than half of the late July peak of about 1,200. The number includes 597 with confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 104 people with suspected but unconfirmed cases. Of those with confirmed infections, 158 were critically ill and in intensive care units and 70 were on ventilators.

Source: MSDH

MSDH has estimated the number of people who can be presumed recovered from COVID-19 in Mississippi. That number is 97,675 through Sunday, Oct. 11. This figure is updated weekly. It represents about 84.9% of the cumulative 115,088 cases reported Saturday, Oct. 24.

The number of cases in Warren County three weeks ago, Saturday, Oct. 3, was 1,428, therefore the estimated number of people presumed recovered in the county is 1,373, or about 88.7% of the 1,548 cumulative cases reported as of Saturday, Oct. 24. The county has an estimated 120 active cases.

These estimates are based on MSDH’s guidelines for calculating estimated recoveries when hospitalizations are not known, using the number of cases 21 days ago, less known outcomes (deaths).

The total number of Mississippians tested for COVID-19 (PCR and antigen tests identifying current infections) as of Saturday, Oct. 10, is 900,479 or about 30.3% of the state’s 2.976 million residents. Without an updated number of tests, it is impossible to accurately calculate Mississippi’s positivity rate (positive results to tests, seven-day average), however, the rate was 16.6% Thursday according to Johns Hopkins University. The national rate is 5.8%, and 5% or lower indicates adequate testing.

The total number of outbreaks in long-term care facilities was 133 Saturday. About 40.1%, or 1,304, of the state’s total deaths were people in long-term care facilities.

A total of 26 deaths in Warren County were residents of LTC facilities.

MSDH is no longer reporting outbreaks in individual long-term care facilities in Mississippi and has replaced it with access to a database from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. You can access and search the data here. The latest data available is for the week ending Oct. 11.

For additional information, visit the MSDH website.

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Events

Happening today: Turn in your unused prescriptions on Take Back Day Saturday

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is holding its 19th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday, Oct. 24, at locations across the country.

In Vicksburg and Warren County, event locations will be staffed by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office or the Vicksburg Police Department from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

  • Outlets of Vicksburg, 4000 S. Frontage Road
  • Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 3341 Halls Ferry Road
  • WalMart, 2150 Iowa Blvd.

The nationwide event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.

Collection sites will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.

“The initiative – now in its 10th year – addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said DEA Acting Administrator Timothy Shea in a statement. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Together with our partners, we are not only holding National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, but offering other ways to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications.”

Given the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the DEA wants to ensure that the public is aware of other ways they can dispose of unwanted prescription drugs without having to leave their homes. Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have tips on how to safely dispose of drugs at home.

In addition to DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at any of the 11,000 DEA authorized collectors at any time throughout the year. Search for those sites at https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1.

DEA also encourages the public to reach out to their local law enforcement to find out if they have any permanent drug disposal locations throughout their local community.

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms. DEA will also accept vape pens or other electronic cigarette devices from individual consumers, only after the batteries are removed from the devices. If the battery cannot be removed, individual consumers can check with large electronic chain stores who may accept the vape pen or e-cigarette devices for proper disposal. Liquids, including intravenous solutions, syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find other collection sites near you, visit www.deatakeback.com.

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