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Mississippi school district sues e-cigarette manufacturer

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The Jefferson County School District in southwest Mississippi has filed a lawsuit against e-cigarette manufacturers, joining more than a dozen other school districts across the country in an effort to curb vaping among teenagers.

Attorneys for the district are claiming manufacturer Juul Labs has engaged in deceptive advertising, according to the Associated Press. They hope to make the suit into a class action by including all the state’s school districts.

The suit also claims that vaping has undone years of progress to lower tobacco use among teenagers.

“This success has been the result of years of litigation and strict regulation,” the Jefferson County lawsuit states. “It is also due to the widespread and mainstream public health message that smoking kills people—a message that Big Tobacco can no longer dispute or contradict. This incredible progress towards eliminating youth tobacco and nicotine use has now largely been reversed due to e-cigarettes and vaping.”

School districts and individuals across the nation have filed suits against e-cigarette companies. Lawsuits have been filed in Arizona, California, Kansas, New York, North Carolina and several other states. The suits target Juul, which controls about 75 percent of the vaping market, but most also include the Altria Group, owners of the Marlboro brand. Juul’s revenues hit $1 billion in 2018, and the company expects their revenues to triple for 2019.

The number of lawsuits is escalating in light of vaping-related severe lung injuries and deaths under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Dec. 3, 48 people have died and 2,291 have been hospitalized, and investigators have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of the injuries although both THC and vitamin E acetate are likely sources.

The Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed 11 cases of the illness and one death.

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MDOT announces I-20 lane closures near Clinton

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If your commute regularly takes you to and from Clinton, Miss., be advised that you will likely be dealing with slow traffic for a couple of months starting next week.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation announced today that it would be closing the inside lanes of both eastbound and westbound Interstate 20 at Norrell Road (exit 31) starting Monday, Jan. 27, at 7 a.m.

The work, which will make repairs to bridges over Norrell Road in Hinds County, is expected to take about 60 days.

Please use caution in the area and expect delays.

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Corps’ mat sinking unit suspended revetment season due to flooding

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District’s Mat Sinking Unit suspended its 2019 revetment season Jan. 21. The season was suspended due to adverse river conditions caused by flooded riverbanks and high velocity flows. The unit will remain on standby for approximately one month as district engineers and technical experts monitor river conditions for the opportunity to complete scheduled work. If conditions are favorable, the unit will potentially resume work in late February. (photo courtesy USACE)

From the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District’s Mat Sinking Unit suspended its 2019 revetment season Jan. 21.

The season was suspended due to adverse river conditions caused by flooded riverbanks and high-velocity flows. The unit will remain on standby for approximately one month as district engineers and technical experts monitor river conditions for the opportunity to complete scheduled work. If conditions are favorable, the unit will potentially resume work in late February.

During the 2019 season, the unit has placed approximately 170,000 squares of articulated concrete mattress along the banks of the Mississippi River to prevent erosion, protect key areas of the riverbank and flood control works and provide a safe, reliable channel for navigation.

“For more than 70 years, the Mat Sinking Unit has taken on the unique and important task of preventing erosion and maintaining navigation up and down the Mississippi River,” said Vicksburg District Commander Col. Robert Hilliard in a statement. “The Mississippi River serves as a vital commercial waterway and drainage system for the nation, and the hard work of the unit allows it to perform those crucial functions.”

Unparalleled across the world, the Mat Sinking Unit is a feat of skilled labor and technological innovation. A mat sinking barge, a mat supply barge, quarter barges, spar barges, gantry cranes, bulldozers and motor vessels are among the equipment used by the unit to help maintain the Mississippi River’s stabilization and navigation. Each season, approximately 50 full-time and 220 seasonal or temporary employees live on quarter boats and work 10-hour shifts and 12-consecutive-day work periods to execute the mission. The unit typically operates when river stages are at their lowest and conducts work that spans the jurisdictions of the Memphis, Vicksburg and New Orleans districts.

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Warrenton Road blocked due to accidents

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Warrenton Road is blocked from U.S. Highway 61 South to near Lady Luck Casino due to two accidents reportedly caused by a vehicle pulled over due to a medical incident.

Plan on taking another route until about 4:30 p.m.

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