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Multiple area roads feeling the effects of heavy rain

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Patch crumbling on I-20 ramp (all photos by David Day)

Central Mississippi roads are feeling the effects of the recent heavy rainfalls as water undercuts roadways and patches while fallen trees and mudslides make them impassable.

In Vicksburg this morning, a patch on the Interstate 20 East entrance ramp from U.S. Highway 61 South has crumbled, leaving a big hole that can seriously damage vehicles if hit at any speed. One of the two lanes on the ramp is blocked. The Mississippi Department of Transportation is sending a crew to make repairs.

Early this morning, the eastbound lanes of Interstate 20 were blocked when a tree fell into the roadway in Warren County.

Around 1:30 a.m., the Mississippi Highway Patrol was called when a passenger car was struck by the tree. In short order, a minivan and seven 18-wheelers had collided with the tree.

The minivan driver was transported to Merit Health River Region. None of the truck drivers were injured. The conditions of the minivan driver and the driver of the passenger car are not known.

That section of roadway has reopened.

A section of Oak Street from Speed Street to Fairground Street has been closed due maintenance work.

Also, a section of Old Highway 27 from Blossom to South Frontage Road is closed, a reader reports.

Last night, county crews shut down Old Jackson Road due to mudslides. A mudslide earlier in the day was cleared, but two additional slides around 8 p.m. made the road impassible. The road has been shut down from east of the Vicksburg National Military Park at Culkin Road to west of the park where it intersects with Martin Luther King Drive. No word, yet, on when the road may reopen.

Two roads have been shut down in the northern section of the Military Park, as well.

A section of U.S. Highway 80 will be shut down for foreseeable future as a section of the roadway collapsed Tuesday due to the heavy rain.

Slide at Waterview Casino Wednesday night (photos by David Day)

Finally, if you have plans to try your luck at Waterview Casino today, note that the section of the road from the parking lot up to Washington Street has been closed due to a massive mud slide just below it. Last night, a portion of the embankment bordering the parking lot gave way, dumping tons of earth and mud into the lot.

Fortunately, no one was hurt, and no vehicles were seriously damaged.

Slide at Waterview Casino

Stay alert for the unexpected as you drive today.

More rain and flooding is expected to hit Central Mississippi this weekend and into next week.

News

Unrestrained driver killed in Madison Parish crash

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(Photo courtesy Tallulah Fire Department)

On November 25,  shortly after 8:30 a.m., Troopers from Louisiana State Police Troop F began investigating a two-vehicle, fatal crash on U.S. Highway 80 near Bear Lake Road. This crash claimed the life of 55-year-old Yvonne Gardner of Tallulah.

The initial investigation revealed a 2020 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Gardner, was traveling westbound on U.S. Highway 80. For reasons still under investigation, Gardner drove her vehicle across the centerline into the eastbound travel lanes and struck the front of a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Gardner, who was unrestrained, sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead. A passenger in the Jeep, who was also unrestrained, sustained moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital. The driver of the Jeep, who was properly restrained, was not injured in the crash. Toxicology samples were obtained and submitted for analysis. This crash remains under investigation.

While the cause of this crash remains under investigation, distracted and inattentive driving continues to be a leading cause of crashes in our state. Louisiana State Police urges all motorists to stay alert while driving.

Buckling up is the most effective way to protect yourself during a vehicle crash. Failure to take a few seconds to buckle up can have devastating consequences. Louisiana law requires every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, to be properly restrained day or night.

In 2020, Troop F has investigated 46 fatal crashes resulting in 52 deaths.

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Business

MS Lottery tech partner to contribute $10,000 annually to HBCUs

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The Mississippi Lottery Corporation, along with its gaming and instant ticket printing vendor, International Game Technology PLC, announced Wednesday that IGT will contribute $10,000 annually in scholarship funds to benefit students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Mississippi. Five individual HBCU schools will receive $2,000 per year for the duration of IGT’s contract to fund scholarships for deserving students.

The five HBCUs include Rust College in Holly Springs, Alcorn State University in Alcorn, Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, and Tougaloo College and Jackson State University, both located in Jackson.

“Since the first day of sales Nov. 25, 2019, the Mississippi Lottery Corporation has exceeded all sales expectations and revenue return to the State of Mississippi,” said MLC President Tom Shaheen. “This could not have happened without the knowledge, expertise and experience of IGT. We are very proud to have a partner also willing to give back to Mississippi in the form of contributions to Historically Black Colleges and Universities.”

“When IGT began its partnership with the Mississippi Lottery, we made a commitment to not only introduce growth-driving solutions for the Lottery, but to also give back to the local communities and residents of Mississippi,” said Jay Gendron, IGT chief operating officer, lottery. “IGT is extremely proud to collaborate with the lottery and Mississippi’s HBCUs to provide opportunities for students with diverse backgrounds to further their studies and move on to lead promising careers.”

IGT is the lottery technology partner to the Mississippi Lottery and supplies the lottery with its draw-based central system, lottery terminals, instant tickets, warehousing and distribution of instant tickets, marketing support, field services, call center operations, retailer training, and primary and back up data centers. IGT has had a presence in Mississippi since 1992 through its gaming operations and helped open the first casino in the state. In 2019, IGT opened a local office and a warehouse in the greater Jackson area near the Mississippi Lottery Corporation headquarters to ensure collaboration, maximize efficiency and address opportunities.

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Crime

Vicksburg jewelry store burglarized Tuesday

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Impression Jewelry at 3505 Pemberton Square Blvd. in Vicksburg was the site of a business burglary Tuesday.

Vicksburg police officers were dispatched to the store around 7:12 p.m. Tuesday. The complainant reported that while he was helping a customer, a suspect unlocked a jewelry case and stole approximately $15,000 of merchandise.

If you have any information about this burglary, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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