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Natchez begins civil rights monument

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Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell. His father was one of 150 civil rights protesters arrested in October 1965 to be honored by a new monument.

Natchez, Miss., has begun construction of a monument honoring civil rights activists arrested there in 1965.

The “Proud to Take a Stand” monument will stand near the spot where police arrested 150 protesters and transported them to the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman for several days before they went on trial, the Natchez Democrat reports.

“When I saw them working out here Sunday morning, I was like, ‘Oh my God. It’s happening,” Natchez Mayor Darryl Grennell told the paper. The mayor’s father, Jonathan Grennell, was among those arrested. “I’m just happy to see it’s beginning to come together.”

Approximately 800 protestors were marching for civil rights without the “parade” permit required by a city ordinance. That ordinance was later ruled unconstitutional.

The location of the monument is the southwest corner of the Natchez City Auditorium at Jefferson and Canal streets, and the mayor said he hopes to unveil it on Oct.2, the anniversary of the march.

Funding for the monument comes from a $38,000 allocation from the State of Mississippi matched by City of Natchez, and Mayor Grennell raised more than $14,000, which includes his personal donation of $1,000.

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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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