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Ohio reaches $260 million settlement against opioid manufacturer and distributors

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Hours before going to trial in Ohio, an opioid drug manufacturer and several drug distributors reached what’s being called a landmark settlement.

Cuyahoga County lawyer Hunter Shkolnik says the settlement amounts to $260 million, reports USA Today. Separately, Johnson & Johnson settled previously with Cuyahoga and Summit counties in Ohio for $20.4 million, and distributor Henry Schein settled for $1.25 million.

The Ohio counties sued Teva Pharmaceuticals along with four distributors and the Walgreen’s drug store chain claiming their practices contributed to the opioid crises that has claimed some 400,000 lives since 2000, the paper said.

The trial would have been the first federal proceeding against a manufacturer of highly addictive opioid pain relievers.

More than 2,400 cities and counties across the nation have sued opioid drug companies. A settlement of $48 billion in cash and treatments was rejected over distribution issues last week by lawyers representing the cities and counties.

“We’re disappointed that the cities and counties refused to go along with that deal,” North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said Friday. “This would have helped the entire nation, not just a few counties, not just a few cities.”

The Sackler family, which owns Perdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, came to a tentative settlement with the group for $3 billion in September. That settlement has yet to be finalized, with more than 20 state attorneys general rejecting it as too low.

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Search on the Mississippi enters third day; volunteers asked to coordinate with law enforcement

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Search efforts are being coordinated over a wide area. (photo by Thomas Parker)

Search efforts have entered a third day for two young men missing on the Mississippi River near LeTourneau Landing.

The young men, Gunner Palmer, 16, from Copiah County, and Zeb Hughes, 21, of Wesson, Mississippi, went out on a boat Thursday with their dog to find a good spot for duck hunting near Davis Island. They have not been heard from since Thursday.

Multiple police and fire agencies in the region have responded to a request for assistance for overland search and rescue, and the effort is being coordinated over a large search area.

Private individuals who are volunteering to search must also coordinate with law enforcement to ensure public safety and to preserve any evidence. Volunteers wishing to assist should coordinate through the incident command located south of LeTourneau Landing or contact Warren County Fire Coordinator Jerry Briggs at 601-218-9911.

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Vicksburg police officer shot while off duty

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VPD Patch

In the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 5, the Vicksburg Police Department was notified that one of their own, Investigator Eddie Colbert, was shot and seriously wounded in Jackson. He is listed in critical condition in a Jackson hospital.

We ask that all members of the public join us in our prayers for Investigator Colbert and his family in this most difficult time.

Updates on his condition will be provided.

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Massive search continues for two young men on the Mississippi

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(photo by Thomas Parker)

Nearly 24 hours after two young men disappeared on the Mississippi River near the Warren-Claiborne county line, rescuers, many of them community members and volunteers, are still on the job searching for them.

The young men, Gunner Palmer, 16, from Copiah County, and Zeb Hughes, 21, of Wesson, Mississippi, went out on a boat Thursday with their dog to find a good spot for duck hunting near Davis Island. Hughes’ mom spoke with her son at 2:48 p.m. Thursday, which may be the last time anyone has spoken to them since.

When they hadn’t returned by Thursday after dark, and family and friends couldn’t reach them by phone, they raised the alarm.

The search began in Warren County around 9 p.m. Thursday with county deputies and personnel from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. The rainy weather and fog hampered the search, which was called off after midnight.

“We had boats out last night until after 2 o’clock this (Friday) morning when the fog and the rain just made it too dangerous to be on the water,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said.

First light Friday morning, the search resumed, with more personnel and volunteers joining as the day brightened. They included volunteers with the Cajun Navy, MDWFP personnel, Warren County and Madison Parish deputies, and 28 men and women from the Central Mississippi Overland Search and Rescue Team, which consists of police and firefighters from around the state. A private aircraft and another plane from Madison Parish have also been searching, along with numerous people from the community on land and in the river.

Around 9 a.m., the hunters’ boat was found capsized in the water near Middle Ground Island, roughly adjacent to the Claiborne-Warren county line.

A few items from what would have been on the boat were located later; including one of the three life vests that were onboard.

People tend to underestimate the power of the Mississippi River and there’s nothing to say the two young men had experience traversing it.

“The Mississippi River is dangerous on its best day, and deadly on its worst, and yesterday was just not the best day to be on the water,” Pace said.

The overland search has been called off for Friday. Rescuers will rendezvous Saturday at 7 a.m. to continue, if necessary.

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Vicksburg
54°
Sunny
6:50am4:58pm CST
Feels like: 54°F
Wind: 1mph NW
Humidity: 59%
Pressure: 30.22"Hg
UV index: 3
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59/36°F
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