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This Hour: Latest Mississippi news, sports, business and entertainment

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Shreveport Amtrak study finally underway

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - A 12-month study is finally underway to examine the feasibility of re-establishing Amtrak Passenger Rail Service from Shreveport-Bossier City to Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Kent Rodgers, North Louisiana Council of Governments executive director, tells The Times the study will look at the condition of existing railroad tracks between the cities, potential stops, hours of operation and the cost to operate the service.

Rodgers contends that the addition of passenger rail service through the north Louisiana corridor can have a positive impact on economic development as well as offer residents an alternative method of transportation.

The Louisiana study is one of three studies that will look at the extension of passenger rail service from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area to Meridian, Mississippi.


ATF accuses men of selling stolen guns

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - Three men are held without bond pending a grand jury review of a complaint alleging they sold at least 20 stolen weapons and assorted drugs to federal firearms agents and state narcotics agents.

Investigators tell The Sun Herald the agents were working undercover when they allegedly the buys from 45-year-old Leo Craven and Michael Watson and Andrew Harvey, both 21, several times between March and June.

The men were arrested Thursday night on a criminal complaint filed by an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A magistrate judge denied them bonds on Monday.

The ATF says most of the weapons allegedly were reported stolen in Harrison County, and at least one weapon had an obliterated serial number.

It was unclear whether men have attorneys.


Sojourner faces loss of pay over late report

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A state senator has been notified that her Senate salary will be withheld until she files a required financial disclosure statement.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Sen. Melanie Sojourner, R-Natchez, has been assessed a $500 fine for failing to file a campaign finance report that was due Jan. 31. The state Department of Finance and Administration has warned Sojourner that her state lawmaker's salary will be withheld until she files it.

The Secretary of State's Office says all other lawmakers have filed their 2013 annual campaign finance reports.

Sojourner represents District 37, which includes parts of Adams, Amite, Franklin and Pike counties, and is chairwoman of the Senate Forestry Committee.

She has also served as campaign manager for state Sen. Chris McDaniel in his bid for U.S. Senate.


Singing River Health System closing 2 more clinics

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Singing River Health System says two primary care clinics in Gautier and D'Iberville will close.

The Sun Herald reports the clinics will close Aug. 29.

Officials say the closures are part of the hospital's realignment of its primary care clinics -- a consolidation project to direct patient flow into other existing SRHS clinics.

Patients will be directed to existing clinics locations in Biloxi, Hurley, Pascagoula, Ocean Springs and Vancleave.

There are 16 employees -- including four providers -- at the D'Iberville and Gautier SRHS clinics locations.

The consolidation will eliminate positions for six employees and one provider, while six employees and three providers will move to positions within other clinics.


Pascagoula Water System earns perfect health score

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - The city of Pascagoula Water System received a perfect rating for water quality from the Mississippi Department of Health.

The scores range from 0.0 - 5.0 across three categories, including the technical, managerial and financial capacity assessments.

City Engineer Jaci Turner tells The Sun Herald there are many people working hard every day to keep the quality high and the management and administration of the system running smoothly.


Dedication set for Scott Pruitt Memorial Highway

GAUTIER, Miss. (AP) - A dedication ceremony will be held Aug. 5, designating a section of Highway 90 in Gautier as Scott E. Pruitt Memorial Highway.

Pruitt was killed in action by enemy fire when his vehicle struck an explosive device in Afghanistan on April 28, 2012.

The dedication will be held at the Gautier Convention Center.

The Sun Herald reports the Highway 90 designation begins at the intersection of Mississippi 57 and continues east to Beasley Road.

Pruitt grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and graduated high school in Pascagoula in 1992. He joined the Marine Corps in Gautier in 1993, serving in Japan, Iceland and several locations across the United States.


Vicksburg set to demolish derelict homes

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - The City of Vicksburg is hiring a contractor for $13,800 to raze four derelict homes in the city's North Ward.

The Vicksburg Post reports the Board of Mayor and Alderman last week approved the four contracts with DMBW Trucking and Construction of Vicksburg to demolish homes at 2006 Military Ave., 2728 Drummond St., 1917 Martin Luther King Blvd., and 1318 Grove St.

Community Development Director Victor Gray-Lewis says all four homes are on the city's list of buildings tagged for demolition. He says it's the first time in about nine years that the city has hired a private contractor to demolish homes.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr.'s administration, since taking office in July 2013, has been cracking down on city code violations and clearing lots and dilapidated buildings.


Former lawmaker Green dies at 62

GLOSTER, Miss. (AP) - Former state Rep. David Green, who championed higher salaries for state employees in a 26-year career in the Mississippi House, has died after an extended illness. He was 62.

Officials with Marshall Funeral Home of Bude and with the House clerk's office say Green died Friday at his home in Gloster. The cause of death was not released but Green had suffered heart problems for years. Funeral services are pending.

Green was known for folksy turns of phrase and for eloquent, heartfelt pleas for programs to help his constituents. When he announced his retirement in 2005, Green said he'd been frustrated in his efforts to land economic-development projects for his mostly rural district.

A list of survivors was not immediately available.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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