Polar vortex, new jobs for Gulfport, and more...

 

Some of the top stories we covered on this Jan 30th edition of "Gulf Coast Mornings with Kelly Bennett and Uncle Henry":

It is brutally cold in the states north of Mississippi and Alabama, but it's no summer at the beach, even along the coast. While places in the Midwest are being hit with record sub-zero temperatures, temperatures in the north and central parts of both states are mostly below freezing, dipping into the 20s in many locations. It's forecast to get warmer as we head towards the weekend. 

The National Weather Service says at least 250-million people will be shivering in freezing, life-threatening temperatures before the week is over. More than two-thousand flights have already been canceled for today.

A deadly arctic deep freeze enveloped the Midwest, forcing widespread closure of schools, offices and prompting the U.S. Postal Service to take the rare step of suspending mail delivery to a wide swath of the region because of the cold.

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Funeral arrangements are now set for Laurel Police Chief Tyrone Stewart. The 48-year-old took a turn for the worse Sunday while he was hospitalized. He died early Monday after city officials announced hours earlier that he was in critical condition in a hospital's intensive care unit. No word on a cause of death. Towne's funeral will be held at Life Church on Friday at noon, with visitation for two hours prior to the service.

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No timeline on when it will happen, but an expansion at Geri-Care Pharmaceuticals in Gulfport opens the door to create up to 200 new jobs.Apparently if you take an antacid, chances are it’s made in Gulfport.

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is scheduled to give his state of the league address today in Atlanta. Goodell is sure to be asked about the pass interference no-call that helped the Rams beat the Saints in the NFC Championship Game and advance to the Super Bowl.  

Before you bet on the Patriots or Rams, you might want to see who a certain zoo animal is picking in the Super Bowl. Columbia, South Carolina's Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens announced that Maverick the sea lion, who correctly picked the Eagles last year, will make his pick this week. Two footballs, each with the logo of one of the teams, will be thrown into Maverick's pool Friday morning, and the six-year-old will pick one. There's no indication which way Maverick is leaning between New England and Los Angeles, but it might be worth remembering he's a California sea lion.

Controversy will keep Super Bowl halftime act Maroon 5 from holding a press conference before Sunday's game. The NFL announced that unlike recent years there would be no chance for the media to ask questions of the performers. This year's halftime show took on political overtones because of campaigns asking the acts to back out as a sign of support for former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his social justice campaign. In addition to Maroon 5, rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi are scheduled to perform. The league said it was instead releasing a cross-platform roll out of behind-the-scene videos of the performers getting ready for Sunday's show. Maroon 5, the NFL and Interscope Records also announced they were donating 500-thousand dollars to Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

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A newly discovered bug in the iPhone's Facetime app lets people hear through someone else's iPhone, even if they haven't answered the call. Apple says the bug seems to rely on the Facetime Group Call feature, which launched just last year. The tech giant says a fix is coming this week.

Facebook is willing to pay to harvest most of the personal data on your mobile devices. TechCrunch reports the social networking giant has been paying teens and adults up to 20-dollars a month to install the Facebook Research app on their phones since 2016. A security expert told the online tech news site that the app gave the company access to all private messages in social media apps, photos and videos sent, emails, web searches and web browsing history. It could also track the location from other location tracking apps installed on the phone.   

Facebook is named the best tech company to work for in 2019. The Menlo Park-based social media giant comes in at number-one on Indeed's Top-Rated Workplace: Best in Tech 2019 list. The ranking is based on 100-million ratings and reviews made by current and former employees in the tech sector. Coming in at number-two is San Jose's Adobe Systems and number-three is San Francisco's Airbnb.

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A British zoo is giving folks the chance to get back at their exes this Valentine's Day. The Hemsley Conservation Center in England is letting people name cockroaches after their former lovers. It will cost about two bucks per roach. The zoo says the money will help fund projects there. 

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A new study says losing sleep is even worse for you than you thought. In addition to making you tired, going without sleep pretty much guarantees you'll ache all over. Researchers at the University of California-Berkeley found that sleep deprivation decreases brain activity associated with pain relief. They found the same thing happened to people whose sleep was disturbed. The leader of the study said the optimistic takeaway is that getting better sleep can help manage and reduce pain. The study is published in the latest edition of the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Tyson Foods is ordering a recall of more than 36-thousand-pounds of their chicken nuggets over contamination concerns. The company issued the recall yesterday saying their five-pound plastic packages of Tyson White Meat Panko Chicken Nuggets may have trace amounts of rubber. Customers are asked to check for packages with a best used by date of November 26th, 2019 and then call Tyson Foods Consumer Relations Hotline.

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