Coast Casino plans, road rage on I-10 and more...

 

Our top stories from this morning:

An angry truck driver who ran an ambulance off the road in Alabama is in the Jackson County jail after a five-hour standoff that created a major traffic snarl on I-10. Michael Mack of Baton Rouge had been chased into Mississippi after police were told he was driving recklessly in the Mobile area. He pulled over briefly in Jackson County then took off again before being forced to stop near Gautier. Officers tried to talk him out of the truck but wound up having to use tear gas to end the standoff. Mack was armed with a machete but nobody was hurt. A stretch of I-10 was completely closed during that episode.

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The Mississippi Gaming Commission is opening the door for the 13th casino to be built and opened on the coast. The panel held a special meeting in Gulfport yesterday where they gave unanimous site approval for the first casino in Long Beach. That site is located where a former Kmart once stood to the north of U.S. 90 and east of Jeff Davis Avenue. Before ground can be broken, casino developers will have to submit their building plans that must include a 300-room hotel and a casino that's 40-thousand-square-feet or larger. 

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The dress code for prisoners in Mississippi's lockups may be changing in the foreseeable future. The Clarion-Ledger reports the House Corrections Committee gave its approval yesterday for the purchase of new inmate uniforms. They won't have stripes and shirts won't have "M.D.O.C. Convict" written on the back. The switch is expected to cost more than a million dollars, with correction's officials looking at prisoners being donned in some type of colored shirt and dungarees. 

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Today is payday for most of the 800-thousand federal workers who were furloughed or forced to work without pay during the government shutdown. The Office of Management and Budget tweeted earlier this week that workers "are getting paid in record time" after missing two paydays during the 35-day shutdown. Congress and President Trump ended the shutdown last Friday with a short-term spending measure that funds the government through February 15th.

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is finally speaking out about the officiating controversy in the NFC Championship GameMany fans around the country are calling for some kind of change in procedure to prevent a similar situation in the future. Goodell said yesterday they'll look at all possible solutions, but notes that officiating will never be perfect due to the human element.

Saints fans can still celebrate what was an exciting season at an official parade being held this weekend. The "Blackout and Gold Second Line Parade" will take place on Super Bowl Sunday at 2:00 p.m., local time. The parade will start at Jackson Square, ending on Bourbon Street. Fans have been upset ever since the NFC Championship Game when a no-call on a seemingly obvious pass interference penalty by the Rams prevented the Saints from potentially running down the clock and kicking a chip-shot field goal to win. Instead, the Rams went on to win in overtime and advance to Super Bowl 53. 

There don't seem to be many New England Patriots fans working at the North Texas Tollway Authority. The agency's digital signboards promoting its roadside assistance service encourages drivers to give them a call if they have a tire that's "flat as a Patriots football." The sign refers to the "Deflate-Gate" scandal, in which Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reportedly ordered the partial deflation of footballs used in the 2015 AFC Championship Game against the Colts. The Patriots face the Rams in the Super Bowl on Sunday in Atlanta.

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Ariana Grande is getting drilled on social media for getting a misspelled tattoo. The pop star had Japanese characters inked on the palm of her hand that were supposed to Seven Rings, the name of her latest single. A fan on Twitter pointed out that the characters actually represent a Japanese word that means a small barbecue grill.  

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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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