The latest on Dorian, and the Second Amendment Tax Free Holiday is underway

Florida is bracing for a direct hit from a major hurricane. NBC meteorologist Bonnie Schneider says Hurricane Dorian is approaching a prime area for development as it heads toward the Florida coast. The hurricane is expected to grow in intensity today as it picks up strength over the Atlantic Ocean however, the National Hurricane Center says Dorian is currently a Category 2 storm with 110-mile-per-hour wind. Forecasters expect Dorian to swell into a life-threatening Category 4 storm with winds topping 130-miles-per-hour before it makes landfall, which is now expected early Tuesday morning. 

Florida residents should be prepared for what one meteorologist calls a nightmare scenario. Even though Hurricane Dorian is expected to make landfall on the Atlantic coast, there's a possibility it could move west across the state and make a second landfall in the Panhandle. That's what happened with Hurricanes Andrew and Erin in the 1990s. One National Weather Service meteorologist tells the News Journal the possibility of a double landfall increases the further south Dorian makes its initial landfall. 

While many hunters will be on the rivers this weekend looking for alligators and others will take to the fields to go after doves- some will head to the stores to buy guns. Mississippi's Second Amendment sales tax holiday is underway making the purchase of firearms,ammunition and certain hunting supplies more affordable. The tax holiday runs until midnight Sunday.

State troopers will be out in force this weekend trying to prevent a repeat of the last Labor Day holiday when four people were killed in traffic accidents in Mississippi. They'll be conducting saturation patrols looking for speeders, drunk and distracted drivers and people who aren't wearing their seatbelts. The Highway Patrol calls its holiday enforcement effort Operation CARE. That stands for Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort.

Mississippi is getting some federal grants to replace bridges and restore passenger train service along the coast. The announcement was made at yesterday's Coastal Region Transportation Summit in Biloxi. The grants totaling more than 21 million dollars will help replace a dozen bridges in seven counties and support the return of Amtrak service from New Orleans to Mobile.

The car thief who killed a six-year-old Jackson boy will die in prison. That's what Madison County prosecutors say after Byron McBride pleaded guilty yesterday to capital murder in the death of Kingston Frazier two years ago. He's been sentenced to life in prison without parole. The child was asleep in the back seat when McBride stole his mother's car at a Jackson supermarket, drove to Gluckstadt and shot the boy. Another man is serving 15 years in prison as an accessory to the crime and a third defendant goes on trial in October on similar charges.

One of three men who smuggled in enough fentanyl to wipe out the entire Mississippi coast could get life in prison after pleading guilty this week in federal court. Eric Estudillo-Carrazco is from Georgia. He and the other two men came to Gulfport last year to sell what they claimed was ten kilograms of heroin. Turns out it was only nine. The other kilogram was pure fentanyl. The opioid is deadly even in small amounts. Prosecutors say a kilogram is enough to kill half a million people.

Some of the poultry plant workers arrested during an immigration crackdown in Mississippi more than three weeks ago have been released on bond. And more hearings are expected next week in federal court in Jackson. Many of those taken into custody during the ICE raids are still being held at a detention facility in Louisiana.

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More on these stories and more of the days top news, as discussed on this Aug 30th edition of "Gulf Coast Mornings with Kelly Bennett and Uncle Henry":

 
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