News Minute: Here is the latest Mississippi news from The Associ - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

News Minute: Here is the latest Mississippi news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. CST

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - A state agency is offering Mississippi oystermen a new dredge to catch oysters after banning another kind that was more destructive to oyster reefs. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources says it will give a new $1,300 bag dredge to any licensed oysterman who turns in a basket dredge. Spokeswoman Melissa Scallan says a federal grant is paying for the exchanges, helping Mississippi's oyster fishery recover from 2011's opening of Louisiana's Bonnet Carre (BAHN'-ee CAYR'-ee) Spillway.

TUPELO, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi mayor is proposing the expansion of a conference center to nearly double its current size. Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton is asking the City Council to approve a $14 million renovation plan to the BancorpSouth arena and conference center. Most of the money would go toward expanding the conference facility, to make it about 15,000 square feet.

MCCOMB, Miss. (AP) - An alliance of five counties in southwestern Mississippi could soon manage local parks, including a water park that has been closed indefinitely. The Scenic Rivers Development Authority Alliance will be made up of government groups from Amite, Franklin, Pike, Walthall and Wilkinson counties.

GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) - A helicopter will be flying over parts of the Mississippi Delta to gather information for a 3-D map showing water resources. The U.S. Geological Survey says from late February through early March, a low-flying copter will travel in a grid pattern over rural areas north and west of Greenwood. A long wire underneath the helicopter will carry a tube holding specialized instruments to do the high-resolution geophysical survey

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