Speed kills on Claiborne; salt-dome collapse foreseen; ruling aids bondsmen

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Texas Brine ignored warnings from its own people and others for nearly 15 years that disaster loomed if the company continued mining a troubled Assumption Parish salt-dome cavern, which created a massive sinkhole after collapsing in 2012, according to one of its insurers.

Fitch Ratings on Tuesday downgraded Mississippi’s bond rating outlook from “stable” to “negative,” saying lawmakers have relied too much on “one-time” money for recurring expenses and continue to raid the state’s rainy day fund to balance the budget.

Residents said problems on that stretch of Claiborne, where the neutral ground is a traditional spot for the community to congregate and socialize, are compounded by a lack of speed controls. “It’s like an interstate,” one woman said. “People would get hit, but not killed, if drivers weren’t going 45 miles an hour.” One man laughed: “Just 45?”

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