L-3 receives contract

The Air Force has signed a contract with a new company to maintain the jets at Columbus Air Force Base.

Aircraft maintenance will be handled by L-3 Vertex of Madison starting in December.

The new vendor is taking over from DynCorp International, which had the maintenance contract for seven years. DynCorp had 487 workers at the base.

The Air Force says the new contract is also a seven-year agreement.

L-3 Vertex will take over maintenance on Dec.. 1. The contract runs through Sept. 29, 2019.

Youth camp plans pulled

The CJ Stewart Foundation will seek an alternative tract of property as a home for its outdoor and adventure ministry to young people known as "Down Range." The Foundation had purchased the property on which Parkway Pentecostal Church in Madison is currently located as the site at which the Foundation would build the sports and outdoor adventure camp.

At a recent community meeting called by the Foundation, residents from neighboring subdivisions raised concerns and questions about the ministry being located in a residential area. In light of those concerns, the Foundation's Board of Directors met, prayed and discussed the best available options for all parties. The Board believes the Foundation can better pursue its mission and maintain good faith with its community in a different location.

The vision of wounded warrior CJ Stewart and the CJ Stewart Foundation for Down Range is to help young people, not cause division.

The Foundation would like to thank the pastor and staff of Parkway Pentecostal Church for their flexibility in allowing the Foundation to move forward to seek an alternative home for Down Range, and Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler for assisting them in pursuing the best option for all the citizens of Madison.

Natchez Trace to re-open

The National Park Service has completed repairs to a damaged section of the Natchez Trace Parkway at milepost 94.9, south of Ridgeland, and will reopen the Parkway to vehicular traffic on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

This section has been closed to motorized vehicles since March 14, after engineers identified a major safety hazard that had the potential to lead to a collapse of the roadway due to embankment instability. The National Park Service partnered with the Federal Highway Administration to make repairs to the roadway.

The closed section of the Natchez Trace Parkway has remained open to bicyclists during the construction period. When reopened, motorists are reminded adhere to the 3-foot passing requirement when encountering bicyclists on the Parkway. Bicyclists are reminded to ride single file and wear highly visible clothing.

Mayor makes proclamation

Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee has proclaimed November as Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Through an official proclamation from the city, Mayor McGee urged residents to observe and recognize the health issue.

In 2012, an estimated 43,920 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States. In Mississippi, there will be approximately 370 deaths from pancreatic cancer this year.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the country. Seventy-four percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within the first year of diagnosis and 94 percent of people diagnosed die within five years.