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Marring the celebration this year have been sporadic reports of violence. On Wednesday, a stray bullet shattered a hotel window and struck and wounded a tour guide standing inside.

Friday night, police said, a man was wounded by gunfire near a parade route that skirts the crime-plagued Central City neighborhood; Saturday night, shortly after the Endymion parade had passed, five persons were hit by gunfire downtown. Early yesterday, at least one man was shot on Bourbon Street.


Bill proposes ban on obese diners

JACKSON — A state lawmaker proposes to ban restaurants from serving food to obese customers.

But please, don’t be offended: He said he never expected his plan to become law.

“I was trying to shed a little light on the No. 1 problem in Mississippi,” said Rep. John Read, Gautier Republican, who acknowledges that at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, he probably would have a tough time under his own bill.

More than 30 percent of adults in Mississippi are considered obese, according to a 2007 study by the Trust for America’s Health, a research group that focuses on disease prevention.

The state House Public Health Committee chairman, Rep. Steve Holland, Plantersville Democrat, said he would “shred” the bill.

“It is too oppressive for government to require a restaurant owner to police another human being from their own indiscretions,” Mr. Holland said yesterday.

The bill had no specifics about how obesity would be defined, or how restaurants were supposed to determine whether a customer was obese.


Smoke forces emergency landing

KANSAS CITY — A United Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Kansas City yesterday after smoke was reported in the cabin.

Flight 871, which was headed from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, landed safely at about 10:20 a.m., said Joe McBride, a spokesman for Kansas City International Airport.

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