News Minute: Here is the latest Mississippi news from The Associ - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

News Minute: Here is the latest Mississippi news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. CST

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) - Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula has been awarded two new contracts. The U.S. Navy on Friday awarded Ingalls a $1.43 billion contract to build LPD 29, the 13th San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock. Work on the ship has already begun because the Navy awarded Ingalls a pre-procurement contract last summer in anticipation of the announcement. Ingalls Shipbuilding President Brian Cuccias says the contract is further recognition of the military's confidence in the company.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Lawmakers may make it tougher for citizens to get questions on ballots as Gov. Paul LePage renews his call to reform a system he's called too representative of liberal-leaning Mainers. In his State of the State on Tuesday, LePage chastised special interests for pushing Maine ballot campaigns. Republicans sponsored a number of bills to reform the referendum process after the 2016 election when voters approved five out of six ballot questions. Some Democrats are supporting the proposed amendment.

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - A lack of pilots and engine problems has forced a Mississippi county to close the Kings Point Ferry until further notice. The ferry is the only public access to the Kings Point area since construction of the Yazoo Diversion Canal in 1903 cut it off from the mainland of Warren County. Kings Point is an island made up mostly of hunting camps and timber farming. The Vicksburg Post reports County Road Manager Larry Flowers says he's preparing an advertisement for pilots. At least two are needed.

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi bank is planning to demolish a former courthouse that many people consider an eyesore. The Sun Herald reports the federal courthouse in downtown Biloxi has been empty since 2003, when a replacement opened in Gulfport. The Biloxi building is beige and blocky, with narrow rectangular windows. Community Bank recently bought the property and will tear it down to build a new financial services center.

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