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WEST SEATTLE TRAFFIC ALERT: Film crew working in The Junction tonight

5:55 PM: Just a reminder – as first noted here on Wednesday, a commercial-production film crew is working in The Junction tonight, and traffic is being stopped intermittently on California SW between SW Oregon and SW Alaska as a result. We just arrived for a firsthand look and also noted that the traffic stops also involve SW Alaska at California (photo above). As the production scout had told us, the crew (from locally based StraightEIGHT) is “filming a car” being driven on that block – repeatedly. That’s what we’ve seen so far; we’re also checking to see how long they plan to work (the permit runs until 11 pm).

6 PM: Just talked to the scout who had first contacted us, Dave Drummond, who’s on site with the crew, answering bystanders’ questions, etc. – he says they’ll likely be done between 9 and 10 pm. (And while they’re filming a car, it’s not a new car – (added) see photo above – and not a car commercial.)

Again, this is not a continuous traffic stop – and the road has reopened for long stretches between shooting sequences – but if you’re Junction-bound in the next few hours, just be aware you might encounter one of the stops.

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Blog: Are flying cars coming to the skies?

Since the very first science fiction hit the shelves, the world has fantasized about flying objects. For nearly a century, books, radio dramas, movies, and television shows have depicted flying cars.

And the most famous flying car to date? Probably Doc Brown’s flying DeLorean – the time machine from the movie franchise Back to the Future. The movie’s second installment (originally set in the year 2015) introduced the concept of flying cars for every family.

Of course, this is just fiction. The real question is, how close are we, as a society, to creating and introducing flying cars?

What exactly are flying cars?

Let’s make sure we’re all talking about the same thing. Flying cars are forms of transportation that can drive on the roads traditionally, as hovercraft, or as low altitude flying transportation units.

The various units currently in development around the world typically use an engine of at least 200 horsepower, use wings to transition from road to aircraft, and hold two passengers. There are manufacturers who are looking to bring these vehicles to the commercial market, and others who are looking toward using them for aerial taxi services.

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Read also:Slovak AeroMobil starts taking pre-orders for its flying car

Is a flying car real?

At least 19 companies are currently developing flying car plans. Some are for actual vehicles, and others are for services with flying cars. Three examples include the following:


A developer out of Slovakia, this company already has an actual flying car. AeroMobil 3.0, the flying car, is the core product of the company. It has been in development since 1989. In flight tests in 2014, it reached 124 mph and was determined to have the ability to fly for 430 miles on a full tank of gas. The vehicle can be parked in normal parking spots and fill up with fuel at normal gas stations. AeroMobil 3.0 gets 29 miles per gallon in on the road driving mode.


Uber is working to create an aerial taxi service in Dallas, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Dubai. Uber’s vision is of an aircraft, which appears to be a plane-helicopter hybrid with fixed wings and tilt prop-rotors. The vehicles are designed to hopper passengers from rooftop sky ports to their destination at another rooftop sky port.

Terrafugia Inc.

Woburn, Massachusetts-based Terrafugia Inc. has a prototype flying car that has completed its first flight, which brings the company closer to its goal of selling the Terrafugia Transition within the next few years. The vehicle has two seats, four wheels, and wings that fold up so it can be driven like a car. In March of 2012, it flew at 1,400 feet for eight minutes. Commercial jets fly at 35,000 feet.

Who was the first person to make a flying car?

Dr. Paul Moller, of Davis, California, has spent 40 years developing a flying car that can be affordably mass produced and be made available for consumer sale. He built his first prototype in 1967 in his garage. After making upgrades, he flew another model more than 30’ off the ground in 1989. It was a great accomplishment, but Moller knew it was just the beginning. He knew it needed not just height, but speed.

His latest creation accomplishes that goal – the Sky Car.

Moller estimates the vehicle averages 300 mph at 25,000 feet and 200 mph at sea level. The car has a different design than any other flying car currently in development. The car takes off and lands vertically while other flying cars need a runway. The Sky Car is also fully automated, allowing the passengers to relax while traveling to their destination.

It sounds like science-fiction, but Moller has created the pieces to make it reality. The engine weighs 65 lbs. and has 200 horsepower. With the engine, fuel, car body, and two passengers of average weight, the entire vehicle weighs 1,600 lbs. His first scheduled flight was in 2014.

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Read also:Automotive industry keeps growing

How does a flying car work?

There are a variety of ways flying cars can take off.

As an example, The Terrafugia Transition can take off or land at any public use general aviation airport with at least 2,500 feet of runway. Before flying, the pilot extends the wings and performs a standard preflight. The engine power is directed to the propeller for flight through a carbon fiber drive shaft. Upon landing, the pilot activates the electro-mechanical wing folding mechanism from inside the cockpit, and is then able to drive away.

The specifications of the Terrafugia Transition are listed as follows:

  • 4 cylinder, 4 stroke liquid/air cooled engine with opposed cylinders
  • Dry sump forced lubrication with separate oil tank
  • Automatic adjustment by hydraulic valve tappet
  • 2 CD carburetors
  • Mechanical fuel pump
  • Electronic dual ignition
  • Electric starter
  • Integrated reduction gear i= 2.43.

How much does it cost to purchase a flying car?

Unless you’re wealthy, you probably won’t be able to purchase a flying car any time soon.

The Terrafugia Transition, the only American based flying car that is currently considered in commercial development stages, will cost consumers an estimated $279,000.

AeroMobil 3.0, built in Slovakia, is said to be ready to hit the market for $1.2 to $1.6 million.

Dr. Paul Moller, first person to debut a working model, has estimated his Sky Car will list for $500,000.

Beyond the cash cost, each version of the flying car is also known as a Light Sport Aircraft. The standards for LSAs govern the size and speed of the plane and licensing requirements for pilots; however, those licensure restrictions are far narrower than requirements for pilots of large commercial planes. An owner would need to pass a test and complete 20 hours of flying time to be able to fly the Transition.

Are there obstacles that will delay flying cars?

Beyond the high costs of the vehicles themselves, and the necessity to be licensed, there are still other obstacles to bringing flying cars to the roads and skies.

The first is air-traffic control for low altitude, Light Sport Aircraft. NASA’s un-crewed traffic management (UTM) project was first introduced in 2015 to regulate drone traffic. NASA hopes to use it as the next-generation air traffic control system.

Other concerns, such as FAA regulations, have forced makers of flying cars to make upgrades and adjustments to their designs.

The Federal government has also become a part of the manufacturing process. The government granted Terrafugia’s request to use special tires and glass that are lighter than normal automotive ones, to make it easier for the vehicle to fly. The government temporarily exempted the Transition from the requirement to equip vehicles with electronic stability control, which would add about six pounds to the vehicle. The Transition is currently going through a battery of automotive crash tests to make sure it meets federal safety standards.

Once you get past rules and regulations of the various government agencies, there are still other things to consider. Inventor and engineer Elon Musk makes a very valid point that “there is a challenge with flying cars in that they’ll be quite noisy, the wind force generated will be very high, let’s just say that if something’s flying over your head, if there are a whole bunch of flying cars all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation. You don’t think to yourself, ‘well, I feel better about today.’ You’re thinking, ‘did they service their hubcap? Or is it going to come off and guillotine me as they’re flying past?”

Are you ready to ride the sky?

It is clear from the research that personal flying cars are far from becoming an ubiquitous item in every driveway. From Uber’s individual flight aero taxis to the AeroMobil 3.0, the introduction of flying cars in society as a mass produced consumer product is still years away. It is also clear that anyone hoping to own a flying car must be willing to put in the time and money to not only purchase the craft, but be licensed to fly it. There are still many issues that must be worked out before flying cars can become a reality.

This article was first published on December 26, 2017 here.

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Live updates: Government shutdown

Live updates: Government shutdown

POLITICO’s live coverage and analysis of Congress’ 2018 shutdown showdown

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Proposed California Car Ban a Perfect Mix of Hubris and Silliness: New at Reason

intherough/flickrintherough/flickrA bill in California seeks to ban registration of vehicles that aren’t zero emissions, in 2040.

Steven Greenhut writes:

It’s about time that members of Congress and the California legislature got really serious about combating the nation’s pollution problem. Just as Jonathan Swift had a “modest proposal” to keep poor Irish children from being a burden to their families and their country (by selling them to wealthy English people as food), I, too, have a modest proposal for dealing with the unconscionable level of pollutants that are emitted in the U.S. to produce electricity. Let’s propose a plan to shut down the nation’s power plants.

The facts are unmistakable: An environmental group in 2009 reported that the “nation’s power plants emitted 2.56 billion tons of global warming pollution… which is equivalent to the pollution from nearly 450 million of today’s cars—nearly three times the number of cars registered in the United States in 2007.” Even cleaner natural-gas fired plants, which have become more prevalent in ensuing years, “release 21—120 times more methane than earlier estimates,” according to a summary of a Purdue University/Environmental Defense Fund report from last year.

Do you care about clear air, the health of our children and the future of the planet? Of course you do. So there’s little reason to complain about this idea. Before you chalk it up to one columnist’s silliness, consider that some California policy makers are proposing something equally “modest” and ludicrous. Yet they seem totally serious about it.

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SCOV Law Blog: Insurance companies battle over who pays when policies overlap

Editor’s note: This piece from the SCOV Law Blog is by Nicole Killoran.

Progressive Cas. Ins. Co. v. MMG Ins. Co., 2014 VT 70 

Ever wondered what happens when you’re one of several passengers in a car crash, your driver is the jerk who’s responsible, and his liability insurance doesn’t pay for everyone’s injuries? Well, I hope you’re all hydrated, because we’re about to dive into a very dry area of law to find out the answer from a case that came out a few years ago.

The particular facts of this accident — you know, the grim details that make it onto the evening news and leave you feeling protective of your family — are not explained in this opinion. Even if they were, I doubt they would have made the topic, the enforceability of an “owned-vehicle” or “covered-auto” underinsured motorist coverage exclusion in Vermont, any sexier. All we know is that some poor shmuck passenger riding in his mom’s car found himself one of several victims of a one-car crash, the driver’s liability coverage was woefully short of paying for everyone’s injuries, and passenger had to tap into his underinsured motorist coverage under his own car insurance to make up the difference.

Now, Progressive had both the tortfeasor driver’s insurance and passenger’s (both $500,000 policies), and passenger had twice the Progressive coverage under a MMG policy he had the foresight to buy. Progressive being the carrier for two of the three policies makes it a bit confusing, but here’s how this played out. Progressive paid out to all the victims under the tortfeasor’s policy to the liability limits ($500,000), including roughly $250,000 to passenger. This still left passenger short about $400,000, and it looked like he had three policies for underinsured motorist coverage (the driver/host vehicle’s, and both of his) to tap into. Progressive ended up paying half, and MMG paid the other half, leaving room to spare out of the $1.5 million he had available.

If you’re still with me, you’re probably thinking, plenty of coverage, so what’s the big deal, and why did this end up in the SCOV?

The answer is in the title of the case. Insurer vs. Insurer — that means a declaratory judgment action where the applicability of some aspect of an insurance policy is in question, and the insurance companies just gotta know the answer. In this case, it’s Progressive’s “host-vehicle” underinsured motorist exclusion. This particular item of fine print says that: (1) when Progressive insures the vehicle, or the jerk driving the vehicle, that is responsible for the accident; and (2) the liability coverage is maxed out; then (3) the underinsured motorist coverage is off limits. In this case, that would have meant that instead of paying for half of the rest of passenger’s damages, Progressive would have only had to pay for a third of it because MMG had two-thirds of the total available underinsured motorist coverage ($1 million out of $1.5 million).

Because Progressive and MMG couldn’t agree on whether Progressive could enforce its “host-vehicle” exclusion in Vermont, they ended up settling on each paying half, and Progressive reserved the right to ask the court to decide the question after the settlement. Progressive filed a declaratory judgment action. Both insurers filed for summary judgment. The trial court sided with MMG, and Progressive appealed.

The particular question on appeal the SCOV has to decide is more complicated than you might think, but it’s basically whether Progressive can get away with this cute little “not-my-underinsured-host-vehicle-policy” trick in Vermont. “Underinsured vehicle” is defined under subsection (f) of this statute. The SCOV breaks its analysis of the definition into two rough sections: (1) what on earth did the Legislature do when it amended the statute in 2005? (Answer: It begat a new policy that might be useful to passenger and thus MMG in this case); and (2) does the amendment really create double liability insurance? (Answer: No, so MMG is actually out of luck).

Today’s version of the statute says a vehicle is “underinsured” if the liability insurance available for a particular passenger is less than the underinsured motorist coverage available to him. The point of the underinsured motorist statute is to let the good guy recover for his injuries when he gets into an accident with an underinsured motorist. It’s basically “self-insurance,” says the SCOV, because whatever car insurance you buy, if you are the victim of a jerk behind a wheel you can tap into your own underinsured motorist coverage if that jerk decided to buy the cheap policy for himself.

In 2003, under a previous version of the statute, the SCOV looked at the “underinsured vehicle” definition in this case (Colwell). At the time the statute defined an “underinsured” vehicle such that the SCOV decided uninsured motorist coverage was “gap coverage” in Vermont and only let an injured party recover the difference between the uninsured motorist cap and the amount paid out under the liability policy (i.e., the liability-uninsured motorist “gap”). Other states, the SCOV noted, use the “excess coverage” approach, which triggers “underinsured” status when the tortfeasor’s liability policy can’t cover the victim’s damages.

If you’re as confused by the difference between “gap” and “excess” coverage as I was the first, second, third and fourth times wading through this opinion, then the facts in Colwell might help. Colwell involved a multi-victim accident where the liability policy couldn’t cover everyone’s injuries. In that case, even though one guy presumably got stuck with the bill for much of his injuries, the SCOV concluded that the way the statute was phrased meant Allstate only had to pay for the small “gap” between the tortfeasor’s cheapo liability coverage and his uninsured motorist coverage. The SCOV agreed that this result was unfair, but basically pointed at the Legislature and said, “Fix it!”

So the Legislature fixed it. In 2005, it amended the definition of “underinsured vehicle” to the version the SCOV is being asked to interpret in this case, and it told the world (or at least future Vermont lawyers) that it specifically did so to fix the problem in Colwell. With this amendment, the SCOV now tells us, a victim can tap into his or her uninsured motorist policy when other victims drain the tortfeasor’s liability policy. Basically, “gap coverage” and “excess coverage” had a baby that lets people bring out the fancy uninsured motorist insurance they bought if they need it. Ok, bad analogy, but you get the point, right?

Sadly for MMG, after concluding that this “gap-excess coverage” approach is the new thing, the SCOV goes on to conclude that the trial court was right — MMG is in fact screwed in this case and Progressive can enforce its host-vehicle exception when determining how much it has to pay passenger. In other words, MMG is stuck with two-thirds of the bill.

The SCOV’s prior crack at interpreting the statutory “underinsured motorist” language was in 2007. In this case (Hubbard), it looked at a single-car accident with only one victim (albeit a tragic one, the plaintiffs’ son). Even though the SCOV doesn’t find Hubbard very useful because the facts are different, it does trot out its Hubbard policy and reasoning to support its conclusion in this case.

In Hubbard there were also three insurance policies, one from Concord (the tortfeasor’s, $100,000 liability/$100,000 uninsured motorist) and two from Metropolitan (the plaintiffs’, $100,000 uninsured motorist each, total of $200,000). Like Progressive, Concord had its own little tricksy uninsured motorist exclusion applicable where an injured person invokes the liability and uninsured motorist policies in the same contract. Metropolitan argued in favor of Concord enforcing this exclusion. Its angle was that Concord’s uninsured motorist coverage didn’t count toward the total the victim could recover, so there was only $200,000 available, and that its $200,000 exposure was cut in half by the $100,000 Concord paid out under its liability policy. See how that works? Insurance companies love it when they have a way to cut their policy payouts.

The Hubbard trial court sided with Metropolitan, as did the SCOV, because if it went with the alternative interpretation the victims would have access to more coverage than they bought (i.e., “double liability insurance”). The SCOV decided “double liability insurance” wasn’t the right way to interpret the statute, and that the “owned-vehicle” exclusion could be enforced to prevent the victim from recovering under both the liability and UIM parts of the same insurance contract.

Applied to this case, with multiple victims that sucked dry the host-vehicle’s liability policy, the SCOV tells us that if passenger could use both his uninsured motorist policies and also the host-vehicle uninsured motorist policy he would be able to access more than he bargained for when he bought his fancy liability insurance. The fact that Progressive’s contract doesn’t let this happen is OK under the statute, and it doesn’t mess with the policy behind it either because passenger still had coverage up to the limit of what he had through his own uninsured motorist policies.

Vermont is not a “double liability insurance” state, says the SCOV, and, it notes, neither are the majority of states that have had the joy of looking at this exciting question. Letting uninsured motorist coverage “stack” like MMG wants in this case would undercut the purpose of the uninsured motorist statute. The SCOV reminds us that the point is to protect a hapless victim from an underinsured tightwad, not to give the victim more than he bargained for when he bought insurance.

Justice Robinson begs to differ with the majority’s interpretation of Vermont’s statutory “underinsured motorist” definition. She agrees with the trial court, and pens a dissent with which Justice Dooley joins. In its simplest form, Justice Robinson’s quarrel with the majority is with its less-than-literal interpretation of the uninsured motorist statute. She thinks her reading is closer to what the Legislature intended, and she picks apart the case law and policy support the majority cites in support of its own.

The dissent uses a circular example with facts similar to the ones in this case but with just one liability policy, the responsible driver’s, to demonstrate the problems with UIM gap analysis. This approach, Justice Robinson shows us, is a circular way to go about figuring out if a driver is underinsured because “the starting point determines the end point.” Either you assume the host-vehicle policy isn’t applicable, in which case the driver isn’t underinsured even if he technically is, or you assume it is applicable, in which case the driver is underinsured. This analysis, claims the dissent, just isn’t helpful.

Circular reasoning (something that never happens in the law) aside, Justice Robinson gives us several reasons why she, and Justice Dooley, think the majority is wrong in this case.

The dissent thinks that the SCOV’s emphasis on the injured passenger’s own uninsured motorist insurance, as opposed to all available uninsured motorist insurance, including the driver’s, doesn’t jive with the plain language of the statute. The part of Section 941 the SCOV is interpreting says that “applicable” insurance should be considered, not just the “portable” uninsured motorist coverage an injured passenger had the foresight to purchase that follows him around in the event he is in an accident with a cheapskate with insufficient liability coverage.

Slapping on this new “portable uninsured motorist coverage” to the analysis, says Justice Robinson, is judicial poppycock. It’s not in the plain language, it’s not in the legislative history, and it’s not in Colwell or, by extension, the Legislature’s subsequent attempt to address Colwell. It also contradicts the remedial purpose of the statute, she argues. None of the other jurisdictions the majority cites to as support have a statute like Vermont’s, and she just doesn’t see the “double-liability insurance” problem the majority finds so troubling. Justice Robinson would not enforce the policy exclusion

With a stroke of its officious pen, the SCOV approves a creative loophole for future insurers to slide through so they don’t have to pay out under their policies. So just remember folks, friends don’t let friends drive underinsured.

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WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Car break-in; murder, robbery case updates

Three notes in West Seattle Crime Watch tonight, starting with a reader report:

FAUNTLEE HILLS CAR PROWL: Kris e-mailed today to report a car prowl earlier this week:

Our car was parked at the corner of 40th Avenue SW and Director SW overnight on January 15. On January 16, I walked out to see the hatch and passenger door ajar. Sometime during the evening the car was prowled. Nothing of significant value was taken and the police were notified … In the past few days, I have recovered some of the items along Barton Avenue SW.

And from the many court cases we are continuing to check on, two updates:

WESTWOOD MURDER-CASE UPDATE: When last we mentioned the two defendants charged in last year’s murder of Edixon Velasquez in Westwood, they were set for trial relatively soon. According to court documents, they have since agreed to have the case pushed back a few months, and in court today, the readiness hearing for Anna Kasparova and Abel Linares was rescheduled for March 23rd, with trial tentatively set for April 25th.

SOUTH DELRIDGE ROBBER PLEADS GUILTY: A plea agreement this week for 22-year-old Aaron K. Knox, one of two men charged last summer with stealing a 58-year-old man’s bicycle at gunpoint in the 9200 block of Delridge Way SW. Knox has no criminal history but pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery; hr will be sentenced February 16th. Court documents say prosecutors will seek to have him sent to prison for three years and five months.

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What to Do When Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car presents more of an unknown because of the vehicle’s history. Whether you’re buying from a private seller or a dealership, there are steps you can take to make more informed decisions so you can buy a used car with confidence.

Steps to Take Before Going Near a Car

Your used car buying journey should start with planning and research long before you actually approach a vehicle.

To start, you should figure out your budget and set a price range to stick to. If you need to finance, you need to decide on a price and monthly payment you can comfortably afford. Don’t forget about the other costs of car ownership like insurance, gas, and maintenance.

With a budget in mind, you can move forward in your car search by deciding what you must have in a vehicle. Think of what your driving needs are and what to prioritize to help you build a list of vehicles to target.

You can do some background research using the wealth of resources on the internet to assist your search. You can read owner reviews and expert rankings of cars that fit your budget and meet your needs. We also recommend that you research pricing online to get a sense of what’s fair.

4 Things You Have to Do When Buying a Used Car

With your prep work complete, you’re ready to check out some vehicles. Before moving forward with any used car purchase, make sure to complete a few key steps:

  • Examine the Car and Try Out Everything – Start by walking around the car and checking it out. Look closely at the exterior, tires, interior, and under the hood to inspect its condition and for any issues. Also, try out every door, window, latch, lock, light, control, button, switch, lever, and knob to make sure everything works.
  • Take a Test Drive – You’ll also want to experience how the car drives and your comfort level sitting in it. Take it for a spin on roads similar to those you’ll be driving the most, including getting the car on the highway. A good test drive tip is to turn off the radio and listen closely to the car as it operates.
  • Get a Vehicle History Report – A critical component of buying a used car is checking its history. Vehicle history reports can tell you things like if the car’s been in an accident, experienced flood damage, or been declared a total loss. Try to get a vehicle history report from either CarFax or AutoCheck, two leading providers. You can also run the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) through the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s free VINCheck program on Additionally, you can ask the seller if there are service records to get a sense for how well it’s been cared for.
  • Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection – If the car passes your eye test and a history check, a final step should be having it inspected by an ASE-certified mechanic. A mechanic who performs a pre-purchase inspection can find mechanical defects or other issues hiding below the surface. A little money spent on an inspection can save you from needing to spend thousands in repairs down the line.

Your Car Buying Plan

You shouldn’t buy a car without being completely comfortable, so make sure to take your time and follow these steps. By taking the proper measures and planning out your purchase, you can help yourself get a car you’re satisfied with.

If you need a car, but your credit is making getting approved for an auto loan a challenge, Auto Credit Express offers a solution. We connect car buyers to local dealerships that are equipped to handle difficult credit situations. Our service is free and doesn’t put you under any obligation. Get started with confidence by completing our car loan request form online today.

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Man found unresponsive in car behind former school in Moss Point identified

MOSS POINT, Miss. — The man found unresponsive Thursday morning in a car behind the former Ed Mayo Junior High School has been identified, according to Moss Point police chief Calvin Hutchins.

Police have identified the man as Kellie R. Guy, 24, of Moss Point. 

Just after 7 a.m. Thursday morning, police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle at 6601 Orange Grove Rd. — the address correlated to Ed Mayo Junior High. 

When officers arrived to the scene, they discovered a dead male who looked to be suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Police are calling this an isolated incident.

Hutchins said the case will be treated as a homicide.

Anyone with any information regarding the crime is asked to call Moss Point Police Department at 228-475-1711 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 800-787-5898.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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One injured after car goes over embankment in Allegheny Township – Tribune

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Officially launched in 2007, RouteNote began as a digital music distribution platform for independent artists and labels to get their music online,

Designed and built to take advantage of the shift towards independent and self-publication through online and mobile music or video outlets.

RouteNote is partnered with some of the biggest retailers on the web to give artists massive and immediate availability for their products.

RouteNote has since grown into a full digital media management service providing artists, labels and creators instant access to a large proportion of the online market.
Onsite, artists, labels and creators can upload content to the RouteNote catalogue and enter into a non-exclusive agreement permitting us to distribute their music to a worldwide audience.

Our rates for providing a distribution service are currently the best in the market and our ever expanding catalogue gives us increasing muscle with which to negotiate deals from which everyone, artists, clients and distribution partners included will all benefit.

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