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Yearly Archives: 2008

Sports meant big business in 2008

Sports are more a way of life rather than just a part of it here in Mississippi, and athletics continued to be big business — and big news — in 2008. Everybody loves a winner, and the Mississippi Braves were just that in 2008, winning the Southern League Championship. This success meant an economic windfall, not just for the M ...

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Seal leaves large footprints behind

Ordinarily, the death of a man would hardly rank as a top news story of the year. However, there was nothing ordinary about Leo Seal Jr., longtime bank executive, economic and community developer and philanthropist. When he died Nov. 18, many struggled to find words to communicate his impact on his beloved Hancock County, the Gulf Coast, the entire state ...

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Progress being made in public education through legislature’s MAEP full funding

Improving public education in Mississippi has strong support from the business community, which has rallied to promote adequate resources for schools by advocating full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP), the state formula used to establish adequate current operation funding levels necessary for the programs of each school district to meet a successful level of student performance as ...

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King Edward comeback helps mark renewed vigor in Jackson

After decades as an eyesore, the Hotel King Edward in Jackson is undergoing a renaissance. Construction and renovation of the building started last year after much of 2007 was spent cleaning the interior and removing it of asbestos. The building once was the hub of social activity in the downtown Jackson area before it closed in the 1960s. For nearly ...

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Agriculture marked by volatility

Mississippi farmers held on tight in 2008 as agriculture indicators fluctuated as wildly as gasoline prices. The year began with high commodity prices and ended with interesting trends geared toward 2009 growth. “This has been a significant year in agriculture for Mississippi,” said P.J. Waldrop, a legislative aide in Sen. Thad Cochran’s office who served as a staff assistant for ...

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Katrina recovery, other weather disasters make news

There was certainly variety in the state’s weather disasters in 2008, making them top news stories for the year. River flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, ice, sleet and snow visited the Magnolia State causing suffering and loss of property and business. “We had a fairly wide range of weather events this year,” said Mike Womack, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency ...

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Bribing judge leads high-profile attorney to federal prison

Richard “Dickie” Scruggs was once one of the most powerful – and certainly the most wealthy – plaintiffs’ attorneys in the history of the United States. Now he’s inmate No. 12734-042 at a federal prison in Ashland, Ky. Scruggs, his lawyer son Zach Scruggs and law partner Sidney Backstrom are serving prison terms after they each pleaded guilty to charges ...

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Lawmakers, Barbour put in long hours

The Mississippi Legislature’s off-season will be shorter than usual this year. After the regular session ended in April, it took a special session that lasted nearly all of summer to resolve the Medicaid funding quagmire. When the state finally paid its $90-million obligation to the healthcare program for the poor and disabled, it was an accounting error that picked up ...

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Economy tops headlines in 2009

One does not have to look further than Gail Pittman and Toyota to see why in 2009, the economy was the number one business issue. In the April 28 edition of the MBJ (“Gail Pittman focusing growth on design and licensing”), Pittman was touting the uniqueness and flexibility of her company, Gail Pittman Inc. In October (MBJ, Oct. 27, “Pittman ...

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