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Daily Archives: August 22, 2011

Day of reckoning ahead for Mississippi's Public Employment Retirement System

Panel studying possible changes to state retirement system benefits Upgrades in retirement benefits granted to Mississippi’s public sector workers a decade ago could get rolled back as the state, its cities, counties and school districts struggle to stay financially afloat. Citing an “unsustainable” burden on Mississippi taxpayers inching toward $1 billion annually, Gov. Haley Barbour wants a close look taken ...

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According to union lawyer, Public Employment Retirement System chief, options are limited

The head of the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi says the $20.7-billion retirement trust fund is constitutionally protected but she doubts the benefits of retirees and public sector workers enrolled in the plan have the same protections. “However, this could be debated,” said Pat Robertson, PERS executive director. She cited a 1986 amendment to the Mississippi Constitution in noting ...

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Buildings to be razed for new arts center

MERIDIAN — Officials in Meridian are getting closer to approving demolition of two old buildings at the site of a planned arts and entertainment center. WTOK reports that the board of the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center is to meet the first week in September and is expected to approve demolition of the old Hotel Meridian and a structure known ...

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NASA buys ex-ammunition plant at Stennis

HANCOCK COUNTY — A ceremony this Wednesday marks the transfer of a 1.6-million-square-foot-facility to NASA at the Stennis Space Center. By acquiring the former Mississippi Army Ammunition Plant, NASA says it will increase its total facility space at Stennis by about 33 percent. NASA says in a news release that a dozen public and private sector employers already are located ...

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Sanderson shares down as analyst expects bigger losses

LAUREL — Shares of Sanderson Farms Inc. dropped 4 percent today as an analyst predicts the poultry producer’s third-quarter loss will be bigger than Wall Street’s forecast due to falling chicken prices and higher feed costs. Jefferies analyst Jeff Farmer estimates Sanderson will lose $1.25 per share in the quarter, compared with Wall Street’s expectations for a loss of 86 ...

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First Atlantic hurricane headed toward U.S.

ATLANTIC OCEAN — Hurricane Irene cut power to more than a million people in Puerto Rico, downing trees and flooding streets today, and forecasters warned it could be a major storm as it threatens Florida and South Carolina by the end of the week. There were no reports of deaths of major injuries in Puerto Rico, but Gov. Luis Fortuno ...

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Film industry workforce training starting

Film industry workforce training classes on a variety of topics begin this month at Hinds Community College’s Rankin Campus. Classes range from five weeks to two-day seminars and cover everything from technical skills to location scouting. Electric(ian) for the Film Industry August 23 – September 15, 2011; Tues. & Thurs., 6-9pm $200 Grip for the Film Industry September 27 – ...

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Economy, weather hurting turfgrass industry

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — The continuing decline of the housing market and the lack of new construction are taking its toll on Mississippi’s turfgrass industry. Wayne Wells, Mississippi State University Extension turf specialist, said, “Sod production relies heavily on construction, so when there isn’t as much, sod producers feel the hit. There is some business to be found, though, in selling ...

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City Council approves annexation proposal

COLUMBUS — An annexation ordinance approved by the Columbus City Council is the first step toward adding 1,462 new residents to the east Mississippi city. In addition to new people, The Commercial DispatchT newspaper reports that the added territory brings the city 638 homes and 44 businesses. That is expected to translate into about $277,859 in annual net tax revenue. Council members ...

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