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Author Archives: Alan Turner

ALAN TURNER — Kemper: A bird’s eye view

A look at the Kemper County Coal Plant from the top. The plant will be tasked with mining lignite coal a few hundred yards away from the plant. That coal is moved through a process that will convert it to syngas. The syngas is then used to drive the energy output of the plant, and the resulting electricity is then moved into the grid.

On June 19, I accepted an invitation from Mississippi Power to visit their Kemper facility, and get an “up close and personal” view of the plant and how it works. Notwithstanding all of the controversy the construction of Kemper has caused in recent years, the actual working of the plant is deceptively simple. Basically, lignite coal is mined a few ...

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ALAN TURNER: Kemper coal plant essentially complete

View of plant facing west at sunset.

We had an opportunity recently to visit with Lee Youngblood, who handles communications for Mississippi Power Co., and learned that the Kemper facility is essentially complete and ready for final testing and certification. “Once that’s done, we expect to see the facility up and running and doing what it’s supposed to do, by early 2016,” he said. Earlier in his ...

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ALAN TURNER — Watkins & Eager: Spanning 3 centuries

Paul H. Stephensen III

There aren’t very many companies that can claim to have operated in 3 different centuries.  The Jackson law firm of Watkins & Eager is a firm that has accomplished that. The firm traces its roots back to 1895, when William Watkins began practicing law in Jackson.  He later partnered up with Pat Eager, and the firm has been in operation ...

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ALAN TURNER: The benefits of healthy workplaces

As we are all aware, Mississippi ranks at or near the bottom among the states in a number of vital health statistics, including diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Although we have excellent health care facilities in our state, it should be noted that great health care alone cannot change our current poor rankings. The answer can probably best be ...

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ALAN TURNER: Joel Bomgar an entrepreneur and budding politician

  At 35, Joel Bomgar has accomplished more than most business professionals achieve in a lifetime.  He took a concept he came up with in his undergraduate years at Belhaven, and started a company with that concept in the very next week after he graduated. The rest was a very fast forwarded record of success that took the company from ...

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ALAN TURNER: Sumesh Arora says innovation is the key to economic prosperity in Mississippi

  Recently, we had an opportunity to meet with Dr. Sumesh Arora, vice president with Innovate Mississippi, to discuss some of the positive economic trends and opportunities throughout the state. Sumesh earned a degree in engineering, followed by a master’s in Material Sciences, and finally culminated with a Ph.D from the University of Southern Mississippi.  In the early part of ...

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Beth Hansen: A healthy real estate market means a healthy economy

    In a recent meeting with Beth Hansen, CEO of the Mississippi Association of Realtors, we discussed Mississippi’s real estate market and its recovery from the shock of the housing crisis. “A healthy real estate market generally means a healthy and growing economy,” she said.  “And while we still have significant challenges, we’re seeing a good recovery from the ...

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Dick Hall: Mississippi’s economic future is tied to its highway system

roadtrip

At a recent luncheon sponsored by the Madison County Business League & Foundation, Highway Commissioner Dick Hall talked about the importance of highways and transportation to the economic health and future of Mississippi. “Obviously, if you don’t have a good transportation network, then companies who might come to Mississippi will ask themselves whether they can get their goods in and ...

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ALAN TURNER: Education in Mississippi – good and bad news

At a recent lunch meeting sponsored by the Madison County Business League & Foundation, State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright delivered an assessment of public education in Mississippi. To her credit, Dr. Wright didn’t sugarcoat the problems facing Mississippi’s schools, acknowledging that Mississippi continues to sit at the bottom of state rankings in education.  Among other problems, our state ...

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ALAN TURNER: Joe Donovan – Entrepreneur with community spirit

  Joe Donovan was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and perhaps that may help to explain in a small way why much of what he has touched in his career has turned to gold. Currently serving as the executive director of the Mississippi Center of Non-Profits, and, as the head of the Entrepreneurial Development program at Millsaps, Joe is quite ...

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