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Author Archives: Associated Press

Analysis: Road money session waits on lieutenant governor

JEFF AMY A special session to seek more money for Mississippi’s roads and bridges could be drawing near. But nothing is likely to happen without Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves’ agreement, and many observers aren’t sure what he wants. Gov. Phil Bryant has been facilitating talks among himself and fellow Republicans Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn, seeking an agreement. “Any ...

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Mississippi hospital fires employee over racial slur video

A Mississippi hospital says an employee recorded on video using a slur offensive to African-Americans has been fired. WJTV-TV reports the video was taken Saturday at a Flowood doughnut shop. Donut Palace employee Keaundrea Wardlaw filmed the encounter with Kyle Thomas using a cellphone. Wardlaw says Thomas was upset about the service. She says she didn’t want to get him ...

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Black soybean farmers claim they were sold faulty seeds

Soybean farmers David Allen Hall and Tyrone Grayer had high hopes when a farm-show salesman told them the seeds he sold would bring good yields in their fertile Mississippi Delta fields, and were less likely to be damaged by weeds. But as the plants began to grow, Hall, Grayer and other black farmers who bought certified seeds from Stine Seed ...

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Mississippi officials seek return of Medicaid overpayments

Mississippi officials are trying to get two insurance companies that manage care for patients to repay Medicaid funds. State Auditor Shad White says most of the $616,000 in overpayments from 2014 to 2017 were connected to money paid after people died or moved into long-term care. Division of Medicaid spokesman Matt Westerfield says UnitedHealthcare still owes nearly $196,000 and Magnolia ...

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Mississippi Delta school merger foiled by lawsuit for now

A school district in the Mississippi Delta has given up efforts to consolidate two schools in the face of legal opposition. The North Bolivar district sought to merge Shelby’s Broad Street High School and Mound Bayou’s John F. Kennedy High School, citing declining enrollment and the cost of needed repairs. However, supporters of the Mound Bayou school sued. Bolivar County ...

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Forecasters now expect less active Atlantic hurricane season

U.S. forecasters say the Atlantic hurricane season may be less active than they previously predicted. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s updated outlook predicts nine to 13 named storms, including four to seven hurricanes. Up to two hurricanes could be “major” with sustained winds of at least 111 mph (178 kph). Four storms already have developed this year, including two ...

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Jackson residents strongly approve $65M in school borrowing

Residents in Mississippi’s capital city are overwhelmingly approving a $65 million bond referendum that supporters say will provide funds to make repairs to the Jackson school district’s aging facilities. More than 85 percent of voters on Tuesday favored the borrowing, easily clearing the 60 percent threshold required in bond votes. Voters reauthorized 5 mills in property taxes for additional capital ...

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Mississippi’s Grenada Railroad now owned by Florida company

A Mississippi railroad is changing hands. International Rail Partners said Tuesday that it bought rights to the Grenada Railroad from Iowa Pacific Holdings last week. The Boca Raton, Florida, acquirer didn’t name a price. The new owner is leasing and can eventually buy the 180-mile (290-kilometer) railroad from Southaven to Canton. It’s now owned by the North Central Mississippi Regional ...

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Mississippi Power electricity rates to rise 9 percent

Mississippi Power Co. customers will see electricity rates go up about 9 percent starting in September. The state Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved general rate increases as well as specific increases tied to environmental compliance costs. The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co. will collect about $77 million more through the end of 2019, in a settlement meant to cover ...

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Zoo chief takes blame for improper borrowing of state money

A financially imperiled zoo in Mississippi has been borrowing state capital improvement money to cover operating expenses, a maneuver the zoo’s leader acknowledges is improper. The Clarion Ledger reports the Jackson Zoological Society used $395,000 to cover operational expenses, repaying it in December after the city of Jackson made its twice-a-year payment supporting the zoo. The zoo then again borrowed $350,000 ...

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