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Author Archives: Bill Crawford

BILL CRAWFORD: ‘GOT ’EM’ post on Hattiesburg deaths hateful

“GOT ’EM” shrieked the Facebook post by a Subway worker in Laurel. “Two police officers shot tonight in Hattiesburg.! – GOT ’EM” read the whole post. (Subway said it fired the employee.)  This was Laurel, Mississippi, not Ferguson, Missouri, or Baltimore, Maryland! We face growing sub-cultures, linked-up and emboldened by social media and the Internet, that target law enforcement and ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: McCullough will have hands full at MDA

Glenn McCullough / Photo by Thomas Wells from DJOURNAL.COM

Eminently qualified to head up the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), Glenn McCullough won’t have a cakewalk.   Gov. Phil Bryant announced McCullough’s appointment last Thursday, saying, “He can build a consensus and get things done. We have great momentum in Mississippi, and Glenn will take that success to the next level.”   First, though, McCullough must grapple with budget and ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Bryant confronts tale of two Mississippis

The tale of two Mississippis persists.   One Mississippi is made up of people comfortable with their way of life. Some are well off and more than comfortable. But, for others, their hard-earned finances along with faith, family, and friends make their lives good enough. For the most part, this group might like a tax cut, but surefire oppose tax ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Mississippi’s thin racial veneer

Race persists as a predominant part of Mississippi life. There are the disparities revealed by objective facts:   Most Republicans are white. Most African-Americans are Democrats. All statewide elected officials are white. Most prison inmates are black. Most wealthy Mississippians, business owners, bank executives, physicians, and plant managers are white. Most poverty-level Mississippians and non-elderly Medicaid recipients are black. Most ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Mississippi’s sports heritage second to none

“Stories worth remembering and savoring … again and again,” said Robin Roberts, co-host of Good Morning America.   Indeed.   Stories remembered and savored in the telling by Rick Cleveland in his book “Mississippi’s Greatest Athletes.”   Do you know the story of Roy and Commodore Cochran?  “Cousins of Sen. Thad Cochran, both were track and field gold medalists, Commodore in ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Keep schools free from preventable diseases

Health science saves lives, particularly in Mississippi. Since scientific research by Dr. Jonas Salk produced the polio vaccine in the mid-1950s, vaccines developed by health scientists have brought seven major human diseases under some control – smallpox, diphtheria, tetanus, yellow fever, whooping cough, polio, and measles. Unfortunately, hepatitis B is not yet one of them. Mississippi can stand proud. “The ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: MDOC controversy reveals contract procurement weaknesses

The Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) controversy has exposed weaknesses in the state’s contract procurement processes. With regard to MDOC, the legislature exempted many contracts from competitive procurement, cracking open the door for abuse.   Allegations have surfaced that even competitive bids can be manipulated. Vendors allege being directed to bid low to get contracts with promises they would be ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: State leaders face hard choices for 2015

Happy New Year America!  With economic growth at 5%, gasoline prices below $2 a gallon, and unemployment below 6%, all is great.   Not so fast, as Lee Corso likes to say. Despite some football successes, everything is not great for Mississippi. Let’s get Corso’s pencil out and figure some numbers.   In Mississippi, year-over-year jobs were down 13,600 or ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Lowest Common Denominators, Politicians, and Common Core

I wonder if “lowest common denominator” shows up in the Common Core State Standards? Well, it probably shows up in the math standards since that’s how you add fractions. But it ought to be highlighted in the language standards too, since that’s the level of most political language today, particularly in Mississippi. “Something of small intellectual content designed to appeal ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: IHL'S Bounds may be a good fit for Nebraska

IHL Commissioner Hank Bounds is finalist for president of the University of Nebraska, a five campus system not unlike the multi-campus Mississippi system Bounds oversees as commissioner. In an interview with the Daily Nebraskan, Bounds expounded on his expectations should he becomes president: “Nebraska University constituents should expect me to ensure that students receive a world-class education that is accessible ...

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