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Author Archives: For the MBJ

Group of four joins Butler Snow’s business department


  RIDGE LAND —  Butler Snow has announced that a team of 4 attorneys has joined the firm as members of the business department.  Steve Hendrix, Robert Hutchison, Craig Smith and Thomas Watson join the firm adding significant experience in the areas of real estate, economic development, finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and tax credit transactions. “These respected attorneys are well known across ...

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Butler Snow expands government relations presence in Alabama


  MONTGOMERY, Ala. —  J. Ross Gunnells has joined the Butler Snow Government Relations Group in Montgomery.  Gunnells, who most recently served as Governor Robert Bentley’s Legislative Affairs Director, brings a wealth of governmental experience and knowledge to the firm’s growing government relations practice. Gunnells began his career in government as the finance director for Gov. Bentley’s campaign in 2010 where he ...

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MSU scientists boost recreational fishing industry

Charlie Culpepper, a graduate student in the Mississippi State University Forest and Wildlife Research Center, is studying methods to better manage and optimize crappie reproduction. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)

STARKVILLE — Nature offers a narrow and unpredictable window for breeding fish, and Mississippi State University scientists are studying ways to help hatcheries stock the state’s lakes. What if conditions could be controlled within hatcheries so the intense seasonal workload could be dispersed over time? This ability would be especially beneficial for the popular black, white, and hybrid triploid Magnolia crappie. In ...

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DAVID HAMPTON — Education is the singular issue for this election


  Candidates running for state office are talking about a lot of different things, but in this election year there is really only one issue to consider  — education. I have always avoided single-issue voting. Politics is an exercise in compromise and a politician should be judged on the whole. But this year, education is the only essential issue in Mississippi. ...

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Lack of rain has growers expecting average peanuts

These peanuts in Monroe County, Mississippi, on Sept. 9, 2015, exhibit signs of early leaf spot disease. A lack of rain has produced an average crop across the state. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Jason Sarver)

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi farmers planted more peanuts in response to economic factors that made the crop an attractive choice this year, but a lack of rain now has them expecting average yields. Mississippi has 42,000 acres of peanuts this year, up 45 percent from what was planted in 2014. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 84 percent of the ...

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Invasive crape myrtle pest spreading in state

This crape myrtle branch is encrusted in the white felt of crape myrtle bark scale pests, an invasive insect that damages the once low-maintenance trees. (Photo by MSU Extension/Blake Layton)

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State University experts found an invasive insect that attacks crape myrtles on the coast this spring and now have spotted the pest in two cities on opposite ends of the state. The insects are crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, and they were found March 15 in Ocean Springs in Jackson County. In August, the insects were ...

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Hinds gift to help boost ranks of women truckers


Special to the MBJ Andre’a Gaston had faced challenges before enrolling in truck driver school – mainly being a mother to two daughters and a son. Driving a manual shift transmission turned out to be a close second in that category, but now she’s certified and bona fide to take on the road. “At first, I thought my age would ...

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Health officials confirm four new West Nile Virus cases

Mosquito Isolated on White

JACKSON – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) confirms four new human cases of West Nile virus (WNV), bringing the total for 2015 to 22 cases. The cases were reported in Hinds, Madison (2) and Yazoo counties. So far this year, cases have been reported in Adams, Attala, Covington, Forrest (2), Hinds (4), Madison (4), Montgomery, Rankin (5), Simpson (2), ...

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Turfgrass production shows improvement

Mississippi State University Department of Plant and Soil Sciences senior research associate Wayne Philley, left, and MSU seniors Abram Diaz of D’Iberville and Aaron Tucker of Carthage measure how far a golf ball rolls over different varieties of bermudagrass at the R. R. Foil Plant Science Research Center Sept. 4, 2015. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Nathan Gregory)

STARKVILLE — Sod supply in Mississippi is slowly rebounding in 2015 after a major shortage of the commodity last year. Jay McCurdy, turfgrass specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said turfgrass remains in short supply this year due to a decline in acreage and recent harsh winters. “In the last three years, we’ve seen a steady trend of ...

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Tupelo airport board looks to end SeaPort contract

11211405 Sea Port

For several months, the Tupelo Airport Authority has threatened to end the air service contract with SeaPort Airlines due to its poor performance. Late and canceled flights have plagued the airline, which blames a nationwide shortage of pilots for many of its problems. Since beginning service last October, SeaPort has seen enplanements – the number of passengers boarding a plane ...

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