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Author Archives: Jack Weatherly

Kemper saga appears headed for final chapter on Feb. 6

By JACK WEATHERLY The saga of the Mississippi Power Co. “clean-coal” plant in Kemper County appears ready for its final chapter to be written on Feb. 6. The story of the plant, whose original projected cost was $2.9 billion but which swelled to $7.5 billion, will most likely end on that date when the three-member Mississippi Public Service Commission votes ...

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Burgess builds a fantasy sports corporate playing field

By JACK WEATHERLY Fantasy sports have captured the imagination of the country. Participants select fantasy teams – whether baseball, football or basketball – of real players and play games. For Chris Burgess, a former star pitcher for St. Andrew’s Episcopal School and Delta State University who later joined the Toronto Blue Jays organization, it struck him: why not apply that to the ...

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Cal-Maine: mistreatment of hens an aberration

By JACK WEATHERLY An animal rights group has released an undercover video of what it says are laying hens living in deplorable conditions at a Cal-Maine Foods farm in Lake Wales, Fla, Jackson-based Cal-Maine is the largest producer of shell eggs in the United States. According to Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), hens are overcrowded in cages where they are trampled ...

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Waller named to top post of MEC

By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com Scott Waller has been named president and chief executive of the Mississippi Economic Council, the state chamber of commerce. The appointment was announced Tuesday at MEC Capital Day 2018, where over 1,000 business and community leaders from across Mississippi joined with legislators and state leaders to discuss the upcoming legislative agenda. Waller, who has been with ...

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Cold weather gives blueberry crop a boost

By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com The recent spate of subfreezing weather isn’t all bad. Just ask blueberry farmers. An unusually warm winter last year cut into the state’s fruit crops, including blueberries, the state’s largest. But thus far this winter, subfreezing weather bodes well for fruit crops in Mississippi, according to Dr. Eric Thomas Staphne, an associate professor at the Mississippi ...

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Mississippi economy ‘relatively solid’ in November, report says

By JACK WEATHERLY jack.weatherly@msbusiness.com The Mississippi economy was “relatively solid” in November, according to the University Research Center. Its Leading Index – composed of six parts, including national figures — was 3.4 percent higher than the year-earlier month. Income tax withholding grew for the second consecutive month for the first time since February, indicating an expanding payroll, according to the ...

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Cal-Maine records $26.1 million loss for quarter after settlement

By JACK WEATHERLY Cal-Maine Foods suffered a net loss of $26.1 million, or 54 cents per share, for the second fiscal quarter of 2018 in which the Jackson-based egg producer recorded a $52.8 million after-tax antitrust settlement. The settlement stems from a Sept. 25, 2008 consolidated suit case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Excluding ...

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Chawla family: construction to resume on Cleveland hotel

By JACK WEATHERLY Chawla Hotels has answered reports that its most ambitious hotel project in the Delta has been stalled for months with reassurances that the $21 million project in Cleveland is still on go. Since the Delta-based hotel operation signed a deal with the Trump hotel organization in June on the Cleveland hotel – originally called the Lyric and now ...

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Fuse.Cloud’s Gary Watts named MBJ’s 2017 Business Person of the Year

By JACK WEATHERLY Twenty years ago, Jackson was one of the world’s telecommunications centers. WorldCom had spun its magic and bedazzled Wall Street. How could a company in a Southern city not known for cutting-edge technology do that? The eventual and ultimate answer was – it cheated. Mississippi folk hero Bernie Ebbers wound up in prison, perhaps for the rest of ...

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