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Author Archives: Jack Weatherly

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ sequel clears the air

“Go Set a Watchman” is the sequel to Harper Lee’s first published novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” “Watchman” was written first – as is widely known now thanks to the ballyhooed discovery of the manuscript. Then it was rewritten and turned into the acclaimed, nay, beloved “Mockingbird.” The original manuscript was put away and all but forgotten. “Watchman” removes any ...

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Mississippi Power urges PSC for break on refunds

Associated Press Mississippi Power Co. is telling regulators that the company wants bill credits to be the default option when refunding the $350 million the company collected from customers for its Kemper County power plant. The unit of Atlanta-based Southern Co., in a Tuesday filing with the Mississippi Public Service Commission, said it only wants to issue checks when customers ...

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Mississippi joblessness drops in June

Associated Press Mississippi’s unemployment rate dipped in June despite weakness in employer payrolls. The joblessness rate fell to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent in May, and from 7.6 percent in June 2014. A months-long pattern of decreasing unemployment resumed, after May’s rate rose. The number of people with jobs increased, as well as the number of people in the labor ...

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Cal-Maine reports another record year

Jack Weatherly Cal-Maine Foods reported on Monday another record year in egg sales – 1.06 billion dozen – and a record net annual income of $1.58 billion. The Jackson-based company, the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the nation, has thus far dodged the avian flu that devastated the poultry industry in the Midwest starting in April ...

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U.S. tariffs a factor in Chinese company seeking plant in Jackson?

By JACK WEATHERLY  While there is nothing new under the sun, things do change. Such as the solar market, which has since the Solyndra debacle that gave the Obama administration a black eye. The California startup defaulted on a $535 million federal loan in 2011. It subsequently filed a $1.5 billion antitrust suit against China’s three largest solar panel makers. ...

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Viking continues to struggle since purchase by Middleby

By JACK WEATHERLY  Things were going to be better for the Viking Range Corp., founder and Chief Executive Fred Carl announced in a long email to employees on Dec. 31, 2012. He referred to “the past four rough years” for the company. By the end of 2012, employment had been nearly halved from a pre-recession peak of 1,200 due to ...

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HE’S BACK — Fred Carl aims for the high-end market with modular homes

By JACK WEATHERLY  Fred E. Carl Jr. is emerging from his Viking Range years with a new venture, C3 Design. The company will build modular homes that are not what one might think of as “prefab” houses. It aims instead for the same high-end market that Viking dominated. Carl’s ventures are coming full circle. The first was homebuilding, a continuation ...

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US Foods opens distribution 308-person center in Flowood

MBJ staff US Foods has opened a 272,000-square-foot distribution center in Flowood that will service 4,000 chefs, restaurants and food-service operators throughout Mississippi and Louisiana, the Rosemont, Ill.-based company said in a release on Monday. The distributor, which has 60 such facilities across the country, made its first shipment out of Flowood on June 29 and will have a grand ...

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Two solar projects for Lowndes County gain approval

  MBJ staff A Nashville, Tenn.-based solar power company has gotten approval from the Public Service Commission to build two projects in Lowndes County. The facilities will be located near the GoldenTriangle Industrial Park and Golden Triangle Airport, Brandon Presley, commissioner for north Mississippi, said in a news release. The projects are to be built by Silicon Ranch Corp., which ...

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Overtime policy plan for salaried workers draws mixed reviews

By JACK WEATHERLY  The U.S. Department of Labor is planning to more than double the pay threshold to $50,440 from $23,660 for salaried workers who are exempt from overtime. About 5 million will be directly affected by change, which is expected to go into effect next year, according to the department. In introducing the rules change, which does not require ...

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