Author Archive

ANALYSIS — Mississippi has big money invested in KiOR’s financially challenged project

The eyes of the international renewable-fuels community are fixed on KiOR (NASDAQ:KIOR), a Texas-based company in which Mississippi has a large stake — specifically a $75 million interest-free loan administered by the Mississippi Development Authority. KiOR plans to build five plants in Mississippi that should convert wood chips to renewable crude through a process called […] [...]

‘Candy Land’ — King has fulfilled her dream while sweetening customers’ lives

To open the door of Nandy’s Candy in Jackson is to beoverwhelmed with the smell of real chocolate. Rich, dark, velvety chocolate. Not the overly sugared, artificially flavored, cheap disappointment. Nandy’s is the real deal. Display cases filled with American truffles, amaretto truffles, Bailey’s Irish cream, walnut clusters, pecan, cashew and almond clusters, marzipan, chocolate […] [...]

Hybrid Plastics technology used in world’s first synthetic organ transplant

HATTIESBURG — Technology from a Mississippi company has been used in an international medical breakthrough: Hybrid Plastics’ unique technology called POSS (Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane) was recently used to enable the world’s first synthetic organ transplant. In the surgery performed in June 2011 in Sweden, a terminally ill cancer patient received a new trachea, or windpipe, […] [...]

Q&A: Carol Hardwick touts MEDC’s new exchange, Y.P. programs

Carol Hardwick is executive director and COO of Jackson-based Mississippi Economic Development Council, which serves economic development and chamber professionals statewide. Hardwick studied political science at Millsaps College before working for Sen. Thad Cochran, coordinating to his 1990 and 1996 campaigns and handling PAC fundraising. Hardwick joined MEDC in 2002. She and husband, Phil, a […] [...]

USM polymer department luring more businesses to Hattiesburg area

Some new products developed in Hattiesburg sound like science fiction: Plastic composite materials that are lighter and tougher that steel, a lotion that neutralizes chemical warfare agents, a rehydration solution that helps identify finger prints from the deceased, and a makeup that can protect soldier from burns from road side bombs. But they’re all real. […] [...]

Q&A: Keith Jasper, founder and president, Vsporto

Madison native Keith Jasper is founder and president of Vsporto, a start-up company focusing on team-specific, 24-hour online sports radio stations. Inspired by companies like Pandora, Vsporto launched in September 2011 and currently provides mobile apps for Bulldog Sports Radio and Rebel Sports Radio, which cover Mississippi State and Ole Miss football, respectively. Jasper got […] [...]

Q&A: Bill Rayburn, Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of FNC Inc.

Bill Rayburn is co-founder, CEO, and chairman of the board of FNC Inc., a Mississippi-grown mortgage technology company that delivered its first solution in early 1999. Under Rayburn’s leadership, the technology company invented and developed a residential real estate Collateral Management System (CMS) that revolutionized the mortgage industry. Rayburn initially tackled the responsibility of raising […] [...]

Jackson Salvation Army declares war on entitlement

The Salvation Army will focus on giving help up as opposed to hand outs to the Jackson community in 2012. Captain Ken Chapman says a new $8 million, 37,000 square-foot Community Center on Beasley Road will “bring transformation to the city of Jackson.” The facility, which will be open to the public in March, sits […] [...]

Q&A: Dr. Martha Saunders, President, University of Southern Mississippi

University of Southern Mississippi President Dr. Martha Saunders is working to enhance the College of Business, as the university continues to partner with businesses and foster economic development in the Hattiesburg area. Saunders has a 30-year career in higher education and previously served as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater before joining USM in 2007. […] [...]

Green can mean much more than just environment

This year the Mississippi Legislature approved loans for three green energy manufacturing companies recruited to the state by Gov. Haley Barbour. In January the state Legislature approved a $75 million loan for Stion, a startup manufacturing company that will make thin-film solar panels in Hattiesburg. The company promises to investment $500 million and bring 1,000 […] [...]

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