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Kemper County plant will cost at least another $496M to complete

KEMPER COUNTY — Southern Co. says it will cost at least another $496 million to finish the power plant it’s building in eastern Mississippi’s Kemper County, pushing the total cost above $6.1 billion. And, unlike other recent overruns, customers could have to pay $167 million of the charges if regulators agree. The Atlanta-based parent of […] [...]

Actuaries: Improving stock market boosts PERS’ results

JACKSON — With stock market gains replacing steep losses in the accounting ledger, Mississippi’s main public employee pension fund posted stronger results last year. Actuaries reported yesterday to the board of the Public Employees Retirement System that the funding percentage — the share of future obligations covered by current assets — rose to 61 percent […] [...]

DeSoto County Supervisor Lee dies in ATV accident on his birthday

HERNANDO — DeSoto County Supervisor Harvey Wayne Lee has died in an all-terrain vehicle accident south of Hernando, Mississippi. County Coroner Jeff Pounders said the accident occurred last night on a county road. Pounders said the 54-year-old Lee was transported the emergency room at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto, where he died. Sheriff’s Department spokesman Dick Hackett […] [...]

DOT okays SeaPort Airlines’ service between Greenville and Memphis

GREENVILLE — The U.S. Department of Transportation has approved Oregon-based SeaPort Airlines to offer service between Greenville and Memphis, Tennessee. The Delta Democrat-Times reports the airline hopes to start flying by Thanksgiving. SeaPort replaces Silver Airways, which announced it was ending service to four Mississippi cities. It departed Greenville for the last time on Sept. […] [...]

After string of losses, O’Hara sees himself as Senate ‘protest vote’

HATTIESBURG — Shawn O’Hara has a perfect record in Mississippi politics — a string of more than a dozen losses over the past 25 years. It is unblemished by a single win for mayor, congressman, senator or governor. Odds are good that 55-year-old Hattiesburg resident will keep his record intact this year as he runs […] [...]

BP oil spill leaves Rhode Island-sized ring on bottom of Gulf floor

GULF OF MEXICO — The BP oil spill left an oily “bathub ring” on the sea floor that’s about the size of Rhode Island, new research shows. The study by David Valentine, the chief scientist on the federal damage assessment research ships, estimates that about 10 million gallons of oil coagulated on the floor of […] [...]

BlueFire looks to China for financing of biofuel plant

FULTON — A California-based biofuel company says the Export Import Bank of China may loan up to $270 million to build a plant in Fulton. BlueFire Renewables Inc. of Irvine, California, says the bank has signed a letter of intent. The U.S. Department of Energy ended funding to BlueFire last year after disbursing $12 million […] [...]

Louisville, Winston County leaders see opportunities after devastating tornado

LOUISVILLE — Six months after a devastating tornado, Winston County’s hospital is still operating out of tents and shipping containers, home rebuilding is sputtering along and it may be another year before a new plywood mill opens. Still, leaders in Louisville say they’re optimistic about rebounding from April 28′s devastating tornado, which killed 10 people […] [...]

Board advances two charter school applications for final consideration

COLUMBUS and JACKSON — Mississippi’s Charter School Authorizer Board has moved two groups that want to open schools ahead to the final stage of consideration. Inspire Charter Schools, which was a finalist in the first round of applications earlier this year, is seeking to open a school serving 360 students in grades K-6 in Columbus. […] [...]

Part of U.S. 51 to be dedicated to influential bluesman

CRYSTAL SPRINGS — A segment of U.S. Highway 51 will be dedicated Thursday to blues artist Tommy Johnson. The dedication will be held at 1 p.m. at the intersection of Mississippi Highway 27 and U.S. 51 in Crystal Springs. The Legislature designated the segment of U.S. 51 beginning from its intersection with Highway 27 and […] [...]

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