Cochran runs ads against ‘powerful interests’

Thad Cochran

Thad Cochran

WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran is running ads against “powerful interests” that are funneling millions of dollars to his challenger in the Republican primary. Two of those outside groups, meanwhile, are airing their own ads criticizing the six-term Mississippian.

Cochran’s television ad released Monday says his GOP rival, Chris McDaniel, wouldn’t do anything to help Mississippi voters. The ad says McDaniel is backed by out-of-state interest groups.

The anti-tax Club for Growth is running ads linking Cochran with former presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, who broke his no-new-taxes pledge. The ad says “five decades in Washington is enough” for Cochran.

And a Senate Conservatives Action ad features video of McDaniel pledging “we will not compromise.”

The flurry of ads suggests Cochran could face trouble ahead of his June 3 primary.


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Sneak peek at the Nissan Murano to be built in Canton

nissan-logoNissan recently revealed an early peek at the 2015 Murano, which makes its world debut on April 16 at the New York International Auto Show. Employees at Nissan’s Canton plant named one of the eight paint colors available on the new Murano. That color will be revealed and adorn the vehicle unveiled during the April 16th announcement.

The all-new 2015 Nissan Murano will become the first Murano and the ninth vehicle assembled in Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi plant. The 11-year old Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant becomes the global source for Murano production, creating export opportunities to more than 100 markets and nearly doubling the number of U.S. export markets.

As the halo vehicle for Nissan’s expanding range of bold crossovers and SUVs, the Murano previews a new Nissan design language for future Nissan production vehicles. Along with its innovative styling, the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano features a spacious, premium interior and advanced, purposeful safety and connective technology.

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Fulbright promoted to executive chef at Ameristar

Ameristar's new executive chef William Fulbright

Ameristar’s new executive chef William Fulbright

VICKSBURG, Mississippi – Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg announced Monday the promotion of Chef William Fulbright to Executive Chef.

Chef Fulbright takes more than 24 years of culinary experience to his new role. He formerly worked at Ameristar Casino Kansas City, Mo., where he was chef at Horizon Buffet, Bugatti’s Italian Cafe and Roadhouse Restaurant. He also trained under celebrity chef, Paul Prudhomme, at New Orleans Seafood Co. and Oyster Bar at Station Casino in Kansas City.

Fulbright is active in the community, cooking and serving food at numerous shelters in Kansas City, and he won the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce ACE Award for cultural diversity.

“Chef Fulbright has extensive knowledge of the food and beverage industry and will be a great asset to the leadership team in Vicksburg. The guests are going to love what he creates for them,” said George Stadler, Vice President and General Manager.

Chef Fulbright replaces Chef Jerrold Brooks who was recently promoted to Executive Chef at Ameristar Casino Kansas City, Mo. Both properties are owned by Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc.


Pass the mashed potatoes — Mississippi the fattest state again

fat man holding a measurement tapeDid you think healthy eating habits had changed in the Jackson Metro area or in Mississippi, in general?

Fat chance.

A Gallop Well Being survey listed Mississippi as the fattest state in the nation with 35.4 percent of it’s population listed as obese.

Not to be outdone, Jackson was the ninth-ranked city in America for obesity at 33.9 percent.

Memphis, with an assist from the North Mississippi metro area, was listed as the most obese large city in America with a 31.9 percent rate.

Boulder, Colo., continues to have the lowest obesity rate in the nation, at 12.4 percent. Boulder has had the lowest obesity rate nearly every year since Gallup and Healthways began measuring in 2008, with the exception of 2009. Residents of Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio, were the most likely to be obese in 2012-2013, at 39.5 percent.

These data reflect the state level results for 2013, which found that Mississippi and West Virginia were the most obese states and Montana and Colorado were the least. Three areas in Colorado — Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland, and Denver-Aurora — were among the communities with the 10 lowest obesity rates.

Nationwide, the U.S. obesity rate increased to 27.1 percent in 2013, the highest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since tracking began in 2008. Obesity rates have increased in many communities since 2011, including a 3.5-percentage-point uptick in Huntington-Ashland.

Gallup and Healthways track U.S. obesity levels as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, using Americans’ self-reported height and weight to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI) scores. BMI scores of 30 or higher are considered obese.

Gallup interviewed at least 300 adults aged 18 and older in each of 189 MSAs. Each MSA sample is weighted to match the demographic characteristics of that area. Gallup categorizes U.S. metro areas according to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s definitions for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)

Sal & Mookie’s signs licensing agreement for Biloxi eatery

sal and mookiesThe restaurant Sal & Mookie’s has played a large role in the renaissance of the Fondren area of Jackson. Now, a group of restaurateurs on the Coast are looking to do the same for an area of Biloxi.

Jackson-based restaurateurs Jeff Good and Dan Blumenthal, owners of Sal & Mookie’s New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint, have entered into their first licensing agreement for the Fondren-based eatery that originally opened in April 2007.

The agreement, executed between Sal & Mookie’s, LLC and RKBM Restaurant Group, provides RKBM with all the intellectual property, recipes, branding elements and trade secrets with which to design, build and operate their own location under the Sal & Mookie’s masthead. RKBM is led by the husband and wife team of Bruce & Rebecca Lacey, alongside business partners Matt & Kandi Helms.

Good, Sal & Mookie’s managing partner, said, “What a wonderful way to celebrate our seventh anniversary with the announcement of our agreement to work with Bruce and Rebecca and their team as they bring our ideas to the heart of the Gulf Coast. They are an amazing couple and we have enjoyed our work with them thus far. This is new for both of us, and I cannot say enough about the character and work ethic of these two. They are going to hit a home run — a fitting analogy since they will be opening alongside the new Biloxi baseball park!”

The Biloxi location of Sal & Mookie’s will be located at 110 Lameuse Street and will be all new construction.

“We chose this location because of its excellent visibility from Highway 90 and the fact that it is at the foot to Lameuse Street and adjacent to Biloxi’s Town Green property, the home of so many wonderful community events. We want to be a part of rebuilding Biloxi and we cannot think of a better place to do it,” Rebecca Lacey said.

Bruce Lacey added, “We are taking all of the unique and wonderful elements of the Sal & Mookie’s in Jackson — the painted wooden exterior, the wrap around deck, the big exhibition kitchen, the kid-friendly viewing area of the pizza ovens, the ice cream scoop shop in the dining room, and all the classic New York images and touch points — and are bringing them into a newly constructed building built to post-Katrina code and designed to enhance the business corridor where we will be located.”