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JACK WEATHERLY: Key’s Mississippi memoir is a comic triumph

We gathered atop Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas four summers ago looking for something very important, something vital to each of us. Our voices. We were not in a yodeling contest. This was about writing. We had been chosen for the Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers. That “ambitious” part struck me as pretentious. But, well, that’s what we said ...

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DAVID DALLAS: District One congressional race not attracting voters or much interest

With the special election for District One now over, a critical analysis of the very poor showing of GOP establishment candidates, backed by the likes of Haley Barbour and Phil Bryant, would be awfully tempting. But the low voter turnout for such a crazy, free-for-all special election deserves some commentary. In spite of a plea from Secretary of State Delbert ...

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Analysis: Legislative candidates prep for August primaries

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JACKSON — Mississippi politicians are gearing up for a busy summer campaign season. One legislative race worth watching is a Democratic primary that pits two incumbent state senators against each other up north. Another is a Gulf Coast Republican primary in which a senator with statewide ambitions is challenged by a former emergency director who handled local operations during Hurricane ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Legislature not at fault for bad reading scores

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In schools districts that fared poorly on the 3rd grade reading tests, many school officials and parents blame lack of funding by the legislature.   For example, Superintendent Powell Rucker attributed Holmes County’s 59 percent passing rate to student poverty, lack of funding, and rapid teacher turnover. “It is not a test that even needed to be administered, because the state ...

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BOOK BIZ — This story of orchids and Florida captivates

» The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Passion and Obsession    
By Susan Orlean 
Published by Ballantine Books    
$14.95 softback

Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief is, quite simply, a wonder. You’ll find yourself fascinated (perhaps unexpectedly) by all the twists and turns and divergent paths Orlean takes you on. Inspired by a small newspaper article she read about the arrest of four men (three Seminoles, one white) for the theft of rare orchids from a protected Florida swamp, in Orlean’s ...

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ALAN TURNER: Taylor Sledge a rising entrepreneur

Taylor Sledge

Taylor Sledge is one of the group of young, aggressive entrepreneurs who are passionately working to build businesses and create jobs in Mississippi. As Chairman and owner of Sledge & Company, Taylor has built a successful business in the financial services sector.  He started the business eight years ago, when he was just 22, and today, the business has clients ...

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WILSON CROCKETT: Making the most of your summer internship

As you progress through your college career, the thought of finding a full-time job becomes more and more daunting. In the engineering field, more specifically the civil engineering field, there are many routes one can take upon graduation. For me, this provided quite a bit of uncertainty with regard to how I wanted to spend my career. I found that ...

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JEFFREY GITOMER: The BIG secrets of enthusiastic emotional engagement

What is engagement? Better stated, how can you engage other people to become interested in you and your product or service? Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) says by becoming interested in them. And he’s partially right. The reality, and the secret of engagement is that BOTH people must be mutually engaged and mutually interested, and BOTH ...

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TODD SMITH’S SPIN CYCLE: 5 ways to win with data-driven marketing

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Data-driven marketing has come to the forefront for companies that want to better engage their customers and prospects. With data-driven marketing, firms are able to gather, integrate, and assess data from a variety of internal and external sources to help enhance value. In “The Value of Data: Consequences for Insight, Innovation, and Efficiency in the U.S. Economy,” the Direct Marketing ...

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