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SouthGroup builds on legacy as state's largest private insurance agency

The folks at SouthGroup Insurance Services are fond of a saying that sums up the company’s complex beginnings. “We like to say we’re an 11-year-old company with a 115-year history,” said Ronnie Tubertini, president and CEO. Tubertini was one of the founders of SouthGroup, which was formed Jan. 1, 2002, when 12 “successful, old and respected agencies” from across Mississippi ...

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Insurance costs contribute to slow residential growth on Gulf Coast

A drive along coastal U.S. 90 reveals many vacant lots where homes and businesses sat before Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Eight years after the devastating storm, rebuilding is scarce along the beach and on nearby streets. While reasons vary, the high cost of insurance is heard more than any other reason. For full coverage, property owners near the water need ...

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Lawyers have guided state's casino industry since the beginning

Gutsy casino entrepreneurs helped launch Mississippi into the gaming business more than 20 years, and today a new breed of entrepreneurs are buying up properties for their portfolios. One constant in the casino market’s maturation process: lawyers. At the beginning, there were regulations to learn and transactions to clear for brand new clients. Now firms have teams of lawyers dedicated ...

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State bar foundation says legal help for the poor is one of its major accomplishments

The Mississippi Bar Foundation, a non-profit organization founded 50 years ago to improve the administration of justice in Mississippi, has a bevy of accomplishments to its credit. Significant especially in a state with the lowest per capita income in the country, the Foundation has provided $12.5 million in financial support to provide legal help for the poor. “We exist because ...

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West Point lawyer, wife, mother stays busy and loves it

Law is the right career for Michelle D. Easterling. The West Point partner in the firm of Edwards, Storey, Marshall, Helveston & Easterling chose the legal profession while growing up in Pearlington and can’t imagine doing anything else. “What I’m doing now truly satisfies me,” she said. “I chose a career in law for several reasons.” Easterling elaborates on those ...

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Oklahoma storms have increased interest in home storm shelters

Seeing images of the almost unimaginable destruction from the tornado in Moore, Okla., has prompted a lot of people to make inquiries into building a storm shelter in their home. While there isn’t currently any money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for storm shelters in Mississippi, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Robert Latham advises state residents ...

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Singing River Mall going open air with new multi-million facelift

Change is coming to Singing River Mall in Gautier. Elements are being put in place to turn the aging traditional enclosed mall into an open air lifestyle shopping center in this city of 19,000 which draws shoppers from surrounding Jackson County. No construction start date has been named for the multi-million-dollar project. “There’s no definite date at this time because ...

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Division of Underwood Properties provides third-party real estate services

At age 28, Micah McCullough likes what he’s doing and sees a bright future in it. He’s vice president and broker associate of Jackson-based UCR Properties, a division of the Underwood Companies. He helped start UCR Properties in 2009 to provide third party real estate services. “My day-to-day responsibility is overseeing our third party and company owned commercial real estate ...

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Forward-thinking power companies transform “disruptions” into opportunities

The Edison Electric Institute has warned that “disruptive challenges” caused by recent technological and economic changes could result in considerable impacts to the electric utility industry. But forward-thinking power companies will be able to transform ‘disruptions’ into opportunities that will result in earning a reasonable rate of return, said Steven Scheurich, vice president of service delivery for Entergy. The utility ...

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Internet connectivity is up in rural areas but need is still there

Internet connectivity is spreading through rural Mississippi but there is still work to be done. Internet access needs can vary widely and adoption of this connectivity still remains a hurdle, say groups working on these challenges. The governor’s office and the Mississippi Broadband Connect Coalition could not give a figure for the percentage of the state still without broadband access. ...

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