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MBJ FEATURE

BIG CAT IS ON THE PROWL — Caterpillar rental expansion into Columbus follows up an opening in Tupelo

By NASH NUNNERY Levi Johnson has found nirvana. A small-scale general contractor in rural Lowndes County, Johnson used to turn down more jobs than he could count simply because he lacked the right equipment in his tiny workshop. No more. Last month’s grand opening of The Cat Rental Store at Thompson Machinery in Columbus has instantly transformed the 47-year old ...

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Technology changing Mississippi construction industry at a dizzying pace

By BECKY GILLETTE Technology innovations such as drones, driverless vehicles and 3D printers are radically changing how buildings are constructed these days, and will do so even more in the future. That is both good and bad, depending on your perspective. While technology is making construction safer and, in some cases, better, it is also eliminating jobs. Associated General Contractors ...

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Sanderson Farms sued over ads that allegedly mislead

By JACK WEATHERLY Several consumer advocacy groups have sued Laurel-based Sanderson Farms Inc. for allegedly using antibiotics and other chemicals in its chicken that the producer advertises as “100% natural.” The Organic Consumers Association, Friends of the Earth and the Center for Food Safety filed the complaint June 22 in the U.S. District Court for Northern California against Sanderson, the ...

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TODD SMITH — White House communications team affects PR profession perception

Members of the White House communications team are traditionally the most prominent public relations professionals in the world. As the most visible figures in American and global media, they are a key voice for advancing presidential policies and priorities that affect not only Americans, but also citizens around the world. Under the current administration, they are also affecting something else ...

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Mississippi Power suspending Kemper coal operation pending PSC showdown

  By JACK WEATHERLY Mississippi Power Co. and its parent, the Southern Co., issued a statement Wednesday saying that the coal-gasification operations at the Kemper County power plant will be suspended and natural-gas operations would continue. The statement came as a Mississippi Public Service Commission hearing approaches on Thursday, July 6, to determine the future of the project that is years behind ...

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(CARTOON) #justsayin takes a look at Gov. Bryant and HB 1523

This week, Ford Williams takes a look at Gov. Phil Bryant and HB 1523, in which a federal appeals court said Thursday that Mississippi can enforce a law that allows merchants and government employees cite religious beliefs to deny services to same-sex couples, but opponents of the law immediately pledged to appeal. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Consensus perspective needed on Medicaid

Perspectives, hmmm.    “It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time,” wrote Isaac Asimov. “People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?”    A conservative Republican legislator, speaking about Medicaid cuts, ...

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THE DAWNING SPACE ECONOMY — Governments and private companies are going all-out in what amounts to a new space race, and this region has a foot in both worlds

By DAVID TORTORANO Sometime next year at a site in south Mississippi, four RS-25 engines and the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System will roar to life in a teeth-rattling spectacle during a static test at the historic B-2 test stand. With a combined 2 million pounds of thrust, the engine core test at Stennis Space Center (SSC) will ...

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PROFILE: John C. Stennis Space Center

John C. Stennis Space Center, north of Interstate 10 in South Mississippi, is a 14,000-acre secure complex surrounded by a unique 125,000-acre heavily wooded buffer zone. It’s where some of the most powerful rocket engines in the world have been tested, including 27 first- and second-stage boosters for the Saturn V. In 2008 the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics ...

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Slowboat Brewing Co. owner says the future is ‘bubbly’

By BECKY GILLETTE Kenny and Carrie Mann are making things happen in downtown Laurel. The young couple left their 9-5 jobs to follow their dreams of owning a brewery. “And they are doing an incredible job,” said Jim Rasberry, chairman of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) of Jones County. Slowboat Brewing Company distributed its first batches of beer on Dec. ...

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