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MBJ FEATURE

Labeling chicken

A new regulation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture requiring nutrition labels on raw, single-ingredient poultry products has the poultry industry in Mississippi somewhat mystified — and very concerned. Effective Jan. 1, 2012, the USDA will require certain poultry products to provide nutrition information on the package or available at the point-of-purchase. The rule is targeting non-consumer-ready poultry cuts, which ...

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Chamber’s new leader wants more proof on arena’s viability

Former chair Jonathan Lee had urged supporters to ignore the nay-sayers As Jackson Chamber of Commerce chair, Jonathan Lee urged supporters of an $80-million-plus downtown arena to “ignore those who say it can’t be done.” Lee called a Jackson arena an exercise in “expanding our realm of possibilities” and said no better bet could be made than one that Jackson ...

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Mississippi School for Math and Science

On the Mississippi University for Women campus in Columbus quietly sits a brick building displaying the name Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science. It’s not your typical public high school. MSMS only admits juniors and seniors who have passed a rigorous application and interview process. The average ACT score is 28. Students live on campus, participate in mandatory janitorial chores ...

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Payday lending bill could jeopardize smaller lenders

The 28 days the legislation gives borrowers to repay the loan would severely hurt cash flow of small, rural lenders, the payday-loan industry says If Mississippians want payday lenders to go away, state Rep. George Flaggs is giving them a lot of what they want, the lenders say. The Vicksburg Democrat and chair of the House Banking & Finance Committee ...

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Funding university research

Going back two decades, Mississippi’s current and former senators have distinguished themselves as masters of the earmark system. One of the primary beneficiaries of that targeted federal money has been the various research departments of the state’s colleges, universities and community colleges. That spigot most likely won’t flow like it once did, now that the Republican congressional leadership has enacted ...

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In high corn

Monsanto Company has an expressed goal of doubling agriculture yields over the next 20 years, and officials say the company’s new corn-breeding facility in Central Mississippi will play an important role in meeting that objective. More than 100 people gathered at the new Monsanto facility in the Flora Industrial Park last week for the official grand opening of the $2.4-million, ...

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Bizz killer

Dean Kirby’s fear of voters leaves millions of tax dollars on table Since 2003, Lazy Magnolia Brewing Co. in Kiln has operated as Mississippi’s only brewer, churning out locally flavored beer and becoming a small business success story. But it isn’t what it could be financially because of Mississippi’s laws that restrict the alcohol content in beers to 5 percent ...

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Mayor takes over steering effort for downtown arena

A steering committee created to plan and promote an arena for downtown Jackson has disbanded to make way for Mayor Harvey Johnson to lead the charge. Where the effort goes from here is now up to the mayor and City Hall, said Ben Allen, director of Downtown Jackson Partners, a public-private entity that works to promote downtown and its redevelopment. ...

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Greenwood putting GPS in police cars

The City of Greenwood is deploying a new GPS tracking system on more than 100 police cars and other city vehicles in a bid to save money and increase efficiency. Greenwood is believed to be the first city in Mississippi to use GPS in city vehicles. There are no state agencies that keep statistics on police departments of municipalities. The ...

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Report notes worry over state debt backed by taxpayers

Mississippi goes into 2011 among the states with the highest tax-supported debt system, a circumstance that leaves taxpayers on the hook for future shortfalls in revenue earmarked for debt repayment. The debt-as-a-percentage of Mississippi’s gross domestic product puts it in the company of fiscally troubled states such as California and New Jersey, according to “Mississippi Outlook 2011,” a state-prepared assessment ...

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