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MBJ FEATURE

Bond ratings could take hit

Mississippi often ends up high on the list of states with pension fund obligations out of balance with the money coming in to meet the obligations. Is the state’s latest delay in funding an increased share about to accelerate an imbalance that hovers in the $10-billion range? Not according to Pat Robertson, director of the Public Retirement System. Double-digit investment ...

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Farmers storm the Capitol

Hundreds of farmers from across the state were recently in Jackson to remind any and all lawmakers that agriculture remains Mississippi’s top industry. On March 3, the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation hosted the 2nd Annual Ag Day at the State Capitol. The event featured exhibits and food as well as a chance for the agriculture community to get up close ...

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Putting food on the table

An organization in Mississippi has launched an advertising campaign that touts product quality and safe food while promoting Mississippi’s agriculture community and its impact on the state. This marks the second year that Farm Families of Mississippi has rolled out a grassroots promotional campaign, and the organization has its eyes set on even bigger horizons in the future. On Feb. ...

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Plenty of timber, but no deal yet for KiOR

When Houston, Texas-based KiOR announced late last summer that it planned to build at least biomass-to-crude oil facilities in Mississippi, CEO Fred Cannon said the company was “in final negotiations” with a refinery to purchase and refine the product produced here. A KiOR spokesman said in an email to the Mississippi Business Journal last week that the company hopes to ...

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Mallory exit to carry out earlier agreement on Cadence retirement

The early March closing of an acquisition by Houston banking investment company Community Bancorp, LLC, will mark the end of Cadence Financial Corp. chairman and CEO Lewis Mallory Jr.’s 47 years with the Starkville-based regional bank. Mark Abernathy, Cadence’s president, is expected to be elected CEO and Paul B. Murphy Jr., Community Bancorp president, chairman, Cadence said in a filing ...

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Burden of proof bill’s odds of advancing slim

A bill that would require insurance companies bear the burden of proof relating to policy exclusions has passed the House and has been referred to the Senate Insurance Committee. There are varying degrees of optimism about whether the bill will make it out of the Insurance Committee, or will die there. House Bill 203 would codify what has recently become ...

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Get on the social media train … or get left behind

Following a meeting at the Facebook headquarters in California, Joe Stradinger sat down at his computer and implemented a new feature called Facebook Stories to the Viking Range fan page. Following a meeting at the Facebook headquarters in California, Joe Stradinger sat down at his computer and made a small change to Viking’s use of feature called Facebook Stories. Four ...

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Port Gibson biomass facility in early planning stages

Officials with National Clean Fuels (NACF), a Houston,Texas-based company that hopes to build a biomass facility in Claiborne County, traveled to Mississippi the second week of February hoping to finalize a land lease for the site. While no lease agreement has been reached yet, the president of the company that’s handling the planning for National Clean Fuels says one is ...

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Increased office vacancies fail to dim outlook for rebound

Metro Jackson’s office market enters 2011 with more empty space than filled, though the regional director of a firm that surveys the local market quarterly says tenant expansions are now more likely than contractions. “We think the contractions have stopped,” said John Barton, senior vice president and senior asset manager for Parkway Properties, a national property management firm that represents ...

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Heading out of Hinds: Census confirms Rankin, Madison prime destination

The 2010 Census shows Jackson and Hinds County had a net loss of about 5,500 people over the decade. Rankin and Madison counties are generally of thought to be the destination for many of the former residents. This shift is borne out by income tax filings tracked by Southern Rural Development Center demographic researcher Dr. Roberto Gallardo. The filings he ...

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