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MBJ FEATURE

Without tax credit, there’s fear in housing market

The bell tolled on the first-time homebuyers federal tax credit program April 30. At 11:59 p.m. CDT, to be exact. To spur the nation’s moribund housing market, the federal government dangled a tax credit worth up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and up to $6,500 for those who already owned homes.  To collect the credit, the buyer must have signed ...

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Fresh food

Mississippi’s farmers markets play role in community development   In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Dita McCarthy, a veteran vegetable-grower, was urged by friends to carry her produce to a farmers market on the Coast. She was hoping to just make a little extra money. Instead, it turned into a career-changer. “I was overwhelmed by the response,” McCarthy said. The ...

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Columbus’ star shines bright after national award

Tennessee Williams’ hometown one of just five in country to receive Great American Main Street Award Jan Miller was speechless. For those who know the personable and sometimes chatty director of program services for the Mississippi Main Street Association, that might be hard to believe. But after being privately notified two months ago that Columbus had been named one of ...

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‘The event’ still pulls them in

Canton Flea Market draws tens of thousands Officially, it’s known as The Canton Flea Market Arts and Crafts Show. But to thousands of loyal patrons, the event is simply The Flea Market. Held on the grounds of the city’s historic Courthouse Square and beyond, the bi-annual event attracts over 1,000 vendors from 35 states and thousands of visitors from across ...

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When the cows come home

Central Mississippi cattlemen slammed by April 24 tornado Since the deadly April 24 tornado ripped through Central Mississippi, Tammy Swarek has been on the back roads of Holmes County, offering assistance and comfort to cattlemen who were victims of the storm. Considering her personal losses, Swarek’s efforts are a sublime act of kindness and selflessness. “We got slammed,” Swarek said. ...

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Levee Board plans to file records publicly

Board attorney Allen says MDAH still must be contacted about specifics regarding the records The Rankin-Hinds Levee Board will begin complying with rules requiring state agencies to file records with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH), according to the board’s attorney and the Department. Board attorney Trudy Allen told the Levee Board at a public meeting April 12 ...

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Mayor hopes for 4-year Tulane in Madison

Hawkins’ vision includes dorms, complete campus Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler hopes to see the new Tulane University satellite campus blossom into a full-fledged, four-year university in Madison. “The hope and the vision for the future is to have a four-year university of Tulane campus. That is our goal — to see the expansion of Tulane and for Tulane to be ...

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Coast officials: We’re open for business

Seafood industry’s plight remains big concern For Laura Allen, the waiting is the hardest part. An employee at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield, Allen booked a condo on the Alabama Gulf Coast months ago, well before the Deepwater Horizon explosion that is still spewing oil into the Gulf of Mexico. As her refund deadline approached, she agonized over whether or not ...

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Bentz: The whole Kemper story is not getting told

For better or worse, the economic future for the next 40 years in southeastern Mississippi will be greatly impacted by the decision of Public Service Commissioner Leonard Bentz. Bentz is one of three members of the state Public Service Commission, which voted April 29 to conditionally approve Mississippi Power Company’s (MPC’s) $2.4-billion Kemper County clean coal plant. The company (then) ...

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Scientists on the front line

  Tireless efforts could ease the impacts on environment and the area’s economy — ON THE GULF OF MEXICO The fight to stave off the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and protect the Gulf Coast’s delicate ecosystem was more than evident last week off the coast of Mississippi. Coast Guard aircraft crisscrossed the sky as a small ...

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