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Economic Development

Stion: Bankruptcy not in the plans

Company: Thin-film technology will create solar success; plant ribbon cutting set for Sept. 16 As the photovoltaics industry took a hit with the bankruptcy of Evergreen Solar, Stion announced a Sept. 16 ribbon cutting for its Hattiesburg plant. While some industry experts speculate more solar companies may also fail or move production to China, Stion and other manufacturers feel secure ...

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Home2 Suites extended stay breaks ground in Ridgeland

Home2 Suites by Hilton broke ground Thursday near the Renaissance at Colony Park shopping area in Ridgeland for the brand’s 13th extended-stay hotel. The property will be the second Home2 Suites in the Mississippi market, following the D’Iberville hotel that is currently under construction and slated to open in June 2012. The 4-story, 92-suite hotel to go up at 526 ...

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Day of reckoning ahead for Mississippi's Public Employment Retirement System

Panel studying possible changes to state retirement system benefits Upgrades in retirement benefits granted to Mississippi’s public sector workers a decade ago could get rolled back as the state, its cities, counties and school districts struggle to stay financially afloat. Citing an “unsustainable” burden on Mississippi taxpayers inching toward $1 billion annually, Gov. Haley Barbour wants a close look taken ...

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According to union lawyer, Public Employment Retirement System chief, options are limited

The head of the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi says the $20.7-billion retirement trust fund is constitutionally protected but she doubts the benefits of retirees and public sector workers enrolled in the plan have the same protections. “However, this could be debated,” said Pat Robertson, PERS executive director. She cited a 1986 amendment to the Mississippi Constitution in noting ...

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Film industry workforce training starting

Film industry workforce training classes on a variety of topics begin this month at Hinds Community College’s Rankin Campus. Classes range from five weeks to two-day seminars and cover everything from technical skills to location scouting. Electric(ian) for the Film Industry August 23 – September 15, 2011; Tues. & Thurs., 6-9pm $200 Grip for the Film Industry September 27 – ...

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Companies exploring for oil in Southwest Mississippi

Companies are now drilling in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play, an “unproven unconventional 7 billion barrel oil resource” spanning central Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi. The total potential of the play — as estimated by the Basin Research Institute at Louisiana State University — would equal the United States’ oil consumption for a year, which was about 6.9 billion barrels in ...

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Creating a new economy

Empty seats were at a premium Aug. 10 at the Jackson Convention Complex as hundreds gathered for the state’s first-ever Creative Economy Summit. Attendees came to learn more about the creative economy, what it is, where it is and how communities can grow it, adding jobs and enhancing their quality of life. The event, the brainchild of Mississippi Arts Commission ...

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Stop-and-go funding makes planning tough for Mississippi airport chiefs

The refusal of Congress to go beyond short-hop funding for the Federal Aviation Administration has made uncertainty just another work challenge that the heads of Mississippi’s two major commercial airports must overcome. As one funding lapse ends another one appears on the horizon for Dirk Vanderleest at Jackson-Evers International Airport and Bruce Frallic at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport. The Aug. 8 ...

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Alabama hardball: Birmingham mayor wants private land for ballpark

Baseball in the backyard is an American mainstay. But giving up your backyard for baseball? Birmingham Mayor William Bell is asking his City Council to endorse a plan to seize private property for building a new home for the Birmingham Barons, the city’s AA minor league baseball team that now plays at suburban Hoover’s Regions Park. The project also calls ...

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Creating money

The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) and Mississippi Arts Commission are offering the state’s first Creative Economy Summit this week that will include the unveiling of a first-of-its-kind comprehensive study of Mississippi’s creative industries. Communities such as Oxford, Meridian and the Mississippi Gulf Coast have found success in growing their “creative economy” — adding jobs and enhancing communities’ quality of life ...

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