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Economy

Auctioneer, oil field service firm watch price of crude

By JACK WEATHERLY In the past two years, coinciding with the downturn in oil and natural gas exploration in the country, equipment sales have grown to 15 to 20 percent of Jeff Martin Auctions’ business. Owner Jeff Martin declined to reveal the revenues for his operation in Brooklyn, Miss., near Hattiesburg, but said it has become the largest such auction ...

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Mississippi economic growth continues, but slower

By JACK WEATHERLY Mississippi is on track to have its second consecutive year of growth in its gross domestic product, though the outlook has cooled in the first half of 2016. Two straight years of growth would be the first since 2008, when the national recession started, according to a report from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning’s University Research ...

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TODD SMITH: Newspaper ads triple campaign success

Forget their differing opinions on marriage, home ownership, and politics – the most telling differences between younger and older generations is how they prefer to get their news. A new Pew Research Center’s survey on modern news consumption trends, conducted in partnership with the Knight Foundation, shows that, when it comes to news consumption, the old and young look very ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: 2016 puts Reeves’ fiscal credibility at risk

Lieutenant Gov. Tate Reeves has put his fiscal credibility on the line.    The former investment banker told voters in 2011 he was “a true, proven fiscal conservative with a record of executive leadership who will take the difficult stance necessary to ensure our state makes the right financial decisions.”    Reeves appeared to make the right financial decisions during his ...

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Taking the longer view on Brexit impact on Mississippi

By JACK WEATHERLY The United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union shook up world stock markets and sent the British pound plummeting. But the longer view seems to be the relevant thing to do with regard to Mississippi. The UK is one of Mississippi’s import partners, though not one of the biggest, ranking 17th in 2015 in terms of value ...

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Oxford readies effort to replace departing Caterpillar

By JACK WEATHERLY Oxford already has its net out to snag a tenant when Caterpillar Inc. flies away. “Project Butterfly,” a play on the departing manufacturer’s name, is what the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation, calls its effort. “It’s a mission to (fill) the Caterpillar facility as rapidly as possible,” Jon Maynard, president and chief executive of the foundation, said in ...

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HU MEENA — The Three Rs + C: Teaching computer code and critical thinking skills essential in 21st century

What was the last Wikipedia rabbit trail you traveled down? For me, I found myself reading about Johannes Gutenberg. You know, the 14th century German printing press guy. Gutenberg arguably created the most important invention of the second millennium. With the printing press, Gutenberg played a key role in the dawn of the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, ...

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State’s economic growth to show 1 percent rise for 2015

By TED CARTER Not far removed from negative growth in 2013 and zero growth in 2014, Mississippi’s economy grew by an estimated 1 percent in 2015, economists with the Mississippi Research Center report. Even that slight amount of growth surprised state economists who looked at third quarter growth and projected a rise of only a half percentage point, according to the ...

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Study: State’s film industry incentives are price of admission

By JACK WEATHERLY  A Mississippi tax dollar spent on incentives for filmmaking gets only 49 cents in return, according to a study by the legislative Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review, or PEER. And while that may not seem a good bet, Mississippi is faring better than many of the 38 states chasing the glamor of making movies. ...

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$1.34 million expansion will create 40 jobs

  MBJ staff Foamcraft Inc., manufacturer of polyurethane foam insulation products, announced Wednesday a $1.34 million expansion of it operations in Tupelo that will create 40 jobs. Foamcraft will expand into the 115,000-square-foot facility formerly occupied by Fibre Craft. Foamcraft will also continue to operate from its adjacent 75,000-square-foot plant. Mississippi Development Authority provided a $30,000 grant toward modification of ...

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