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Health care mergers alter market


By LISA MONTI  It has been a summer of mergers. Kicking off the July announcements, insurer Centene Corp. agreed to buy Health Net Inc. for $6 billion in cash and stock. Then Aetna announced its intention to merge with rival Humana in a $37 billion deal. The resulting new company would have more than 33 million members. Also in July, ...

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FOCUS ON INSURANCE — Fear the deer this time of year


By BECKY GILLETTE Deer hunting season is approaching, and with it brings the most dangerous time of the year in Mississippi for deer collisions with vehicles. Probably one of the main hobbies for men in Mississippi is deer hunting, but anyone who has had his or her vehicles smashed by a collision with a deer might wish for fewer deer in ...

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TODD SMITH — 7 ways social media can improve customer satisfaction


As many organizations already know, social media can be a powerful customer relationship tool, driving traffic to your brand. It can also damage your brand when not used properly. “Many brands have been severely damaged by not respecting social media, either by engaging on an ad hoc basis or simply having the wrong team or individual (or strategy) to manage ...

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JOSH MABUS — Struggling for content? Don’t create, try to curate


You haven’t posted a Facebook message in days. You haven’t tweeted in weeks. Your blog? Well, it’s got more dust on it than a phone book. Now you’re covered in cold sweat, staring at your computer monitor. You’ve been told engaging your audience through social media is important, but you have immense trouble creating content regularly. You want to bang ...

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BOOK BIZ — Narcissistic fashion world background for tale of friendship


This award-winning book is an odd story — sometimes twisted — that compels the reader to continue to the end. First published in 2005 and again in 2006, it’s the story of a 20-year friendship between two women as told through the thoughts of a stumbling, wreck-of-a-life former model, Alison. Veronica is the eccentric middle-aged office temp who somehow strikes ...

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Grammy Museum to open in March

MBJ staff The opening of the Grammy Museum Mississippi in Cleveland will be held on March 5-6, nearly four months later than had been planned, according to a news release issued by the museum on Wednesday. The museum announced earlier this month that the scheduled opening on Nov. 14-15 would not happen because of the complexity of the highly sophisticated ...

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Analysis: School funding initiative faces tough road in Nov.


By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS Mississippi’s initiative process was created to be complicated. This year, that’s clearer than ever. The Nov. 3 general election ballot includes two proposed constitutional amendments that deal with school funding. It’s a long section of the ballot, and one that is rife with the potential for voter confusion. Initiative 42 got on the ballot because more than ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — GOP debate fails voters

Republican presidential candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, right, and Donald Trump joke during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

“We need the strongest military on the face of the planet,” said Carly Fiorina, one of the “winners” of last week’s Republican presidential debate. “And, specifically, what that means is we need about 50 Army brigades, we need about 36 Marine battalions, we need somewhere between 300 and 350 naval ships, we need to upgrade every leg of the nuclear ...

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Mississippi Community College Board hires new leader


JACKSON — Andrea Mayfield is the new executive director of Mississippi’s Community College Board. The board voted unanimously Friday to hire Mayfield, who had been president of Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, since July 2014. The Alabama Community College System accepted Mayfield’s resignation Thursday. Mayfield worked at East Mississippi Community College from 1996 to 2012, rising to vice ...

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