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JOHN FLETCHER: Internet sales tax gets its day in court

» Supreme Court hears arguments in major case challenging Quill Like kids queuing for the next iPhone or Star Wars episode, state and local tax experts from across the country last week camped out overnight to witness U.S. Supreme Court arguments in the internet sales tax case, South Dakota v. Wayfair.  The online seller, along with Overstock.com and Newegg, challenged ...

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TODD SMITH — Earned (PR) vs. paid (advertising) media

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of public relations professionals surveyed for this year’s Global Communications Report predict that in five years the average consumer will not be able to distinguish between news stories written by journalists and promotional content purchased by an organization. And almost as many (59 percent) believe the average person will not care if they can tell the ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — All about streets

Depending on the perspective, there are good streets and not-so-good streets.  And then there are great streets.  This writer has a bias toward streets that are canopied. In Mississippi, that means streets that have treetops over them. Some streets in Ocean Springs, Jackson and Laurel come to mind. This column is about great streets as defined by the Project for ...

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Analysis: What’s a test for? Task force may have to answer

If Mississippi’s going to examine how much the state and school districts are testing students, leaders might do well to first question what those tests are supposed to accomplish. Should state tests measure how a school or district is doing corporately, how a student is doing, or both? Because long-simmering efforts to kill the tests that Mississippi gives high school ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Primaries for Harper seat coming June 5

June 5 primaries to begin choosing who will fill the 3rd District congressional seat abandoned by Rep. Gregg Harper are six weeks away. Six candidates are seeking the Republican nomination, two the Democratic nomination.    With no other significant races on the June ballots, turnout will be the key factor. That means get-out-the-vote (GOTV) activities will be critical. While free social media ...

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TODD SMITH — Local TV news fares better than you think

It’s a known fact that TV news audiences are shrinking – and there’s plenty of research to support it. The percentage of Americans that gets news from TV is decreasing, Pew shows, and those who do get news there are the over 40 crowd. The millennials and younger generations find it even less relevant. But don’t underestimate local TV news, ...

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BILL CRAWFORD; A tale of two headlines

The same information released by State Auditor Stacey Pickering resulted in two quite different headlines.    “Study: Economic development incentives paying off for state,” read the headline in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.   “Auditor: Failed economic projects cost Mississippi taxpayers $185M,” read the headline in the Clarion-Ledger.   Both are accurate, both based on the same report by Pickering, ...

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TODD SMITH: Fox News stands behind Ingraham as advertisers flee

Dozens of advertisers may have dropped Fox News’ Laura Ingraham over her mockery of Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg, but the network stood by her side. In a statement, Fox News co-president Jack Abernethy said, “We cannot and will not allow voices to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts. We look forward to having Laura Ingraham back hosting her ...

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SPENCER RITCHIE: Political contributions: Know your limits

In Mississippi, every year is an election year. This election year, however, is shaping up to be one of the most memorable in the state in decades. Many Mississippians will seek to play an active part in these elections by contributing to campaigns and political parties. Such contributions are subject to federal and state campaign finance laws. Below is a ...

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PHIL HARWDICK — Be wary of phony developers who will take advantage of your community

Amazon’s method of inviting cities to bid for its second headquarters is the top story in economic development news these days. It is fascinating to see cities responding with expensive and sometimes wild offers to be the one that is selected. I suppose you can’t blame them. Every public official wants more good job in their communities. So much so ...

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