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PHIL HARDWICK — Smartphone apps for public officials

Nearly two-thirds of Americans now have smartphones. And on those smartphones are so-called apps of every description. How extensive are smartphone apps? From July 2008 to June 2016 there has been a cumulative total of 130 billion apps downloaded from Apples app store. What does it all mean? And what are the must-have apps for a smartphone? So what is ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: As K-12 performance improves, what about colleges and universities?

Education is the pathway to success. It starts early. More children succeeding in kindergarten means more have a chance to succeed in school.       Children in every school district are doing better in kindergarten, reports the Mississippi Department of Education. “Our schools’ and teachers’ focus on literacy is making significant impact on student learning,” said Kim Benton, chief academic officer.  ...

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JACK WEATHERLY — It’s high time for a good watermelon

I know a fella who as a youngster had an unusual — no, unique – closer for selling watermelons. It wasn’t where they were grown – whether Smith County, Mississippi; Hope, Arkansas or his grandpappy’s patch. My friend is now in his 80s but he was about the age of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain’s tricksters. Back in the ...

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TODD SMITH — 10 steps to better writing from David Ogilvy, father of advertising

Perhaps Earnest Hemingway said it best: “Writing’s easy, just sit at a typewriter and open a vein!” Great wisdom from one of the greatest writers of all time. It’s been said that the ability to write well helps a person achieve focus, which leads to better, clearer thinking. Great writers are gifts, but good writing can be achieved through constant ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Without a Creator can men be created equal?

Next week we celebrate our founding fathers’ 1776 decision to declare independence from England. In so doing they laid down the principles that would guide the new nation. Their Declaration of Independence began: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these ...

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TODD SMITH — State of the news media from Pew Research Center

Following a recession that sent the U.S. newspaper industry into a tailspin, the pressures facing America’s newsrooms have transformed the entire industry, and impacts the experiences of even those news consumers unaware of the mammoth shifts taking place, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. In 2015, the newspaper sector had perhaps the worst year since the ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Anatomy of a failed economic development project

This is the story of a failed economic development project. The names and locations have been changed to protect the guilty. It is a lesson for economic developers and community leaders seeking to recruit large projects to their areas. A large retailer operating in a dozen states in the southeastern part of the United States was seeking to expand. Headquartered ...

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