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OPINION

BILL CRAWFORD — PERS sees taxpayers as their evergreen money tree

The PERS Board of Trustees seemed happy after hearing from their actuary. The funded ratio for PERS increased and investment returns were up.   So, are things turning up for PERS?   Only if you don’t mind your pocketbook getting raided.   Here’s the story. As the actuary report highlighted, PERS’ funded ratio moved from 61.1% to 61.8% (the minimum ...

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ALAN TURNER — The value of urban forestry

As Executive Director of the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council, Donna Yowell is a true cheerleader for the virtues and benefits of urban forestry. The MUFC is a non-profit organization working closely with communities all over Mississippi, providing assistance in planning and implementation for urban forestry programs, storm water management, park planning, and horticulture therapy. “A well managed program will have ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Unseemly politics belies Christian seeming Mississippi

In 2017 Gallup reported Mississippi had retained its spot as the most religious state in the U.S., with 59% of residents calling themselves “very religious” and another 29% “moderately religious.”   A Pew Research Center report published in 2015 counted 83% of adult Mississippians as Christian. That would approximate 1.9 million adults.   Making up most of the 83% were ...

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MATTHEW McLAUGHLIN — Supporting Startups: Delta I-Fund comes to Jackson

Matthew McLaughlin Contemporaneous with my writing of this article, there are 17 teams of startups congregated on the first floor of my State Street building for the kickoff weekend of the Delta I-Fund summer cohort, an annual program funded by grants from the Winrock Foundation and the Delta Regional Authority. The mission of the Delta I-Fund is to positively impact ...

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Analysis: Campaigning like incumbent risky for Hyde-Smith

EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS Mississippi voters sent Republican Thad Cochran to the U.S. House in 1972 and the U.S. Senate in 1978, and he served on Capitol Hill until frail health prompted him to retire in April of this year. For most of his 40-year political career, Cochran didn’t have to exert himself in campaigns. He faced a tough race in ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: State job recovery more modest than terrific

BILL CRAWFORD Record numbers of jobs and job growth in Mississippi top political speeches by incumbent politicians these days. Yes, more Mississippians have jobs now than before the Great Recession. Yes, more Mississippians have jobs now than ever before. But, there is more to the story. Total residence-based employment (the number that includes part-time and self-employed individuals used to calculate ...

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JACK WEATHERLY: Greenberg’s end

JACK WEATHERLY This is not the way it should end. He should die with his fingers on the keyboard, producing another rhapsody. Paul Greenberg was (a tense I can’t fully believe) a writer, not a pianist, but there is absolutely music in his prose. He couldn’t live without his lifeblood – ink. That was what he dipped his pen in ...

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