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Archive for February, 2010

Follow us on Twitter

February 26th, 2010 Comments off

The addition of Twitter to our collection of ways to reach readers has been a great success. Despite only having an account for just a few months, we have garnered more than 1,160 followers.

It has allowed us to branch out in ways that we might not have been able to do. Twitter, combined with our Facebook fan page is the basis for our social media strategy, which has worked well for us.

From a reader perspective, following us on Twitter and Facebook is a great way to keep up with the latest statewide and national business news throughout the day.

Please follow us on Twitter at www.twitter/mbjournal.

Sen. Flowers always thinking about recruiting industry to Mississippi

February 24th, 2010 Comments off

Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was vilified nationwide after he suffered an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound to the right thigh in a New York City nightclub from a pistol he was carrying in the waistband of his jeans.

Now Burress is serving time in prison for criminal possession of a handgun.

Maybe Burress should have waited a while and come to Mississippi, where he might could have carried his Glock where ever he wanted.

Mississippi senators recently voted to join Tennessee in allowing handgun-permit holders to carry their guns in most Mississippi parks, as well as restaurants and other locations, like bars and saloons.

The National Rifle Association-backed legislation, sponsored by state Sen. Merle Flowers, R-Southaven, originally covered only parks but was amended to let permit holders carry their guns in restaurants, bars and unsecured government buildings unless the owners of those facilities post notices barring guns.

What a great idea.

Maybe Mississippi could use this law a recruiting tool.

Under this law, Gilbert Arenas and Washington Wizards teammate Javaris Crittenton could have legally carried their guns into the lockerroom. Instead, both face years of legal wrangling.

So, think about it. Mississippi could lure the Wizards to move its franchise to Jackson. The team could play its games in the Mississippi Coliseum.

And best of all, the team could go back to its original name, The Bullets.

Great forward thinking Sen. Flowers. You are an intellectual giant.

Miracle Margaret

February 8th, 2010 Comments off

Everyone believes their children are the most wonderful kids on the planet.

This proud papa is no different. So, I have to tell you a story.

I grew up in a sports family. If there was a game played, we were either playing in it or we really cared about who was playing in it.

That said, I settled into rooting for three teams as I grew up — The Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and New Orleans Saints.

Other than a brief period in the early 80s with the Celtics, life as a sports fan has been tough.

In 2003, I got married.

Thirteen months later, my first child was born, Sarah Parker. Four months after that, the unthinkable happened — the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. We took pictures of my child with Red Sox garb on as we were sure she had been the lucky charm to put the forlorned franchise over the top.

Then Sam was born. The next basketball season, the Celtics won their first NBA title since 1986.

Wow, we were pretty good at this baby thing. I wasn’t sure if they would grow up to be good citizens, but we could sure spur pro sports franchises to good times.

Finally, Margaret Louise was born this past June. I joked soon after that this had to be the year of the Saints.

Who knew?

Who dat?

Until the final play from victory formation by Drew Brees was completed Sunday night, my almost 8-month-old watched with the rest of the family the Miracle in Miami as the Saints won the first Super Bowl in the team’s history.

And while Brees credited his newborn son as the lucky charm for New Orleans, I know the real story.

Three favorite teams, three kids, three titles.

Seems my work is done.

I know my wife believes that.

Saving money versus educating children

February 4th, 2010 Comments off

In a poll on the MBJ Web site last week about 80 percent of the respondents said Mississippi should shorten the school year to save money for the schools and make money for transportation.

This came after we reported on a story that stated if school began at the end of August, a study by Gulf Coast Business Council Research Foundation finds the state could generate millions in tourism dollars and school districts could save money on utilities.

Currently, most districts begin holding class the first or second week in August. The study looked at starting at the end of August or the first week of September.

While the study does not advocate a position, the study does point out that if school started later and summer was extended, the state could make more than $150 million from in-state and out-of-state tourists. The study also says school districts could save between $1 million and $3 million a year on utilities.

Most other studies believe that children should be goig to school on into the summer, not shortening the school year. Many of those studies believe the only way to improve the American business model is for our children to be more immersed in studies.

So, I guess the question comes down to whether we want to save dollars today or make money in the future.

I’m not sure the study takes that into account.

Does Toyota spokesperson believe what she is putting out to the media?

February 2nd, 2010 Comments off

UPDATE — Then the news comes out last night that Toyota has been hit by more than 100 complaints in the U.S. and Japan about brake problems with the Prius. … Maybe the Toyota spokesperson has something else to say today.

FROM FEB. 2 …

I was reading our intrepid reporter Clay Chandler’s blog about Toyota’s recent troubles, which has focused on how the company will rebound from having to suspend sales of eight of its models, including the Camry, traditionally one of its best sellers.

Clay talked with spokesperson Barbara McDaniel about Toyota’s plans for Blue Springs.

“Totally unrelated” is how McDaniel characterized to Magnolia Marketplace the recall and the question of when the facility in North Mississippi will start production.

Is she serious?

Toyota has already put on hold the opening of the Blue Springs plant near Tupelo because of poor world-wide sales. If this latest snafu causes more folks to steer away from the company, the date of the Blue Springs opening could get pushed further and further away.

Consumer confidence in Toyota is totally related to how quickly the plant in Blue Springs opens.

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MUW name needs to be changed; Legislature full of knotheads

February 2nd, 2010 Comments off

When I read this week that the Senate Universities and Colleges Committee took no vote on the bill that would have given the state College Board the authority to rename Mississippi University for Women, it made me wonder why the committee exists.

If this committee can’t take some type of action regarding an issue of changing the name of one of our universities, they should all resign their post.

Just make a decision, and don’t use a bunch of political dance steps to get around making a decision.

What a bunch of knotheads.

Outgoing MUW President Claudia Limbert announced in August that a new name — Reneau University — had been chosen for the Columbus campus.

Supporters of the change have said it’s needed to keep MUW viable.

Opponents of the bill have said marketing techniques — not the name — need to be changed.

Those opinions are both worthwhile.

Mine is that it is time for MUW’s name to change.

Mine is also that the Senate Universities and Colleges Committee should be emptied of personnel and restocked with people who can take up the business of the state’s universities and committees.

If a new group decides that MUW should keep its name, then fine.

But at least the body would have been doing its job.