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West Memphis 3 plead guilty in murders to win freedom

August 19th, 2011 Comments off

From The Associated Press

JONESBORO, Ark.  — Three men convicted of killing three 8-year-old Cub Scouts and dumping their bodies in an Arkansas ditch were freed from nearly two decades in prison Friday, after they agreed to plead guilty to secure the release of one of them from death row.

Pamela Echols, mother of Damien Echols, arrives at the Craighead County Court House in Jonesboro, Ark., for a hearing Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. A judge has rejected a plea deal of three men convicted in the killing of three 8-year-old Cub Scouts that would have released them after nearly two decades in prison. Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley had been offered a chance to change their pleas in the 1993 killings at West Memphis. The defendants were convicted in 1994 of killing Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore and leaving their naked bodies in a West Memphis ditch. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

HERE’S WHAT OTHERS HAVE WRITTEN …

••• The New York Times

••• The Los Angeles Times

Under the plea bargain, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley were being freed immediately. The boys’ families were notified about the pact ahead of time but were not asked to approve it.

The defendants, known by their supporters as the West Memphis 3, agreed to a legal maneuver that lets them maintain their innocence while acknowledging prosecutors have enough evidence against them.

“I am innocent of these charges but I am entering an Alford guilty plea,” Echols told the judge. Baldwin and Miskelley also reasserted their innocence.

“Although I am innocent, this plea is in my best interest,” Misskelley said.

The three were credited with time served, and Echols is being freed from Arkansas’ death row. They were placed on 10 years’ probation and if they re-offend they could be sent back to prison for 21 years, Prosecutor Scott Ellington said.

“I believe that it would be practically impossible after 18 years to put on a proper trial in this case,” Ellington said.

“I believe this case is closed and there are no other individuals involved,” he said.

Baldwin and Echols each pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder. Misskelley pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. The Alford plea allows the men to maintain their claims of innocence.

After the hearings, Baldwin told reporters that he had been reluctant to plead guilty to crimes he maintains he didn’t commit, but that they agreed to the deal because they had to get Echols off death row.

“That’s not justice, however you look at it,” he said.

Echols thanked Baldwin and called his release “overwhelming.”

“It’s not perfect,” he said of the deal. “It’s not perfect by any means. But it at least brings closure to some areas and some aspects.”

He said the West Memphis Three would continue to work to clear their names.

Echols’ wife, Lorri, sat in the front row of a crowded courtroom, next to Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, who became a key supporter of the men after watching a pair of HBO documentaries about the case. Vedder put his arm around her during the proceedings.

The three defendants were expected later Friday at a news conference in the courtroom basement.

Circuit Judge David Laser acknowledged the case was complex, and that both the victims’ families and the supporters of the three men convicted had suffered. He said he thought Friday’s deal would serve justice “the best we can.”

“I don’t think it will make the pain go away,” Laser said during the court proceedings.

One person yelled “Baby killers” as the three left the courtroom.

The May 5, 1993, killings were particularly gruesome. Steve Branch, Christopher Byers and Michael Moore were found nude, and hogtied, and rumors of Satanism roiled the community in the weeks following their deaths. Branch and Moore drowned in about 2 feet of water; Byers bled to death and his genitals were mutilated and partially removed.

Police had few leads until receiving a tip that Echols had been seen mud-covered the night the boys disappeared. The big break came when Misskelley unexpectedly confessed and implicated Baldwin and Echols in the killings.

“Then they tied them up, tied their hands up,” Misskelley said in the statement to police, parts of which were tape-recorded. After describing sodomizing and other violence, he went on: “And I saw it and turned around and looked, and then I took off running. I went home, then they called me and asked me, ‘How come I didn’t stay? I told them, I just couldn’t.'”

Misskelley later recanted, and defense lawyers said the then-17-year-old got several parts of the story incorrect. An autopsy said there was no definite evidence of sexual assault. Miskelley had said the older boys abducted the Scouts in the morning, when they had actually been in school all day.

Misskelley was tried separately, convicted of first- and second-degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison plus 40 years. He refused to testify against the others and his confession was not admitted into evidence.

Defense lawyers for Echols and Baldwin alleged juror misconduct, saying they heard about the Misskelley confession anyway. Attorneys also said there wasn’t enough physical evidence linking the three to the crime scene.

The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld Echols’ conviction and death sentence in 1996, saying there was still enough other evidence to sustain it.

A 1996 HBO documentary, “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills,” drew the attention of celebrities including Vedder and Natalie Maines, lead singer of the Dixie Chicks. They and other celebrities helped fund a legal team that worked to win the three a new trial.

“Why are they innocent?” Vedder said in an interview with The Associated Press last year. “Because there’s nothing that says they’re guilty.”

Last fall, the Arkansas Supreme Court ordered a new hearing for the three and asked a judge to consider allegations of juror misconduct and whether new DNA science could aid the men or uphold the convictions.

In upholding Echols’ conviction in 1996, the state Supreme Court noted that two people testified Echols bragged about the killings, an eyewitness put Echols at the scene, fibers similar to the boys’ clothing were found in Echols’ home, a knife was found in a pond behind Baldwin’s home, Echols’ interest in the occult and his telling police that he understood the boys had been mutilated before officers had released such details.

Presley Passes ‘Rate Reduction, Job Creation Plan’

August 4th, 2011 Comments off

In a press release, Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley announced today that utility companies have responded to his request to craft incentives to encourage small business development and job creation in Mississippi.
Entergy Mississippi, Atmos Energy Corporation, CenterPoint Energy Resources and Wilmut Gas & Oil Company have laid out specific incentives, such as reduced rates, waived security deposits and encouragement of existing vacant building development that will go into effect on or before September 9th. Mississippi Power Company’s plan for small businesses will be filed in the coming days.
“I understand how important small businesses are and how their owners struggle to cut overhead costs and to create jobs,” Presley said. “Every dime they can save helps them expand their operations, hire more employees, keep the door open and provide services to our communities. Too many times, the big corporations get all the incentives, while the small businesses, who don’t ship American jobs overseas while avoiding taxes, get forgotten. I wanted to do something about that and help encourage small business development.”
Presley said that the Commission will soon introduce a similar measure for existing small businesses. He said getting that measure passed would take more time, but hoped to have it completed within the next month.

The following rate incentives for job creation will go into effect on or before September 9, 2011
Entergy Mississippi, Inc.
•••Net Monthly Rate (base rate) reduced by 15% for 24 billing months for those who take service before December 31, 2012
••• Security deposit may be paid in 3 monthly installments and may substitute a surety bond or letter of credit for deposits of $2000 or more
••• Applies to new small businesses that open in buildings that have been unoccupied for at least preceding 6 months

Mississippi Power Company
••• Plan to be filed within the next few days

Atmos Energy Corporation
••• Customer charge and distribution charge (non-fuel charges) reduced by 25% for 12 billing months for those who take service before September 1, 2013
••• Security deposit is waived
••• Applies to any new customer account under the applicable commercial Rate Schedule 305

CenterPoint Energy Resources Corp.
•••Base rate (non-fuel charges) reduced by 15% for 12 billing months for those who take service before January 1, 2013
••• Security deposit reduced by 50% (CenterPoint already allows bonds and letters of
credit to secure deposit)
••• Applies to new small businesses that open in buildings that have been unoccupied
for at least preceding 6 months

Wilmut Gas & Oil Company
••• Entire customer charge (including fuel costs, excluding service charges) reduced by 7% for 1 year for those who take service before January 1, 2013
••• May substitute a surety bond or letter of credit for deposits
•••  Applies to new small businesses that open in buildings that have been unoccupied for at least preceding 6 months

Phil Bryant does it again

August 3rd, 2011 Comments off

In a video interview with the Mississippi Business Journal, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, whom we endorsed for governor, said he would like to see a new nuclear power plant at the Grand Gulf site in Mississippi.
Really?
Well, I would love to see a NASCAR track built in Mississippi, but I don’t have a plan in place to make that happen, and even if I did, it would take 20 or 30 years to get it done.
Oh, that was Phil that said he wanted a NASCAR track in Mississippi but offered no specifics on how to get it done?
Sorry.
Hey, I’ve got a great idea.
Since Monsanto is all about changing the natural order of seeds to make money, maybe the world’s largest loan shark would manipulate a seed so that it only produces money. Then, Mississippi could just grow money and not worry about anything else.
Oh yeah, Monsanto already did that.
It’s called the corn plant.

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Going out on a limb … prediction of winners for tomorrow …

August 1st, 2011 Comments off

Attorney General

Jim Hood (i), Dem

Attorney General

Steve Simpson, GOP

Auditor

Stacey Pickering (i), GOP

Treasurer

Connie Moran, Dem

Agriculture Commissioner

Joel Gill, Dem

Insurance Commissioner

Louis Fondren, Dem

Insurance Commissioner

Mike Chaney (i), GOP

Public Service Comm – Central

Lynn Posey (i), GOP

Public Service Comm – Northern

Brandon Presley (i), Dem

Transportation Comm – Northern

Ray Minor, Dem

Transportation Comm – Northern

Mike Tagert (i), GOP

Transportation Comm – Southern

Larry Albritton, Dem

District Attorney – District 1

John Young (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 1

Trent Kelly, GOP

District Attorney – District 2

Joel Smith, GOP

District Attorney – District 3

Ben Creekmore (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 4

Dewayne Richardson (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 5

Doug Evans (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 6

Ronnie Harper (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 7

Robert Smith (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 8

Mark Duncan (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 9

Ricky Smith (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 10

Bilbo Mitchell (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 11

Brenda Mitchell (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 12

Patricia Burchell (i), GOP

District Attorney – District 13

Daniel Jones (i), GOP

District Attorney – District 14

Dee Bates (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 15

Hal Kittrell (i), GOP

District Attorney – District 16

Steve Wallace, GOP

District Attorney – District 17

John Champion (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 18

Tony Buckley (i), GOP

District Attorney – District 19

Tony Lawrence (i), GOP

District Attorney – District 20

Michael Guest (i), GOP

District Attorney – District 21

Akillie Oliver (i), Dem

District Attorney – District 22

Alexander Martin (i), Dem

State Senate – District 2

Michael Cobb, GOP

State Senate – District 3

Nickey Browning (i), Dem

State Senate – District 3

Betsey Hamilton, GOP

State Senate – District 4

Eric Powell (i), Dem

State Senate – District 4

Rita Parks, GOP

State Senate – District 5

J. P. Wilemon (i), Dem

State Senate – District 5

Jerry Keith, GOP

State Senate – District 6

Stacy Scott, Dem

State Senate – District 6

Nancy Collins (i), GOP

State Senate – District 7

Hob Bryan (i), Dem

State Senate – District 7

Ed Mattox, GOP

State Senate – District 9

Gray Tollison (i), Dem

State Senate – District 9

Todd Wade, GOP

State Senate – District 10

Vann Branch, GOP

State Senate – District 11

Bobby Jackson (i), Dem

State Senate – District 12

Derrick Simmons (i), Dem

State Senate – District 13

Willie Simmons (i), Dem

State Senate – District 14

Carlos Moore, Dem

State Senate – District 14

Lydia Chassaniol (i), GOP

State Senate – District 15

Gary Jackson (i), GOP

State Senate – District 16

Bennie Turner (i), Dem

State Senate – District 17

Terry Brown (i), GOP

State Senate – District 18

Steven Kilgore, Dem

State Senate – District 18

Giles Ward (i), GOP

State Senate – District 19

Merle Flowers (i), GOP

State Senate – District 21

Loren Ross, GOP

State Senate – District 22

Eugene Clarke (i), GOP

State Senate – District 23

Briggs Hopson (i), GOP

State Senate – District 25

Cecilia Sampayo, Dem

State Senate – District 26

John Horhn (i), Dem

State Senate – District 27

Hillman Frazier (i), Dem

State Senate – District 28

Alice Harden (i), Dem

State Senate – District 29

David Blount (i), Dem

State Senate – District 30

Dean Kirby (i), GOP

State Senate – District 31

Melvin Hendricks, Dem

State Senate – District 33

Videt Carmichael (i), GOP

State Senate – District 34

Haskins Montgomery (i), Dem

State Senate – District 34

Gary Blakeney, GOP

State Senate – District 36

Albert Butler (i), Dem

State Senate – District 37

Bob Dearing (i), Dem

State Senate – District 38

Kelvin Butler (i), Dem

State Senate – District 41

Joey Fillingane (i), GOP

State Senate – District 42

Chris McDaniel (i), GOP

State Senate – District 45

Billy Hudson (i), GOP

State Senate – District 46

Joe Bye, Dem

State Senate – District 48

Deborah Dawkins (i), Dem

State Senate – District 48

Ashley Skellie, GOP

State Senate – District 49

Sean Tindell, GOP

State Senate – District 50

Tommy Gollott (i), GOP

State Senate – District 51

Michael Watson (i), GOP

State House – District 1

Lester Carpenter (i), GOP

State House – District 2

Nick Bain, Dem

State House – District 2

Chip Wood, GOP

State House – District 3

William Arnold, GOP

State House – District 5

Kelvin Buck (i), Dem

State House – District 6

Forrest Hamilton (i), GOP

State House – District 7

Wanda Jennings (i), GOP

State House – District 8

Trey Lamar, GOP

State House – District 9

Clara Burnett (i), Dem

State House – District 11

Joe Gardner (i), Dem

State House – District 12

Brad Mayo, GOP

State House – District 13

Steve Massengill, GOP

State House – District 14

Margaret Rogers (i), GOP

State House – District 15

Rick Spencer, Dem

State House – District 15

Mac Huddleston (i), GOP

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Steve Holland (i), Dem

State House – District 16

Buddy Coggin, GOP

State House – District 18

Jerry Turner (i), GOP

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Jimmy Puckett (i), Dem

State House – District 20

Chris Brown, GOP

State House – District 21

Donnie Bell (i), Dem

State House – District 22

Preston Sullivan (i), Dem

State House – District 23

Steve Whitten, Dem

State House – District 23

Charles Beckett (i), GOP

State House – District 24

Kevin Horan, Dem

State House – District 24

Sidney Bondurant (i), GOP

State House – District 25

John Mayo (i), Dem

State House – District 25

Gene Alday, GOP

State House – District 26

Chuck Espy (i), Dem

State House – District 27

Ferr Smith (i), Dem

State House – District 27

Dewayne Gill, GOP

State House – District 28

David Dallas, Dem

State House – District 28

Tommy Taylor, GOP

State House – District 29

Linda Coleman (i), Dem

State House – District 32

Willie Perkins (i), Dem

State House – District 33

Tommy Reynolds (i), Dem

State House – District 33

Jerrerico Chambers, GOP

State House – District 34

Linda Whittington (i), Dem

State House – District 37

Gary Chism (i), GOP

State House – District 38

Tyrone Ellis (i), Dem

State House – District 40

Shirley Aguilera-Logan, Dem

State House – District 40

Pat Nelson, GOP

State House – District 41

Esther Harrison (i), Dem

State House – District 43

Michael Evans, Dem

State House – District 43

Russ Nowell (i), GOP

State House – District 44

C. Scott Bounds (i), GOP

State House – District 45

Bennett Malone (i), Dem

State House – District 46

Bobby Howell (i), GOP

State House – District 47

Bryant Clark (i), Dem

State House – District 49

Willie Bailey (i), Dem

State House – District 50

John Hines (i), Dem

State House – District 52

Tommy Woods (i), GOP

State House – District 53

Bobby Moak (i), Dem

State House – District 54

Alex Monsour (i), GOP

State House – District 55

George Flaggs (i), Dem

State House – District 55

Sam Smith, GOP

State House – District 56

Jim Culberson, Dem

State House – District 56

Philip Gunn (i), GOP

State House – District 57

Ed Blackmon (i), Dem

State House – District 59

Kevin McGee (i), GOP

State House – District 61

Ray Rogers (i), GOP

State House – District 62

Tom Weathersby (i), GOP

State House – District 64

Dorsey Carson, Dem

State House – District 64

Bill Denny (i), GOP

State House – District 65

Mary Coleman (i), Dem

State House – District 66

Cecil Brown (i), Dem

State House – District 67

Earle Banks (i), Dem

State House – District 68

Credell Calhoun (i), Dem

State House – District 69

Alyce Clarke (i), Dem

State House – District 70

Jim Evans (i), Dem

State House – District 71

Adrienne Wooten (i), Dem

State House – District 72

Kimberly Buck (i), Dem

State House – District 74

Mark Baker (i), GOP

State House – District 75

Tom Miles, Dem

State House – District 75

Brenda Whatley-Kirby, GOP

State House – District 76

Greg Holloway (i), Dem

State House – District 77

Andy Gipson (i), GOP

State House – District 79

Ron Swindall, GOP

State House – District 80

Omeria Scott (i), Dem

State House – District 81

Stephen Horne (i), GOP

State House – District 83

Gary Houston, Dem

State House – District 83

Greg Snowden (i), GOP

State House – District 84

William Lee, Dem

State House – District 87

Johnny Stringer (i), Dem

State House – District 87

Daniel Kilpatrick, GOP

State House – District 88

Jonathan Hodge, Dem

State House – District 89

Jerdon Welborn, Dem

State House – District 89

Bobby Shows (i), GOP

State House – District 90

Joe Warren (i), Dem

State House – District 91

Bob Evans (i), Dem

State House – District 92

Ken Sullivan, Dem

State House – District 92

Becky Currie (i), GOP

State House – District 93

Dirk Dedeaux (i), Dem

State House – District 95

Jessica Upshaw (i), GOP

State House – District 96

Angela Cockerham (i), Dem

State House – District 97

Sam Mims (i), GOP

State House – District 99

Bill Pigott (i), GOP

State House – District 100

Harry Griffith, Dem

State House – District 100

Ken Morgan (i), GOP

State House – District 102

David Cook, Dem

State House – District 103

Percy Watson (i), Dem

State House – District 104

Larry Byrd (i), GOP

State House – District 105

Dale Kimble, Dem

State House – District 105

Dennis DeBar, GOP

State House – District 106

Herb Frierson (i), GOP

State House – District 110

Billy Broomfield (i), Dem

State House – District 111

Brandon Jones (i), Dem

State House – District 111

Charles Busby, GOP

State House – District 112

John Read (i), GOP

State House – District 113

Hank Zuber (i), GOP

State House – District 114

Jeff Guice (i), GOP

State House – District 115

Randall Patterson (i), Dem

State House – District 115

Patrick Williams, GOP

State House – District 116

Quentin Lyles, Dem

State House – District 116

Casey Eure (i), GOP

State House – District 117

Scott DeLano (i), GOP

State House – District 120

Charles Boggs, Dem

State House – District 120

Richard Bennett (i), GOP

State House – District 122

David Baria, Dem

State House – District 122

Dorothy Wilcox, GOP

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Party on dude … Ole Miss No. 3 on list of top party schools … State still among bottom five for education

August 1st, 2011 Comments off

Ohio University, set in an Appalachian town known for its rowdy Halloween bashes, has been named the nation’s No. 1 party school, pushing the University of Georgia down a slot in the 2011 Princeton Review survey released Monday.

Ohio was No. 2 in last year’s survey of students nationwide. The campus in Athens, about 65 miles southeast of Columbus, has made the party school list 12 times since 1997, but has never before reached the top.

Top party, sober schools from Princeton Review The Associated Press The nation's top party schools and top stone-cold sober schools, according to Princeton Review's survey of 122,000 students: Party schools 1. Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 2. University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 3. University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss. 4. University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 5. University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, Calif. 6. West Virginia University, Morgantown, W. Va. 7. Penn State University, University Park, Pa. 8. Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla. 9. University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla. 10. University of Texas, Austin, Texas 11. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 12. Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y. 13. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La. 14. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wis. 15. DePauw University, Greencastle, Ind. 16. Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. 17. Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. 18. University of Maryland, College Park, Md. 19. University of Vermont, Burlington, Vt. 20. University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. ___ Stone-cold sober schools 1. Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 2. Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill. 3. Wesleyan College, Macon, Ga. 4. U.S. Coast Guard Academy, New London, Conn. 5. U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y. 6. U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md. 7. Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Mich. 8. Grove City College, Grove City, Pa. 9. Pepperdine University, Malibu, Calif. 10. City University of New York — Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York, N.Y. 12. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y. 13. U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colo. 14. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Mass. 15. City University of New York — Queens College, Flushing, N.Y. 16. Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif. 17. University of Dallas, Irving, Texas 18. Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Ga. 19. College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, Mo. 20. Gustavus Adolphus College, Saint Peter, Minn.

Rounding out the top five this year were No. 3 University of Mississippi, No. 4 University of Iowa and No. 5 University of California Santa Barbara.

The Princeton Review survey is part of its 2012 edition of “The Best 376 Colleges,” which includes 61 other rankings in categories such as best professors (Wellesley College in Massachusetts), most beautiful campus (Florida Southern College) best campus food (Wheaton College in Illinois) and highest financial aid satisfaction (Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania).

Brigham Young University in Utah tops the list of stone-cold sober schools for the 14th straight year.

Ohio University’s party reputation has long vexed administrators at the riverside school of about 20,000 students, and policies have been beefed up over the years in an attempt to reduce student drinking.

Among efforts are strong anti-drinking messages at freshmen orientations, tougher penalties on students for alcohol violations and added surveillance during the Halloween street party, which is not sanctioned by the university.

“We take seriously our responsibility to help our students succeed in all facets of their experience, including addressing high-risk behavior,” Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi said in a statement Monday. “We are disappointed in the party school ranking as it is not indicative of the overall experience of Ohio students and does not match the data we have collected.”

In formal complaints regarding violations of Ohio’s student code of conduct, about 60 percent are listed as alcohol-related in recent academic years, according to statistics posted online by the University Judiciaries, the school’s disciplinary division. In 2010-2011, 1,213 complaints, making up 59 percent of the total, involved alcohol, the numbers show.

The Halloween revelry dates to the 1970s and typically attracts at least 20,000 people to downtown Athens streets. Arrests and citations during the party, mostly for alcohol and disorderly conduct violations, have at times reached more than 200 in recent years.

The event spun out of control in 2003, when then-Athens Police Chief Rick Mayer called the bash “the worst event to date” after rioting partiers lit couches on fire, started fights and threw bottles at officers and firefighters.

Besides the party list, Ohio also lands in the top 20 in several other Princeton Review categories this year, including lots of beer and lots of hard liquor, as well as best athletic facilities, most beautiful campus and major fraternity and sorority scene.

The guide’s rankings are based on email surveys voluntarily filled out by 122,000 students at more than 370 colleges across the country. On average, about 325 students from each campus respond, and university administrators often call the rankings unscientific and say they glorify dangerous behavior.

The Princeton Review, not affiliated with Princeton University, is a Massachusetts-based company known for its test preparation courses educational services and books.

It has put out its best colleges guide since 1992.

New TV ad for Bill Luckett is a good one

July 19th, 2011 Comments off

If you like good, positive political advertising, check out the latest ad from Bill Luckett. … Good job.

Homebuilders endorse Reeves for Lt. Governor

July 13th, 2011 1 comment

The Home Builders Association of Jackson has endorsed Tate Reeves’ candidacy for Lt. Governor. In an e-mail statement, President Wade Quin is credited with noting Reeve’s “experience as a conservative money manager” and his success “in protecting taxpayers as Mississippi’s State Treasurer.”

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Endorsements are a lot like pickled cucumbers

July 8th, 2011 Comments off

My wife understands that my brain works differently than most people’s. It could be the reason she loves me, or she could just be taking pity on me.
Either way, she keeps me around despite the random questions and statements I have and make.
Lately, the questions have been more frequent. She just rolls her eyes and keeps on moving.
Like last weekend. I was watching the Red Sox play on TV on July 4. I was horrified at the god-awful ugly hats my team was wearing that captured the American flag inside the “B” on the hat. I get it. It’s Independence Day. It’s patriotic, I guess. It’s an opportunity for Major League Baseball to make more money on the sales of the alternative hat. It’s still ugly.
But why were the Toronto Blue Jays wearing a similar-style hat? Toronto is still in Canada, right?
Will American teams wear ugly hats with a maple leaf imbedded in the logo for the Canadian independence day? When is Canadian independence day?
Another of my questions is why is a pickle named a pickle? I mean, it’s a pickled cucumber.
We have pickled okra and pickled beats and pickled eggs and even pickled pigs feet. So, what’s up with pickles. Was it the first thing ever pickled?
This may all seem silly, but all of this random thinking fits well in an election year.
Everyone has been, particularly in the governor and lieutenant governor’s race, endorsed by someone.
Both Dave Dennis and Phil Bryant have been endorsed by The Tea Party, which is odd.
A press release from the Dennis camp didn’t make it much clearer … The “Official TEA Party of Mississippi” (although others claim to be THE statewide TEA group) has endorsed Bryant. The Gulf Coast 912 Project and Alcorn County TEA Party Patriots have endorsed Dennis.
Uh, OK.
When the NRA endorsed Bryant, Dennis followed up by saying he had been a member of the NRA for 20 years. Then he ripped the endorsement, calling it “politics.”
Uh, yeah.
Bryant gets the nod from “several law enforcement” groups.
Dennis gets the nod from the Madison County Journal newspaper.
Former Sen. Trent Lott endorsed Billy Hewes for lieutenant governor while Tate Reeves has endorsements from just about everyone else.
My favorite though, came on June 27 when Bryant’s camp announced it had received the endorsement from “Bully Bloc.”
The Bully Bloc, according to the press release, is a non-partisan political action committee, not affiliated with Mississippi State University.
So, let me get this straight.
An endorsement was given from an organization whose main claim to fame is that it is not affiliated with Mississippi State University.
Why even point it out?
I would rather contemplate the origins of the pickle.
It makes more sense.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018

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Bryant receives endorsement from Mississippi State University organization ‘not affiliated with Mississippi State University’

June 27th, 2011 Comments off

According to the Phil Bryant camp …

On Monday, June 27, Phil Bryant’s campaign for Governor received the endorsement from Bully Bloc.

The Bully Bloc is a non-partisan political action committee, not affiliated with Mississippi State University.

Luckett receives endorsement

June 27th, 2011 1 comment

According to the Bill Luckett camp, Senator Albert Butler has endorsed Bill Luckett’s campaign for governor.

Senator Albert Butler represents District 36 that includes Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds and Jefferson counties. Senator Butler was elected in 2010 and is an Academic Manager at Mississippi Job Corp. Senator Butler is a member of Alcorn State University Alumni Association, Jackson State University Alumni Association, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity incorporated and a Mason. He is a Life Member of the NAACP.