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Posts Tagged ‘Associated Press’

Boyce Adams either lying or uniformed when it comes to his key issue — the Kemper County Coal Plant

November 7th, 2011 Comments off

Why won’t Boyce Adams answer questions about his main talking point in the race against Brandon Presley for northern commissioner of the Mississippi Public Service Commission?

He has gone on the record several times, saying there will be no rate increase involved with the building of a $2.88 billion coal plant in Kemper County. Yet, when we called him this past week to ask him about it, he didn’t return multiple phone calls.

Boyce Adams has said there will be no rate increase invoved in the building of the Kemper County Coal Plant

In a story we ran in this week’s Mississippi Business Journal, Presley views the plant as a job-killer while Adams was quoted two weeks ago in A Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal story reports Adams as saying, “There is no rate hike associated with the project.”

RELATED STORIES …

••• KEMPER PLANT KEY IN HEATED PSC RACE

••• Bentz: The whole Kemper story is not getting told

••• Poultry association: Kemper could cost jobs in Mississippi

••• Topazi talks — ‘About a third’ really means ‘about a half’ where rate increases are concerned with Kemper Coal Plant

••• Public record or corporate secrets — PSC to decide whether public should be privy to matters concerning their pocket books ahead of corporate concerns of confidentiality

••• Kemper plant — Yes or no?

••• Presley pulling for Kemper, but admits it is a huge risk

••• Sierra Club sues to stop Kemper

••• The Kemper Project: What to expect

Brandon Presley has said he opposed and voted against the $2.8 billion Kemper Coal Plant and against the 45 percent rate hike

••• Kemper technology could be proving ground for a plant in China

••• BGR website changed following MBJ story on Kemper Plant

••• (VIDEO) Kemper County welcomes coal plant

••• (VIDEO) Anthony Topazi on the Kemper County Coal Plant

According to a 2009 document filed with the Commission, the Kemper plant could make customer rates go up by about 45 percent. Mississippi Power Company told poultry farmers that their rates would rise by 30 percent.

So, when it comes to rate hikes involved with the Kemper coal project, Adams is either lying or uninformed. In either case, that is unacceptable for someone basing his entire candidacy on the worthiness of the Kemper County Coal Plant.

From my perspective, I am sorry that we cannot provide people with a response from Adams about this issue. However, we have been calling him for nearly a week without a return phone call.

If he needs to clarify his position, he can reach me at (601) 364-1000.

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Even with bin Laden dead, memories remain

May 2nd, 2011 Comments off

Bleary eyed and not quite yet awake, and having missed any news after 10 last night, I looked at our iPad and the Associated Press app with the lead news of the day. The news of the U.S. killing Osama bin Laden wasn’t registering.

Is this right?

Finally, I forcibly blinked a couple times and gained my consciousness and re-read the story.

Osama bin Laden, the face of global terrorism and architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was killed in a firefight with elite American forces Monday, then quickly buried at sea in a stunning finale to a furtive decade on the run.

In the pre-dawn hours, alone in the quiet and mostly dark of my kitchen, I thought back nearly 10 years to the day all of us will remember forever.

It’s still hard to think about.

In fact, most times when images are shown on television, I will turn my head or focus on something else when the images come on the screen.

It was then that my wife (fiancee at the time) and I stood on the streets of New York and watched, in stunned silence, as the towers of the World Trade Center fell to earth.

They are images that are burned into my brain so indelibly that when similar images flash on a television screen, there is almost a sensory overload.

And while the footage and photos that have been and will be shown during this aftermath of U.S. forces having killed bin Laden that likely will focus on the destruction and the physical event of either the planes crashing into the buildings or the buildings crumbling to the ground, it is the rest of the day that I thought about this morning.

Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 11 in New York was like a ghost town. The usually bustling streets were reduced to a few lonely wanderers looking up and around.

After so much frightening activity that morning in which there were traffic jams and people running down the streets screaming and shouting, Tuesday afternoon was just plain eerie.

Nearly every business was closed with nearly everyone having retreated to their homes to see what was going to happen next, and asking, “Is there more to come?”

What was left was a scene straight out of a bad movie with blocks and blocks and blocks of near empty streets.

That night, we walked for, what seemed to be, miles just to find an open restaurant. The Blue Moon Mexican Cafe was packed to the gills. After we were seated, everything was almost normal. There was the roar of the voices in a packed restaurant, the racing around of the overworked waitresses trying to get to too many tables in a short amount of time.

But when President Bush appeared on the television screens in the restaurant, a hush fell across the room. I’ve never experienced such silence before and haven’t since. The only audible sounds were Bush’s voice and the occasional clink of a dish or silverware from the kitchen.

Every eye was fixed on the screens. Every ear locked onto his words.

We didn’t know what to expect, and, really, neither did he, but we listened.

When the president’s message concluded, the restaurant slowly reverted to it’s pre-speech activity, although slightly toned down.

After dinner, our walk was in near silence. There was the occasional person on the sidewalk and an occasional restaurant open, but New York had been brought to a standstill.

That’s what I remember today, the tension, the not knowing, the anticipation of the City That Never Sleeps on a night that was sleepless for many around the country.

There is a sense of relief with bin Laden gone, but there will be nothing that takes away from the memory of standing on the corner of Sixth and The Avenue of the Americas.

Silence.

That and the sunlight reflecting off glass, like falling confetti, from the first tower as it collapsed on itself on that day in 2001.

That’s a nice jersey, you wear it to all the games?

June 29th, 2010 Comments off

All right folks, wipe those affiliations off your sleeves and let’s talk a little college football.
It’s pretty amazing what gets people’s blood boiling in this business.
Write a story about how 190,000 people in Mississippi could have their electric bills go up by more than 33 percent because big business wants a new toy to play with, and you get a note or two, mostly from CEO or PR types concerned about their image.
If you criticize the governor, there will be a few more people calling to make their feelings known.
But have someone write a feel-good story about a long-time Mississippi businessman who happens to be a former big-time college football quarterback, and then sit back and watch the fireworks.
We recently ran a story on Jackson’s Glynn Griffing, which detailed the successes of his insurance business over the last 40 years after he starred at quarterback for Ole Miss during the school’s winningest era.
Phone calls, e-mails, letters and I think some smoke signals began pouring in complaining.
About what?
The story included mention that the Rebels won three national championships during Griffing’s tenure at the Oxford school.
Only in the South could a feel-good story about a former athlete turn into what some readers believe to be a covert attempt to mislead the public on issues of national security.
“Why do you hate Mississippi State so much?”
That was one e-mail. There was another I probably wouldn’t repeat unless we were in a bar.
There are lots of football fans out there who like to point out that Ole Miss never won an “official” national championship. Their argument: The Rebels were never crowned by the Associated Press (AP) or United Press International (UPI).
Those were the only recognized organizations for handing out such designations, the haters like to say.
Unfortunately, college football has been without any real structure for naming a champion for as long as there has been big-time college football.
When the story about Griffing was turned in to me, I was aware of the circumstances.
However, my reasoning, as a former sports editor, has always been that college football has created this issue, and teams that won shouldn’t suffer because of the sport’s stubborn ineptitude.
The organizations that voted Ole Miss champs in 1959, ’60 and ’62 are many of the same that have voted seven other SEC schools champs at one time or another. Because the NCAA has never recognized any school as a Division I-A (or FBS) champion, and these other groups (like Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, FW, National Championship Foundation and Williamson) were considered legitimate by most in the business, there is no reason to not mention Ole Miss among schools to win national championships in football.
That surely doesn’t change a lot of people’s minds, but before you hit “send” on the next e-mail, at least first take off your favorite team’s jersey.

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

Kemper plant: Yes or no?

May 4th, 2010 Comments off

The state Public Service Commission issued an order April 29 approving Mississippi Power Company’s $2.4 billion Kemper County clean coal plant – with conditions attached.

But Mississippi Power says the Commission has said no to the plant.

And at least two media outlets published erroneous stories saying the company has decided not to build the plant, while the Mississippi Business Journal correctly reported that MPC was mulling its options. And today a company official said MPC will file for a rehearing tomorrow.

How can such simple information be so complicated?

Central District Commissioner Lynn Posey said in an interview that the Commission had indeed approved the plant in its order, although he wished the conditions had been more lax. “I’m very much for the plant, and hopefully we can get that done,” Posey said.

MPC officials call attention to the Commission’s 50-page order on the plant which says the plant does not pass the state’s test for a certificate of public convenience and necessity but “explains how MPC can obtain Commission approval of its Petition.”

“It is very clear that the Commission found that the Kemper request did not warrant a certificate of public convenience and necessity. On page 48 of the Order in the FINDINGS paragraph, they describe the condition as being able to ensure that the ‘certificate, if granted, is consistent with the statute’s ‘public convenience and necessity’ test.’ The words ‘if granted obviously states that a certificate was not granted. Also, on page 49, the Commission expressly states that if Mississippi Power agrees to all the conditions, it will issue an order, certainly stating that they have not issued an order to date,” said Todd Terrell, company director of corporate communications, in a statement.

After April 29 Commission decision, MPC spokesperson Cindy Duvall issued this statement:

The Mississippi Public Service Commission denied Mississippi Power permission to construct the Kemper County IGCC Project.  (See p. 2 of today’s Order, Overview Section)

If the Company agrees with certain conditions within the next 20 days, then the Commission will consider whether the Company should be granted permission to proceed with the project.

The Commission conditions seem to make it impossible for Mississippi Power to finance or construct the Kemper County IGCC Project even if the right to construct had been – or might in the future – be allowed.

We are disappointed in this decision.

We put forth the best option available to us to meet our customers’ needs with reliable and affordable energy.”

The Clarion-Ledger published an Associated Press story with the headline “Utility nixes Kemper Co. plant,” and Bloomberg Businessweek said “Mississippi Power will not build coal-fired plant.” Along with the Mississippi Business Journal, Reuters got it right: “Mississippi Power ‘disappointed’ in state ruling.”

Hey Steve Jobs, it’s like the iPad was my idea!

April 7th, 2010 Comments off

My wife owns the laptop in our family, which is the modern day version of the saying she wears the pants in the family.
I have to ask permission to get minutes on the portable computer or be relegated to working on our big-screened dinosaur in our closet of an office.
So, in order to continue to be a member of the family during evening hours I have become pretty capable at surfing the web on my iPhone.
Yes, my iPhone. I can’t live without it. I read the news of the day in the morning by using my apps from the New York Times, Associated Press, Huffington Post, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, CNN and USA Today.
For my Boston Red Sox fix, I read scores and more from the Boston Globe.
Yes, the screen is pretty small, but it gets the job done.
Ah, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs heard me from afar. It’s like the iPad was my idea (sorry for the poor reference to the inferior competition’s product lines).
Make a giant iPhone that isn’t a phone at all.
Poof.
The iPad.
Apple latest creation is just that, an iPhone without the phone and much bigger, but not as big as a laptop, easier to carry around.
So, last Monday after the much-ballyhooed release that weekend, I spent part of lunch lusting after the gadget at the local Apple Store.
Held it in my hand, typed in www.msbusiness .com, read the latest news on our site just like it was a laptop, but better.
The price tag, compared to a laptop, is better, too.
My lunchtime visit was like walking through the auto dealership and eyeing the new car you want.
It’s pretty to look at and you can afford it it if you really want it, but how much do you want it?
Not sure just yet.
I may make a few more trips to the Apple Store for a test drive just to see what kind of gitty-up it has, maybe kick the tires and look under the hood.
You know you can never be too careful about these things.
But then again, if my wife is reading, my birthday is just a few weeks away (ahem!).

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