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Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Katrina’

Mississippi State to win easy game against Memphis

August 29th, 2011 1 comment

If you are a Mississippi State football fan these days, life is pretty good.

Most college football experts believe the Bulldogs will win as many as 9 or 10 games before any SEC title game or bowl contest.

Oddsmaker Danny Sheridan even has the Bulldogs a 27 1/2 point favorite in their season opener against Memphis on Thursday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Elvis’ hometown.

Rarely has MSU’s future looked so bright. Does that mean the Bulldogs need to be taken down a notch. Probably not. … I say the Bullies win by at least 35. But what do I know? I am just the editor of a business newspaper.

Find out what the readers of the Mississippi Business Journal think.

Perception hard to avoid with feet in your mouth

January 14th, 2011 Comments off

Quick, which state is last in healthcare?
Education?
Race relations?
Gov. Haley Barbour, while I am sure he already knew, is getting a full dose of perception as he prepares to announce whether he is going to run for president in 2012.
Just last week, a headline on the Bloomberg website read, “Barbour’s Comments on Kidneys, Klan Underscore Struggles in Mississippi”.
The story, in part, went on as such:
Governor Haley Barbour’s boyhood memories of Mississippi’s civil-rights strife are diverting attention from his stewardship of a state that might be the launchpad for a 2012 presidential run.
Supporters say Barbour, a 63-year-old Republican who has led Mississippi for seven years, has been the state’s biggest booster, getting re-elected with a 58 percent majority even as he increased taxes and spending. The former lobbyist and Republican National Committee chairman led the recovery from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. He lured employers including General Electric Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. to expand, though the state remains ranked last in per-capita income and education.
That record has been overshadowed in the past two weeks by criticism of his views on race, an inescapable issue in a state where segregationist violence disenfranchised blacks for generations.

We like to think we have moved on.
But stories like this always seem to pop up.
When then Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm took shots at Mississippi a couple of years ago, we were all appalled.
Granholm was defending tax increases when she said, “Now is the time to stand up for those priorities. What we’re fighting for is Michigan not becoming Mississippi.”
We threw all kinds of stats at her, including how Mississippi’s unemployment rate was much lower than in Michigan.
“Shame on you Governor Granholm,” Mississippi’s State Senator Dean Kirby wrote in an e-mail. “Have you compared your tax structure to that of Mississippi? Have you ever been to Mississippi? Shame, shame shame !!”
Shame, shame, shame, indeed.
OK, now let’s take a look at the real issue here, whether it be about the Barbour story or the Michigan story — perception.
We still have a perception problem. Folks around the country view us as uneducated and backwoods.
We know that’s not true.
But it wasn’t so long ago that New York’s Charles Rangel made similar comments that enraged us all. Instead of firing back, we must do a better job of educating folks about our wonderful slice of the South.
It should be pointed out that whatever music Granholm listens to likely was born in Mississippi.
She should be reminded that every major form of music in America got its roots in Mississippi — from Elvis Presley and rock n roll in Tupelo to country and western in Meridian to blues and jazz in the Mississippi Delta.
Gov. Granholm should be reminded of the great literature and writers who have come from Mississippi — from Faulkner to Welty.
We also would like to point out the great journalism tradition that we have in Mississippi ranging from Pulitzer winners of the 1940s with the Delta Democrat Times to a 2006 Pulitzer winner in the Sun Herald of Biloxi.
Mississippi is a wonderful place, and we would like the opportunity to show everyone what we are talking about.
Having said all of that, there are plenty of reasons that Mississippi isn’t always at the top of the popularity list.
We all know the reasons — education, racial tensions, etc.
But we can’t make the outside world’s job easy. Gov. Barbour has got to be smarter about what he says, regardless of whether is running for president.
He is still representing all of us out there. And when he makes comments like he has made recently, he gives the Rangels and Granholms and Bloombergs of the world ammunition to use.
In this world, we either do or don’t, all on our own. We have to make our own way. We created the perception that others have of us and we must make the difference in changing that perception.
First, we must own up to it.
Second, we must do differently than we did.
If we don’t, we deserve what we get.

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

Where’s Wally: Booms out, life goes on in Bay St. Louis

May 5th, 2010 Comments off

MBJ reporter Wally Northway is spending the day on the Mississippi Gulf Coast getting reaction to the Deep Horizon oil spill that threatens the Mississippi Gulf Coast … here is his first report from the scene.

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BAY ST. LOUIS — As an oil boom is stretched across the railroad bridge that spans the Bay of St. Louis, more than 40 people showed up to help build the 140th Habitat for Humanity House since Hurricane Katrina struck nearly five years ago.

“People are upbeat and enthusiastic about putting (Katrina) behind us,” said Sherry Bevis of the Bay-Waveland Main Street Association.

Even as the threat of oil on the beaches from the spill of the BP rig looms in the Gulf of Mexico, there is no hint of oil smell in the air and the sense of the people seems to be positive.

“We are putting this community back together again one house at a time,” said Bay business owner Nancy Moynan, who owns Maggie Mays in downtown Bay St. Louis.

Check back later as Wally Northway travels the length of the Mississippi Gulf Coast getting reaction to the Deep Horizon oil spill.