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Archive for September, 2010

New round of spill finger-pointing begins

September 8th, 2010 10 comments

British Petroleum released yesterday a report related to the oil spill. It follows BP’s internal investigation into the how and why behind the disaster.

BP took some of the blame, but not all of it. Transocean, which owned the rig that exploded and sank, is furious because BP said it was partly responsible for the mess. Several other companies, including Halliburton, aren’t very happy either, for similar reasons. You can read the report here, but you better block off the rest of the day, because it’s almost 200 pages long.

The litigation related to the spill  is just getting started, and will most likely last well into the next decade. So it’s not surprising that the companies who had a part in the construction and operation of the Deepwater Horizon rig and the Macondo Well are pointing fingers. It’s financial preservation.

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Mississippi GOP endorses Barnes

September 7th, 2010 No comments

The Mississippi Republican Party announced this morning that it will endorse state Court of Appeals Judge Donna Barnes in this fall’s election for the right to represent North Mississippi on the appellate court.

There’s nothing unexpected about the endorsement. Barnes, of Tupelo, was appointed to the Court six years ago by Gov. Haley Barbour. She ran unopposed in 2006.

Barnes has an opponent this time around. Kelly Mims, also of Tupelo, is a veteran of Opertion Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, according to his campaign website. (View Barnes’ campaign website here.)

Magnolia Marketplace made it a point Saturday in the Grove to gauge the presence of both candidates. Barnes had a large banner hanging from one tent. We didn’t see anything with Mims’ name on it. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything. We just didn’t see it. And what we saw on the turf at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, we’d just as soon forget.

The Viking has had a good couple weeks (updated)

September 3rd, 2010 No comments

Opinions and observations to kick off the long weekend …

Randy Watkins, Viking Classic boss, fine Ole Miss man and one of Magnolia Marketplace’s favorite people, had a double-shot of good news recently.

First, the PGA Tour announced in late August that it was renewing The Viking Classic for an additional year, guaranteeing the tournament would be played at Annandale in Madison at least through 2011. We did a story earlier in the summer about the contract between the Tour and the Viking expiring after this year, and most everybody we talked to was optimistic that the relationship between the two would continue. So while it’s  not much of a surprise, it still has to be a relief for Watkins and other Viking organizers.

Then, earlier this week, Viking Range announced that Emeril Lagasse would do two cooking demonstrations at the tournament. The Viking has had some fairly famous celebrity chefs at past tournaments, but none with the name recognition and drawing power of Emeril. You can purchase tickets for the tournament and/or Emeril’s cooking demos at vikingclassic.com. If you plan to be in town the last weekend of September, you should do just that.

The Mississippi Department of Employment Security announced late yesterday afternoon that it had received its 10,000th application related to the Toyota plant in Blue Springs. The agency says 8,700 of those 10,000 are from Mississippians. The rest come from 36 states across the U.S. MDES is helping Toyota fill 1,350 of the 2,000 jobs at the facility, so some HR person has a pile of paper work on their desk, and it’s only getting bigger. Let’s hope they move faster — and exercise a little more common sense — than the NCAA did and does.

Enjoy your Labor Day, and be safe.

URGENT UPDATE: Remember what we said about the NCAA in the above paragraph? Disregard. Jeremiah Masoli can play football for Ole Miss this year. The NCAA is a fair-minded, sense-driven organization.

Want to work at Toyota? Get in line

September 1st, 2010 1 comment

Nine days ago, when Toyota and Gov. Haley Barbour and the Mississippi Development Authority released the protocol the car company would use to hire its production workers at Blue Springs, the initial response from job-seekers was quick and heavy.

That first day, more than 600 folks filled out applications. The pace has obviously quickened.

Through Monday, 8,736 applications have been made for the 1,350 jobs the Mississippi Department of Employment Security is helping Toyota fill. That’s according to the MDES.

The average number of applications made per day the first week is 1,248.

That’s serious interest, and goes to show that Northeast Mississippi sure could use the jobs.