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Author Archives: Megan Wright

Report shows higher ed graduation rate below 50 percent

AROUND MISSISSIPPI — At most Mississippi colleges and universities, fewer than half the first-time students graduate within six years. The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University are among exceptions to the graduation rates found in the College Scorecards recently released by the U.S. Department of Education. Antonelli College-Jackson, Millsaps College and Mississippi College also have graduation rates above 50 ...

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Ex-DMR board member asked Trust to buy land from boss' son

BILOXI — The head of the Land Trust for the Mississippi Coastal Plain says a board member employed by the state Department of Marine Resources asked the trust if it would buy land from her boss’ son, if the department provided some money. The proposal came from Tina Shumate, who resigned early in February as director of the DMR’s Coastal ...

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Airport control towers facing shutdown from budget cuts

ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Automatic federal budget cuts could shut down control towers at as many as seven Mississippi airports. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood warned of the closing of 100 airport towers at airports that have 150,000 flights or fewer each year if automatic federal spending cuts take effect March 1. The Federal Aviation Administration says that among the airports ...

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Ex-school, city employee gets prison time for embezzlement

MEADVILLE — A 52-year-old Roxie woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for embezzling money while she was employed by the Franklin County School District and the Town of Roxie. The Natchez Democrat reports Circuit Court Judge Forrest “Al” Johnson sentenced Ramona Mullins to serve nine years, with six years suspended, followed by three years of post-release supervision ...

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After much delay, new MDOT headquarters nearing completion

TUPELO — The long-awaited opening of the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s District 1 headquarters is on track for June. MDOT project engineer Matt Dunn tells the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal the exterior work is done, but there’s still work left to do on the inside. The $5.1-million, 34,000-square-foot facility was scheduled to be finished last August, but the general contractor ...

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Lawmakers reject Hosemann's budget over voter ID

JACKSON — Mississippi senators rejected the secretary of state’s budget yesterday over an argument about paying lawyers to defend a proposed voter identification law. It’s probably just a temporary setback in setting an overall state spending plan for fiscal 2014, which begins July 1. Appropriations Chairman Eugene “Buck” Clarke, R-Hollandale, said he’ll bring the secretary of state’s budget bill back ...

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Severstal making large investment in steel mills

COLUMBUS — Severstal will invest $1.3 billion in its steel and mining operations worldwide with $43 million set aside for its rolled steel mill in Columbus. The company says in a news release that while it will spend most of its investments in 2013 on its Russian operations, $107 million will be invested in the United States. At Columbus, the ...

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County appeals decision to give casino tax money to city

CLARKSDALE — Coahoma County has appealed a judge’s order that it return to the city of Clarksdale about $62,000 collected in casino taxes. The Clarksdale Press Register reports the county filed the appeal Feb. 15, asking Circuit Judge Johnnie Walls to reverse his decision. In court documents, county attorney Tom Ross argues that Walls ruled not on a county action ...

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Commission approves new rules for casino construction

JACKSON — Mississippi Gaming Commission has approved a new rule that would require new casinos to be sturdier and with larger gambling space larger and restaurants and hotels. The new regulations approved today would raise the required number of hotel rooms from 250 to 300 and hotel quality to a three-diamond. New casino resorts would have to have a 40,000-square-foot ...

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Mayor arrested on federal bribery charges, no details released

VICKSBURG — Mayor Paul Winfield has been arrested on federal bribery charges. FBI spokeswoman Deborah Madden says Winfield was arrested in Vicksburg by federal agents. No details of Winfield’s arrest have been released. The 39-yar-old Winfield is being held in the Madison County Detention Center in Canton. No initial court appearance has been announced. He is completing his first term ...

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