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MBJ FEATURE

BILL CRAWFORD — Study shows rural Mississippi drifting into distress

“What was once a country of disparate places that converged towards prosperity is now a country of places drifting further apart,” reports the bipartisan Economic Innovation Group (EIG). Rural areas are the most impacted. This study corroborates my earlier column that population trends suggest declining prosperity in Mississippi’s rural counties. The EIG study found population increasing in the better off ...

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Former aluminum plant exec jailed in Louisiana, awaits bond hearing

By JACK WEATHERLY Roger Boggs, chief executive of American Specialty Alloys, which was to build a $1.2 billion plant in Columbus to produce aluminum for automobile bodies, pulled up stakes in October 2015 and decided to seek his fortunes in Louisiana. At the time, the manufacturer was at odds with the Mississippi Development Authority and the Golden Triangle development agency, ...

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CAET restaurant opens in larger quarters in Renaissance

By JACK WEATHERLY “I guess you could say we’re officially open,” Derek Emerson said on Tuesday as he watched the CAET Seafood Oysterette restaurant sign being hoisted into place above a blue-and-white-striped canopy flapping in the brisk wind. Emerson, who, with his wife Jennifer, owns the wine bar and restaurant, said the eatery had a soft opening on May 10 ...

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Low gas prices bode well for Memorial Day holiday

By JACK WEATHERLY Mississippi was in a four-way tie Monday for the cheapest gasoline in the country, $2.50 for a gallon of regular, the American Automobile Association reports. That bodes well for those planning road trips in the Magnolia State over the extended Memorial Day weekend, whether they’re in-staters or visitors. AAA projects that nearly 43 million Americans will mark ...

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Germany-based Krone moving HQ to Olive Branch

By BECKY GILLETTE Krone, a family-owned company based in Spelle, Germany, that has been doing business in the United States since 1973, has made plans to move its North American division, Krone NA, from Memphis, to Olive Branch in DeSoto County. The Olive Branch location will cost $1.5 million and employ 45 people working in parts and distribution for the ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — So you want to be economic developer?

So you want to be economic developer. Can’t say as I blame you. It’s a rewarding profession that provides self-satisfaction and can have a positive impact on a community. It’s also a stable occupation. In my many years as an economic developer, I’ve noticed very little turnover. In this letter, I’ll offer some observations and comments that you may find ...

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TODD SMITH _ Journalists have interviewed 20 percent of Americans

The media have long been a part of our everyday lives – from the morning newspaper to nightly TV news to today’s digital news that hits us with headlines 24/7. Many of you have had interaction with journalists in your lives. This is underscored in an interesting new survey from Pew Research Center that found about two-in-ten Americans (21 percent) ...

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Mead makers hoping for a dilly comeback for ancient drink

By JACK WEATHERLY Mead goes back thousands of years in cultures around the world, but these days it’s on the fringes. If you are a Game of Thrones nut, you know that a cup of Starbucks coffee was accidentally left on a table while everyone was downing great quantities of mead.  Or surely you’ve caught the “dilly dilly” television commercials ...

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Pushing the porch back to the forefront

By JACK WEATHERLY Big front porches – with room for friends and family to sit, rock and visit for a while – are back in style. In the days before air-conditioning, such porches were especially prized in the South during the long hot summers, allowing people passing by on foot to say hello and possibly be invited up for lemonade ...

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