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MBJ FEATURE

Mississippi prevented-planting acreage for 2019 sets record

By JACK WEATHERLY Mississippi has set a record this year for crop acreage that was not planted because of natural causes. Six hundred and 22 thousand acres were not planted, primarily because of heavy rains and flooding. The previous record was 450,898 in 2016, according to Dr. Josh Maples, assistant professor of agricultural economics at Mississippi State University who tracks data ...

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JACK WEATHERLY — Everywhere you turn, there’s a writer

Turns out that our trip from northeast Jackson to Yazoo City last Friday was a good warmup for the fifth annual Mississippi Book Festival the next day. Yazoo City, of course, is the town that Willie Morris put on the map. And while the estate sale that attracted us was rewarding in its own right, the Morris trail took over, ...

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ANDY TAGGART — Will be a steward of the state’s law enforcement resources

Life often brings the realization that something must be done just because it is the right thing to do.  Such a time arose for my wife Karen and me this past spring when I concluded that I should enter the race for Attorney General. For nearly 150 years, Mississippi has waited for the opportunity to elect a conservative Republican to ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Are GOP candidates willing to tackle rural issues?

Rural Mississippians, as I wrote last week, will have a big say in the August Republican primary runoffs. Politicians who ignore their plight may be in for a big surprise. Take, for example, Tippah County on the northern border of the state. Republican voter turnout in the first primary was up 4,809, a 732% gain. A key issue in Tippah ...

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ROBERT FOSTER — The runoff election for governor is too important to sit on the sidelines

Gubernatorial runoffs are a rare occurrence in Mississippi’s history. In fact, the most recent was nearly three decades ago. Like so many of you, I have struggled to reach a decision on the right plan of action in this runoff election. For months, I pitched my conservative outsider resume and platform of fresh ideas and a new perspective for our ...

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Two more electric power co-ops announce plans to offer broadband internet

By DANNY McARTHUR / Daily Journal Another electric power association has confirmed plans to form internet broadband service, while another has made a step in that direction. Prentiss County Electric Power Association Manager Ronny Rowland and Commissioner Brandon Presley confirmed that the Prentiss County EPA board has already voted unanimously to begin offering internet service to its members. The announcement ...

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UPDATE — Mississippi gets high grade on manufacturing strength but seen weak on advanced industries

Findings detailed in Ball State manufacturing scorecard By TED CARTER Mississippi has joined a short list of states that Ball State University’s Manufacturing Annual Scorecard rated as tops nationally for the health of their manufacturing sectors. But the leading academic author of the Scorecard said Mississippi must improve the quality of its healthcare and schools to grab a larger share ...

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TODD SMITH — Facebook offers news outlets millions for publishing rights

Facebook is willing to shell out millions of dollars for the rights to publish its content in a news section that the company hopes to launch later this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Facebook officials recently told news executives they would be willing to pay as much as $3 million a year to license headlines and previews of ...

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SHAD WHITE — Public sector fraud provides lessons for businesses

My office just finished two large reports, one being our yearly audit of federal money flowing through Mississippi and the other a review of all the investigations we’ve completed in the year that I’ve been State Auditor. The takeaway from both is that theft of public money and the lack of controls to prevent fraud are still big problems in ...

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BECKY GILLETTE — Immigration arrests at poultry plants were a disaster

This past week there were the kind of emergency food drives in Central Mississippi normally reserved for disasters like tornadoes and hurricanes. In this case, the disaster was immigration raids that resulted in the arrests of 680 people while they were at work at poultry processing plants in the area. About 600 agents from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) armed ...

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