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MBJ FEATURE

KiOR case still bogged down in lawsuits

By JACK WEATHERLY More than five years ago, the state of Mississippi sued billionaire Vinod Khosla and others, contending that they knew that bankrupt firm KiOR had poor prospects for success in making biocrude oil but misled the state into making the company a $75 million no-interest loan. What has happened since? Another lawsuit. The KiOR Inc. Liquidation Trust sued ...

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TODD SMITH — McDonald’s ad honors victims of police brutality

A new, silent 60-second ad from McDonald’s honors Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, saying “they were all one of us.” “We see them in our customers,” text on the screen reads. “We see them in our crew members. We see them in our franchisees.” As protesters take to the streets ...

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ORLANDO R. RICHMOND — Why I resist casual Friday and other thoughts on diversity and inclusion: A black partner’s perspective

I knew that I was going to be pulled over and that part of the encounter was entirely appropriate. I was speeding early one morning on a two-lane highway near my home when a highway patrolman passed me in a curve traveling in the opposite direction. He quickly disappeared over a hill and had not activated his blue lights. Just ...

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As businesses reopen, customer risk questions come to forefront

By TED CARTER Lawyers who work liability lawsuits took notice when Gov. Tate Reeves emphasized the risks for Mississippians flocking back to salons, shops, restaurants, gyms and other businesses allowed to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. Reeves said the reopening has a tradeoff of potentially bad health consequences for economic survival. “There will be risk should you choose to go ...

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Bringing back your workers? Prepare for gumbo of rules and regs

By TED CARTER A Mississippi business owner who brings back or hires new workers amid the coronavirus pandemic must sort through a mish-mash of federal, state and local laws, regulations and guidelines. But the strictures can be a business owner’s life preserver both commercially and legally. Or they can be the very thing that sinks the enterprise, say lawyers who ...

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BRIAN ESTES — Mississippi’s Commercial Real Estate Exchange is a great tool

Since the middle of March most of the country has been dealing with the pandemic and the shutdown of the economy.  Here in Mississippi, most businesses didn’t shut down until early April, but remained shuttered for almost 6 weeks.  For most businesses (small and large), this has been a very difficult time both professionally and financially.  Now that the national ...

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ROSS REILY — Our new flag will be a sight to behold

In general relativity, an event horizon is a boundary in spacetime beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer. In layman’s terms, it is defined as “the point of no return”, the point at which the gravitational pull becomes so great as to make escape impossible. In Mississippi we passed an event horizon in 2001. That’s when Mississippi held a ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Coronavirus lesson: we’re more fragile than invulnerable

Fragile…the word itself seems frail, matching its etymology from the Latin fragilis, with frag meaning “to break” and ilis meaning “subject to.” Thanks to the COVID-19 coronavirus, we see many things today more fragile, more susceptible to breaking, than ever before. Many were made that way by our false sense of invulnerability. Take our health care system. Americans enjoy the most ubiquitous, capable, and costly health ...

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Retail phase of Oxford Commons complete and leased

By JACK WEATHERLY The Blackburn Group has announced the completion of the Terrace at Oxford Commons, with 100 percent of the 16,000-square-foot retail center preleased. The Oxford Commons is a projected mixed-use traditional neighborhood of 1,500 to 1,600 residences – free-standing, condominiums, townhouses and apartments – on about 700 acres in the city of Oxford. All of the new businesses in the Terrace are planning to open in August or September. “It is ...

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Grocery wholesaler to invest $300 million, create 79 jobs in Hernando

Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. plans to expand and consolidate in DeSoto County by constructing a new facility in Hernando. The project will bring over $300 million in investment, retain the existing 511 employees, and create 79 jobs. AWG is the nation’s largest cooperative food wholesaler to independent supermarkets, serving more than 1,100 companies at more than 3,000 locations throughout 28 states, according ...

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