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MBJ FEATURE

World’s first trash-to-fuel plant

Pontotoc could become home to the world’s first fully operational, commercial-scale plant to create ethanol from garbage. Montreal-based Enerkem plans to break ground “later this year” on Enerkem Mississippi Biofuels, which should begin producing 10 million gallons of biofuel annually by 2013. The company is building a similar project in Alberta, Canada, that is scheduled to be operational prior to ...

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Closed West Point-to-Greenwood rail link seeking new life

The owners of a dormant rail link from West Point to Greenwood have a cost-benefit evaluation in hand that says reopening the line could theoretically be profitable. Now all they have to do is find customers who will make that possible. The link, closed since March 2001 and owned by Connecticut-based Genesee & Wyoming since 2008, is part of the ...

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Under the microscope

The latest round in the three-year heavyweight political battle that involves U.S. farm-raised catfish, food safety, government spending and international diplomacy is in the books. Who won, who lost and where the domestic catfish industry goes from here is yet to be determined. The last week of May, two public comment hearings were held — the first in Washington, D.C., ...

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State’s new economic blueprint likely to bear educator’s stamp

The career educator who is heading an effort to update Mississippi’s economic development strategy for a new decade says he wants education cemented as the strategy’s cornerstone. That could commit the state’s business and community leaders to a policy of resisting deep cuts to education as state budget makers seek to erase growing deficits. Such cuts would be costly on ...

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Mississippi leaders see opportunity to match success of Georgia, N.C.

More than three out of four of Mississippi’s business and civic leaders believe the state in coming years can duplicate the economic success achieved by Georgia and North Carolina. At the same time, however, nearly half think their children must leave Mississippi to find a “good job.” Those are a pair of key findings of a Mississippi Economic Council survey ...

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Yazoo County officials: Willie Morris Parkway as close as it’s ever been

After more than a decade of planning, roadblocks and delays, Yazoo City officials are cautiously optimistic the Willie Morris Parkway is closer than ever to going from a drawing-board fantasy to a construction-site reality. Initial plans for the three-mile parkway, named after the Yazoo City native who became a giant of the literary world, started in 1999, but have since ...

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Decimated logging industry clings to hope of housing rebound

Since the mid-1990s, Mississippi’s logging industry has been sawed to a fraction of what it was. Perhaps no better illustration of that comes in the latest employment figures for the industry included in a report by the Mississippi Institute for Forest Inventory. In 1996, the industry employed 125,000 people, according to the report. By 2008, that number had dropped to ...

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Investing in Florida

There’s no place like home until convention time, when many Mississippi organizations put the Magnolia State in the rearview mirror. Millions of dollars in hospitality sector spending go with those groups, as does job growth and a stronger visitor industry, said Linda McCarthy, executive director of the Jackson Convention Complex. “Certainly, Mississippi-based groups should be meeting in the state of ...

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Flood cost estimates will arrive as slowly as water’s fall

The Mississippi River may have reached its crest, but that doesn’t mean state agencies or private sector businesses can start to evaluate the financial hit they have taken from the historic flood. Water started receding the third week of May, but it has so far been a slow drop. National Weather Service officials estimate that in towns like Greenville and ...

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Natchez escapes

Of the four major Mississippi River markets in the state, the City of Natchez has easily fared the best during the historic river flood. Other than the closure of the Isle of Capri Casino, all businesses – even the ones located on the banks of the river in the historic Under-the-Hill section – are not only unaffected by the floodwaters ...

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