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MBJ FEATURE

Christmas tree growers feel ‘Grinch-ed’ by tax stories

Mississippi’s Christmas tree growers are optimistic about this year’s sales season despite national reports of a new “tree tax” to fund promotional efforts. Growers now hope consumers visit their operations and see prices are generally the same as last year. “Here we are trying to self-promote our industry, and we get this,” said Michael May, owner of the Lazy Acres ...

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Build or lease? New study may help guide state’s decisions

A facilities study that could guide the State of Mississippi’s policies for accommodating its office and other operational needs is expected to be completed before the Christmas holidays. International commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield is wrapping up work on the second part of a study whose initial phase led to a recommendation to move the Mississippi Department of ...

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Cities realize hike-bike trails good for local economy

Cities are realizing that hike and bike trails are not only important for citizens’ quality of life but are also a powerful economic development tools. Recently, the cities of Jackson, Ridgeland and Flowood received a collective total of $3.1 million for pedestrian trail enhancements awarded through the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Jackson received $1.1 million to build a new hike ...

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Keeping the Christmas tree green

One of the reasons people choose artificial Christmas trees over live ones is upkeep. Dry, dead trees are messy and present a fire hazard, artificial tree proponents say. However, there are ways to keep a live tree green and safe throughout the holiday season. Here are a few tips from the Mississippi State University Extension Center: >> SEE FULL STORY ...

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Delta Health Alliance CEO Karen Fox under investigation for possible misuse of funds

What began as a wrongful termination lawsuit against the non-profit Delta Health Alliance has ended in its CEO under investigation by a federal grand jury over the possible misuse of money at the agency. James Hahn, former vice president of programs at Stoneville-based DHA, which provides healthcare to the poor in the Mississippi Delta, was fired in May 2010 after ...

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Roth Hill casino gets go-ahead in Natchez

In early 2008, developers of a planned casino on Natchez’s Roth Hill appeared before the Mississippi Gaming Commission and got site approval for the project. Almost four years and a few delays later, Premier Gaming Group received from the MGC at its October meeting permission to begin construction, said Allen Godfrey, the Commission’s executive director. Receiving permission to build means ...

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Construction economist sees strengthened recovery for state

A commercial construction economist has delivered a half-cup of good cheer on Mississippi’s economic prospects for 2012 and predicted the state should return to its pre-Gulf oil spill pace. Anirban Basu, chief economist for the  Associated Builders and Contractors, set 2012 economic growth at 2.4 percent nationally and said he expects regaining momentum lost to the BP oil spill will ...

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Consultants left to give convention hotel details after TCI doesn’t show

A public forum Jackson City Councilman Tony Yarber staged to hear details on a planned convention center hotel deal “right from the horse’s mouth” fell short of that expectation when the city’s proposed partner did a no-show. Instead, the 50 or so people gathered at the Anderson United Methodist Church got some brief details on the financial arrangements and market ...

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