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MBJ FEATURE

Safety, security: USM center expanding its reach internationally

Most of the training emergency responders undergo isn’t all that heavy on how to handle a crisis at a large sporting venue. The National Center for Spectator Sports, Safety and Security (NCS4) has been filling that gap since 2006, and it’s about to go international. “We did some research a couple years back and found that the problem facing the ...

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Go safe or take the risks

Ask a room full of economists and financial planners to create a model for funding a defined public pension plan. The lines likely will divide this way: Pension commitments are too sacrosanct to be risked on a stock market roller coaster. Shelter the money in very low-risk instruments. Look at the equities market over the last 70 years. It’s provided ...

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Bank tries to prove Valley committed fraud

The long-awaited trial of the Evans brothers began last week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Mississippi and was still continuing at press time. Judge Neil Olack will rule in the non-jury trial. Heritage Bank and the Bank of Forest are suing Mississippi Valley Title Insurance Company (MVT) on contractual claims and a bad faith claim, as ...

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Self-employment assistance bill dies at deadline

A bill that had significant support from some of the state’s most influential business groups was among the casualties of last week’s committee deadline. Senate Bill 2770 would have made those who are unemployed and who are in the process of starting a small business eligible to continue receiving unemployment benefits. It died in the House Labor Committee after clearing ...

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Dirt still yet to turn on D’Iberville casino resort

The developers of a $450-million mixed-use gaming village on D’Iberville’s waterfront, as of last week’s deadline, had not gotten on to the agenda for the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s March 24 meeting, after not appearing at the February meeting. George Toth, president and CEO of CanCan Development, told the Mississippi Business Journal late last year that he hoped to appear before ...

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Natchez casino project hits another snag

In Feb. 2008, developers of a Natchez casino on that city’s famed Roth Hill appeared before the Mississippi Gaming Commission and got site approval for the project. Natchez aldermen don’t believe enough has happened since then, so in their Feb. 22 meeting, they voted 5-1 to notify Premier Gaming Group, a Kentucky-based company spearheading the development for Natchez Enterprises and ...

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State: Moody’s calculations wrong

Managers of Mississippi’s defined public employee pension plan say Moody’s made too broad a calculation in setting the plan’s unfunded liabilities and are want the ratings agency to refigure the assets-to-obligations ratio. Moody’s, which includes pension obligations in its overall rating of a state’s credit worthiness, awarded Mississippi an “Aa” rating last October with an outlook of “stable.” The “Aa” ...

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Cadence poised for new start as private, five-state bank

Cadence National Bank was to shed its public company status Friday to become the private property of Community Bancorp LLC in an acquisition that rescued the Starkville regional bank from a federal order to significantly increase its capital levels. With the acquisition, Cadence gets a $100-million capital injection that frees it from a consent order the Office of the Comptroller ...

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Regions Plaza, 200 Renaissance key factors in Jackson’s occupancy deficit

Two major challenges stand in the way of bringing a balance to metro Jackson’s office market: 200 Renaissance and Regions Plaza. Filling up a greater portion of the vast empty spaces in each would stabilize rates market-wide and restore an equilibrium not seen for several years, says John Barton, senior vice president and senior asset manager for Parkway Properties in ...

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Bond ratings could take hit

Mississippi often ends up high on the list of states with pension fund obligations out of balance with the money coming in to meet the obligations. Is the state’s latest delay in funding an increased share about to accelerate an imbalance that hovers in the $10-billion range? Not according to Pat Robertson, director of the Public Retirement System. Double-digit investment ...

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