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MBJ FEATURE

No regrets from suddenly profitable Cadence Bank

Relief and optimism have replaced last summer’s struggle for survival for Starkville’s Cadence National Bank. The new lease on life for the multi-state regional bank came courtesy of a nearly $150 million capital infusion from Community Bancorp, a Houston, Texas, banking investment group that swooped in last October to take over Cadence after the bank had agreed to an acquisition ...

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Union lawyer, PERS chief: Options are limited

The head of the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi says the $20.7-billion retirement trust fund is constitutionally protected but she doubts the benefits of retirees and public sector workers enrolled in the plan have the same protections. “However, this could be debated,” said Pat Robertson, PERS executive director. She cited a 1986 amendment to the Mississippi Constitution in noting ...

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Day of reckoning ahead for PERS

Upgrades in retirement benefits granted to Mississippi’s public sector workers a decade ago could get rolled back as the state, its cities, counties and school districts struggle to stay financially afloat. Citing an “unsustainable” burden on Mississippi taxpayers inching toward $1 billion annually, Gov. Haley Barbour wants a close look taken at altering the retirement benefits awarded current and future ...

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Start of prep football season culmination of year-long efforts from booster clubs, parents

Mississippi’s high school football season started last week. The financial planning for it never stopped. Before toe met leather last Thursday and Friday nights, the booster clubs that pay for everything from Gatorade to field houses had spent months raising money to carry out their missions of providing private financial support to their respective programs. “We have several things we ...

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Companies exploring new oil resource in SW Mississippi

Companies are now drilling in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play, an “unproven unconventional 7 billion barrel oil resource” spanning central Louisiana and southwestern Mississippi. The total potential of the play — as estimated by the Basin Research Institute at Louisiana State University — would equal the United States’ oil consumption for a year, which was about 6.9 billion barrels in ...

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Cities, counties sue to amend rules governing Sec. 42 rules

The Mississippi Association of Supervisors, the Mississippi Municipal League and dozens of cities and counties have sued the Mississippi Department of Revenue over the guidelines that agency has in place to calculate tax obligations of Section 42 housing developments. The complaint was filed in Hinds County Chancery Court earlier this month. When developers, a lot of whom are from out ...

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Environmentalists oppose planting of modified crops

Opponents of genetically engineered (GE) crops maintain that human consumption of these products poses a risk to public health. Now, three environmental groups have brought a lawsuit against the federal government contending that genetically modified crops are not fit for even wildlife to consume and do harm to habitat. But while the two sides argue whether GE crops are environmentally ...

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ACT: Mississippi ranks last in national college readiness

According to the ACT’s “Condition of College and Career Readiness” report released Aug. 17, the Mississippi graduating class of 2011 had the lowest percentages in the nation of students meeting the ACT benchmarks on subject area tests. Only 10 percent of Mississippi’s class of 2011 students met all four college readiness benchmarks in English, reading, math and science, in contrast ...

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Steamboat to dock at Vicksburg

In 2008 when the historic steamboat Delta Queen discontinued Mississippi River tours, communities up and down the river not only lost a piece of cultural history, they also lost an important tourism asset. Thus, the state’s Mississippi River communities, still reeling from the recent flood, are all smiles with the announcement this month that the American Queen, a more modern, ...

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MDA, GreenTech finalizing incentive package

A Q&A with GreenTech president Terry McAuliffe that appeared over the weekend on the Washington Post’s website has a lot of the same information that Magnolia Marketplace has reported since January. The production of the company’s MyCar neighborhood electric vehicle will start in Horn Lake late this year, and the Tunica facility, where GTA hopes to build its midsize sedan ...

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