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MBJ FEATURE

Sweet potato industry planning for future disasters

Two years removed from the worst disaster they had ever experienced in history, the state’s sweet potato growers are brimming with optimism. Perhaps more than a half-dozen farmers will put in a crop this year for the first time, and market prices are solid. Still, growers learned a lesson from 2009, when adverse weather wiped out roughly 70 percent of ...

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Cash is newest historic preservation incentive

Mississippi legislators say legislation passed this session will put more money into historic preservation and at the same time save the state money. The new law returns $250,000 to developers for every $1 million invested in a qualified historic preservation project. The measure caps allocations at $60 million, though legislators involved in formulating the bill do not expect the outlays ...

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No longer languishing?

Jackson’s Old Capitol Green District seems to make it to the starting line only to stall there. A recession that won’t go away as well as the massive scope and costs have created doubts the district will be transformed into a $1.1-billion mix-use community anytime soon. But a key executive of Full Spectrum of New York’s development team insists financing ...

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Curtain expected to rise soon on Farish Street’s second act

The thrill may be just starting, developers of the Farish Street Entertainment District say as they prepare for what they expect will be a late summer or early fall opening of a B.B. King’s Blues Club in the district. That first lease, says Watkins Development, should be followed in rapid succession by four more lease signings. “We want to have ...

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Mississippi’s cupcake craze

Cupcakes are selling like hot cakes. The low price of these decadent pick-me-ups is attracting consumers. Or maybe it’s the baby boomer nostalgia factor. Or the appeal of trading a pint of ice cream for a pint-sized treat with half the guilt. Who knows. Mississippi is finally following the trend that was started by New York City’s Magnolia Bakery in ...

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Ole Miss rolls out new physical mascot

A children’s hospital is probably as safe a place as any for the public debut of something as controversial as the Rebel Black Bear, Ole Miss’ new on-field mascot. So that’s exactly where Rebel showed up April 5 for his introduction. Blair E. Batson Hospital for Children in Jackson hosted the event, which was “great in every way,” according to ...

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For Jackson’s arena hopes, a Golden standard

City of Jackson officials have received three proposals from firms interested in performing planning and design studies for a possible downtown arena, and Mayor Harvey Johnson Jr.’s spokesperson says interviews are being set up with the hopes of a selection being made soon. “We hope to have that happen in short order,” Christopher Mims wrote last week in an email ...

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SBA looking to boost small contractors' bonding limit

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has amended its regulations under its Surety Bond Guarantee program in an effort to give small contractors more bonding capacity in the wake of a disaster. However, three of Mississippi’s largest construction trade associations say this has never been a problem for its members. And some wonder if increasing bonding limits for contractors at ...

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Museum investment seen as boost for downtown

History enthusiasts are relieved and pleased by a state Legislature appropriation last week of $38 million to build a new Museum of Mississippi History and a civil rights museum on state land just north of the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, 200 North Street. But supporters of downtown development are trading high-fives, as well. They see visitors and ...

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Mississippi: natural gas mecca

Mississippi residential and industrial customers should expect low electricity prices from natural gas-fired generation for years to come. While prices nationwide are projected to be low and stable, Mississippians could likely see even better prices because of this state’s convenient geographical location over a pipeline hub. In addition to pipeline infrastructure, Mississippi has an abundance of underground salt dome storage ...

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