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MBJ FEATURE

Merging research

As at all of Mississippi’s public institutions of higher learning, Mississippi State University is looking to cut costs where possible. However, a recently announced merger of two of the land grant university’s departments is also expected to increase the quality of scientists’ research. Late last year, Mississippi State University announced it was merging the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ...

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Stuck at the station

East Mississippi’s rail corridor runs from Corinth to Waynesboro, skips 50 miles, and then runs from Lucedale to the Port of Pascagoula. The Railroad Authority of East Mississippi, formed in 2009, wants to fill the gap from Waynesboro to Lucedale, but a congressional ban on earmarks is not helping that effort. One of the first moves Republican House leadership made ...

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Center for Justice aids spill victims

Many BP oil disaster victims, like shrimp and oyster harvesters, have turned in claims paperwork to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility, only to have it rejected due to inadequate documentation. Many don’t have the financial resources to hire private lawyers and some may also lack the educational background to be able to handle the paperwork on their own. Enter the ...

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Mississippi’s ‘Brain-Drain’

Teen pregnancy, ‘anti-intellectual’ culture blamed for economic woes As a tracker of Mississippi’s economic and population shifts, Pete Walley has looked closely at the 2010 census numbers on the state and its counties. What he’s seeing, he says, is a six-decade-old theory on population migration playing out in the Magnolia State: “Those that can will migrate to find better opportunities.” ...

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One company's trash…

The pyrotechnical display routinely provided by Sanderson Farms Inc.’s plant in Collins is no more as the company has found a better — and more profitable — way of disposing of “unwanted” methane gas. And thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Sanderson expects to recoup its cost in the project within the first year of operation. The ...

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Survey finds decline in home prices in Jackson, rest of state

Metro Jackson housing prices declined more steeply in December than in November, reports CoreLogic HPI, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based research and analytics firm. Statewide, single-family home prices fell in December 3.36 percent compared to the same month in 2009, the researchers reported. Jackson, home prices, including distressed sales, declined by 2.98 percent in December compared to Dec. 2009 and declined ...

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Digital records bill perseveres

Electronically accessible government records have spread slowly across Mississippi, as only a handful of counties that could afford to do so have implemented the systems necessary to provide them. One of the parts of Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s business reform legislative package would set guidelines for storing those electronic documents, and at the same time give them the same ...

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Loosening the purse strings

Small businesses receiving loans from Mississippi’s planning and development districts could possibly see their interest rates lowered under a bill that cleared the Senate last week. Senate Bill 2954 would delete the requirement that PDDs charge a minimum 5 percent interest rate on loans they make to small businesses in their service areas. Instead, the interest rates could be no ...

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Free, not easy

Recently implemented new rules concerning pro bono work by Mississippi attorneys are being welcome by the legal community while highlighting the myriad of issues and concerns involved in offering free legal services to the needy. Last month, the Mississippi Supreme Court announced revised Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers. The Court said the new rules, which went into effect immediately, ...

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