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MBJ FEATURE

State delaying full funding of pension plan for six months

Legislators inserted funding in recently passed appropriations, including state’s full 12.9 percent contribution starting Jan. 1 Mississippi’s public employee retirement system took a hit this legislative session but not the full scale blow for which its managers had been bracing. The retirement system must wait six months for the state to begin handing over a nine-tenths of a percent increase ...

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Alternative career track bill heads to Barbour’s desk

A bill that revamps the high school curriculum for students who have no designs on going to college when they graduate is headed to Gov. Haley Barbour. Senate Bill 2557, supporters say, will essentially speed up workforce development by rolling into a traditional high school course load, vocational and skilled job-training normally done at a community college. Its intent is ...

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Changes coming for Coast tourism

Personnel changes and the possibility of structural changes at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention & Visitors Bureau are raising questions about the future of area tourism. The Harrison County Tourism Commission, governing board of the CVB, did not renew the contract of Richard Forester, CVB executive director. There are also efforts led by the Gulf Coast Business Council to create ...

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MDA backers devise a diamond soiree

Nearly 1,000 people — including the current governor and a pair of former governors — turned out March 24 at the Marriott in Jackson to celebrate a 75-year-old success story — the Mississippi Development Authority. The Mississippi Economic Development Council organized the anniversary gathering with the help of a host of Diamond, Platinum and Silver sponsors from the private sector ...

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Is the sky falling?

There is a disease that has been identified in some poultry houses in South Mississippi that is easily transmitted from bird to bird and farm to farm and can leave growers with hundreds of dead birds in just days. It poses no risks to humans, researchers say, but can be catastrophic to growers’ financial health if unchecked. However, scientists say ...

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Roughing it in exile

If you like the sound of rain on a tin roof, a job at the Mississippi Department of Revenue building in Raymond may be just the ticket. Of course, the downside is you’ll work in a cavernous warehouse with concrete floors and 40-foot ceilings where some parts of the building are too hot and other parts too cold – and ...

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A BIG DEAL

Regions Plaza fills 50,000 square feet in lease with state A signing of a lease by the State of Mississippi for more than 50,000 square feet in the half-empty Regions Plaza building last Friday gave downtown Jackson’s office market just the break it had wanted. The new tenants are the Mississippi State Personnel Board and the Mississippi Department of Finance ...

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Blue Cross of Miss. not part of DOJ probe

Investigation of company is ongoing in other states Health insurance plans of provider Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi are not part of a widening U.S. Department of Justice investigation examining whether companies are effectively raising health insurance premiums by striking agreements with hospitals that stifle competition from rival insurers. The DOJ has issued civil subpoenas to Blue Cross in ...

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Harrison County Industrial Park is ‘project ready’

The Global Axis Industrial Park in Harrison County is now certified as “project ready.” More than 600 acres adjacent to the growing U.S. 49 corridor, linking Gulfport to Hattiesburg, have been assessed for environmental, archeological, endangered species and geotechnical issues, among others. Actual improvements to the property will cost approximately $6 million and be finished in phases. Water, sewer, power ...

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