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MBJ FEATURE

SMEPA to buy stake in plant

Hattiesburg-based power association serves more than 400,000 customers   South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) announced June 30 that it would buy a 17.5 percent stake in Mississippi Power Company’s clean coal power plant to be built in Kemper County. The Hattiesburg-based power association is made up of 11 member distribution cooperatives  and cumulatively serves 406,000 customers. SMEPA customers, along ...

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Cruisin' the Mississippi

Company bringing small-boat tours east A Seattle, Wash.-based company is bringing its small-ship tours to the Mississippi River next year, offering passengers an up-close look at the Father of Waters as well as tour stops in Natchez and Vicksburg. Earlier this month, Cruise West, a company that has been offering small-ship tours for more than 60 years, announced that it ...

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Oil spill challenges research universities

Scientists asked to do a lot with a little   Scientists at Mississippi’s four public research universities find themselves on the front lines of the oil spill battle. Researchers are being asked to collect data on everything from the effects on wildlife and plants to the socio-economic impact.  Yet, it could not have come at a worse time for the ...

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Standard building on track; no comment on Riverwalk

Riverwalk and Town Lake would feature a mile-long, concrete lined canal in Jackson   The second of Jackson developer David Watkins’ downtown renovation projects is still on track to meet its target completion date. Brad Franklin, director of entertainment for Watkins Partners, said last week that the 21-story historic Standard Life office building that will feature retail, restaurant, office and ...

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Airports a barometer of local economy

Golden Triangle a prime example of how good business makes for a busy airport   Mike Hainsey, director of Golden Triangle Regional Airport (GTRA), said “airports are just a mirror of the local economy.  In our case, we have been making plans for these projects so that the airport infrastructure is ready when the businesses are.  That business model has ...

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Nationwide Insurance premiums up 20%

But not for Mississippians   Of the 14 million Americans who buy their own insurance, 77 percent have seen their premiums increase most recently by an average of 20 percent, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study released last week. Of those who experienced a rate increase, 16 percent switched to a cheaper, less-comprehensive plan or changed insurance companies altogether. ...

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Furniture & family

La-Z-Boy South celebrates 50th anniversary   There were a number of factors that played into La-Z-Boy choosing the City of Newton for its first furniture manufacturing plant outside of its home base in Michigan back in 1960. However, perhaps the biggest reason was the company found a good fit in the small, comfortable town and its people. In short, the ...

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A gamble in Jones County

Choctaws look to build casino in Pine Belt Gaming can be a polarizing issue. So when the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) announced earlier this month to build a casino near the tiny hamlet of Sandersville in Jones County, which has never had gaming, it was not surprising that a segment of the local population would be against a ...

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Entergy agrees to give up more control

There are still some conflicts to be resolved involving transmissions systems control   FAIRHOPE, Ala. — Regulators from four states met last week to continue their discussion of Entergy’s transmissions system practices in efforts to ensure that Entergy customers in some of the nation’s poorest states are not paying more than they should for electricity. The Entergy Regional State Committee ...

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CottonMill developer: ‘We’re getting close’

Starkville’s multi-million dollar re-development project closer to reality The proposed mixed-use development that will sit where the Starkville city limits meet the Mississippi State University campus got a nudge forward last week from the Starkville Board of Aldermen. Aldermen voted to ask the Mississippi Development Authority for $3.8 million for road improvements to accommodate CottonMill Marketplace, which will transform the ...

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