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MBJ FEATURE

Center for Public Policy: Roll back retirement benefits for state workers

A Mississippi-based organization that advocates limited government has weighed in on the Mississippi Public Employee Personnel System solvency issue with a call for rollbacks in retirement benefits for some state workers. In a legal brief submitted to a study commission created to study possible reform of PERS, the Mississippi Center for Public Policy challenges state Attorney General Jim Hood’s assertion ...

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Connecting growers, restaurants

The new Eat Healthy Mississippi initiative, which will connect local growers to restaurants and promote healthy eating, is underway. The Mississippi Hospitality and Restaurant Association (MHRA) recently learned it had received a grant of more than $83,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With the help of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture, MHRA has already contacted more than… >> SEE ...

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Hearing this week on proposed railroad abandonment

Attorney General Jim Hood has joined the chorus of people asking the federal Surface Transportation Board to hold a public hearing on Grenada Railway’s plans to abandon a stretch of rail from Grenada to Canton. Hood asked the STB that the hearing be held in Grenada so stakeholders on the line could air their grievances. Hood’s plea to the STB ...

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Sales tax growth ‘very worrying,’ state’s senior economist warns

That spring dip in both the national and Mississippi economy lingered in the Magnolia State through the summer, causing Mississippians to slow their retail spending. September spending showed a slight rise but still fell short of estimates. The state Department of Revenue reports sales tax revenues for July and August dropped below the same months of the previous year and ...

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Calisolar lays off 80 California polysilicon solar cell workers

Calisolar, which said in early September that it will build a plant in Lowndes County, Miss., recently announced it’s firing 80 workers from its polysilicon solar cell manufacturing plant in Sunnyvale, Calif. The solar start-up company, which was founded in 2006, has more than… >>SEE FULL STORY<< — Cnet News Green Tech blog and Bloomberg contributed to this report. Related ...

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Sod growers shaken by economy, weather

For the state’s sod growers, 2010 was a year to forget. Rocked by low demand due to the lack of new construction as well as adverse weather patterns, the industry saw many producers forced out of business, and those that survived struggled to remain a going concern. Unfortunately, producers will hold no fond memories of 2011, either, and for the ...

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HAY FEVER

The drought in Texas has left pastures brown and cattlemen and horse owners in a hay-buying frenzy to feed their hungry animals. Now, local horse owners are worried that there will not be enough hay to get through the upcoming winter. Stephanie Billingsley of Mississippihorses.org said, “We are afraid… >>SEE FULL STORY<< Related story: Sod farmers shaken by economy, weather

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Technology is key to solar success

With the continued controversy over the Obama administration’s support for the now-bankrupt Solyndra, which came weeks after the collapse of Spectrawatt and Evergreen Solar, the renewable energy industry is eagerly watching to see how other U.S. solar manufacturers will fare. Gov. Barbour has branded Mississippi as a green energy leader, and two companies he helped recruit to the state — ...

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