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Neshoba County Fair speeches happening days before primaries

JACKSON — The Neshoba County Fair is a mandatory stop for retail politicking in Mississippi, and this week’s campaign speeches are happening just a few days before party primaries for governor and other offices. Candidates mingle with the sweaty masses of people who gather in hundreds of shotgun-style cabins in the red clay hills outside Philadelphia. Most of the cabins have ...

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Analysis: Mississippi flag folded at some public buildings

  Mississippi voters chose to keep a Confederate battle emblem on the state flag in 2001, but that election did not equate to a universal embrace of the banner. The flag has disappeared in recent years from some public buildings, particularly in majority-black areas, as local officials expressed concern that it represents division rather than unity. The Mississippi flag has ...

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Judge: Mississippi not obligated to fully fund schools

JACKSON — Mississippi legislators are not obligated to fully fund an education budget formula every year, a judge ruled in a lawsuit filed by a former governor. Hinds County Chancery Judge William Singletary’s ruling was signed Tuesday and filed Wednesday in a lawsuit that former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove brought last year on behalf of 21 school districts, including the state’s second-largest district, ...

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Analysis: State considers other options for failing schools

  When Gov. Phil Bryant approved plans by the Mississippi Department of Education last week to take over the Tunica County school district, it was a familiar process. Mississippi has taken over a district at least 19 times since 1996. Tunica joins Oktibbeha County and North Panola on the list of districts that have been taken over twice. More than ...

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Overtime policy plan for salaried workers draws mixed reviews

By JACK WEATHERLY  The U.S. Department of Labor is planning to more than double the pay threshold to $50,440 from $23,660 for salaried workers who are exempt from overtime. About 5 million will be directly affected by change, which is expected to go into effect next year, according to the department. In introducing the rules change, which does not require ...

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State looking to Hood for guidance on same-sex benefits signups

By TED CARTER State officials are awaiting word from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood on when to extend worker benefits to the same-sex spouses of state and school employees. The Department of Finance and Administration, the state agency that administers worker benefits to state and public school workers, says it needs guidance from Hood on whether to make the benefit signups ...

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Budget writer: Cuts possible if education measure passes

JACKSON — A top Mississippi budget writer is telling leaders of most state agencies to plan how they would cut spending in case voters approve a school funding initiative in November. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Herb Frierson, R-Poplarville, met with agency directors Tuesday at the Capitol and told them to prepare plans for 7.8 percent spending cuts. He’s requesting answers by ...

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New US Rep. Kelly keeps most of his predecessor’s staff

TUPELO — Mississippi’s newest member of Congress is renting a tiny apartment in Washington and has hired most of his predecessor’s staff. Republican Trent Kelly told the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that he’s adjusting to long days that often stretch into working sessions at night on Capitol Hill. “My days are mapped out on a pretty tight schedule,” said Kelly, who ...

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