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Smithville celebrates new domed gym-disaster structure as tornado recovery continues

SMITHVILLE, Mississippi — Monroe County received a check for $1.4 million Friday to put toward the cost of building the Smithville school’s new monolithic dome gym, a tornado-resistant structure that replaces the gym destroyed on April 27, 2011 by an EF5 tornado that roared through the center of town, killing 16 people. The domed gym at the Smithville Attendance Center ...

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Balch & Bingham beefs up to add new law practice areas

Birmingham-based law firm Balch & Bingham has added 13 associates to its roster of more than 250 attorneys and lobbyists in the Southeast and Washington, D.C., including additional attorneys in the Jackson and Gulfport offices. Alan Rogers, managing partner of the 91-year-old firm, said the staffing increase is part of a move to establish several new practice areas. “Most recently, ...

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USM's ROTC program gets reprieve on shutdown

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has persuaded the Army to delay its plans to include the University of Southern Mississippi on a list of collegiate Reserve Officer Training Corps programs targeted for closing over the next two years. Southern Miss landed on the list of 13 programs targeted for closing after failing to meet ROTC enrollment and graduation levels. Bryant declared ...

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Kaiser: 204,000 in state can get health insurance tax credits

Once the federal government’s health insurance marketplace Web portal – healthcare.gov – is actually working, 204,000 uninsured Mississippians will be eligible for tax credits that can be used to lower the price of premiums on the exchange, a new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation says. The Kaiser Foundation estimates the 204,000 has the potential to grow to 290,000 Mississippians’ ...

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Bryant will chair Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission

With Mississippi drawing ever closer to a possible shale oil bonanza in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale play, Gov. Phil Bryant next year will chair the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, the nation’s oldest oil and gas commission. The commission, representing the governors of 30 member and eight associate states, promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of the nation’s oil ...

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Mississippi is most-improved energy-efficient state in nation

Mississippi has jumped from worst to first in a ranking of the nation’s most-improved states on energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, a Washington, D.C., energy think tank. “For too long, Mississippi has ranked dead last in the nation in the area of energy efficiency,” said Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley, who joined ...

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Miss. NG chief bucks Pentagon with refusal to recognize same sex marriages

JACKSON, Mississippi– Mississippi’s top Army National Guard officer, Maj. Gen. Augustus “Leon” Collins, is caught between Mississippi’s refusal to recognize gay marriage and the insistence of the Pentagon that Mississippi issue official ID cards to the same-sex spouses of Air and Army National Guard members. At this point, Mississippi Adjutant General Collins is sticking with the position outlined late Friday ...

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Bryant to resist Pentagon call to give Army NG benefits to spouses in gay marriages

JACKSON, Mississippi– Gov. Phil Bryant says he has no choice but to reject a soon-to-be-delivered order from the Pentagon for Mississippi to grant same-sex spouses of Army National Guard members the same benefits as other spouses. Bryant’s stand sets up a showdown with the Pentagon at a time Mississippi is trying to hang on to its military installations and is ...

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