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Mississippi business group offers loans for flood recovery

Mississippi’s Small Business Administration is now offering low-interest loans to homeowners, businesses and nonprofit organizations who suffered losses when torrential rain caused widespread flooding last spring. The National Weather Service estimated some south Mississippi areas received up to 15 inches of rain in a span of days in May 2019, washing out train tracks, flooding rivers and prompting water rescues, ...

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Mississippi budget plan: Spend slightly less in coming year

Mississippi legislative leaders are recommending that the state spend slightly less money during the coming year than during the current year. Members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee met Wednesday and adopted a broad outline for a nearly $6.3 billion budget for the year that begins July 1. That would be nearly $94 million less than the state is set ...

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Head of Mississippi foster care agency retiring in January

The leader of Mississippi’s long-scrutinized foster care agency is retiring next month shortly after a new governor takes office. Jess Dickinson sent a letter to current Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday, saying that Jan. 16 will be his last day as commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services. Dickinson previously served as a circuit court judge and then ...

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Some Mississippi inaugural events reserved for sponsors

Mississippi’s new governor was elected to serve everyone, but not just anyone will be allowed into some of the events celebrating his inauguration. The inaugural committee for Republican Tate Reeves on Monday sent out a list of events that are open to the public. The committee’s website also shows that it is seeking sponsorships of $5,000 to $250,000, and that ...

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ROGER WICKER: Let’s move past budget brinksmanship

A week before Thanksgiving, Congress approved and President Donald Trump signed a short-term government funding bill through December 20. This bill, also known as a continuing resolution (CR), keeps existing expenditures in place and was necessary to prevent an immediate government shutdown. However, the CR amounts to a regrettable stopgap and sets up a legislative sprint to find a longer-term ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — New Year’s hope for government transparency and efficiency

Conservatives regularly cite transparency and efficiency as goals to make government smaller and better. Too often, though, said conservatives do not deliver on these goals. New conservative leadership in Mississippi may be about to change that. In an op-ed piece, incoming Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said he is taking steps to deliver on a campaign promise to increase transparency at ...

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US gains a robust 266,000 jobs; unemployment falls to 3.5%

Hiring in the United States jumped last month to its highest level since January as U.S. employers shrugged off trade conflicts and a global slowdown and added 266,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dipped to 3.5% from 3.6% in October, matching a half-century low, the Labor Department reported Friday. And wages rose a solid 3.1% in November compared with a year ...

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Audit: Narcotics director was improperly paid for comp time

Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy was improperly paid for working extra hours and inappropriately used a clothing allowance that should not have been available to him, the state auditor’s office said in a report released Thursday. The report from Auditor Shad White said Dowdy should repay MBN $27,662 for compensatory time buyouts he received and $2,450 for shirts ...

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Secretary of State-elect Michael Watson to name Keith Davis as Chief of Staff

Secretary of State-elect Michael Watson announced that he will be hiring Keith Davis as his Chief of Staff. Watson was elected in November with 59% of the vote to become Mississippi’s next Secretary of State. Keith Davis is currently serving as the Chief of Enforcement for the Department of Marine Resources (DMR), a position he has held since July, 2014. ...

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Former clerk pleads guilty to taking more than $100,000

A former Hancock County Justice Court employee is pleading guilty to two counts of embezzlement after investigators found she stole more than $100,000. Local news outlets report Dana Sue Beaman pleaded guilty Monday in Hancock County Circuit Court. The state auditor’s office found Beaman took more than $110,000 over three years she worked for the court. The inquiry began after ...

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