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County Dems flip to GOP

JACKSON — Simpson County’s Republican contingent got a bit bigger today. At a press conference at the Mississippi Republican Party building in Jackson, chairman Brad White announced that seven of the county’s elected officials were switching their party affiliations from Democrat to Republican. They are: • District 13 District Attorney Eddie Bowen • Sheriff Kenneth Lewis • Supervisor Mickey Berry ...

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USDA adds BioPreferred products

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has added nine BioPreferred product categories that will now be eligible for federal procurement preference. This action increases the number of bio-based products by 20 percent. The USDA’s BioPreferred program’s round five finalization adds more than 1,000 bio-based products for preferred purchasing consideration by all federal government agencies, contractors and the military. ...

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Extended benefits bill passes Senate

WASHINGTON — Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) has voted for legislation that would allow the State of Mississippi to offer an additional 20 weeks of unemployment benefits to jobless workers. The Senate approved (98-0) the Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2009 (HR.3548), which in addition to extending unemployment benefits will also extend and expand an expiring homebuyer tax credit. The House ...

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U.S. unemployment claims fall

In the week ending Oct. 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims in the U.S. was 512,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised figure. The four-week moving average was 523,750, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.4 percent for the week ending ...

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DOE reimburses BlueFire Ethanol

FULTON — BlueFire Ethanol Fuels Inc. has received a $3.8-million reimbursement from the Department of Energy (DOE) to be used for pre-construction activities for its second planned biorefinery, which will be located in Fulton in Northeast Mississippi. BlueFire is currently receiving funding under the $40-million DOE grant it was awarded in 2007 for the development of the Mississippi plant. The ...

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Forrest General wins NRC award

HATTIESBURG — Forrest General Hospital has earned a 2009/2010 Consumer Choice Award from National Research Corporation (NRC). This award places Forrest General with other top hospitals across the country based on feedback from patients. Forrest General’s recognition is based on responses from primary healthcare decision makers in Forrest General’s service area who ranked Forrest General at the top of the ...

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Entergy, county form 'Claiborne Works!'

CLAIBORNE COUNTY — Entergy and Claiborne County leaders have launched an economic development plan aimed at maximizing the county’s resources to create new revenue streams. The plan establishes an economic development organization called Claiborne Works! to lure new businesses, expand existing businesses and boost tourism. Led by Entergy in conjunction with TIP Strategies, an economic development consultant, the strategic plan ...

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Champions Tour stopping on Coast

BILOXI — The PGA TOUR’s Champions Tour, in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Business Council, announced the addition of a new tournament to the Champions TOUR schedule for 2010 – the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, to be held April 26-May 2. The tournament will feature three days of competitive play, a Pro-Am as well as numerous special events including a ...

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New oyster regulation draws protests

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR) and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) are expressing serious concerns over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) policy change pertaining to oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico during the months of April through October. And, Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) shares those concerns. The FDA recently ...

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Vitro America adding jobs

GRENADA — Vitro America, LLC, a fabricator and distributor of architectural glass and aluminum products, will consolidate the production of safety glass and storefront metal systems into an in-house operation at its Grenada manufacturing facility. Previously, the company outsourced production of its storefront metal systems. Vitro America has invested $1.2 million in new equipment to facilitate these new operations and ...

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