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Analysis: Mississippi lawmakers seek early exit to session

Mississippi lawmakers are aiming for an early end to their scheduled 90-day session. This is the fourth and final year of the current term, and most members of the House and Senate are seeking re-election. Finishing early gives all representatives and senators more time with their families and their other jobs (legislating is a part-time gig, after all). And an ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Does pro-life Mississippi let people die or help them live?

Is Mississippi only pro-life when it’s easy? Or are we pro-life when it’s hard too? I am led to ask these questions by two occurrences discussed below. (Too many similar tragedies and uncaring attitudes occur across our state.) This first one was profiled in the Clarion-Ledger last week. “A woman died after suffering a simple asthma attack,” read the headline. ...

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JACK WEATHERLY — ‘Les Miz’ stays on the high road

Would current events highjack the musical stage adaptation of Victor Hugo’s 19th century novel “Les Miserables”? There are parallels, however thin, which is about all it takes these days to make a case. After all, in the Trump era, however long that may be, there is the “resistance” that has consumed much of the country, fanned by investigations and more ...

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BRIAN ESTES — Three things to do ahead of the commercial real estate downturn

Much talk has been made over the past year as to the timing of a potential commercial real estate (CRE) downturn.  If there is any certainty in this industry is that the real estate market will make its cycle from recession to recovery and then eventually back to recessionary times.  Most investors may not agree to the timing, but all ...

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TODD SMITH: SXSW showcases brands, entertainment & politics

Austin was the epicenter of the Brandverse during the SXSW festival, where brands, entertainment, music and politics mixed in an ethereal digital dance. This year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival and Conference offered interactive brand experiences all week long, along with bodacious live music, comedy, world premieres of TV shows and movies, product launches – and yes, the onslaught of ...

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Analysis: Lawyers urged for parents in foster care cases

It sounds counterintuitive. But Mississippi officials say parents who are about to lose their children to child welfare authorities do better when they’re represented by lawyers in youth court. So officials are asking for more state money to pay for more lawyers. Supporters of the plan, including state Supreme Court Justice Dawn Beam and Child Protective Services Commissioner Jess Dickinson, ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Hospitals closing and healthcare for working poor becoming campaign issues

“Half of Mississippi’s rural hospitals at risk of closing, report says,” read the startling headline in Mississippi Today. “Thirty-one of Mississippi’s 64 rural hospitals, or 48 percent, are at ‘high financial risk,’ according to a national report of rural hospitals from independent consulting firm Navigant,” read the article. Perhaps even more startling was this from an article in News Mississippi: ...

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TODD SMITH — U.S. Trust, Merrill Lynch brands ride into sunset post Bank of America Merger

Two of the most iconic names in banking are galloping into the sunset! Recently, Bank of America said it will gradually retire the U.S. Trust brand to become the Bank of America Private Bank. The move is part of CEO Brian Moynihan’s “one-company” strategy to more closely align the bank’s various businesses and branding. The company will also no longer ...

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PETER FUNT — Brian Williams earns his way back

Television’s most elegant and articulate anchor, who shepherds what is arguably the nation’s most informative nightly news program, continues to toil in relative obscurity. It’s not that viewership for Brian Williams’s 11 p.m. ET program on MSNBC is tiny; it reaches nearly two million people on an average night. It’s that the broadcast from which Williams was exiled four years ...

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TOM PURCELL — Why ‘springing forward’ takes my dad weeks

Nobody dreads daylight saving time more than my father. He has his work cut out for him this coming weekend, when we “spring forward” by setting clocks ahead by an hour before going to bed Saturday night. You see, my mother loves clocks – so much that he has 14 clocks to reset. There are clocks in both guest bedrooms. ...

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