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MATTHEW McLAUGHLIN — Always ask the experts

I was recently listening to a craft brewing industry podcast, and it was about a brewery that had dealt with two significant issues early on in its existence. As I sympathetically listened, the founder of this brewery recanted two excruciating tales of “mistakes” that ended up costing his business and its investors nearly $155,000.  As I listened (and cringed), I could ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — To beard or not to beard

It’s a late October evening. The Saints are playing the Vikings on television. On another channel, the Red Sox are playing the Dodgers in what will be the final game of the World Series. As the players are introduced, photos of their faces appear in little boxes in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. Looking at those faces, it was ...

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ANALYSIS: Hood’s downcast pitch clashes with sunny GOP take

At times, it seemed like the politicians addressing the Mississippi Economic Council last Thursday were mainly there to boost or oppose Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith’s bid to retain the U.S. Senate seat to which Gov. Phil Bryant appointed her. Lt. Gov Tate Reeves even made it explicit, saying he wasn’t going to talk about the 2019 state elections, which relieved him ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Usury proscriptions forgotten in Mississippi

Living in a very Christian state, most Mississippians should remember the biblical proscriptions on usury.   Here’s one: “Thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion, and has forgotten me, saith the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 22:12)   Many Mississippi leaders have forgotten.   Once Mississippi’s maximum annual finance charge was 8%. Anything ...

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MATTHEW McLAUGHLIN — “I made Matthew.”

I have worked in the craft beer industry for more than 15 years, representing a deeply diverse range of clients throughout the Southeast.  From startup brewpubs in Louisiana to large regional breweries in Tennessee, from the state’s first production brewery in Mississippi to microbreweries and micro-distilleries in Alabama, I have counseled clients on myriad of issues including corporate structure, regulatory matters, ...

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Analysis: Groups pump money into Mississippi US Senate race

Interest groups are dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars into a special U.S. Senate election in Mississippi. It’s pocket change compared to millions being spent in Texas and Florida, but enough to buy advertising and pay for get-out-the-vote efforts in the mostly rural state. The winner gets the final two years of a six-year term. In reality, though, victory could ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — PERS sees taxpayers as their evergreen money tree

The PERS Board of Trustees seemed happy after hearing from their actuary. The funded ratio for PERS increased and investment returns were up.   So, are things turning up for PERS?   Only if you don’t mind your pocketbook getting raided.   Here’s the story. As the actuary report highlighted, PERS’ funded ratio moved from 61.1% to 61.8% (the minimum ...

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ALAN TURNER — The value of urban forestry

As Executive Director of the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council, Donna Yowell is a true cheerleader for the virtues and benefits of urban forestry. The MUFC is a non-profit organization working closely with communities all over Mississippi, providing assistance in planning and implementation for urban forestry programs, storm water management, park planning, and horticulture therapy. “A well managed program will have ...

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