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RICK CLEVELAND — The son of a Syracuse street cop, Ed Murphy left an indelible mark on Mississippi

Many Mississippians will remember colorful Ed Murphy from his basketball coaching days at Delta State (1983-1986) and Ole Miss (1986-1992). He was a tall, husky, friendly Irishman with a booming voice and a sharp, often self-deprecating wit. Murphy died Sunday in Carrollton, Georgia, after an extended illness. He was 78. Murphy’s impact on Mississippi was multi-faceted. He spent his first ...

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JACK WEATHERLY — ‘Portis experience’ ready to meet you where you are

“I hear you had the Charles Portis experience,” my colleague at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette said. I had had a chance meeting with the famous writer at a west Little Rock book store. And I may have still looked a bit starstruck. I introduced myself to Portis, told him I was a fan and had worked with one of his brothers ...

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TODD SMITH — Consumer distrust drives digital marketing

Continued consumer skepticism is fueling new trends in digital marketing, and reshaping the strategies to reach an ever-evolving public with fresh ideas to boost awareness and drive brand engagement. Here are the key drivers in our new digital world, according to Marketing Land. 1. As consumer skepticism grows, affiliates will play an even more vital role in the marketing mix. ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — Johari Window a useful tool for business

We judge ourselves by our intentions; others by their actions. — Anonymous The Johari Window is a useful tool for businesses, nonprofit organizations, and communities to examine their self-awareness. It can reveal what employees, management, customers and stakeholders perceive about the organization. So you’ve never heard of the Johari Window?  Most business people haven’t because it comes from the psychology ...

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Analysis: Legislators approaching busy part of 2020 session

Mississippi lawmakers have had a slow start to their four-month session, but the pace is about to quicken as committees start debating bills dealing with the criminal justice system and other issues. March 3 is the first big deadline. That’s the last day for House and Senate committees to either pass or kill the first round of general bills filed ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Mississippi ignores conservative way to tax

As you lurch over another crevice in your favorite rural highway, here are some facts you can use to dull your senses. That apparently works for our state leaders. Mississippi has the third lowest gas tax rate among the 50 states. The lowest is Alaska at 14.4 cents per gallon. Second is Missouri at 17.4 cents. Then comes Mississippi at ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Gunn should stick to his guns regarding retirees

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn is right to bow up about state retirees serving in the Legislature. Some background. In late 2018 then Attorney General Jim Hood altered the political landscape for retirees with this opinion – “The PERS Retiree members have vested rights to their benefits, are entitled to receive their benefits and, if qualified and elected, they ...

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TODD SMITH — Jeep’s Groundhog Day ad wins Super Bowl gold

Patrick Mahomes wasn’t the only one with the golden touch on Super Bowl Sunday. Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs marched to a thrilling, come-from-behind victory in Super Bowl LIV – and so did many of our favorite brands. Jeep’s “Groundhog Day” ad – featuring Bill Murray, Punxsutawney Phil and others in a flashback to the blockbuster movie, where the ...

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Analysis: Chairman says prisons should not be warehouses

The new chairman of the Mississippi Senate Corrections Committee inherited a challenging job — sharing oversight of a prison system rocked by violence and burdened by decrepit and underfunded facilities. Democratic Sen. Juan Barnett of Heidelberg said in an interview Thursday that prisons need to be more than warehouses. He also said Mississippi needs to do a better job of ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Despite cash infusion PERS’ ship keeps sinking

Here we go again at PERS, the state employee retirement system. Despite last year’s promise to legislators that a boost in employer contributions would right the ship, the ship sank again in FY 2019. The latest Actuarial Valuation Report (delayed until after the election) showed PERS’ unfunded pension liability jumped up $1 billion, from $16.9 billion to $18 billion. The ...

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