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TODD SMITH — Jif or Gif, how do you pronounce it?

Call it the great Jif jaffe – or Gif gaffe! Go ahead, pronounce “GIF.”  OK, now pronounce “Jif.” If you used a “soft G” like in “jelly” to pronounce the popular peanut butter brand, you got it right. And if you went with a hard “G” like in “graphic” for those frequently shared looping videos, you got that right, too.   ...

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BRIAN ESTES — Commercial Real Estate Year-In-Review for 2019

As the New Year (2020) is already underway, I recently had discussions with several commercial real estate professionals about the ups and downs of the commercial real estate market in 2019. Overall, the commercial real estate market did well in 2019; however, it was certainly based on property type and location.  There was a lot of continued interest in commercial ...

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Analysis: Mississippi considers limit on drug called kratom

Mississippi legislators are debating whether to either regulate or ban kratom, an herbal drug that can be used for pain relief and that is currently unregulated in most parts of the United States. Spectators packed a large room at the state Capitol on Thursday for a hearing about the drug. On one side of the room sat physicians, Mississippi Bureau ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Could Republican meddling impact Democratic primary?

The Republican primary set for March 10th offers few real contests. President Donald Trump will easily overwhelm Bill Weld and Roque De La Fuente in the presidential primary. Rep. Trent Kelly is unopposed in the 1st Congressional District. It doesn’t matter who wins the 2nd District primary among Thomas Carey, Brian Flowers, and B.C. Hammond since incumbent Rep. Bennie Thompson will win easily ...

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TODD SMITH — Twitter to begin labeling misinformation

Twitter is experimenting with adding brightly colored labels directly beneath lies and misinformation posted by politicians and other public figures, according to a leaked demo of new features shared with NBC News. Twitter confirmed that the leaked demo, which was accessible on a publicly available site, is one possible iteration of a new policy to target misinformation. The social media ...

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PHIL HARDWICK: Keep colleagues involved and part of the process

“Did you get the memo?”“Which memo?”“The one about the new policy?”“What policy?”New policies or procedures are often implemented and announced with just an email memo to employees. That’s fine when the policy is a relatively minor one such as changing the hours of a particular department or introducing a new form. However, some new policies require more employee involvement and employee buy-in before ...

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Analysis: Amid big issues, legislators face many small ones

Mississippi legislators are on track to deal with a few big, complex issues this year, but they will also consider plenty of small ones. Among the toughest topics awaiting work are efforts to improve prisons that are crowded, violent and understaffed. As part of that, legislators could debate whether prisoners could become eligible sooner for parole consideration. Legislators could expand ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Flood spotlights need for strategic policy thinking

Politicians tend to be adept at tactical political thinking. How do I win the next election? How do I get this project my financial backers want approved? How do I keep special interest groups on my side? And so on. Strategic policy thinking to solve systemic and long-term problems, well that’s another story. Effective government, however, cannot be singularly driven ...

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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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