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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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BEN WILLIAMS — An Unofficial 2020 Tesla Model 3 Review

The 2020 Tesla Model 3 clicked past 3,000 miles with the AutoSteer engaged, the Traffic-Aware Cruise Control clocking 75 mph, and Old Dominion’s One Man Band blaring from the stellar sound system. For those in the market, here is an unofficial, unsanctioned 3,000-mile review. Ordering the Model 3 The Tesla Model 3’s relatively low price, AutoPilot, liberal return policy (7 ...

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PHIL HARDWICK — How to keep your meetings flowing

Dear Phil: Your column about the role of business elicited quite a bit of commentary in our organization. Would you be kind enough to expound a little further and perhaps suggest a format for discussing the issue, especially at a staff meeting? Bob M., Ridgeland Dear Phil: Do you have any suggestions about productive staff meetings? We don’t want to ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Will there really be a “coming together” in Jackson this year?

In his inauguration speech new Gov. Tate Reeves promised, “This will be an administration for all Mississippi,” as reported by the Clarion-Ledger. “Governing is about coming together,” he said and proclaimed a new motto for his first term, “For. All. Mississippi.“ Faced with his first crisis as governor – prison rioting, deaths, and deplorable conditions – Reeves appeared to be ...

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RICK GILBRECH — NASA Set to open a universe of wonder with New Rocket and Artemis Program

Ancient humans built the seven wonders of the world, only one of which stands today – the Great Pyramids of Giza. Since those ancient days, various lists have noted new human-engineered wonders, such as the Taj Mahal, the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge and even the International Space Station. NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) perhaps will be found ...

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HUNTER ESTES — Is government stopping you from getting your bottle of wine?

Mississippi’s laws that limit who can sell alcohol and where you can purchase it need to be modernized. Let me paint a picture with a short story: The year is 2020, on a sunny day you decide to stop by the grocery store on the way home to pick up a bottle of your favorite wine. Unfortunately for you, Mississippi ...

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Analysis: Troubled prison system requires intense attention

Top Mississippi officials acknowledge the state is facing a crisis with its prison system, with five inmates killed and others injured in recent mayhem. Two days after he was inaugurated last week, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves described the violence as a “catastrophe.” He appointed a group to conduct a nationwide search for a new commissioner to lead the Mississippi Department ...

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ANALYSIS — Tax hike is one thing, bright outlook for gasoline is another

By JACK WEATHERLY A hike in Mississippi gasoline tax has been bandied about for years as a solution for much-needed improvements in the state’s roads and bridges. But it continues to draw, at best, a luke-warm response from governmental leaders. Whether the increase were to occur, the good news is that the historical price of gasoline in the state continues ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Republican strategist questions what GOP now stands for

Longtime Mississippi Republicans will remember political consultant Stuart Stevens for his work on early campaigns for the late Sen. Thad Cochran. Since those early races he has become a highly successful media strategist and has helped elect numerous Republican governors and senators. His client list sounds like a who’s who of Republican leaders – President George W. Bush, Gov. Mitt ...

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