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First Bancshares plants flag in Florida, Louisiana with new acquisitions

By TED CARTER Hattiesburg’s First Banshares first envisioned a market that stretched from Baton Rouge to Pensacola seven years ago. The $1.2billion holding company parent of The First reached that goal last week with agreements to acquire Iberville Bank in a cash deal and Gulf Coast Community Bank in an all-stock transaction. The acquisitions carry a value of $33.3 million, with ...

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Hattiesburg bank to buy Louisiana, Florida lenders

  MBJ Staff First Bancshares Inc. of Hattiesburg announced on Friday the purchase agreements for two banks for more than $33 million. The holding company for The First, First Bancshares Inc., in a cash deal bought common shares valued at $31 million to acquire Iberville Bank of Plaquemine, La. First Bancshares also announced an all- stock agreement with Gulf Coast ...

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IRS agent: Hattiesburg pastor diverted $60,000 to his church

An IRS agent says that a Hattiesburg pastor took $60,000 from a federally-funded housing rehabilitation program to subsidize his church. WDAM-TV reports IRS Agent Bradley Luker testified Thursday in the trial of the Rev. Kenneth Fairley, who faces conspiracy and theft charges in an indictment that alleges he skimmed money. The leader of Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Fairley denies guilt. ...

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Forrest County deputy’s tax evasion trial delayed

The federal tax evasion trial for Forrest County Chief Deputy Charles Bolton and his wife, Linda Bolton, has been continued again. The Hattiesburg American reports the trial is now scheduled for Sept. 12. Although the continuance was granted to allow Linda Bolton’s new attorneys time to prepare her case, U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett said he was reluctant, given the ...

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Southern Miss gets $3M grant to develop pilot programs

The University of Southern Mississippi has won a $3 million federal grant to develop three pilot programs to aid regions whose economic health is dependent on defense initiatives. The university said Tuesday it was selected due to its expertise in economic development and the state’s dependence on Department of Defense spending. DOD spends $5.5 billion per year spent in Mississippi. ...

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Cities gain national accreditation

The following Main Street communities in Mississippi have been designated as accredited Main Street America programs for meeting standards set by the National Main Street Center: Aberdeen, Amory, Baldwyn, Batesville, Belhaven, Biloxi, Booneville, Canton, Carthage, Cleveland, Clinton, Columbia, Columbus, Corinth, Crystal Springs, Greenville, Greenwood, Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Hernando, Holly Springs, Houston, Indianola, Kosciusko, Laurel, Louisville/Noxapater, Macon, Meridian, New Albany, Ocean Springs, ...

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