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GOP Sen. Hyde-Smith, Democrat Espy each top $1M in 3 months

MIKE ESPY A Republican appointed to the U.S. Senate in Mississippi and one of her Democratic challengers both report raising more than $1 million from July through September. Under Monday’s campaign finance reporting deadline, Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith said she collected just over $1 million during the three months and Democrat Mike Espy said he raised nearly $1.2 million. Espy ...

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US, South African farmers cry fowl over Trump metal tariffs

Which came first, the chicken or the trade war? Well before President Donald Trump began slapping tariffs on steel, aluminum and other imported goods, there was a deal with South Africa that gave U.S. chicken producers duty-free access to a market that had effectively been shut to them for years. But that trade deal, worth tens of millions of dollars ...

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Ex-director utility says he will fight part of audit demand

A former director of a city-owned utility says he will fight the Mississippi auditor’s demand that he repay a severance package. Auditor Shad White says Tuesday that his office is demanding $78,613 from former state Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones, who worked for Canton Municipal Utilities from 2016 until January 2018. The auditor says severance pay to public officials is illegal. ...

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Gulf coast mayor backs medical marijuana at petition event

A mayor on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast hosted a weekend event to collect signatures for an effort to legalize medical marijuana. WLOX-TV reports that Ocean Springs Mayor Shea Dobson hosted Saturday’s gathering at the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center to support the petition drive for the Medical Marijuana 2020 campaign. For a legalization measure to appear on the November ballot, 86,185 ...

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Analysis: Campaigning like incumbent risky for Hyde-Smith

EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS Mississippi voters sent Republican Thad Cochran to the U.S. House in 1972 and the U.S. Senate in 1978, and he served on Capitol Hill until frail health prompted him to retire in April of this year. For most of his 40-year political career, Cochran didn’t have to exert himself in campaigns. He faced a tough race in ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: State job recovery more modest than terrific

BILL CRAWFORD Record numbers of jobs and job growth in Mississippi top political speeches by incumbent politicians these days. Yes, more Mississippians have jobs now than before the Great Recession. Yes, more Mississippians have jobs now than ever before. But, there is more to the story. Total residence-based employment (the number that includes part-time and self-employed individuals used to calculate ...

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Higher tax withholdings point to more jobs filled; Mississippi sectors index shows gains

By TED CARTER The value of an index tracking Mississippi’s key business sectors rose a full 1 percent in August, maintaining an upward trend that began five months ago, state economists said in the October “Mississippi Business Report.” The growth in value tracked in the Mississippi Lead Index, or MLI, occurred in all sectors other than manufacturing, said Corey Miller, ...

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Mississippi edges back into good graces of bond raters

By TED CARTER Mississippi’s $100 million in raids on its rainy-day fund and cuts of over $200 million in department and agency budgets the last two years showed bond raters the state can be serious about offsetting sagging revenue collections. The reward is a pair of ratings upgrades on around $350 million in 10-and-20-year general obligation bonds, as well as ...

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McCluskey director of investigations at Auditor’s Office

State Auditor Shad White announced that Richie McCluskey will replace David Huggins as Director of Investigations at the Mississippi Office of the State Auditor. Huggins resigned from his position shortly after White became State Auditor. McCluskey joins the Auditor’s office from a long law enforcement career which began in 1988 at the Flowood Police Department. McCluskey advanced from Patrolman to ...

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NBC poll: Gov. Bryant gets high marks; confidence in economy, legislature tepid

BY BOBBY HARRISON / MISSISSIPPI TODAY State Economist Darrin Webb told legislative leaders during a September budget hearing more of the same – the Mississippi economy is not doing as well as the national economy. “The state’s economy has struggled to gain the momentum in the years since the Great Recession,” which started in 2008, Webb said, echoing his comments ...

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