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Magnolia Mornings: December 20, 2023

Magnolia Mornings: December 20, 2023

By: Magnolia Tribune - December 20, 2023
Magnolia morning

Important state and national stories, market and business news, sports and entertainment, delivered in quick-hit fashion to start your day informed.

In Mississippi

1. Mississippi’s Literary Lawn Party moves to September

The 2024 Mississippi Book Festival is moving back a few weeks. It will now take place on Saturday, September 14, at the State Capitol Complex.

Organizers said in a statement that with overwhelming support from supporters, partners, and funders, the festival is adopting a fall date to improve the visitor experience and to work better for publishers, authors, as well as school, college, and university partners.

“We’ve been considering a fall date for several years, but the heat last August helped us focus on the change,” said Executive Director Ellen Daniels.

The 2023 festival welcomed more than 6,700 people to hear close to 170 participating authors take part in 47 official panels.

2. Gov. Reeves appoints Rankin County Court Judge

Governor Tate Reeves announced the appointment of James Kent McDaniel of Brandon to fill the vacancy in the Office of County Court Judge for Rankin County, Place 2, until such position is filled by special election. Reeves set that a special election for November 5, 2024, with a qualification deadline of February 1, 2024.

According to the Governor’s office, McDaniel started his career with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics in 1972 and previously served as a Rankin County Court Judge for 24 years. Additionally, he served as Deputy Commissioner of Corrections, director of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy, First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi, and Chairman of the Conference of County Court Judges.

McDaniel’s appointment is effective January 1, 2024, and will expire on January 5, 2025.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Colorado Supreme Court disqualifies Trump from state ballot

FILE – Former President Donald Trump announces he is running for president for the third time as he smiles while speaking at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Nov. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

In a 4-3 decision on Tuesday, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump is disqualified from holding office again, removing him from the state’s Republican Primary ballot.

The court used the 14th Amendment as justification for their decision, citing the insurrection or disqualification clause in Section 3 which reads:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

It is the first time a court has found Trump ineligible to run for his role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. However, while he remains under investigation and in court over matters related to the events of that day, Trump has not been convicted of insurrection or other crimes.

Trump’s legal team immediately responded after the ruling was handed down, saying they would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Colorado decision is on hold until January 4, 2024, allowing time for the appeal.

The Colorado GOP Primary is March 5th. Be on the ballot, officials said the matter needs to be settled by January 5th.

2. As border crisis worsens, Texas Governor signs law to arrest, deport illegal migrants

Eagle Pass, Texas border crossings, December 18, 2023 (Photo from Griff Jenkins on X)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) has signed a new law that makes it a state crime for anyone to cross into Texas outside of a designated port of entry.

The law, which allows Texas law enforcement to arrest people suspected of crossings into the state illegally, will take effect in March 2024.

Abbott has been increasingly frustrated with the lack of response from the Biden Administration in addressing the border crisis in south Texas. He told attendees at the bill signing on Monday that the “deliberate inaction” by President Biden “has left Texas to fend for itself.”

The news comes as reports Monday showed the highest illegal border crossings in one day ever recorded, upwards of 13,000 encounters.

2. New York now has a slavery reparations commission

On Tuesday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) signed legislation that creates a new commission to study reparations and racial justice.

“Today, we are continuing our efforts to right the wrongs of the past by acknowledging the painful legacy of slavery in New York,” Hochul said. “We have a moral obligation to reckon with all parts of our shared history as New Yorkers, and this commission marks a critical step forward in these efforts.”

A statement from the New York Governor said the commission “acknowledges the horrific injustice of slavery and will be tasked with examining the legacy of slavery, subsequent discrimination against people of African descent, and the impact these forces continue to have in the present day.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Kiffin, Ole Miss agree to contract extension

Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Head Football Coach Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss had agreed on a contract extension.

While no details were provided in the announcement, it is believed that the contract will run through the 2028 season as Mississippi law allows no more than a 4-year contract for state employees. Kiffin’s extension after last season paid him roughly $9 million per year.

In his four years at the helm, Kiffin, 48, has guided Ole Miss to its first two 10-win regular seasons, four consecutive bowl berths and two New Year’s Six bowl appearances in the past three years. The Rebels are 21-2 over their last 23 games in Oxford, including perfect home records in both 2021 and 2023.

Kiffin now stands alongside legendary Ole Miss coach John Vaught as the only head coaches in program history to chart multiple 10-win seasons.

2. Mississippi College hires new Head Football Coach

Mississippi College has named Mike Kershaw as the new head football coach of the Choctaws. Kershaw joins Mississippi College after serving as Rice’s Wide Receiver Coach in a high-tempo offense.

Kershaw helped steer the Owls to a 6-6 overall record in the 2023 season—a milestone achievement marking the team’s highest win total since 2014.

Kershaw has a diverse background, highlighted by his standout career as a quarterback for Delta State University and accomplishments in the insurance industry. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in 2000 and his Master of Education in 2003 at Delta State University.

He looks to join the Choctaws after Rice’s bowl game on December 26th.

2. Ole Miss backup QB sidelined for Peach Bowl

Ole Miss backup quarterback Spencer Sanders has reportedly been ruled ineligible to play in the Peach Bowl for poor academic performance.

The news on Sanders came during Monday night’s episode of Rebel Yell Hotline.

Sanders transferred to Ole Miss after playing at Oklahoma State. He made seven appearances for the Rebels during the 2023 season.

Markets & Business

1. Apple pausing sell of watches over patent dispute

Apple is pausing the sales of two versions of its Apple Watches over an intellectual property dispute with their Blood Oxygen feature.

CNBC is reporting that the decision stems from two orders issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission on October 26 that restricts Apple’s ability to sell products that use the Blood Oxygen feature after an intellectual property disagreement between Apple and Masimo, a medical technology company.

“U.S. customers won’t see a change in their access to buying either watch until Thursday,” CNBC noted. “Online sales of the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2 will pause at 3 p.m. Thursday and in stores after Sunday.”

2. New York lawmakers seek to force Chick-fil-A to open on Sundays

WGRZ is reporting that two New York legislators have filed a bill to require Chick-fil-A restaurants at New York State Thruway service plazas to be open seven days a week.

“While there is nothing objectionable about a fast food restaurant closing on a particular day of the week, service areas dedicated to travelers is an inappropriate location for such a restaurant,” the legislation says. “Publicly owned service areas should use their space to maximally benefit the public. Allowing for retail space to go unused one-seventh of the week or more is a disservice and unnecessary inconvenience to travelers who rely on these service areas.”

The Empire State lawmakers who filed the legislation are Democrats State Assembly member Tony Simone and State Senator Michelle Hinchey. The bill is making its way through the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.