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Magnolia Mornings: January 18, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: January 18, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - January 18, 2024

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. Juvenile inmate death in Harrison County being investigated by MBI

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations (MBI) is investigating the death of a juvenile inmate in Harrison County.

A 16-year-old female was found dead in her cell on January 12th. She was being held on an armed robbery charge.

No further information has been released at this time.

2. Special session starts Tuesday morning

(Photo from Gov. Tate Reeves on Facebook)

Governor Tate Reeves has called lawmakers into a special session on Tuesday while they in their regular session to act on a nearly $2 billion economic development project coming to north Mississippi.

Lawmakers will take up the related bills beginning at 9:30 a.m. and hope to conclude their work on the matter by the end of the day.

Follow Magnolia Tribune for the latest on this developing story.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. White House redesignates Houthis as terrorists

Over the past months, Yemen-based Houthi militants have engaged in unprecedented attacks against United States military forces and international maritime vessels operating in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the White House said on Wednesday.

“The attacks fit the textbook definition of terrorism.  They have endangered U.S. personnel, civilian mariners, and our partners, jeopardized global trade, and threatened freedom of navigation,” stated National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. “The United States and the international community have been united in our response and in condemning these attacks in the strongest terms.”
In response to these continuing threats and attacks, the White House said the United States was redesignating Ansarallah, also known as the Houthis, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. 

“This designation is an important tool to impede terrorist funding to the Houthis, further restrict their access to financial markets, and hold them accountable for their actions,” Sullivan said in a statement. “If the Houthis cease their attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, the United States will immediately reevaluate this designation.”
The designation will take effect in 30 days to allow “robust humanitarian carve outs” so the actions target the Houthis and not the people of Yemen, the White House said.

2. DeSantis conceding New Hampshire before the primary

(AP Photo/File)

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis “is essentially bypassing New Hampshire to focus his campaign effort on South Carolina.” NYT notes that the shift comes as a super PAC backing DeSantis began laying off staff just days after the Iowa caucuses where he finished second to former President Donald Trump.

“A senior DeSantis campaign official said the Florida governor would leave New Hampshire… after his events on Wednesday,” NYT reported. “Hours earlier, an official said a super PAC supporting Mr. DeSantis, Never Back Down, was ‘evaluating and paring down’ some consultants, vendors and staff members. The scope of the layoffs was unclear.”

DeSantis is currently polling in third in New Hampshire behind former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. FiveThirtyEight’s polling averages show Trump at above 44% with Haley at close to 31% and DeSantis just over 5%.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Bjork named AD at Ohio State

Former Ole Miss and Texas A&M Athletic Director Ross Bjork has been hired to the same position at Ohio State.

Bjork, who has more than 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, will begin his tenure as athletics director at Ohio State on July 1, 2024.

When hired at Ole Miss, Bjork was the youngest athletics director among the Power 5 conferences.

2. Annual Southern Miss Rodeo returns to Hattiesburg

The “Greatest Show on Dirt” returns to Hattiesburg Jan. 26 and 27 for the 38th Annual Southern Miss Coca-Cola Classic Rodeo. The Department of Campus Recreation at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will host the event at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center. The rodeo will start at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m.

Special entertainment will be provided by 15-time PRCA Rodeo Act of the Year, John Payne. Retired Southern Miss higher education professional and current City of Hattiesburg project manager, Sid Gonsoulin, will serve as the Rodeo Grand Marshal.

The rodeo, which began in 1986 at the Southern Miss Equestrian Center with J. Hugh Mitchell as the first Grand Marshal, serves as a fundraiser for student scholarships and professional development. The rodeo has been held at the Forrest County Multi-Purpose Center since its opening in 1999.

Markets & Business

1. Biden Admin. seeks to curb bank overdraft fees

A proposed new rule from the Biden Administration pushed through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau looks to curb bank overdraft fees and set them as low as $3.00.

The CFPB notes that the estimated market-wide overdraft revenue from financial institutions exceeded $9 billion in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

While some large banks have voluntarily reduced or eliminated their overdraft fees in recent years, the CFPB says “the vast majority of banks and credit unions with over $10 billion in assets continue to charge between $30 and $37 per overdraft fee, and more than half charge $35.”

As such, the Biden Administration seeks to reduce these fees they say hurt low-income families. Their proposal would allow banks to continue to charge the fees, but cap them at $3, $6, $7 or $14. The CFPB is asking for feedback from financial institutions and the public on what would be more appropriate.

Read the proposed rule here.

2. Singing River Hospital achieves milestone with successful first patient case of Inspire Therapy

Singing River ENT and Sleep Medicine are now offering Inspire Therapy, a breakthrough treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA.)

The innovative therapy caters to individuals unable to utilize Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), providing a lifeline for those suffering from OSA.

Dr. Erik Rasmussen, Otolaryngologist/ENT at Singing River, has achieved a significant milestone in sleep therapy by successfully performing the first-ever Inspire procedure at Singing River Pascagoula Hospital.

Inspire is not for everyone. It is a surgically implanted system that is intended to treat obstructive sleep apnea in patients who are not effectively treated by or able to tolerate CPAP. 

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.