Important state and national stories, market and business news, sports and entertainment, delivered in quick-hit fashion to start your day informed.
1. Pacino, Perry filming in Mississippi
Actors Al Pacino and Tyler Perry are working on new movies in Mississippi.
Pacino is filming a new movie titled “The Ritual” in Natchez while Perry is in Clarksdale shooting a new movie titled “Joe’s College Road Trip.”
2. New Safe Haven Baby Box installed at Simpson hospital
WLBT reports that Simpson General Hospital is the home of the first Safe Haven Baby Box in a Mississippi hospital.
A similar box is located at the Long Beach fire department on the Coast.
The baby boxes allow the legal, safe surrender of a baby on an anonymous basis. WLBT said private donations paid for the box in Simpson County.
National News & Foreign Policy
1. Reuters poll shows majority want a new choice for President, but Trump leads Biden
A new Reuters/Ipsos poll this week found that Americans are unhappy about a looming election rematch between Democratic President Joe Biden and his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, Reuters reported.
According to the report, 67% polled Monday through Wednesday said they were “tired of seeing the same candidates in presidential elections and want someone new.”
The poll also showed Trump leading Biden 40% to 34%, yet 70% – including about half of Democrats – believe Biden should not seek re-election while 56% said Trump should not run – including about a third of Republicans.
2. UAW endorses Biden
On Wednesday, the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor union endorsed President Joe Biden for re-election this year.
Biden walked the picket line with UAW workers last year – the first sitting President to join in such action – as the union led the protest against the nation’s big three automakers.
“Joe Biden bet on the American worker while Donald Trump blamed the American worker,” UAW president Shawn Fain said at the UAW conference in Washington D.C. “If our endorsement must be earned, Joe Biden has earned it.”
Fain called former President Donald Trump “a scab.”
“Donald Trump is a billionaire and that’s who he represents,” Fain told the attendees. “This election is about who will stand up with us and who will stand in our way.”
Sports & Entertainment
1. Millsaps names new head football coach
Brandon Lechtenberg has been named the next Millsaps College head football coach, the Millsaps College Department of Athletics announced on Wednesday.
Following an extensive nationwide search, Lechtenberg emerged as the top candidate having previously coached on the defensive side of the ball at the University of Central Oklahoma, University of Incarnate Word, UT Martin, Millsaps College and Texas Christian University (TCU).
He becomes the 23rd head coach to lead the Millsaps College football program, which dates back to 1920 as an NCAA member.
“My family and I are incredibly excited to return to Millsaps College and Jackson, Miss.,” said Lechtenberg. “Working with the administration, faculty, and alumni; we will build a championship culture within the football program and build upon a proud football tradition.”
2. Ole Miss, Southern Miss get mid-week wins; Miss. State falls
Ole Miss men’s basketball got back in the win column Wednesday night, defeating Arkansas 77-51 at home.
The Rebels are now 3-3 in SEC play and 16-3 overall.
Mississippi State, however, wasn’t celebrating Wednesday evening, as they fell to Florida 79-70. The Bulldogs are now 2-4 in SEC play and 13-6 overall.
As for Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles took down Coastal Carolina by a score of 79-63. USM is now 6-2 in the SunBelt, sitting at second in the league presently, and 12-8 overall.
3. Harbaugh heads to NFL
Jim Harbaugh won a college football national championship at Michigan just weeks ago, and is now leaving the Wolverines to become the head coach of the NFL’s Los Angeles Chargers.
The announcement came Wednesday of Harbaugh’s hire. He leaves Michigan after nine seasons. The national championship was the first for Michigan since 1997.
Harbaugh reportedly signed a 5-year deal with the Chargers, making him the first Chargers player to return as head coach in team history.
Markets & Business
1. U.S. economy booming?
On Thursday, the Washington Post led with a headline stating, “The U.S. economy boomed in 2023, thanks to consumers opening up wallets.” The article comes as new GDP numbers are expected later today. The Post reported:
The U.S. economy probably grew at a brisk pace in 2023, shaking off recession fears and offering an upbeat picture of consumers and businesses ahead of a pivotal election year.
Fresh government data this morning is expected to show that the economy expanded by 2.7 percent last year, according to economists polled by Bloomberg News, a comparatively strong pace that matches gross domestic product figures notched most years leading into a presidential election year, going back four decades.
2. Ford issues recall of Explorers
Automaker Ford has announced a recall of 1.9 million Explorer SUVs in the U.S. This will include model years 2011 to 2019.
At issue is a trim piece that is reportedly able to fly off and create a hazard. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the clips holding the trim that covers the roof supports close to the windshield can come loose.
Notices will be sent to owners beginning March 13th.