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Magnolia Mornings: February 2, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: February 2, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - February 2, 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.

Happy Groundhog Day, Mississippi!

The Prognosticator of Prognosticators Punxsutawney Phil emerged on stage at Gobbler’s Knob Friday morning in Pennsylvania to a roaring crowd of some 30,000. He did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring to come.

In Mississippi

1. Miller steps down from AccelerateMS

Patrick Sullivan, chairman of the Mississippi State Workforce Investment Board, announced Thursday that AccelerateMS Executive Director Ryan Miller was stepping down effecting that day.

Miller, who has led the agency for three years, has built AccelerateMS into the lead entity in the state to coordinate workforce development strategy.

Sullivan said Miller was resigning to take another opportunity, but did not reveal the specifics of Miller’s move. However, it’s now known that Miller will be heading up the Oxford Lafayette Economic Development Foundation as its new CEO.

2. AG announces settlement with Publicis Health

On Thursday, Attorney General Lynn Fitch announced a $350-million national settlement with Publicis Health to resolve investigations into the global marketing and communications firm’s role in the prescription opioid crisis. Mississippi will receive $2.9 million from the settlement.

As part of the terms of the settlement, Publicis will disclose on a public website thousands of internal documents detailing its work for opioid companies like Purdue Pharma and will stop accepting client work related to opioid-based Schedule II or other Schedule II narcotics.

The filings in the Chancery Court of Hinds County – First Judicial District and in courts across the nation describe how Publicis’ work contributed to the crisis by helping Purdue Pharma and other opioid manufacturers market and sell opioids. Court documents detail how Publicis acted as Purdue’s agency of record for all its branded opioid drugs, including OxyContin, even developing sales tactics that relied on farming data from recordings of personal health-related in-office conversations between patients and providers. The company was instrumental in Purdue’s decision to market OxyContin to providers on patient’s electronic health records.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Haley says she’s not going anywhere – even if she loses her home state

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley arrives at a campaign event at the Monadnock Center for History & Culture, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Peterborough, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said she won’t actually have to win in her home state against former President Donald Trump in order to achieve victory there in the GOP Primary, per ABC News.

“Speaking with reporters after a campaign event in South Carolina, Haley was asked what winning looks like for her in the state’s Republican primary on Feb. 24,” ABC reported.

She said it was about closing the gap.

“I think making sure it’s a competitive race, making sure that it looks close. If we do that — that’ll head us on into Michigan and Super Tuesday and that’s what we’re looking at,” she said, according to ABC News.

Despite coming in third in Iowa and second in New Hampshire, Haley said she’s not going anywhere.

2. Republican lawmakers in Oregon barred from seeking re-election

FoxNews reported Thursday that the Oregon Supreme Court decided that 10 Republican state senators who participated in a record-long boycott last summer to block bills extending access to abortion for minors, transgender procedures and medical intervention, as well as another measure on ghost guns, cannot seek re-election this year. 

According to FoxNews:

The Oregon Senate Republican Caucus charged that the “Democrat-stacked supreme court sides with Democrats and union cronies on Measure 113 despite plain language of Constitution.” The caucus stressed that the state high court’s decision is “effectively ending the service of 10 Republican senators, who represent one-third of the Oregon Senate.” 

The ruling upholds Democratic Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade’s announcement last August to disqualify the 10 lawmakers from the ballot under a measure aimed at stopping such boycotts. Measure 113, passed by voters in 2022, amended the state constitution to bar lawmakers from re-election if they have more than 10 unexcused absences.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Rebels, Bulldogs, Golden Eagles with key matchups this weekend

(Photo from OleMissMBB on X)

Mississippi’s Big 3 men’s basketball teams are set for key matchups this weekend.

Ole Miss will host No. 16 Auburn. The Rebels are coming off a big win over rival Mississippi State on Tuesday.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, they travel to No. 24 Alabama looking to get back in the W column. Mississippi State did upset Auburn last week.

As for Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles heads over to Texas State.

2. Jackson State football season tickets now on sale

(Photo from Jackson State)

Season tickets and parking for the 2024 Jackson State football season are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Veterans Memorial Stadium Ticket Office (south endzone) or on campus at the Lee E. Williams Athletics and Assembly Center ticket office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Tickets and parking passes can also be purchased via phone at 601-354-6021 (stadium) or 601-979-0845 (campus).

Ticket prices start at $100 for a five-game home schedule that includes matchups against Lane College, Southern, Florida A&M, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and Mississippi Valley State.
General admission, single game, and parking sales begin on August 1. Reserved single game tickets and parking sales begin on August 5.

Markets & Business

1. Apple sales rise in 4th Quarter 2023

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple posted a sales increase for the holiday quarter, ending a recent slump that had been one of the company’s worst earnings streaks in more than two decades.

“On Thursday, Apple reported revenue of about $120 billion, up 2.1% from the October-to-December period a year earlier, and net income of $34 billion, up 13%. Both of those figures exceeded analyst expectations, according to FactSet,” WSJ reported. “Apple’s crucial iPhone business grew nearly 6% from the same year-ago quarter, with $69.7 billion in sales versus the $67.6 billion analysts had projected. Apple said it has surpassed 2.2 billion active devices for its products.”

2. CORE X Partners establishing cold storage operations in Gulfport

(Photo from Core X website)

The Mississippi Development Authority announced Thursday that CORE X GULFPORT, a subsidiary of CORE X Partners, is establishing cold storage operations at the Port of Gulfport. The project is a more than $73 million investment and will create 73 jobs.

CORE X Partners is a leader in the global supply chain and cold storage industry. As part of a national network of full-service, cold chain operations, CORE X GULFPORT will serve food producers and manufacturers throughout the region from a new 150,000-square-foot cold storage facility. The project, which will be located two miles from the port’s main entrance, is the first investment in cold storage infrastructure since Hurricane Katrina.

The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance through the Mississippi Flexible Tax Incentive, or MFLEX program.  

CORE X GULFPORT expects to break ground on the project by the end of the year. The company plans to create 48 jobs in its first year of operation, with projected growth to 73 new jobs by its second year of operation.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.