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Magnolia Mornings: February 14, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: February 14, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - February 14, 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. Clarke honored with Mississippi Capitol portrait

(Photo by Sarah Ulmer | Magnolia Tribune)

Now retired State Representative Alyce Clarke, a Democrat, was honored Tuesday with a portrait that will hang in Room 204 at the Mississippi Capitol. Clarke is the namesake of the state’s lottery legislation and was instrumental in passing various measures throughout her legislative career.

Clarke’s is the first portrait of a female and African American to be placed inside the state Capitol building.

2. State’s 529 program rebrands to Mississippi College and Career Savings

Treasurer David McRae

State Treasurer David McRae announced Tuesday that the state’s 529 program has rebranded to become Mississippi College and Career Savings. He said the name change better reflects the true capacity of the program, which can be used for traditional four-year colleges as well as vocational programs, apprenticeships, and other career training.

“For years, Mississippi’s college savings program has helped put educational goals within the financial reach of hundreds of families,” said McRae. “Over the years, however, our mission has evolved to better align with Mississippi’s workforce needs. A name change is a small adjustment, but I’m hopeful it helps expand Mississippians’ understanding of everything our team can help them pursue.”

Learn more about the state’s college and career savings programs here.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Trump asks SCOTUS to act on court’s ruling rejecting his immunity claim

According to the New York Times, former President Donald J. Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to pause an appeals court’s ruling rejecting his claim that he is absolutely immune from criminal charges based on his attempts to subvert the 2020 election.

“Unless the justices issue a stay while they consider whether to hear his promised appeal, proceedings in the criminal trial, which have been on hold, will resume,” NYT reports, adding, “The filing was Mr. Trump’s last-ditch effort to press his claim of total immunity, which has been rejected by two lower courts. The Supreme Court is now poised to determine whether and how fast his federal trial on charges that he tried to subvert the 2020 election will proceed. Unless the justices move quickly, the trial could be pushed into the heart of the 2024 campaign, or even past the election.”

2. CDC changing COVID guidance, reducing isolation recommendation to match flu and RSV

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is planning to change its COVID guidance to be more in line with that of how they recommend avoiding the transmission of the flu or RSV, according to sources for the Washington Post.

This means that those who COVID will no longer need to isolate or miss work or school for 5 days, and instead will be able to return to normal activities 24 hours after they have been fever free, assuming their symptoms are mild and improving.

The Post noted that CDC officials “acknowledged in internal discussions and in a briefing last week with state health official show much the covid-19 landscape has changed since the virus emerged four years ago…”

“The new reality — with most people having developed a level of immunity to the virus because of prior infection or vaccination — warrants a shift to a more practical approach, experts and health officials say,” the Post reported.

The Posts notes that their sources said the new isolation recommendations would not apply to hospitals and other health-care settings with more vulnerable populations.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Super Bowl LVIII most watched program in TV history

CBS is no doubt celebrating after Nielsen and Adobe Analytics reported that Super Bowl LVIII which saw the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Franciso 49ers in overtime 25-22 on Sunday averaged 123.4 million viewers across TV and streaming platforms, up 7% from last year’s game.

It was the most watched program in TV history.

The game was aired on CBS, Nickelodeon, Univision, Paramount+ and the NFL’s digital platforms.

In total, some 202.4 million watched at least part of the live game, up 10% from last year.

2. Ole Miss falls to Kentucky

(Photo from Ole Miss Athletics)

Ole Miss men’s basketball lost a much-needed contest on Tuesday, falling at No. 22 Kentucky 75-63.

The last time Ole Miss won in Kentucky’s home arena was in 1998, and in the second game of the series back in 1927.

The Rebels are now 18-6 overall and 5-6 in SEC play. Ole Miss will face Missouri on Saturday.

Markets & Business

1. Food prices continue to rise

Tuesday’s release of the January 2024 Consumer Price Index from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that prices rose 3.1% for the prior 12 months. It is down from December 2023’s mark of 3.4% and the 6.4% reported the prior year in January 2023.

The overall CPI rose by 0.3% in January, with food rising 0.4% over December. Inflation on food prices in restaurants is at a rate of 5.1% while grocery prices for food are 1.2% higher than the previous year.

According to CNN, overall inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, has risen at 3% or above for 34 months in a row — the longest streak since the late 1980s and early 1990s.

2. Stocks fall after inflation report higher than expected

Stocks fell Tuesday after the CPI report showed inflation did not ease as much as analyst had expected.

According to the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday afternoon, the three major U.S. stock indexes each declined by at least 1.6%, with the Dow down around 650 points. However, all three are up for the year.

“The numbers did little to clarify how soon the Federal Reserve might start cutting rates. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has stressed that officials want to see more evidence that inflation is returning to their 2% target,” WSJ reported.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.