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Magnolia Mornings: February 19, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: February 19, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - February 19, 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. Tchula Police Chief dies

Tchula Police Chief Kenneth Hampton has died, WJTV reports.

The 54-year-old died of natural causes of what appeared to be a heart attack at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Yazoo, the county coroner said per WJTV.

2. Rendon named Exec. Director of Veterans and Military Affairs at MSU

Andrew S. Rendon has been named Mississippi State’s new executive director of Veterans and Military Affairs. He began his new role January 1.

He is responsible for the overall development and enhancement of university services for U.S. service members, veterans, disabled veterans, dependents, survivors and ROTC programs. His oversight encompasses the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans at Nusz Hall, as well as the Army and Air Force ROTC programs.

According to the university, Rendon expects to earn a Ph.D. in public policy and administration from MSU in May 2024, and he is a 2019 Master of Strategic Studies graduate of the U.S. Army War College. He has a master’s degree in public policy and administration from MSU and an undergraduate degree in political science.

National News & Foreign Policy

Biden Admin. looks to send long-range missiles to Ukraine

NBC News is reporting that the Biden Administration is working toward providing Ukraine with powerful new long-range ballistic missiles, according to two U.S. officials.

“Late last year, the U.S. began to supply Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, but so far it has provided only the older medium-range ATACMS,” NBC News notes. “Now, the U.S. is leaning toward sending the longer-range version of the missile, the officials said, which would allow Ukraine to strike farther inside the Russian-held Crimean Peninsula.”

The deployment of these weapons is dependent on the U.S. Congress passing the foreign aid spending package currently being debated. The Senate passed the $95 billion bill last week while the House has yet to take it up.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Southern Miss, Ole Miss, Miss. State basketball pick up wins

(Photo from HailStateMBK on X)

Southern Miss men’s basketball bested Texas State on Saturday, winning in Hattiesburg by a score of 78-74. The Golden Eagles are now 15-12 overall and 8-6 in the Sun Belt.

USM is currently four games back from conference leaders Appalachian State.

As for the Rebels, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are also four games behind their SEC conference leader Alabama, both with a 6-6 SEC record.

Ole Miss (19-6) escaped Missouri on Saturday, winning in Oxford 79-76 in a close game, while the Bulldogs (17-8) held off Arkansas in Starkville 71-67.

2. Big 3 open College Baseball season

(Photo from SouthernMissBSB on X)

Southern Miss and Mississippi State won their opening weekend series, both finishing 2-1 over the three days.

For the Golden Eagles, the Christian Ostrander-era opened as the new head coach picked up his first two wins versus Marist before falling Sunday in Hattiesburg.

Mississippi State hosted Air Force and handled business in Starkville, winning the games on Friday and Sunday.

Ole Miss traveled to Hawaii to open its 2024 season, splitting the series 2-2. They return to Oxford this week for their home opener versus Arkansas State.

Markets & Business

Major payroll changes coming to Social Security

According to Newsweek, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has requested that payroll data from employers be exchanged with the government department to reduce the reliance on self reporting from those who can access SSA payment programs such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

“The SSA has faced considerable backlash recently for attempting to claw back overpayments made to beneficiaries, some that amounted to tens of thousands of dollars paid out over several years,” Newsweek reported. “Of the estimated $1 trillion in benefits paid out yearly, the SSA estimates it made $13.6 billion in overpayments during the 2022 financial year. The exact number of beneficiaries who owe money is unclear.”

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.