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Magnolia Mornings: February 20, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: February 20, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - February 20, 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. Miss. Dept. of Education releases educator shortage survey

Last week, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) released its 2023-24 Educator Shortage survey showing 5,012 vacancies among teachers, administrators and school support staff across the state, an increase of 24 compared to the 2022-23 school year.

The Delta region, or Congressional District 2, continues to see the most teacher vacancies in the state.

Compared to last year, vacancies increased by 182 among teachers, by nine among K-12 licensed educators (library/media, counselors and speech language positions), and by 25 among administrators (principals and assistant principals). However, vacancies decreased by 192 among K-12 support staff such as teacher assistants, nurses, custodians, bus drivers, food service staff and administrative assistants.

2. New Blues Trail marker to be unveiled in Holly Springs

Visit Mississippi Director and the Mississippi Blues Commission will be unveiling a new Mississippi Blues Trail marker honoring R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough this week.

The event will take place at Blues Alley near 125 N Center Street in Holly Springs on Wednesday, February 21st.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Trump leads Haley by double-digits in SC poll

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, in Peterborough, N.H. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

A Suffolk University/USA TODAY poll finds that former President Donald Trump leads former Governor Nikki Haley in her home state of South Carolina ahead of this weekend’s Republican Primary there by a 2-1 margin.

The poll, released by USA Today, shows Trump over Haley 63%-35% with “very likely” voters in the February 24th election.

Trump reportedly leads Haley by double-digits among men and women, in every age group, and among both high school graduates and those with a college degree.

2. Navalny’s widow says Putin killed her husband

Yulia Navalnaya, wife of now deceased Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, vowed to continue her husband’s work for a “free Russia.”

Navalny, an outspoken critic and challenger of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was being held in a Siberian penal colony. Prison authorities said he collapsed following a walk and never regained consciousness on February 16th.

“Three days ago, Vladimir Putin killed my husband Alexei Navalny. Putin killed the father of my children,” the widow said in a video shared on social media. “Putin took away the most important thing I had. The person who was closest to me and whom I loved most.”

Navalnaya, who recently met with European Union officials in Brussels, said in the video that she knew why “Putin killed Alexei three days ago.” She said she would release the information “soon.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Hubbard named SEC Freshman of Week for 4th time this season

(Photo: Mississippi State Athletics)

Mississippi State’s Josh Hubbard captured his fourth SEC Freshman of the Week award of the 2023-24 campaign announced Monday by the conference office.

For Hubbard, he’s the second State player to capture at least a quartet of SEC Freshman weekly honors. The only other player in program history to accomplish the feat is Jamont Gordon. who also won the award four times during the 2005-06 season.

The Bulldogs play host to Ole Miss in the second meeting between the two rivals on Wednesday. 

2. Graham among crew to row across Arctic Ocean

(Photo: Tatiana Lubanko/New Orleans Saints)

New Orleans Saints’ former tight end Jimmy Graham has announced that he will be participating in the Arctic Challenge to row across the Arctic Ocean.

According to the New Orleans Saints, Graham will serve on the mission as lead navigator. He will be joined by three other rowers: former Navy SEAL Andrew Tropp, former member of Team USA’s rowing team and a New Orleans native Hannah Huppi, and former rower for Team USA and Team Switzerland John Huppi.

If successful, the crew would hold a Guinness World record for the first mixed-gendered team to row the Arctic Ocean.

Markets & Business

1. Capital One buying Discover Financial

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Capital One plans to buy Discover Financial Services in a deal that would marry two of the largest credit-card companies in the U.S.

“The all-stock deal could be announced Tuesday, according to people familiar with the matter,” WSJ reported. “Discover has a market value of about $28 billion, and the takeover would be expected to value it at a premium to that.”

The report goes on to say that buying Discover would give Capital One, a credit-card lender with a market value of a little over $52 billion, a network that would vastly increase its power in the payments ecosystem.

2. Oil prices little changed on Monday

Reuters reports that brent crude oil prices were little changed on Monday, with lingering supply concerns from tensions in the Middle East offset by signs of weakening demand.

“Brent futures ticked 6 cents lower to $83.41 a barrel by 11:52 a.m. ET. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for March delivery, which expires on Tuesday, rose 36 cents, or 0.5%, to $79.55 a barrel,” Reuters outlined. “The WTI contract for April deliveries fell 10 cents to $78.36 a barrel. Both Brent and WTI futures last week gained about 1.5% and 3% respectively, reflecting increasing risk of Middle East conflict widening.”

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.
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