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Magnolia Mornings: March 7, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: March 7, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - March 7, 2024

President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, March 1, 2022, in Washington. (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP, File - ASSOCIATED PRESS.)

  • 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. City of Columbus moves forward with annexation plans

According to WCBI, the City of Columbus City Council voted 4-2 on Tuesday to annex two parcels on the city’s southern and eastern borders.

“Ward 6 Councilwoman Jacqueline DiCicco brought up data that many people in the last area annexed by the city 10 years ago still don’t have full access to city services,” WCBI reported. “Ward 5 Councilman Stephen Jones countered that a survey from Columbus Light and Water showed that they didn’t want city services. DiCicco said those surveys used a very small sample.”

The city’s plan now moves to the public notice and Chancery Court phase of the annexation process.

2. 10 Mississippi towns recertified as retirement communities

Cities across the state have qualified for a three-year recertification through Welcome Home Mississippi. The municipalities include Aberdeen, Brandon, Clinton, Hattiesburg, Madison, Natchez, Oxford, Picayune, Southaven and Vicksburg.

The Welcome Home Mississippi program was legislatively mandated in 1994 and is administered by the Mississippi Development Authority. The purpose of the program is to promote Mississippi communities to attract retirees from across the country.

Three other communities – Starkville, New Albany and Cleveland – are on a staggered recertification schedule.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Biden to deliver State of the Union Thursday evening; Alabama U.S. Senator Britt to give Republican Response

President Joe Biden delivers his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, March 1, 2022, in Washington. (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP, File – ASSOCIATED PRESS.)

President Joe Biden will deliver his fourth State of the Union speech of his term to a joint session of Congress in the nation’s Capitol on Thursday evening.

The primetime speech is set to begin at 8 p.m. CT and will be aired on most major TV and streaming platforms.

Biden’s delivery and the substance of his speech are likely to be hotly debated given the narrative surrounding his advanced age and the fact that it is an election year in which it’s now clear he will face former President Donald Trump in a rematch of the 2020 election.

The Republican Response to the Democratic President’s State of the Union will be delivered by freshman U.S. Senator Katie Britt of Alabama. At 41 years old, she is the youngest female Senator in the chamber.

2. Haley ends presidential campaign, doesn’t endorse Trump

Nikki Haley

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley officially suspended her presidential campaign on Wednesday following Super Tuesday where she lost 14 out of 15 state Republican primaries to former President Donald Trump.

Haley, Trump’s former U.N. Ambassador, said she ended her campaign with the same words she began it from the Book of Joshua.

“I direct them to all Americans, but especially to so many of the women and girls out there who put their faith in our campaign. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For God will be with you wherever you go,” Haley said.

Haley did not openly endorse Trump but did congratulate him and wished him well.

“I have always been a conservative Republican and always supported the Republican nominee,” Haley said. “But on this question, as she did on so many others, Margaret Thatcher provided some good advice when she said, ‘Never just follow the crowd. Always make up your own mind.'”

Haley said it’s now up to Trump to earn the votes of Republicans who did not support him, adding, “I hope he does that.”

3. McConnell endorses Trump

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

According to the AP, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is endorsing former President Donald Trump’s bid for re-election.

McConnell, who is stepping down from Senate Republican leadership later this year, released a statement on Wednesday on his support for Trump.

“It is abundantly clear that former President Trump has earned the requisite support of Republican voters to be our nominee for President of the United States,” McConnell said in the statement. “It should come as no surprise that as nominee, he will have my support.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Ole Miss downs Memphis

(Photo from OleMissBB on X)

The Ole Miss Rebels hosted the Memphis Tigers on Wednesday night in Oxford for a midweek contest on the diamond, winning 5-3 at home.

The Rebels, now 9-5 on the season, will host Morehead State for a weekend series starting Friday.

2. MSHSAA hands out Mr. / Miss Basketball awards

The Mississippi High School Activities Association handed out their annual Mr. and Miss Basketball awards, sponsored by C Spire, this week at a luncheon in Jackson. Those high school players earning the honors were:


1AStanford SpearmanCoffeeville
2ADalyn PierceBay Springs
3AKedrick SimmonsBooneville
4AEric PaymonRaymond
5AJamarion FlemingCanton
6ADorian McMillianPascagoula
7ATrey AlexanderClinton


1AKeyauna FooteBlue Mountain
2AMacie PhiferIngomar
3ASa’Niyah CookBooneville
4AMattison BellChoctaw Central
5ADekyra MitchellHolmes County
6AKamiyha GriffinSouth Panola
7ATootie LockettStarkville

3. Former Miss. State head coach joins Kiffin’s Ole Miss staff

Miss State Head Coach Zach Arnett

Former Mississippi State Head Football Coach and Defensive Coordinator Zach Arnett has joined Lane Kiffin’s staff at Ole Miss.

Arnett, who went 5-6 in his only season as the head Bulldog, will reportedly serve in an analyst role with the team for the upcoming 2024 season.

Markets & Business

Fed Chair not yet ready to say when rates will be lowered

Jerome Powell (Photo from Feder Reserve Board)

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday reiterated that he expects interest rates to start coming down this year but is not ready yet to say when, according to a report from CNBC.

Powell was on Capitol Hill Wednesday appearing before lawmakers. He told the U.S. House Financial Services Committee he needs “see a little bit more data” before moving on rates.

“We think because of the strength in the economy and the strength in the labor market and the progress we’ve made, we can approach that step carefully and thoughtfully and with greater confidence,” he said, per CNBC. “When we reach that confidence, the expectation is we will do so sometime this year. We can then begin dialing back that restriction on our policy.”

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.