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Magnolia Mornings: March 12, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: March 12, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - March 12, 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.

Go vote, Mississippi!

Mississippi’s Primary Election Day is today – Tuesday, March 12. The ballot includes offices of President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. Representative.

Polls for the Primary Election will open at 7:00 a.m. and close at 7:00 p.m.

See who’s on the ballot here.

In Mississippi

1. Thompson to hold community safety meeting with NTSB

Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS 2)

Congressman Bennie Thompson (D) will hold an emergency community safety meeting in response to the recent gas explosions in Jackson. No date or time was given in Thompson’s announcement.

“The safety and well-being of Jackson residents is my top priority. These explosions have caused significant disruption and fear in the community, and I am committed to getting answers and ensuring all necessary steps are taken to prevent future incidents,” Thompson said in a statement. “I was briefed by the Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Jennifer Homendy, and she has confirmed her attendance at the forthcoming meeting. This meeting will provide a platform for residents to ask questions and receive updates directly from NTSB officials. The expertise of the NTSB is crucial in determining the cause of these explosions.”

The community safety meeting will be open for residents to attend and voice concerns, directly to NTSB officials.

2. Over 19,000 absentee ballots cast ahead of Mississippi Primaries

According to the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office, as of Monday, March 11, the Statewide Election Management System (SEMS) reported a total of 21,633 absentee ballots requested, 21,538 absentee ballots sent, and 19,232 absentee ballots received in the state for the 2024 Presidential Primary Election. 

The in-person absentee balloting deadline was on March 9th. All mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day (March 12) and received by March 19.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. HUD Secretary announces retirement

On Monday, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge, 71, announced she would be retiring at the end of the month.

Fudge, who has led the agency for three years under the Biden Administration as the 18th HUD Secretary, previously spent more than a decade in Congress.

In a statement on her resignation, President Biden said from her time as a mayor, to her years as a fierce advocate in the U.S. House of Representatives, Fudge’s vision, passion, and focus on increasing economic opportunity have been assets to the country. 

“I’m grateful for all of her contributions toward a housing system that works for all Americans, and I wish her well in her next chapter,” Biden said.

2. Navarro ordered to jail after defying House Jan. 6th Committee subpoena

Former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro has been ordered to report to jail in Miami on March 19 to begin his four-month sentence after he defied a subpoena from the House January 6th Committee, according to ABC News.

Navarro was found guilty on two counts of contempt of Congress for refusing to provide testimony and documents to the committee.

“Navarro unsuccessfully argued that former President Donald Trump had asserted executive privilege over his testimony and document production,” ABC News noted.

3. Dozens of RNC staffers let go after leadership change

News broke Monday that there was a shakeup of staff underway at the Republican National Committee (RNC) just days after the new Trump-backed chair and co-chair were seated.

“About 60 people were told they were no longer employed, according to a person with direct knowledge of the changes,” reported the Washington Post. “One of the people familiar with the firings said data, political and communications staffers were affected, and notifications were made on Monday by Chris LaCivita, a senior Trump adviser who was at the RNC’s Capitol Hill headquarters.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Miss. State sweeps Gillom, Howell Trophies

Mississippi State’s Josh Hubbard was awarded the Howell Trophy and Jessika Carter was awarded the Gillom Trophy on Monday as part of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame’s annual awards for the state’s top college men’s and women’s basketball players.

Hubbard is the 9th State player to capture the honor and extends the Bulldogs run to six of the last seven seasons to win the Howell Trophy.

A three-time finalist for the honor, Carter earns her first Gillom Trophy award and is now the seventh recipient from Mississippi State over last 10 seasons. 

2. Miss. State, Ole Miss set to begin SEC Tournament play

(Photo from OleMissMBB and HailStateMBK on X)

SEC Tournament play starts Wednesday in Nashville with Mississippi State and Ole Miss needing good showings ahead of the NCAA tournament.

The Bulldogs are the No. 9 seed in the SEC Tournament while the Rebels are the NO. 10 seed.

Mississippi State will play No. 8 seed LSU on Thursday at Noon. Ole Miss will follow at 6pm, playing No. 7 seed Texas A&M.

Markets & Business

1. All eyes on inflation report

The monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) report is expected to be released Tuesday morning with economic analysts keenly looking for where inflation stands.

“Investors will eye the data particularly closely, following recent signs that inflation is taking longer to return to central banks’ targets than hoped, both in the U.S. and Europe,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “The Federal Reserve is expected to hold interest rates steady at its next meeting. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said last week that the central bank wasn’t far off cutting rates, but that he wanted greater confidence that inflation was returning to its 2% target. Traders reckon there is a roughly 70% chance rates are lower by June.”

2. Consumer spending rose in February

According to CNBC, consumer spending bounced back in February from a January dip but sales still registered good gains even after correcting for that extra spending day on February 29th.

“The CNBC/NRF Retail Monitor, derived from actual credit card spending data from Affinity Solutions, rose 1.06% in February, when excluding autos and gas. It increased 0.95% when taking out restaurants as well, the Retail Monitor’s core measure,” CNBC reported. “Removing the effect of the Leap Day, sales rose 0.4%, or less than half of the unadjusted gain, but they were still up from the 0.2% decline in January. Taking out restaurants, the Retail Monitor adjusted for the Leap Day was up 0.3%, compared with a 0.04% gain in January.”

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.