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Magnolia Mornings: March 18, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: March 18, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - March 18, 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. Abbott, Zemek laid to rest following helicopter crash

Derek Abbott and Bryan Zemek (Photo from MS National Guard)

The Mississippi National Guard has announced that the funeral services for Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Zemek and Chief Warrant Officer Derek Abbott, who died in a helicopter crash in late February, are being held this week.

Abbott’s service was Sunday at the Itawamba Community College Davis Event Center in Fulton.

Zemek will have a burial procession on Tuesday, March 19, starting at 7 a.m. The procession will leave Senter Funeral Home, 707 South Adams Street in Fulton, Mississippi, and arrive at the 172d Airlift Wing, 141 Military Drive in Flowood.

2. Gulfport High wins Samsung STEM competition

Gulfport High School was selected as the State Winner for Mississippi in the 14th annual Samsung Solve for Tomorrow STEM Competition, according to a release. Each State Winner wins a package of $12,000 in technology for their school.

Gulfport High is developing a Solar Power Case, which is a portable utility case that would allow temporary power to a family in need as a result of severe weather events. 

Ten national finalists will be selected in late-March and each awarded a $50,000 prize package. Then, in April, Solve for Tomorrow will name three schools as National Winners, each of which will receive $100,000 in prize packages consisting of Samsung tech and classroom supplies.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. SCOTUS to hear case on government influence in social media

CBS News reported that the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that tests how far the federal government can go in pressuring social media companies to remove content it believes spreads misinformation before it crosses a constitutional line on Monday.

“The case, known as Murthy v. Missouri, arose out of efforts during the early months of the Biden administration to push social media platforms to take down posts that officials said spread falsehoods about the pandemic and the 2020 presidential election,” CBS News noted, adding, “Brought by five social media users and two states, Louisiana and Missouri, their challenge claimed their speech was stifled when platforms removed or downgraded their posts after strong-arming by officials in the White House, Centers for Disease Control, FBI and Department of Homeland Security.”

2. Putin becomes longest-serving Russian leader in over 200 years

As reported by Reuters, Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to win a new six-year term that would enable him to overtake Josef Stalin and become Russia’s longest-serving leader for more than 200 years.

Putin has been the country’s leader since 1999.

“While Putin’s re-election is not in doubt given his control over Russia and the absence of any real challengers, the former KGB spy wants to show that he has the overwhelming support of Russians. Several hours before polls were due to close at 1800 GMT, the nationwide turnout surpassed 2018 levels of 67.5%,” Reuters reported.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Miss. State men, Ole Miss women going dancing

(Photo from HailState Athletics)

Mississippi State’s men’s basketball team and the Ole Miss women’s basketball team have been selected to play in the NCAA Tournament.

It’s the Bulldog’s second straight NCAA Tournament bid under Chris Jans. Mississippi State is the No. 8 seed. They will take on Michigan State on Thursday.

As for the Rebel women, they received their third consecutive NCAA selection under head coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin. Ole Miss will be the No. 7 seed and will play Marquette on Saturday.

2. Big 3 get conference opening series wins on the diamond

(Photo from SouthernMissBSB on X)

Here’s how the weekend on the diamond went for Mississippi’s Big 3 in conference play.

Southern Miss swept Marshall in Hattiesburg, taking all three games from the Thundering Herd. The Golden Eagles are now 14-6 on the year.

Ole Miss took 2 or 3 from No. 20 South Carolina in Oxford, winning the first two contests and dropping the Sunday matchup. The Rebels are now 15-6 on the season.

The Rebels and the Golden Eagles will face off on Tuesday at 6pm in Pearl at Trustmark Park.

Down in Starkville, Mississippi State won 2 of 3 over No. 2 LSU, splitting the first two games and then capping off the series win on Sunday. The Bulldogs are now 15-6 overall. They will host Memphis at 6pm on Tuesday.

Markets & Business

1. Investors await Fed announcement later this week

CNBC reported on Monday that S&P 500 futures were up, as Wall Street awaited a key artificial intelligence conference and looked ahead to monetary policy guidance from the Federal Reserve later this week.

“Futures tied to the S&P 500 ticked up 0.6%. Nasdaq-100 futures added 1% and Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose slightly,” CNBC noted. “Tech shares outperformed in early trading.”

Investors are paying close attention this week to the Fed’s two-day policy meeting, which should bring an announcement on Wednesday.

2. Hybrid vehicle sales climbing as customers still hesitant over EVs

According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of hybrid models on sale in the U.S. grew 40% over five years, to about 70 for the 2024 model year, Cox Automotive estimates.

“Hybrids now are available across more vehicle sizes and body styles than in past years: larger SUVs, pickups, jeeps and even sports cars,” WSJ reports, adding, “U.S. sales of hybrids jumped 50% in the first two months of the year. That surge outpaced EV sales, which grew 13%, in both growth and volume.”

WSJ noted that some EV-curious shoppers are stopping short of going fully electric and are driving off in hybrids instead, dealers and car executives say.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.