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Magnolia Mornings: March 28, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: March 28, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - March 28, 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. All Mississippi counties designated USDA disaster areas for 2023 drought

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has designated all 82 Mississippi counties as primary natural disaster areas due to the 2023 drought.

Vilsack said the counties suffered from a drought intensity value during the growing season D2 Drought Severe for 8 or more consecutive weeks and D3 Drought Extreme or D4 Drought Exceptional.

The designation makes farm operators eligible to be considered for Farm Service Agency loan assistance. Farmers in Mississippi have 8 months to apply.

2. Yazoo County corrections officers arrested for helping prisoners escape

WAPT reported on Wednesday that four corrections officers have been arrested after five detainees escaped from the jail in Yazoo County.

“Sheriff Jeremy McCoy said the officers are accused of helping the five men escape Sunday from the Yazoo County Regional Correctional Facility,” WAPT reported. “Glenn Bassett is the only escapee who has not been captured. One of the escapees was caught after deputies spotted him running back into the facility. The other three were caught this week.”

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Despite differences, Clinton and Obama teaming up to support Biden

Wall Street Journal‘s latest headline provides a glimpse into the Democratic Party’s strategy during the 2024 re-election bid of President Joe Biden – “Three Presidents With a Complex Past Team Up to Defeat Trump.”

“When President Biden takes the stage in New York City Thursday for a major campaign fundraiser with two former Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, there will be plenty of shared history and unity about the stakes of the 2024 election—and a few long-simmering resentments,” WSJ reports.

WSJ goes on to note: “One longtime Clinton adviser said the fundraiser will likely mark the start of the deployment of major Democratic assets, from Obama and Clinton, and key surrogates in the party, now that Trump has become the presumptive Republican nominee. Obama is expected to hold fundraisers for the campaign arms of House and Senate Democrats, as he has done in the past, while Clinton expects to play a more active role than in recent years—and will help whenever he is asked.”

2. Former U.S. Senator, VP candidate Lieberman dies at 82

Former Connecticut U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman died on Wednesday at the age of 82 due to complications from a fall.

The former Democrat turned Independent, known for his centrist stance on policy and high moral standards, was the first Jewish American to be nominated as a vice presidential candidate by a major U.S. political party when he was former Vice President Al Gore’s running mate during the 2000 election.

Lieberman sought the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination but left the race early in the cycle due to lack of primary voter support. When he ran for re-election to the Senate in 2006, he lost the Democratic Primary. Lieberman then filed to run as an Independent and won the race. Two years later, he attended the Republican National Convention and endorsed John McCain for President in 2008.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Jackson State sweeps Valley in weekend series

(Photo from Jackson State Athletics)

Jackson State continued to roll through the SWAC with a three-game series win over Mississippi Valley State last weekend.

The Tigers are now 19-5 on the season and 5-0 in conference play.

Jackson State returns to conference play this weekend, beginning the first of back-to-back weekend on the road facing Florida A&M beginning today, Thursday, March 28.

2. NEMS, Jones dominating JUCO baseball in early season action

According to the latest baseball standings from the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference Athletics, Northeast Mississippi and Jones both sit at 11-3 in conference play with NEMS leading the schools with a 27-5 overall record.

Coming in at the bottom of the pack is Mississippi Delta with a conference record of 2-12 and an overall record of 8-19.

Markets & Business

1. Mississippi SOS issues cease and desist against BlackRock

On March 26, 2024, Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson and the Securities Division of the Secretary of State’s Office issued a Summary Cease and Desist Order and Notice of Intent to Impose Administrative Penalty against BlackRock, Inc., a multinational investment company and the world’s largest asset manager. 

The Securities Division is seeking to stop BlackRock’s alleged fraudulent actions and impose a multimillion-dollar administrative penalty. BlackRock provides exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or pooled investments categorized as securities, and currently manages over nine trillion dollars in investments through 70 offices in 30 countries. BlackRock has recently asserted itself as a leader in the investment industry to promote environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors on portfolio companies. 

The Securities Division alleges BlackRock, through its ESG assertions, has repeatedly made false and misleading statements to Mississippi investors. These misrepresentations pertain to BlackRock’s involvement in pushing ESG factors on portfolio companies.

To read the full order, click here

2. Home Depot betting on improved housing market

The AP reported Thursday that Home Depot is buying SRS Distribution, a materials provider for professionals, in a deal valued at approximately $18.25 billion.

The move is seen as the home supply company betting on an improved housing construction and lending market as mortgage rates start to decline.

“SRS’s has a sales team of more than 2,500 and more than 760 branches across 47 states. It also has 4,000-plus truck fleet and jobsite delivery capabilities,” the AP reported.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.