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Magnolia Mornings: April 1, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: April 1, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - April 1, 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. Starkville Strong tackles food insecurity in area

WCBI highlighted Starkville Strong’s new initiative Second Servings aimed at “Transforming Surplus into Sustenance.”

Executive Director Brandi Herrington told WCBI, “We know that there is a lot of food waste here in Starkville. Think about at the end of football games in the concession areas, how many things have to be thrown away. And I used to be a science teacher so the environment is very important to me and we see a lot of that waste as a missed opportunity to redistribute to those in need in our town.”

According to the news outlet, recently, the organization, in conjunction with Worker Bees in Starkville, conducted a trial run using leftovers donated from the Chi Omega sorority.

2. Brookhaven cross tallest in state

(Photo from Easthaven Baptist Church on Facebook)

WLBT reported on Easter Sunday on a Brookhaven pastor defending the construction of a 150-foot cross, the state’s tallest.

“It towers over Easthaven Baptist Church, whose pastor is Dr. Hal Kitchings, a middle-aged man with an undercut and big smile. He started as senior pastor of Easthaven last year,” WLBT reported, adding, “He had seen other large crosses, either along a highway or on a church’s property, and liked the idea of constructing one too. He says it would be a symbol of hope.”

Critics say the money used to construct the cross – upwards of $200,000 – could have been used to help the poor and needy.

The pastor told WLBT, ““I know that in the Bible, we shouldn’t be surprised that people push back, because in 1 Corinthians 1:18, it says, for example, ‘The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but, to those who are being saved, it is the power of God.’”

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Israeli forces complete operation at al-Shifa Hospital

According to the Washington Post, the Israel Defense Forces said Monday its troops have completed their operation at al-Shifa Hospital and left the area, following a raid that lasted about two weeks and targeted militants “in close quarters encounters.”

“In a news conference Monday, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said troops reentered the hospital in mid-March on the basis of intelligence suggesting that Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants had regrouped there,” WP reported.

“It was the base where the control of Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the north was conducted by both political rank commanders and operatives,” Hagari said, accusing militants of firing at Israeli forces from hospital buildings, as reported by WP.

2. Trump eyeing Wall Street veterans for Treasury Secretary?

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that former President Donald Trump, the Republican frontrunner, are discussing several high-profile Wall Street and Washington veterans as candidates for Treasury secretary if the former president clinches a second term. The speculation comes ahead of a major fundraiser for Trump’s campaign.

“The April 6 event in Palm Beach, Fla., is being hosted by billionaire hedge-fund manager John Paulson and co-chaired by investor Scott Bessent, both of whom have caught Trump’s eye as he weighs who he will nominate for key cabinet positions, according to people familiar with the matter,” the WSJ reports.

WSJ notes that while Election Day is months away, “the early conversations signal that Trump views Wall Street experience as a key factor in making the selection, the people said.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Big 3 baseball scores from this weekend

(Photo from SoutherMissBSB on X)

Here is how Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss did on the diamond over the Easter weekend:

  • Mississippi State are now 19-10 on the season after losing of 2 of 3 to Florida. The Bulldogs lost 7-6 on Friday, won 12-2 on Saturday, and lost 4-3 on Sunday. They will play Central Arkansas on Tuesday.
  • Ole Miss, now 18-11 on the year, were swept by Kentucky, losing 5-3, 17-9, and 15-1 in the Friday through Sunday series. The Rebels will play Memphis on Tuesday.
  • Southern Miss is now 18-10 after taking 2 of 3 from Troy in their Thursday through Saturday series. The Golden Eagles won 14-4 in 7 innings on Thursday, lost 9-8 on Friday, and won 5-3 on Saturday. USM will play Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday.

2. The Final Four is set

(Photo from ESPN on X)

After a wild ride to get here, the NCAA Tournament Final Four is now set.

The SEC has one team representing in the conference – Alabama. It is the first Final Four appearance in program history.

Purdue knocked off Tennessee to earn a spot in the Final Four for the first time since 1980.

UConn, the defending national champions, continued to dominate its way through the dance, moving into the Final Four as well.

The last Final Four team is North Carolina State. They are the first 14+ loss team to ever reach the Final Four.

The teams will meet on Saturday, with UConn playing Alabama and Purdue playing NC State.

3. Corral return to the field

(Photo from USFLStallions on X)

Former Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral returned to the football field on Saturday, this time with the UFL’s Birmingham Stallions.

Corral, named the opening day starter for the team in the new league that merged the USFL and XFL, led the Stallions to a 27-14 win over the Arlington Renegades.

Corral went 12-21 for 1 Touchdown and 1 interception on the day. He also ran for 25 yards on the day.

Markets & Business

1. Stock futures rise ahead of Monday trading

CNBC reports that stock futures rose slightly on Monday as Wall Street kicked off the second quarter following a strong start to the year, and traders weighed fresh U.S. inflation data.

“The personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy, released Friday during the market closure for Good Friday, showed inflation rose 2.8% in February, which is in line with expectations,” CNBC reported. “The inflation gauge closely watched by the Federal Reserve also rose 0.3% from a month ago, the Commerce Department said.”

As noted by CNBC, markets wrapped up a winning March and their fifth consecutive positive month, and the Dow is within striking distance of 40,000, closing at 39,807.37 on Thursday. The markets were closed on Good Friday.

2. Fed rate cuts remain uncertain

Jerome Powell

MarketWatch reported Friday that the Federal Reserve will probably start cutting interest rates in June as the latest inflation data suggest the surge in January may have been an “anomaly,” according to Capital Economics.

“Core inflation, as measured by the personal-consumption-expenditures price index, moderated in February even as real spending was unexpectedly strong, said Paul Ashworth, chief North America economist for Capital Economics, in a note Friday,” MarketWatch reported.

Later that morning, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed would hold U.S. interest rates at current high levels if inflation doesn’t slow much this year as January and February inflation data came in higher than expected.

3. UPS to be primary air cargo provider for U.S. Postal Service

UPS is becoming the primary air cargo provider for the United State Post Service.

The contract, announced Monday, will expand the two entities’ relationship by moving the majority of air cargo shipped in the U.S. to UPS.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.