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Magnolia Mornings: May 1, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: May 1, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - May 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. Jackson County, SRHS push back on Gautier development

Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula (photo from SRHS website)

WLOX is reporting that Jackson County Supervisors and Singing River Health Systems is pushing back on a development in Gautier that would include retail, restaurants, apartments, a hotel, and medical services through an outpatient center. The developers are seeking a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) bond with the City of Gautier.

As WLOX reported, Jackson County and Singing River Health System do not want Gautier to enter into the agreement because a cardiac surgery center is included in the development.

“We are for development in Gautier,” Laurin St. Pe, the CEO of Singing River Health said to WLOX. “What we are opposed to is the city of Gautier financially helping a competitor — a for-profit competitor, at that — to come into our backyard and compete with the county-owned health system.”

2. IHL appointees receive Senate confirmation

The newest members of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning were confirmed by the Mississippi Senate on Sunday. They will each serve a nine-year term beginning May 8, 2024. They are:

  • Donald Clark Jr. of Ridgeland
  • Jerry L. Griffith of Gulfport
  • James Heidelberg of Pascagoula
  • Charles Stephenson of West Point

Four trustees are completing their nine-year terms: Tom Duff of Hattiesburg, Dr. Alfred McNair Jr. of Ocean Springs, Chip Morgan of Leland, and Dr. Walt Starr of Columbus.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. House Democrats won’t go along with attempt to oust Speaker Johnson

Mike Johnson, U.S. Speaker of the House

House Democrats have announced that they will back a motion to table should Congresswoman Majorie Taylor Greene (R) attempt to force a vote to vacant the chair and oust Republican Speaker Mike Johnson.

“If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,” a statement from Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and other Democratic members said on Tuesday.

While Johnson told reporters he did not seek the support of the Democrats, he did say he serves the whole body, reiterating his position as a “lifelong conservative Republican.”

Yet, predictably, Greene took to social media to attempt to tie Johnson to Democrats, saying, “If the Democrats want to elect him Speaker (and some Republicans want to support the Democrats’ chosen Speaker), I’ll give them the chance to do it.”

2. Biden Administration looks to ease marijuana restrictions

The University of Mississippi marijuana research garden (Photo courtesy of the University of Mississippi)

According to the New York Times, the Justice Department said on Tuesday that it had recommended easing restrictions on marijuana in what could amount to a major change in federal policy. It could shift the product from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule III.

“Even though the move, which kicks off a lengthy rule-making process, does not end the criminalization of the drug, it is a significant shift in how the government views the safety and use of marijuana for medical purposes,” NYT reported. “It also reflects the Biden administration’s effort to liberalize marijuana policy in a way that puts it more in line with the public as increasingly more Americans favor legalizing the drug.”

NYT notes that the decision comes at “an opportune time for President Biden, who is trailing the presumptive Republican nominee, former President Donald J. Trump, as they approach the November election, according to a recent CNN poll.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Southern Miss comes back to beat New Orleans

(Photo from SouthernMissBSB on X)

Southern Miss battled back on Tuesday’s midweek matchup against New Orleans to take the non-conference 5-4 win. A three-run 7th inning propelled USM to a tie before adding the winning run in the bottom of the 8th. Pitching came in clutch down the stretch for Southern Miss.

The Golden Eagles (28-17 overall, 12-9 in Sun Belt) now turn their attention to a three-game home series with Sun Belt opponent Coastal Carolina, set to begin on Friday at Pete Taylor Park.

2. Mississippi State, Ole Miss set for Governor’s Cup game in Pearl

(From Ole Miss Athletics)

Ole Miss (23-20, 7-14 SEC) and No. 16 Mississippi State (29-15, 12-9 SEC) will play their annual Governor’s Cup game on Wednesday at Trustmark Park in Pearl. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and has been pushed back to start at 6:30 p.m.

Following Wednesday’s matchup, Ole Miss heads to Auburn for a three-game weekend series while Mississippi State will host Alabama.

Markets & Business

1. Hope of Fed rate cuts dim

CNBC reports that markets are anticipating a near-zero chance that the Federal Open Market Committee, the central bank’s policy-setting arm, will announce any change to interest rates.

“That will keep the Fed’s key overnight borrowing rate in a range targeted between 5.25%-5.5% for what could be months — or even longer,” CNBC reported. “Recent commentary from policymakers and on Wall Street indicates there’s not much else the committee can do at this point.”

CNBC notes that “futures market pricing sees only about a 50% chance of a rate cut as early as September and is now anticipating just one quarter-percentage-point reduction by the end of 2024, according to the CME Group’s much-viewed FedWatch measure.”

2. McDonald’s CEO concerned with affordability

McDonald’s executives said Tuesday that economic pressure is building on consumers, resulting in declining restaurant visits across the industry, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

CEO Chris Kempczinski said, “We must be laser focused on affordability.”

“He said that McDonald’s has lost its general lead on affordability in a few markets, and that its U.S. restaurants would benefit from taking a unified, national approach to meal deals, breakfast promotions and other value offerings. Chain franchisees set most of the prices in their locations, and U.S. restaurants now offer dozens of local deals,” WSJ reported.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.