Skip to content
Magnolia Mornings: May 3, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: May 3, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - May 3, 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. Southern Miss women’s basketball coach to lead ‘Parade of Champions’ in Hattiesburg

(Photo from SouthernMissWBB on X)

USM Women’s Head Basketball Coach Joye Lee McNelis will lead the ‘Parade of Champions’ through downtown Hattiesburg, reports WDAM. The parade celebrates the accomplishments of the city’s students on the field and in the classroom, from grade school to college.

“There’s no one who epitomizes the idea of excellence and also invests in the next generations than Coach Joye Lee-McNelis,” Mayor Toby Barker said per WDAM. “It really was a ‘slam-dunk’ pick.”

McNelis has been battling cancer and this week rang the bell ending her treatment program.

2. Biloxi City Councilman pleads guilty to federal drug charge

Robert Deming III, a Biloxi Councilman and a former Congressional candidate in 2020, pleaded guilty in federal court before District Court Judge Taylor McNeel on Wednesday to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Judge McNeel reminded Deming that with his guilty plea, he is not allowed to vote, hold public office or possess a firearm. As of Thursday morning, Deming had not resigned his Biloxi Councilman seat.

Deming is an attorney and business owner. The drug charges stem from a DEA and MBN investigation into his CBD, kratom and vape businesses. His sentencing is set for August 13th.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. President Biden speaks against anti-Israel college protests, says order must prevail

(Photo: The White House, Wikimedia Commons)

President Joe Biden, addressing the unrest on college campuses from anti-Israel protests and riots, said Thursday from the White House that order must prevail.

“Dissent is essential for democracy,” he said. “But dissent must never lead to disorder.”

Biden said both the right to free speech and the rule of law must be upheld. He said violent protests aren’t protected, it’s against the law.

“It’s the right to protest but not the right to cause chaos,” Biden said, adding that there was no place for antisemitism or discrimination of any kind in America.

2. Baltimore bridge insurer paying out $350 million to Maryland

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Chubb, the insurer of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, “is preparing to make a $350 million payout to Maryland, paying the full amount of the coverage quickly rather than waiting for the rebuilding to begin.”

“The check, which is the upper limit of the state’s coverage for the structure, would be the first large payout in what will likely be a yearslong wrangle over who bears the $1 billion-plus estimated cost of the bridge’s collapse,” WSJ reported. “The collision, when a giant cargo ship plowed into and destroyed the bridge in the early hours of March 26, killed six people and effectively shut down Baltimore’s busy port.”

Sports & Entertainment

1. Southern Miss pitcher named Sun Belt Pitcher of the Week

(Photo from Southern Miss Athletics)

Senior right-hander Billy Oldham earned Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Week honors Tuesday afternoon after limiting the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to five hits and one walk over seven-plus innings, while registering a career-high 10 strikeouts.

The award is the first Sun Belt weekly honor for Oldham as the third Golden Eagles captured the Pitcher of the Week nod in 2024. Both Niko Mazza and Will Armistead already won the award this season.

2. Ole Miss, Miss. State men’s golf teams earn spot in NCAA Championship tournament

(Photo from Mississippi State Athletics)

For the seventh consecutive season and 16th time in program history, the Ole Miss men’s golf team found its way into the field of 81 teams announced during the 2024 NCAA Men’s Selection Show after coming away with the No. 2 seed in the Stanford Regional.

The No. 2 seed marks the highest given to the Rebels in program history. The previous record was placed at No. 4 last season for the 2023 Norman Regional.

But Ole Miss isn’t the only team making the tournament. Mississippi State’s men’s golf program earned its 15th NCAA Championship berth as the field of 81 teams was announced Wednesday as well. It is the Bulldogs’ sixth straight NCAA selection. 

The Bulldogs are the No. 7 seed in the West Lafayette Regional on May 13-15. MSU will travel to the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex located in West Lafayette, Indiana.  

Markets & Business

1. NFIB report shows small business job openings rose in April

NFIB logo

According to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 40% (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported jobs openings they could not fill in the current period, up three points from March, which was the lowest reading since January 2021.

The percent of small business owners reporting labor cost as their top small business operating problem increased one point from March to 11%, only two points below the highest reading of 13 percent reached in December 2021.

Owners’ plans to fill open positions reverse the trend of previous months, with a seasonally adjusted net 12% planning to create new jobs in the next three months, up one point from March’s lowest level since May 2020.

Labor quality reported as the single most important problem for business owners increased one point to 19%. However, labor quality as small business owners’ top problem has eased considerably over the last two quarters.

2. Song named Keesler FCU CMO

Keesler Federal Credit Union has named Susan Song as the organization’s chief marketing officer (CMO). Song will oversee the credit union’s communication, marketing, community development, corporate events and corporate sponsorship efforts.

With more than 25 years of experience, Song joins Keesler Federal from Vystar Credit Union where she served as senior vice president. At Vystar, she oversaw brand and growth marketing initiatives, managing sponsorships with various organizations including the Orlando Magic, University of Florida athletics, and Florida State University athletics. Song also previously worked as the chief marketing officer for 18Birdies, where she led efforts for rapid user growth and strategic partnerships with industry leaders such as the LPGA and the Ernie Els Foundation, and has held senior leadership roles at Citigroup and Getty Images.

About the Author(s)
author profile image

Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.