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Magnolia Mornings: May 8, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: May 8, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - May 8, 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. EPA closes case against Mississippi over Jackson water funding

This is an aerial view of the City of Jackson’s O.B. Curtis Water Plant, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The EPA Office of External Civil Rights Compliance notified the Mississippi State Department of Health and Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality on Monday that they were closing the Title VI case against the state initiated by the NAACP in the wake of the 2022 Jackson water crisis.

The EPA stated in their letter that they had “found insufficient evidence to conclude that MDEQ and MSDH violated Title VI and EPA’s nondiscrimination regulations.”

“…OECRC finds insufficient evidence that MDEQ violated Title VI and its implementing regulation with respect to whether MDEQ discriminated against the majority Black population of Jackson, Mississippi, on the basis of race in its funding of water infrastructure and treatment programs and activities,” the letter state.

2. Gautier approves TIF over objections from Supervisors, SRHS

As reported by WLOX, the Gautier City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve the creation of a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district for a commercial development on Highway 57 known as Legacy Park, despite vocal disapproval from Jackson County and Singing River Health System.

“The county and the hospital do not oppose the commercial development, but rather the ambulatory cardiac surgery center included in the project, which they argue Gautier should not be financially supporting through the TIF,” WLOX reported. “Gautier city leaders defended their decision by pointing out that the land is already zoned for a medical facility, and that the TIF will only support the infrastructure development needed for the project.”

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Daniels testifies in Trump hush money trial

Donald Trump in Manhattan court for arraignment.
Former President Donald Trump sits at the defense table with his legal team in a Manhattan court, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, Pool)

As ABC News reports, jurors heard testimony from Stormy Daniels, the porn actress at the center of a hush money case involving former President Donald Trump, in New York on Tuesday.

“Trump is on trial for allegedly falsifying business records to hide the reimbursement of a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 election. The former president has denied all wrongdoing,” ABC News reports.

Daniels described in detail her sexual encounter with Trump more than a decade ago, prompting “repeated objections from attorneys for Trump, often at his urging. His legal team later mounted an unsuccessful bid for a mistrial, citing the ‘extraordinarily prejudicial’ commentary from Daniels.”

The trial will resume on Thursday morning.

2. Boy Scouts of America dropping Boy from its name in rebranding effort

Boy Scouts of America announced on Tuesday that coming in February 2025 the organization would be changing its name to Scouting America.

The change is being made to show inclusivity, as more girls have joined in recent years since they were allowed in beginning in 2018 with Cub Scouts and 2020 with Boy Scouts.

This new iteration of the Boy Scouts comes after the organization opened its doors to gay members starting in 2013 and began allowing gay adult leaders in 2015.

Those involved in the Boy Scouts have declined, reaching historically low numbers. In 1972, the Boy Scouts increased to nearly 5 million members. Today, their numbers are just around 1 million.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Finalists announced for Ferriss Trophy

The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum has announced the finalists for the 2024 Ferriss Trophy presented by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Pearl River Resort.

The Ferriss Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding college baseball player in the state of Mississippi. The trophy was named for Dave “Boo” Ferriss, long-time Delta State baseball coach.

The finalists for the Ferriss Trophy are: 

  • Brett Sanchez of Belhaven
  • Dakota Jordan of Mississippi State
  • Ethan Lege of Ole Miss
  • Dalton McIntyre of Southern Miss
  • RJ Stinson of William Carey

The winner will be announced on May 20th at the Golden Moon Casino. Former Southern Miss Baseball Coach Scott Berry will be the featured speaker for the event.

2. Richards hired as JSU Women’s Basketball Coach

(Photo from JSU Athletics)

Jackson State has hired Margaret Richards as their seventh head coach of the women’s basketball program. The official announcement was made on Monday in a press conference.

Richards is a 19-year collegiate coaching veteran. She comes to Jackson State from Mercer where she joined the staff after an eight-year run as head coach at Alabama A&M. There, she led the Bulldogs to nearly 100 wins and six appearances in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Tournament, including a run to the semifinals of the 2019-20 event. Alabama A&M also reeled in 13 league victories during the 2021-22 campaign on the way to a runner-up finish in the final SWAC regular season standings.

Markets & Business

1. Archimedes engine to be tested at Stennis in Hancock County

BusinessWire reports that Rocket Lab USA has completed the first full assembly of its Archimedes engine, the new 3D printed, reusable, rocket engine for the Company’s Neutron medium lift launch vehicle.

“The Archimedes test campaign will take place at Rocket Lab’s dedicated engine test stand at America’s largest rocket propulsion test site, NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. As an oxidizer rich staged combustion cycle powered by liquid oxygen and methane, Archimedes is a unique rocket engine of its thrust class, engine cycle, and propellant combination,” BW states.

2. White House promotes Microsoft’s $3.3B data center in Wisconsin

CNBC is reporting that President Joe Biden will visit the political battleground state of Wisconsin on Wednesday to announce plans by Microsoft Corp to build a $3.3 billion high-tech data center that will create thousands of jobs.

“The Microsoft facility in Racine County, in southeastern Wisconsin, will be built on the same land where Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn had planned to build a $10 billion factory that former President Donald Trump once called ‘the eighth wonder of the world,’ before Foxconn drastically scaled back its plans,” CNBC reports.

Microsoft’s plans will result in 2,300 union construction jobs and some 2,000 permanent jobs over time, the White House said per CNBC.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.