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Magnolia Mornings: June 21, 2024

Magnolia Mornings: June 21, 2024

By: Magnolia Tribune - June 21, 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. First 2024 case of West Nile Virus confirmed in Rankin County

The Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus this year in Mississippi in Rankin County.  West Nile Virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito.

As noted by MSDH, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 out of 10 people infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

MSDH says the summer is prime time for mosquitos to feast and potentially spread illnesses like West Nile Virus. While the risk of a healthy person getting WNV from a mosquito bite is very low, MSDH says all need to take precautions.

2. JSU offering teacher student loan repayment assistance

Jackson State University (JSU) announced on Thursday a new Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) they say is designed to tackle Mississippi’s teacher shortage.

According to the new program, if post-graduation income for teachers is below $45,000, the LRAP will aid in repaying federal student loans, private alternative loans, and parent PLUS loans. JSU is the first HBCU to implement such an initiative.

Starting this fall, the program will be offered at no cost to all teacher education majors, as well as other incoming freshmen and transfer students as determined by Jackson State’s Office of Admissions.

National News & Foreign Policy

1. Trump outraises Biden for second consecutive month

Left to Right: Donald Trump (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell – March 5, 2024) and Joe Biden (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik – March 7, 2024)

The New York Times reports that former President Donald Trump (R) out-raised President Joe Biden (D) for the second consecutive month in May, outpacing his successor by roughly $81 million in donations over the last two months.

“In May, Mr. Biden’s campaign and its joint operation with the Democratic National Committee raised $85 million, compared with $141 million for Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee, according to the two campaigns. In April, the Trump team also brought in $25 million more than the Biden team,” NYT reported.

NYT also noted that for the first time, Trump’s principal campaign committee had more cash than Biden’s: $116.5 million to $91.6 million.

2. Record number of students now in special needs programs

More American children than ever are qualifying for special education, but schools are struggling to find enough teachers to meet their needs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“A record 7.5 million students accessed special-education services in U.S. schools as of 2022-2023, including children with autism, speech impairments and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. That is 15.2% of the public-school student population, up from less than 13% a decade earlier, the most recent federal data shows,” WSJ reported.

WSJ notes that some of the factors attributing to the increase include pandemic disruptions, more parents asking for services as the stigma around special needs education lessens, and the rise in autism diagnoses.

Sports & Entertainment

1. Dart for Heisman?

(Photo from Ole Miss Athletics)

Ole Miss Athletics highlighted that On3 ranked its top five Heisman Trophy candidates out of the Southeastern Conference, slotting Rebel quarterback Jaxson Dart at No. 4 behind Georgia’s Carson Beck, Quinn Ewers of Texas and Alabama’s Jalen Milroe.

“In a potential wide-open race, Dart is among the best “darkhorse” options as the starting quarterback for a Top 10 team looking to have its best season in school history — a year removed from its best season in school history,” wrote On3’s Jesse Simonton. “If Dart can lead the Rebels to the College Football Playoff, then he should easily have the stats operating Lane Kiffin’s offense to merit serious consideration for the award.”

2. Cowan named Southern Miss women’s golf coach

(Photo from Southern Miss Athletics)

Southern Miss has a new women’s golf coach. Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jeremy McClain announced Wednesday the hiring of Colton Cowan as the head women’s golf coach. 

According to Southern Miss, Cowan comes to Hattiesburg after spending the last three seasons as the head men’s and women’s golf coach at Henderson State. While in Arkadelphia, Cowan guided the Reddies to six Great American Conference Championships on both the men’s and women’s sides. He also helped both teams advance to three-straight NCAA DII Regionals, the women’s team to three-straight NCAA DII National Championships and took the men’s team to its first NCAA DII National Championships during the 2023-24 season. The women’s team finished ninth, tied for third, and sixth in the nation in each of the last three seasons, respectively – they also won the NCAA DII Central Regional Tournament three-straight seasons. The men’s team finished 12th in the nation this season. In total, Henderson State won 23 regular season tournaments under his tutelage. 

Markets & Business

1. Greenville, Hazlehurst receive T-Mobile Hometown grants

On Thursday, T-Mobile unveiled its latest 25 Hometown Grant recipients, tallying up to 300 communities across 47 states. The company says the grantees will each receive up to $50,000 in funding from T-Mobile to kickstart local development projects that enhance communities, such as building adaptive playgrounds, launching small business initiatives and beautifying downtowns.

In Mississippi, two communities were selected.

In Greenville, T-Mobile’s grant will help launch the Delta Entrepreneurial Corridor, supporting over 300 small businesses by providing business planning resources, financial literacy programs and more.

In Hazlehurst, the company’s grant will help install a new playground with accessible, state-of-the-art playground equipment in the heart of the town to provide a safe and fun place for children.

2. New non-profit filing coming to Mississippi

There’s a new non-profit report filing required in Mississippi.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, pursuant to House Bill (HB) 1344 from the 2024 Legislative Session and signed by the Governor, effective July 1, 2024, all nonprofit organizations will now be required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The reports will be available starting January 1, 2025, and due on or before May 15th of each calendar year.

There is no cost associated with this report. Failure to file this report will result in administrative dissolution.

The annual report requirement applies to all nonprofit corporations registered with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office and is separate from the annual charity registration filing. If you are a nonprofit corporation that also solicits contributions within the State of Mississippi, you will file both reports each year.

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Magnolia Tribune

This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.